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Google Photos v3.4 prepares to add favoriting and offer one-time permission to do backups over cellular [APK Teardown]

Version 3.4 of Google Photos started rolling out earlier today, and like so many other recent app updates, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes. This is a pretty common theme around this time of year as Google prepares to launch new hardware and services. But investigating the app updates themselves can still turn up clues about future enhancements. In this release, there are signs that users will be able to mark photos as "favorites" and quickly pull up a list for easy browsing. There's also going to be a new notification when you're on cellular networks to allow one-time passes for the backup system to use some of that data and get your photos and videos into the cloud ASAP.

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Duo v17 begins experimentation with color effects, white balance, and exposure controls, also brings round and adaptive icons [APK Teardown + Download]

Duo has done well positioning itself as a simple, yet innovative app for video chat. Despite a focus on simplicity, it's time to begin experimenting with enhancements that can establish Duo with new audiences. The latest update contains clues suggesting the development team may bring some advanced camera settings to the app so users can make sure they're sending the very best image possible.

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Google Maps v9.60 brings usable Picture-in-Picture mode, prepares for adding personal notes to locations, food reviews, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Friday saw the launch of video submissions by Local Guides, some of which are already popping up. But that wasn't the only thing to come with the v9.60 update, the Picture-in-Picture mode added in the last update has been fixed and now offers a useful window into your trip while you're using other apps. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including personal notes for locations, food reviews with photo submissions, and much more.

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Allo v17 prepares to add "web stickers" for more variety, will soon sort sticker packs into searchable categories [APK Teardown]

It's hard to imagine writing about Allo without talking about stickers, and as the title suggests, this post isn't going to change that. Version 17 just started rolling out, but it looks to be basically the same on the surface. At least no significant changes have turned up for me. However, a teardown of the apk shows that there are even more sticker-related improvements on the horizon.

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Google v7.10 beta reveals Bisto-like headphones to be made by partners, details about hardware buttons and capabilities, and much more [APK Teardown]

Yesterday was a busy day with the official announcement of Android Oreo and our sun playing a short game of peekaboo behind the moon. Yesterday also saw the release of a brand new version of the Google app to the beta channel. After a bit of digging, there aren't any notable changes jumping out at us, but a teardown of the APK provides a monstrous amount of information about a mystery device called Bisto. There's plenty here, so let's dig straight into the juicy bits!

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Photos v3.3 cleans up notification options on the settings screen [APK Download + Teardown]

A new version of Google Photos is rolling out to users today. Noticeable changes seem to be pretty scarce in both this release and the previous v3.2 update, or at least we haven't seen much in the way of differences. However, between the two, there are a few things to talk about. Today's update brings a little cleanup work to the Settings screen by grouping notification options together, as well multi-selection support in the shared libraries screen. There are also clues about a new themed video creation, enhanced rules for auto-saving shared photos, and some cost-saving measures for Airtel subscribers in India.

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[Update: Allo for web is live] Allo v16 prepares for hotword detection, sporting events, birthdays, and more

A new update to Google's Allo app began rolling out to users today, bringing it to version 16. We're still looking for new features that may have gone live with this release, but nothing has turned up yet and the Allo team still hasn't posted anything about what to expect from this update. While we keep looking – and waiting for that web client – there is quite a bit in this update that warrants a teardown. There are a lot of small tweaks and features on the horizon, so let's get straight to it.

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Google Maps v9.59 beta adds Q&A section, Picture-in-Picture support, monthly driving stats, and more notification channels [APK Download]

A new update to Google Maps is rolling out to the beta channel members right now, and like so many previous releases, there are a few new features to check out. First, the Q&A feature from the last teardown of Maps is live. Drivers will soon be able to see a monthly report of their behavior right inside the app. If you're running an Android O developer preview, the first thing you can look forward to is the addition of Picture-in-Picture support. Also for Android O are a pair of new notification channels to get better control over navigation-specific information.

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Google app v7.9 begins work on day planning feature called At A Glance, saving web pages and images for later, possible Lens interface called "Eyes," and more [APK Teardown]

Version 7.9 of the Google app began rolling out last night, but like so many other updates, this one doesn't appear to change much once it has been installed. However, it may be setting the stage for a number of things, both new and previously announced. A teardown of the APK brings to light some new features for at a glance visibility of travel information and storing search results and web pages for later use, plus a few follow-ups for topics we've seen before.

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Play Store v8.1 adds notification channels on Android O [APK Download]

A new version of the Google Play Store began rolling out earlier today with few, if any noticeable changes. However, if you're running the Android O previews on any devices, there will be one change to look forward to: Notification Channels. The latest version brings five distinct channels for customization, including: Security and Maintenance, Updated Apps, App Updates Available, Account Alerts, and High Priority. Now we can make a few more decisions about which notifications we want to see and if they matter more or less than the developers thought they should.

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