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Google Photos v3.23 prepares adjustable bokeh effect, frees up storage space by lowering saved photo quality, and more [APK Teardown]

Google Photos version 3.23 just started making the rounds, but there doesn't appear to be anything immediately changing with the update. However, the traditional clues about upcoming features are certainly there to be seen. We can look forward to applying some of those smooth bokeh effects of portrait mode, and this time, we'll control the intensity of the blur. There will also be a new option to downgrade your already backed-up photos to high quality so you can get back some of that cloud storage. I've also included a couple other teardown sections for earlier versions that were slated to appear in the next Update Notes post, but this is the better place for them.

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Google adding 'distributed by Google Play' metadata to APKs

Google will soon start adding security metadata to APKs distributed by Google Play to identify their origin. The change is set to primarily affect users in areas where mobile data is at a premium, either due to price or availability, which leads to APKs being frequently shared peer-to-peer.

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[Update: OnePlus 6 too] ARCore v1.3 appears to add support for OnePlus 5T, Android One, several Sony Xperia and Huawei phones, and more [APK Teardown]

The team behind AR at Google is working hard to bring support to an ever-growing number of phones. While the initial launch was limited to Pixel and S8 phones, it quickly grew beyond that number. Still, most of the early phones were flagships or at least on the higher end of mid-range. With the latest update, we're now seeing ARCore expanding to some budget handsets.

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Google app v8.8 beta prepares to arm your security system with a routine, mentions 'Dreamliner' codename [APK Teardown]

After the last update to the Google app brought very little to discuss, version 8.8 is now in circulation and it is continuing the trend of smaller but more frequent updates. In this round, the teardown brings up the curious "dreamliner" name that was also spotted in AOSP after Android P Developer Preview 3. We can also see that there's a new command in the works for Routines that will allow users to control their security systems.

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Gmail v8.6 adds unsubscribe tips, prepares priority-based notifications and email bundling [APK Teardown]

An update to Gmail has been making the rounds and it looks like a big part of it is dedicated to bringing over successful features from the Inbox app. Unsubscribe suggestions have been added to make it easier to keep your mail a bit cleaner, and there are signs that the high-priority notification filter and a limited test of email bundling are also set to make an appearance in the future.

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Google Maps v9.79 gives scores to restaurants based on your personal tastes, prepares Waze-like incident reporting and much more [APK Teardown]

Updates to Google Maps have been a bit quieter over the last few months as fewer features come to each update than we're accustomed to. A recent announcement revealed this time has been spent on some cool new predictive features that will help users find restaurants, events, and other places that match their taste and style. The first stage of those new features, scoring for places that match your tastes, is going live now. There are also signs of many of the other previously announced features, Waze-style incident reporting, and more.

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Android Messages v3.3 prepares GIF search and favorited stickers, search filters for attachments, and possibly gearing up to fight text spammers [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Android Messages app slowly began to circulate over the weekend. As usual, there doesn't seem to be anything visibly different in this update, but it does contain bits and pieces suggesting there's plenty of work going on in preparation for new features. Some of the Sticker and GIF-related enhancements from Allo appear to be making the transition to Messages, and we may also be getting some helpful search filters that bring attachments into view. There's also some new text that suggests Google is looking to take a more active role in combatting text spammers.

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Gboard v7.3 hints at OCR capabilities, custom text and new effects for GIFs, and Battery Saver mode support with automatic dark theme [APK Teardown]

The Gboard team has unleashed a fresh beta of version 7.3. There's nothing immediately popping up as a brand new change or feature, but there is a lot to look at in the teardown. There are some big practical features coming, like OCR and improved handling for Battery Saver mode; but there are also some fun features like a text tool and new special effects for your custom GIFs.

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Google+ v10.7 prepares to add dedicated post titles and Drive attachments with automatic previews [APK Teardown]

A few weeks ago, it became clear that Google+ is headed toward a pretty major overhaul to the post editor that would bring support for new formatting and styling options for text. The latest update brings clues that this isn't where the new features will stop. It looks like Google+ may also add separate titles to posts and also integrate with Google Drive for attachments and that will include previews.

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Google app v8.6 beta prepares to add useful details to friends and members of your household, hints at something called Dragon Glass [APK Teardown]

Google is gearing up for the weekend with another beta update to its self-named app. The latest version brings some very minor visual tweaks, but as usual, it's the teardown where the real activity can be found. The latest update expands a bit on the previously seen Your People screen and Google Assistant for Households by adding personal details to contacts. There will also be an option to enable or disable Assistant on the Pixel Buds while your phone's lockscreen is active. And finally, something called Dragon Glass is in the works.

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