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Apps/Games

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Runtastic and Google Play Music team up to bring you the tunes

While I enjoy working out, I will admit that going without my favorite music makes it much more difficult — especially with cardio. For me, good music equals gains. Equally important, though, is keeping track of progress, but that can often require switching between two or three apps. That is, unless you go old-school and carry a notebook.

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Opera Max can now block ad trackers and other privacy risks

Opera Max started out as a VPN capable of reducing data usage, as well as blocking apps from accessing the internet. Now Opera is rolling out a new feature to Max, called 'privacy mode,' that aims to make your device even more secure online.

Privacy mode is based on the S Secure feature Opera created for Samsung for the Galaxy J5 Prime and J7 Prime, which filtered ad trackers and other privacy risks. Opera Max takes it a step further by showing information per app, so you can see what applications on your device are potentially dangerous. Opera uses the EasyPrivacy filter list, a massive database of tracking services, to make this possible.

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Prisma offline mode comes to Android

Prisma came to Android a few months ago with a ton of really impressive photo filters. Whereas some apps with filters try to be subtle, Prisma completely reinterprets the pictures you feed in, turning them into some fancy art. The main drawback; Prisma only worked online. That is finally changing on Android.

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Google is demoting Hangouts to "optional" in the Google Apps package for Android, to be replaced by Duo

In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.

Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.

This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup.

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Upcoming Pokémon GO update will bring big changes to gym training and capturing rare Pokémon

While the Pokémon GO hysteria has mostly died down, there are still a lot of people playing. Those who have stuck with the summer's hottest mobile game will soon be able to enjoy significant improvements to training Pokémon at gyms and the way rare Pokémon are caught.

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OUYA brings 4-player brawler Gurgamoth to Android TV

OUYA may have been a bust as an Android-powered game console, but after being sold to Razer and focusing on software, it has cultivated an impressive specialization for local multiplayer. The publisher's latest release for Android TV is Gurgamoth, a 4-player 2D brawler that landed on Steam back in February. It's available on the Play Store now for five bucks with no in-app purchases.

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Dan The Man from Halfbrick Studios is live in the Play Store

After being listed only for pre-registration, the latest game from Halfbrick Studios has finally dropped on Android. Dan The Man is a classic action platformer with lots of punches, kicks, and bad guys just begging for the liberal application of both. It's free to play, but the IAP system doesn't seem too offensive.

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[Update: Officially released] Giphy publishes beta 'Cam' app on Play Store, increasing your meme efficiency by 1000%

Giphy is one of the most popular repositories of GIFs on the web, and the site has published their newest app to the Play Store - Giphy Cam. The application allows you to either record video from your camera, or shoot five images in burst mode. Once your content is recorded, you can apply all the effects and stickers your heart desires. The app description states that Giphy plans to add new filters weekly, "to help you keep your GIF game on point."

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YouTube Music v1.46 enables sharing tracks from the queue, prepares for full playlist support and setting max resolution [APK Teardown + Download]

With so many things happening this week surrounding Google's new hardware, it's easy to overlook some of the software updates rolling out. The latest version bump to YouTube Music doesn't include much in the way of visible changes, but a teardown of the apk also reveals some worthwhile additions in the works for the future. As always, the apk is ready and waiting at the APK Mirror link below if the Play Store isn't already serving the latest version to you.

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Shazam Lite weighs 1MB, uses little data, works offline, and is coming to select countries today

The regular Shazam app is becoming more and more of a social network centered around music than the music discovery engine it once was. It weighs over 27MB, tries to load recommendations and popular tracks each time you open it, and has charts and Auto Shazam, and plenty of features that you may not need or want especially when you're on a slow network or have limited bandwidth. That's why Shazam Lite was created.

It goes to the heart of Shazam: music recognition.

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