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Google Maps v9.35 Beta adds Plus Codes to dropped pins and an arrival screen to navigation, prepares for speed limits, ordering food online, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Out of the entire list of apps in Google's lineup, Maps is probably the most consistent about delivering new and interesting features with almost every release. Version 9.35 began rolling out to users signed up to the beta channel yesterday and it's no slouch. Regular drivers can look forward to a new screen to welcome them when they arrive at their destinations and there's dropped pins now contain Plus Codes so it's extremely easy to convey fairly precise locations to people through text, IM, and even over the phone. Moving over to a teardown shows that speed limits and current speed are going to be shown during navigation.

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Google Duo has been downloaded 5 million times on Android since its release

Google's Duo video calling application has been out for about a week now. It was released on August 16, but it took 2 days to propagate globally. That's also how long it needed to make its way to the top of the free new apps on the Play Store.

With one week under its belt from worldwide release, Duo is celebrating another milestone: over 5 million downloads on Android. Sundar Pichai made the announcement on Twitter:

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Hangouts v12 finally adds the most important ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ever and will eventually ask other people if their messages are important [APK Teardown + Download]

Forget video messaging, direct share, and whatever happened here. The most important update in Hangouts history finally happened and you're all here to witness it. The Master of Meh has come to Hangouts for Android and really wants you to know it's all okay. It's Shruggie! Yep, the latest update brings Google's greatest non-easter egg to the messaging screen in all its unconcerned glory. You're honor-bound to get the update immediately and begin showing just how unimportant things are to you, too.

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Play Music v6.13 adds a sleep timer and shows progress on Samsung Galaxy Edge support [APK Download + Teardown]

If you enjoy falling asleep to some tunes but don't want them to play all night long, the latest update to Play Music is for you. A new version began rolling out last night and it adds a sleep timer so you don't have to worry about burning through your battery or data all night long. A look inside the app also shows more progress toward adding special support for the Edge display on certain Samsung phones. There are also hints about a watch-specific addition that suggests music for fitness.

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Google Photos v1.26 clarifies plans for video stabilization and teases a faster way to share [APK Teardown]

The recent theme for Google's app updates has been that they're not really packed with big new features. This isn't unusual, just part of the typical ebb and flow as development teams prepare for bigger things. The previous update for Google Photos wasn't loaded with many new features and the new one appears to have none at all. However, a teardown of v1.26 shows that there's still some work going on under the hood for the previously revealed video stabilization feature and hints at a new way to share photos with people that will be even faster than what we already have.

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Google app v6.3 suggests the Google assistant may launch with very limited language support, expands on user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown]

Most readers are well-aware Google assistant is going to be the big treat later this year. It will soon become a meaningful part of new apps and products like Allo and Google Home, and it will surely introduce new features and capabilities as it evolves many existing ones into something new. A teardown of the latest Google app update reveals a little more about what we can expect when the assistant comes out.

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Android Pay v1.5 prepares to show new users where to find NFC on their phones and might be experimenting with the secure element again [APK Teardown]

There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with.

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Pokémon GO passes 100 million Play Store downloads in just a month

Holy crap, you people really like playing Pokémon. A combination of nostalgia, interesting augmented reality gameplay, straight-up social novelty, and (not least) being a free game has made Niantic's Pokémon GO rocket to 100 million downloads in the Play Store in just a month. Life isn't a race, but if it was, Pokémon GO would be so far ahead of every other game that they'd see it disappearing beneath the horizon.

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YouTube Music v1.38 now allows removing tracks from offline mixtape, promises landscape orientation [APK Download]

If you're a regular user of the dedicated YouTube Music app, you're probably accustomed to updates that add fairly non-obvious changes. The latest update includes a hidden gem that makes the offline mixtape feature considerably more useful. According to an official changelog posted late last night, we should also see screen rotation, but it seems that didn't actually make it into this release. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom so you can skip Google's staged rollout.

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Google Photos v1.25 allows album owners to block access to individuals and promises to add video stabilization [APK Teardown + Download]

We've hit that point in the year where Google's apps tend to feature smaller improvements and knock off some of the smaller to-do items. Yesterday's Google Photos update is no different. The latest version gives users the ability to ban individuals from shared albums and puts a link to the local image removal tool right in the navigation drawer. A teardown also shows we can look forward to a simple video stabilization feature and possible more video editing capabilities in the future.

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