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Google Contacts v2.2 updates the contact pages with quick access bar, full-width photos, and other UI improvements [APK Download]

If you've been craving some visual changes on your phone, an update to Google's Contacts app is rolling out with a few tweaks that are pretty noticeable. This version brings back full-bleed contact photos and adds a quick access bar. There are also a few other visual tweaks and a filter for the contact list has been moved. As always, you can grab the latest update from the APK Mirror link at the bottom.

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[Notch-our Average Look] These two apps give your Android phone the $999 iPhone X blackout for free

Ever since the Essential phone and                                                             X were announced, do you find yourself staring longingly at your fully rectangular display (rounded corners don't count) and wish, just hope, that part of it would disappear and you'd get a black notch up top? Something to hide that ugly middle of the notification bar, something to make you feel as if only 3 or 4 icons on each side of it mattered, and anything else can go to hell?

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Speedtest reaches 100 million downloads on the Play Store

The procession of apps reaching 100 million downloads on the Play Store continues, and the latest to join the club is the famous Speedtest by Ookla. If you've never heard of it before, then you probably never had to test the speed of your data or WiFi connection to brag in front of friends or to complain to your ISP.

Speedtest does its job and does it well. I don't keep it installed on my devices, but I always rush to grab it when something feels iffy about my connection, whether it's uncharacteristically fast (yeah, that dream happened once or twice) or much much slower than usual.

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YouTube Gaming introduces sponsorships as paid channels are shut down

We've been hearing for a while that YouTube was planning to do away with paid content and now it's finally taking effect. It's no longer possible to create paid content, and from December paid channels will no longer be accessible at all. Individual purchased videos will still be available to whoever bought them until 2022, however. Fortunately, for gamers at least, Google is introducing an expanded version of sponsorships for YouTube Gaming, which have been in testing for some time.

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Apple Music 2.2 adds user profiles and integrates better with Android: OK Google voice search, app shortcuts, one more widget

Apple Music had a lot of promise when it launched, but the app didn't stick well with the times, especially on Android. It seemed as if the developers behind it just didn't want to bother with anything specific to the Android platform, preferring to stick with the basic features and not making use of all the APIs that were available to them. But with the last release of v2.2, it looks like Apple Music is finally realizing some of its potential on our beloved platform.

But before we focus on that, the headline here is the addition of user profiles so you can now share your favorite music and playlists with friends and discover what they've shared as well.

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Xiaomi brings Mi FileExplorer, with FTP server, to the Play Store for all devices [APK Download]

Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.

Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in.

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Google Earth adds stunning crowdsourced photos from users around the world

The ever-impressive Google Earth saw a sizeable update earlier this year that included new features like guided tours, knowledge cards, and 3D views. Allowing us to see the world from the comfort of our own home is the goal of the Google Earth team, and to that end, it's added another viewpoint with beautiful images crowdsourced from users around the globe.

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Play Music v7.12 adds an option to prevent external devices from auto-playing music [APK Download]

Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening.

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Here's a thing: Google Maps now plays nice with multi-window

This flew under our radar for a while, but Google Maps was updated a while back to add some extra support for Android's multi-window. Now when you've got Maps open together with another application, it will continue to work, updating your location and orientation even when it isn't the application in focus.

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Google app v7.12 confirms squeezable sides on Pixel 2, prepares for multi-step shortcuts, resuming podcast episodes, and more [APK Teardown]

As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions.

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