21 best new Android games released this week including Monster Hunter Stories, Layton: Curious Village in HD, and Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. This week had more than a few quality titles land on Android. Monster Hunter Stories is, of course, a huge release with a fair price, but then Layton: Curious Village in HD and Harvest Moon: Light of Hope are also hugely popular titles that are worth their asking prices.

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21 best new Android games released this week including Monster Hunter Stories, Layton: Curious Village in HD, and Harvest Moon: Light of Hope was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Tesla Android app updated with new navigation and media features

Tesla just released a massive update for its fleet of cars with improvements to the Autopilot functionality, new dashboard applications, and more. To use all the new features, you'll need the latest version of the Android app, which has just been pushed to the Play Store.

Version 3.6.0-352 of the app is now rolling out, with the below changes:

- Start navigation in your car using the share feature in your favorite phone apps
- Allow passengers to quickly control media
- Start and cancel software updates on your car

To use the new functionality, your Tesla vehicle has to be on software version 2018.39 or later.

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Tesla Android app updated with new navigation and media features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Pixel 3 XL shown off in new video

We’ve seen so much of the Google Pixel 3 that there’s really not much left to the imagination. But that’s not stopping the leaks from pouring in. A video from Russian site Rozetked shows off the Pixel 3 XL in a new hands-on video. While the video doesn’t contain much for new information, it does have a few nice shots of the Pixel 3 XL from different angles, as well as a comparison with the Pixel 2 XL.

The video confirms what we already know about the Pixel 3 XL, particularly in regard to the notched display. The reviewer also notes that the screen quality is notably improved, which is impressive considering that the Pixel 2 XL had a very high-quality screen. It was also pointed out that the rear camera on the Pixel 3 XL has a noticeable bulge, which may cause the phone to wobble during use when placed on a flat surface.

Be sure to check out the video for yourself and let us know what you’re looking forward to in the new Pixel 3 devices.

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Unannounced Google Chromecast with updated design sold at a Best Buy

We’ve seen a lot of upcoming Google products leak recently, including both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and the Home Hub. Now we may be getting an early look at another unannounced Google device.

The third-generation Google Chromecast was recently purchased by Reddit user GroveStreetHomie. The story goes that they went to Best Buy to get a Chromecast, saw this new model with updated packaging, and tried to buy it. The Best Buy cashier couldn’t scan the Chromecast because it wasn’t in the system yet since the release date is October 9th, but since it was at the checkout and had the same price as the current Chromecast, the Best Buy cashier sold it.

Compared to the current Chromecast, this new model is described as being a little thicker. It’s also ditched the glossy finished and Chrome logo for a matte finish and a Google “G”. It’s still microUSB and has lost the magnetic HDMI connector, reports GroveStreetHomie.

The bad news is that this new Chromecast apparently required an update to the Google Home app that hasn’t been released yet, so the person who bought it was unable to actually use it and see what’s new.

The new Chromecast is model number NC2-6A5, which is the same as the current Chromecast and also the same as the updated model that we recently saw passing through the FCC. That version included Bluetooth and improved Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, since this new Chromecast from Best Buy can’t actually be used, it’s unclear if it’s the same model that we saw in the FCC, but that’s certainly a possibility. We should learn more at Google’s event on October 9th, so stay tuned.

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14 new and notable Android apps from the last two weeks including Hire, Firefox Reality Browser, and Bouncer (9/15/18 - 9/29/18)

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous two weeks or so. This week I have a new Google app for business owners who want to scout fresh talent, an awesome virtual reality web browser from Firefox, and a very useful app that can grant temporary permissions to the rest of your apps. So without further ado, here are the most notable Android apps released in the last fortnight.

