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Apps/Games

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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown]

Google is rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming Pixel phones, ensuring that its core lineup of apps are dressed the part. An update to the Play Store began rolling out yesterday with a new round launcher icon for the Pixel Launcher and an app shortcut (formerly known as launcher shortcuts) for Android 7.1. Also joining the list of upcoming features will be support for purchasing 4K movies and TV shows, a marker to indicate if a device is certified, and a new icon for promotions and gifts.

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Google Keyboard v5.2 from the Pixel system dump has new Pixel themes and other minor tweaks [APK Download]

The Google Pixel phones aren't coming out for a few weeks yet, but some system dumps are available for closer inspection already. Among the myriad of APKs pulled out of that, there's a new version of Google Keyboard. It's version 5.2, and includes two new Pixel themes, as well as a few little tweaks.

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EA's FIFA Mobile Soccer shoots into the Play Store after a long soft launch period

There was a time back in 2000 when I loved playing FIFA on my computer. I'd mastered the art of the keystrokes so it was quite easy for me to win any length of match against any opponent on any level of difficulty. But as time passed and I got more busy with school and work, I didn't have enough time to learn the new tricks and options of new versions of FIFA and I fell behind. Now, I can't have my player run for 2 seconds without being tackled by someone on the opposite team. Oh well...

If you're better than me at playing FIFA or you have enough time to learn how to coordinate a corner kick with a header shot, you're in luck.

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Google Assistant can be enabled on non-Pixel devices running Android Nougat

Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 6.5.35.21 or newer.

If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup.

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[Deal Alert] Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is down to $0.10 in a few countries

If you like well designed games with engulfing graphics, appropriately adapted to mobile gameplay, gamepad support, and dozens of unique characters and environments, you'll love Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. The game was first released on Android back in 2014 as an Amazon exclusive, then made it onto the Play Store for all. It has since been downloaded over 100,000 times and managed to keep a 4.5 star rating with nearly 17500 reviews. Impressive.

Stranger's Wrath first cost $4.99, but it has been hovering between $0.99 and $2.99 over the past few months. Now though, it's down to an even lower price, just like Munch's Oddysee was a few weeks ago.

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New Pokémon GO update with revamped training and capture bonuses is rolling out [APK Download]

The number of people playing Pokémon GO has declined in recent months, but the player base is still huge compared to most mobile games. The loss of casual players is probably down to the slow rate of improvements, but today there are a few significant changes rolling out. As we previously reported, Pokémon GO now has capture bonuses and improved training at gyms.

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Humble Mobile Bundle 21 is live with Goat Simulator, _PRISM, Door Kickers, and more

The latest mobile Humble Bundle is available, and that means now is your chance to get a bunch of great games for next to nothing. The bundle currently includes seven games, and as usual, more will be added in a week.

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[Deal Alert] League of Stickman Zombie, djay2, and Lost Journey all down to $0.10 (some valid in US too)

There have been more $0.10 sales in the Play Store as of late, but most of them are not available in the US. Today there are three top apps and games on sale for this low, low price, and two of them are valid in the US. Available in most markets (including the US) are League of Stickman Zombie and Lost Journey. The non-US sale is for music app djay2.

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YouTube v11.39 auto-fills replies with the names of parent commenters [APK Download]

YouTube pushed out a small update over the weekend, bumping the version number up to 11.39. By all appearances, this is a pretty small one. Aside from the typical bug fixes and a few minor visual adjustments, there's one notable feature people have been requesting for a while. Replies to comments are now auto-filled with the name of the user you're replying to.

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[Update: It's back] Screenshot button gone from Now on Tap/Screen Search

Google Screen Search, formally known as Google Now on Tap, is a feature I don't use often - but it's incredibly helpful when I need it. If you're unfamiliar, it provides information to you based on the text on your screen, and works on any Android 6.0+ device with the Google app. For example, a few days ago I received a text message confirming an appointment, and Screen Search created a calendar event from the message contents.

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