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Thursday, May 12, 2016

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Evernote And Google Drive Learn How To Play Along

Posted: 12 May 2016 03:04 PM PDT

Screenshot from 2016-05-12 17-58-59

Evernote and Google Drive aren't exactly competing services, but they're similar. Both are places you go to vomit out notes and other documents worth remembering. Now the two are working together.

With this new integration, you can save files from Evernote into Google Drive. The inverse is also possible, in a way. You can drop Drive files inside of a note, and Evernote will create a more dynamic link. Changes you make in Drive will make their way over to Evernote.

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Evernote And Google Drive Learn How To Play Along was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Plughy Is Android's Giphy GIF Plugin — Insert GIFs Anywhere Just Like On Slack

Posted: 12 May 2016 02:33 PM PDT


GIFs are great. We all love moving pictures, amirite? It's like being at Hogwarts or something. Giphy, a leader in the 'shareable GIFs' space, has an Android app, but unfortunately it doesn't allow for GIFs to be used anywhere on your phone or tablet. That's where Plughy comes in.

Plughy plugs into (geddit?) the accessibility options on Android, allowing GIFs to be used anywhere. How do I summon up a GIF, I hear you ask?

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Plughy Is Android's Giphy GIF Plugin — Insert GIFs Anywhere Just Like On Slack was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google has delayed support for an Android competitor to 3D Touch

Posted: 12 May 2016 02:03 PM PDT

With Android N, one hidden feature has stood out among others: a competitor to Apple's 3D Touch. With it, users could press on an app's icon and see different command options for that app, similar to the way that 3D Touch works for Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Early expectations had been that Google would roll out the feature as a tentpole addition to Android N, which should have a public launch later this year, but Recode reports that won't be the case after all.

The publication has learned that Google is delaying the feature for a future software release and that it will miss the initial rollout. However, the feature could land on Android devices in a "maintenance release" after Android N has been released to the masses.

Google I/O is set to take place next week, so it's still possible the company will at least show off the feature and talk about how it works.

While a delay of the feature is unfortunate, at least the report isn't saying it's been completely canceled.

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Multiplayer Building Platformer 'Ultimate Chicken Horse' Comes To The SHIELD TV And SHIELD Tablet For $10

Posted: 12 May 2016 01:15 PM PDT

image (7)While the likes of Activision and EA keep spinning their wheels with endless iterations and only a few modest twists on age-old genres, indie developers continue to outclass them with a fraction of the resources. For example: Ultimate Chicken Horse. Not only does this Kickstarter-funded platformer embrace local multiplayer (something that seems completely alien to AAA publishers these days), it tasks players with building the stage itself before the action begins, combining elements of Minecraft and Mario.

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Multiplayer Building Platformer 'Ultimate Chicken Horse' Comes To The SHIELD TV And SHIELD Tablet For $10 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Popular 'Hyperlocal' Dark Sky Weather App Comes To Android, But A Subscription Payment Model Rains On The Parade

Posted: 12 May 2016 11:15 AM PDT

darkWeather apps aren't exactly hard to find on Android. I don't think I've ever seen a phone or tablet that didn't include one by default from at least one provider, and dozens of freebies are available on the Play Store in varying degrees of quality and technicality. So why should users care about the latest one? Two reasons: first, it comes from Forecast.io, the company responsible for providing the weather data to a bunch of other weather apps.

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Popular 'Hyperlocal' Dark Sky Weather App Comes To Android, But A Subscription Payment Model Rains On The Parade was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet gets new bug fixes with its Android 6.0.1 update

Posted: 12 May 2016 10:34 AM PDT

Back in April, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet added Super Meat Boy to its roster of games, and now a brand new software update is headed to the device to hopefully squash plenty of lingering bugs in the software.

NVIDIA has confirmed that the SHIELD Tablet is now receiving its Android 6.0.1 update, by way of the OTA 4.1 update. With the updated software, original SHIELD Tablet owners can expect Vulkan API support, a quick way to launch the tablet's camera by double-pressing the power button, and more. Here's the full changelog:

