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Google Messenger v1.7 Adds A Wear App That Won't Work Until Wear Gets Marshmallow [APK Teardown]

It has been a little while since we've seen an update to Messenger, so something potentially big was expected from this release. Version 1.7 doesn't seem to bring any visible changes, but like a sugary cereal box, there is a cool toy hidden inside. Messenger will have its own Android Wear app, just like Keep, Play Music, and a few others. But in a quirky twist, this mini app can't be installed quite yet, not until your Wear watch receives an update to Marshmallow.

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Google Photos v1.13 Adds Dropdown To Search Results For Quick Access To All Photos Taken On The Same Day [APK Download]

It's Update Wednesday and Google has been rolling out the updates pretty steadily all morning. Most of them aren't packing much beyond bug fixes, but Photos did get an update to v1.13 with at least one cool little feature. The search results screen now provides a quick way to see photos taken on the same day alongside the regular results, even if they aren't related otherwise. We've got a couple variants of the latest apk linked at the bottom, and more are sure to come shortly.

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Play Books v3.7.67 Adds Quick-Links To The Store, Updates Night Light Intro Card, And Shows Progress On The Family Library [APK Teardown + Download]

Now that app updates are back to business as usual (more or less), Play Books is showing some activity again with a couple of small-ish changes that add a bit of polish. There are now shortcuts with links to different sections of the Play Store and an updated welcome card for the so-called Night Light feature. But the more interesting change is actually buried where it can't be seen in the live interface: some real signs that the Family Library is moving forward in Play Books. If you're looking for the APK, we have the link at the bottom.

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Google Docs, Sheets, And Slides For Android Now Support More Formats, Right-To-Left Languages, And Creating Filters [APK Download]

As it turns out, commenting wasn't all Google had in mind for Docs, Sheets, and Slides yesterday. The company is pushing out updates to the Android apps that add support for more document types.

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Newsstand v3.5 Receives Further Visual Tweaks And Pushes Top News To... Well, The Top [APK Download]

Just last week, users of Play Newsstand woke up to a newly redesigned article layout. An update to the apk began rolling out late yesterday that continues the visual adjustments, this time making changes to the content of the news feeds and categories. The highlights section has also been reordered to place leading stories right at the top so they're more accessible. As usual, you can grab the apk from a link at the bottom.

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IMDb Android App Gets Material Design Updates To Action Bar, Navigation Menu, Search, And More [APK Download]

What's playing right now? I don't know. Check IMDb. And while you're there, notice the new look. The Android app now comes off as a piece of software ready for the post-Lollipop era.

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YouTube v11 Adds Watched Markers To The Subscription Stream And Tweaks A Few Colors [APK Download]

It's a new year and evidently that means time for the YouTube app to get a new major version number. Yes, it was exactly one year earlier that it jumped from v6 to v10, and yesterday it climbed to v11. So far, it looks like there's not much to commemorate the jump, but the changelog is not completely empty. The subscription feed finally shows markers for videos you've watched, and there are now a few subtle tweaks to the interface that shouldn't go unmentioned.

What's New

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Left: old version. Right: new version.

There's a great little feature in YouTube that displays flags in the top-left corner of videos you've viewed.

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[Update: Normalization Is Gone] Google App v5.8 Beta Brings Back Launcher Auto Rotation On Phones And Now Normalizes Icon Sizes For A Bit Of Consistency [APK Download]

Following the big improvements to Maps on Monday night, Google is hitting us again with another update that is sure to make quite a few users happy, at least for those that use the Google Now Launcher (a.k.a. GEL). Support for a rotating launcher screen on phones is back, and if that's not enough, there's also a nifty new rendering feature that resizes app icons so most of them will look more consistent on your home screen. This update appears to have come out of Google's beta channel, but we've got download links at the bottom if you want to jump on it right away.

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Maps v9.19 Introduces New 'Driving Mode' With Traffic Updates And ETAs, Audio Toggle For Navigation, And Timeline Settings [APK Download + Teardown]

Google's developers are back to work now that the holidays (and CES) are over, and the first major app update is here. Maps v9.19 is out and it brings a host of pretty awesome new features. There is a new settings screen for your timeline that gives a bit more control over its operation and what is shown. A new audio toggle has been added to the navigation modes so it's a little easier to quickly shut off those over zealous turn-by-turn notifications. And there's a new driving mode that uses Google's knowledge of your habits and search history to predict where you're going during a drive and volunteer useful information as you drive—if you can get it enabled, that is.

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Google Fit v1.56 Expands On Activities That Can Be Started From Android Wear

One of the worst things about fitness tracking apps is that they often require users to tell them when an activity starts. This can be a pretty big inconvenience, especially for people that keep their phones stowed in closed pockets or an arm band without easy access to the screen. The latest update to Fit might save many people from having to reach for their phone at all. Wear users can now start and stop activity trackers directly from the mini-app.

What's New

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The main phone app doesn't seem to have any notable changes, so this update is all about Wear.

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