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14 new and notable Android apps from the last two weeks including Hire, Firefox Reality Browser, and Bouncer (9/15/18 - 9/29/18) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google app v8.23 beta is upgrading the floating sports tracker, adds a new collection for experiences, and more [APK Teardown]

Like clockwork, the latest beta release of the Google app began rolling out just about the time the developers are headed out for the weekend. We've yet to see any live changes on this release, but there are some interesting additions to be found in a teardown. The floating sports tracker bubble appears to have some enhancements coming just in time for the Fall schedule, there are small additions to Collections and Google Assistant for Households, and a previously spotted General settings screen is growing larger


Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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Google app v8.23 beta is upgrading the floating sports tracker, adds a new collection for experiences, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG Watch W7 rumored to arrive with V40 ThinQ

When LG debuts the V40 ThinQ on October 3, the company may announce a brand new smartwatch, too.

If you’ll recall, we first saw a glimpse of a new LG-branded wearable back in May when it stopped by the FCC for regulatory approval. At the time all we knew was that the device was a smartwatch and that it would have connectivity features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board. The FCC filing didn’t give us a lot to go on.

Here we are several months later and it looks like LG may be preparing to launch the device in just about a week’s time. According to Evan Blass on Twitter, LG’s new smartwatch will be called the “LG Watch W7″. Interestingly enough, this device may have been known as the “LG Timepiece” earlier this year, so LG may have changed things around in the branding department ahead of its debut.

As far as what we know about the LG Watch W7, it will reportedly not have cellular connectivity on board (which would line up with the FCC filing), it will ship with a 22mm silicone rubber strap, it’ll have 4GB of built-in storage, 768MB of RAM, and it will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor under the hood. One has to hope that since this is months later and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 is official, LG isn’t going to launch a brand new smartwatch with an outdated processor under the hood.

The main takeaway for the new wearable is the hybrid design, according to the rumors. The device will boast a 1.2-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 360×360. There will be an analog option which will apparently keep the battery alive for hundreds of days on a single charge with the 240mAh battery. If that battery dies and the device reverts to watch-only mode, it can last up to four days before it dies completely.

LG was expected to announce the device earlier this year, but that obviously didn’t happen. Now it sounds like the LG V40 ThinQ will have a wearable companion on stage when October 3 rolls around. Are you in the market for a new hybrid smartwatch?

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Nokia 7 Plus now receiving Android 9.0 Pie update

If you have a Nokia 7 Plus, then we’ve got a bit of good news leading into the weekend.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, has posted on Twitter a quick announcement that the Nokia 7 Plus is now receiving the update to Android 9.0 Pie. The rollout begins today, so it may arrive on your handset sometime today or it may take a couple of days to arrive. Just keep an eye out for the new software.

As far as what’s new, the tweet’s corresponding video reminds folks that the 7 Plus is running pure Android 9.0, so you get all of the great features Google included with the new software. That includes adaptive battery and brightness, the new dashboard to monitor how much time you’re spending in apps and on your device, easily accessible Do Not Disturb in the new Quick Settings area, improved notification management, and more.

This is the first Nokia-branded smartphone to get the update to Android 9.0 Pie up to this point, so it’s a bit of big news for both Nokia and HMD Global. Hopefully additional handsets get in on the update fun soon.

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Hangouts v27 upgrades to an adaptive icon, teases Mark as Read from notifications [APK Teardown]

Updates to the Hangouts app have been sporadic this year with big gaps in the earlier months, and new ones coming out about every month or two since I/O. Most new versions also seem to be lacking in any tangible changes, though that doesn't preclude bug fixes or other behind the scenes improvements. However, the latest update does show some signs of life.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Adaptive icon
  • Links to policy disclaimers

Adaptive icon

From left to right: Original, round icon (added for Android 7.1), new adaptive icons.

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Hangouts v27 upgrades to an adaptive icon, teases Mark as Read from notifications [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google's Hangouts Chrome app will stop working 'soon'

Almost precisely four years ago, Google rolled out a new Chrome App for Hangouts. Initially named 'Ultra Violet' during testing, the app brought a bubbly and fun transparent UI with Facebook-style Chat Heads to Google's instant messaging platform. We hope that you didn't depend on it too much, though. According to a recent update to a support document, the Hangouts Chrome app will stop working "soon." Those of us still using Hangouts on the desktop are urged to migrate to the Head-less Chrome extension

The support document doesn't go into too much detail about the schedule to expect in the warning which now appears, only stating that it "will stop working soon." In this transition, Hangouts users are warned not to use both the app and the extension simultaneously.

