Google Authenticator v4.60 Is Preparing To Add Support For NFC and BLE Communication [APK Teardown]


Many of Google's apps are in extremely active development, some are even on weekly update schedules, but there are others that seem practically abandoned until they get that one random update every 6 months or so. With an average of about once per year (so far), Authenticator is easily one of the best examples of the latter group. Given the infrequency of new versions, it's a little disheartening to see that there are no discernable new features in the latest release; but it's actually worse than that, one was even taken away.

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Google Authenticator v4.60 Is Preparing To Add Support For NFC and BLE Communication [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The HTC 10 begins shipping in the US next week

For folks out there that avoided a carrier when it came to pre-ordering their HTC 10 in the United States, you’re about to start seeing some shipping confirmations in your inboxes.

Thanks to Jeff Gordon, HTC’s Senior Global Online Communications Manager, we’ve now got a clear expectation for HTC 10 shipments in the United States. Replying to a tweet, Gordon said that shipments begin next week for the company’s newest flagship. That would line up quite nicely with the HTC 10 pre-order page, which states that shipments will begin in “early May.”

On top of that, there’s good news for those in the United Kingdom that went with the unlocked device, as Gordon also confirmed that UK shipments will begin in early May as well.

Good news all around! Verizon and Sprint also shared their own launch details earlier today, so now we’re just waiting for T-Mobile to get around to announcing some more good news.

Did you order an HTC 10?

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AT&T HTC One M8 and M9 Marshmallow updates delayed

While the other three major US carriers have released the Marshmallow update for the HTC One M8 and HTC One M9, AT&T has been lagging behind. And unfortunately, there’s now been another delay. 

HTC VP of Product Management Mo Versi announced on Twitter that the Marshmallow updates for both AT&T-branded devices has been delayed. Fortunately, it’s nothing big, as HTC is hoping that they will gain approval in the next few weeks. 

Hold tight, because the updates will come. It’s just a shame it’s taking so long. 

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Samsung announces AT&T Galaxy S6 Marshmallow rollout

Samsung has announced that the AT&T version of the Galaxy S6 is getting the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update as early as yesterday. Unfortunately, AT&T hasn’t posted any information on this so far, so Samsung may be wrong.

If Samsung is correct, owners of the AT&T Galaxy S6 will be getting the latest version of Android which features Doze mode for better battery life, customizable permissions for better security, new volume controls, Google Now on Tap, and many improvements to make the device faster and smoother.

There’s no info on the AT&T Galaxy S6 edge or Galaxy S6 active updates, but they shouldn’t take much longer. If you own the AT&T Galaxy S6, head to Settings > About device > Software update and check for your update. Let us know if you see it!

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Google Fiber users get app to manage account and network

For the lucky few that have Google Fiber, Google has released an app to the Play Store to manage your account and check on your Fiber network.

It features controls for your network box and WiFi network as well as another method to pay your Fiber bill. It’s a great way to manage your Google Fiber subscription should you have one. And if you need help, it also has a help section.

If you want to give it a shot, hit the source link and download it. That is, if you have Google Fiber… which most of us don’t. Thanks for the reminder.

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Google Translate turns ten years old

For anyone needing to use a language they don’t know, Google Translate has been the go-to service to translate native language to foreign. The service has now turned ten, and over those ten years the evolution has been absolutely amazing.

The service started with two languages and now supports 103. It has 500 million users translating over 100 billion words a day, and amazingly, 92% of translations come from outside of the US.

The amount of improvement over the last ten years is staggering. Not only have new features like live translations been added, but the translations themselves have become a lot more natural and accurate. Russian translations used to be awful, but they’ve come a long way.

Happy tenth birthday to Google Translate, and let’s hope there are many more.

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Microsoft Outlook For Android Adds Wunderlist, Facebook, And Evernote To Supported Calendar Providers


In its quest for world domination adequacy, Microsoft has an Android variant of their well-known Outlook email client. In fact, it's a decent app. Among other things, it has a built-in calendar. However, unlike some other calendar clients—like Microsoft-owned Sunrise—you cannot have events from places like Wunderlist in your Outlook calendar. With its latest update, though, Outlook now supports "calendar apps," which is just a not-that-fancy name for third party services that it can add to your calendar.

