Android Police

Apps/Games

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[Can you hear me now?] A jaw-dropping 100 million WhatsApp voice calls are made each day

WhatsApp's voice calling doesn't seem like it has changed a lot since it was first tested as an invite-only feature then released to everyone in March of 2015. But the service, from my personal experience, has become more reliable, less spotty, with fewer delays and disconnections. Around me, everyone uses WhatsApp calls, because everyone is on WhatsApp to begin with, but also because local calls still aren't unlimited or cheap on any plan, not to mention the exorbitant prices of international calls. WhatsApp calls have almost completely replaced regular calls for us, and it's not hard to imagine that it must be the same in other countries where WhatsApp is popular too.

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VNC Viewer for Android updated with Bluetooth mouse support and horizontal scrolling

Virtual Network Computing, better known as VNC, remains one of the most popular ways around to access remote computers. VNC Viewer, the official remote access app for Android from the developers of Real VNC, gets a substantial update today. The biggest improvement is the addition of support for Bluetooth mice and trackpads. Of course you could use them with the app before, but now the Viewer app will specifically interpret them to directly control the cursor of the remote machine instead of simply emulating local touches. It should also work with other connected peripherals, whether wireless or wired.

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Never Alone comes to Android phones and tablets a year after Android TV release

I'm a big fan of atmospheric games that immerse you in their gameplay and story - Machinarium, The Wolf Among Us, and Lifeline are some of my favorites on Android. After being available on Android TV for almost a year, Never Alone, from developer Upper Line Games (published by E-Line Media) is now available on Android phones and tablets, and it looks like it's going to hit it out of the park.

Never Alone is based on Native Alaskan culture and experiences, with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a non-profit organization that works with indigenous people, assisting with development on the game.

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Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari, the latest casual game from the makers of Crossy Road, mixes endless runners with park managers

How do zoos procure the exotic animals that they care for and exhibit? In the real world it's a complex process of identifying wild animals that can be captured without danger to themselves or the environment, often requiring cooperation with conservationists, universities, and private dealers. In Rodeo Stampede, you rope them like a three-day-old calf, jump on their backs, and try not to run into a wall.The latest game from Crossy Road developer publisher Yodo1 and developer Featherweight Games isn't claiming to be anything close to authentic, but it's a lot of fun.

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Google Maps v9.31 Beta promises SD storage for offline maps, installs to N Preview 4 with fix for Android Auto, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A brand new update for Google Maps just started rolling out last night and it's definitely a big one. Perhaps the most important detail is that this is the first installable on the Android N Developer Previews. The Timeline screen has also gone through a partial redesign and gained a couple of new tricks. However, the really interesting things are coming in the teardown. In fact, there's so much stuff that the teardown portion is going to be split into a second part. Let's get to the good stuff.

Note: according to a post on the issue tracker, this could be a beta release.

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Chinese mega-firm Tencent acquires controlling stake in Clash of Clans maker Supercell

The next time you wonder why in-app purchases are so popular, you can think back to this day when the company behind Clash of Clans was valued at $10.2 billion. Chinese internet firm Tencent is acquiring 84% of Supercell, giving it majority control of the game developer. Don't expect anything to change right away—Supercell is making oodles of money as is.

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Google Maps in Japan will get translated business type descriptions in the maps view soon

Google Maps is my go-to tool for finding local businesses, but it isn't always the most transparent way to see them at a glance. For example, I'll search for a café in a major retail hub, but half the results will be from the Starbucks inside Target or the little deli inside a grocery store - not exactly what I'm looking for in a quiet meal. Things might soon get a little easier on that account: the Google Asia Pacific blog says that upcoming versions of Google Maps will list business types right in the map view... but only in Japan for now.

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Snapseed 2.6 update brings neutral color picker and presets to RAW white balance editor, blue filter for black and white options

The latest Snapseed update brings a couple of things that the development team says have been oft-requested by users. For those tweaking RAW images, you get two new handy ways to get the white balance. For all image types, an additional color filter has been added to the existing choices in the black and white editor.

You already could adjust the color temperature for RAW images with Snapseed, but this isn't a foolproof method since it requires you to be able to eyeball the photo to figure out when you have correctly set the temperature. This update lets you do what the pros do, which is use a color picker to tell Snapseed what to use as a reference for a neutral color.

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Instagram now has 500M registered users, of which more than 300M use the app daily

Instagram's filters may have set the bar low for "photography" but, by doing so, they democratized something that many users were either too afraid to attempt or deemed too complicated and demanding. The app has gone from being known for crappy photos of daily meals to becoming the place where audiences can find and follow brands, popular or esoteric interests, and niche hobbies.

Now, it's celebrating more than 500 Million registered users. But even if that isn't as impressive as Facebook or WhatsApp or other popular social networks' numbers, retention and loyalty are super high. More than 300 Million users visit Instagram daily, which means that of every 5 users that have signed up to the site, Instagram was able to convince about 3 of them to come back and check it out each day.

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Android Pay v1.4 prepares to launch streamlined loyalty signups, Transport for London integration, and discovery for apps and local retailers that accept it [APK Teardown]

If the presentations at Google I/O last month were any indication, Android Pay is growing quite quickly. Several new features were announced, but most were still only demos, not available to the public. A fresh update to the Android Pay app came out yesterday and a teardown reveals a few of those key features are either ready to launch or getting closer. There's also work being done on a map that will show merchants in close proximity that accept Android Pay, and a shortcut already showing up that will direct users to apps with Android Pay integration.

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