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Google Play Store

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Help kick your smoking or vaping habit with the free QuitNow! app (Sponsored Post)

As you embark on a brand new decade of self-empowerment, there's never been a better time to turn over a new leaf in favor of a happier, healthier you. For many people around the globe, smoking cigarettes or puffing on vape pens is still a very real hurdle that must conquered, but there is a way out. QuitNow! can help keep you motivated and focused to finally kick your smoking or vaping habit for good.

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Messaging app ToTok pulled from Play Store following reports of government surveillance (Update: New ToTok statement)

If you've been using ToTok on any of your devices, you should consider uninstalling it immediately. The new messaging platform that was one of the most downloaded apps last week was swiftly removed from the Google Play Store (and Apple's App Store) before the end of Friday. The abrupt decision came after American officials declared the service was actually spyware backed by the United Arab Emirates government.

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Netflix and Disney+ content now appears in the Google Play Movies app

Netflix has been one of the largest movie and TV streaming services available since pivoting from its DVD-rental model in 2007. Despite mass popularity throughout the greater half of this decade, Netflix has managed to completely avoid integrating with the Google Play Movies app — at least, that was until now. We have confirmed that Play Movies can finally search for content exclusive to Netflix, as well as the brand new Disney+ streaming service.

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FX File Explorer is back on the Play Store after being wrongfully accused of displaying deceptive ads (Updated)

Google has a serious problem with draconian, overreaching app removal policies in the Play Store. Instead of taking the time to discuss minor issues with developers, the company loves to use a sledgehammer to crack the nuts. The latest app to take the hit is FX File Explorer, a popular file manager with more than 5 million downloads and a 4+ rating. It has been removed without warning because it allegedly sports deceptive ads, which is not true as far as we can tell.

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Google Advanced Protection Program may someday block installing apps from outside the Play Store

You may be aware of Google's Advanced Protection Program, which allows customers to opt-in on additional security protections and restrictions for their Google account, like a forced two-factor hardware security key requirement without fallbacks, and reduced account access for third-party apps. In addition to enhanced security, it also comes with other recent perks. According to details revealed in a recent teardown by 9to5Google, the Advanced Protection Program may expand to blocking apps from being installed from outside the Play Store.

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Zadarma VoIP leverages the cloud to connect your business with customers around the globe [Sponsored Post]

Whether you run a business from your personal Android device or work for a company that supplies a phone, it's important to always have access to your clients and customers whenever they need you most. Especially for younger businesses, missing a call or having a conversation interrupted by a shoddy signal could spell disaster for your brand's reputation. To help you manage your business communications from the convenience of your smartphone, Zadarma offers an intuitive VoIP telecom service backed by 12 years of evolution and proven success.

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LibreTorrent removed from Google Play because it looks too similar to its malicious clones

Google's history of draconian and arbitrary decisions regarding developer infractions on the Play Store is extensively documented. In this latest episode, the open-source torrent client LibreTorrent has been removed from the Play Store due to "spam," with Google claiming that the app is a low-quality duplicate of several others on the Play Store. The twist this time is that LibreTorrent is actually the original app, and it's the others that are the ad-filled "spam" clones.

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It looks like Google Photos will get manual face tagging in a future update

The facial recognition software built directly into Google Photos is already fantastically accurate, distinguishing your friends and family from even the blurriest of pixels. However, like any AI-driven tool, it's not perfect, and sometimes it just doesn't know who's actually in your pictures. Thanks to our friends over at XDA Developers, we now have our first look at an upcoming manual facial tagging feature that's currently hidden away within Google Photos 4.32.

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Google Play Store autoplay videos are coming, but you'll be able to turn them off

Many people find autoplaying videos incredibly annoying, but they help content creators and advertisers hook up consumers more efficiently. That's why many platforms try to find a balance by making autoplay opt-out and letting you turn it off in settings, all while hoping that only a small percentage of people will actually do that. After Google recently introduced autoplay videos to the Play Store, the company now seems to be testing such a toggle.

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Google announces App Defense Alliance, brings three security companies on board to fight bad apps

Google has always maintained that its own Play Store security mechanisms were strong enough to keep your devices safe from malware and other bad actors, but this was proven wrong again and again and again. Thus it makes sense that the company has announced the App Defense Alliance, a partnership with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium that aims to stop bad apps before they can reach anyone's Android devices.

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