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apps

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Get the week started with 27 temporarily free and 30 on-sale apps

Welcome to Monday, everybody. I hope that the beginning of the week is off to a good start for you all. It's time once again for an app sales post — there's some goodies mixed in today (marked with bold text).

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Nova Launcher v5.5-beta3 adds bottom search box and other goodies from Pixel Launcher

Google is in the process of making some changes to the Pixel Launcher, and that means it's time for the third-party launchers to play catch-up. Action Launcher has been in the lead when it comes to adopting Pixel things, but here comes Nova Launcher with a revamped search box, Pixel 2-style notification dots, and more. You'll need the full version to get all the new stuff, though.

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15 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last week (10/10/17 - 10/16/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.

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Finish off the week with 45 temporarily free and 42 on-sale apps, including Icewind Dale and both Baldur's Gate titles

October is already almost half-over, if you can believe that. The end of a week is always nice, so why not make it better with some app sales? I promise there are some good ones here today... very good ones. I'm sure you've guessed them by now, but let's get into this.

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Google's Android Messages app hits 100 million downloads

Google has a long and often complicated history with messaging. For a time, there was no core Android SMS app while Google dabbled with SMS in Hangouts. Well, the Nexus 6 debuted with the Messenger app, later renamed Android Messages. Hangouts has since lost SMS capabilities, and now the Messages app has hit 100 million downloads in the Play Store.

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Lyft drivers are getting new in-app navigation built with Google Maps

Until now, Lyft drivers have had to set up a job in the Lyft app and then switch to a different one for navigation. The annoyance of having to do that will vary depending on the phone, but it's certainly not ideal. It's impossible to talk about the ride-hailing service without comparing it to its biggest rival, Uber, which has a proprietary in-app navigation system that's seen as a big advantage.

Lyft hasn't been ignoring the situation and has just announced that its own in-app navigation system is ready to go. Rather than go to the trouble of developing a solution, however, Lyft has partnered with Google to integrate its already full-featured technology.

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[Update: Now out of beta] Microsoft's Arrow Launcher gets a big revamp and becomes 'Microsoft Launcher'

Microsoft started branching out in mobile a few years ago when it became apparent Windows Phone wasn't going to work out. One of the apps that came out of the so-called "Microsoft Garage" program was Arrow Launcher. It was a reasonably popular app in the Play Store, and now Microsoft is giving it renewed focus and a new name. It's the Microsoft Launcher now.

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Amazon launches accounts for teenagers, with approval control for parents

If you've got teenage children I can imagine its difficult to get the right balance between allowing them the freedom to develop into responsible adults and watching their every move so they don't mess up. I don't have children myself but I was one once, so I guess I have some idea what it's like. Amazon knows this, too, and so it's launching a new feature that gives teenagers a bit more freedom when it comes to shopping. But not too much.

Amazon's new accounts for teens, specifically those between 13 and 17, give them independence to shop on their own, but with certain controls in place.

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Tip: You can remove series from 'Continue Watching' on Netflix, but it's harder than it should be

British English alternative title: You can remove series from 'Continue Watching' on Netflix, but it's a bit of a faff

If you've ever wanted to remove that show you accidentally clicked on from your 'Continue Watching' list on Netflix, then this is for you. Or maybe you watched something a little raunchy that you don't want your flatmates to know about. Either way, we didn't think it was possible before. Now we know it is.

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Google Maps is adding new achievement badges for Local Guides

Those of you who contribute as Local Guides on Google Maps (a club I recently joined) will know that as well as the satisfying feeling of helping other people out; you also gain points for your hard work. Those points help you rise through the ranks, getting a new badge every time you level up and eventually leading to certain perks, such as early access to new features.

To add some extra motivation, Google is about to add some new achievement badges that can be attained by completing different types of tasks. Badge fiends will now have four new ones available to them, which can also be leveled up as you submit information to the service.

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