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[Update: APK now available] Google releases Assistant Go app on the Play Store

Back at I/O in May last year, Google announced the Android Go initiative; a less intensive version of the OS optimized for cheap phones with little RAM. This was launched in December and to go with it we've seen a number of Google apps get the Go treatment to make them smaller and less memory-hungry.

Apps like Google Maps Go, YouTube Go, Google Go, and Gboard Go are all designed to get the best performance out of the low-cost devices that are typically popular in emerging markets. There's even a brand new app called Files Go that can help you declutter your phone and maintain a healthy amount of free storage.

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BBC America launches new catch up app for Android TV [APK Download]

Here in the UK, you get used to the convenience of catching up on any BBC show using the fantastic iPlayer app. It hasn't been so easy for Stateside users, even though the BBC iPlayer Radio app is available outside the UK. BBC America has just released its very own app, so US viewers can get some of the same benefits as we do this side of the Atlantic.

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Intuit releases Turbo credit score checking app for Android [APK Download]

There are plenty of apps on the Play Store if you want to check your credit score, but how many of them would you trust? Intuit is a company people have come to depend on for financial services, with popular apps like QuickBooks and TurboTax. So while we might not normally highlight an app of this kind, Turbo is probably worth a mention.

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Google Bulletin is a new hyperlocal community news crowdsourcing app

Google has just unveiled a brand-new app designed for sharing inspiring stories between users who make up local communities. By giving every user the same platform, Bulletin hopes to unearth and highlight interesting news that would otherwise go unheard.

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ellentube slow-mo dances its way to the Play Store, 3 years after iOS

Oh Ellen, it's stuff like this that could make me love and respect you just a little bit less. Boy, what am I saying? I'm joking, I swear. You'd have to do a lot more than ignore Android for 3 years to annoy me, and I do work for Android Police. We could have arrested you for this unforgivable offense and had you on trial for ignoring the majority of smartphone owners. That'd make a good skit actually, we'd be dressed in Android policemen and policewomen costumes, we'd barge in on you during the show... Oops, I got carried away.

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Libby can give you access to tons of free books and audiobooks on your phone with just your library card

Those of us with a library card now have another means of easily accessing the local library’s free eBook and audiobook collection. OverDrive, a long-time manager of eBook collections for libraries, recently released their new Android app Libby.

For the uninitiated, a library card can get you a lot more than a dog-eared copy of The Girl on the Train these days. Most public libraries have long since entered the digital age and provide patrons with the convenience of eBooks and audiobooks at the same free price. It is worth noting, though, that not all library networks are the same, and many publishers place restrictions that can hinder use of some devices.

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Contextual App Folder shows apps based on context triggers

We've all heard of contextual launchers - launchers which change what they do or show based on time of day, weather, your calendar, your location, or any other context. However, ts-apps, the maker of AppSales, has a new app in an unreleased, beta state, named Contextual App Folder (CAF), which is a folder that uses context to determine what to show. But what makes it special is the fact that it is a widget, for any launcher or situation.

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Sam's Club Scan & Go is the perfect app for shoppers who hate checkout lines [Update: Nationwide]

Walmart (the parent company of Sam's Club) has been testing a service called Shop & Go for several years now. The idea is that you shop normally, scan in items with a barcode app, pay from the app via a credit card/debit card/store payment system, then just walk out the door - no need to go through a checkout line at all. Previously the program was limited to only a few hundred stores and it only worked on the iPhone, but it looks like the company is ready to put a more widespread version out for the Sam's Club bulk retailer stores.

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Sphero's Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero's tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

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FordVR brings behind-the-scenes VR racing videos to your phone

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I could watch Ford™ virtual reality experiences on my phone"? Me neither, but someone out there must be at least mildly interested, even if they are an executive at Ford.

All joking aside, FordVR is a new application that provides "an extraordinary new virtual reality experience that’s the closest thing to the real thing," according to the app's description. Upon downloading the app, you are greeted with the one video currently available in FordVR - "The Return to Le Mans." Even if you're not at all into sport car racing, it should still be interesting.

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