UK Intelligence Agency Makes Exclusive Android Tablet App, Teaches Cryptography


The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a similar intelligence agency to the United States National Security Agency (NSA), has recently released an exclusive Android tablet app geared towards teaching the public some basics in cryptography and a spot of history involving cryptography. The app is mainly geared towards children, but the GCHQ states that it can be fun for people of all ages.
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Mural Watchface pulls images from 500px service to join your own photos


A new Android Wear watch face app is now available from the Google Play store that lets you use photos and images for the watch face on an Android Wear device. The Mural Watchface app includes a connector for the 500px service so users can pull a variety of stunning images onto their smartwatch. In addition to the images available through 500px, Mural Watchface will let users select their own photos for use as a watch face.
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New Wear FaceLift app automatically changes Android Wear watch faces


Over the years, one feature that we have seen developers try to add to third-party launchers for Android smartphones and tablets is the ability to change the homescreen layout based on some context. That context could be something like time of day or location. A new app for Android Wear devices may be the first step in bringing that kind of context sensitive capability to the new breed of smartwatches. Wear FaceLift is rudimentary at this time, but the app points the way to greater functionality for Android Wear devices in the future.
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YouTube for Android TV listed in Google Play Store


Amongst all the excitement this week over the release of the Nexus 9 tablet from Google, there is another device that should start landing in consumers’ homes soon. Android TV is Google latest effort to break into the set top box market after their Google TV effort failed and the Nexus Player is the first entrant for this new platform. Unfortunately, the Google Play Store lists shipping as 2-3 weeks away for new orders. Despite that delay, Google is working to streamline the process for apps intended for the platform to get approval for distribution. One app that is now ready and available in the Google Play Store is the company’s own video platform, YouTube.
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Rovio takes flight with new RETRY game


Rovio is primarily known for their Angry Birds line of games. Their newest title, RETRY, invites players to take flight in a different manner, this time in an “8-bit jalopy of an airplane.” Rovio really plays up the retro aspects of the title, pointing out the 8-bit graphics look, the collection of coins as you work through levels, and a synthesized soundtrack.
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Shots of Google Calendar material design overhaul surface


The calendar app on a smartphone may not be the most interesting app users access, but it is typically one of the core functions of our mobile devices. Although they may not be “sexy,” calendars play an important role and people are interested in attempts to make the data contained within their calendars easy to access. With the updates rolling out for a host of Google apps to implement their new material design guidelines and appear as part of Android Lollipop, the calendar app is on the list. Some new screenshots of the updated app have been obtained that reveal some of the work Google has done to refresh the calendar.
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OnePlus sends Cyanogen Camera app to the Play Store


Following the lead of other manufacturers that use the Google Play Store to distribute core apps, OnePlus has made the Cyanogen Camera app that is part of CyanogenMod 11S, the special version of the operating system used for the OnePlus One smartphone, available in Google Play. By using the Play Store, manufacturers are able to push out updates more quickly and easily to end users. This eliminates the need for an app to go through a carrier’s review process to be included in an OTA update, which tend to be sporadic in their timing.
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New Microsoft Xim app lets groups view photos together


Microsoft has released a new app, Microsoft Xim, that combines a couple different features for users to enjoy photos as a group experience. Similar to features found on some Android platforms, one person can share a photo on their device to the screen of other users in a group in real time. The benefit of this is that users do not have to try to huddle around a single screen to look at a photo. Microsoft built the app so that only the person sharing an image needs Xim while all others can view the image using a browser. When done with a session, Xim pulls a Snapchat type move and deletes the image after a short period so no storage is consumed.
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