  • Supports the new Vulkan™ API for high-efficiency access to SHIELD's graphics hardware
  • Adds Android 6.0.1 changes
  • Repositioned Navigation Buttons in Landscape mode & Updated Emojis
  • Double Tap Power Button to launch SHIELD Camera app
  • Do Not Disturb Until Next Alarm
  • Support for Android Doze mode & additional power optimizations
  • Adds USB MIDI support
  • Adds memory compression enhancement
  • Improved Wi-Fi connectivity when waking from sleep
  • Fixed Compass functionality
  • Fixed Gamepad Mapper issues
  • Fixed issues with moving apps to SD card
  • Fixed Doom 3 HDMI output issue
  • Repositioned Lasso Capture icons in landscape mode
  • Update to Android 6.0 Security Patch Level March 1, 2016
  • Overall stability and security enhancements

This particular update is headed out now to the international LTE unit as well as the Wi-Fi-only variant. For owners of the US-based LTE model, NVIDIA says the SHIELD Tablet's OTA 4.1 update with Android 6.0.1 is still undergoing the certification process, so you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Do you own the SHIELD Tablet?

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[Bear With Us] Google Releases 'Gboard' For iPhone With Search Built-Into Keyboard

Posted: 12 May 2016 10:15 AM PDT

2016-05-12 11_59_31-Meet Gboard - YouTube

Hey, Google just released a new app. This is usually the sort of thing you, as an Android users, are interested in. This time is a little different, though. Google has released Gboard, a keyboard for iPhone with built-in search. Why are we talking about an iPhone app? Because you can bet something similar will come to Android soon enough.

Google has put together a demo video of Gboard in the same style it used recently for Tap to Translate and Google Now on Tap.

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[Bear With Us] Google Releases 'Gboard' For iPhone With Search Built-Into Keyboard was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 new Android games this week: Swapperoo, Who Lurks

Posted: 12 May 2016 10:03 AM PDT

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Hoops Jumper

DescriptionIt's not as easy as it sounds. Smooth, pleasant ,colorful graphics. Catchy music. Simple gameplay. Quidditch style hoops.


Fold the World

Description:  Fold the world of Paper Kingdom to discover the incredible tale of the triangle curse. Guide Yolo through beautifully crafted puzzles, uncover hidden paths and outsmart the evil Lord of Darkness.!


Bejeweled Stars

DescriptionBe brilliant in Bejeweled Stars, a brand-new match-3 experience like no other! Experience endless fun and the freedom to play your way in a beautiful world filled with surprises, explosions, and unique challenges.


Aliens vs. Pinball

DescriptionAliens vs. Pinball combines three exciting pinball tables into one terrifying game inspired by the ALIEN franchise! Join Ellen Ripley as she confronts the Alien Queen and helps the Colonial Marines eliminate LV-426′s alien infestation on the Aliens Pinball table.


Who Lurks

DescriptionWho Lurks is a local party game involving deception. Where players assume the role of crew members on the AE Hybrid spaceship. Play as a human protecting the crew, or stay undercover as an alien saboteur set on eradicating all human life. Each player takes turns performing tasks to conceal or reveal the alien lifeform.


Pelé: Soccer Legend

Description: Pelé: Soccer Legend is a new soccer experience with streamlined gesture controls, featuring the legend himself! Follow in Pelé's footsteps in career mode and work your way from the backstreets of Brazil all the way up to become world champion



DescriptionSwapperoo – The friendly puzzle game intent on your defeat. **50% LAUNCH DISCOUNT!** The rules are simple: tap an arrow to move it in the direction it faces. Make a row of 3 tiles of the same color and the tiles disappear.


Pop Rocket Rescue!

Description: Get ready to lose yourself in a highly addictive, out-of-this-world stacking puzzler. You'll need to use strategy, timing, and style to rescue these bubbly pop-flavored aliens!


The Aetherlight

Description Explore the world of Aethasia™, and join the Resistance in their fight against the tyrannical emperor and his army of mechanical men! Once a beautiful land, Aethasia is now covered by a sickly pervasive fog that corrupts everything it touches.


Tap Knight and the Dark Castle

DescriptionIntroducing an epic clicker RPG runner with beautiful pixel graphics and totally simple tapping battle control. The quicker you tap, the more damage you will unleash!


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Dark Sky and its hyperlocal weather reports are now available on Android

Posted: 12 May 2016 08:19 AM PDT

Dark Sky is a weather app that's all about where you are in the moment, and thanks to its "hyperlocal" reports, it can hopefully keep you from getting rained out.

Dark Sky has been available for iOS for quite some time, and it has finally made the jump into the Play Store. It's available for Android devices for free, as long as you only want to access a 24-hour weather forecast, 7-day forecast details, current weather conditions, and a bit more. However, the hyperlocal, down-to-the-minute reports, notifications for impending rainfall, widgets, and more, will cost you $2.99 per year.

