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Pocket Casts updated with audio effects, shared playlists, and more

Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast apps on Android, and for good reason. It's fast, well-designed, has built-in backups, and has always been fast to support new Android features. In the latest update, Pocket Casts hops on the split-screen hype train, adds audio effects, and launches a new podcast sharing feature.

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[Deal Alert] Motorola offers $150 off the Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, and Moto Z Force Droid with promo code

The new Moto Z line is divisive. It's probably the best example in a limited field of new "modular" phones, consisting of only the Z variants and LG's G5... and LG already dropped the modular design for its more recent V20. But if you've been eying either the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid (or the Moto Z Force Droid with a bigger battery) or the unlocked Moto Z, the sticker shock of the phones and the Moto Mod add-ons may have been a disincentive. Now Motorola is giving a generous $150 off all of them on its web store.

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InBrief
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Cricket Wireless offering 8GB of data for $50/month, for a limited time

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Androbench updated to v5.0 with a less ugly UI and fixed Pixel benchmarks

If you need to benchmark the storage in a device, Androbench has long been the go-to way to do it. One major drawback: it was horrendously ugly. It has just been updated to v5.0, and I wouldn't say it's not ugly, but it's certainly less ugly. That's a win in my book.

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InBrief
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Google adds Stranger Things stickers to Allo

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PinOut is a modern and retro, vibrant and dark, take on Pinball from the makers of Smash Hit

You think you know pinball, right? There are hundreds of variations on the game, thousands of themed layouts to freshen up the experience, and millions of dollars in IAPs to unlock this ball or that theme or that bonus. But PinOut is different, and the first sign is that it comes from the same guys that gave us Smash Hit, Does Not Commute, Granny Smith, and other beautifully and thoughtfully designed games: Mediocre.

Unlike what their name might make you expect, Mediocre's games are fantastic and PinOut is no exception. Somehow, the game is both dark in its environment yet vibrant with its neon colors, both retro in its music and menus yet modern with its 3D graphics and layered platforms.

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Coral Blue Galaxy S7 Edge coming to Taiwan and Singapore in November

It's rare for our David Ruddock to call anything "absolutely stunning," let alone a blue and slightly orange phone of all things, but Samsung managed to extract that statement out of him when he had some hands-on with the Galaxy Note 7 (RIP). And David wasn't the only one to think that. So what's Samsung to do with this splendidly concocted color now that it can't market and sell it on the Note 7? Well, it's releasing it for its other flagship device, the Galaxy S7 Edge.

And it is a beaut. Behold.

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Mozilla announces Project Quantum, an improved rendering engine for Firefox

I'm sure many of you, like myself, use Google Chrome as your main browser. Chrome was built from scratch, with the exception of its engine (which was WebKit at the time), to be for the modern web. The internet is no longer a series of text-only pages with images, and Chrome was built with modern web applications and security in mind.

If you don't know, a rendering engine is the part of a web browser that displays content. Chrome and Opera use Blink, Safari uses WebKit, and so on. Firefox's engine, called Gecko, has been around for ages. In fact, it was originally developed for Netscape Navigator all the way back in 1997 to replace their existing rendering engine.

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Latest Nova Launcher 5.0 beta adds Pixel-style launcher app shortcuts and weather in the search bar

Launcher app shortcuts, those neat little pop-ups for compatible apps that allow quick access to deeper app functions, are currently restricted to Android 7.1 on the Pixel phones and dev previews. As for everyone else, the tireless developer of Nova Launcher has you covered. Version 5.0 still isn't up in the public Play Store, but the beta version has been adding bits and pieces of Pixel Launcher functionality. The latest update includes the much-celebrated launcher app shortcuts.

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Qualcomm to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion

Qualcomm has announced that it plans to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion USD, including debt, which will be the largest semiconductor deal ever. NXP, for those of who don't know, is a large player in the automotive, IoT, and security chips market. For reference, its chips are behind 14 of the top 15 most-popular infotainment systems. 

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