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The Play Store adopts new app and notification icons with v7.8.16 [APK Download]

Google never stops changing things up. A new version of the Play Store app is rolling out to users and it comes with new icons for the app launcher and notifications. They're simple cosmetic adjustments, but these are the types of things you can't help but notice as soon as they're on your screen.

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YouTube v12.17 prepares an option to turn off the floating video player [APK Teardown]

YouTube's update to v5 introduced its floating in-app video player, giving users an easier way to browse for a new video while finishing up whatever they were just watching. While the YouTube developers are known for experimenting heavily with interface adjustments, the floating video player has gone basically unchanged over the last four years. That is until a few weeks ago when some users found themselves looking at a new bottom bar layout equipped with player controls. But that's not the only thing YouTube is considering, there is also evidence that users will have the option to shut off the floating video player altogether, or only leave it on while connected to Wi-Fi.

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Android Pay v1.22 prepares Visual ID facial recognition based on Hands Free and reveals testing for Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, and Canada [APK Teardown]

Android Pay may not have had a massive launch, or has been as aggressively rolled out as Samsung Pay, but it is steadily setting up shop in more countries around the globe. If you don't happen to find yourself in one of the dozen countries that have either already seen a launch or at least have an official promise of one coming soon, you might be interested to know that Google has at least set its sights on a few other countries. Text in the latest update of the Android Pay app hints at four previously unannounced markets. There are also obvious signs Google is merging the recently closed Hands Free experiment into Android Pay and expanding it significantly.

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:D Facebook reactions are now also available for comments

Early last year, Facebook got all emotional, allowing us to do more than just actively like or passively dislike a thing. Reactions were introduced in the biggest shake-up the Like button had ever seen. This made it possible to react to a post with the entire range of human emotions. Well, with love, laughter, shock, sadness, or anger. Of course, this wasn't enough. We want to be able to react with emotion to everything. So now Facebook is bringing these same options to the comments below posts, too.

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Play Store v7.8 prepares to add pre-registration rewards, settings for Instant Apps, Play Protect, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Play Store has just been updated to version 7.8 as of this morning, at least for some people. This release brings a couple of small changes to the interface and a few bigger changes in preparation for the future. Google has added a little reminder note to get people back on track with automatic updates, meanwhile it has also removed a toggle on some devices that gave users a choice about whether icons should be added to the home screen for newly installed apps. (But don't worry, that's conditional.) On the teardown front, we can see big signs of progress for Instant Apps, a move toward branding the malware scanner, and a clue that pre-registering for apps may finally be worth something besides a reminder notification.

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Mr. T's voice finally comes to Waze for directions and navigation

Users of Waze have a new voice option for navigation: Mr. T, known as B. A. on A-Team among other things, is bringing his iconic voice to the app. You can update your settings to get listening to several instances of the word "fool" along your commute.

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Google Phone 9.0 prepares to add Android O's Notification Channels, picture messaging, post-call messages, and more [APK Teardown]

Late last week, an update to Google's Phone app began rolling out with no immediately obvious changes to the experience. While users don't have anything to play with quite yet, there are several interesting hints about what is to come in future releases. Hidden among the app's resources are signs of support for Android O's new Notification Channels feature, in-call picture messaging, post-call messaging, hidden menu codes for Motorola phones, and even some odd images of paws. Yes, seriously.

Official changelog posted

Google posted a changelog for the Phone app's latest update with the addition of emergency location display and "call waiting improvements" making up the majority of the new features.

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Facebook is making Messenger Lite available in 132 more countries, but not the US

The Facebook app and Messenger are commonly criticized for being too large and consuming too many resources. For people in emerging markets with less powerful devices, that can be an issue, which led Facebook to develop Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite. Now, Messenger Lite will be available to download in 132 more countries. Not in 'Murica, though.

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Facebook is testing a floating button for suggested videos

It seems like every week there's something new popping up in Facebook's Android app. I've lost track and count, but I'm fairly sure we've never seen them mess with floating action buttons (FAB) in this way before. Two tipsters have reported seeing a new FAB in Facebook for suggested videos... and really, that's about it.

Tapping the FAB opens a new page that shows a list of videos suggested for you to watch. Because Facebook needs you to watch more videos, obviously, and a FAB is one of the best ways to attract a user's attention and/or elicit accidental taps.

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Google Photos v2.14 is preparing personalized experiences and sharing suggestions based around facial recognition [APK Teardown]

When the Photos app launched in 2015, Google had already been working on computer vision for many years. It was no surprise that object recognition was a major draw for the app, and automatic sorting of pictures by person with the use of facial recognition became a must-have feature. Google is now looking to leverage this technology to make the Photos app a bit more social. A teardown of the latest Photos update reveals the service will soon offer additional features based around facial recognition, and even encourage users to share pictures with the people detected in them.

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