HBO joins the VR craze with an 'unreleased' Daydream version of HBO GO

hbo goSo far the focus in the new wave of headset-based virtual reality content seems to be video games, simulations, 360-degree videos and the like, but as it turns out, conventional 2D video content is easy to adapt into an immersive (if not groundbreaking) experience. Google itself offers all the content on YouTube in Daydream flavor, and now HBO is following suit. The premium cable channel has published a Daydream-compatible version of its online component, HBO GO, in the Play Store as an unreleased app.

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HBO joins the VR craze with an 'unreleased' Daydream version of HBO GO was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Netflix adds offline playback for TV shows and movies

Netflix has been rumored to be launching offline playback for quite awhile now, and today the company finally made it a reality.

Netflix has announced that offline playback is available for its customers for Android and iOS on any streaming plan. There is a brand new download button that will pop up on content that’s available to download so that you can avoid consuming data on road trips or prepare a movie for a long airplane ride. That includes TV shows as well as movies and documentaries.

As it stands, Netflix’s available content for offline viewing is pretty limited, but they will be expanding availability from here on out. Netflix’s first-party shows and movies are available for offline viewing right out of the gate, but there are also some third-party options as well.

It’s a start, at least.

If you want to see what’s available to download, you can select a new option within the updated Netflix app for “Available for Download.” That’ll give you a list of options.

Are you excited for offline viewing in Netflix?


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Hangouts v15 adds GIF keyboard support on Android 7.1 [APK Download]

hangouts

Has your meme game been suffering while you wait for Hangouts to add GIF keyboard support? Wait no longer, version 15 enables support for this quirky feature. No longer will you be stuck searching out images on the web and using archaic methods like sharing to get them into Hangouts – unless you're still using Android 7.0 or below, like more than 99% of users. If that's the case, this version appears to bring a few bug fixes and labeling tweaks, but not much else.

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Hangouts v15 adds GIF keyboard support on Android 7.1 [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Learn tips from Memrise to increase in-app conversions with pricing experiments

Posted by Tamzin Taylor, Partner Development Manager at Google Play, & Kristina Narusk, Head of Production at Memrise

Getting people to install your app is one thing, getting them to sign up to your paid offering is quite another. It's important to understand the complete journey your users take from installing your app to paying for something. Once you do, you can experiment on the flow to try and increase conversions. Memrise has found great success in experimenting on their language learning app to increase the number of paying users.

Four experiments Memrise use to improve conversions

Memrise makes languages fun with a number of different learning modes you can play to help increase your vocabulary in a chosen language. You can download the app for free and play some of the modes or take advantage of their premium subscription offering called 'Memrise Pro' which offers new game modes and additional features like offline learning. Memrise recently ran a number of conversion experiments with the main objective of increasing the Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). These experiments tested multiple user experience and pricing experiment scenarios.

1. A/B test how messaging different user benefits can impact conversion

What they did: Memrise wanted to know what motivation and call to action would convert the most users to buy a Pro subscription from a locked game mode in the app. To do this, they ran an A/B test with two similar designs, featuring different reasons for the user to upgrade, and compared the results to their original upgrade messaging.



Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 15.26.00.png
Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 15.25.34.png
Test A: Focus on ‘difficult’ words with an orange background.
Test B: Focus on ‘favorite’ words with a pink background.

Results: Test A performed the best. Conversion to Pro in Test A was 28% higher than in Test B. Pro mode usage was subsequently 9.7% higher in Test A compared to Test B too.

Next steps: After seeing how test A won the experiment, Memrise applied this creative across the board. Subscribers driven by that particular mode increased as a percentage of all subscriptions in the app by 16%. Memrise plans to run additional A/B tests at others points of conversion in the app to see if they can increase the results even further. They'll also try different text for the call to actions.

2. Test whether adapting to local price points results in sustainable uplift

In 2015, Google Play launched new minimum local price levels in countries around the world. To take advantage of the new price points, Memrise tested lowering localised prices in certain markets to better match purchasing power. Prices were an average of 6 times lower during this experiment.

Results: After 30 days, Memrise saw the following changes in conversions to paid users:



๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท
Turkey
180%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
Brazil
182%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ
Russia
99%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
Mexico
115%
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ
India
5.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Indonesia
152%
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท
South Korea
120%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ
Thailand
70%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ
Malaysia
27%

Next steps: The change in price affected the subscription dynamics with more users taking advantage of Memrise's in-app discounted offer in most countries. The offer was for annual subscribers only and has led to a positive effect on LTV. One insight from the experiment was that Indian users prefered to have the option to subscribe in weekly or monthly increments and not just annually. Memrise is still tracking carefully to see whether the discounted subscription pricing will lead to an increase in conversions.