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Microsoft Outlook For Android Adds Wunderlist, Facebook, And Evernote To Supported Calendar Providers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Translate Turns 10 Years Old


One of Google's services had a birthday yesterday. Translate, the company's tool for translating words from one language to another, first launched on April 28th, 2006.

I was in high school back then. Typing words into a browser wasn't accurate enough to eliminate the need to learn a new language and all its nuances, but it helped me get through class.

A decade has passed since Google graced the world with Translate.

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Google Translate Turns 10 Years Old was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Releases Fiber App For Managing Accounts, Configuring Wi-Fi, Checking Speeds, And More


Account management apps aren't the most exciting pieces of software. Reading about one is liable to be even less interesting when you can't even get the service in your area. I understand. Having to write about Google Fiber when I can't get it doesn't feel much better.

But those of you in Fiber cities deserve coverage too. And I'll be honest, I do prefer this to writing about more programs that are only available in San Francisco.

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Google Releases Fiber App For Managing Accounts, Configuring Wi-Fi, Checking Speeds, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Apple Music Updated With Music Videos And Family Plan Signup On Android

apple music

Slowly but surely, Apple Music is starting to treat Android like a first-class platform. The most recent update to the app adds support for music videos and family plan signups. Yes, it's odd that both of those were exclusive to Apple's platform until now.

The last update in February added SD card download support, but the addition of music videos is arguably more important. This is an entire category of content that wasn't supported on Android, even though Android users were paying the same $9.99 per month as Apple users.

Read More

Apple Music Updated With Music Videos And Family Plan Signup On Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Snapseed, Chipotle

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we’re going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we’ll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

Snapseed - Version 2.4.0


What’s new in this version:

  • Histogram: Improved precision
  • Details: Add negative Structure to smooth micro contrasts
  • Style selector: Automatically scrolls to the next position
  • Accessibility: Improved parameter selector and on-image controls


Chase Mobile - Version 3.27.0

Chase Mobile

What’s new in this version:

  • Use fingerprint sign in to log in. Your device must use Android OS v6.0 (Marshmallow) or higher. Certain features will still require that you enter your password.


Pocket Agent - Version 5.9.0

Pocket Agent

What’s new in this version:

  • Fingerprint login is here! If you’re an Android 6.0 user you now have the option to log in using your fingerprint. Fingerprint technology varies by manufacturer, so this feature may not be available for all devices.


Haystack TV - Version 2.0.0

Haystack TV

What’s new in this version:

  • A brand new user interface that allows to watch and browse at the same time
  • Live channel integration. Watch Haystack TV channels directly from your program guide
  • Settings to turn auto full screen on/off
  • Lots of bug fixes!


Microsoft Office Lens - Version 16.0.6920

Office Lens

What’s new in this version:

  •  Handwritten text OCR – Scan handwritten text in English and export it to OneNote, where you can search for it like normal text.
  • Business Card mode – Scan business cards in Simplified Chinese and extract contact information.
  • Rotation – Rotate photos.


Mozilla Firefox - Version 46.0.0

Firefox Browser

What’s new in this version:

  • Notifications about tabs opened in the background now list the URLs
  • Top Sites panel now lists popular sites by default
  • Previously cached pages will be displayed when offline
  • Firefox will request permissions at runtime instead of installation time (Android 6.0+)


Project Fi - Version I.2.1.18

Project Fi by Google

What’s new in this version:

  • Easily keep track of your data usage right from your home screen. Just long press an empty space on the home screen, navigate to “Widgets”, and scroll to Project Fi’s data usage widget to add.
  • You can now easily enable/disable call forwarding with a simple on/off toggle in the app.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements.


Chipotle - Version 2.5.1


What’s new in this version:

  • Fingerprint Support – Protect your account and purchases with a passcode and fingerprint.
  • Quicker Checkout – Pay with a card and get your Chipotle fix with one less button to tap.
  • Scan your Card – Use your camera to add a card to your account.


Microsoft Powerpoint - Version 16.0.6828

Microsoft PowerPoint

What’s new in this version:

  • Superscript and subscript: Format your text with superscript and subscript.
  • Create columns of text: Split a block of text into easy-to-read columns.
  • Commands at your fingertips: Edit with speed! Have quick access to commands that make sense in the moment.


