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Google app v7.11 beta suggests the next Android version is 8.1, adds battery levels for Bisto headphones, prepares to tweak user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future. We're also going to hit an option to turn off the built-in screenshot handler and a little bit more about Google's upcoming "Bisto" headphones.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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[Update: September security patches still to come] Google releases Android's September security bulletin, new images and OTAs to follow

The September 2017 Android security update is here, and the bulletin contains the usual details about vulnerabilities that could be affecting various Android devices. Images and OTAs that include the September patches should protect against any possible issues, but so far they're only available for the Nexus 9 on Android 7.1.1. There are no Android 8.0 Oreo images with September patches for Pixel or Nexus devices live yet, but it shouldn't be too long before they are added.

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Verified WhatsApp business accounts are now official

To US readers, WhatsApp may not seem like much of a big deal. Things are different elsewhere, however, and with more than 1 billion daily active users it's easy to understand why Facebook paid so much money to acquire the messaging service. After a number of rumors and clues, business accounts similar to what you can already find in the Facebook Messenger app are now coming to WhatsApp.

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Telegram 4.3 adds better replies in groups, a new contact invite system, and more [APK Download]

I've come to expect great things from every new Telegram update. Each one seems to enhance the quality-of-life for the users, and the latest brings some of those. Version 4.3 adds a much better group mentions and reply system, an overhauled UI for inviting contacts to join Telegram, and other minor improvements.

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YouTube for Android TV 2.01.04 update brings back brand accounts and channel switching [APK Download]

The update to version 2.0 ushered in some major changes to YouTube for Android TV. Many of them were superficial, but there were also useful things like being able to turn off autoplay. It also got a fair amount of criticism for essentially just being a web wrapper and having some things missing. The biggest disappointment for many was that you could no longer sign in with a brand account or switch channels as you could in the previous release. Google said they would be brought back soon and has just made good on that promise with a new update.

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Google Maps v9.61 makes language and voice user-selectable, foretells of "two-wheeler mode" and Reserve with Google [APK Teardown]

The latest Google Maps beta update began rolling out to users late last night, and it brings with it a feature some users have been requesting for years: User-selectable language and voices. Not only that, but there are a few things from the teardown that may be of interest. Some of them are more like follow-ups to older topics, but there are some new bits of information to check out with each one.

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Action Launcher v28 beta is rolling out, with support for adaptive icons and light navigation bar [APK Download]

Chris Lacy has had a busy few months updating his popular Action Launcher. Since a major overhaul in June, the app has added numerous features that mimic the way the Pixel launcher works in Oreo, bringing features such as the Google Feed, notifications dots, and shortcuts to almost any Android device. The last update, to v27, included new theming options and a Pixel-inspired weather widget. The beta for v28 is now starting to roll out, and it comes with full support for adaptive icons and a light navigation bar.

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Google Photos v3.4 prepares to add favoriting and offer one-time permission to do backups over cellular [APK Teardown]

Version 3.4 of Google Photos started rolling out earlier today, and like so many other recent app updates, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes. This is a pretty common theme around this time of year as Google prepares to launch new hardware and services. But investigating the app updates themselves can still turn up clues about future enhancements. In this release, there are signs that users will be able to mark photos as "favorites" and quickly pull up a list for easy browsing. There's also going to be a new notification when you're on cellular networks to allow one-time passes for the backup system to use some of that data and get your photos and videos into the cloud ASAP.

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Official Nexus/Pixel factory image and OTA pages updated with Oreo downloads

Android 8.0 Oreo made its official debut a little over a week ago, but since then, only devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program have received an official OTA to 8.0. Verizon Pixel phones began receiving the official version earlier today, but it looks like other devices haven't been as fortunate. Luckily, Google has just uploaded factory images and OTAs for Nexus and Pixel devices to their respective pages.

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Duo v17 begins experimentation with color effects, white balance, and exposure controls, also brings round and adaptive icons [APK Teardown + Download]

Duo has done well positioning itself as a simple, yet innovative app for video chat. Despite a focus on simplicity, it's time to begin experimenting with enhancements that can establish Duo with new audiences. The latest update contains clues suggesting the development team may bring some advanced camera settings to the app so users can make sure they're sending the very best image possible.

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