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Google Maps finally gets real-time location sharing, including navigation routes

It's been a long time coming, presumably, but finally (and I don't use the 'F-bomb' lightly here), today Google announced that Maps is receiving a real-time location sharing feature. You'll be able to share your location directly inside Maps, in real time, including navigation routes. How we've managed to go without this in Maps given how long Android and smartphone GPS have been things, I'm not sure.

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Android O feature spotlight: The Files app now shows up in the app drawer, has a few new features

Android has included a built-in file manager since 6.0 Marshmallow called Files, but it hasn't had an app drawer icon. Instead, Android shows a 'Downloads' app, which is technically just a shortcut to the Downloads folder in Files with some functionality removed. Starting with Android O, the Downloads shortcut has been replaced by the full Files application.

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Google News & Weather v3.1 adds 'More Headlines' section to put even more news on the front page [APK Download]

Google has been making the news quite a bit news since yesterday's announcement of Android O. But the company isn't just determined to make news, it's also trying to help you read more of it. The latest update to the News & Weather app is dedicated to exactly that. Google is adding a new section to the stream with the purpose of placing more news stories into view.

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[Deal Alert] Grab these free and 10 cent apps, games, and icon packs

The recent change in the Play Store policy to allow apps and games to be set momentarily free has been a very popular decision among devs and users alike. The former get to publicize their work at no cost to the consumer and the latter get to benefit from decent to excellent software without cracking open their virtual wallet. Each day or two, we see new titles on the Play Store taking advantage of these short-term deals and in today's round we have a very balanced selection of apps, games, and icon packs. Oh and the 10-cent deals of the week as well, let's not forget about that.

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The visual Recent search interface in the Google app appears to be on a wider rollout

If you're feeling left out of the Android O party, there's one new thing you may be able to check out that doesn't require flashing a new firmware or having a specific device. The "Recents" search screen that lists all of your previous Google searches on a specific device appears to be going live for everyone - or at least almost everyone on the Google app beta release.

The "Recents" interface first made its appearance last December when we noticed plenty of server-side tests in the Google app including Offline Searches (which are now live) and Lite Mode (which doesn't appear to be live for everyone yet).

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Android O feature spotlight: The settings app has been completely overhauled

While Android 7.0 already offered a pretty extensive rethink on Android's stock settings app, it appears Android O will go a step even further than that, overhauling the interface and navigation model extensively.

The first thing you'll notice is that Google is moving to an organizational approach much more like a smartphone manufacturer, organizing categories of settings at higher levels, resulting in a much shorter top-level settings list. It's half or less the size of the settings menu on the Pixel on the current Nougat beta - which should tell you how extensive a change this is.

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SwiftKey's new Flow experience completely ruined the keyboard for many users, Microsoft is still "monitoring" the situation

SwiftKey updated its beta app with a new flow experience more than a week ago and has since started rolling that to stable users (though not everyone seems to have it just yet). But unlike many updates, this one has loyal users up in arms and hating every single bit of the change. As a result, the SwiftKey Support forum is full of complaints and the feature has been downvoted to -39 (minus 39) points, the Play Store listing is overflowing with people revising their reviews and giving it 3 or 5 stars, and the most loyal of users are either uninstalling the app or threatening to do so.

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Chrome's experimental 'Chrome Home' interface now has bottom tabs and a revamped New Tab page

As you may know, Google often tests new Chrome features in 'flags' - hidden settings that can be enabled or disabled. We first spotted "Chrome Home" in October, which moves Chrome's address bar to the bottom of the screen. This is especially handy for larger screens, but it looks like more changes are coming.

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15 tips and tricks to get the most out of Chrome on Android

Chrome for Android has been around since 2012, and is installed by default on every Android phone shipped with the Google Play Store. But there are several less-than-obvious features in the browser, either hidden behind flags or simply unadvertised. Here is a collection of 15 tips and tricks to get the most out of Chrome on Android.

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Instagram 10.12 allows you to save live video after broadcasting it

Instagram Live is one of several ways to live stream from your phone, but it always had one catch - you couldn't save the broadcast after it was over. Both Periscope and YouTube mobile streaming support this feature. Thankfully, Instagram now allows you to save live video after the broadcast is over.

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