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Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard) hits 500 million installs in the Play Store

There are many, many keyboard apps in the Play Store, but Google Keyboard has long been my go-to option. With the Gboard re-branding, Google added a few long-awaited features like multiple active languages and integrated search. That was enough to push it over the 500 million download threshold, joining apps like Photos, Dropbox, and Super-Bright LED Flashlight.

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The previously announced Google Play billing for Drive storage is already live for some

Google announced a couple weeks ago that billing for Google Drive would move over to the Play Store subscription system. At the time it said this would happen sometime in January, but it looks like it's already live for some people. Time to check your Google Play account page.

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Amazon Digital Day sale includes 50% off Plex Pass, 67% off Tidal, and more

If you've got a little holiday cash to burn, Amazon is offering some tempting deals. Actually, a lot of tempting deals. It's called Digital Day, and as the name implies, it includes a ton of deals on digital goods valid for today only. Remember, there's also that $0.99 movie promo running on Amazon.

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NBC's Breaking News app and service will shut down tomorrow

News are all around us nowadays but quality news reporting that also happens to be fast and accurate is not easy to come by. Breaking News, a separate startup inside NBC News Digital Network, was one of the most popular and respected news aggregators that tried to solve that problem through a team of dedicated editors and a network of trusted partners. It then broadcast important news through its website, various social networks (@BreakingNews with >9M followers, +BreakingNews, and Breaking News on Facebook) as well as mobile apps including an Android app with over 500,000 installs.

But alas, NBC News decided at the start of the month that the service was not generating enough revenue to sustain itself and that it was time to shut it down.

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[Update] ADW Launcher 2 leaves beta with discounted premium unlock for a limited time, users disgruntled by the change

ADW Launcher was one of my first introductions into Android customization. For the longest time, it was the cornerstone of my homescreen strategy and I'd spend hours perfecting a setup with icons, colors, widgets, until I'd start again a couple of days later. Heck, one of the first Android roundups I ever wrote (warning: not an AP post) was about customization and had ADW Launcher as the first recommendation.

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Holiday app and game sales: Nova Launcher Prime, Reigns, Moon+ Reader Pro, and much more [Continuously Updated]

As we head into the end of the holiday season, maybe you're looking to purchase yourself a little something. You can buy an app or game in the Play Store, but who wants to pay full price? It just so happens there are a lot of them on sale right now.

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Duolingo Clubs adds new social elements to language learning

Duolingo is one of the most popular apps on the Play Store, but oddly, its social features have been a bit on the light side up to now. The latest update to the language learning service aims to alleviate that with Duolingo Clubs. The feature is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: users (or "players" as Duolingo likes to call them) can congregate into social clubs to keep track of each other's use of the app and progress though the guided, game-style courses.

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Twitter announces Live 360 Video, powered by Periscope

Earlier this month, the official Twitter mobile apps were updated to support livestreaming without having the separate Periscope app installed. Now the company has added support for 360-degree streams to both the Twitter and Periscope apps.

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[Android 7.1 Tip] Get rid of the Play Store on your home screen and use the 'My Apps' shortcut instead

Odds are you have the Play Store on your home screen for easy accessibility, but have you ever considered not having it? I don't mean you should dig into the app drawer every time you need to open the store, but perhaps the regular Play Store link isn't the most efficient. If you're on Android 7.1, maybe you ought to replace it with the My Apps shortcut.

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NBA InPlay creates a second screen meta-game for pro basketball fans

I don't know much about baskets-the-ball - sorry fans, Cameron would probably write this article if he was still around. But I have to admit that the NBA has something interesting with InPlay, its latest official mobile app. InPlay automatically detects whatever game happens to be playing on TV in the background via the microphone, no matter what teams or which channel. But that's only the first cool part of the experience.

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