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Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android get Page setup and ODF/EPUB support

The Android apps for Google Docs can be handy for quick edits, but lack many of the features available through the web app. Today's update for the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android bring a few useful features to mobile.

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Voice Access 2.0 beta adds voice commands to toggle the keyboard and new behavior settings [APK Download]

Google's Voice Access app is a good solution to a special kind of problem: how to use apps designed for a touchscreen without actually touching the screen. Version 2.0 began rolling out last week to users signed up for the beta. There aren't a lot of changes to come with this major version bump, but some new voice commands and settings still made this update. If you don't already have the latest version, or perhaps you've chosen not to join the beta program, there is a download link at the bottom.

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Google+ v9.3 reveals plan to move Location Sharing to Google Maps and make a more useful cropping tool [APK Teardown]

This week has been busy with updates, but many are just checking bugs off the list before everybody takes off a couple of weeks for the holidays. The web interface was given adjustments for how frequently Recommended and Trending posts are shown, and there are now better recommendations and a new horizontally scrollable view on the mobile site, but only the improved recommendations made it over to the app (so far). The interesting part of the apk update is in the teardown, which confirms plans to relocate the location sharing feature to Google Maps. There is also evidence of a new improved image cropping tool in the works.

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Material design guidelines updated with guidance on cross-platform design, app shortcut icons, help, & more

Since Google introduced material design in 2014, the questions of whether and how to use the design language on other platforms like iOS has lingered. But Google hasn't been a stranger to material on iOS. Inbox users for instance should feel right at home moving between iOS and Android, as many of the interface's core components are shared.

In an update to the material guidelines today, Google is taking a more explicit position on the matter with new guidance for bringing material design to iOS and web. The guidance definitely isn't comprehensive - it doesn't dive very deep into the more nuanced considerations for cross-platform design like platform-specific feature sets, esoteric navigation and action patterns, etc.

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Google Maps v9.43 beta adds a shortcut to contributions and changes a couple notification settings, prepares to offer recommendations from the menu and more [APK Teardown + Download]

There's an update for Google Maps v9.43 rolling out to beta testers. This one isn't loaded with changes, but there are a few things worth checking out in this release. There have been a couple of changes to the notification options in the Settings screen and a new home screen shortcut is now available. A deeper look through a teardown reveals plans to display recommended dishes from the menu. There is also some follow-up to an odd teardown topic from a few weeks ago.

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Instagram 10.3 adds 'Saved' tab for keeping photos and videos for later

Instagram has rapidly added new features in the past few months, from Periscope-esque live streaming to Boomerang support. The latest addition to the mobile apps is not a groundbreaking change, but still very useful. Starting with Instagram 10.3 for Android, a new 'Saved' tab is visible on the profile page.

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Play Music v7.1 prepares to add an autoplay option and sound quality settings for Wi-Fi and downloading [APK Teardown]

An update to Google Play Music began rolling out earlier this week, but there aren't any signs of changes in the UI. However, a couple of interesting things did turn up during a teardown. We can look forward to new settings to control audio quality for each of the major situations for downloading music. Additionally, there will be an option to allow the app to begin playing music as soon as it launches. If you're eager to grab the latest version before it comes to your device naturally, there's a download link at the bottom.

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Play Books v3.11 adopts a bottom navigation bar, sub-lists for series, and a settings link for Night Light [APK Download]

As the holidays close in (at least for many readers), Google is rolling out a stream of updates to various apps. In addition to the major Keyboard update earlier today, Play Books is making some changes, as well. The big change on this release is the adoption of the bottom navigation bar. Digging a bit deeper also reveals improvements to the way issues are displayed for comics and other series, and a couple of other visual tweaks.

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Android Pay v1.12 prepares for launch in Japan with Rakuten Edy and other e-money providers [APK Teardown]

Android Pay made its first Asian appearance in Singapore back in late-June. A couple months later, in August, rumors began circulating that Google was in negotiations with numerous financial companies to prepare for a launch in Japan. Names of the likely partners included: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, East Japan Railway Company, Rakuten, NTT Docomo, and JCB, to name a few. Since then, details have been sparse; but with evidence discovered in the latest update to Android Pay, it's now clear that a deal has been struck with Rakuten.

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Gmail v6.11 fully supports pasted content with formatted text and images [APK Download]

A couple of weeks ago, Gmail v6.11 began its rollout with a relatively small but divisive change to the way quotes are handled in replies. It turns out that there was a much bigger and more important change that went completely unnoticed. Google just posted a changelog on the Play Store to point out that you can now paste content into Gmail and all of the formatting and images will remain intact. Version 6.11 is still current, but there have been a couple of minor bug fix releases since then, so there's also a download link at the bottom if you don't already have the absolute latest update.

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