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Nov
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Last Updated: November 23rd, 2013

We've received an early look at an upcoming version of Facebook that introduces a brand new, flat UI. This is a change that competing social networks like Twitter and Pinterest made a long time ago, and given the direction Android, iOS, and Windows Phone have all moved in, it only makes sense. When considering Facebook Messenger's recent redesign, it's even less surprising. Yet this is pre-release software, so there's a decent chance none of these changes will make it into the stable version.

22
Nov
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When it comes to cable, there's a lot not to like. The monthly bill continues to go up, and no matter how many channels you add, there's still never anything good on to watch. This somehow manages to be the case even while many shows are still exclusively available on cable. Yet as frustrating as the major providers may be, there is one trend that I can readily get behind, and that's the addition of Android apps meant to supplement their traditional service.

22
Nov
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Why ESPN didn't call its sports update app "SportsCenter" in the first place is beyond me. They seem to have rectified this with version 4.0 of the app, now named after the ubiquitous sports show. (Da-na-na, da-na-na.) The app was also updated with a new all-white interface and a standard slide-out menu.

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Oh, and ads. Lots of ads. While the previous version had in-network advertising at the bottom of the screen like a lot of free apps, this new one gets interstitial ads that pop up two or three times while scrolling through scores or updates, plus random pop-up ads.

22
Nov
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Today Minecraft developer Mojang is launching a beta program for the Pocket Edition of its absurdly popular sandbox game. Anyone who purchased Minecraft on an Android device via Google Play is eligible to join. This will give you early access to new, experimental features before anyone else and allow you to provide feedback that could impact future versions of the title.

Minecraft

To enter the beta program, interested players simply need to request to join the Minecraft Pocket Edition Test Group on Google+.

22
Nov
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They've done it with the camera. They've done it with Touchless Control and Migrate. They've even done it with the FM Radio from the brand new Moto G. Now Motorola is moving even more of its proprietary phone apps into Google Play Land, presumably to allow for more frequent and reliable updates. Today Motorola Assist and Motorola Connect, both exclusive to the Moto X and Verizon's new Motorola DROID phones, are available on the Play Store.

22
Nov
play store bag

The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.

Check out these screenshots.

21
Nov
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Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a licensed Hunger Games, uh, game, a Portal-style first person puzzler, a classic take on a casual favorite, and a stylish 2D puzzle game.

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Nov
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Zombie games are more played out than Star Wars at this point, but combining them with new and interesting genres is a way to get my attention. Thus we have Zombie Tycoon 2, the latest game to jump from the PlayStation 3/Vita to Android. But this one is unique: in keeping with its console gaming roots, Zombie Tycoon 2 requires a controller to play. That officially makes this the first SHIELD-exclusive title for the time being.

21
Nov
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We don't have Tekken. We don't have Street Fighter. We don't have DOA. But Namco just gave fighter fans one hell of a reason to celebrate: the original SoulCalibur is now available on Android. The Dreamcast port of this arcade fighter favorite has long been considered one of the gems of the genre, and you can play it on your phone right now. It's a pricey $6.67 and compatible with Gingerbread and up.

21
Nov
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It seems like a lot of folks can't watch TV without a phone in their hand, which makes the newest update to the DIRECTV app that much more useful. As the changelog points out, remote control functionality has been at the top of everyone's wishlist, and now it's here. 

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