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Apps/Games

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Google Trips travel itinerary app goes live after extensive private beta [APK Download]

Users pay Google not in dollars, but in data. In exchange for handing over all of our private information, we get cool stuff like Google Trips. This travel app culls your Gmail account for hotel reservations, flight bookings, travel times, addresses, and other information you could possibly need for your next trip.

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Google Photos rolling out faster photo sharing and 'Movie Concepts' [APK Download]

Google Photos remains one of my favorite Google products. Unlimited free photo uploads (at a capped resolution), easy organization, automatic tagging, the list of features goes on and on. Google Photos is rolling out two new features today that improve sharing and automatic video creation.

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Google Play Books adds Discover mode with customized book news, reviews, and suggestions [APK Download]

Google is rolling out an update to the Google Play Books app today, and for the first time in ages there's a notable new feature. It's called Discovery, and it helps you discover new stuff to read. As is the case with a great many Google features, this one is available in the US only at first.

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Google Slides now supports using Android Wear to control presentations [APK Download]

It's a bit difficult to get excited over updates to presentation software. But the latest Google Slides update brings a new feature that should have been implemented ages ago - remote control with Android Wear devices. Google Slides has supported streaming presentations to Chromecasts for a while now, but you have always had to control the show from your phone (or your laptop, if using the web version).

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The latest Google Slides update installs a companion app on your Android Wear device. When you start casting a presentation, a notification appears on your watch that opens the Wear app. The top of the UI shows the time you have spent on the current slide, the orange bar indicates how far along you are in the presentation, and the bottom shows a preview of the next slide.

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Taskbar updated to version 1.2, can now completely replace your home screen

I think we all long for a real, proper tablet interface for Android and not just a blown-up phone UI, like on the Pixel C. We reported on Taskbar, an app that adds a Windows-like taskbar to your device and enables freeform windows mode, a few weeks ago. Developer Braden Farmer has updated Taskbar to version 1.2, adding in a new way to launch the app as the default homescreen, plus a few other improvements.

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Lifeline: Whiteout (USA) and Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords (not USA) are down to $0.10 in many countries

The Lifeline franchise of games is often found on sale on the Play Store. From the original price of $1.99, the games usually drop to $0.99, but sometimes they also go as low as $0.10, like that one time when Lifeline, Lifeline 2, and Lifeline: Silent Night all cost 10 cents. But there's a new entrant in the Lifeline series that you may have not picked up yet and that hasn't seen a price drop.

Lifeline: Whiteout follows the same engrossing storytelling genre, with the game playing in your notifications and offering you different options for your character V. Adams that influence his fate and progression in a frozen wasteland.

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AutoMagisk allows root users to play Pokémon GO or use Android Pay without constantly toggling root on and off

If you've got a rooted Android device and you're a Pokémon master, chances are that you've heard that the 0.37 update to Pokémon GO completely disabled the game for devices with root access and/or custom software. We made a guide on how to circumvent the SafetyNet check that Pokémon GO and Android Pay use with Magisk, but it might get bothersome to constantly toggle root on and off. Now, there's an app that lets you launch those apps without the slightly annoying root toggle.

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Google Allo may launch this week, according to Evan Blass [Update: Maybe 9/21]

Google Duo and Allo, the company's latest messaging applications, were announced back at Google I/O this year. Only Duo has been released to the public, and as I'm sure you all know, Google has been silent about the release date for Allo apart from a summer release. With the first day of fall coming on September 22, time is running out to meet the deadline.

Evan Blass, more famously known as @evleaks on Twitter, posted a tweet saying only "Hello, Allo (launches this week)." That's it.

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Solid Explorer 2.2 is now available with encryption, multi-window support, and more

There is no shortage of file managers on the Play Store. But Solid Explorer remains my favorite, simply because of its Material design and ease of use. For you power users out there, it also boasts drag and drop, FTP/WebDAV/SMB client support, batch file management, and much more. Solid Explorer has just been bumped to version 2.2, and there's a lot to get excited about.

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Hasbro's controller app for the best R2-D2 toy ever is here (even though the toy isn't)

As someone who's kind of exhausted by the amount of Star Wars promotional material that's being vomited into our culture at the moment, I have to admit that the remote control BB-8 from Sphero is pretty awesome. Because even toys need sequels now, this year we're getting the original adorable droid in remote control form: R2-D2. Hasbro is planning on releasing a similar toy, complete with all the smartphone connection goodies. Here's the official app for it.

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