Microsoft Word - Version 16.0.6828

Microsoft Word

What’s new in this version:

  • Tables built for touch: Working with tables got easier! Touch controls let you insert and resize rows and columns.
  • Commands at your fingertips: Edit with speed! Have quick access to commands that make sense in the moment.


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The HTC 10 Is Now Available Through Bell

HTC 10 Silver

After a couple of rather lacklustre flagship devices, HTC came storming back this year with the HTC 10.  Reviews around the web have been positive and it seems that HTC may be on track to reclaim some of their former glory.

Well if you want get your paws on HTC’s latest and greatest you now can as Bell has officially released the HTC 10 today.  The price is pretty high though, at $350 on contract, but the outright price is $100 cheaper than what HTC is charging.  Keep in mind though that if you buy through Bell the device will be carrier locked so you’ll need to purchase an unlock code.

Any of you guys picking up the HTC 10 today??


The post The HTC 10 Is Now Available Through Bell appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Sprint, Verizon announce HTC 10 availability

The HTC 10 is the company’s flagship device for 2016, and while it’s certainly made some changes over past iterations, the final verdict from customers won’t be in until it makes its way into the market. Fortunately, the device is now beginning to launch around the globe, and today brings in availability info from both Sprint and Verizon. Let’s delve in and see what we’re looking at.

Verizon has already put the device up for pre-order, so we’ll begin with them. Interested Verizon customers can now pre-order the HTC 10 for $648 full retail price. If you buy it on a 24-month payment plan, however, you can save some money. Each month you’ll pay $22.83, which, over 24 months, adds up to just $548, knocking $100 off of the price if you stick with the phone for two years.

Sprint doesn’t have pre-orders open just yet, but has announced that the HTC 10 will go up for sale on May 13. It will be available for purchase online, over the phone, and in Sprint stores across the US. Pricing for the Sprint model is set at $26/month for 24 months, which adds up to $624.

We’re still waiting on word from T-Mobile as to when it will begin carrying the device. If you’re simply looking for an unlocked model, you can pre-order that directly from HTC for $699.

Sources: Verizon, Sprint

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HTC Mother’s Day sale offers discounts on One A9, One M9

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and the manufacturers are starting to open up all of their sales for the holiday. Currently up to the plate is HTC, which is offering discounts on two of its smartphones. First up in the sale is the HTC One M9, last year’s flagship smartphone from HTC. The Pink variant of the unlocked One M9 is on sale for just $399, a hefty cut from its regular price of $649.

Also included in the sale is the Deep Garnet color variant of the HTC One A9. Both the unlocked and Sprint models of this phone are on sale for $389, down from a regular price of $499.

Both phones would make a fantastic gift for Mother’s Day. They may not be quite at the current flagship level, but both phones are very respectable and should more than satisfy the needs of most folks. And hey, even though each device is only available in one color option, at least they’re festive.

Check out the sales for yourself at the source link down below. Drop a comment if you decide to take advantage of the offer.

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Microsoft Updates Office Apps With 'Quick Access Commands' And Other Usability Features


While Google continues to improve the Drive suite experience on Android, Microsoft is making headway with Office on Android. All three apps (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, in case you need a reminder) have gotten updates, adding features and improving editing tools on touchscreens.


Word has two major new or improved features in this release. The first is a better experience when inserting a table into a document. Before, configuring a table was a finicky and fiddly mess, equivalent to painting a tiny model soldier with pins and needles in your hands.

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Microsoft Updates Office Apps With 'Quick Access Commands' And Other Usability Features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Is Testing Google Trips: New Travel Assistant App


It's common knowledge that Google has been working on a travel application for some time now. Last week, Maps Explorers were emailed and asked to complete a short survey for a chance to test it before everyone else. Now we know what this app is called, and what it does. Meet Google Trips.

Details are a little thin on the ground. After all, it hasn't been officially announced by Google. But that still hasn't stopped screenshots finding their way into the awaiting arms of the tech press.

