Android Police

Apps/Games

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Sony's weird Future Lab Program N prototype gadget gets an Android companion app

Never let it be said that Android Police discourages innovation. Even so, the "N" device from Sony's Future Lab Program is a little hard to wrap your head around. At first glance it looks like one of those neckband-style Bluetooth headphones, and indeed, it does fulfill that function (with a pair of "open ear headphones" that are similar to, but not the same as, bone conduction buds). But it also has a pair of open-air speakers on the neckband, like a tiny little boombox. It isn't limited to music, either: according to Sony's site for the N, it also delivers "up to the minute information" like news, weather, fitness data, and notifications.

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[Deal Alert] Twilight Pro unlock is down to $0.10 from $2.99 (not in U.S.)

We should all be familiar with the 10-cent deal alerts by now. It is a real luck of the draw to see if your home country is included in the sales.

Regardless, here is another app on sale: Twilight Pro.

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Sci-fi western Space Marshals 2 hits the Play Store in beta form

Space is not lawless—it's up to the Space Marshals to keep the peace and go after the bad guys. There are plenty of bad guys to be gone after in Space Marshals 2. As you can probably guess, it's the sequel to the well-received original Space Marshals. It retains the tactical top-down combat, adding a whole new story and levels.

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Skype announces improvements to calls and voicemail

Skype is one of the most common ways to make video and VoIP calls, but there are a number of annoyances that seem to be carried over from traditional phone calls. It doesn't need to be this way, though, so Microsoft announced a few months ago that it planned to modernize Skype. Now, the first wave of changes are set to roll out, and they'll be coming to the Android app in the next few weeks.

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Google Messenger v2.0 adds unread counts to several launchers, brings a new launcher icon, prepares for RCS support, and much more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Messenger app officially hit version 2.0 yesterday. There are plenty of changes, largely related to visual tweaks like a new launcher icon, color changes, and some revised layouts. While a mostly visual release, there are some functional improvements, as well. A teardown also brings a good look at some interesting things in the future of messaging.

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PayByPhone's app enters the 21st century with a big modern redesign and Android Pay support

Current Android standards have changed massively in the last few years, going from the days of no real design language in Gingerbread, to Holo in Ice Cream Sandwich, to material in Lollipop. It's startling, then, to see an app that has been languishing in the dark ages get a big update. PayByPhone, a leading pay-with-phone parking app, has just been updated with a major redesign and Android Pay support, giving it a much needed boost into this era of app design.

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tinyCam Monitor 7.1 released, adds video playback options, launcher shortcuts, and a round icon

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Android 7.1 has only been available a short time, but developers are already adding the new stuff to their apps. One of these developers is Alexey Vasilyev, better known as the developer of the popular tinyCam Monitor app. For the uninitiated, tinyCam is a viewer for most standard format video cameras, which can then be used for remote surveillance, among other things.

The biggest addition in the update is playback speed options for video playback. The choices are 0.1x - which is designed to play timelapses at the original speed - 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x, so that should please everybody.

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[Deal Alert] Ice Rage: Hockey is down to 0.10 in a few countries

Another week, another 10 cents deal alert. You should know the symphony by heart now, but in case you've never seen these deals before, here's the gist. Every week, one or two games or apps drop their prices on the Play Store to 10 cents, i.e. pocket change. The discount doesn't affect all countries and is usually limited to France, Italy, Spain, and Germany (EUR 0.10), Russia (RUB 10), the UK (GBP 0.10), and Australia (AUD 0.20). Sometimes, the deal is opened to more countries after a few days, including the US, Canada, India, etc... But other times, we're not that lucky.

This week's deal affects an ice hockey game named, appropriately, Ice Rage: Hockey.

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NBC's app gets a pretty modern design overhaul, fewer commercials, and better Chromecast support

Of the thousands and thousands of apps on the Play Store, very few get updated to meet the latest design trends and guidelines. Some developers take their sweet time, others never bother, thinking that a functional app is all that's needed and design isn't too relevant.

NBC's Android app was neither here nor there. It followed more of a Holo aesthetic, with some more modern elements like the hamburger menu. Now, however, it's taking a leap forward with a major redesign. The Holo-like dark grey and blue tabs are still there, but they're much less flagrant now, the font is changed, and the iconography has been improved throughout.

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Video calls are going live in WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet, so even small changes warrant some attention. This isn't a small change, though. This is a big one. WhatsApp is rolling out support for video calls in the Android app, but not everyone has the feature yet.

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