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Apps/Games

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Facebook Publishes A Handful Of Android Apps For Its New Messenger Platform

Facebook's internal instant messenger isn't so internal now: it's a stand-alone app platform that will operate in conjunction with the social network, and developers of every flavor can integrate their apps with Messenger. Naturally the first apps to take advantage of this come from Facebook itself: new apps include Selfied, Shout, Sound Clips, and Strobe, and the older Stickered app has been updated, all with the "for Messenger" label.

They're simple little tools or toys that add a bit of fun to Messenger.

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VLC For Android 1.2 Adds Audio Playlists And Better Android TV Support, Plus A Few Bug Fixes

The popular Video LAN Client may finally have a stable release for Android, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. The 1.2 update adds support for audio playlists, which was apparently missing from the previous releases. Unfortunately due to the limitations of M3U files (the default playlist type for the desktop version of VLC) it's tricky to simply copy your playlists from your computer to your phone. You'll probably need to set them up manually in the app, as below.

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Thrustmaster Score-A Controller Review: A Serviceable Gamepad That's A Few Notes Shy Of A Recommendation

I have been hunting for an ideal Android game controller for a long time. I've tried tons of them: tiny, retro, travel-oriented, and full-size. None have hit that perfect combination of portability and utility (for as much as "utility" can be applied to a gaming accessory) that makes it a recommendation for everyone. Thrustmaster, a minor player in the gaming accessory market, has had its Score-A Bluetooth controller that's specifically designed for Android available at retail for a while now.

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Friday App And Game Sales: Limbo, Link Bubble, Sword & Sworcery, And More

There are some new phones available for pre-order in the US today, so maybe you're feeling a little light in the wallet after splurging. Fear not. You can still have some fun on the cheap with the app and game deals contained herein.

 friday

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Expensify Gets A New Tab Bar, Launcher Button, And Other Design Changes In Update To Version 5.0

Nearly two years after Expensify's last major version number change, the expenses-tracking app has hit 5.0. Like any x.0 release worth its weight, users are treated to a substantial visual overhaul. And don't worry, the company's covering it.

Expensify's former home screen is gone. Developers have crammed the same content into a new tab bar and a launcher button at the bottom of the app. It still looks more iOS than Android, but folks who prefer things at this end of the phone will be happy not to have to reach up as often anymore.

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Slack Acknowledges User Profile Database Breach, Launches Two-Factor Authentication And 'Password Kill-Switch'

The increasingly popular team chat platform Slack confirmed in a blog post today that a database containing user profile information had been breached. Slack says the database contained usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords, and information users could connect to their account like Skype names. There's no evidence that the hackers were able to decrypt user passwords, but they did have access to the above-mentioned information.

Slack says it has blocked the unauthorized access, and - in the same blog post - announced the launch of a two-factor authentication option for its users, along with a "password kill switch" for team owners.

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DoorDash Delivery Service Rings Google Play's Doorbell, Is Now Ready To Serve Android

DoorDash gets food from a local restaurant to your door without you having to check the establishment's website to see if the place delivers. Just fire up the app, do a quick search, and place your order. You can browse through menus and track deliver through status updates. Payments are handled through the app.

Since 2013, the service has been an iOS exclusive. Now it's available in the Play Store. (It's about time.

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Plex App Updated To v4.0 With A Redesigned UI, Expanded Android TV Access, And More

Plex has updated its now unified Android app to v4.0 with a number of important changes. While the app went partially material in a past update, the transformation is now more substantial. In addition to the UI tweaks, you get better server control, user management, and more.

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Taichi Panda Mixes Solid Dungeon Crawler Co-Op Gameplay With Action Controls And In-App Purchases

Apparently Blizzard isn't the only game developer that had a burst of inspiration after a late-night cable viewing of Kung Fu Panda. Taichi Panda is the first game from the American arm of Chinese publisher Snail Games. This dungeon crawler won't break the mold in any particular way, but it's a solid top-down action game with online multiplayer baked into its core mechanics. Oh, and there are fighting pandas in it.

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Rumor: According To The Information, Google's Working On An Ingress TV Show

Google's Ingress, made by Niantic Labs, has been quite a phenomenon. Those who have paid attention know the game has had a storied history since its initial launch as a closed beta in 2012, and a quick Google+ search shows that engagement doesn't really seem to be slowing down. The Ingress YouTube channel continues to pump out content and updates for players on various in-game goings on.

But, according to a report from The Information, Google isn't content to just have a cult hit of a game on its hands. Google has partnered with Sean Daniel Co. to make a television show based on the game, with producers "in talks with candidates to serve as its showrunner." This information comes from "two people who have been involved in the discussions."

Despite this somewhat surprising rumor, The Info is sure to note that this "doesn't appear to reflect a broader move into film or TV production by Google," and that Google "isn't particularly interested in cashing in on Ingress' worldwide audience, instead viewing the TV show as a deeper extension into the game's hybrid reality-fictional world and a way to provide a more intimate connection with its players."

Indeed, the hybrid nature of the game is one of the facets that propelled it to popularity as users choose sides and vie for portals at real-world physical locations, sometimes cooperating across factions to produce "faction art" like this dragon in Norwich.

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