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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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Messages v3.8 brings updated camera interface, new camera and gallery shortcut, and UI tweaks [APK Teardown]

An update to the Messages app (formerly Android Messages) has begun making the rounds, and unlike so many other updates lately, this one has a few standout changes after installation. There are a handful of smaller UI tweaks floating around, but a more significant change has been made to the camera interface for taking quick snapshots. There's also a new button in the messaging interface that will get you to the camera even faster.

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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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Google Duo v43 drops some colors, prepares sharing pre-recorded videos, data saving mode, and an email blocklist [APK Teardown]

Google Duo is getting an update today, and you'll actually see some changes if you install it, even though it's really just to remove colors from the Settings screen. However, a teardown shows there's actually a lot more coming in the future, including the ability to block email, a data saver mode, and maybe even the ability to show previously recorded videos to other people.

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Possible Google phone codenames Bonito and Sargo pop up in latest ARCore update [APK Teardown]

ARCore updates generally just bring support to a set of both old and new Android devices, but every once in a while we're treated to something pretty unexpected. In the latest version, new profiles can be found for one, or maybe even two currently unreleased Google devices. The first of these devices bares the Bonito name, originally expected to be a mid-range Pixel phone. There's also a brand new fish-themed codename that may represent an entirely new device: Sargo.

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Google app v8.39 beta prepares to change Voice Match on the lockscreen, continues work on home screen settings and KITT [APK Teardown]

Google began rolling out the traditional friday night update to the beta channel. Like so many other updates, this one brings with it minor tweaks to the interface. Of more interest are the topics for a teardown, which includes changes to Voice Match, migration of more settings for the home screen, and a bit more about KITT.

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Update Notes for YouTube, Google+, YouTube Music, Google Camera, Photos, and Wear OS (October 28, 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 Phone v25 may be ready to roll out Dark Theme, prepares to share blocked numbers with other apps [APK Teardown]

The latest Google Phone update is out, but you're probably not going to spot anything too special right out of the gate. The changes worth noting are to the upcoming dark mode, which appears to be complete as of this version. It still hasn't gone live, but it probably could at any time. There's also text describing a tweak that would allow blocked phone numbers to be shared between apps.

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