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Google app v6.10 beta prepares to add a "search gesture" and enable keyboard input for Google assistant [APK Teardown]

We're barely into the new year and Google isn't wasting any time getting updates out to some of its apps. A new beta for the Google app turned up on Tuesday, but like the last few versions, there aren't any apparent new features jumping off the screen. However, there are a few clues hidden inside the apk that tell us about a few changes coming down the pipe in the future. On the docket this time is a new(-ish) input method for Google assistant and a mysterious gesture-based search action. The first steps have also been taken to bring Google assistant to Android Wear.

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CyberLink PowerDirector now supports 4K video editing, first Android app to do so

It's an understatement to say 4K content and products are on fire at the moment, with every manufacturer hopping on the bandwagon and getting 4K products out the door, stat. CyberLink is the latest to do that, with its mobile video editing app, PowerDirector, gaining the ability to edit in 4K.

CyberLink says this is the first time an Android app has been able to edit and output 4K content. Naturally, I tried this out on my Nexus 6P, and despite the fact a warning appeared when I added my UHD 4K footage, I didn't see any performance slowdown at all.

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Google Calendar goals now have Google Fit integration [APK Download]

For a while now, Google Calendar has let you add goals so you can keep track of your efforts at self-improvement. One of the most popular uses (especially this time of year) is exercise goals. In the latest version of Calendar, you can plug in Google Fit to automatically complete your goals.

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iHeartRadio is coming soon to Google Home, Samsung's Family Hub, more

iHeartRadio, the online radio service, recently announced its paid on-demand All Access plans and it's now officially making them available (even though they have been accessible for almost a month). But that's not what we're here for. Another announcement coming from the company at CES is its upcoming integration with Google Home and a few other hardware and software partners.

Google Home support isn't live yet, but when it becomes available, you'll be able to play iHeartRadio stations or artists by asking the Assistant to do so. It looks like the integration will be direct, like Spotify works now, without requiring you first to speak to iHeartRadio and then ask for a station, but that's an assumption based on the vague PR description.

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Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android get Page setup and ODF/EPUB support

The Android apps for Google Docs can be handy for quick edits, but lack many of the features available through the web app. Today's update for the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android bring a few useful features to mobile.

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Google Photos on Android allows users to select different cover images for detected faces

The face detection feature in Google Photos is exceptionally good at picking people out of crowds and identifying known faces in very low resolution pictures. There are even some pretty killer algorithms for selecting pictures to use in collages and animations, but when it comes to choosing cover photos for those detected faces, it's not always perfect. Fortunately, Google Photos now allows users to select a different "feature photo" for contacts in face detection.

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Telegram update adds deleting recently sent messages, network data usage, and Gboard integration

A new year means a new Telegram update. Version 3.16 adds in deleting recently sent messaging for everyone, network usage information, t.me short links, and a host of small, but significant, improvements to the Android app.

The big addition is the ability to delete recently sent messages, stopping everyone from seeing them. Telegram's blog entry on v3.16 says this is available up to 48 hours after the message has been sent, so any drunk tweets can be got rid of once you've sobered up a bit. It's not clear, however, if this still works if the recipient(s) has seen the messages.

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Screens lets you create shortcuts to launch apps in split-screen mode

Android finally added support for split-screen apps in 7.0 Nougat, but Google has been playing with the specifics of launching apps in split-screen. It removed the UI tuner's swipe gesture, and the home button behavior has been tweaked in 7.1. The whole system can be a little clumsy at times, but Screens makes split-screen mode a one-tap proposition. It's rather barebones, but it gets the job done.

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Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard) hits 500 million installs in the Play Store

There are many, many keyboard apps in the Play Store, but Google Keyboard has long been my go-to option. With the Gboard re-branding, Google added a few long-awaited features like multiple active languages and integrated search. That was enough to push it over the 500 million download threshold, joining apps like Photos, Dropbox, and Super-Bright LED Flashlight.

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The previously announced Google Play billing for Drive storage is already live for some

Google announced a couple weeks ago that billing for Google Drive would move over to the Play Store subscription system. At the time it said this would happen sometime in January, but it looks like it's already live for some people. Time to check your Google Play account page.

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