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8

Google Duo now lets you send notes and doodles to your contacts

Reports of Duo's death have been greatly exaggerated. The app has continued to receive new features and improvements over the past year, and seemingly no longer requires a phone number. Now there's a new feature you can try out: drawing notes.

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41

New Chrome Duet only has three bottom buttons, makes you choose between tab switcher and share

Google has been working on a bottom bar interface for Chrome for what feels like forever and keeps changing the layout. Initially, the browser had its complete app bar moved to the bottom, while recent implementation left the bare address bar up top and put all buttons (new tab/tab switcher, home, share, overflow menu) in the new location. The latest iteration of the design, accessible on Chrome Beta and Dev, reduces the number of shortcuts on the bottom from five to three, and people aren't happy about it.

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2

32 temporarily free and 40 on-sale apps and games for Monday

Welcome to Monday, everyone. It's the beginning of another week, and so it's time again to check out the latest app and game sales available on the Google Play Store. Surprisingly this is a bustling Monday, and so there's more than a few quality sales, and as always, I've highlighted the interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 32 temporarily free and 40 on-sale apps and games for the beginning of the week.

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71

Google needs to fix its notoriously bad bilingual speech recognition on Assistant and Gboard (Updated)

Google collects vast amounts of speech data across all of its products, and while it hasn't been too transparent about the practice, we as users profit from it for the most part. Speech recognition has consistently gotten better over the years, which has allowed impressive sci-fi tech like smart speakers to enter our homes. There's one department where Google needs to step up its game, though: multilingual speakers are having a hard time using more than one language on any Google product.

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28

Google Camera v7.3 prepares for 24 fps video, Pixel 4a codenames, and automatic Do Not Disturb mode (APK Teardown)

The camera remains one of the top selling points for Pixel phones, so it's only natural that updates to Google's Camera app are going to be worthy of a close eye. The latest version bump brings some changes that will save you from ruining a video when new notifications would pop up and tweaks the UI in a subtle way. Diving deeper with a teardown, we get to see that 24 fps recording is on the horizon along with some of the codenames for upcoming devices, most likely the Pixel 4a lineup.

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37

The best free and open-source alternatives to Google Drive on Android

We've already looked at open-source alternatives to several major Google apps and services in this series, but there are still a few categories left to go over. Now it's time to check out the open-source equivalents to Google Drive, the company's cloud storage product.

Thankfully, the feature gap between Google Drive and the alternatives isn't massive — all of them have clients for desktop and mobile, easy file sharing, and other features. Depending on what hardware you have on hand, these options might not even cost you anything.

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1

15 new and notable Android apps from the last three weeks including GesturePlus, Microsoft Launcher Preview, and GitHub (1/4/20 - 1/25/20)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous three weeks or so. Today I have a fantastic gesture navigation tuner, a preview version of the Microsoft Launcher, and GitHub's return to the Play Store after a long absence. So without further ado, here are the more notable Android apps released in the last three weeks.

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13

Gboard tests sticker suggestions mixed and matched from existing emoji

Gboard is constantly under construction as Google keeps finding ways to improve one of the most used tools on our phones. The latest experiment looks extremely similar to an earlier test that added GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji last year. This time, the company is experimenting with stickers that put one emoji's emotion on another emoji's shape, and the results can be hilarious.

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34

Vine's successor Byte is now out on the Play Store

Vine was the internet phenomenon that proved that short, easily digestible video clips could be tremendously popular and spark creativity. However, the rigid six-second format had soon been adopted and loosened up by Instagram and later TikTok, and after Twitter purchased Vine, it vanished into obscurity. An unceremonious death followed in 2016. But Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann still believes in the format and has been working on a successor for a long time. After an extensive beta phase, this new product, Byte, is now official and stable on the Play Store.

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5

Sega Catcher Online lets you play a claw machine remotely from your phone

Cue black and white, low-quality footage, with a dramatic voice-over: "Do you ever get that itch to play a claw machine when there just isn't one around? Well, now you can!" And suddenly we see a bright, colorful world of happy kids in too-clean homes gleefully tapping away at their phones, clearly astounded at the prizes they're winning. Well, that's not exactly what you're going to get from the new US launch of "Sega Catcher Online," but you will get to essentially gamble except without winning money using a remotely-controlled, webcam-equipped claw machine, and I think it's pretty hilarious.

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