3. Test when and how often you offer free trials to see if that affects conversion rate

Memrise occasionally offers users, who aren't Pro subscribers, a free trial of one of the Pro game modes while cycling through the various free modes. After the free trial session, users are presented with an offer to subscribe. Memrise experimented with the offer's timing making it appear more frequently while users were cycling through normal free sessions Instead of after every 49th session, users saw the unlocked mode after every 21st session.



Screenshot_unlocked.png
Screenshot_unclocked_offer.png
An example of a free trial of a Pro mode.
After completing a free trial, users see a discounted subscription offer.

Results: Offering a free trial more frequently paid off. The conversion rate increased by 50% while all other conversion rates remained the same.

Next steps: Memrise maintained the more frequent offer cadence and has seen revenue growth as a result.

4. Test whether seasonal discounts result in more conversions Memrise launched a 'Back to School' campaign presenting all users with a discounted annual plan offer for a week in September 2016. The aim was to convert more users and generate higher value users from annual subscription plans.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 16.03.14.png

Results: Memrise saw two effects from the seasonal offer. As a result of only presenting an annual period and removing weekly and monthly, 20% fewer users per day converted to Pro. However, because more people were taking an annual subscription than a shorter subscription, the average revenue per day increased by 32% justifying the change.

Next steps: Memrise plans to test different offers in the future with a combination of subscription offerings. They'll also focus offers in countries like Turkey and Mexico, where they saw the biggest increase in conversions.

Keep experimenting and take advantage of new features to improve the user experience and increase conversions

At Playtime San Francisco, we announced that introductory pricing for subscriptions would be coming soon and the feature is now live. By continually testing messaging, pricing, offers, and free trials or discounted trials, you could increase the conversions in your app and your ongoing revenue just like Memrise. Learn more about Google Play in-app billing subscriptions and get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date with features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

 BBC Earth Colouring

BBC Earth Colouring

Description: BBC Earth Colouring is released to coincide with the global launch of PLANET EARTH II – the latest Attenborough-narrated wildlife documentary epic from the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Free to download, the app features packs of 12 intricate line drawings based on iconic shots from the new inspirational series – the first picture in each pack is free, with the remainder available as an in-app purchase.

 

Online Console Compiler(Beta)

Online Console Compiler(Beta)

DescriptionOnline Console Compiler (Beta) helps you to compile and run programs on your smart phone for more than 15+ programming languages.

 

Samsung Smart UX Mobile

Samsung Smart UX Mobile

DescriptionThe Smart UX Mobile app enables you to operate Samsung multifunction printers from Android mobile devices. Print, scan or send faxes wirelessly from your Android phone, tablet, or any other supported Android device.

 

WB Movies All Access

WB Movies All Access

DescriptionDigital Movie watching just got better! WB Movies All Access is whole new way to watch movies. Experience synced features. Get exclusive content. Discover scene locations. Share clips with friends.

 

DRIVETRIBE

DRIVETRIBE

DescriptionDRIVETRIBE has gathered thousands of the motoring world’s best-loved writers, racers, photographers and filmmakers. Whether it’s watching nerve-jangling drives along alpine roads, seeing classic Ferraris pushed to their absolute limit, catching some midnight drifting in Okinawa or learning about electric motorcycles, it’s all here on DRIVETRIBE besides much, much more.

 

Clip Layer

Clip Layer

DescriptionClip Layer, a Microsoft Garage Project, can be launched over any screen so you can select, copy, and act on snippets you care about in simple series of taps. After selecting a snippet, copy it to clipboard, add it to Wunderlist to have it accessible across different devices, email it, or share it to any other app installed on your phone.

 

Xperia™ Ear

Xperiaโ„ข Ear

Description Xperia™ Ear is a next-generation wireless ear-piece for a convenient hands-free/eye-free experience. Managing your day has never been easier with Xperia™ Ear there to assist you.

 

DJI GO 4

DJI GO 4

DescriptionCapture the world from above. DJI GO 4.0 has been optimized for all of DJI’s latest products. These include the Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, and Inspire 2. It provides near real-time image transmission and camera settings adjustment, as well as editing and sharing of aerial imagery.

 

Shop Samsung

Shop Samsung

DescriptionDiscover new and featured products, shop easily by category, or find our best gifts in the Holiday Gift Guide. You can also redeem offers, receive notifications the minute your order ships, add items to your wishlist and purchase faster with checkout that remembers you. 

 

See It Buy It – Shop by Photo

See It Buy It

DescriptionSee It Buy It (SiBi) turns online fashion shopping upside down by removing two of the biggest hurdles to finding the clothing, shoes and accessories that you are interested in – text input and limited selections. With See It Buy It you discover apparel the same way you do when you shop for fashion in a mall – visually. 