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Google's Hangouts Chrome app will stop working 'soon' was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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30 temporarily free and 20 on-sale apps and games to end the week

The final week of September is almost over, which means it's time for our last app sales roundup for the month. Today's list is not bad, so take a look through to see if anything interests you. Enjoy, and I'll see you all in October.



  1. Pull Ups - ArmEx $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 hours
  2. Uprice Light - fast offline currency converter $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 1 day
  3. Accurate Altimeter PRO $1.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
  4. Apprendre l'Anglais rapidement - MosaLingua $4.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
  5. NavCasts - Wear OS Podcast Player Offline Playback $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
  6. WiFi Signal Strength Meter Pro (no Ads) $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
  7. Debt Manager and Tracker Pro $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 3 days
  8. FE File Explorer Pro - Access PC, Mac & NAS $2.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 6 days
  9. CPU Identifier Pro $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 7 days


  1. Cashknight ( Duo Event Version ) $9.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 hours
  2. Snow ball fling $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 hours
  3. Caveman Chuck Adventure $2.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 1 day
  4. Tartle's RPG Apparatus for D&D $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
  5. 9th Dawn II 2 RPG $1.99 -> $1.00; Sale ends in 3 days
  6. Archery Art $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 3 days
  7. Football Manager Mobile 2018 $8.99 -> $3.99; Sale ends in 3 days
  8. Tap tap cartoonist - Cartoon999 (VIP) $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 3 days
  9. Mental Hospital II $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 days
  10. Paper Monsters $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 days
  11. Ravensword: Shadowlands 3d RPG $6.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 days
  12. Topia World Builder $1.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 4 days
  13. Descent: Death Valley $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 6 days
  14. Dementia: Book of the Dead $1.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 6 days
  15. Dungeon999 $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 6 days
  16. Mental Hospital IV HD $2.49 -> $0.99; Sale ends in 6 days
  17. Swordbreaker The Game.
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30 temporarily free and 20 on-sale apps and games to end the week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook confirms nearly 50 million accounts affected by recent hack

On Friday, Facebook confirmed that an unknown, malicious outside entity hacked the social network and put nearly 50 million accounts at risk.

The social networking giant has confirmed today that on September 25th, hackers used a vulnerability tied to the code used in the “View As” feature to steal access tokens tied to Facebook accounts. View As allows Facebook users to see how their profile appears to other users. Those access tokens are used to keep individual Facebook users logged into their account.

Facebook’s confirmation says that nearly 50 million accounts were directly affected by the hack. The company has already alerted law enforcement and says it has patched the vulnerability. In addition, Facebook has reset the access tokens to the affected 50 million accounts and has also reset access tokens for 40 million additional accounts that have had their accounts accessed with the View As feature within the last year.

Facebook says if your account is part of that 90 million-wide net, you’ll need to log out and then log back in. However, the company says that changing your password should not be a requirement. Finally, the company has yet to identify the hackers, and it says that it does not know if any personal information was stolen in the process.

This is a major issue for Facebook, especially considering how many accounts were affected. It’s good they’ve patched the vulnerability pretty quickly, but hopefully it isn’t discovered later that a ton of personal information was also stolen in the process.

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OnePlus 6T in-display fingerprint reader teased

While OnePlus has confirmed that the next flagship smartphone will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, the company has actually been pretty quiet when it comes to teasing, or confirming, its incoming handset. That’s why the rumor mill has come in handy.

That might be changing, though, as the company has recently published a tweet that teases the OnePlus 6T. The video itself is very short, coming in at only five seconds, and tells us to “unlock the future”. We can see what appears to be a fingerprint on a display, too, with a “T” inside of it.

OnePlus previously confirmed that its next phone will have an in-display fingerprint reader, and this tweet serves to reaffirm that new feature. We shouldn’t have too much longer to wait to find out more about it. If OnePlus is firing up the marketing machine for its newest handset, we should know a launch date and price tag soon enough.

If you picked up the OnePlus 6 earlier this year, are you planning on upgrading to the OnePlus 6T?

