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Looks like you'll soon be able to cast Chrome tabs to Hangouts (and possibly more)

A new casting feature appears to be going live for some in Chrome on the desktop (including mainline releases), with the dialogue shown in the hero image above asking users to consent to "enable casting to cloud-based service." This includes, apparently, casting Chrome tabs to Hangouts.

Casting tabs to Hangouts isn't actually new - we first saw it last May - but the feature never appeared to be widespread, and at the time tab casting itself was still in beta. This new version, unfortunately, doesn't actually appear to work yet. But there's a Google Support page and everything for it, so it's definitely a thing.

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Big Join update makes capturing screencasts of your devices a breeze, can even automate uploads to YouTube

Join is a pretty cool app. It can do a variety of things, from sending texts to transferring files across your variety of different devices. Developer joaomgcd has added another feature to its extensive arsenal, making it easy to record an Android phone or tablet's screen from another device.

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[Update: Japanese keyboard too] Many language-specific Google keyboards get Nougat support, theme support, and more


The English alphabet only includes 26 different letters, but for many other languages that are not descendant from Latin, the number of valid characters is much larger. It turns out that this can make creating a keyboard that works well in those languages a bit difficult — imagine having a keyboard with hundreds or thousands of keys and you begin to get the picture. That's why Google has developed dedicated keyboard apps with alternative input methods specifically designed for languages such as Pinyin or Cantonese to make is easier for many (or maybe even most) users around the world to type in their native tongue.

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Google app v6.1 Beta allows users to disable local trending searches, includes first tangible elements of Google Assistant, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A fresh beta update just started rolling out for the Google app, popping the version number up to 6.1. There aren't many immediately obvious changes with this release, but it does contain a switch that will allow users to turn off trending searches in their area. But if you're looking for some potentially exciting new things, a teardown reveals the first physical pieces of the recently announced Google Assistant. There are also a couple bits related to deep search for apps and background retry for failed searches.

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[Update: Winners] Cinemute makes sure your phone never goes off at the theater, and we have 100 codes to give away

When I go to the cinema, one of the things I hate the most is people using their phones. You've paid good money (I live in the UK so have no idea on the cost in the US, but I'm told $12 is around average) to see this movie, and you can't even be bothered to turn your phone off. Even more annoying is when someone's phone rings in the middle of the movie. Luckily, we've got a giveaway for an app that should go some way to fixing this issue...

Cinemute, from developer NorthShore Digital, mutes your phone when in a movie theater, then restores the original ringer level when you leave.

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Google app tests notifying you when search results are ready in background

Most of us probably use the Google app for searching on our phones, rather than through Chrome or - *gasp* - another search engine. I've often found that on slow connections, the Google app can take ages to bring up results - think 2G or even 3G mobile networks. To combat this, it appears that Google is either testing or rolling out a notification to tell you when the app has completed searching and showing results.

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Three Google Search notifications. Note: this is MIUI, which is why it looks a bit... iOS-y.

This may not be used only for slow connections, but will probably come in handy the most on a network where speed is hard to come by.

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[Update: APK Download] Amazon Page Flip lets you skim an ebook without losing your place

There are some things you can do with a dead tree book that you can't do with the Kindle app. For example, get a paper cut or flip quickly between two pages. Actually, Amazon has figured out how to make the app do one of those things. Don't fret, your fingers are safe; it's the second one. Amazon's new Page Flip feature lets you jump to a different page while reading, then go back to your previous location.

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HTC is secretly testing a Sense Home launcher for non-HTC Android devices

About a week ago, we started getting tips of HTC asking its HTC Preview program members to enroll in a new project to test called "GOOGLE_PLAY_SENSE_GP" with two requirements: you have to have a non-HTC Android phone and it has to be running Android 4.4 and above. You could have surmised from the title and requisites that HTC was working on a new Sense launcher for non-HTC phones. And you would have been right.

HTC Sense Home 8 Beta has just started getting into the hands of HTC Preview members and it's a home screen replacement app with optional Blinkfeed panel, app drawer support, app search, widget drag-and-drop, and...

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The Play Store Early Access program seems to be rolling out to everybody

If you're the type of person that has to flash developer previews and sign up for every beta program available, being the first to try new apps is probably also pretty high on your list of things to do. Google has you covered. Announced last month during I/O, the Play Store is launching an "Early Access" program to give people like us a place to find apps that are mostly operational, but not quite ready for prime time. A few people found that they had early access to Early Access a few days ago, but now it looks like everybody is welcome to the club.

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Inbox gets Direct Share to frequently emailed contacts on Marshmallow and above [APK Download]

Messaging and communication apps are some of the best targets of Marshmallow's Direct Share API. Instead of first picking up an app to share something to and then selecting a target contact, if an app has implemented the functionality, your most frequently contacted people within it will appear at the top-level of the Share menu, above the different app icons. It's a faster and more streamlined experience that I personally love and use several times a day on WhatsApp.

Now Google's own Inbox app is implementing the same feature. Contacts you email often will, presumably, show up in the Share menu so you can quickly send stuff their way without having to choose Inbox first and then manually enter them as recipients of the email.

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