 


Android Match

Netflix is finally allowing users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing

netflix

If there's one feature that people have been clamoring for Netflix to add more than any other, it's offline viewing. It seems like the lords of Netflix have finally heard our prayers, as Netflix has just added the option to download and watch content without an Internet connection.

screenshot_20161130-095917 screenshot_20161130-095958 screenshot_20161130-100022 screenshot_20161130-095945

This long-awaited option is rolling out now. I've already received the update on my Nexus 6P (no, not a Pixel XL) and the experience seems to be pretty solid.

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Netflix is finally allowing users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Docs update adds GIF insertion to documents, not yet live on the Play Store

docshero

While not as fully featured as Microsoft Word, the Google Docs Android app is good for quick and easy document editing, if you use the Docs cloud storage. Google's adding one feature in the version 1.6.442.22: GIF insertion into documents.

Sadly, this doesn't seem to be live in the Docs update that was released yesterday. But it seems like the way this will work will be through the 'Insert' menu on the app bar at the top.

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Google Docs update adds GIF insertion to documents, not yet live on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Sony releases PlayStation Communities, an easier way to find friends to game with

pschero

The PlayStation Network is generally pretty good, but nothing's perfect, so today Sony is releasing a brand new app that takes the Communities feature of PSN and puts it in an app for Android (and iOS). This makes it a bit easier to find friends and people who have similar interests, which I've found found PSN lacks in the past. This goes hand-in-hand with the PlayStation app, which is an entirely separate thing for some reason.

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Sony releases PlayStation Communities, an easier way to find friends to game with was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Canary home security app adds Android Wear and tablet support

canary-android-wear

I recently reviewed Canary's home security and connected camera system and was pleasantly impressed by most of its features, especially the auto-arm/disarm based on geofence. Now the Canary app is receiving an update to add a couple of interesting features for Android users.

First up is a new Android Wear app that lets you monitor your cameras right from your wrist if you have a smartwatch. I've tested it today and it seems to do the essentials rather well, letting me see my location stats (temperature, humidity, and air quality), tap and hold on the mode icon to switch to Home, Away, Privacy, or Night, and scroll to view a thumbnail of the last recorded event.

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Canary home security app adds Android Wear and tablet support was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Bonus Round] Battleship Lonewolf, Ecotone Pocket, Eisenhorn: XENOS, Circularity, and Where Shadows Slumber Demo

bonusroundWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a complex battleship defense game, a mobile runner tie-in for a Steam title, an adventure game in the Warhammer 40K universe, a unique twitch game, and a demo for a stylish puzzler.

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[Bonus Round] Battleship Lonewolf, Ecotone Pocket, Eisenhorn: XENOS, Circularity, and Where Shadows Slumber Demo was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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MLB.com makes an extremely disorienting Daydream VR version of Home Run Derby

imageFor the uninitiated, the Home Run Derby is an annual competition for Major League Baseball players celebrating the sport's most explosive play. The MLB already publishes an official game based on the yearly contest, a full 3D affair with licensed player likenesses and $100 in-app purchases, for Android phones and tablets. But it looks like they've decided to join the early ranks of developers officially supporting the Daydream VR system.

The VR version of the Home Run Derby game naturally puts players in a first-person view as the batter, with 3D stadiums based on real-world baseball parks (even if the polygon count looks like something from the original PlayStation).

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MLB.com makes an extremely disorienting Daydream VR version of Home Run Derby was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May launch new DriveTribe social network, Android app now on Google Play

d_trbhero

If you're a car person, like me, you'll have been an avid fan of Top Gear - until the classic line up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May departed for the big-budget 'The Grand Tour' on Amazon. The first episode aired almost three weeks ago now, but the three have something else in store: DriveTribe.

DriveTribe's concept is a little confusing at first. It's basically a series of forums - Tribes - with each one devoted to a specific car topic.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May launch new DriveTribe social network, Android app now on Google Play was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T both updated with new features and fixes

OnePlus is updating both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T with new versions of OxygenOS (3.2.8 and 3.5.3 respectively). The updates are packed with fixes and a few new features. Here’s the full changelog:

OnePlus 3T OxygenOS 3.5.3 OTA:

  • Added emergency calling for India (triple press the power button to trigger)
  • Added motion detection in camera and enhanced image capturing quality
  • Added OnePlus community app
  • Updated touch panel firmware and optimized touch precision
  • Updated GPS library and optimized location accuracy
  • Redesigned clock UI
  • Redesigned calling UI
  • Increased stability and implemented various bug fixes

OnePlus 3 OxygenOS 3.2.8 OTA:

  • Added 1080P 60FPS video recording
  • Added emergency calling for India (Triple press of power button to trigger)
  • Optimization of Snapchat, fixed video calling and scrolling lags
  • Increased system stability
  • General bug fixes

Though the two devices have different OS version numbers, they will become one when Nougat launches by the end of the year. But for now, the updates will add bug fixes and a few new features to tide you over while you wait for Android 7.0. Let us know when you get it!


