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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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Google updates Snapseed with improved image tuning UI and more accurate RAW colors [APK Download]

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 03:32 PM PST


Snapseed is one of those rare apps that Google acquired and actually kept improving over time. The latest update to v2.13 adds more accurate display of images in RAW photos and a change to how image tuning tools are accessed. It's just starting to roll out, but we've got the APK handy too.

The controls for tuning images in Snapseed are efficient, but take some getting used to. Different tools are available by swiping up and down on the screen.

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Google updates Snapseed with improved image tuning UI and more accurate RAW colors [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amanita Design (maker of Machinarium) releases Samorost 3 in the Play Store

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 02:57 PM PST


Most people who are even peripherally interested in games have probably played Machinarium at this point. Originally released on PC in 2009, Machinarium is a stylish, relaxing point-and-click adventure. It came to Android a few years back, and was quite successful. Now, the same developer has released Samorost 3 on Android. It's similar to Machinarium, but it looks even prettier.

Samorost 3 is the third game in the Samorost series, but it's the first one that's a full game.

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Amanita Design (maker of Machinarium) releases Samorost 3 in the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Pay comes to New Zealand, but only for one bank card

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 02:48 PM PST

Android Pay is finally coming to New Zealand, but it's starting off pretty limited. The service is only compatible with the Bank of New Zealand, and only the BNZ Flexi Debit Visa card.

If you have this card, then you'll be able to install the app and add your card. From there you'll be able to pay at stores like McDonalds, Dominos, Burger Fuel, and more. It's a neat trick, though it's no replacement for a wallet until it becomes more widespread. Hopefully more banks will get on board as well.

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OnePlus 3 now has Nougat beta available to flash

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 01:53 PM PST

The time has come for adventurous OnePlus 3 owners. OnePlus has released a beta build that's built on Android 7.0 Nougat for the OP3 and you can download it right now.

Unfortunately, there will be no OTA for beta users. You're going to have to flash the Nougat update yourself, and there will be no flashing back without wiping data. And of course there's always the fact that it's a beta, and so it won't be fully stable and will have bugs (like Android Pay potentially not working and performance issues). Here's a full changelog:

  • Upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat
  • New Notifications Design
  • New Settings Menu Design
  • Multi-Window View
  • Notification Direct Reply
  • Custom DPI Support
  • Added Status Bar Icon Options
  • Added Quick Launch For 3rd Party Applications
  • Improved Shelf Customization

If you want to give it a shot, hit the source link to download the build. Don't forget to leave feedback and make the software better for everyone!

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Google Santa Tracker updated for 2016

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 01:53 PM PST

Google Santa Tracker has been updated for 2016 and it includes some neat changes. The biggest is an extra game featuring alternate reality called Present Quest, where you grab presents and drop them off at "Santa's Workshop."

Other changes are updates for Android Wear, a redesigned village, and Android TV and Chromecast support. The tracking feature will start working on December 24. Check it out if you're curious or you have kids that steal your phone!

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Motorola will likely create a Tango Moto Mod for the Moto Z

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 11:58 AM PST

Motorola CEO, Aymar de Lencquesaing, today announced that the company is looking into creating a Tango Moto Mod for the company's flagship Moto Z smartphone. de Lencquesaing said the following about the compay's plans:

The tablet folks did a phablet and worked with Google, the Tango team, to come out with a Tango phablet. Going forward, we'll have to address as a group how do we reconcile the products that are at the fringe? We're likely to to have a Tango module to basically enable the Z to have Tango functionality.Aymar de LencquesaingMotorola

Lenovo has become the first manufacturer to create a Tango smartphone for consumers with the Phab 2 Pro. Now that the device has successfully launched, Lenovo is looking for ways to move from that point with Tango. Utilizing its Motorola brand is a natural springboard, bringing the technology within reach of the vast amounts of customers who use Motorola products. With the power of the Moto Mod system, Lenovo can likely integrate Tango technology into a mod for the current flagship, rather than creating an entirely new device.

While this Moto Mod is currently still in the conceptual phase, we expect it to come into being in a short span of time. We'll keep you posted on the progress of this Mod.

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American Express launches Amex Pay in Canada

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 11:58 AM PST

Yet another mobile payment system has emerged, this time in Canada. American Express has launched Amex Pay, an NFC mobile payment system built into the Amex CA app for Android.

This mobile payment system is similar to what Android Pay and Apple Pay offer. You connect your card, tap the phone to a compatible scanner, and you can pay. However, since it's all American Express, there are a few perks over other services.

Once you link your card, you can pay with the card even if you lose the physical card. When your replacement card arrives, you do not have to add it again as it's connected via a Device Card Number rather than the physical card info.

If you're Canadian and have an Amex card, give the app and Amex Pay a shot. If you're in the US, you can always add your Amex card to Android Pay and use that.

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LEGO jumps into the virtual reality game with Brickheadz for Daydream VR

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 11:42 AM PST


As virtual reality becomes more and more mainstream, brands are slowly realising its potential to market to consumers and potential customers. LEGO is the latest company to do this, releasing Brickheadz, a VR app for Google's Daydream platform and accompanying headset, to the Play Store in 'unreleased' beta state. If you're unaware, as I was, Brickheadz is a LEGO range released earlier this year with blocky characters, using Marvel and DC super heroes.

