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Last Updated: March 23rd, 2014

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

Puzzle Defense: Dragons

Today's roundup is presented by Puzzle Defense: Dragons from Herocraft.

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You have what amounts to a tiny super computer in your pocket, and what are you doing with it? Hmm? App Habits will track which apps you're using and when so you can get the low down on exactly how you're wasting time with neat graphs. It will also use this data to surface apps you might be interested in based on the time of day.

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The Google+ Android app jumped to a new version last week, and shortly after, its Play Store page updated with a change log topped by one problematic item:

Google

Here's the thing, moderators couldn't yet. We hit up the app, searched the site, and even asked around. The feature simply wasn't live. Now it is. Moderators can pin posts to the top of a community stream regardless of if they're using the app or the website.

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No one app is going to make an Android device immediately safe from any and all threats, but some can make it easier to remain ever vigilant. viaProtect may one day be such a app. This piece of software gives you a basic idea where the apps installed on your phone or tablet are sending your information. It doesn't go into specifics, but it will at least show you how much of your traffic is encrypted and some other security-related information.

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Microsoft has already dabbled around with expanding the Xbox Live experience to mobile devices, but if a recent report from The Verge is to be believed, the company may be about to ramp up its efforts significantly. Our good friend Sources, who is familiar with Microsoft's plans, claims that Microsoft is building a platform that would extend Xbox Live functionality to Android and iOS. Instead of using Google Play Games or Apple's Game Center to track achievements, find other players, and compete with one another, you would be able to use Xbox Live instead.

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Streaming local media to Chromecast isn't that difficult of an endeavor these days. Sure, there isn't an official Google app that will slap those media files onto a TV for you, but between AllCast and Solid Explorer, there are options. There's also LocalCast, an app like AllCast whose singular purpose is to get media from your Android device to something with a bigger screen.

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The app's latest update has added the ability to connect to network storage via Samba and cast files from them straight to Chromecast.

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If there's one thing that's kept me from using Feedly's official app, as opposed to using more conventional RSS-style readers in the wake of the Google Reader collapse, it's the interface. Aside from the fact that I find it kind of clunky in general, the inconsistent back button behavior is a real downer. With the latest app update (version 18.1.3), it becomes a little bit less of a headache.

Screenshot_2014-03-03-09-00-45 Screenshot_2014-03-03-09-00-58

Now when you go through the various screens you've viewed with the back button, you'll open the "level selector" (read: the swipe-out side menu that shows all your feeds).

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rk

The hyper-popular fitness app RunKeeper has gotten an update today with a new "Training" tab, among other things. The interface doesn't look much different, but this tab includes some free training plans for losing weight, working up to a 5k, half-marathons, and more.

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Here's the full changelog for the new version.

New Training Tab!

  • Find the FREE training plan that matches YOUR fitness goals.
  • Easily follow your training schedule and crush your workouts with

Audio coaching.

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There are already a number of apps that plug into Android's notification service to mirror the notification shade on your desktop, Pushbullet being perhaps the most prominent example. Notifications+ is a new entrant in this category, but it focuses only on feature-rich notification mirroring.

5 1 4

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Were you excited to hear the Google Play is getting an expanded list of game categories? Well curb your enthusiasm - the switch to the expanded list was tentatively scheduled for "February," but as one reader noticed, the new categories haven't been implemented yet. The relevant Play Store support page has been modified, and now it says that the change will come sometime "around March."

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Switching from the old list of just six categories to an expanded 17 (which contain the original six plus more specific sub-genres) would be a boon to both Android users and developers.

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