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34 temporarily free and 38 on-sale apps and games to start the week

Welcome, all, to the first app sales roundup for the week. After the gargantuan list from Friday, I'm sure most of you will be glad to hear that today's is much smaller — I certainly am. Even so, you might find something that you enjoy today.

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Pixel Shortcuts from Chris Lacy surfaces shortcuts to hidden apps, such as Digital Wellbeing

Sometimes you install an app on your phone then notice there's no direct way to launch it. This happens with launchers, which simply get triggered when you tap the Home button, and with other apps you use but don't need to access per se, such as keyboards. One newcomer in this hidden app category is Google's Digital Wellbeing, which started its beta on Android 9 Pie and hides inside your Android phone's settings menu. But what if you want to quickly access it? Now, there's an easy way to do so.

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Android Pie includes 'key rotation,' a way for developers to change app signatures

Every Android app is signed with a cryptographic signature. When the app is updated, Android will compare the signatures of the new and old versions, and only allow the update if they match. This is far more secure than having no signing method, but it's not perfect. Development teams have to share a single key, and if a key is lost, a new Play Store listing has to be created.

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Michael Kors adds new Runway designs to stylish Access collection of Wear OS watches

Fashion brands have been all over Wear OS. That includes Michael Kors, which has been selling a line of Wear OS smartwatches it calls Access for some time. Today, the designer has announced a new set of Access devices that borrow their design from Kors' established Runway watches.

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CTL Chromebox CBx1 review: A good Chrome OS desktop at a great price

Two months ago, we reviewed the Acer Chromebox CXI3. Even though the CXI3 is a fantastic Chrome OS desktop, it's somewhat expensive - the model we reviewed with a Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM costs $519.99. There's a $469.99 Core i3 version and a $289.99 Celeron model, but those are also slightly expensive given the hardware inside.

If you've been looking for a basic Chrome OS desktop, there's another option - the CTL Chromebox CBx1. CTL primarily manufactures computers for the education and government sectors, and the company has been all-in on Chromebooks for years. The Chromebox CBx1 is CTL's first Chrome OS desktop, and it starts at the low price of $219.

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Samsung announces SmartThings Wifi with Plume mesh technology and built-in SmartThings hub

You probably have a Wi-Fi router, and you might have a smart home hub of some sort as well. Why not make those devices the same thing? That's Samsung's latest router, which it calls the SmartThings Wifi. This replaces Samsung's old Home Connect router with SmartThings integration. This time, Samsung's system has Mesh networking thanks to a partnership with Plume.

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Android Auto v3.5 fixes crashing on phones with Android 9 Pie [APK Download]

Android Auto hasn't been playing nice with Android 9 Pie. There have been reports left and right of numerous bugs: missing text notifications, a disruptive buzzing sound in calls, and frequent crashes. Fortunately, the Android Auto team is aware of these issues, and reports that it's fixed at least one — Android Auto version 3.5 should solve the crashing problem.

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[Update: Now on Play Store] Poweramp v3 beta shows off a complete redesign of the classic music player

In the early days of Android, it was tough to find a good music player. Let's face facts—Android itself was pretty ugly, and developers didn't have the best tools. However, Poweramp offered a slick UI (for the time) and ample features. The app has fallen by the wayside over time, but there's a new beta build that gives Poweramp a much-needed fresh coat of paint.

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Check out what one guy did with a 360-degree camera and some steel wool

Up until today, I knew steel wool only as something used for polishing/cleaning, but it's apparently pretty good for 360-degree photos, too. The r/pics subreddit is often filled with things that would better fit some other subreddits, but this photo from /u/mohair69 is a prime example of something that belongs there.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Huawei Watch 2 Classic for $180 ($48 off) from multiple retailers

The normal Huawei Watch 2 is not all that great, but the 'Classic' variant retains the traditional timepiece design of the original model. It's a bit bulky, but it has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a recent Wear OS smartwatch. Now you can get it for $179.99, a $48 drop from the previous Amazon price and $190 off the original MSRP.

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