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Titanium RED Hydrogen One hits a major delay

The Titanium version of the RED Hydrogen One has always been billed as a tough build for the company, and it sounds like things haven’t gone too well in the manufacturing process.

When RED confirmed that the Hydrogen One would be launching on some wireless carriers in the United States in early November, it was the aluminum version that would be made available right out of the gate. The titanium version, however, wouldn’t see the light of day until 2019 — and even when it did launch, supply would be limited.

Unfortunately for those who preordered the titanium version, it looks like RED has been hit by a major delay. The company has confirmed that it has not made enough titanium models for preorders, and as a result, it will be sending out aluminum Hydrogen One models to folks who preordered and won’t be getting their orders fulfilled.

When RED starts shipping aluminum models, titanium preorder customers will get one of those models to start. And then, next year when the titanium option starts shipping they’ll get their order completed. What’s more, they will be able to keep those aluminum models.

This is definitely bad news, and not what a company that’s making its first smartphone wants to deal with. However, the fact that RED is going to deliver a different version of the phone, and let customers keep it even after they get the model they preordered, is a nice way to hopefully calm the waters.

Did you preorder a Titanium RED Hydrogen One?

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Google Wear OS update with improved UI rolling out now

Remember last month when Google revealed a new UI experience for Wear OS? Well it’s finally rolling out.

Wear OS 2.1 is starting to see the light of day, with the primary focus being to improve the overall user interface for smartwatch owners. This new UI is all about swiping. You can swipe up to check your notifications or swipe right to access Google Assistant. You can swipe down to find Quick Settings, which will let you turn on things like Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, and more.

Swiping left will reach the new Google Fit, which saw its debut back in August. You’ll be able to see the Move Minutes and Heart Points you reach.

The new Wear OS 2.1 is rolling out now. If you want to check to see if the update is available for your device, just open up the Settings app, then open up System –> About –> System updates. The new software sounds like a worthwhile upgrade, so let us know in the comments what you think of the update after you install it.

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Razer Phone 2 shows off dual rear cameras in new leak

We saw the first image of what is believed to be the Razer Phone 2 earlier this month, and we know that Razer plans on announcing the new smartphone on October 10. Now a new leak gives us another clear look at the upcoming flagship.

Serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) took to Twitter to post a single image of the Razer Phone 2. The front of the handset looks pretty familiar, sharing a lot with the original Razer Phone’s design. We still have the big bezels on the top and bottom of the display, which house front-facing speakers.

Around back, we can see that familiar neon green Razer logo, which is placed just below the dual camera setup. The flash is positioned between the two cameras. The image also shows the USB-C port on the bottom of the phone for charging. Unfortunately there’s not much else to go on in the image or the corresponding text in the tweet.

The Razer Phone 2 will more than likely follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, meaning it will have plenty of high-end features and specs. Whatever Razer is planning we don’t have too much longer to wait, which is good news for Razer fans looking to upgrade their smartphone later this year.

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[Update: Now available for more devices] AntVentor is a gorgeous point and click adventure game for the Shield TV

Android games for the Shield TV aren't released very often at this point, so when something that looks as impressive as AntVentor crosses my path, I just have to take a look. Now that I've spent some time with it, it's clear that this photorealistic point and click adventure game is worth the asking price, and this is only the first chapter out of three planned episodes.

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[Update: Now available for more devices] AntVentor is a gorgeous point and click adventure game for the Shield TV was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Evernote, Samsung Pay

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.

Evernote - Version 8.4.0



What’s new in this version:

  • Are blank notes getting you down? Say hello to templates. Now, when you create a note, you can format it with one of 30+ templates. Stay tuned for more.
  • Added support for Android Pie, including the new fingerprint dialog.
  • Ironed out some formatting issues.
  • Fixed a few bugs with lists and to-dos.
  • Saved searches crashing? Not any more!


