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Videos

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Google releases advertisement for Pixel phones in Canada, hours before the event

Apparently, Google couldn't wait a few more hours for their own event (9am PDT in California, by the way) and decided to leak their own phones via an advertisement in Canada. The ad is a minute long and doesn't show us much that we didn't know, save for an interesting URL at the end.

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16 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (9/21/16 - 10/3/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications 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.

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InBrief
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[Deal Alert] Catan is on sale for $0.10 (regularly $4.99) in most countries other than the US

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[Deal Alert] Star Walk 2 is $0.10 in some regions (normally $0.99)

The night sky isn't just filled with stars. The naked eye in most areas of the world (barring massive light pollution) can spot at least a few galaxies, nebulas, planets, and even artificial satellites like the International Space Station. If you have ever wondered what is floating in the sky above you, Star Walk 2 is a great tool - and it's on sale!

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[Update: APK Download] Facebook releases Messenger Lite, a cut-down version of Messenger for emerging markets

Facebook Lite was released early last year, and it's pretty good - it takes up less space than the regular Facebook app and consumes much less data. As a follow-up, Messenger Lite is now available, meaning phones in countries where data is thin on the ground and people with small amounts of storage can use Messenger as well.

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Video: Taking a look at the Nexus 6, two years later

Would it surprise you to know I've only ever owned three of Google's Nexus phones? I bought the Nexus One for AT&T back in 2010, received a Nexus 5 as a holiday bonus from Artem (he gave one to everybody on the team) in 2013, and bought an AT&T Nexus 6 in 2014. While the Nexus One will always be the phone I remember as my first smartphone, it wasn't actually a great smartphone, and the Nexus 5 and I didn't really have much of a chance to connect / for me to by annoyed by it (I broke it a few months after receiving it).

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Dolphin emulator adds Vulkan support for Android

The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.

Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.

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[RIP YouTube Gaming] Twitch now supports video uploading through Uploads Open Beta

YouTube Gaming, Google's direct competitor to Twitch, has had something of a lukewarm response from the gaming community. Many streamers opt to stay on Twitch's site, the advantages over the standard YouTube app and website are minimal, and YouTube's infamous Content ID system can result in channels receiving copyright notices for seemingly anything.

But Twitch is first and foremost a streaming site - broadcasts can only be watched for a few days after the air date before they are removed. Twitch users wishing to upload permanent content had to look elsewhere, primarily YouTube. But today, alongside Twitch Prime, they have announced the Uploads Open Beta.

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Action Launcher preemptively adds launcher shortcuts expected to debut with the Pixel Launcher

As you may have noticed in a recent teardown, Google's launcher shortcuts are most likely returning in Android 7.1 with the Pixel Launcher. This feature was part of the Nougat developer preview some months ago, but wasn't implemented in the final release. Now, an improved version is on the way, and Action Launcher continues its tradition of adding all the Pixel Launcher things before the Pixel Launcher even exists.

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Sphero's Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero's tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

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