Dark Sky Android2

Dark Sky has proven itself one of the more popular weather apps out there, and now Android users can get in on the hyperlocal weather forecasting fun as well.

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[Huh?] YouTube Is Getting In-App Messaging For Some Reason

Posted: 12 May 2016 06:45 AM PDT


When I sit down for a YouTube session, I often think: how cool would it be if I was able to message my friends through YouTube? I don't even have to leave the app/website to do it, and it'd be so much easier if I could message here than on Facebook, Hangouts, or SMS. Awesome!

For some utterly bizarre reason, YouTube is getting in-app messaging. The tab has been appearing on a small number of Android devices over the last 48 hours or so, and Wired published a post explaining the new feature.

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[Huh?] YouTube Is Getting In-App Messaging For Some Reason was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Twitter And Viber Reach 500 Million Downloads On The Play Store

Posted: 12 May 2016 05:00 AM PDT


When it comes to app download milestones, we like to celebrate the 500 Million and 1 Billion mark here on Android Police and more often than not, the apps are from Google's own portfolio which gives them a significant head-start on the competition by the mere fact that they usually come pre-installed on all Android devices. We've also seen Facebook and WhatsApp hit the 1B milestone, and Skype and Instagram and Dropbox reach 500M.

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Twitter And Viber Reach 500 Million Downloads On The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[It's The Little Things] Google Calendar Now Automatically Detects And Dials Passcodes For Conference Calls

Posted: 12 May 2016 03:00 AM PDT


Those of you who have to frequently deal with conference call meetings have probably faced more than one where an access code or a passcode was required to let them in. It's a security measure that helps the host make sure that no unwanted guests will sneak in, but it usually ends up being a pain in the butt of those who have been officially invited and who often have to scramble around looking for that passcode and curse for having to manually dial it in each time.

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[It's The Little Things] Google Calendar Now Automatically Detects And Dials Passcodes For Conference Calls was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser Now Receiving Android 6.0 Update

Posted: 11 May 2016 09:47 PM PDT


ASUS isn't really known for quickly providing Android updates however it looks like one of the ZenFone 2 variants is now receiving its first major OS update.


The ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL) is now receiving the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update via OTA and aside from all the changes you've been accustomed to, ASUS has decided to remove several of the preloaded "bloatware" apps that initially came with the phone. The build number is While the update has now been officially released, it may take up to a week for your ZF2 Laser to receive it.

For a complete list of all the changes and apps being removed, check out the ASUS ZenTalk forum below.


The post ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser Now Receiving Android 6.0 Update appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Samsung To Debut New Blackberry Hub-Like Feature On The Note 6

Posted: 11 May 2016 09:16 PM PDT

Note 5 S Pen

Blackberry 10 was ultimately a nonstarter but there was something that the OS did well.  Blackberry Hub was and is one of the best communication hubs I have used and according to a new report, Samsung may be readying something similar to launch alongside the Note 6.

The report comes from SamMobile, a site with a great track record when it comes to Samsung related rumours and leaks, so it's definitely got some weight behind it.  According to them, Samsung is working on a new feature dubbed Samsung Focus that will work very similarly to Blackberry's Hub.  The app/feature will bring all of the users e-mails, messages, calendars, and memos into one place for quick and easy access.  As the Note series is still geared towards those looking for the most productivity focused device, this could be a great new feature.

The report goes on to say that the UI is very "clean and modern" and "unlike any previous Samsung app."  If the Samsung Focus UI really is that different, it could also suggest a new more "clean and modern" TouchWiz as I would think that Samsung would want a cohesive UI across the entire device.  Of course, that's just my own speculation so don't put too much weight in that.




The post Samsung To Debut New Blackberry Hub-Like Feature On The Note 6 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google Shows Us How Useful Now On Tap Can Be

Posted: 11 May 2016 09:01 PM PDT

Quick show of hands, who uses Google's Now on Tap?  Personally, I have not used Now on Tap very much but this promo video from Google is making me think I'm missing out.

For those who are unaware, Now on Tap was a new feature that rolled out with Android Marshmallow.  With a simple hold of the home button, Now on Tap would quickly pull information from your current screen and provide you with additional information and links related to whatever it is you're looking at.  Probably one of the best parts about this feature is that it essentially works anywhere, in any app.