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Google Is Testing Google Trips: New Travel Assistant App was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Discounts Nexus 5X And 6P By $50 In Canada, Sale Ends May 6th


What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to gift your own mom Google’s Nexus 5X or 6P.

The Nexus 5X will now cost you $389 for the 16GB and $449 for the 32GB model. As for the Nexus 6P, the price comes down to $649/$699/$799 for the 32/64/128GB models. The discount is applied only when you checkout and if you’ve purchased either within a 15-day period, Google will reimburse you with the discounted price.

The sale ends May 6th.

[Google Store]

The post Google Discounts Nexus 5X And 6P By $50 In Canada, Sale Ends May 6th appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Motorola facing $5 million class action lawsuit over bad warranty service

Motorola’s warranty has been talked about for quite a while in the Motorola community lately, and in a negative way. With so many first gen Moto 360 owners facing the issue of a cracked back, warranty has been an important part of owning a Moto product.

Unfortunately, it seems Motorola has been failing to provide good customer service. The company isn’t denying warranty, but what it does is arguably a lot worse. The owner sends in the device, and often doesn’t see a replacement for months. Either that, or they receive the wrong model back (multiple times even).

Motorola claims that there are shortages of the device in the repair warehouses, but leaving someone without a device for months is unacceptable. Now a $5 million class action lawsuit has been brought against the company due to all of these warranty issues.

As the owner of a first gen Moto 360 that was warrantied once (and it took over a month to get my watch back) and just had the back crack again out of warranty, I feel the pain of others scorned by Motorola. Have any of you had issues with Motorola? Leave a comment!

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Google OnHub routers updated with IFTTT support

Google’s OnHub routers are constantly being updated with new features and bug fixes. They’ve gotten significantly better since their release, and as the owner of one, I’ve quite enjoyed the changes.

The latest change is geared more towards the power users, which is great to see as the routers are a bit limited for power users. IFTTT support is now included with the router, so once you sign up for IFTTT, you can head to the OnHub channel and get started tinkering!

IFTTT is a service that allows you to make basic “recipes” that trigger commands based on things happening. For example, you can make it send you an email if a certain device connects to the router, or turn on the lights when your own phone connects to WiFi.

There are plenty more applications, so check out the video below for info and ideas!

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BBM for Android gets beta video chat

BBM for Android is a chat service brought over from the BlackBerry OS of the past, even more important now that the company has its own Android device on the market. And with the latest update, a beta version of video chat is now available.

The video chat feature is intended to work between iOS and Android users, though it’s currently not available for iOS. It’s a beta feature in the app, but requires no special sign ups to use. Just press the call button, and you’ll be able to use the video call feature if the other person’s app supports it.

The feature only works in the US and Canada right now. iOS should get the beta sometime soon and the official rollout will come in July. Give it a shot and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Google Trips app screenshots shown off

We recently heard about Google asking for testers for a new travel app, and now we get to take a look at it. The app is called Google Trips and it’s all about trip planning and information.

The test participants who were chosen had to have had an upcoming trip to try the app on, and the app populates itself based on emails from your Gmail. Inside the app you’ll be able to view info on reservations, local transportation, local attractions, and more.

The app also works offline, which is great news for those who don’t insist on buying cell service on an unlocked phone when they go abroad.

Google is currently looking for feedback, so if you have the app, you should definitely tell Google what you think. It’s far from finished and we don’t know when it’ll be officially released, but it’s looking pretty useful. What do you guys think of it?

Google Trips screenshot 1 Google Trips screenshot 2 Google Trips screenshot 3 Google Trips screenshot 4 Google Trips screenshot 5 Google Trips screenshot 6 Google Trips screenshot 7 Google Trips screenshot 8
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Images Of Two New Android Powered Blackberry’s Surface

Blackberry Hamburg and Rome

Blackberry’s foray into the Android world was, well, decent.  They didn’t bomb, but they didn’t win the world over either.  While their first Android handset, the Priv, looked good and worked quite well, the price tag was extremely high.  Well a new pair of Android powered Blackberry’s have surfaced and they are expected to carry a much lower price tag.

What you see above is a leaked image of Blackberry’s upcoming duo, currently referred to as the Rome and Hamburg.  As you can see, one of the devices, the Rome, will feature a physical keyboard and is expected to utilize a dual curved display like the Priv.  The other device, the Hamburg, is your more typical smartphone with just a screen dominating the front side.

