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Hangouts v13 adds many more easter egg phrases, an in-app web browser, and prepares launcher shortcuts for Android 7.1 [APK Download + Teardown]

Hangouts v12 came out last month and we took an opportunity to have a couple laughs at its expense over what appeared to be the only actual new feature: a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emote, accessible by typing /shruggie into a message box. With this update, that little guy brought all of his friends. Yes, the rest of the emote list is now accessible in Hangouts v13. There is also a new option to open web links with an in-app browser, though it may not be available to everybody just yet. And finally, the teardown shows Hangouts will have its own launcher shortcuts when Android 7.1 comes out.

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YouTube Gaming v1.7 rolls out with improvements to chat and Android Nougat support, new easter egg [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app received an update yesterday, taking it to v1.7. Google has already posted the changelog and this release appears to be mostly about fixing up the chat experience. There are improvements to both the chat interface and the underlying code that drives it. There are supposed to be changes to better support Android 7.0 Nougat, although it's unclear what they are, and the typical assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements. Of course, with each new version comes a new easter egg.

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Active Theory releases the paper planes demo from Google I/O 2016 on the Play Store

If you can remember, Google displayed a Paper Planes interactive map at the Google I/O keynote before the actual presentation began. Users in the audience could catch and throw paper planes, with the planes themselves flying all across the world. If you need a refresher, this is what it looked like at I/O.

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Allo is finally rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download]

Google said Allo would be available at some point during the summer, and it's getting in right under the wire. The new chat application is now official, and it's starting to pop up in the Play Store for download. Don't fret if it's not showing up for you quite yet; we have the APK ready for download.

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Google Trips travel itinerary app goes live after extensive private beta [APK Download]

Users pay Google not in dollars, but in data. In exchange for handing over all of our private information, we get cool stuff like Google Trips. This travel app culls your Gmail account for hotel reservations, flight bookings, travel times, addresses, and other information you could possibly need for your next trip.

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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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Grab the leaked new Pixel Launcher here [APK Download]

A few hours ago, LlabTooFeR tweeted out some screenshots of the launcher formerly known as the Nexus Launcher. On the surface, the Pixel Launcher looks nearly identical to the Nexus Launcher, save for an icon change and a version number change; however, we have a post in the works on some new integration between the Google Calendar icon in the app drawer and Pixel Launcher.

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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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Project Fi K.2.7.13 is preparing for the launch of group plans [APK Teardown]

Project Fi is an ambitious effort to give customers an experience devoid of the problems endemic to cellular carriers in the United States. It's low-cost, easy to manage with a simple app, and it even breaks new ground with intrinsic support for multi-network connectivity. However, in some ways, Fi wasn't really finished at launch. It spent many months as an invite-only service and lacked a few things many people would consider integral to their cellular service. One of the top requests from current and potential customers is the addition of group plans. It's an important feature for both families and businesses, especially as the number of lines grows.

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