Google Play Books gains new ‘skim’ feature for quickly jumping through books, improved bookmarking, and more

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Skim Mode control (Click for animation)

Google has pushed an update to the Play Books application for Android that includes an all-new ‘skim’ mode that makes it easier to quickly flip through a book. Google says the feature is designed with reference books in mind, allowing readers to quickly flip through the book to find specific sections, notes, or highlights.

The update also includes support for quick bookmarking that makes it easier to quickly jump between different sections of a book. Of course, the focus on reference materials fits nicely with the app’s existing notes and highlighting features, which can be browsed more easily in the new version.

You can grab the updated Google Play Books app for free from the Play Store.

Microsoft outs upcoming fitness ‘Band’ with premature Android and Mac app releases

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Microsoft hasn’t officially announced its wearable device, but it seems the company has accidentally published its desktop syncing client to the Mac App Store early. Whoops. The device is called the Microsoft Band (possibly Lumia Band, according to some currently non-functional support URLs).

The Microsoft privacy policy for the app lists some of the Band’s features: “Microsoft Band sensors help you keep track of things like your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and sleep.” Links in the document claiming to lead to a page with additional data, such as a list of sensors, currently lead to a 404 page.

Other key feature include the ability to get phone notifications on the Band, create reminders using Cortana, and more:

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Google Wallet adds recurring bank transfers for automatically adding money, low balance alerts

Google today announced it’s adding new ways to add money to its Google Wallet service in addition to some new features that will make keeping an eye on your balance easier. The app also appears to be getting a bit of a Material Design update on Android (as pictured above).

First up, you will now be able to setup automatic bank transfers that will ensure there is always money to spend in your Google Wallet account. The recurring transfers allow you to schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposits and can be cancelled at any time: Read more

Google My Business for Android now lets users respond to customer feedback directly from their smartphones

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Google is now deploying an update for its Google My Business Android app that makes it easier for business owners to reply to customer reviews. With this revamped software, entrepreneurs can track customer critiques in real-time on the web, allowing them to address praise or complaints in a timely manner directly from their mobile device.

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Google Play Movies & TV app gets redesign, second-screen experience w/ actor & soundtrack info

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Google today announced that it’s rolling out an updated Google Play Movies & TV app for Android that introduces a second-screen experience when streaming TV shows and movies to a Chromecast or Nexus Player-connected TV. That means that your Android smartphone or tablet will now display actor or soundtrack information related to the content streaming to the big screen. Read more

Fleksy keyboard for Android on sale for 99¢ after securing $2 million in latest funding round

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Fleksy keyboard for Android has received an update with a couple of new features and gone on sale for 99 cents through Friday after announcing it has secured $2 million in venture funding from Digital Garage, Eniac Ventures, Middleland Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Militello Capital and other investment partners. Read more

Phone 2 Go app brings Time Warner Cable home phone service to mobile devices for no additional cost

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Time Warner Cable today announced a new smartphone app that will let its customers use their home phone service on mobile devices for no additional fees. That means that users with a Time Warner Cable home phone service, which starts at $10/month, can now text and call through the new Phone 2 Go app available for both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The service requires a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and will also work for international calling and texting: Read more

Pushbullet for Android gets updated with snazzy Material design

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Pushbullet, the service that easily lets you send files and links around to all of your devices, just today got a huge update for Android that brings—yes, you guessed it—Material design. And with such a redesign, the way the app works has been overhauled from the ground up, bringing faster and easier navigation and sorting of pushes.

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Algoriddim brings its popular Mac and iOS ‘djay’ app to Android w/ Spotify integration

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Algoriddim, the team behind the popular music mixing app djay, first shipped the commercial version of its flagship app in 2007 on the Mac followed by the iPad version in 2010 and the iPhone version in 2011. Adding to the history of djay, today Algoriddim is launching djay for Android through the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store making the app its first on Google’s platform.

While djay is rooted in digital music mixing on the Mac then iOS, the new Android version is just as desktop class with high quality music playback and real time analyzing and mixing. Better yet, djay for Android packs in deep Spotify integration from day one–the iOS version first added up Spotify integration earlier this year–which means you have access to over 20 million songs for mixing together and playback.

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Facebook releases updated Android client with improved support for sharing multiple photos

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Facebook has announced that it will be releasing an updated version of its mobile application later today that will improve the process of sharing multiple photos in a single post. The new composer will allow users to choose multiple images from their device’s photo library or camera, then show a preview of the post with each image in the order they were selected.

From here users will be able to add captions to each photo, write an introduction for the post, or rearrange the order of the photos. The post will show up in friends’ news feeds as a photo collage rather than a horizontal group of photos.

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