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app

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Google app v8.13 beta prepares car-specific settings, new app shortcut to Assistant, and more [APK Teardown]

Google set loose a beta update to its namesake app this weekend, but like most versions, there's not much to see after updating. The most interesting things are only visible through the lens of a teardown, although they're mostly minor notes about topics we already know about or expect to be coming. Nevertheless, we can look forward to a new app shortcut to launch Assistant, car-specific Assistant settings, a couple of name changes, and more.

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Android Messages v3.4 continues work on pairing with Chromebooks, dark mode, and automatic spam detection [APK Teardown]

A new version of Android Messages began rolling out late last night. Beyond a few small cosmetic tweaks, this update appears to be almost entirely focused on preparing upcoming features. There's activity related to pairing with Chromebooks, further developments in dark mode, and forward progress on fighting spam.

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Wear OS app v2.14 will add a shortcut to block app notifications [APK Teardown]

While you can run apps on Wear OS, the main reason for it to exist is to serve notifications. But for as much as notifications are useful, too many can be counterproductive. If you're finding that one or more of your apps is getting too noisy, but you're not quite ready to shut down notifications altogether, one good solution is to block those notifications from reaching your watch. Soon, you'll be able to access the settings screen to configure blocked apps by using a launcher shortcut.

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Google app v8.12 may bring an end to the Feed widget [APK Teardown]

Updates to the Google app have been rolling out at a faster rate for a little while now, and each brings fewer and fewer overall changes. The latest update has remarkably few changes or additions, but it has shed a lot of old and unused text, which isn't a bad thing. However, one of the additions speaks to one other thing that might be going away soon: the Google Feed widget.

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Google Home v1.30 rebrands Backdrops to Ambient Mode, continues work on Google Assistant for Households, and more [APK Teardown]

Google Home v1.30 is rolling out today with a minor feature rebranding and some internal changes that show continued development on Google for Households, possibly with support for multiple homes. There are also more features for the smart home remote control, and Smart Displays will use the Google Home app to set up Duo calling. As always, download links are at the bottom.

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Google Duo v37 may be adding "pause" to video chats and rewards for referring friends [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Duo is began rolling out earlier today. It doesn't look like any new features have gone live with this update, nor does it appear to restore the screen sharing feature that was briefly enabled a couple months ago. However, there are some new things to look forward to in the future, including what is likely a pause button for video chats and a reward system for inviting friends to use Duo.

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Gboard v7.4 prepares floating keyboard, selfie stickers called Minis, spell check, and much more [APK Teardown]

The Gboard team is hard at work building new features into its app, and the latest update demonstrates just how much effort has gone into it. A few additions are already visible, including spell check, a mini mode for the morse code keyboard, and an adaptive icon. Although, the spell check feature still seems to be disabled. Turning to a teardown, we can see development on Minis, which are basically a variant on Allo's Selfie Stickers. Gboard is always working toward a floating keyboard, more Make a GIF effects, and more. There are also a boatload of enhancements for many different languages.

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Google Phone v22 prepares call screening with real-time transcriptions and on-phone voicemail recording [APK Teardown]

The Google Phone app is getting an update this afternoon for all of the phones out there that use it. We haven't noticed any new changes on the surface, but clues from a teardown show that Google is preparing a call screening feature so you can more easily differentiate between legitimate and unwanted callers. There are also preparations for a new feature to simplify recording voicemail greetings right on your phone.

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Google Play Games v5.10 adds search and allows disabling autoplay videos, prepares dark mode, and more [APK Teardown]

Google Play Games doesn't get much attention these days, but that doesn't mean there haven't been some changes. We're wrapping together everything that's different in the last few versions, plus touching on some new things that are coming in the future.

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Google Camera v5.3 prepares RAW support (again), corrections for wide-angle distortion, and possibly multi-channel audio [APK Teardown]

Android P Developer Preview 4 is out, or Beta 3 as Google refers to it. With it comes the usual slurry of small app updates, some of which have little or no change while others come bearing some interesting fruit. The latest Google Camera update doesn't seem to include any live changes, but it does have hints of many new features to come, including the much-anticipated RAW support, a way to fix faces that were distorted by the wide-angle lens of your camera, an automatic framerate setting, and even a "shiny new feature" that might enable surround sound audio recordings.

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