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Apps/Games

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[Deal Alert] Dark Echo and Weather 14 Days Pro are this week's 10 cent discounts (not in US)

What would another week be without two price drops on a game and an app in the Play Store? And this week's selection is interesting, if maybe not as popular among the geek crowd as last week's Twilight Pro.

The app is Weather 14 Days Pro and guess what it does... Weather, yeah, I know, mind-blowing. It's the official app for theweather.com's website and has detailed hourly forecasts for 14 days in over 250000 locations in the world. The app has widgets, notifications, maps, radars, satellites, and a nice Material Design aesthetic.

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Google's researchers explain the challenges and calculation process behind the new Parking Difficulty feature in Maps

A few weeks ago, a new Parking Difficulty icon started showing up in Google Maps 9.44 beta in some cities in the United States, then Google officially announced it and specified where it's available. It also said that the estimate is "based on historical parking data," similar to how traffic and popular times and visit durations are calculated, but it didn't go into a lot of details. Now those details are further clarified in a post on the Google Research Blog.

The difficulties of calculating parking availability stem from the many, many factors that can influence the equation: time and day and weather and holidays/events, permit or illegal parking in park-meter areas, vacant spots with paid park-meters from cars that left early, parking lots with multiple levels and different structures, and so on. Even with these issues accounted for, there's the false data coming from private/gated parking spots, taxis dropping users who look like they immediately found a parking and reached their destination, and bus stops showing up in the data sets as popular parking spots.

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Optimum shows it is clueless about Android in a single tweet

Sometimes companies get it wrong - it's a fact of life, that we all make mistakes. While this is true, some are totally inexcusable, such as this example from Optimum support agents when dealing with a question from a customer (and Android Police reader). The regional US company provides internet, phone, and TV service to New York, Cleveland, and Boston.

The customer/reader in question, Matthew O'Sullivan, tweeted Optimum to ask when Android Nougat support will be arriving on its app. Optimum answered by saying Nougat support is not 'mainstream.' Now, it would seem that Optimum was referring to the distribution numbers from January, where it states only 0.7% of phones run Nougat.

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Tips: Various ways to copy URL in Chrome for Android and Chrome Custom Tabs

Copying and pasting text on any mobile operating system is kind of a pain, and Android is no different in this regard. Though text selection on our beloved OS has improved over the years, it's still just not an enjoyable experience. However, for those of you that use Chrome and copy URLs often, there's now a feature that may just become a staple of your lives.

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YouTube officially enables double-tap gesture to jump 10 seconds forward or backward

If you've been following along with various teardowns and reported tests, you know YouTube has been working to select an implementation for quickly and easily shifting small increments in a video's timeline. The wait appears to be over. Earlier today, the YouTube app's Play Store listing was updated to note that the quick seek feature is new in the app – that's probably about as official as we're going to see.

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Google is working on ways to help identify page-freezing code in Chrome

Modern websites are extremely complex, composing of code running on both the user's device and the web server. Trying to perform all the tasks required to load a page, like rendering the content and executing JavaScript code, can often cause the browser to become unresponsive.

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Humble Mobile Bundle RPGs offers eight role-playing games of different shapes and sizes

We've not had a Humble Mobile Bundle since November, so it looks like it's time for another one. In this bundle are RPGs, including a Star Wars title and two Shadowrun games.

Paying more than $1 will net you three games; Symphony of Eternity, Doom of Destiny, and Evoland. The first, Symphony of Eternity, is an anime fantasy role-playing adventure, which has the classic top-down, pixel art approach. It's $3.99 on the Play Store, so... yeah. Doom of Destiny (these titles are like some awful self-published fantasy series) is described as the 'nerdiest adventure of your life' on the Play Store.

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FUD alert: There is not a secret plan to use Denuvo DRM on the Play Store

A thread gaining steam on the r/android subreddit asserts a leaked email from DRM firm Denuvo's website as evidence that Google is looking into implementing such DRM on the Play Store. Additionally, the existence of an APK file on Denuvo's server marked as a 'Denuvo Sample' was used to bolster the claims.

This is unsubstantiated fear-mongering.

First, the email cited, sent by Jan Newger, is well over two years old (looking at the raw dump, it was sent November 24th, 2014). Second, there is no reason to believe that email is at all related to the APK on Denuvo's server, which may well just be a sample package sent to potential customers (which could be any app publisher).

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No, really this time: A censored Google Play Store for China is coming... at some point, maybe

A report out of everyone's favorite scoop pay-wall The Information has revealed that Google is still trying to launch the Play Store in China. This is... not surprising. However, The Information says Google is now trying to work with a domestic Chinese internet company called NetEase in order to get around some of the thorny issues presented when trying to operate as a Western company under Chinese laws and regulations.

However, they're just talks - there's no indication Google and NetEase have actually agreed to a partnership. And any Play Store that would launch in China would be heavily censored for content.

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Google Maps makes the bottom bar for exploring places, real-time traffic, and transit info official

It's been more than 4 months since we first spotted a new bottom bar navigation interface in Google Maps, and now the layout is official. Google has announced it on its blog, saying that "when you're on the go, there's no time for apps that can't keep up," and this is exactly why this change is important.

You'll no longer have to swipe the left menu to get to the Driving Mode, or tap to search to explore nearby places, or start driving to check the traffic around you. All of these will be accessible from the bottom bar that you can simply swipe up.

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