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5

Facebook Messenger's Watch Together will let you — do we really need to spell this out?

We're all trying to feel more connected online these days — the loneliness is strong. Sometimes the group chats and video calls aren't enough, and you wish you could just sit back and watch videos with your friends. Luckily for you, Facebook is continuing its trend of personal connection updates with the launch of Watch Together, a feature that will allow you to view videos simultaneously with a group.

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51

COVID tracing app roundup: All of the countries and US states that currently offer exposure notification apps

If you're looking for your country's or state's official COVID Exposure Notification System app, you might not be able to find it thanks to the screwy way Google is handling the search function for COVID related apps on the Play Store. Despite the fact many apps are testing Google's ENS API, the tag is missing from a few listings, and even worse there are some apps you simply can't even search for on the Play Store. Since it would appear every country and US state is creating its own stand-alone app, some areas are lagging behind others, so it's tough to know if your location even has an app available.

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2

28 temporarily free and 57 on-sale apps and games for Monday

Welcome to Monday, everyone. After a slow weekend, it would appear a few icon developers have released a solid collection of sales. We also have a few gaming standouts worth mentioning today, including the titles Baldur's Gate IIKenshō, and Heroes of Loot. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 28 temporarily free and 57 on-sale apps and games for the beginning of the week.

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27

YouTube Music to let free tier users cast uploaded songs to smart speakers

After years of playing catch-up with Google Play Music, YouTube Music finally got the ability to let you upload your purchased song library in March. However, that much-requested addition comes with a caveat: You need a premium subscription to cast your songs to smart speakers, which extends even to the ones you uploaded. Some findings by 9to5Google indicate that Google is planning to fix this soon enough.

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58

Oracle beats out Microsoft to buy TikTok's US operations

Oracle has been selected to purchase TikTok's US operations over Microsoft — though, according to The Wall Street Journal, the deal won't be structured as a sale. Minutes before the news broke, Microsoft revealed that it wouldn't be involved in any deal even though it reportedly had Trump's blessing ahead of the app's anticipated ban.

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20

Vivaldi Browser gets an optional bottom tab bar on Android (APK download)

Vivaldi started putting more options into its various bottom bars with version 3.2, and now, a year after the browser's initial beta release on Android, the company has decided to allow users to go all-in on bottom navigation. Version 3.3 of the Chromium-based browser lets you move the tab and address bar to the bottom of the interface. There are also smaller improvements to content and ad-blocking.

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5

Hulu's Android TV app adds voice support for playback controls

Those of you who've been marathon-watching a ton of Hulu on your Android TV devices are in luck. Hulu has just added voice support for some playback controls for its Android TV app, making it easier to be even lazier while binging some Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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6

Dark mode is beginning to roll out to many Duolingo users

Android 10 brought support for application theming last year, allowing developers to customize the in-app experience with light and dark looks. The feature wasn't adopted by many third-party apps at the start — even Google is still tweaking the dark theme experience on its own Phone app. But as time passes, more developers climb aboard. Now the latest to joining the dark mode train is language-teaching app Duolingo.

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9

Android 11's sound picker will work with cast devices, but apps will need to be updated to support it

Android 11 introduced a nifty new interface for controlling media playback that lives among the quick settings tiles rather than the notifications. In it, there's also a button that allows you to choose the sound output (which has actually been around since Android 10). At the moment, it's only populated by your phone's speakers and bluetooth sources, even though it seems like adding Chromecast-enabled devices would be a no-brainer. It looks like Google thought the same, but it will have to be implemented by every single media app out there.

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2

17 temporarily free and 37 on-sale apps and games for Friday

Welcome to Friday, everyone. The weekend is almost here, and so it's time again to check out all of the app and game sales currently available on the Google Play Store. Today I have a few standouts, including the award-winning SWAT tactics game Door Kickers, the emergency dispatcher simulation game 911 Operator, and an enjoyable minimal puzzler from InfinityGames called Railways. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 17 temporarily free and 37 on-sale apps and games for the end of the week.

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