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Google Maps v9.58 beta prepares to add crowdsourced Q&A sections and user-contributed videos [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps making the rounds through the beta channel. So far, no major changes are showing up with regular usage of the app, but there is evidence of a couple really huge new features on the horizon. A teardown of the apk reveals that the Maps team is preparing to launch a Q&A section for places that would allow users to ask and answer questions for each other. Also on the schedule is the addition of video to the types of media users will be able to contribute. These are some pretty huge features, so let's get straight to it.

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Fleksy keyboard is back with a new owner and dev team

The Fleksy keyboard app had a dedicated group of users who were dismayed when the developers seemed to vanish last year. At the time, Fleksy announced that its development team was acquired by Pinterest, but the fate of the actual keyboard app was uncertain. Now, Fleksy is back under a new parent company called Thingthing, and there's an updated version in the Play Store for the first time since April 2016.

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Google adds SOS alerts and disaster info to search results and Maps

Back in 2014, Facebook introduced 'Safety Check,' which allows users to verify they are safe after a natural disaster or other terrible local event. Google has been working on something similar, but more geared towards keeping people informed if they're in the midst of a crisis. The feature is called 'SOS alerts,' and it's being rolled out today.

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Android O feature spotlight: Text-to-speech has an experimental always-on language detection option

Google's Text-to-speech (TTS) is an accessibility feature that's long been a part of Android. It's a screen reader that can read aloud anything currently on display, a vital utility for users who are blind or partially-sighted. TTS isn't updated very often, but when it is it's usually to add something meaningful. The last update added support for new languages, as well as pronunciation and intonation improvements. We've now been made aware that there's also an experimental always-on language detection switch, available to those using Android O.

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InBrief
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Google's Trusted Contacts app updated to include custom timeouts and Google Maps integration [APK Download]

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AutoTools 2.0 is now available, featuring web screens, HTML read, and more

Late last year we saw the introduction of a useful little app called AutoTools, dubbed 'Tasker Plus" by its developer, Joaomgcd. The AutoTools plugin adds to Tasker's already large feature set, with the ability to change certain system settings and control different toggles. João has been busy working on an upgrade, and now version 2.0 is upon us, which includes web screens, a navigation drawer, and HTML reading capabilities.

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10 new and notable Android apps from the last week (7/18/17 - 7/24/17)

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.

Apps

Gratus

Android Police coverage: Francisco Franco's new app Gratus is a novel tool that reminds you to stop and appreciate life

Francisco Franco has a new app available on the Play Store, and it isn't at all what you would expect.

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Gmail's Smart Reply is now available in Spanish on both Android and iOS

Back in May, Google announced Smart Reply for Gmail, a feature that would suggest three simple responses based on the email that was sent to you. This was first made available for English, but Spanish was promised to come "in the coming weeks." Two months later, Spanish speakers can finally use Smart Reply for quick and easy responses.

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InBrief
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Gboard for Android TV is now available on the Play Store, so far only for Android O [APK Download]

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JRummy Apps, maker of various root tools, has been purchased by Maple Media

Those of you who like to root and mod your phones have probably heard of JRummy Apps. Probably best known for its Root Browser and ROM Toolbox apps, JRummy has been a staple of the Android enthusiast community for many years now. It's now been purchased by a company that specializes in app acquisitions called Maple Media.

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