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Google Maps makes the bottom bar for exploring places, real-time traffic, and transit info official

It's been more than 4 months since we first spotted a new bottom bar navigation interface in Google Maps, and now the layout is official. Google has announced it on its blog, saying that "when you're on the go, there's no time for apps that can't keep up," and this is exactly why this change is important.

You'll no longer have to swipe the left menu to get to the Driving Mode, or tap to search to explore nearby places, or start driving to check the traffic around you. All of these will be accessible from the bottom bar that you can simply swipe up.

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Twitter for Android adds GIF keyboard support

One of the more notable new features of Android 7.1 is the ability for keyboards to directly insert GIFs into an application. However, both the keyboard and target application have to be updated to handle the new functionality. Thankfully, Twitter has now done so with version 6.33.0-beta.556.

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Chrome Beta 57 adds WebAssembly support, improved media notifications, and more [APK Download]

Two days ago, Chrome 56 was released for Android with several major changes to both to the app itself and the web features it supports. As always, a new stable release means the next version - Chrome 57 - has entered the beta stage. Let's dig into the new features that Chrome 57 brings.

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Android Pay v1.14 prepares to add linked offers, coupons and promotions available directly through your loyalty programs [APK Teardown]

In the last few months, Android Pay has been popping up quite a bit with expansions into new territories, support for more banks and credit unions, and of course, new features. The latest update began rolling out this morning and looks basically unchanged, but a teardown shows that Google is preparing to give users a reason to poke around in the app more often. Loyalty programs are about to get a fairly significant upgrade that will allow them to feature special offers to members.

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Snap recognizes it should focus on Snapchat Android app development to keep its users and growth

Snap Inc., the official name of the company behind Snapchat, filed for IPO (Initial Public Offering) yesterday and is planning to be a publicly traded company in March. In its official filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Snap shed a lot of light on its goal as a company and how it operates, and among the pages and pages of financial details and jargon that I don't understand, it mentioned Snapchat's risk factors and potential growth hurdles, both of which do have a few instances of "Android" in them.

The main takeaway from the sections talking about Android is that Snap is cognizant of its app's poor performance on our beloved OS.

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Google will discontinue Google Now Launcher in the coming weeks

Google currently has two launcher apps in the Play Store; Google Now Launcher and Pixel Launcher. In a few months, there will only be one. According to an email forwarded to us by a tipster, Google has alerted GMS partners of its intention to remove Google Now Launcher from the Play Store in the coming weeks. OEMs that use GNL have options, though.

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[Facepalm, Shrug] WhatsApp adds plenty of new emojis from Android 7.1 including professions and gender equality

Emojis, there are thousands of them and yet you always seem to be looking for that one emoji that doesn't exist yet. Did we have to wait this long to have a facepalm or crossed fingers? I guess we did. Anyway, let's skip the pointless blabber and go straight to the point: WhatsApp has new emojis on Android.

Regardless of which version of Android you're using, WhatsApp 2.17.44 beta (APK Mirror) has implemented the font images to properly display plenty of new emojis that are found in Unicode 9.0 and Emoji 4.0. If that sounds like jargon to you, you should know that in layman terms, they're all the new emojis found in iOS 10.2.

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tinyCam Monitor 7.4 released with 24/7 cloud recording, 50% off sale

Home security cameras are great, made all the better when there's a great app to control them with. Accordingly, tinyCam Monitor has just had a major update to version 7.4, with some big features surrounding the cloud in tow.

The talking point here is definitely 24/7 cloud recording. This means that the recordings, which will now take place continuously, will be uploaded to the cloud, and when the quota of 500MB is exceeded, the oldest JPEGs uploaded will be deleted to make way for new footage. There are other new features for recording, as well - the archive for cloud recordings and on-device recordings can be deleted on demand, and less memory is used for the Motion JPEG (MJPEG) streams.

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Google Photos v2.8 rearranges Albums and Device Folders, prepares for Nearby sharing and Auto-stories [APK Teardown + Download]

The latest release of Google Photos hit today and it brings a few visual adjustments to a couple of the screens we visit most often. The pages for Albums and Device folders have been rearranged a bit to pack more things on the screen at once. The teardown also reveals upcoming support for easier photo sharing through Nearby and a new creation tool for mashing up your pictures and video.

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Progressive Web Apps will soon act more like native applications

Chrome has offered the ability to add shortcuts to web pages on the home screen for a while now. When Chrome 51 was released in 2015, Google took it a step further by allowing certain sites to use Web App Install Banners, customize the shortcut's loading screen, and hide the Chrome UI.

Now Google is taking Progressive Web Apps a step further. Starting with Chrome Canary today and Chrome 57 Beta in the coming weeks, web apps added to the home screen will be near-indistinguishable from native applications installed from the Play Store.

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