As mentioned, these two devices are expected to carry a much lower price tag than the Priv.  Current expectations are that they’ll come in around $400, which is a pretty reasonable price assuming these pack some punch on the spec sheet.  I’m sure more specs will begin to surface now that these photos are out there.  In the mean time, enjoy these other leaked images of Blackberry’s upcoming duo.

Blackberry Hamburg Leak - 1 Blackberry Hamburg Leak - 2 Blackberry Rome Leak -


The post Images Of Two New Android Powered Blackberry’s Surface appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Apple Music updated to support music videos

Apple Music launched for Android not too long ago, and since then Apple has been periodically updating the app and improving it. Back in February, for instance, Apple Music gave Android users the ability to download music to an SD card for offline listening. And in March, Apple Music finally added support for a widget. Now, Apple Music has been updated again, bumping the version number to 0.9.8 and adding a couple of noteworthy features.

First is the ability for Android users to finally access the service’s growing library of videos. Android users can search for a specific video, or they can find options that include new and popular music videos in the “New” section.

In addition to that, Android users can now sign up for the Apple Music family membership from within the app. That will run you $14.99 for six users, compared to the $9.99 for an individual account.

Version 0.9.8 of Apple Music is available now. Are you using the service, or is there another that you use for streaming music?

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Chrome Dev v52 Is Rolling Out With Our First Look At The New 'Herb' Tab Management [APK Download]

nexus2cee_ChromeDev_thumb.pngGoogle has nearly completed the process of removing the merged apps/tabs option from Chrome after the option was pulled from the recent beta build. But what comes next? The Chromium bug tracker hinted at a new feature called Herb in Chrome v52, and indeed, there are several flavors of Herb in the new dev update.

The flavors of Herb are actually named after herbs, because that's how Google is. You'll have to grab the app from APK Mirror and access the flag to play around with Herb.

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Chrome Dev v52 Is Rolling Out With Our First Look At The New 'Herb' Tab Management [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Enhancing App Security on Google Play

Posted by Eric Davis, Android Security Team

We’re constantly investing in new tools and services to help developers build secure Android applications. This includes the application sandbox and Security APIs in the platform, Security APIs in Google Play Services, and even open source testing tools. Last year, Google Play also helped developers enhance the security of their applications by looking directly at the code they’ve written and offering suggestions for improvements.

The Google Play App Security Improvement Program is the first of its kind. It has two core components: We provide developers with security tips to help them build more secure apps, and we help developers identify potential security enhancements when uploaded to Google Play. This week, to help educate developers, Kristian Monsen, one of our engineers, gave a presentation about security best practices at the Samsung Developer Conference. And in 2015, we worked with developers to improve the security of over 100,000 apps through the program.

How it works

Before any app is accepted into Google Play, it is scanned for safety and security, including potential security issues. We also continuously re-scan the over one million apps in Google Play for additional threats.

If your app is flagged for a potential security issue, you will be notified immediately to help you quickly address the issue and help keep your users safe. We’ll deliver alerts to you using both email and the Google Play Developer Console, with links to a support page with details about how to improve the app.

Typically, these notifications will include a timeline for delivering the improvement to users as quickly as possible. Applications may be required to make security improvements before any other app updates can be be published.

You can confirm that you’ve fully addressed the issue by uploading the new version of your app to the Google Play Developer Console. Be sure to increment the version number of the fixed app. After a few hours, check the Developer Console for the security alert; if it’s no longer there, you’re all set!

The success of this program rests on our partnership with you—the developers of apps on Google Play—and the security community. We’re all responsible for providing safe, secure apps to our users. For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google Play Developer Help Center. To report potential security issues in apps, please reach out to us at

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BBM Video Now Available As A Public Beta In The US And Canada


When it comes to Android, BlackBerry has the PRIV, and it also has BBM. The messaging app received an update last month that added support for Marshmallow permissions and removed privacy features from behind a paywall. Now users in the US and Canada have the option to start streaming video.

BBM Video is currently only in beta, but it's an open one. There's no sign-up required.