Samsung Internet Browser - Version 9.0.0


Samsung Internet Browser

What’s new in this version:

  • Improvement of Download Manager
  • Add the setting to turn on/off the download confirmation popup
  • Fix the bug for downloading files into the root folder
  • Improvement of Reader Mode
  • Bug fixing and stabilization


ZEDGE™ Ringtones & Wallpapers - Version 5.48.10


ZEDGE™ Ringtones & Wallpapers

What’s new in this version:

  • A new landing page to make it easier to browse content
  • Buy Zedge Credits through the Google Play Store
  • Improved search for Premium contentscreen.


Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds - Version 7.5.1


Relax Melodies

What’s new in this version:

  • Guided exercises done with a pillow to bring you into blissful sleep every night.
  • These awesome sleep-inducing programs are backed by health and sleep professionals, including neuropsychologists and physiotherapists
  • Listen, breathe and move… gradually toward sweet slumber.
  • We’ve also put to sleep a few pesky bugs


DIRECTV NOW - Version 2.0.13


Directv Now

What’s new in this version:

  • Resolved the persistent Video Pause display
  • Added Parental Controls under settings, follow STD TV & Movie guidelines
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes 


Samsung Pay - Version 3.0.0


Samsung Pay

What’s new in this version:

  • Redesigned user experience for “Favorite Cards”
  • Quick access to cash back deals
  • Cash back can be used to purchase gift cards
  • Bug fixes and user experience improvements


Snapchat – Version 10.41.6


What’s new in this version:

  • Introducing Lens Explorer! Tap the new smiley icon below the Lens carousel to try thousands of Lenses created by the Snapchat community. New ones appear every day!


Daily Yoga – Yoga Fitness Plans - Version 7.2.0


Daily Yoga 2

What’s new in this version:

  • Yoga for a Sculpted Back and Core Strengthening Series launched. Train the core muscles and shape a defined back!
  • Show difference before & after yoga practicing with the new collage feature.
  • Search function optimized. Find the practice you want more easily.


ARCore by Google - Version 1.5.0


What’s new in this version:

  • Support for passthrough camera auto focus.
  • Improved plane detection speed.
  • Additional image resolutions supported for computer vision.


Android Messages - Version 3.6.0


Android Messages

What’s new in this version:

  • Messages has a fresh new look including a dark theme.
  • Bug Fixes and performance improvements.


Android Match

Google’s Chrome OS tablet to be called Pixel Slate

Though we’ve heard numerous rumors about Google’s mysterious Chrome OS tablet, a new one is confirming the name of the device. David Ruddock of Android Police tweeted that “Google Pixel Slate is the name of Google’s first Chrome OS tablet.” This lines up with previous rumors regarding the name of the device, and Ruddock stated that “this is from a source I trust,” lending further credence to the name.

The Pixel Slate has been less leaky than the Pixel 3/XL, but we do know a bit about what to expect. The device will reportedly feature a 2400×1600 screen, which matches the aspect ratio of the Pixelbook. Additionally, it should feature two USB Type-C ports, a fingerprint scanner, and connector pins for use with detachable keyboard, docks, and other accessories.

Google is set to release the Pixel Slate on October 9, alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

What are your thoughts on the Google Pixel Slate? Is this a device you’re interested in purchasing?

Android Match

Google Trips is getting new features to ease your travel planning

Google’s investments in making people’s trips easier extends beyond features built into Google Maps, as Google Trips articulates with its own efforts to make things a bit simpler in the planning process.

First, new features being added to the Your Trips section next month. The idea is to help keep things organized while you plan your next trip, so even if it takes a few days to plan out, you can keep tabs where you left off and start right there when you come back to it. Google will show flight prices for the place you’ve searched, along with destination-specific flight prices and hotel information.


For the folks who fly during holidays, Google Flights is taking into account December holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day. Just like it has with flights planned around the Thanksgiving holiday, Google Flights will notify you if prices are going to stay where they are or if they’re likely to start rising. Google says these specific features will arrive over the next few weeks.

Google Maps is getting in on the fun, too. Another new feature being added to the mix is the ability to show relevant information based on a hotel’s location, so you can see what’s nearby. That includes bars, public transportation, and landmarks.

These new features should make the planning process, which can feel like a slog sometimes, a bit easier.

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