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Allo v25 enables automatic transcriptions for audio messages, may hint at threaded conversations [APK Teardown]

A new version of Allo is rolling out just in time for the holidays. If you're thinking about singing Christmas carols or wishing somebody a happy new year, things are going to get a little more interesting thanks to the latest update. Your audio messages will now be automatically transcribed to text, so people can decide when to listen and have some idea of what they're going to be hearing. There's also a clue that may suggest threaded conversations will be supported. We're still poking around for other changes, but let us know in the comments if you stumble across anything else.

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Google PhotoScan version 1.5 adds automatic saving to Google Photos [APK Download]

It's been a while since we've seen an update to Google's handy photo digitizing app, PhotoScan. Back in April, version 1.4 brought with it in-app sharing and the ability to turn off the glare removal feature – although I'm not sure why you'd want to do that. Version 1.5 is now available on the Play Store, and it now saves your creations to Google Photos automatically.

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Google Phone v15 adds assisted dialing for international travelers, white nav bar, and possibly pre-call support for dual-SIM phones [APK Teardown]

An update to Google's Phone app began rolling out to users earlier today. Besides enabling the seamless video calling feature with Duo, which also works on v14, this update comes with a few additions of its own. The previously discussed Assisted Dialing feature for international travelers has been enabled and is ready to make life a little easier, and users on Android 8.1 will now see the white navigation bar that's been creeping into a few of Google's apps. If you're using a dual-SIM phone, you might also be getting the option to pick your SIM immediately before a call, though this might not be live yet.

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Google Maps v9.68 makes indoor maps easier to spot, prepares intelligent 'out of range' warnings, and much more [APK Teardown]

For many people around the world, this is the holiday season. We're packing things up and hitting the road to visit family and friends. Most of us will put at least some part of our trip into Google's hands as we launch Maps and wait for it to tell us which turn to take next. A new version hit the beta channel yesterday to prepare for some of these road trips. There are a few new features and a boatload of items for a teardown.

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[Update: Now in stable] Latest SwiftKey Beta update includes quick pasting and location sharing

One of the best third-party keyboards on the Play Store is SwiftKey, and its popularity can be put down to its great customization options and constant development. The beta channel is the first place to get new features, and the latest update includes a 'Quick Paste' option and built-in location sharing.

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Google Contacts v2.4 readies multi-SIM support and prepares a new suggestion to fix nameless contacts [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Contacts came out yesterday, but it unfortunately doesn't seem to solve the recent issue with contact syncing that some Oreo users are reporting. This update appears to mostly fix bugs, but it does come with a couple of minor tweaks and some preparation for new feature additions in the future.

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Android 8.1 OTA files and factory images are now live

Anxiously waiting for 8.1 to land? It would appear that today is the day. Google has just released both the OTA files for sideloading 8.1 and the requisite factory images. Intrepid Android enthusiasts can flash the update, though it is worth noting that the OTA files aren't currently working when sideloading from DP2 on at least one device. 

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Google Search Lite becomes Google Go, Files Go exits beta [APK Download]

Google is spinning up the previously announced "Go" version of Android, including a suite of apps in the Play Store. This optimized build of the OS was announced back at Google I/O, and a few test apps have popped up in the intervening months. Today, Google has renamed Search Lite to Google Go. That matches Files Go, which is out of beta now.

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VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto.

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Google Allo v24 prepares to start chats with Gmail addresses, continues work on camera effects and other UI enhancements [APK Teardown]

A new version of Allo is making the rounds, and again with an evening release on a Friday. So far, no new features have been uncovered in this update, but we're still poking around for something to reveal itself. In the meantime, there's plenty of material to examine under the microscope of a teardown. We can see that contacting people through their Google account may be coming soon. Allo's upcoming camera effects are evolving as two old ones may have been removed, a new one turns up, and they're all getting new icons. And that's not all.

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