To use the feature, tap the video icon to initiate a call.

Read More

BBM Video Now Available As A Public Beta In The US And Canada was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Thursday App And Game Sales: Servers Ultimate Pro, A Ton Of Tin Man Games Titles, And More


We all want good apps and games, but oh, the cost! You can and should spend your hard-earned money to support developers, but maybe you don't have to spend so much. That's what sales are for, and we've got some good ones listed below.


Servers Ultimate Pro: $4.49 from $8.99

Framelapse Pro: $0.99 from $1.99

My Game Collection: $0.99 from $3.49

Fitness Point Pro: $1.99 from $4.99


Evoland: $0.99 from $4.99

Mechanic Escape: $0.99 from $2.99

Zombie City Defense: $0.99 from $2.49

Puddle +: $0.99 from $2.99

SUBURBIA City Building Game: $0.99 from $2.99

Heroes of Steel RPG Elite: $1.99 from $3.99

Lifeline: $0.10 from $0.99

Lifeline 2: $0.10 from $0.99

Lifeline: Silent Night: $0.10 from $0.99

Battlestation: Harbinger: $1.99 from $3.99

Star Knight: $0.99 from $2.66

LEGO Star Wars: TCS: $0.99 from $6.99

Star Wars Pinball 4: $0.10 from $1.99

Star Wars: KOTOR: $2.99 from $9.99

Blood of the Zombies: $0.99 from $4.99

GA 1: An Assassin in Orlandes: $0.99 from $1.98

Caverns of the Snow Witch: $0.99 from $1.99

Bloodbones: $0.99 from $1.99

Island of the Lizard King: $0.99 from $1.98

House Of Hell: $0.99 from $1.98

Infinite Universe: $0.99 from $5.99

Trial of the Clone: $0.99 from $5.99

The Forgotten Spell: $0.99 from $5.99

The Forest of Doom: $0.99 from $1.98

Starship Traveller: $0.99 from $1.98

Read More

Thursday App And Game Sales: Servers Ultimate Pro, A Ton Of Tin Man Games Titles, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Fenix Returns To The Play Store After Developer And Twitter Apparently Reach Agreement To Allow More Users

Screenshot from 2016-04-28 16-05-09

Fenix disappeared from the Play Store on Monday. You've heard the story before. Popular Twitter client reaches 100,000 users and goes away. If you aren't familiar with the song and dance, here's how it went down this time around.

Except, it turns out, there's a happy ending.

Fenix is back. You can go to its Play Store page, purchase the app, and sign in as a new user.

Read More

Fenix Returns To The Play Store After Developer And Twitter Apparently Reach Agreement To Allow More Users was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rick Osterloh, former Motorola CEO, is now heading up Google’s hardware division

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a whole series of shake-ups involving Motorola, Lenovo and Google. Now there’s another piece at play. Just weeks after leaving Lenovo, former Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh is headed to Google as a new Senior Vice President who is tasked with leading Google’s new hardware division. Osterloh previously worked for Google when the company owned Motorola, but stayed with Motorola when it was purchased by Lenovo. Now, he is headed back to Google after Lenovo restructured its leadership positions and Osterloh left the company.

As head of hardware at Google, Osterloh will oversee a number of different divisions. These include Nexus devices, Google’s Chromecast products, consumer hardware including Chromebooks and the Pixel C tablet, OnHub wireless router, Google Glass and ATAP, which is Google’s experimental team that handles devices such as Project Ara, Google’s modular phone.

Osterloh has been highly praised for his work at Motorola and it’s no surprise that he’s being given far more responsibility at Google now than he previously had. The move comes amid a concentrated effort at Google to streamline and unify the company’s various hardware projects. Google has had its share of struggles with hardware in the past, relying on numerous partnerships with manufacturers for products and occasionally facing major product flops, such as the Nexus Q. With Osterloh as the new head of hardware, we should see improvement.

What’s your reaction this latest move at Google? Will it improve the company’s hardware efforts?

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WaterField SleeveCase for Microsoft Surface Pro 4 / Surface Book review

I decided to start the Microsoft Surface devices reviews series with a thing I spent the most time looking for - a case. Getting a proper protection for such an expensive device like Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book is fundamental. Not only to avoid some serious damage (both devices are rather unrepairable), but also to keep these shiny gadgets in a good visual condition.