Again, this isn't something that I use on a regular basis but after watching this video I think I'm going to have to try it out a bit more to see if it'll maybe cut down on my screen time.


The post Google Shows Us How Useful Now On Tap Can Be appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Images Of The OnePlus 3 Have Surfaced

Posted: 11 May 2016 08:46 PM PDT

OnePlus 3 - 5

The OnePlus 3 has been frequenting headlines lately and now we have one of the best leaks yet as a collection of photos have surfaced.  The photos originally surfaced on Chinese microblogging site Weibo but have been circulating social media since.

As you can see, OnePlus has changed up the design a fair amount opting for a full metal body for their 2016 flaghip killer.  You'll also notice some antenna lines on the back which give the device a very HTC-esque look.  The front of the device features a very large display and a home button that will undoubtedly double as a fingerprint reader.

All in all, a pretty decent looking device and if the rumoured specs and price hold up, this could be one of the best bang for buck devices of the year.  What do you guys think of latest OnePlus offering?


OnePlus 3 - 2 OnePlus 3 - 3 OnePlus 3 - 6


The post Images Of The OnePlus 3 Have Surfaced appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google Photos 1.20 Adds Commenting And Smart Suggestions For Shared Albums [APK Download]

Posted: 11 May 2016 07:27 PM PDT


Google Photos 1.20 has started rolling out, bringing with it the second social feature for the platform: comments in shared albums and photos, plus smart suggestions for relevant additions to a shared album.

Commenting is for either individual photos or an entire album. Cody already found evidence of it in his Photos v1.16 teardown, so it's not a total surprise it's turned up now. When enabled through an album's sharing options (the feature is off by default), there will be a button on the footer when viewing a photo, or "add a comment" is added at the bottom of an album.

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Google Photos 1.20 Adds Commenting And Smart Suggestions For Shared Albums [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Designing for Multi-Window

Posted: 11 May 2016 06:32 PM PDT

Posted by Ian Lake, Developer Advocate

As a developer, there's a wide range of features added in Android N to take advantage of, but when it comes to designing and building your UI, having strong multi-window support should be at the forefront.

The primary mode that users will be interacting with multi-window is through split-screen mode, which is available on both handheld devices and larger tablets. In this mode, two apps split the available screen space and the user can drag the divider between the two split screens to resize the apps. As you might imagine, this mode offers some unique design challenges beyond what was needed previously.

An even more responsive UI

The lessons learned from previous versions of Android, the mobile web, and desktop environments still apply to Android N. Designing a responsive UI is still an important first step towards an amazing multi-window experience.

A responsive UI is one that adapts to the size provided, picking the best representation of the content and the appropriate navigation patterns to make a great user experience on any device. Check out the Building a Responsive UI blog post for details on how to design and build an effective responsive UI.

Adapting your layout

As you're designing layouts for the largest and smallest screens and everything in between, it is important to make resizing a smooth and seamless transition as mentioned in the split screen layout guidelines. If you already have a similar layout between mobile and tablet, you'll find much of your work taken care of for you.

However, if your mobile and tablet layouts are vastly different and there's no way to smoothly transition between the two, you should not transition between them when resizing. Instead, focus on making your tablet UI scale down using the same responsive UI patterns. This ensures that users do not have to relearn their UI when resizing your app.

Note that the minimalHeight and minimalWidth layout attributes allow you to set a minimum size you want reported to your Activity, but they do not mean the user cannot resize your activity smaller - it actually means that your activity will be cropped to the size the user requests, potentially forcing elements of your UI off the screen. Strive to support down to the minimum size of 220x220dp.

Design configurations to consider

While many of the sizes and aspect ratios possible in multi-window are similar to existing devices (1/3rd of a landscape tablet is similar to existing mobile devices in screen size), there are a few configurations that are much more common when considering multi-window.

The first is a 16x9 layout on mobile devices in portrait. In this case, the vertical space is extremely limited. If you have a number of fixed elements stacked on top of one another (a toolbar, scrolling content, and a bottom navigation bar), you might find there's not actually any room for the scrolling content - the most important part!

The second case to consider is the 34.15% layout on tablets. The very wide aspect ratio in device portrait or very tall aspect ratio in device landscape orientation are more extreme than what is found on existing devices. Consider using your mobile layouts as a starting point for this configuration.

Patterns to avoid

When it comes to multi-window, there are a few patterns you want to avoid entirely.

