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Vessel Beta App Gains Chromecast Support In The Latest Version

To be honest, I'm still not sold on Vessel's business model, which posts original web video content a few days early to paying subscribers before it goes out to more general portals (usually YouTube). But the Android app seems more than serviceable even in its beta form, and the developers are adding features quickly. Case in point: the latest update adds Chromecast compatibility, which no video app should be without.

The feature works exactly as you'd expect it to: start a video and look for the Chromecast icon, then connect to a local Chromecast or Android TV device. You can connect on the main viewer screen as well, if you don't want to scramble to send your video as soon as it starts.

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Pushbullet Now Supports End-To-End Encryption For Notification Mirroring, SMS, And Copy-Paste Sync

You can't deny that Pushbullet is insanely useful, and it gets more so with each update. However, Pushbullet does see a lot of your data in plain text, and there's been growing demand for better security. As of today, Pushbullet supports end-to-end encryption for SMS, notification mirroring, and universal copy-paste.

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19 New And Notable (And 1 WTF) Android Apps From The Last 2 Weeks (7/28/15 - 8/10/15)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Email for Exchange Mail Apps +

This week's roundup is brought to you by Email for Exchange Mail Apps + by Mail Wise. It's an email client that focuses on ease of access, and reformats both chains and individual messages into easy-to-read text.

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The Humble 'Games Workshop' Mobile Bundle Adds Chainsaw Warrior For Ten Total Games, And We've Got 10 Free Codes To Give Away [Update: Winners]

The current Humble Bundle is halfway through its run, and that means it's time for more games to be added. Although, this time it's just one game, Chainsaw Warrior. Don't be bummed, though. There were already nine games in the bundle before.

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[Update: APK] Hangouts 4.0 For Android Will Start Rolling Out Today

We've seen Hangouts 4.0 for Android before (and also on Android Wear), but that was two months ago. Suffice it to say, then, that Hangouts 4 hype has been building up tremendous pressure since, and now Google is finally delivering. Hangouts 4.0 will be available on the Play Store starting today, and of course, almost certainly will roll out in stages.

We already have a good idea of what's new in Hangouts 4.0, but here are the changes Google is offering up specifically:

  • Hangouts is sleeker. Now updated with material design, Hangouts has a new look and feel: items respond to your touch in more intuitive ways and transitions between tasks are more fluid. 
  • Hangouts is simpler.
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DIRECTV Android App Version 4.2 Adds UI Improvements, ESPN Streaming, Send To TV Function, And More

Most apps for cable and satellite TV providers suck. They tend to completely ignore user interface standards, throw up artificial limitations, and have poor performance. DirecTV's app seems to be an interesting exception - while customers aren't without complaints, the primary Play Store listing gives it a 4.1-star rating. Today it gets a handful of improvements, making the app better in some notable ways. The update is also being applied to the tablet version of the app, which has admittedly poorer ratings.

image (1) image (2) image (3)

According to the change log, version 4.2 adds some considerable new functionality to the DIRECTV app home screen, which doubles as a remote control for a connected receiver.

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QKSMS Makes All Premium Features Free In Latest Release, Teases Major Upcoming Announcement

QKSMS, an SMS replacement app that boasts material design, customizable colors, and Android Wear support, has made all its paid features free. And no, that doesn't mean that the developer has just added some new features and made them pay-only instead. The app is simply 100% free from now on, according to its creator. Among the features that once required an in-app purchase of QKSMS+ are:

  • Respond from Android Wear
  • 150+ additional color combinations
  • Automatic night mode
  • Per-contact notification settings

Screenshot_2015-08-10-08-46-15 Screenshot_2015-08-10-08-47-49 Screenshot_2015-08-10-08-47-38

The app's developer, Moez Bhatti, said in a Google+ post that he didn't make the app with the intent to earn money and felt that there wasn't any way to commercialize an SMS app without making for poor user experience.

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Opera Software May Be Searching For A Buyer After Lowered Financial Projections

Oh, Opera. You've been around for a long time (considerably longer than Android or Google, in fact) but aside from a great showing back in the J2ME days, you've never managed to break into those competitive browser markets. The latest financial figures and projections, as reported by Reuters, don't look particularly good for the Norwegian software company. Though Opera Software's revenues grew in the second quarter, they didn't meet analyst expectations, and adjusted earnings missed the target by a factor of $1.6 million. The projection for total 2015 revenue has been cut from $630-650 million down to $600-618 million.

If all those numbers make your head spin, just know that they're not good.

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The Latest Cortana Beta App Lets Users Replace The Google Now 'Swipe Up' Gesture

A good portion of you have probably been playing with a spiffy new Windows 10 upgrade this week. If you're a fan of Microsoft's HALO-branded digital voice assistant, Cortana, you can check it out on your Android phone, too - it's more or less a remade version of the implementation that debuted on Windows Phone devices. The Android beta app has been available for a few weeks, and Android developers are already having fun with the new tool.

If you're so enamored with Cortana that you'd like to make it the default voice assistant on your Android phone... well, you're probably going to make Microsoft very happy.

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