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[Update: Changelog And Google Drive Note Sync] Play Books v3.5 Gets A UI Refresh, Adds New Suggestion Experience To Find Books You Might Like, And More

Version 3.5 of the Play Books for Android app dropped today, and if you're a frequent user of the app, you're going to notice some pretty immediate visual changes.

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Google App v4.9 Adds Toggle For Lockscreen Notifications, May Also Offer Toggle For App Suggestions [APK Download + Mini-Teardown]

Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.

Screenshot_2015-07-16-22-28-52Screenshot_2015-07-16-22-51-39

Left: old version. Right: new version.

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[Update: Nexus Player] Android M Developer Preview 2 Nexus OTA ZIP Roundup

The Android L developer preview remained largely static in the time between its launch and Lollipop's official release. That isn't the case with Android M, which Google says will receive monthly over-the-air updates. The first of them is now available for the Nexus 5 and 6.

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Google Play Services v7.8.87 Begins Rolling Out With Support For Nearby API And New Account Management Links [APK Download]

Google finally let the curtain fall on the long-anticipated Nearby API that enables detection and easy connection with other devices in close proximity. The new API was announced with Play services v7.8, but the SDK won't be released until that version has gone into wide release, which will happen in about two weeks. This gives Google a chance to identify some of the bugs that may have slipped through during development, and collect feedback from a larger set of devices in the real world.

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Play Newsstand v3.4 Adds Home Screen Shortcuts To News Sources And Topics [APK Download]

We know everybody is looking forward to the big Hangouts 4.0 update; and despite a pretty active day for updates, there's no sign that the big green chat app is going to get a big new version today. While we're waiting, a smallish update to the Google Play Newsstand app reminds us that there's plenty of stuff to read in the news. The changes in this release are mostly centered around improving performance and accessibility, and fixing bugs.

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[APK Download] Google Messenger v1.4 Adds Location Sharing, Stickers, And Fast Scrolling (And Maybe More)

The Messenger app published by Google received a significant #updatewednesday release this morning, adding support for location sharing, stickers, and quick scrolling. All things, I think we can agree, which are good.

The new location sharing and sticker features, found under the "attach" dialogue, look like this.

You can download new sticker packs (there are currently three), and some of the stickers are even animated. Location sharing is pretty cool - the way it works is quite clever.

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[APK Download] Maps v9.11 Finally Allows You To Tap To Hide UI Elements In Map View, Adds Sharing For My Maps

Good news this morning for anyone who finds Maps' use of UI space in map view wasteful on Android: you can now tap to dismiss most of the UI elements in the Maps app in version 9.11, an APK for which you can grab right here. Here's what that new feature looks like.

Screenshot_2015-07-06-10-39-43 Screenshot_2015-07-06-10-39-50

Left: UI showing, right: UI hidden. Simply tap on an empty part of the map UI to switch it on or off.

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[APK Teardown] YouTube v10.25 Hints At Voice-Activated Playback Controls, Shows Signs Of Life For Ad-Free Subscription, And More

After the launch of Music Key in November, we've had good reason to expect quite a bit from YouTube. We've seen things like 60 fps live streaming, 360-degree videos with cardboard support, and big updates to the Kids and Creator Studio apps – and that's just some of the stuff from the last two months. We also know there's plenty still to come, particularly an ad-free subscription model. The latest update doesn't seem to deliver any new features, not unless Google is planning to flip a switch server-side, but it gives a few hints about what to expect in the future.

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[APK Teardown] Google App v4.8 Prepares For 'Ok, Google' Offline, Voice Commands To Control Volume And Brightness, And Much More

Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon.

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Drive v2.2.233 Adds Multiple File Downloading And Sending, Vastly Improves Collaborator Interface [APK Download]

Google Drive and its host of specialized editors have been improving by leaps and bounds, this year. Over the last few months, we've seen big new features like drag and drop file management, Chromecast support, and much more. The latest update builds on top of the recently added drag and drop interface to give users even more ways to manage multiple files quickly. There is also an overhaul to the interface for selecting collaborators and viewers which makes the experience immensely better.

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