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Google Photos v3.16 hints at new movie editor, improvements to search, and more [APK Teardown]

An update to Google Photos landed earlier today. So far, we haven't come across any visible changes, but there are a few topics for a teardown. Hints can be found suggesting Google may be building a new movie editor. Improvements to the search interface could be forthcoming, as are helpful suggestions about features that may not be obvious to all users. As always, a link to the latest updates is available at the bottom.

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Android Messages v3.0 drops KitKat support, prepares notification improvements, more on purchases and enhanced chat features [APK Teardown]

Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices. There are also clues about changes to notifications about pictures and videos, enhanced chat features, and making purchases.

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Play Movies & TV v4.2 switches to bottom nav bar, adds Certified Fresh ratings, and hints at all-new Guide screen [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Play Movies & TV is making the rounds, and this one has quite a bit to discuss. There are several surface-level changes, including a new bottom nav bar, improved support for Rotten Tomatoes, and even some rearrangements to the screens in the app. Digging a bit deeper, we can also see there's a new Guide screen in development, some degree of support for external content providers, and even a rating system for content.

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Google Pay v1.54 continues ride toward transit tickets, merging P2P money transfers [APK Teardown]

The first update to the Google Pay app since the rebranding has been making its way out into the world. The new version doesn't appear to bring any visible changes beyond a few pixel-level adjustments, but it includes a couple of neat topics for a teardown. We'll briefly discuss the imminent merger of Google Pay Send, then dive into the subject of supporting transit tickets, where they might be supported first, and some of the other quirky details to look forward to.

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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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