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Google app v7.4 beta prepares for Google Home calling, manual rerouting of voice commands, and more [APK Teardown]

There's another version of the Google app floating around in the wild, and as we've probably become accustomed, it doesn't appear to make any notable changes upon installation. However, there are some interesting elements floating around in the apk. In this update, we can see the first signs of support for making calls with Google Home and a new action that allows users to manually reroute voice commands to the device in their hand. There's also a new feature that looks at your notifications in an effort to give easier access and suggests about your contacts and messages.

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Google Photos hits 1 billion downloads on the Play Store

Google has a lot of apps for a lot of different services, but most of them remain unbeknownst to the general public. Photos, however, is not one of those. The media backup utility has gotten extremely popular, and for good reason: it saves all your memories in the cloud for free. On May 31st, the Photos app hit a whopping 1 billion downloads on Android.

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June Nexus/Pixel factory images and OTA files are now available for download, includes fix for Pixel freezing

Google is rolling out new Android builds for its devices today, but it'll take a few days for the OTA to reach your device the old-fashioned way. If you want, the system images and OTA files are already available for sideloading. Pixel owners who have been experiencing freezes might not want to wait. Google says this update should address that problem.

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Android Pay v1.24 prepares to suggest linking unknown membership cards after they're used in a purchase [APK Teardown]

The Android Pay team has been going strong with the expansion into new countries and forging partnerships with even more banks, but that doesn't mean the app hasn't been given at least a little bit of attention along the way. The latest version doesn't appear to have any changes on the surface, but a teardown does turn up the signs of one interesting new addition. It looks like Android Pay will begin offering to add membership cards to your account if they are used in an Android Pay transaction. We're still looking for other changes in the app, especially at the terminal, so let us know in the comments if anything interesting turns up.

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Play Movies & TV v3.26 adds Picture-in-Picture support for Android O [APK Download]

When Google first started releasing developer previews of new Android versions a few years ago, it was pretty rare to see any of the apps adopting new APIs until the new version was finalized. With Android O, there's a very visible change to that trend as many apps in Google's lineup have already taken features like Notification Channels to heart. Another brand new user-facing feature found support in the latest release of Play Movies & TV: Picture-in-Picture Mode.

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[Update: Launcher shortcuts too] Allo v12 adds animated selfie clips and a redesigned compose bar, prepares to add support for the 'enter' button, and more [APK Teardown]

If you're dying for the next cool personalization feature from Allo, today is going to be a good day for you. Version 12 of Google's most talked about chat app is set to roll out today and it is upping the selfie game with a new feature called selfie clips. The name kinda says it all – they're basically short gifs of yourself. According to Amit Fulay of the Allo team, this version will also bring an updated design for the compose bar. And not to be left out, this release will bring selfie stickers to iOS, so your friends in the Apple camp won't feel so alone.

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Google Photos v2.16 prepares to upgrade the camera shortcut, suggest photos to archive, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Update Wednesday is proving to be pretty active today as new versions of several apps are streaming out. The latest update to Photos doesn't appear to include anything we haven't heard about before, but it does seem to activate some of the features for everybody that had been on a staged rollout, like Archive and Suggested Sharing. If you haven't already received some of these features, and assuming they aren't geo-restricted, this is probably the version to get.

However, a teardown of this version does have a few things to reveal, including a significant upgrade to the camera shortcut and suggestions for photos you might want to archive.

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YouTube v12.19 includes the first signs of a new "reel" feature and an option to quickly clear the Watch Later list of videos you've already seen [APK Teardown]

Updates to the YouTube app have been rolling in at a pretty rapid pace lately, with version 12.19 being the most recent to land on devices. There weren't any notable changes to be seen in the apps, but an examination of the apk did turn up a couple of things to get excited about. There's a mysterious new "reel" feature in the works and a handy function for wiping the Watch Later playlist of videos you've already seen.

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Google Maps v9.54 prepares to add saved locations for your school and gym, notification channels, and what looks like a task list [APK Teardown]

An update to Google Maps v9.54 began rolling out to users through the beta channel yesterday, but it doesn't appear to have any visible changes going live quite yet. However, a teardown of the apk does bring a few hints about what to expect in the future. There are clues about a couple of new saved destinations like the Home and Work slots that have become so useful, the first stirring of support for Android O's notification channels, a few new "promos" to get people interested in various features, and a very curious feature that might turn out to be a task list of sorts.

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Google app v7.3 beta prepares for podcast subscriptions, data saver for Now Cards, and more [APK Teardown]

Version 7.3 of the Google app began rolling out to users in the beta channel earlier today. There are a few odd little changes to be found poking around in the UI, like a new menu shortcut on many of the Assistant settings screens that leads to the Activity Controls settings, but it's all pretty innocuous. We'll surely see more significant features going live as Google activates them remotely over the coming weeks™. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to be found during the course of a teardown.

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