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Google Maps v9.36.0 beta adds voice commands to avoid tolls, ferries, and highways, adds custom lists for saved places, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new Google Maps update is rolling out today. For most people, this version might not have a big impact quite yet, but it's introducing a new feature for some high-level members of the Local Guides program. Those that qualify will be able to create custom lists of saved places. For the rest of us, there's a new notification for local traffic and voice commands to avoid toll roads, highways, and ferries. There are also a few new things to check out in a teardown, including integration with another service, another tease about ordering food, and more.

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Anker issues recall and replacements after researcher demonstrates unsafe USB-C cables

We're at an interesting crossroads in Android hardware. Manufacturers are switching from MicroUSB for power and wired data to the newer, more capable USB-C standard. But the rush to provide mobile users with hundreds of millions of new cables and chargers creates, well, a rush. We've already seen some USB-C cables and other hardware that have been substandard, sometimes with disastrous results. So civic-minded geeks, including independent researcher Nathan K., have been looking into the performance and power output of popular cables.

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Duke Nukem 3D: Hail to the King Collection for Android has been canceled

Several years ago we learned that a port of the classic Duke Nukem 3D was coming to Android, courtesy of mobile games developer MachineWorks NorthWest. But that version of the game is no longer in the Play Store.

In January of 2015, news broke of another Duke Nukem Android port. To celebrate the 19th anniversary of the King, developer Voidpoint was faithfully re-creating the insanely fun adventures of Duke Nukem. Apparently the developer had acquired the rights to not only Duke Nukem 3D, but the expansions (Duke It Out in D.C., Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach, and Duke: Nuclear Winter), Duke Nukem 64, and the PlayStation’s Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown.

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Auralux: Constellations brings new twists to simple strategy, plus Android TV compatibility with local multiplayer

There's a new paradigm in strategy games. Whereas the old guard in real-time titles like Starcraft, Age of Empires, and Command & Conquer tended to get more complex with each release, the point of Auralux and its imitators is to boil strategy down to its purest components. It does so by making offense, defense, and resource gathering all more or less the same game mechanic, in the tradition of Galactic Conquest (AKA Galcon). Now the sequel to Auralux is out, and it's looking pretty great.

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Maserati adds Android Auto to three models, but details are scarce

Maserati, Italian manufacturer of cars for people who want something more expensive than a Jaguar but not quite as pricey as a Lambo, has been on the official Android Auto support for a while now. But before this week, there hasn't been any actual availability from the company. Three models were added to the official Auto list on Thursday: the Levante crossover and the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. Only the Granturismo coupe is not getting access.

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[Update] Taskbar lets you enable Freeform mode on Android Nougat without root or adb

When the Android N developer previews were released, we learned about a hidden "Freeform mode" that takes multi-window to a whole new level. Instead of being limited to two apps on top of each other or side by side, Freeform would let you open as many apps as you want and resize them any way to fit on the screen. But we later learned that Freeform wasn't going to be enabled on any existing Nexus devices, not even the Pixel C which would benefit a lot from it.

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[Deal Alert] League of Stickman is down to 10 cents or less worldwide

It's been a while since we've had a good Play Store deal worldwide. Lately, they've all been limited to a few European countries and Australia — not even the US or Canada could benefit from many of the 10 cents price drops we've been posting. But today's different.

League of Stickman, the combat adventure game that's become quite popular with its fast-paced fighting moves and beautiful immersive graphics is down on the Play Store to about 10 cents, worldwide. This is the paid version of the game, which normally costs $0.99, but also still comes with IAP, so keep that in mind.

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[Update: Gameplay Video] Madfinger unveils Shadowgun Legends, an MMORPG shooter


Mobile gaming has been getting pretty intense in the last few years, due in no small part to increasingly powerful hardware available to shove into phones and tablets. Games like Clash of Clans and Hearthstone have served to push the mobile platform forward into general popularity, something that the rest of us gamers can appreciate. Hoping to take full advantage of what we have available now, developer Madfinger Games has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming addition to the Shadowgun franchise: Shadowgun Legends.

For those of you who never played the original game, it is a third-person shooter set in a dystopian future where corporations rule in place of governments.

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Latest Mr. Robot episode pokes fun at Android users, security issues

You may have heard of Mr. Robot, an award-winning show about a clinically-depressed cybersecurity engineer hired by "Mr. Robot" to join a group of hacktivists. The latest episode, "eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12," opens with a discussion between a Nexus owner (Mobley) and an iPhone owner (Trenton). Take a look at the clip:

For context, the terminal window open on Trenton's screen is creating a custom MP4 file with the Stagefright vulnerability. When Mobley is tricked into visiting the page to prove his superiority as an Android user, the infected video file loads on his phone (despite his claims that Chrome on Android has "better HTML5 compliance").

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CrossOver for Android runs Windows programs on x86 Android tablets and Chromebooks

If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.

CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play.

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