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Google

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Google celebrates the Chromecast's third birthday

Has it already been three years since the original Chromecast came out? My, how the time flies when you're streaming video. Google marked the occasion on the Google Store's Plus page with the nifty animation below, but there aren't any promotional deals. Not that you really need them - it's $35, for cryin' out loud.

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Google app v6.2 beta reveals more about Google assistant and teases 'Ok Google' hotword setting for Auto and Maps navigation mode [APK Teardown]

Google has been on a roll this week with app updates and there have been some pretty cool new features, not the least of which makes comic books more awesome. One of the latest arrivals to the list is a beta update to the titular app. Known originally as "Search," the Google app now encompasses a custom launcher, the Now stream, Now on Tap, voice commands, and more. The recently announced Google assistant is on course to join the party, promising to bring many of these technologies together to deliver something not unlike the computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Google+ v8.3 prepares to enable image comments, community moderation improvements [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google+ app is getting an update today, bringing the latest version to 8.3. The changes aren't going to be very extensive for most people, but there are signs that one highly requested feature will be coming in the future: image comments. It looks like there may also be some changes for community moderators either in place already, or coming soon.

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Google Arts & Culture app gets a dramatic overhaul with Cardboard support

Hey, remember that Google Arts & Culture tool that the company talked about for exactly one day? No? Well now it's back. The hub for all things historically and artistically relevant has been given a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. Both the web portal and the app (which was previously little more than a web wrapper anyway) have been overhauled with a new interface, including a more contextual search bar that allows users to hunt for specific articles or pieces. Check out the difference in the app below:

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Google Camera v4.1 from Nougat dev preview 5 includes UI tweaks, new animations, and more

Google rolled out the fifth and final Nougat developer preview yesterday, and it includes a new version of the Google Camera app. It's v4.1, a significant jump over the current Play Store version. There are a fair number of changes to the UI, some new animations, and better control over buttons.

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[Update: Fixed in Dev Preview 5] Google has already fixed the weird notification toggle behavior from the last Android N dev preview

Most of the intrepid users who tried the most recent Android N developer preview were none too pleased with the new notification toggle behavior. Google changed the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons from simple toggles to connection list triggers. After more than 1,500 issue tracker stars in just a few days, Google has relented.

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Invite-only Google Springboard lets Apps for Work users search through everything

If your company uses Google apps to manage email, contacts, cloud storage, and all the other stuff that Google Apps for Work does, then you'll want the latest app in the collection post haste. Springboard is a sort of universal search tool for all the stuff that accumulates in Google Apps, plus a handy agenda view that shows everything new on the company account. Unfortunately it's in an invite-only stage right now, so even if you use Google Apps for Work, it may still be inaccessible.

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Google Keyboard v5.1 (originally bundled with N preview) is rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download] [Update: Changelog]

Google gave us a little sneak preview of Google Keyboard v5.1 in the Android N dev preview back in May. You could sideload that APK on other versions of Android to get the new themes, but now the final build appears to be hitting the Play Store. As with all Google releases, this one is staged. We've got the new version available for sideloading, though.

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Android Auto launches in Japan today

Android Auto works in a few dozen markets already, but until today Japan was not among them. Google has announced that its in-car platform is available in Japan effective immediately, and several cars will be ready to accept Android Auto connections just as soon as Japanese users can find a USB cable to plug in.

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Google provides new Gmail API endpoints for handling filters, forwarding, auto-replies, and more

Google offers the Gmail API to developers as a way to integrate with the email service. What app makers can do with Gmail is limited to the functionality provided in the API. This then limits what we users can do.

Get excited. Google has updated the Gmail API with new endpoints for managing settings.

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