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Google improving fake review detection on Play Store

The Google Play Store is pretty secure, but fake reviews are still a problem (like they are across many services). Google is working hard to improve the review process and has announced that it has improved fake review detection.

Google says that if developers are using an agency to promote their app, that they should make sure the agency adheres to the Google Play Developer Policy, otherwise the reviews might be marked as fraudulent.

Hopefully this renewed effort will cut down on fake reviews that make poor apps look good. There are enough bad apps on the Play Store.


Android Match

Facebook adds games to Messenger

Facebook Messenger is getting better and better with every major update. Though some dismiss it as another part of Facebook, it has become a very competent and fully-featured messaging app.

facebook-messenger-games

The latest update adds an unexpected feature: video games. The chat service is adding games that people can play together, even in group chats. There are plenty of classic titles, like Pac-Man, and newer ones like Words with Friends.

The games will be available for both the iOS and Android apps and will roll out in 30 countries to start. This is definitely an exciting update to the app and I can’t wait to give it a shot. Let us know what you think in the comments!


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Vodafone announces Android 7.1.1 update for Nexus 6P

Vodafone has put up a page for the next major software update for the Nexus 6P, and it’s claiming that the update will be Android 7.1.1. The device currently has a developer preview for Android 7.1.1, but this should be the official update.

The update is scheduled to launch on December 6 at 5:00 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time and will include the December 5 security patches from Google. Interestingly, the build is labeled as NMF26F, which is older than the current developer preview. It might be a typo, or Vodafone might be entirely mistaken about the update.

If this is true, it’s a good indication of when all modern Nexus devices will be getting this update. Keep an eye on the calendar!


Android Match

Google Allo hit 5 million downloads in 5 days - two months later, its momentum seems utterly stalled

nexus2cee_allo-shortcut

On September 28th, almost two months ago to the day, Allo co-lead Justin Uberti announced the app had achieved a staggering five-million downloads in just five days since its launch. It was impressive momentum, though not unexpected for a major Google app debut. Now, once at the top of the Play Store's app rankings, Allo sits below position #200, and shows few signs of momentum.

The app's download count remains at the 5,000,000-10,000,000 milestone it achieved back at the end of September, meaning that in over sixty days Allo has not managed to achieve again what it did in the first five it was available.

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Google Allo hit 5 million downloads in 5 days - two months later, its momentum seems utterly stalled was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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The Starz streaming video app now integrates with Spotify, for some reason

starzStarz, the premium cable channel that offers movies and original series, now works with Spotify, the premium streaming music service. Which is... odd. An updated version of the Starz Android app now includes integrated streaming tracks from Spotify, all of which are either original music or soundtrack selections from those Starz series and movies. Apparently there are "more than 3,500" selections that are at least tangentially related to the Starz catalog.

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The Starz streaming video app now integrates with Spotify, for some reason was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Save up to 42% on the TP-Link and Asus OnHub smart routers

Quite a few people are waiting for the launch of Google WiFi, but if you live in a small house of apartment, it may be the perfect time to pick up one of the OnHub smart routers.

With pre-orders of Google WiFi set to start shipping in early December, retailers have slashed the prices of the OnHub routers by up to 42%. The TP-Link and Asus OnHub routers sport much of the same functionality as Google WiFi, but they don’t have mesh network capabilities. While that may sound like a huge downgrade, it only matters if you were planning on picking up multiple Google WiFi routers.

If you’re not familiar with the functionality offered by OnHub routers, check out the video below. Those who need the increased coverage offered by Google WiFi’s mesh network can pre-order the three-pack for $299.99


Android Match

Microsoft's Clip Layer app lets you copy text from any screen by long-pressing the home button

clip

Remember back in the early days of Android when it had copy and paste, and the iPhone didn't? Those were strange times. Copy and paste is just something you expect to be able to do now, but there are plenty of places in Android where the text isn't accessible. Microsoft's Clip Layer app aims to change that by binding a universal copy option to the home button.

When you trigger Clip Layer, it reads all the text on your screen, making it accessible for copying.

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Microsoft's Clip Layer app lets you copy text from any screen by long-pressing the home button was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Now you can play games in your conversation threads within Facebook Messenger

fbm-games-hero1

Anyone remember the days of playing those silly Facebook games? Since the world has changed quite radically since the heyday of Zynga, it feels like that era was so long ago. Perhaps in a bit of nostalgia or an urge to incite over-competitiveness among friends, Facebook has rolled out games within the Messenger app.

Games are started by hitting the controller in a conversation, then selecting which title to play. Upon finishing a round, the other person (or people) in the thread will see your score.

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Now you can play games in your conversation threads within Facebook Messenger was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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