Android Police

Apps/Games

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Google Maps returns to China after eight-year absence [Update: Nope]

Google famously pulled its services out of the Chinese market in 2010 rather than comply with the government's censorship requirements, but it's dipping a toe back in today. Google has re-launched Google Maps for China, but not via the same app we have in the rest of the world. Most people will access it via a web page, but iPhones get an app. Hey, it's a start.

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Here are 27 temporarily free and 22 on-sale apps for your holiday

I've officially recovered from CES (and I'm not sick like some people). Despite it being MLK Day, I'm here to provide you with some more app sales! The list today is a bit smaller and fairly so-so, but we press onward regardless. Have fun, and I'll see you all again on Wednesday.

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Google's Arts & Culture app finds your artistic doppelgänger

Have you ever wondered if there was a portrait of you hidden away in some museum? Maybe you're really curious to see what you looked like draped in 16th century attire? Or perhaps you've always just had a sneaking suspicion that you're the reincarnation of Mona Lisa but could never prove it to your friends. If these are the sort of questions that keep you up at night, then you'll be happy to know that Google's engineers have been hard at work solving these issues for you.

Google's Arts & Culture app was really more intended for educational purposes, but a recent update to the app has turned it into a sort of viral selfie-matching game.

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'YouTubeAuto' brings YouTube playback to your Android Auto unit

Thanks to the recently-released unofficial 'Aauto SDK,' we've started to see more experimental apps being developed for Android Auto, like the tinyCam Beta that shows feeds from security cameras. While these apps probably won't ever show up on the Play Store, as they violate Google's Auto guidelines, they can still be useful.

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Action Launcher updated to v33 with 'AdaptiveZoom' app opening animation, return of the Accessibility API, and more

Action Launcher embraced adaptive icons several versions ago, and the latest update makes use of this feature in an interesting way. The new AdaptiveZoom option is an alternative to the other app opening animations included in Action Launcher. It looks pretty fancy, but this update is about more than looking good.

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[Update: Pricing] French music service Qobuz bringing 24-bit streaming audio to the US later this year

Streaming music is usually dominated by large names like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, but there are some smaller services out there. Tidal might be having a tough time recently, but it's popular among those looking for higher-quality music, and now another name is entering the US audiophile-grade streaming market. Qobuz (don't ask us how to pronounce it) is bringing its high-resolution 40-million track audio library stateside later this year. 

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[Hands-on] Facebook Messenger Kids comes to Amazon's Fire tablets

Facebook has released its new Messenger Kids app to the Amazon App Store, making the service available to owners of its Fire line of tablets. So I grabbed one of the Fire 7 tablets we have for our kids and installed the app to see what it was all about, and just how well it works on Amazon's lowest-end hardware.

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Upcoming Legal Fling app combines blockchain contracts with sex to ruin both

Having the word blockchain on your product or marketing in 2017/2018 is quickly becoming like "cloud" was in 2011, or adding a lowercase i or e to the front of a product or company name in the late 90's. What once was a useful technical term is now just another corporate tech buzzword, at most bolted on purely to attract interest. And in the midst of the recent #MeToo developments, Legal Fling has jumped in with its own blockchain-based app for securing contractually-enforceable sexual consent. Sounds hot.

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YouTube v13.01 continues development on dark mode, may enable swipe-to-skip ads, and relocates autoplay setting [APK Teardown]

YouTube just took a big version jump from v12.49 to v13.01, but you probably won't notice a lot of changes if you're just tapping around. In fact, this update appears to be pretty average for most of YouTube's releases, which usually include a couple tweaks here and there, and sometimes some interesting material for a teardown – and this update has both. You'll find a new page in the Settings screen for autoplay options, and a teardown turns up some inspiring progress on a dark mode and possibly an adjustment to the ad-skipping experience.

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Wrap up CES with 52 temporarily free and 37 on-sale apps

Hi, there! Welcome back to Android Police's app sales roundup! I've returned from CES (lots of fun) and my PC is back up and running, so I figured that it was time for me to dive back into the messy world that is Android app sales. The list today is not that bad, all things considered. Think of today as being a sign that I am getting back on the normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for these posts, which I shall try to adhere to.

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