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Microsoft Health Update Lets You Share Workouts, Track Weight, Read News, Improve Band Battery Life, And More

Microsoft Health is the companion app to Microsoft's activity tracker, which is now on its second iteration, the Microsoft Band 2. An update is rolling out via Google Play that adds quite a few new features for folks who own the device.

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Digitally Imported Radio Optimizes Its Interface For Tablets And Landscape Orientation

If you want to stream electronic music, Digitally Imported (di.fm) is one of the best sources you can turn to. The service's Android app, Digitally Imported Radio also does it justice on mobile thanks to wide channel support, a great and updated interface, and frequent changes to implement new features like casting support. The app, however, lacked one option when it was redesigned in June of last year: landscape support. That's finally being implemented along with interface optimizations for tablets.

Version 3.1 of the app adds "first class support for Android tablets," and restores support for landscape orientation on phones.

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[Deal Alert] Thomas Was Alone Is Down To $0.20 In Many Countries ($0.99 Globally)

Thomas Was Alone isn't your typical platformer. The game immerses you in its world and forges an emotional bond between you and a rectangle. Yes, a rectangle. As you take charge of the different colorful geometric shapes inside the game, you embark on a journey through more than 100 levels (with 20 levels from the Benjamin's Flight expansion) that's beautifully narrated and deeply sentimental.

When Thomas Was Alone first launched on Android in 2014, it cost about $3.99, but the game has had its price dip on and off since then. Today sees one of its lowest discounts ever, with the price falling to $0.20 in the US.

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24 New And Notable (And 1 WTF) Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (1/19/16 - 2/1/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Games

Crashlands

Android Police coverage: Crashlands From Butterscotch Shenanigans Crash Lands Onto Android, Steam, and iOS Today

Crashlands is technically an RPG, but that's selling it a little short. This light-hearted sci-fi game also has a huge focus on exploration, crafting, taming wild creatures, and building up your home base.

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AOSP Changelogs Posted For February's 6.0.1 And 5.1.1 Security Updates

February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.

Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation.

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[Update: Xiaomi Statement] Xiaomi Devices Sold By No-Name US Carrier Are Not "Legit," Sales Likely Not Condoned By Xiaomi

An article on PC Mag published earlier today claims that US Mobile is the "first legit" Xiaomi and Meizu carrier in America. This is, frankly, misleading. To clarify immediately: some US T-Mobile MVNO that no one has heard of is working with an electronics distributor in Hong Kong to sell gray market Xiaomi and Meizu devices on its online store, and they don't even support US LTE bands.

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Google Parent Company Alphabet Is, For The Moment, The Most Valuable Company On Earth

Google stopped being the Google we all knew last year when it formed a new umbrella parent company called Alphabet. Now, following the first quarterly earnings call for Alphabet, the company's market capitalization (a measure of value based on the price of outstanding shares) has topped that of Apple. That means by one measure, Alphabet is the most valuable company on the planet.

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WhatsApp Now Has One Billion Monthly Active Users (Yes, On The Same Day As Gmail)

Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.

Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is.

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Gmail Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users, According To Sundar Pichai During Alphabet Earnings Call

During Alphabet's first earnings call this afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that as of this month, Gmail now officially has one billion monthly active users. That's a lot of Gmail.

The Gmail app for Android, by comparison, hit one billion installs a little over 20 months ago, back in May of 2014. And that was two years after Gmail became the most popular email service on the planet. When that occurred in 2012, Google reported around 425 million MAUs for Gmail, meaning the service has grown its active user base twice over in around three-and-a-half years.

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Report: Nexus Program May Push For Greater Control Of Hardware, Nexus 5X And 6P Not Meeting Sales Goals

A rather lengthy report on The Information was published this morning about the state of Google's Nexus program, and if I had to put it in one word, the state of Nexus seems to be "fluctuating." While there's a lot to chew through here, there are a few talking points worth pulling out specifically to digest and analyze, so let's dive in.

  • Google will take more control over Nexus device development and branding in the future. Maybe.

What does this actually mean? It really is impossible to know. The Information carefully clads these statements in a lot of "ifs," "mays," and "coulds." Google clearly already does nearly all of the aesthetic design on Nexus devices and likely many major feature or hardware decisions - neither the Nexus 5X nor the 6P look anything like what LG or Huawei currently produce.

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