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Google Allo may launch this week, according to Evan Blass [Update: Maybe 9/21]

Google Duo and Allo, the company's latest messaging applications, were announced back at Google I/O this year. Only Duo has been released to the public, and as I'm sure you all know, Google has been silent about the release date for Allo apart from a summer release. With the first day of fall coming on September 22, time is running out to meet the deadline.

Evan Blass, more famously known as @evleaks on Twitter, posted a tweet saying only "Hello, Allo (launches this week)." That's it.

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Solid Explorer 2.2 is now available with encryption, multi-window support, and more

There is no shortage of file managers on the Play Store. But Solid Explorer remains my favorite, simply because of its Material design and ease of use. For you power users out there, it also boasts drag and drop, FTP/WebDAV/SMB client support, batch file management, and much more. Solid Explorer has just been bumped to version 2.2, and there's a lot to get excited about.

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Chrome Dev 55 adds gamepad features and better Android Pay support [APK Download]

Yesterday, I wrote about the massive number of changes that Chrome Beta 54 brought along. Chrome 55 hasn't been in development for quite as long, but there are still a few noteworthy changes. Come along with me as I journey into the wonderful world of alpha-quality software.

Users on Android 7.0 might need to use an APK to update, as there is a bug with Chrome Beta & Dev updating from the Play Store. You can find the APKMirror download link at the bottom of this post.
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Chrome 54 Beta adds an updated New Tab Page, background video playback, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 54 Beta is now available on the Google Play Store, for you adventurous beta testers out there. This beta brings some very useful new features to Chrome, so let's dive right in!

New Tab page

Chrome 54 brings a redesigned New Tab page, and honestly, I'm not sure I'm a fan. The changed New Tab page still maintains the Google logo and the search bar, but does away with the Bookmarks or Recent Tabs buttons.

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Samsung releases Samsung Focus, an all-in-one productivity app [APK Download]

When the BlackBerry Priv arrived last year, one of the built-in applications was the BlackBerry Hub. It merged your emails, notifications from supported social networks, and calendars all in one place. It was a pretty good idea, and Samsung has just released a similar application, Samsung Focus.

Focus is much more oriented towards business users than the average Joe the BlackBerry Hub aims to please. Samsung Focus can sync your emails, contacts and calendars, memos, tasks, and more. Most of these features are only compatible with Exchange servers, but the email feature does support IMAP and POP3 email as well. This means that essentially every email service is compatible.

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Google made some cute advertisements for Duo, seriously they're adorable

One trend I've noticed with Google over the years is that they don't usually advertise on TV. There's been some commercials for the Nexus devices over the years, and recently some ads for Google Photos, but not much else. Google just uploaded a series of ads for Google Duo, their new video chat application, and they're absolutely adorable. Check them out:

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Google+ v8.7 now opens image comments in a full screen viewer like any other image [APK Download]

Google+ wasn't the first social network to allow users to embed images directly into comments, but it's supported now and most of us seem pretty happy about it. The only problem with image comments was that a few features were missing from that first implementation. A couple of weeks have passed and we're now looking at a brand new update that fills in most of the gaps: enabling users to open images in full screen, save them locally, and more.

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Google Photos v2.0 enables permanent sorting options for albums [APK Download]

Google Photos just made the jump to v2.0. Hurray! Oddly, it doesn't look like very much has changed, but there is one feature people have been looking forward to for a long time: permanent sorting for the contents of an album. That isn't the only difference we've seen, but most of the other details would be more easily described as fit-and-finish changes – basically polishing up the interface. However, the Photos team posted a changelog for the iOS version last week that also describes the addition of Live Photo support (which is exclusive to iOS since the movies are shared in another format) and the ability to change the thumbnail for detected faces.

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tinyCam Monitor 7.0 released, Pro version is 50% off to celebrate

tinyCam Monitor is probably the most feature-packed remote surveillance app on the Play Store. Almost everything you could imagine is here - two-way audio for select cameras, SSL support, MP4 video recording, Google Cast and Android TV support, and even a built-in web server. Version 7.0 of tinyCam has just been released, and to celebrate, the Pro version is 50% off until September 20.

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Google Maps v9.37 beta adds personal content settings screen and timeline shortcut, organizes notification settings, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

It's a Friday afternoon and wouldn't you know it, Google set loose an update to the Maps app just in time for the weekend to begin. (Not like some of us didn't have plans...) Like so many recent updates to Maps, this one has some pretty notable changes worth checking out. There's a new settings screen for controlling how your personal content shows up in the app and the notification settings have been organized into sub-groups for easier browsing. A shortcut has been added to get into your timeline quickly, and it looks like level 3 Local Guides can now work with some of the recently added features for making contributions to places nearby.

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