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Google app v6.2 beta reveals more about Google assistant and teases 'Ok Google' hotword setting for Auto and Maps navigation mode [APK Teardown]

Google has been on a roll this week with app updates and there have been some pretty cool new features, not the least of which makes comic books more awesome. One of the latest arrivals to the list is a beta update to the titular app. Known originally as "Search," the Google app now encompasses a custom launcher, the Now stream, Now on Tap, voice commands, and more. The recently announced Google assistant is on course to join the party, promising to bring many of these technologies together to deliver something not unlike the computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Google Messenger v1.9 is installable on Android 7.0 developer previews and restores Wear support [APK Download]

If you're among the crowd that both installs Android developer previews and also owns an Android Wear watch, you've probably noticed some of the apps that belong on your watch have been missing. This happens because the stock apps included with the developer previews are missing the the micro-apks for Wear. As the official release of Android 7.0 draws near, Google has been slowly releasing app updates that can install over the stock versions on the developer preview. And as of yesterday's stream of updates, Google Messenger joins that list.

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Google+ v8.3 prepares to enable image comments, community moderation improvements [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google+ app is getting an update today, bringing the latest version to 8.3. The changes aren't going to be very extensive for most people, but there are signs that one highly requested feature will be coming in the future: image comments. It looks like there may also be some changes for community moderators either in place already, or coming soon.

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Google Photos v1.24 added an improved cropping tool and sorting for albums [APK Download]

An update to Google Photos hit late yesterday, taking the version up to 1.24. This update doesn't make any major changes, but there are a couple of notable improvements. The cropping tool has been redesigned and upgraded in a few good ways and albums can now be sorted. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom of the post if you'd like to pick up the apk before Google rolls it out to everybody.

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Play Books v3.9 adds smarter search suggestions, badges for series with new content, and more [APK Download + Teardown]

It has been a couple of months since Play Books has been in the news, but there's a new update rolling out and it brings a couple of new features. Version 3.9 gives search a little more help with more thorough suggestions and adds a badge to series when new content hits the store. Those two things along with some other general bug fixes and improvements are certainly nice, but there are also a couple of things to talk about in a teardown. Keep reading for details or skip straight to the bottom for a download link.

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Play Music v6.11 adds 'play' buttons to album and radio station cards, prepares to add a sleep timer, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Updates to the Play Music app have been steadily rolling out, but there hasn't been much to tell for about the last six weeks, ever since podcast support was added to Android Auto at the beginning of June. Bug fixes and very subtle tweaks seem to be the theme. The latest update to v6.11 doesn't deviate too far from this trend, but there is a small addition to the UI and a few clues to discuss in a teardown.

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Inbox v1.27 prepares to support Gmail's vacation auto-responder [APK Teardown]

Inbox has been growing consistently more feature-rich with a mix of new features designed just for its efficient interface and old features that are slowly integrated from its forefather Gmail. There aren't any obvious signs of new features to play with in this version, but there is something for the teardown archives. With the release of v1.27, evidence shows another classic feature will soon make the jump from Gmail to Inbox: the vacation responder.

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Google Calendar v5.5.9 prepares to add conference room scheduling, snoozing reminders, and maybe a new developer API [APK Teardown]

A seemingly minor update to Google Calendar began rolling out earlier today, bumping the version number from 5.5.7 to 5.5.9. There aren't any apparent changes to the interface with this release, but it does come with some interesting things under the covers. A teardown reveals a new feature for the office that will allow people to schedule conference rooms, the return of reminders that can be snoozed, and possibly a "new api" for developers to work with.

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Google Maps v9.32 Beta prepares for "Wi-Fi Only" offline maps and new traffic notifications, allows users to clean up places they've never been to, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new version of Google Maps hit the beta channel late last night, bring the version number up to v9.32.0. It looks mostly unchanged, but there is a brand new menu option in the Contribute screen that allows users to clean out locations they've never visited before. The bigger news comes from a teardown. A handful of notable new features are on the horizon, including a true cellular-free mode for navigation, real-time traffic notifications, and more. Since this is a beta release and the Google Maps team has been incredibly ambitious with new features, I expect some of the things listed in the teardown are actually live, but for many different reasons they may not appear for everyone or at all times.

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Google Fit v1.57 will add group challenges, nutrition data, local rankings, target weight, and more [APK Teardown]

Last week, a fairly major update to Google Fit came with a fresh coat of paint for the interface and a few important feature enhancements. It now supports multiple goals with more options, weight tracking, new metrics, and quite a bit more. It wasn't a complete overhaul, but it certainly looks and feels like a whole new app. But that's not the whole story, there's actually quite a bit more in this update that hasn't emerged yet. A teardown reveals some other features that will either activate soon or turn up with the rollout of future updates. But before we get to that, there were actually a couple more things that popped up since the first post.

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