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app update

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DoubleTwist Player update brings a fresh UI and support for Chromecast, Android Wear, and Android Auto

DoubleTwist got its start way back in the early days of Android, when users wanted an easy way to sync music from iTunes to their non-Apple phones. (And also, this was back when human beings still used iTunes.) The scope of the music player has broadened and generalized since then... and truth be told, it's kind of stalled as well, especially since the Cloud Player came out. The last update it had before today was way back in February. But today's bump is significant: in addition to a new user interface, it brings baked-in support for Chromecast, Android Wear, and Android Auto.

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Strava brings its social sport Clubs experience to mobile

Every single person I know who loves to bike to work or for fun uses Strava to track their route. I'm sure there are people who track their runs in Strava too, but I haven't met any of them. I don't know what it is about this app and cyclists specifically, but it seems that Strava has found a way to appeal to them and make the experience of cycling both challenging and social. Part of it are the Clubs, a feature that lets runners and cyclists form groups, compete with each other, share routes, manage events, discuss their progress, and more. There are over 130,000 active Strava Clubs and until today, the only way to access them was through the online site.

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NBC's app gets a pretty modern design overhaul, fewer commercials, and better Chromecast support

Of the thousands and thousands of apps on the Play Store, very few get updated to meet the latest design trends and guidelines. Some developers take their sweet time, others never bother, thinking that a functional app is all that's needed and design isn't too relevant.

NBC's Android app was neither here nor there. It followed more of a Holo aesthetic, with some more modern elements like the hamburger menu. Now, however, it's taking a leap forward with a major redesign. The Holo-like dark grey and blue tabs are still there, but they're much less flagrant now, the font is changed, and the iconography has been improved throughout.

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Yahoo Mail adds direct reply, bundled notifications, and multi-window support for Android Nougat

One of the most useful features of Android N is the improved notifications handling: notifications coming from the same app are bundled together and can be unbundled and dealt with individually, and there's direct reply support to quickly answer a message without opening the app.

Not a lot of apps have added support for both of these features, but now Yahoo Mail is joining this elite group. Thanks to a new update, Yahoo's mailing app lets you send direct replies to emails from the notification, and it bundles notifications together for less redundancy and clutter in the drop-down.

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Wikipedia Android app updated with bottom navigation row

Android visual standards are a hot topic - just check the comment section every time a point of contention in Material Design springs up. One of the most contentious is top tabs and slide-out menus, as featured in Android since Ice Cream Sandwich, versus bottom navigation links, as tends to be popular with lazy iPhone ports (though they're actually part of the documentation). The latest update to the official Wikipedia app indulges in a little bottom-nav action, and it's... okay.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you

I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.

That has changed with the latest update to the app and the new Watch Filters. Now you can specify whether you prefer your flight to be non-stop or you don't mind, if you like shorter layovers, and if you want it to dismiss all basic fare flights where you'd need to pay more for luggage or seat selection or food. Hopper would then only alert you to the best deals for flights tailored to these preferences.

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Telegram adds photo masks, GIF creation, and trending stickers

We're a bit late with this news, but this is what happens when an update rolls on Friday and we're short-staffed over the weekend, so please forgive us. Telegram, a popular messaging app among our readers, has added a few cool features in its latest 3.12 update and is promising more now that the summer break is over.

First is a major improvement to the photo editor that lets you draw on photos, apply stickers, text, and most importantly (or most relevant nowadays, because I can't judge how important this is to you) masks. Masks will resize and overlay on your photos smartly, because just like Snapchat, they can recognize faces.

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Yahoo Mail for Android adds Fingerprint security support, web and video previews, and more

Yahoo is having a rough week in terms of security. It's probably just a coincidence that a considerable update for the official Yahoo Mail app comes days after one of the biggest password leaks ever. Even so, it's nice to get official support for something like Google's Fingerprint API. That, among other new goodies, is waiting inside the latest Mail update in the Play Store. On my Nexus 6, it's version 5.9.1.

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Action Launcher officially hits v3.9, includes Nexus Launcher stuff

Anyone who asks me what launcher I use will know how much I love Action Launcher. Not only is the feature set massive, but developer Chris Lacy puts a lot of hard work and love into it.

The beta for v3.9 that released back in August brought with it some features from the rumored Nexus Launcher, including swipe up for "All Apps" and the Google "pill" and date widgets. Today, Action Launcher updates to v3.9 officially. It includes all of the new things from the beta, as well as a few more goodies. See the changelog below for details on those additions.

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WiFi Assistant for non-Project Fi Nexus devices is rolling out

A few weeks ago, Google told us that Project Fi's WiFi Assistant, which connects users automatically to public WiFi using a secure VPN, was heading to Nexus devices in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Nordic countries. This has now started rolling out, via an update to Google Connectivity Services, version D.1.5.10.

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