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Google Photos v3.8 adds a shortcut to notification settings, prepares Maps integration and photo book wizards [APK Teardown]

Google began rolling out a new version of the Photos app this afternoon. It's not a particularly feature rich update, it appears to include just a convenient shortcut for notification channels and a promotion for free shipping on photo books. However, a teardown does add a bit more meat to this release as it foretells of some basic integration with Google Maps and some helpful wizards for building quality photo books.

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Google Wallet v21 comes with cosmetic improvements, prepares to add reminders, multi-person requests, and Android Messages integration [APK Teardown]

The Google Wallet app hasn't seen a lot of activity in a while, but an update began rolling out late yesterday that shows that there's still quite a bit happening to the app. Version 21 brings a number of visual enhancements that make the app look a bit cleaner and not quite as formal. Under the covers, a teardown also shows that the Wallet developers are about to launch multi-person money requests for those times when everybody splits the cost, a new reminders system to keep you from forgetting to take care of business, and confirms Android Messages integration is coming soon.

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Duo v21 expands camera effect tests to include brightness, contrast, and saturation, preparing voicemail feature [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Duo rolling out today, but it doesn't bring any huge changes for users. However, a teardown shows that the developers are still plenty active as they work on some tools to experiment with camera effects, including new controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. Also in this update are new details for a voicemail-like feature for sending voice and video messages outside of a call.

What's New

While the meat of this post is in the teardown, one visual change in this update also stands out. Missed calls have been redrawn to place the icon below a contact's name, and if the call was made in the last day, it will list the time instead of a nonspecific "today" label.

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YouTube Music v2.04 introduces an all-red icon, will soon enable double-tap to seek [APK Teardown]

YouTube may be in the process of making some changes to its branding and style choices with some of its mobile apps. A few days ago, the YouTube Gaming app received an update sporting a redesigned icon that kept its original heart shape, but sidelined the low-poly look it had launched with. And now it's time for the YouTube Music app to do the same. 

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Google Allo v21 adds a cropping tool for profile pictures [APK Download]

These days, almost every service with any kind of social element includes a place for a profile picture. Most apps will also give users an opportunity to crop the image down before locking it in, that way you don't have to break out a photo editor just to center yourself and cut out other people from the shot. Most people probably never noticed it, but this little convenience feature wasn't available in Allo, at least not until now.

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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown]

The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display.

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YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays.

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Play Books v3.15 adds stylus support for faster highlighting, translation, and notes [APK Download]

Outside of Samsung's yearly announcement of a new Galaxy Note, it's rare to see anything interesting happening with a stylus. However, the latest update to Google Play Books comes with some new behavior that makes a stylus much more useful with things like college textbooks and other reference material. Now when you drag a stylus over some text, it instantly switches into selection mode and pops up the action menu as soon as the selection is done.

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Play Music v8.1 appears with dedicated Android TV app and a significantly new look [APK Download]

The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look.

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Google app v7.14 beta teases Assistant for tablets, adds 'unlink' for Android TV devices, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more.

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