Android Police

Apps/Games

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Now you can play games in your conversation threads within Facebook Messenger

Anyone remember the days of playing those silly Facebook games? Since the world has changed quite radically since the heyday of Zynga, it feels like that era was so long ago. Perhaps in a bit of nostalgia or an urge to incite over-competitiveness among friends, Facebook has rolled out games within the Messenger app.

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[Deal Alert] Get $10 of free Starbucks credit when you add $10 to the app via Visa Checkout [Updated]

Dear Starbucks: thank you for existing. Not for your overpriced smoothie-coffee or your approachable yuppie atmosphere. No, thank you for being a Wi-Fi-soaked escape from my rural family's home during the holidays - T-Mobile service is still crappy out there. And while I'm extending some holiday thanks, I might as well give a shout-out to Visa, which is giving Starbucks customers $10 of free credit via the Starbucks app. That's approximately 2.5 Frappuccinos.

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Lyft begins showing ride totals before you request in select cities

Ridesharing service Lyft has long had a disadvantage compared to Uber; it wouldn't show you an estimate of your ride total ahead of time. Now, the company is testing that feature in select cities across the US. The total isn't set in stone, but it should be accurate barring any unforeseen circumstances.

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Google announces massive update to Google Earth Timelapse, including four new layers of imagery

Google Earth has probably seen its usage fall pretty severely in the last couple of years - everyone I know who still uses or talks about it is of the older generation - but it still has some pretty cool features. One of those is Timelapse, the ability to see certain places change as time moves forwards. Today, Google is updating Timelapse with petabytes of new data, four layers of imagery, and sharper pictures across the board. This update utilizes imagery, new techniques, and resources used to update both Google Maps and Google Earth earlier this year.

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VNC Viewer for Android adds support for VNC Connect in the latest update

Here's an update that really should have happened a bit sooner. VNC Viewer is the official VNC client from RealVNC, the company that makes and maintains the Virtual Network Client protocol for remote computer access. Said company also makes VNC Connect, which is actually the latest version of the premium server/client program for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other operating systems. Version 6.0 was rebranded earlier this month, and today the Android app is compatible with the updated software. It only took almost four weeks... which isn't great for a mission critical program.

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[Deal Alert] Bridge Constructor Playground is available for $0.10 in many countries (not in US)

Bridge games are great fun. For the uninitiated, the game gives you a gap between two cliff faces or whatever, and you have to build a stable, sturdy bridge, to, erm, bridge said gap. It's good, then, that Bridge Constructor Playground, from Headup Games, is $0.10 or its equivalent in many countries, although not in the US.

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CNN acquires Beme, taps co-founder Casey Neistat for a new network in summer of next year

Video-sharing social network Beme has been racking up downloads over the last couple of months - since launching on Android in May, it's had between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads. Everything has to come to an end though, as CNN has acquired the company and its co-founder, Casey Neistat. He runs a popular YouTube channel, and will be working on a new network at the media giant, to launch in summer 2017.

Beme is, or was, an app that allowed users to share quick, raw, unedited video to their followers. Many of the users were part of Neistat's online following, but the app has been struggling recently against similar visual apps such as Snapchat or Instagram.

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2D psychological horror game DISTRAINT jumps from Steam to the Play Store

Horror comes in many flavors... just don't tell that to whoever's filming the seventh Paranormal Activity movie on some Hollywood lot right now. Case in point: Steam's horror section is a cavalcade of creepiness, with games like the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise sitting alongside Amnesia and The Evil Within. And lest you think it's only possible to scare in three dimensions, there's also DISTRAINT, an indie 2D side-scroller that's dripping with horror themes. The game popped up on Steam last year, but now it's available in the Play Store for free.

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DJI GO 4 offers a new UI and fresh editing capabilities for drone pilots

DJI, purveyor of premium-brand drones to the poor and the gentry, has a new app on the Play Store. It's a companion app for the recent entries in the company's lineup, mostly focused on the built-in still and video cameras. The app has a livestreaming function (but not remote control) and editing built in. But something odd is going on here: why is version four of the GO app getting a separate listing on the Play Store, despite the fact that both of them are free? The older app mentions support for Inspire, Phantom, and Matrice 100 drones, while the new one drops the Matrice in favor of the Mavic Pro.

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Sling TV introduces recording with a closed beta for its Cloud DVR service

While Sling TV makes a pretty compelling offering for those who want to ditch expensive conventional television service, its all-live setup is something of a bummer - recording has become so ingrained in the premium TV mindset that it's hard to give up. The company is rectifying that shortcoming with Cloud DVR, a (wait for it) DVR service that uses cloud storage to hold recorded TV episodes and other content. It's in closed beta right now - prospective users can sign up and cross their fingers at this address.

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