Android Police

Apps/Games

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Streamed game trials have started appearing in the Play Store

Google started fiddling with app streaming about a year ago via searches in the Google app, but only for a few specific apps. Then, we spotted some evidence of app streaming in a Play Store teardown a couple months ago. It looks like this feature has started rolling out today, allowing you to stream games to try before you buy. One AP staffer in addition to our tipster has this option available already, but it's a little buggy.

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16 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (9/21/16 - 10/3/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications 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.

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WhatsApp adds image/video drawing and stickers, front-facing flash, and more

It can be hard to keep track of what's new and old in WhatsApp thanks in part to the beta program that's always testing a ton of stuff. This time, WhatsApp was good enough to make a blog post announcing some of the camera features we saw in a recent beta are official now. Starting today, Android users will be able to doddle on pictures, use their screen as a flash, and more.

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InBrief
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[Deal Alert] Catan is on sale for $0.10 (regularly $4.99) in most countries other than the US

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[Deal Alert] Star Walk 2 is $0.10 in some regions (normally $0.99)

The night sky isn't just filled with stars. The naked eye in most areas of the world (barring massive light pollution) can spot at least a few galaxies, nebulas, planets, and even artificial satellites like the International Space Station. If you have ever wondered what is floating in the sky above you, Star Walk 2 is a great tool - and it's on sale!

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Facebook officially announces Marketplace, an easier way to buy and sell items locally

Facebook has been planning some form of a Marketplace feature for years. It was first announced in 2007, then didn't really happen. Finally in 2015 it began appearing for some iOS users, and earlier this year, on Android as well. Now Facebook has finally released the feature publicly, on Android and iOS alike.

Facebook has always had Groups specifically for buying/selling items locally, and Facebook reports that "more than 450 million" people visit these groups each month. The new Marketplace feature is simply a better way to do what people already use Facebook for. The new Marketplace tab is a welcome change from using Facebook Groups in terms of sorting; you can filter items by location, category, or price.

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[Update: APK Download] Facebook releases Messenger Lite, a cut-down version of Messenger for emerging markets

Facebook Lite was released early last year, and it's pretty good - it takes up less space than the regular Facebook app and consumes much less data. As a follow-up, Messenger Lite is now available, meaning phones in countries where data is thin on the ground and people with small amounts of storage can use Messenger as well.

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Garmin's vivofit jr. arrives alongside its Android app

A few days ago, Garmin announced its newest wearable for kids: the vivofit jr. Despite the name being in lowercase, it sounds like a pretty neat device. Garmin claims that it is water-resistant, comfortable, durable, and that it has more than a year's worth of battery life. Like other fitness trackers, the vivofit jr. will monitor the child's steps, sleep, and physical activity.

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Mobile broadcasting app Meerkat is officially dead

Meerkat might be the app that started the live-streaming on phones trend. Released early last year, it quickly rose in popularity - even to the point of dominating that year's SXSW conference. But alas, Meerkat was not long for this world, and has officially been taken offline.

Life on Air, the company behind Meerkat, announced the shutdown on Twitter two days ago. The official reason for Meerkat's demise is for the company to focus on Houseparty, a group chatting application. Co-founder of Life on Air, Ben Rubin, spoke to TechCrunch about the shutdown:

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[Update: Also adds highlight-and-speak] Text-to-speech v3.10 adds options to change voice intonation and boost its volume above other apps [APK Download]

The Text-to-speech app doesn't see many major updates throughout the year, but when it does, there's often something interesting to see. Version 3.10 began rolling out yesterday and it comes bearing a pair of new settings to intelligently alter volume based on existing audio playback and to control the intonation of synthesized voices. As always, we've got a link below to grab the latest apk if you aren't among the first to get it straight from Google.

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