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Google Play Music's Songza-Powered Contextual Playlists Go Live In The UK

Over the summer, Google bought Songza, a music streaming company that provides playlists suited for certain moods and times of day. The Big G has left the service running, but that didn't stop it from integrating the functionality with Play Music several months later. This brought recommended playlists to the "Listen Now" area of the Android app and website for listeners in the US and Canada. Now the functionality has expanded to the UK.

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Facebook Tests Flatter, More Colorful User Interface In Android Mobile App

A number of our readers have witnessed a change after opening up the Facebook app. The social network is apparently testing out an updated version of the user interface that sports a flatter look and more colorful, circular icons. We wouldn't call it a big Material redesign, but it does show signs of trying to better fit in.

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MusiXmatch, Lyve, And Fitnet Join The Chromecast Family Of Apps

That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.

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[Update: Changelog Posted] Google Maps v9.2 Adds Navigation Settings For Voice Level And Tilt, Auto-Corrects Misspelled Searches [APK Download]

The Maps team has been on a roll ever since the Material makeover early last month. None of the new features are inherently huge, but there is some serious fine-tuning going on. With the release of v9.1, businesses and landmark pages became more informative. The trend continues in v9.2 as there are new improvements to the interface for Navigation and search.

What's New

Google just updated the changelog on the Play Store page for Maps.

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Google Removed The Gigantic High-Quality Voice Downloads In New Text-To-Speech App Because The Standard Voice Is Now Better

Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.

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[APK Downloads] Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, And Drive All Receive Assorted Updates [Updated: Full Hamburger Menu Icon, Voice Search, And More]

Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.

What's New

Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.

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In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.

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Instagram Introduces Five New Filters, The Only Ones To Appear Since 2012

Do you remember the end of 2012? Android still ran Jelly Bean (no make that Jelly Bean, or was it Jelly Bean?). A 5.5-inch screen was as big as phone's got, and the mere promise of the Pebble had people virtually throwing money at their screens. Then in December, Instagram introduced a couple of new filters into its mobile app.

Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters.

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Mint App Gets Yet Another Redesign With Some Material Touches And A New Icon

The Mint app has a case of hyperactive redesign. This devastating disease is characterized by rapid design changes, fluctuating icons, and death. Okay, not so much the last one. Still, the Mint app is getting more design tweaks in the most recent update, which is mostly okay.

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Sky Go Streaming App Adds Android 5.0 Support In Its Latest Update, But Problems Continue

Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Hub 4.0 Update Adds A Material Design UI, Better Streaming, And A Few Bug Fixes

SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.

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