Android Police

Apps/Games

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Gboard v6.9 prepares Smart Replies to messenger notifications, deeper Bitmoji integration, and more [APK Teardown]

Yesterday brought us a new version of Gboard, bumping the version number up to 6.9. There's not much in the way of changes that you'll see right away, but there is now a semi-hidden feature that will tell you about changes when they happen. However, a deeper look into the APK does reveal plans to add a feature that provides suggested responses to go with messaging apps that implement Direct Replies. Also, the MAKE A GIF feature from the iOS version is making the jump to Android, Bitmoji support is getting baked in, and there's a universal search feature in the works.

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Android Wear v2.8 app update adds darker background and 'improved notification glanceability'

Gone are the days when OTA updates were necessary to add new features to your Android Wear watch. Now, Google can add new features via the Android Wear app. A new version of the Wear app is rolling out today with a few notable changes. The theme is darker, and notifications are getting some potentially interesting changes.

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WhatsApp Business launches officially for Android in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the USA [APK Download]

WhatsApp Business was officially announced in September of 2017 but back then you had to sign up for a beta, register your interest, and hope to be picked to give it a try. Now the app is made official and it's launching for Android in 5 countries to begin with, with a roll out "around the world" in the coming weeks. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Yes, the US, where everyone says they don't use WhatsApp. I also find it odd that the launch post mentions how businesses in India and Brazil rely on WhatsApp a lot for their communications, but then these two countries aren't among the list to get it first.

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Jam City unveils a teaser trailer for 'Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery'

Jam City's upcoming RPG Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (not to be confused with Niantic's planned augmented reality Harry Potter title "Wizard's Unite") has just had a teaser trailer released that shows off a few key details of the game. It would appear that players will be creating a personalized Hogwarts student avatar to then roleplay what it would be like to attend classes, learn magical skills, and form friendships or rivalries in the Harry Potter universe.

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Instagram starts showing activity status in direct messages

In its quest to become the only app where you share photos, moments, and messages, Instagram is adding one new feature to its direct messages: activity status. Just like you'd see when a person was last active on WhatsApp or Telegram or plenty of other messaging services, now you can do the same on Instagram and chide them for not replying with "oohs" and "aahs" to the preettay pic of a sunset that you just posted or the kissy face you messaged directly to them. Or you know, there's one more way to track every online activity of your significant other and get many more proofs and reasons to pick a fight over "Are you still checking out your ex on Instagram?"

I guess this kind of feature isn't for me since I never started an Instagram DM with anyone, like eveeer, and my latest reply to anyone was about 16 weeks ago.

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It's Wednesday, so here are 29 temporarily free and 22 on-sale apps

Wednesday is here, and the week is more than half over. It's a slim list today, about the same as Monday's, but that's okay. Dig through and see if you find something you like, and I'll see you all Friday.

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Google Photos v3.12 prepares to redeem free storage codes, better support SD cards, and lets us know Austin is up to his most mystery-er feature yet [APK Teardown]

With that other major news event out of the way, it's time to move on to more interesting news – Google app updates. Late last night brought us a version bump to Google Photos. While there haven't been any notable changes popping into view yet, a teardown does present some pretty interesting revelations for the future. Fans of the free original storage promotion might soon have some options to enjoy that with other phones. If you've felt like SD card support wasn't up to snuff, there's reason to think that might be getting better soon. And finally, Austin has reappeared with the my curious of features yet.

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Discogs adds in-app purchasing to its latest beta

If you're big into vinyl (records), then you probably recognize the name Discogs. If you aren't, it's a music marketplace for cataloging your collection and buying new albums. And, today, Discogs has released a beta that allows you to make purchases from inside the Android app itself. 

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World of Warships Blitz has officially launched on the Play Store

World of Warships Blitz is billed as a free-to-play mobile action MMO. It is from Wargaming World, the publisher of the hit mobile World War 2 military tank shooter World of Tanks Blitz. The Blitz line of Android games are of course smaller scale mobile-friendly versions of Wargaming's range of free-to-play PC games.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Maps Go shows up on the Play Store for Go phones, but you can give it a try anyway

Android Go, the lightweight edition of Android made for low-end hardware, officially launched about a week ago, and promised to come with several optimized versions of apps to make better use of the limited resources. We've already seen Files Go and Google Go but the Android Go site says there are more apps, like Assistant, Gmail, and Maps. The latter has just showed up on the Play Store, though it may have been available for a while but invisible.

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