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feature

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PSA: You can pin apps in Android 7.0 Nougat's share menu

It's been a while since we covered specific features of Android 7.0, and it turns out there are a few new-to-Nougat features that people are forgetting about. One of those features is the ability to pin apps in the share menu; even the big boss Artem forgot about this one. If you share things frequently and only use a few options, this could come in handy.

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Shazam adds "Auto Shazam" custom tile for Android 7.0 Nougat's Quick Settings

We first saw custom tiles in an Android N Developer Preview a few months back, but unfortunately, not many apps have added this feature. It's a shame, really; custom tiles are easy to use and can add a lot of speed and functionality to frequently-used apps. Now, Shazam has added one called "Auto Shazam," and it might come in handy if you're a big music listener. I don't personally use Shazam anymore (Google does the same thing if you start a voice search, FYI), but I can certainly see the merits of this for people who are invested in it.

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YouTube is testing new Community feature for supplementary content

I'll admit, YouTube has added some strange features lately, and at first glance this seemed like yet another useless addition. Starting with a few select channels, a new 'Community' tab will appear on the channel's profile, both on mobile apps and the desktop site. This essentially works like a social feed for the channel, allowing content creators to share text, images, GIFs, livestreams, and more straight through the YouTube app. You can even choose to receive push notifications for Community posts.

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Google Maps Navigation Bubbles Containing Street And Exit Names Are Rolling Out To More People

A recent Google Maps update introduced a feature that makes upcoming turns and exits easier to follow. Rather than leaving you trying to reconcile the street names at the top of the screen with the direction of the blue path below, Maps has started to insert bubbles onto the map that mark the location for you while also showing you which road you're on.

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Some Users Are Seeing 'Related Interests' Categories On The Play Store

Google is certainly no stranger to testing new features slowly. Most recently, it released an update to YouTube's UI that's been in testing for at least four months. And for Google, this is a good thing. Testing new features with limited samples of users helps get data not only on their usefulness, but also on how they augment user experience and engagement.

That brings us to the Play Store, an app where nothing is more important than engagement. Google appears to be testing a new feature called "Related Interests," which lists off various categories with round chips similar to the chips used for artists on Google Play Music's web interface.

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No, Google Won't Enable Ticker Text If You Disable Heads Up Notifications (Peeking) In The Android M Developer Preview

Heads up or "peeking" notifications, the little miniature pop-ups that appear in Android Lollipop if a notification comes in when you happen to be actually using your device, aren't for everyone. That's why Google will include the option to disable them on a per-app basis in the upcoming Android M release. (See Settings>Sound & Notification>App notifications in the Developer Preview.) It's also why apps like HeadsOff have sprung up to cater to those who want them to go away even sooner.

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Unfortunately, it looks like Google isn't all that interested in bringing back the pre-Lollipop equivalent, Ticker Text. Ticker Text is that scrolling text you see across the notation bar when a new alert pops up while you're using your phone, but it's gone as of Android 5.0.

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InBrief
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Google Will Discontinue YouTube's Collections Feature On May 20th

InBrief
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The Shared Circles Feature Is Now Gone From Google+

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Google+ Collections Feature Begins Its Rollout

It seems that while Google hasn't actually released the official announcement yet (it's expected this morning), the Collections feature we've heard so much about in recent days now appears to be going live for some users.

Google has now officially announced Collections on the official Google+ page.

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Google+ Collections Set To Launch Tomorrow, May 4th

Google is just about ready to introduce Collections to Google+ publicly, according to sources.

Evidently, Collections is expected to launch tomorrow, May 4th, in the morning (Pacific Time), with an announcement coming from the official Google+ page of ... Google+. After its announcement, the feature will activate for web and Android users on a rollout that's expected to last a day or so. There's no word yet on when Collections will come to iOS.

The new feature, which we got a sneak peek at recently (followed by pretty strong code-based clues of an impending launch), will allow users to curate "collections" of their content for others to share and follow.

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