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Google makes Search shortcuts official, helps you find information quicker

Right before the avalanche of Android O news yesterday, Google made one small announcement that we had our eyes on but never really got around to writing: Search shortcuts are now official.

You may remember we first spotted them last September when they had a very distinct circular look, then we saw a newer iteration in November when the circle was ditched but the icons began opening up to more actions, and finally this most recent look started popping up in our tips inbox over the past few weeks. So some of you may already have seen the new Search shortcuts over the last weeks, others will probably start seeing them now.

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Android O feature spotlight: Expandable quick settings only work when tapping the text, not the icon

In Android 7.0, there are a number of expandable quick settings for things like WiFi and Bluetooth. Those toggles still exist in Android O, but the way you interact with them is quite different. Expanding requires you to tap the text instead of the icon.

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Galaxy on Fire 3 pops up on Android for pre-registration

The Galaxy on Fire series has seen a lot of praise on Android. Known for its gorgeous graphics and frantic space-sim combat, it is not difficult to see why it has garnered such acclaim. Today we learn that there will be a new Galaxy on Fire coming to Android, titled Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore. This time you take on the role of a bounty hunter searching for their own fame and fortune in the newly discovered Neox Sector. Starting today you can pre-register for a notification upon the game's official release.

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[Update: Maybe not] Android O feature spotlight: Ambient display gets a downgrade

Sometimes updates to Google products are two steps forward, one step back. Ambient display originally showed up in stock Android with the launch of the Nexus 6, which turns on the display for a few seconds when notifications arrive. It has remained a popular feature, but Android O changes it quite a bit.

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Android O feature spotlight: Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) mode for WiFi

Android O will include big, obvious changes like picture-in-picture and new icons, but some of the low-level stuff could be just as impactful down the road. For instance, the addition of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) support for WiFi. It could allow devices to find each other and communicate over WiFi without an access point.

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36 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (3/7/17 - 3/20/17)

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Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games 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

Meganoid(2017)

Android Police coverage: OrangePixel releases Meganoid 2017, offering more classic platforming action and frustration

Somewhat of a confusing release, Meganoid (2017) is different from the previous versions of Meganoid and Meganoid 2.

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Wrecked: This video "re-review" of Google Home is the saddest, funniest thing you'll see today

Google Home isn't a bad product (well, I don't think it is), but it's also far from a perfect one, thanks in large part to the fragmented state of Google's Assistant. While I could go into a breakdown of just why Google Home's version of the Assistant is inferior in some regards to the one on your smartphone, sometimes a 30-second video really can encapsulate the frustration of being an early adopter of technology.

I'll let Android Police alumnus Ron Amadeo take it away.

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HTC's U Ultra doesn't fare well against JerryRigEverything's wrath, proves that it's not great at anything

Despite its great looks, the HTC U Ultra wasn't very well received by the press. In his review of the U Ultra, David absolutely ripped the phone apart, saying that it's unclear why the phone exists at all, and that HTC should go back to the drawing board. One of David's complaints about the phone was how easily the display scratched. In his latest video, JerryRigEverything proves that there's a lot more wrong with the phone's durability than that.

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[Bonus Round] Stunt Wheels Party, Deep Town, Reporter, Castaway Home Designer, Sword of Shadows, and Digit Drop

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a fun top-down arcade racer, a unique sci-fi strategy digging game, a deeply detailed horror puzzler, a competent clone of Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, a dynamic martial art themed MMO, and a minimal number-based puzzle game.

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Super Mario Run is making its way to the Play Store on Thursday, March 23rd

When Nintendo announced it was making games for mobile platforms, fans were eager to get their hands on the first release. Nintendo came out with more concrete details on September 7th of last year... at Apple's iPhone 7 announcement event. Predictably, the first game featuring company mascot Mario came to iOS first back in December. Though Android users got the first crack at Nintendo's second mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, we've been waiting three months to try our hands at Super Mario Run.

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