The first is UI interactions that rely on swiping from the edge of the screen. This has already been somewhat of an issue when it comes to the on screen navigation bar prominent on many devices (such as Nexus devices), but is even more so in split-screen mode. Since there is (purposefully) no way to determine if your activity is on the top or bottom or the left or the right, don't make edge swipes the only way to access functionality in your app. That doesn't mean you have to avoid them entirely - just make sure there is an alternative. A good example of this is the temporary navigation drawer - an edge swipe opens the drawer, but it is also accessible by pressing the hamburger icon in the toolbar.

The second is disabling multi-window entirely. While there are certainly cases where this makes sense (i.e., it is fundamentally an immersive experience such as a game), there are also cases where your activity and any Activities launched from that Activity are forced to support multi-window. As mentioned in the Preparing for Multi-Window blog post, when you support external apps launching your activity, your activity inherits the multi-window properties of the calling Activity.

Designing for Multi-Window is designing for every device

Building a responsive UI that reacts to the space available is critical to a great multi-window experience, but it is an exercise that can benefit all of your users across the wide variety of Android devices.

So use this as an opportunity to #BuildBetterApps

Follow the Android Development Patterns Collection for more!

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Google working on an Amazon Echo competitor codenamed ‘Chirp’

Posted: 11 May 2016 04:14 PM PDT

Google's voice assistant technology, spurred on with "Okay, Google," has been present in Android devices for a bit of time now, and if a new report is any indication, it's about to expand in a big way.

Recode has learned that Google is hard at work on a product that is similar to Amazon's Echo. The device apparently integrates Google's voice assistant technology and extensive search capabilities. It will supposedly resemble the OnHub router released by Google last year.

While the device does not have a name yet, it is apparently known as "Chirp" internally.

Unfortunately, Google didn't supply any comment to the publication regarding the report. Google might not showcase the new device at this year's Google I/O, which is set to take place later this month, but the technology that will power it will be on display in other capacities. And while Google doesn't have plans to show off the device next week, the report does say that the company plans on launching it at some point this year.

What do you think of the idea for Google Chirp?

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Unlocked LTE HTC 10 can run on Verizon with a radio flash

Posted: 11 May 2016 03:43 PM PDT

Buying unlocked devices is often the way to go. Though carrier-branded devices can be bought using payment plans, an unlocked device will often have an unlockable bootloader and will come with no bloatware. I mean, none of us want an app that installs more crap on our devices.

The unlocked HTC 10 works with both AT&T and T-Mobile, but apparently it has the hardware to run on Verizon, too. This includes both CDMA and LTE for full functionality. The folks at XDA-Developers found out that flashing a radio is all it takes.

Of course, you'll have to unlock your bootloader for S-OFF first, and modifying your device — while generally safe — does carry risks. It may also interfere with updates, though that should be easy to get around if that's the case.

This is a great option for Verizon customers who want an unlocked and bloat-free device. Hit the source link for the full details, and let us know if you plan to take advantage of this!

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Western Digital acquires SanDisk for $19 billion

Posted: 11 May 2016 03:43 PM PDT

SanDisk may be the most popular supplier of microSD cards, at least here in the US, and I'm sure many of our Android devices have a SanDisk card in them. Mine definitely does. And now SanDisk is being purchased by Western Digital for a massive $19 billion.

Western Digital is one of the biggest manufacturers of hard drives in the world, and acquiring a company that makes flash storage could be a very good move for the company. WD can now offer both good hard drives and good memory cards. While such acquisitions always bring up the topic of competition, WD stands to benefit a lot from this deal.

SanDisk will remain in California and its joint venture with Toshiba will continue, so it seems that not much will change in the short term. Hopefully prices stay low and innovation continues.

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Sunrise calendar app shutting down as creators work on Outlook

Posted: 11 May 2016 03:14 PM PDT

Though it's doubtful that many of you used it, the Sunrise calendar app was a solid and attractive calendar app for Android. Even better, it was simple and functional, and I've used it for a long time now. Unfortunately, it's about to be shut down.

After the app was purchased by Microsoft, it seems the company has recruited the creators to work on Outlook and bring their expertise and creativity to Microsoft's own service. This means that they will no longer be working on the Sunrise app.

Rather than having an old, unsupported app on the Play Store causing bad user experiences, they have opted to take it down in the next few days and make it stop working entirely on August 31st. It's unfortunate, but those who use it will have to find another calendar app to use from now on.

How many of you used Sunrise? And if you don't, what calendar app do you use? Leave a comment!

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