It's not a secret that portability always comes in pair with a potential risk of having some unexpected scratches, caused by permanent moving the device, pulling it out of the bag, using it outdoor (train, bus, car) or simply travelling with it.

When I was looking for a perfect case for my Surface Pro 4 I had two crucial requirements in mind:

1. It has to be thick, soft but also handy.
2. It can't have a potentially risky elements.

What exactly does it mean? Thick for outside impacts protection, soft to avoid unexpected scratches when inserting and removing the device from the case, and handy to be able to pack in inside the business bag.

Risky elements are all kind of zippers (it might damage the delicate aluminium body if the device in a case fell to the ground from the side of the zipper) or buttons (the same reason as above).

The most popular case (but not a sleeve case) up to date is the Urban Armor Gear Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Case. How comes? I don't know. I would never buy such a hard and ugly shell for a gadget that took first place in every contest of its category - and one of the winning key was always the spectacular design.

The rest of the competition in this category has either zippers, they are too thin, ugly or simply too ordinary and not very original in terms of the design.

Loosing my hope to find this "something" I had pictured in my mind, I found a company located in San Francisco - WaterField Designs. What attracted my attention in a first place was an unusual design of their products. Luckily it took me only few seconds to find a dedicated Surface Pro 4 cases on their site. Looking closely at all the pictures and a short video, I concluded that's the product I was looking for.

Before making the final decision I spent some time chatting with Heidi from WaterField Designs team - an extremely kind and helpful person, who explained to me the differences between 2 models I was confused about - SleeveCase and Dash Sleeve. I ended up with the SleeveCase model as the one that can ensure a better protection for the device when travelling. International shipping took a while, but it was so worth to wait!

Design and material

What makes this case even greater, is that you can choose between two completely different finish materials - black ballistic nylon with perforated nylon trim or tan waxed canvas with grizzly leather trim. I went for the second one, as it perfectly fits the leather business bag I own. Also, you can choose between two different case orientation - horizontal or vertical.
Ballistic Nylon Shell material
Tan Waxed Canvas material
The tan waxed canvas material is very soft in touch and it just feels great. I doesn't feel like some cheap material. Actually, it feels a little bit like a luxury alcantara material. It's definitely something unique and uncommon for such type of products. The size of the case if perfectly fitted for the Surface Pro 4 naked or with Type Cover keyboard. At the top there's a lightly padded flap with a Velcro closing system. Even if the shape of the case is rather simple, the overall design is fantastic!


Apart from the finish material and orientation, you can choose if you'd like additional strap for the case. The selection is between none, d-rings only or full suspension strap. I believe it's worth to have these suspension strap, as it might be very useful for people who won't travel with an extra bag. But again - leaving this decision to customers elevates the product flexibility and guarantees being one more extra step ahead the competition, where the colour option is the only option you have, most of the time.
Ballistic Nylon Shell with an extra suspension strap
At the back of the case you'll find a little pocket, but I wouldn't recommend carrying there some hard stuff. Keep in mind the back of the Surface Pro 4 is very delicate and you might easily deform it with a pressure even from a hard object.

Although the protection inside the SleeveCase if very good due to the very thick and soft material, remember that in case of a sudden hit from the outside, some hard object inside this back pocket might leave a deformation mark on the back of the Surface Pro 4. It's still a sleeve case after all, but using it wisely gives as good protection as any type of a hard shell, unless you're going to use it at war.

Back pocket, better for some documents instead of a hard items
Final thoughts

With no doubts, Surface Pro 4 SleeveCase made by WaterFiled Designs is a unique product. The design and build quality are all top notch, plus you have a variety of options to go for (material and colour, orientation, straps). Apart from being very good looking case, it very well protects the device inside. The soft interior finish guarantees no scratches on the back of the device. It looks greats, it feels great, and it works great. Totally worth the price.

For me, the best in its category. I can't say much about the durability yet, but I believe there won't be surprises.


Surface Pro 3 or Surface Book owner? Worry not! You can choose the size of the case dedicated either for Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book.

Overall score: 10/10


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