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InBrief
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Google Contacts 1.4.9 Extends Support To Devices Running Android 5.0 [APK Download]

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[Update: Video No Longer Goes Black On Android N Split Screen] YouTube v11.13 Adds Video Title, Channel, And Total Views To The Player Overlay [APK Download]

Google seems to be on a rampage of updates with small tweaks and adjustments to a number of apps. I like to think of it as polish. YouTube in particular has been flying through minor version bumps, the latest of which seems to include just a single visual adjustment to the player screen. Tap on the screen while a video is playing and the overlay now contains the current video's title, the channel it's from, and the total number of views it has acquired thus far.

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Play Games v3.7 Finally Enables Gamer ID And Automatic Sign-In For Everybody [APK Download]

Remember that time Google said it was abandoning sign-in with Google+ accounts for Play Games and introducing a brand new Gamer ID system with automatic sign-in and improved privacy controls? Don't worry if that's not very fresh in your memory, the announcement was almost two months ago. Well, it's finally time to make the switch for real. The latest Play Games update switches users to the new system (for those that weren't already on it) and fully enables the account customization features.

2016-04-13 05.33.002016-04-13 05.33.402016-04-13 05.29.08

A small number of users were switched over to the Gamer ID system within a day or two of the original announcement, but the rollout to existing accounts stopped very abruptly.

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Play Movies & TV v3.13 Includes The New Play Branding Icon And Details An Aspect Of Streaming From The Family Library [APK Teardown + Download]

A few days ago, Google announced newly revised icons for its Play-branded apps. Newsstand was the first to emerge with the updated look, but aside from very minor tweaks to a few of the icons inside the app, there wasn't anything significant to be seen. The Play Movies & TV app received a pretty similar update, again with a few minimal icon changes and the new launcher icon, but there's actually something more interesting in the teardown: new rules about streaming paid content when it's shared in the family library.

What's New

product_logo_play_movies_color_192-oldproduct_logo_play_movies_color_192

After Google announced the new icons, I insisted that AP should not post about the individual updates if those were the only changes worth pointing out.

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YouTube Gaming v1.3.63 Includes Several Little Visual Enhancements [APK Download]

Google shipped quite a few updates this week, some of which are adding (or teasing) legitimate usability improvements, while others tend to be a bit more cosmetic. The new version of YouTube Gaming leans in the direction of the latter group, though some of its changes speak to subtle improvements for information visibility. There are quite a few little details and some of them aren't obvious unless you're looking very close.

What's New

2016-04-06 22.22.142016-04-06 22.22.29

Left: previous version. Right: latest version.

The first change stands out pretty clearly: it's a big new button in the title bar. Tapping on it will instantly launch the setup for live streaming from your own device.

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Maps v9.23 Adopts Visually Distinct Navigation Notification, Automatically Downloads Offline Maps, And Much More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google is sending out all kinds of things today. First it was Nexus factory images, then an Android Auto update some users can actually care about, and now a pretty full bump to the Maps app. There are plenty of live features to look at in this one, but there is some teardown material, as well. There's no point in wasting words, let's get straight into it.

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Messenger v1.8 Fixes A Major Crashing Bug On Android N And Adds Manual Override For Incorrectly Detected Countries [APK Download]

An update to Google's Messenger application rolled out yesterday afternoon. Like a lot of other updates lately, this one appears to be centered around clearing up bugs and issues rather than adding new features. For regular travelers or those that have some compatibility issues with their local carriers, there is now an option to override the automatic country detection the app currently performs. Those users on Android N can also look forward to a fix for a pretty critical bug that could cause Messenger to crash with a simple YouTube link.

What's New

Bug Fix: YouTube Links No Longer Crash Android N

2016-03-30 09.48.382016-03-30 09.51.50

For those people living on the edge with the Android N Developer Preview running on their primary (or only) phone, there can be some pretty critical bugs that tend to break things in really unexpected ways.

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Photos v1.17 Enables Non-Destructive Photo Editing, Hints At Motorola Promo, Smart Rotation Recommendations, And A New Launcher Icon [APK Teardown + Download]

An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here.

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[Update: APK For Android N] Android Wear v1.5 Adds Proper Support For Marshmallow's Doze Mode [APK Download]

When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.

What's New

Doze Mode Support

2016-03-22 21.10.522016-03-22 21.11.042016-03-22 21.11.12

When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background.

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Google Sheets And Slides Updated, More File Formats Supported And Other Changes [APK Download]

Google yesterday pushed out updates to the Sheets and Slides apps, bringing compatibility with more file formats and automatic titling for Slides. Together with these changes are the normal bug fixes and performance improvements which accompany any Google app update.

What's New

More File Format Support

Both apps have had a significant amount of file formats added for sharing and exporting your creations. For Slides, there is now the possibility of exporting presentation slides to .JPG, .PNG and .SVG, as well as the already-available .PPTX, .PDF, and .TXT. These can then be sent to others or downloaded to your device.

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