Android Police

Apps/Games

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Instagram is testing a standalone messaging app called Direct

Remember how upset people were when Facebook started requiring everyone to install the separate Messenger app? Now Instagram is going down the same road, or it's at least strongly considering it. Instagram is testing a new app called Direct that replaces the messaging inbox from the main app and builds an experience around it. The new app is only available in a few countries so far, but it could be rolled out widely later.

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AutoNotification lets you add a "Mark as Read" icon to Gmail notifications

Joao from joaomgcd, better known for his series of "Auto-" apps and Join, is one of our favorite tinkering developers. He always manages to find a way to make Android do things it's not supposed to, and the latest "hack" he has come up with is a new "Read" button on Gmail notifications. You know how you sometimes receive emails with a few words that are easily legible from the notification without having to open the entire Gmail app, or how you get automated emails which content you already know without opening them, and you just want a quick way to mark them as read without deleting or archiving them?

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VSCO rolls out Messages, because every image sharing platform needs a built-in messenger

It's like there's a recipe for image sharing social networks: 1) launch the service with some hook to make it special against the thousands of other competitors, 2) wait until there are enough uses and add a messenger so people can talk to each other without ever leaving your app, 3) launch a Snapchat-like auto-distruct feature, 4) separate all 3 features into their own standalone apps. VSCO has graduated from step 1 to step 2.

Yup, VSCO is rolling out Messages, so you can talk to all those VSCOers out there and not feel alone in your VSCO world. It's described as "a new way to connect, share inspiration, and learn from other creators in the VSCO community," which sounds inspiring, but all it is is an easy way to share photos, journals, other profiles, and DSCOs (animated images) with others.

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Ai.type keyboard app developer accidentally leaks personal data of 31 million users

Another week, another potentially serious data breach. The emails, phone numbers, and locations of 31 million users of Android keyboard app Ai.type have been compromised after the developer failed to secure the server on which the information was stored. Some 577 gigabytes of data is said to have been exposed, representing more than three quarters of the app's total userbase.

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Anki Cozmo app update expands programming functionality

Back in September, Anki released a special Collectors Edition of its Cozmo toy robot, alongside a major app update for both the original and new models. One of its Cozmo's many features is the ability to program basic tasks through the mobile app. While a full Python-based SDK is available for those wanting to use real programming languages, the drag-and-drop Code Lab had most of the essentials.

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Your 2017 Wrapped by Spotify is a musical year in review with a new custom playlist

One of the best things about the music streaming service Spotify is the platform's incredible ability to customize itself to the listener. Its automatically generated playlists are second to none, making it easy to find new music you like. The holidays are also a special time for Spotify listeners, as we get to look back at the last year's listening habits in the form of customized playlists, and this year Spotify has turned it into an interactive experience: Your 2017 Wrapped

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Chrome 63 adds new flags page, prepares Chrome Home UI for wide rollout, and more [APK Download]

It's that time of the month again - Google has released a brand new version of Chrome for Android. We're now up to version 63, which brings a few useful improvements and further changes to the in-development 'Chrome Home' interface.

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Pokémon GO is getting dynamic weather and gen 3 Pokémon [APK Download]

Pokémon GO was almost impossibly popular when it launched in summer 2016, but interest has waned since then. Some players came back when the game added gen 2 Pokémon to the mix, and now there will probably be another bump in the number of players. Niantic is rolling out an update today that adds gen 3 Pokémon to the game, as well as dynamic weather conditions that can affect gameplay.

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Crows Crows Crows disrupts the means of food production in its debut game 'Eat: The Revolution'

You may not have heard of the developer Crows Crows Crows before, but that's alright, because before their release of Eat: The Revolution I too had no idea who they were. Apparently, this development company is headed by The Stanley Parable co-creator William Pugh. If you have ever played through The Stanley Parable, you should be quite familiar with the high-concept game design of William Pugh. Eat: The Revolution is no different in this regard as it offers something very distinctive when compared to the average game on the Play Store.

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Navigate royal politics and intrigue with a swipe in Reigns: Her Majesty from DevolverDigital

Running a kingdom is probably a lot of work, but it's a breeze in Reigns. Actually, it's a swipe. The original Reigns put you in the role of king, but Reigns: Her Majesty places you in the (presumably luxurious) shoes of the queen. Can you keep the king from screwing the kingdom up or will you find yourself at the end of a pitchfork?

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