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Apps/Games

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VSCO's new Discover feature is powered by really cool AI with a really pretentious name

VSCO might not be as popular (or ego-driven) as Instagram, but it's made a comfortable name for itself among photography circles. Rather than dig through piles of low-effort content rated by likes or votes, VSCO strips things down to the just the basics: photos, messages, and you. Now the app is making it a bit easier to find the types of photos you might like, too, with a novel Discover feature that is advertised as being able to match emotional and aesthetic content, all powered by VSCO's pretentiously named "Ava" AI. 

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30 new and notable Android games from the last week (1/31/18 - 2/6/18)

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

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Patreon adds Snapchat-like 'Lens' to its mobile apps

You've probably heard some of your favorite YouTubers, artists, or other content creators promote their Patreon page. If you're not familiar with it, it's a site where you can give monthly donations to your favorite creators, sometimes in exchange for special perks (like early access to videos, a special Discord server, and so on). Patreon is now adding another feature creators can use - Stories.

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Chrome might begin testing a built-in Lazy Loading mechanism for images and iframes

The Chrome team seems to always be working on many ways to quicken page loading times and speed up our access to information. The latest proposed test, which hasn't been implemented yet, is a built-in Lazy Loading mechanism for images and iframes. According to the Google Chromium group, work is underway to test and implement this new feature in Chrome for Android.

What Lazy Loading really means is that the page you open will only load images and iframes above the fold (what you can see), thus speeding up the process so you're not stuck waiting for something at the bottom of the page to load.

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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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[Update: Appears to be live] 'Brand new version' of Google+ for Android will be released soon

Google+ may have fallen off the radar for most people, but it's actually been improving a lot over the last year. The social network used to have a bit of a problem with spam, but Google's been all-out in providing new tools for moderating content. From our vantage, it seems to be making a difference, and now Google is investing even more development into the platform. Leo Deegan, the engineering manager for Google+, has just announced that the company will soon release a "brand new version" of the app. Though it might look and behave similarly, expect significant changes under the hood.

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Humble Mobile Bundle 22 includes Oxenfree, Death Road to Canada, Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story, and more

The Humble Mobile Bundles are well-known for a few good reasons. They're a great way to get a ton of mobile games on the cheap, and each pack usually has a fun theme going on. Well, this bundle might skip out on the latter, but it still stays true to its deal-seeking roots. The Humble Mobile Bundle 22 includes titles like Oxenfree, Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story, Death Road to Canada, Galaxy of Pen & Paper, and Mushroom 11. 

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Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers is a challenging auto-running platformer that just released for Android

The developer Nerf-Game has finally released its challenging 2D auto-running platformer Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers on the Google Play Store. It has been two years since the original iOS release, and in that time it has changed from a premium game to a free-to-play title. Despite the shift in monetization the challenging gameplay and goofy story are just as great as ever.

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Motion Stills v2.0 adds animated AR stickers, gets a new look, and prepares Facebook integration [APK Download]

Motion Stills is getting a big update to v2.0 today, and with it come AR stickers. Now you'll be able to breathe new life into your already lively GIFs. This release isn't just about small animated characters, there are also some updates to make the UI a little prettier and more intuitive. As always, we've got a download link at the bottom if you want to get your hands on the update right away!

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