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Android Messages v2.2 cleans up the setup for solo and group messaging, allows adding new people to conversations [APK Download]

Not all updates have to introduce a big feature to make a big difference. The latest version of Android Messages demonstrates just that. It includes a couple of relatively small changes to the way group messaging is set up and should be a little faster for most people, and might remove some confusion for a few.

The screen for creating a new conversation in earlier versions was geared in favor of group chats. To be more specific, tapping on a contact would put them into a list of recipients and allowed users to keep adding more people until the user pressed a button to finalize the list and begin typing messages.

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[Deal Alert] Here are 35 temporarily free and 26 on-sale apps to get your week going

It's the start of a new week and it's time for another round of free and on-sale apps. For some of us, the semester is starting to wind down with finals on the horizon. So whether you have a case of the Monday blues or you're gearing up to close out this session of school, today's selection may help keep you going.

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Google announces finalists for 2017 Google Play awards

There are going to be a lot of cool things going on at Google I/O in a few weeks... and also the Google Play Awards. I don't mean to imply this annual tradition has no value, but do you remember what won last year? Hey, maybe this one will be different. Google seems to be making a bigger deal of it.

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11 new and notable Android apps from the last week (4/18/17 - 4/24/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Paralign - Aligning Thoughts

Today's roundup is presented by Paralign - Aligning Thoughts from Paralign.me. Finding like-minded individuals can often be a difficult task. This is especially true when you want to reach out, but are wary of the judgment of your peers.

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Local reviews are now translated to your preferred language automatically

Google's local reviews can be a useful way to decide where to go and what to see when traveling, but what if you don't speak the language where you are? You can fumble with Google Translate to copy and paste the text, but that's clunky. Now, Google search and Maps will translate reviews to your language automatically.

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You can still remap the Galaxy S8's Bixby button, but it's a messy hack

Samsung announced the Bixby assistant several weeks ahead of the Galaxy S8 launch. We were told at the time this feature would let you control apps by voice and get contextual information. It doesn't do any of that at launch, though. Naturally, people want to remap the Bixby button, and that's still possible despite Samsung's attempts to block it. However, the remapping apps are pretty hacky.

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I went to a protest that had its own app

Technology has become part of our culture and how we organize. We make use of Google Calendar or Outlook to coordinate schedules, send invitations to events via Facebook and Google+, and we settle bar tabs on Venmo, Circle, Dwolla, Google Wallet, Paypal, and Messenger (barring the launch of any new apps while I was listing them). It's no huge surprise, then, that yet another function has been brought into the contemporary era of app convenience. The art and science of social and cultural unrest known as protest has made one more step into the future: your next one might come with an app.

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Deals of the century: These three temporarily free $400 Android apps will change your lives

Remember those crazy expensive apps that only existed for you to show off how rich you are to your friends (and to make developers some quick cash from chumps)? The $999.99 'I Am Rich' iOS app from back in '08 comes to mind, but it turns out that those apps still exist on the Play Store. PENITAX, a Slovakia-based 'developer,' has just made all three of his lackluster $399.99 apps free for a limited time on the Play Store.

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doubleTwist brings Android Airplay fix for AppleTVs running tvOS10.2

Just at the end of last month Apple broke some things in their 10.2 tvOS update, preventing third-party services from using Airplay on Apple TV. For Android users that might own an Apple TV that could have been a bit of a downer. Fret not, though. Much as doubleTwist was the first to bring AirPlay streaming to Android, they're one of the first to bring it back.

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Google Maps v9.51 beta adds new details about parking, prepares to improve route planning with parking suggestions and traffic charts [APK Teardown + Download]

It's time for another update to Google Maps. Like so many other version bumps, this one includes a couple of great gifts to get users where they want to go. The focus of this release appears to be directed at parking. There are now indicators to show if there is on-site parking and whether it's free or paid. The theme continues into the teardown with a feature that will help drivers plan to find parking near their destination before getting there.

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