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Apps/Games

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Star Wars: Force Arena launches officially on the Play Store after limited beta

I haven't seen a single Star Wars movie (that's probably one of the worst things to admit to a techie/nerdy audience, so I'll see myself out by the end of this post and work on fixing that situation pronto) but I feel like I know most of the story and characters because of how much the franchise has been played out in pop culture, online, in real life discussions, toy stores, and everywhere else really. But for those of you who enjoy Star Wars and the attention it's been getting, there's one more avenue where you can geek out: the new Star Wars: Force Arena game.

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Action shooter Towaga from the makers of The Firm is visually stunning

Sunnyside Games haven't released many titles so far. Their only mobile game is The Firm, a twitch arcade designed in an 8-bit style that is also available on iOS. They also have an Oculus title, Anshar Wars 2, but that was all of it until recently. Towaga is the studio's third title and it is stunningly designed.

Gone are the 8-bit designs of The Firm and instead you'll see high definition graphics and beautiful elements. The atmosphere of the game is dark and eerie with supernatural creatures and neon colors. You play as a masked being standing still on top of the Towaga Temple and fight all the weird creatures that come your way with a ray of fire/light.

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Android 7.1 is being developed for Chrome OS, adds in freeform mode and window resizing

'This is Chrome OS's year,' people say optimistically as they think for the gazillionth time about buying a Chromebook. Hell, I'm one of those people. Will it be 2017? Maybe. With the upcoming release of Samsung's new Chromebook Plus and Pro, and the wider release of Android apps on the Chrome OS stable channel, it's definitely possible. Now, more exciting news has come our way from Chrome Unboxed, in that Android 7.1 is being actively developed and tested for Chrome OS.

What does this actually mean? Basically, it means that the apps running on Chrome OS will gain features Android 7.1 has.

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Uber offers Calendar Shortcuts so that you can get to your events on time

After letting the redesign of its app sit for a few months, Uber is back at it with adding features to make commuting more convenient. This time, the ride-sharing service is adding "Calendar Shortcuts," which allow you to select your destination based upon your calendar entries. Whether it's a meeting, dinner, flight, or whatever it is you normal people do, these new shortcuts make getting a ride that much faster.

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Gboard update rolling out with bug fixes for freezing and inconsistent glide typing

Google finally brought Gboard to Android last month after releasing it on iOS a while back. Of course, it was technically an update to Google Keyboard, but it was a significant one. The Gboard transition was not without its problems. An update is rolling out now to address some of the bugs with that first release.

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Synology DS apps see updates, Android TV, fingerprint and passcode security, and automatic backup features inbound

Uploading your files to the cloud might be fashionable these days, but some still like to keep their files, photos, videos, and anything else secure from prying eyes, yet still accessible if they're not at their computer. Synology, a maker of Network Attached Storage devices, which the company calls DiskStations (DS for short), has updated four of its apps; DS photo, DS file, DS note, and MailPlus.

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Children's card game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is now live worldwide in the Play Store

If you went to middle school at the same time as me, you might remember Yu-Gi-Oh. It's that show about a kid with an alien starfish attached to his brain that makes him hallucinate about ancient Egyptian playing cards destroying the world. (That's how I remember it, anyway.) Amazingly the twenty-year-old franchise is still around, and quite a lot of people seem to be continuing to play the associated Magic: The Gathering-inspired card game - enough that Konami, otherwise more or less uninterested in non-Pachinko games, has released a new mobile version.

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Powerful home automation app Stringify comes to Android and adds IFTTT integration

Ever since I got my Wink Hub 2, one of the services I kept seeing in conversations when trying to bridge together different smart appliances and services was Stringify. The app was limited to iOS though, so I never got to use it because I wasn't going to carry my iPad around all the time to toggle a light bulb. But at CES, Stringify made a few announcements that we just came across (excuse the delay, we had tons of emails and releases to sift through) and that are sure to please Android users.

Before going further, here's a quick rundown of what Stringify is for those of you who'd never heard of it.

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Play Store v7.4 reveals a new My Apps screen, remote authorization for family purchases, and more [APK Teardown]

Over the last several months, most of the changes to the Play Store have been on the smaller side, usually part of A/B tests to determine if individual tweaks to the interface would work better than others. An update began rolling out to users yesterday, bringing the current version up to 7.4. No significant changes seem to be turning up yet, but there are bits and pieces that hint at future plans. In this teardown, we'll be looking at a new version of the My Apps screen, statistics about reviews over recent history, remote authorization for family purchases, and even a strange requirement to install the Play Games app before taking some actions.

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Adobe Capture CC updated with Android tablet support, doesn't bother to add landscape mode

Adobe's current Android strategy seems to be publishing as many small, single-purpose tools as possible to augment the workflow of artists and designers using its main Creative Cloud programs on a desktop computer. Capture CC is a tool for adding things like custom colors, brushes, shapes, and other Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign assets via a mobile camera. The Android app launched in October of 2015, and apparently Adobe didn't think anyone with an Android tablet really needed that functionality until now.

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