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8

Google Play Books v5.1 adds audio quality and skip duration settings for audiobooks [APK Teardown]

Google Play Books adopted the latest iteration of the Google Material theme back in January, doing away with the colorful version that exemplified the original Material Design. This update doesn't have quite as many striking changes, but it does bring functional improvements and a little more customizability to some of the features. Most of the additions are focused on Audiobooks, but you'll also find new icons for the app shortcuts.

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[Update: Tenor support] Google Messages v4.2 now supports attachments of any type, adds Verified SMS details [APK Teardown]

Google Messages just received its 4.2 update today as it adds a subtle but potentially valuable feature: Sending generic file types. Yes, you can now send files without being limited to just the standard photo and video collection. A teardown also brings follow-ups to the topics of Verified SMS and Google Assistant integration.

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Google Home v2.9.65 hints at Talk and Listen mode, native support for Nest hardware, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to the Google Home app is out, but it's not going to give you much to look at in the form of live changes. Instead, this update appears to be largely focused on adding new hardware support for Nest security products, and possibly a few others. There's also a new feature in the works called Talk and Listen that could be a solid enhancement to the Broadcast feature.

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11

Latest Samsung Good Lock updates squash bugs and add a few new features [APK Download]

If you've got a Samsung phone and want some extra customization options, the Good Lock suite of tools is exactly what you need. The last releases added improved support for the Samsung phones now running Android 9 Pie, and a new round of updates fixes more bugs while adding the odd new feature.

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Gboard v8.1 makes space for OCR, prepares Pixel-specific theme, enhanced Japanese keyboard, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Gboard is making the rounds, and this one appears to be taking another stab at enabling the clipboard manager. Meanwhile, this update also sets the stage for additional features to be added to the overflow menu, an improved Japanese keyboard, a Pixel-specific theme, and more.

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6

New Google Pay tweak makes account switching faster

As Google progressively moves things around to comply with the ever-changing design guidelines, we see apps catching up as each new change appears. Google Pay's latest move pushes the account switcher out of the navigation drawer and into the top right corner. This matches other apps like Gmail that have recently seen their own visual updates. Functionally, nothing else has changed, and there aren't any other noticeable visual tweaks to Google's Material theme at this time.

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Android Auto v4.1 adds widescreen support and UI tweaks, prepares auto-resume, and more [APK Teardown]

Android Auto continues to work toward adding features people really need in the car. The latest update brings a few minor surface-level changes, and under the hood there are some new features that may be pretty useful, including an auto-resume feature for music (or podcasts and audiobooks), a filter to prevent group messages from becoming too distracting, and more.

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The Razer Phone 2's Pie factory images and kernel source are now available

Following the Razer Phone 2's Android 9 Pie release late last month, the company has published updated factory images and kernel source code for the phone. The files are now available for download on Razer's site for those of you who need them.

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Google Messages v4.1 prepares Verified SMS support to eliminate spam, Google Assistant integration, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Google Messages hit earlier this week, and while it's featuring a few visible changes, including a new setting to enable Suggested Actions and a new About screen, the most interesting changes aren't intended to go live quite yet. We already know Google is adding Assistant integration to Messages, and now some of that is manifesting in the app. But the most exciting addition is support for a great new carrier-level feature called Verified SMS that may put an end to scam messages (and calls).

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'Suggested actions' come to Google Messages in version 4.1.065

Using the increasing power of its AI smarts, Google is getting better at anticipating our next move and offering us convenient suggestions that make our lives easier. We've seen this with App Actions in Android and suggested edits in Google Photos, and now a similar feature has arrived in the Google Messages app.

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