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Android Auto v4.1 adds widescreen support and UI tweaks, prepares auto-resume, and more [APK Teardown]

Android Auto continues to work toward adding features people really need in the car. The latest update brings a few minor surface-level changes, and under the hood there are some new features that may be pretty useful, including an auto-resume feature for music (or podcasts and audiobooks), a filter to prevent group messages from becoming too distracting, and more.

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Google Messages v4.1 prepares Verified SMS support to eliminate spam, Google Assistant integration, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Google Messages hit earlier this week, and while it's featuring a few visible changes, including a new setting to enable Suggested Actions and a new About screen, the most interesting changes aren't intended to go live quite yet. We already know Google is adding Assistant integration to Messages, and now some of that is manifesting in the app. But the most exciting addition is support for a great new carrier-level feature called Verified SMS that may put an end to scam messages (and calls).

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Google Lookout uses AI to help visually-impaired people navigate the world [APK Download]

I can't imagine having to navigate today's world while visually impaired. From streets to people to items, and even trivial things like preparing a sandwich or knowing the proper toilet sign in a restaurant, it would all be infinitely more difficult without sight, and I have a lot of admiration for those who have to handle these situations every day. Smartphones can make some of this easier, especially with AI at the helm. If Google Lens can identify a dog's breed from a photo, there's nothing stopping it from using the same tech to help visually-impaired people, and that's where Lookout comes in.

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'Suggested actions' come to Google Messages in version 4.1.065

Using the increasing power of its AI smarts, Google is getting better at anticipating our next move and offering us convenient suggestions that make our lives easier. We've seen this with App Actions in Android and suggested edits in Google Photos, and now a similar feature has arrived in the Google Messages app.

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Google's Bolo helps children read and understand English and Hindi [APK Download]

You can't underestimate the benefits of a good education, and one of the first pillars of that is the ability to read. When I travelled to Nepal a couple of months ago, I was astonished by how thirsty for learning children in rural areas are. In the afternoon, many were being dropped off by their bus miles away from any village and had to (literally) trek up hills to get back home. In the morning, many could be seen carrying their backpacks and walking for at least half an hour or more just to get to their school or bus. And us privileged folks complain about waking up early to catch the bus that picks us up right from our doorstep!

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Google Duo v49 prepares video effects for Holi and video invites [APK Teardown]

Duo has left us waiting on the launch of some big new features, including group calling, but the latest update to v49 doesn't appear to be launching either of those quite yet. However, there are a couple of smaller touches to discuss, including special effects for the Hindu festival of Holi and some type of new video invites.

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Playground v2.2 (AR Stickers): AR Shopping, International Women's Day, and animals with answers [APK Teardown]

After a few years of ups and downs with VR and AR, Google has achieved some notable wins, most recently with the Childish Gambino dance off. Naturally, they're not stopping there, and the latest update to the Playground app (formerly AR Stickers) shows some of what's in store. There will be integration to allow for furniture viewing and shopping, an informative life-sized collection of animals, and a special celebration for International Women's Day.

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YouTube Music v3.03 and earlier: Device limits, personal audio library, autoplay, and more [APK Teardown]

With YouTube Music set to eventually replace Google Play Music entirely — the last GPM update with any appreciable change was a year ago — the developers are in the process of migrating features  so users won't be left wanting for too much. Since the last several versions have only contained minor visual tweaks and some of the signs of feature migration, we've been waiting for something more substantial to cover, and with the version number jumping to 3.0 and adding Android Auto support, this seemed like a good time. This post will contain the collective changes and teardown topics from the last few versions.

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Nova Launcher v6.0 stable is rolling out to the Play Store with searchable settings, icon resizing for all, and more [APK Download]

It's been nearly seven months since Nova Launcher v6.0-beta 1 was released in early August 2018, and now it's time for the stable version to hit the masses. TeslaCoil Software began rolling out v6.0 stable of its popular custom launcher to the Play Store yesterday, and it comes with a fairly lengthy list of enhancements and new features. If for some reason you still don't see the latest version of Nova in the Play Store, APK Mirror has the cure for your impatience.

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Google Messages v4.0 adds support for Smart Reply in Spanish and group conversation renaming [APK Download]

Google's Messages app, then called Android Messages, first received Smart Reply functionality in late 2017. A year and a half later, Messages v4.0 is adding support for Smart Reply in Spanish, as well as the ability to rename group conversations. For the impatient among you, we have the APK ready for download.

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