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APK Teardown

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Google Photos v2.14 is preparing personalized experiences and sharing suggestions based around facial recognition [APK Teardown]

When the Photos app launched in 2015, Google had already been working on computer vision for many years. It was no surprise that object recognition was a major draw for the app, and automatic sorting of pictures by person with the use of facial recognition became a must-have feature. Google is now looking to leverage this technology to make the Photos app a bit more social. A teardown of the latest Photos update reveals the service will soon offer additional features based around facial recognition, and even encourage users to share pictures with the people detected in them.

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Google App 7.1 beta is testing a search bar in the notification panel and may begin showing pollen counts [APK Teardown]

The Google app is responsible for a pretty staggering number of features ranging from the standard search interface, a voice assistant, and even a fully functional launcher. The latest update coming through the beta channel doesn't seem to have any new features going live quite yet, but there are a lot of changes to text and other resources, including the removal of all references to Bisto from the last teardown. Most of them are minor tweaks to features we've covered in the past, but a couple point to things we haven't explored yet. Users can look forward to pollen counts with their local weather and possibly a search bar located right in the notification shade.

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Google Maps v9.51 beta adds new details about parking, prepares to improve route planning with parking suggestions and traffic charts [APK Teardown + Download]

It's time for another update to Google Maps. Like so many other version bumps, this one includes a couple of great gifts to get users where they want to go. The focus of this release appears to be directed at parking. There are now indicators to show if there is on-site parking and whether it's free or paid. The theme continues into the teardown with a feature that will help drivers plan to find parking near their destination before getting there.

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Google app v7.0 beta includes new Assistant Notification settings, plans redesign of Assistant Services directory, and hints at new device called "Bisto" [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google app went through a major version bump to 7.0 and began rolling out to the beta channel a couple of days ago. A bit of digging around turned up a few new settings, but nothing that explains why the version number went up on this release. Along with the new features, a teardown also raises some light on a few things we can look forward to in the future, including some vital improvements for Services accessed through Google Assistant and what may be a new type of device. If you're not part of the beta channel, you can grab the latest version of the Google app – now with fewer crashes – from APK Mirror.

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Google Photos v2.13 adds video stabilization, hints at possible Google+ integration [APK Download + Teardown]

There's nothing like adding great new features with an update. The latest version of Photos began its rollout yesterday and it enables a video stabilization feature we've been looking forward to for months. A teardown of the apk also raises the question: Would the Photos app ever find itself reintegrating Google+ in some way? If you're not in the mood to wait for this version to hit your device, hit the APK Mirror link at the bottom to get this update a bit early.

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Play Movies & TV v3.24 prepares to feature HDR content, tweaks some layouts [APK Teardown + Download]

If you've purchased a new television in the last couple of years, it might be equipped with a feature called HDR, or High Dynamic Range. We won't get mired in the details, but let's just say it has a pretty noticeable impact on image quality, particularly in very dark or bright scenes. However, this doesn't do much good if the video you have to watch isn't properly encoded. The latest update to Play Movies & TV shows Google hasn't forgotten this fact, and preparations are being made to feature movies and TV shows delivered in HDR.

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GBoard v6.2 adds a Text Editor tool for fine cursor control, resizing the one-handed keyboard, new languages, and much more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new version of Gboard hit the stage late Wednesday night, and this one is absolutely packed with great improvements. The toolbar is now configurable, making space for an entirely new tool for editing text and navigating the cursor. One-handed mode now allows for resizing and positioning the keyboard. There's also a stack of newly supported languages from Assamese to Waray. The teardown isn't empty either, as there are signs Google may be planning to merge in the Handwriting keyboard and introduce an Incognito Mode.

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Play Store v7.7 prepares to roll out new security features and split notification settings to a separate screen [APK Teardown]

Google is pushing out a new version of the Play Store for Android users around the world. Like most updates to this version, there really aren't any notable changes showing up already, but there are a few interesting things hidden beneath the hood. There are some new features focused on improving security for apps that are updated from unexpected sources and making its security scanner more visible to users. There's also a plan to move notification settings to their own dedicated screen.

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Android Pay v1.19 prepares to show full transaction histories even when Pay isn't used, adding support for Nanaco cards in Japan soon [APK Teardown]

Android Pay v1.19 began rolling out last night, but like many of its recent updates, there aren't any obvious new features to see after updating. However, a teardown of the app does show there are a few things in the works, or maybe even ready to launch in the near future. Supported cards will soon allow Android Pay to show full transaction history, even if the purchase was made outside of Android Pay. It will soon be possible to block sensitive data from appearing on screen, which will prevent prying eyes from stealing that information. And finally, Japanese users can look forward to support for the Nanaco payment card.

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Google App v6.16 beta prepares to add authentication to purchases with Assistant, video previews in search results, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google app began rolling out earlier this week, but there don't appear to be any major changes going live quite yet. However, this version does bring some big clues about upcoming changes. On the docket for this teardown is a new authentication step for purchases made through Google Assistant, video previews in search results, user-defined actions take form through IFTTT, and some people will be happy to find out that Google's launcher won't always add icons for newly installed apps.

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