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Google app v7.23 beta prepares alpha and beta testing program, several Pixel Bud improvements, and more notification channels [APK Teardown]

Google just announced some major enhancements to Assistant, which predictably meant there would also be an update to the Google app coming shortly. While there aren't any outward signs of changes after updating, there are a few interesting additions to be seen in a teardown of this update. There are several improvements coming to the Pixel Buds, users may soon get to sign up to be beta testers for new features, and there are even a few new notification channels planned.

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Google+ v10.1 switches to a mostly white color palette and prepares to offer notifications for daily highlights [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google+ is rolling out, but unlike many recent releases, this one has at least one immediately visible change after updating. The UI is taking on a whiter look for some of its key UI elements. A teardown also reveals that a Highlights section is coming back and will optionally make an appearance in notifications.

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Google announces new language support for Gboard, including Korean and Chinese [APK Download]

New languages are coming soon to Gboard. Google announced today that support for more than 20 new languages—including Korean and both traditional and simplified Chinese—will be coming in the next few days.

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Samsung releases Experience demo app for Galaxy S9/S9+ [APK Download]

For anyone tempted by the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ who wants to learn more about what it can do, there's an app for that. The Experience app for Galaxy S9/S9+ does exactly what the name suggests. It can be downloaded on most Android phones (Marshmallow 6.0 and up) and it gives you a sense of what it would be like to own Samsung's latest flagship.

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Update Notes for Android Wear, Play Store, Maps, YouTube and YouTube Kids, Project Fi, and more (Mar 4, 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 Photos v3.15 prepares to add Likes to shared photos and videos, exporting Motion Stills as GIFs, and adds another layer to Austin's cryptic clues [APK Teardown]

A fresh round of updates to the Google Photos app began rolling out this week. Aside from a few small tweaks to wording, you're probably not going to see any noticeable changes as a result of installing the latest version, but as is often the case, there are at least several topics to cover in a teardown. We can look forward to counting up Likes on our shared photos, easier sharing of Motion Stills, and of course, the wider rollout of Google Lens. Also making a return appearance is Austin's infamous mysteryer feature.

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Google Play Games v5.5 adds Arcade tab to help you find your next game [APK Download]

When an update to Play Games v5.3 came out with a redesigned look back in November, it was missing one big element: Discovery. Users could check out their achievements, browse games they own, and even play some brand new mini-games, but there was barely anything in the app to help you find new games. With the release of v5.5, there's a brand new "Arcade" tab dedicated to just that.

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YouTube Music v2.21 prepares to add streaming audio quality settings for Wi-Fi and Cellular, possibly first step toward absorbing Play Music [APK Teardown]

It's no mystery that YouTube will be absorbing Google Play Music – that much we've known since July – but it's seven months later and we still don't really know any details outside of some rumors about a rebranding to YouTube Remix. The latest update to the YouTube Music app might shed a little bit of light on what we can expect regarding the apps we'll actually be using.

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Google Play Music v8.7 adds option to disable album art on the lock screen [APK Download]

If there was any one common statement to be made about the subjects of music and smartphones, it's that they're both very personal to each of us. In the same way that some people prefer listening to metal, there are also those that insist on a very sparse homescreen. We might listen to EDM just like we might set up our wallpaper to cycle every hour. If you've taken the time to tailor your phone experience, you might not be happy about a common feature of music players that allows them to temporarily replace your lock screen background with album art.

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