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Sprint becomes exclusive US wireless partner of Pokémon GO

Is Pokémon GO still cool? Because Sprint desperately needs to be associated with something cool. The nation's number four carrier is now the exclusive US carrier partner of Pokémon GO. What does that mean? More Poké Stops, more gyms, and more Sprint branding.

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Android Pay makes its way to Ireland

Android Pay may not yet exist where you live, but it is slowly continuing to expand into new markets. As of today, Pay is available in Ireland, making this effectively the first time a user can use euros with Android Pay.

Impressively, Android Pay works on any NFC-enabled phone running KitKat 4.4 and up — which as of last week potentially represents as much as 84.7% of active devices. Setting up mobile payments requires adding an eligible debit or credit card from either AIB or KBC, with more banks to be added "in the coming months." For now, Android Pay in Ireland supports nine retail partners and seven apps, including Tesco, McDonald's, and Uber.

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[Updated app] iHeartRadio All Access is a new $9.99 on-demand radio and music subscription powered by Napster

Are you discontent with the many dozens of on-demand music services? Well, here's one more for you to try and hopefully love... or maybe hate, because let's be realistic, if you still haven't found one that works well for you, it's going to be very difficult to satisfy your taste. But iHeartRadio would sure like to take on that challenge with its two new paid plans.

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Google testing modified navigation interface in Maps

Something weird happened to me on Sunday. I was driving to my friend's house with Google Maps, but my navigation interface was screwed up. Only the big roads were showing, without any street or highway names, nor any other details. I was on 9.42.3 and in the beta channel so I just attributed it to that.

But today, after getting the new 9.42.3 Maps installed on the Pixel XL (note it's the same version number), and noticing it didn't fix it, I decided to delete app data. When trying again, I got a new interface:

screenshot_20161206-175756 screenshot_20161206-172856 screenshot_20161206-172901

Left: current interface, Center: new interface, Right: after expanding "more"

Tapping on the ETA bar will bring up a menu where another tap gets you search, alternate routes, directions, and a shortcut to navigation settings.

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[No Objections] Capcom favorite Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney lands in the Play Store for $16

The long-running Ace Attorney series from Capcom manages a practically impossible feat: making players sympathize with defense attorneys. With a mix of classic adventure game elements and anime-style hyper-dramatic courtroom scenes, the games have become incredibly popular both in Japan and with a worldwide audience. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the fourth game in the series (and the first to break away from the iconic Phoenix Wright protagonist), is now live on the Play Store for $15.99.

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Starbucks promotion leak suggests a big Pokémon GO update scheduled for this week

The potential for retail partnerships with Niantic's Pokémon GO mobile game is built right into its central hook - players travel to real-world locations to catch monsters and collect items, so why not steer them to participating stores or restaurants for a little synergistic profiteering? Ubiquitous coffee house Starbucks seems to be the first business taking Niantic up on a partnership. Internal documents detailing an upcoming promotion for employees, designated for US stores but leaked by Eurogamer, offers some sweet details for players and coffee fans alike.

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Google Duo gets updated to 5.0, brings "major" video quality improvements and some other fixes [APK Download]

Duo hasn't been the hit success that Google expected it to be, but that should only serve as motivation for engineers to make it better. The video-chatting app has just been updated to version 5.0, which not only fixes a few bugs, but also improves on the entire user experience.

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Dropbox announces mobile offline folders for Pro users, with some notable limitations

The nicest thing about having Dropbox on a phone, at least for most users, is the ability to instantly back up photos as soon as they're taken. Accessing other files stored on the cloud is sort of secondary, if only because the mobile client doesn't constantly sync files down and up, like the desktop versions of the program do. Today Dropbox is expanding its capabilities in that area with permanently-assigned offline folder access. But make sure to read the fine print, power users - there are still some important limitations to this feature.

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Google figures out how to reduce app update size by 65%

Way back in the day, app updates in Google Play would be the whole new APK. That changed back in 2012, and Google has been working to reduce the size of updates ever since. In its most recent triumph, the Google Play team has devised a system to reduce app update sizes by an average of 65%, but it won't be used all the time.

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Google Assistant's Smart Reply in Allo updated with Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese language support

Google's Allo chat program remains the only way to access the cool Assistant voice control tools without spending money (either on a new Pixel phone or a Google Home gadget). But as with a lot of Google products, it seems fairly focused on the American market. Today its Smart Reply linguistic powers get widened to two of the next-most-spoken languages on the planet, Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese. Support seems to be rolling out via a server-side switch, so don't be surprised if you can't immediately change to either language.

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