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app

16

Google Duo v41 prepares contact pinning and calling Home devices linked to your account [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Duo has landed, but like so many other updates, it doesn't appear to change anything immediately upon installation. However, as tradition dictates, there are a couple of interesting things to see from a teardown. It looks like Duo will be adding support for pinning contacts to the top of your list for convenient access. You should also be able to begin making calls to smart displays linked to your account for an easy way to call home.

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45

Google Contacts v3.1 comes with more visual updates and prepares option to erase interaction data [APK Teardown]

The big update to Contacts v3.0 brought with it a significant visual refresh to the Material theme Google has been adopting over the last few months. The latest update to v3.1 continues on that trajectory with more visual adjustments that tune the look even further. Not only does this update sport a few fresh graphics, there's also the start of a new feature that can clear interaction data.

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8

Google app v8.24 beta gets closer to allowing services to manage your notes and lists, moves more settings to a General screen, and more [APK Teardown]

An update to the Google app is rolling out a bit earlier than usual for the week. Besides small tweaks, there's not much to see, but a teardown is turning up some interesting additions to the APK. Google has resumed work on allowing services to stand in for Notes and Lists functionality with Assistant. There are also a few more settings making the jump to a central 'General' screen.

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11

Google Translate v5.24 prepares to shut down SMS translation and may be enhancing support for spoken regional dialects [APK Teardown]

Translate remains one of Google's true workhorse apps – it's not flashy or exciting, but many of us would be lost without it. The latest update is setting the stage to remove a longstanding feature, but suggests a pretty good alternative to take its place. Also buried in the strings is a line suggesting new support for regional translations, but it may or may not actually represent anything new.

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10

[Update: Official] Google accessibility tool Voice Access exits beta, improves Google Assistant integration

Though the smartphone market is relatively mature (some might even say stagnant), there's been a notable lack of progress on accessibility. The simple fact is that not everyone can easily manipulate a smartphone or tablet's touchscreen, and there aren't a lot of cheap or free ways to make it easier. That's no doubt why, even in a low-profile beta, Google's voice command navigation app Voice Access climbed to more than a million downloads on the Play Store over the past two years. The app was also exceedingly popular on APK Mirror, where the original release was downloaded 1.5 million times.

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57

Google Maps adds Commute tab, in-app controls for Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music

In early September, we spotted Google Maps' new Commute tab — a section that takes over from the Driving and Transit tabs to provide a more robust view of your daily commute to work or school. That change is now rolling out globally on Android and iOS, along with several other updates to make routine travel easier, including in-app controls for three of the most popular music streaming apps — Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.

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6

Google app v8.23 beta is upgrading the floating sports tracker, adds a new collection for experiences, and more [APK Teardown]

Like clockwork, the latest beta release of the Google app began rolling out just about the time the developers are headed out for the weekend. We've yet to see any live changes on this release, but there are some interesting additions to be found in a teardown. The floating sports tracker bubble appears to have some enhancements coming just in time for the Fall schedule, there are small additions to Collections and Google Assistant for Households, and a previously spotted General settings screen is growing larger

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60

Hangouts v27 upgrades to an adaptive icon, teases Mark as Read from notifications [APK Teardown]

Updates to the Hangouts app have been sporadic this year with big gaps in the earlier months, and new ones coming out about every month or two since I/O. Most new versions also seem to be lacking in any tangible changes, though that doesn't preclude bug fixes or other behind the scenes improvements. However, the latest update does show some signs of life.

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105

Google Phone v24 beta includes first pieces of Dark Mode [APK Teardown]

As many people had hoped, Google has been progressively adding dark modes to some of its core apps. Last month, there was even a teaser added to the Play Store changelog for the Google Phone app that promised to give users a choice between the all white look that has become so common, or a dark look that promises to be easier to the eyes, especially at night. The latest version is out, but unfortunately, this update won't be the one to enable dark mode. However, with a bit of tinkering, it's possible to see what the new theme looks like in its current state.

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21

Oculus introduces $399 wireless Quest headset, Go gets YouTube VR

Since the advent of virtual reality hardware, there's been a drive toward wireless. But the dream of an exceptional VR headset that doesn't tangle isn't quite there yet — the performance and graphics quality can't compare to wired systems. Facebook's Oculus seems to believe it has cracked the code, though. At Oculus Connect 5 (OC5), the new all-in-one Oculus Quest headset debuted with the advertising copy: "This is the VR experience everyone's been waiting for." In addition to the new hardware, the VR headset maker announced that its mobile app now supports the Oculus Rift, and that Oculus Go will soon gain access to YouTube VR's full library.

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