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Google Shopping teardown hints at upcoming dark mode and AR previews

An upcoming version of Google Shopping shows evidence of some new features that will enhance your online shopping. A teardown of version 52 of the app revealed assets relating to AR item previews (similar to those in the Amazon and Ikea apps), dark mode, and a Google Lens shortcut built into the search bar.

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You can now buy Deadpool's severed head and control it with your phone

You won't find any blood and gore in this life-sized Deadpool head, but it does pack more than 600 jokes, sound effects, and insults inspired by the devilishly handsome superhero. Hasbro Pulse just listed Deadpool's head for sale, in partnership with Marvel Legends. It'll cost you a pretty penny at $100 but will surely make for an eye-catching collector's item.

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Google will bring its AI-powered Recorder app to older Pixel devices

When Google unveiled its voice recording app aptly called Recorder at its Pixel event last month, we were impressed by its capabilities. Unlike standard run-of-the-mill recording apps that simply make and store audio files, Google's version uses its AI smarts to perform real-time voice transcription into text, and it can locate music and specific words inside the audio file — all without a cloud connection. Initially announced as a Pixel 4-exclusive, a Google employee has confirmed on Reddit that Recorder will be made backward-compatible with older Pixel devices.

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Playground stickers now available in Moto Camera 2 update for Motorola One series

Google Playground, formerly known as AR Stickers, has been trickling down to OEM Android handsets ever since its exclusive launch on Pixel phones last year. Up until this point, most of Motorola's current phone lineup have received Playground stickers with Android One variants representing a big glaring exception, but not anymore. A new Moto Camera 2 update finally brings Playground to the Motorola One series.

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Hasbro introducing new D-O Droid and Lightsaber Academy app-connected Star Wars toys

As the final installment of the latest Star Wars saga prepares to blast off into theaters this December, toy manufacturers are ramping up production of must-have items for the holiday season. Today's announcement from Hasbro includes a replica of the D-O Droid from the upcoming Rise of Skywalker film and an interactive lightsaber, both controlled by dedicated smartphone apps.

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[Update: Leaves beta and adds real-time feedback mode] Google’s K-2 reading practice app Rivet adds smartphone support

We've recently told you about Rivet, a free reading-practice app for kids developed by Area 120, Google's experimental product division. Since the software is still in beta phase, it's continuously improving with better features and interface tweaks. The app was initially designed for tablets because they offer a better experience, and couldn't be installed on phones through the Play Store. The APK could still be sideloaded on handsets, though, but the interface didn't look pleasing compared to larger screens. However, the application has just been updated and now officially supports smartphones as well.

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Popular music player Poweramp adds support for Android Auto

It's great that more and more vehicles ship with Android Auto these days, but I still find the app offering to be rather limited. I had to wait until last summer to finally get to use Waze instead of Maps, and even today only a handful of software is available on Google's in-car solution – beyond Waze, Spotify's the only other Auto-supporting app I use. Several other third-party music applications are integrated with the system though, and the famous Poweramp player is the latest one to make its way into your car.

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Report: US to block China Mobile's application to enter US market

The US government has been growing increasingly critical (perhaps even paranoid) when it comes to the operation of Chinese companies in the US. Between the on-again-off-again ZTE snafu and Huawei's allegedly government-influenced issues with its US carrier deals, Chinese tech companies are running into progressively more problems doing business in the United States. This is just the start, though, as according to a recent report by Bloomberg, the FCC is set to deny China Mobile's application to provide telecommunications services in the US.

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Google Duo passes 500 million installs on the Play Store

Knock Knock! Who's there? Duo. Duo who? Du-o know that Google's video calling app has just surpassed 500 million installs on the Play Store? We need to take a few minutes to celebrate this milestone.

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WalletHub is the newest free credit score Android app that brings a lot to the table for debt management

Your credit score is one of those things that's really annoying, but very critical to surviving in our economy (like it or not). Regardless of whether that number is something to be proud or ashamed of, you definitely need to keep an accurate idea of where it sits. That's where WalletHub comes in, the newest kid on the Android block to offer you a free peek at your score. The company has been around for a few years, but its app does so much more with the catch of being completely free.

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