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Google News v5.7 is testing restrictions to prevent data abuse, prepares music playback for Grammy Awards [APK Teardown]

Google made some big changes back in May with the launch of Google News, bringing both Play Magazines and the News & Weather app together in a new format and completely redesigned app. A few months later, Google announced several new automatic features for the Google News app that would make it even more data-efficient. Unfortunately, something went wrong and many users found that the app had taken to downloading multiple gigabytes of data over cellular connections and racking up huge overages. While those bugs seem to have been fixed, the latest update includes signs that Google may be putting countermeasures in place to help prevent similar bugs in the future.

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Gboard v7.8 prepares option to clear search history, enhancements to voice typing and clipboard manager [APK Teardown]

 

The latest update to the Gboard app is now out, but it doesn't appear to be adding any features in this update, or at least not yet. A teardown points to some enhancements to some features we've either seen in the past or expect to go live in the near future, including tweaks to the Clipboard Manager, an option to delete search history, follow-ups related to voice typing, and of course, a ton of new languages and localized keyboards.

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Google Photos v4.6 prepares new Express backup and daily data caps for slow and limited connections [APK Teardown]

A new update for Google Photos is rolling out, and this one is taking aim at making backups possible in regions where data connections are generally slow and expensive. A new Express backup mode is in the works that automatically downscales images and video for more timely and less costly transmission to the cloud. There will also be a new setting that allows users to set daily limits on how much data to spend on performing backups.

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Android Auto v3.8 adds optional message previews and revamps the music player [APK Teardown]

The latest Auto update is rolling out and it's making a couple of substantial changes, at least by the standards of an Auto update. You'll now have the option to see the first several words of incoming messages when they arrive, and the music player has been given a makeover that changes both its looks and a little bit of functionality. It seems this update is rolling out to a pretty small number of people right now.

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Google Duo v44 is working on a Low Light mode and gets closer to launching its improved Data Saving mode [APK Teardown]

Now that we're deep into the holiday season, plenty of people will be talking with their families, even if they can't necessarily travel long distances to reunite in person. Video calls will be skyrocketing for the next few weeks, and for many people, that will be happening with Google Duo. The latest update to v44 is now out, and while it doesn't appear to bring any new features immediately upon installation, there are a few things spotted in a teardown that will be pretty useful when they do come to life.

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Update Notes for the Google app, Gmail, Translate, Home, Play Books, and Fit (November 21, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Google Pay v2.78 prepares group pay and nicknames for payment methods [APK Teardown]

As we get ready to wear out our credit cards buying gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and probably ourselves, it's a good time to talk about Google Pay and what's in store for it in the future. Unfortunately, we won't be building on the holiday shopping theme with any of the teardown topics, but at least there are a couple of cool features that might get us feeling a little more festive about spending our hard-earned cash with our phones.

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Google Phone v26 dark theme is here [APK Download]

You've been asking for it, and asking for it, and asking for it, and... well, you get the point. Just after the Google Contacts app brought in the long-awaited, long-demanded dark theme, the Phone app is now following closely behind with the dark theme we've seen for the last couple versions. It's finally out of testing and available for the rest of the world to enjoy.

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Google app v8.49 beta prepares Collection sharing, Lens image search history, and Workspaces [APK Teardown]

Friday evening brought us another update to the Google app. Unlike the previous version, there are a fair number of topics to discuss from a teardown. Google is preparing a screen for viewing your image searches from Lens, Collection sharing, a few changes to the layout of settings, and there are even hints of a mystery feature named Workspaces.

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Google Photos v4.5 may restore backup while charging and prepares helpful hints for backup conditions [APK Teardown]

An update to Google Photos began rolling out late last night. There appears to be nothing noteworthy on the surface, but a teardown has turned up a couple interesting details that point to upcoming changes. We will be getting some new informative boxes that can explain why backups aren't running, plus we may finally get back the much loved option to only perform backups while charging.

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