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LEGO jumps into the virtual reality game with Brickheadz for Daydream VR was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Pay says Kia Ora

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 10:59 AM PST

How to Check if your Android Phone is Infected with Malware

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 10:38 AM PST


Have an Android device that is running anything less than Android 7.0 Nougat? You probably do, since Google's latest operating system just started spreading across devices. Well then you might want to check if your account is infected with malware.

Cybersecurity software company Check Point has recently discovered a new Android vulnerability called "Gooligan" which apparently infects Android phones and steals email addresses.

How does it work? Well users inadvertently download apps infected with Gooligan or click on suspicious links, thus allowing hackers to have access to personal info found in apps like Gmail, Drive and more.

Armed with this info, hackers can purchase apps and write app reviews in your name. Luckily Check Point has designed an online tool that lets you check if your phone is infected with Gooligan.

All you need to do is access the Gooligan Checker, input your address and find out whether you've been exposed. On the same page, Check Point offers a mobile threat prevention tool for Android and iOS devices, designed to keep your phones safe. If you're interested you can request a demo.

In the wake of this discovery, it's interesting to note that a Google security official noted a few weeks back that Android is now as safe as iOS. But that's not the case for older versions of Android ranging from Gingerbread to Lollipop.

[Gooligan Checker]

The post How to Check if your Android Phone is Infected with Malware appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Netflix for Android Finally Gets Offline Viewing Mode

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 10:38 AM PST


Are you going somewhere remote for Christmas or New Year's where you won't have Internet? No problem. Netflix has just rolled out a new feature that will make your holidays more exciting for sure.

The video streaming giant has announced a long overdue feature – the ability to download select TV shows and movies on your Android or iOS device. Basically Netflix users can now enjoy offline viewing.

Surely, not every TV show or film will be up for grabs. You can check whether your favorite sitcom is available for download by tapping on the menu on the app and check the "Available for download" section appears.

Or you can just search for the show directly, tap of it to open the window and see if there's a downward arrow icon next to the episode. If it is, it means you can take that episode/movie to go. Once users download a video, it will show up in "My downloads" section.

Amazon's competing Prime Instant Videos service already offers offline viewing as of September 2015, so it was high-time Netflix followed suit. Another close competitor of Netflix, Hulu isn't allowing users to download videos. YET.

Why did Netflix take so long to offer this option? Well it has to do with negotiating new sets of rights with the networks which produced the TV shows and movies.


The post Netflix for Android Finally Gets Offline Viewing Mode appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Updated Udacity Android course prepares students for the Associate Android Developer Certification

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 09:53 AM PST

Posted by Jocelyn Becker, Senior Program Manager, Android Training

As one of our most popular Udacity courses, the Developing Android Apps course was recently updated to ensure developers have the resources to build high quality apps. This course, which has already helped more than half a million developers learn to build Android apps, has been through the car wash and come out sparkling clean and updated.

Google and Udacity have worked together to update the course to include the very latest changes in Android and Android Studio, including how to use the new Constraint Layout editor, and how to use Firebase Job Dispatcher. Learn best practices for building Android apps using Android 7.0 (Nougat) while keeping your apps backwards compatible in older versions, learning at your own pace in your own time.

You sent us feedback that some of the lessons were a little difficult to get through, so we've restructured the lessons and added smaller apps for you to build as you progress through the course. So not only will you build the Sunshine weather app as a complete, integrated application that spans the entire course, but you'll also create an app in each lesson to help you learn individual concepts.

Build a To Do app and add new tasks as you learn how to build a ContentProvider.

This course brings back Android experts Dan Galpin and Reto Meier from Google, and Lyla Fujiwara from Udacity, and introduces new faces from Google and Udacity.

Start learning now at http://ift.tt/2fLXZmZ.

Combined package for Developing Android Apps course and Associate Android Developer Certification

This updated course teaches the skills that are tested by the Associate Android Developer certification exam. Udacity is offering a package that combines the updated Developing Android Apps course with a voucher for the Associate Android Developer certification exam. If you pass this exam, you will earn the Associate Android Developer Certification and show that you are competent and skilled in tasks that an entry-level Android developer typically performs. Enroll in Udacity's Fast Track to get prepared and take the Associate Android developer exam at: http://ift.tt/2gGsAqI.

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Google's Santa Tracker app gets its yearly update with a new AR game and a redesigned village

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 09:47 AM PST

trackerIt's the most wonderful time of the year... the time when it's almost over. But it's also that turn in the calendar when a couple of billion people look forward to celebrating Christmas, and the youngest portions of that subset start improving their behavior in an avaricious desire for more presents. Google's taking part in its yearly ritual too, indulging whimsical parents and obsessive-compulsive children with its Santa Claus countdown-slash-tracker app.

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Google's Santa Tracker app gets its yearly update with a new AR game and a redesigned village was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 08:52 AM PST

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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 08:43 AM PST

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]

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 08:27 AM PST


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: 30 Nov 2016 08:22 AM PST

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:

South Korea

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.

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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 07:43 AM PST

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.




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

Xperia™ 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.




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. 


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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 07:32 AM PST


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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 05:32 AM PST


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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 04:12 AM PST


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

Posted: 30 Nov 2016 01:22 AM PST


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

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:22 PM PST

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

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:27 PM PST

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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