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Google Maps v9.70 beta enables adding and removing visited places, prepares to display showtimes and sell tickets, continues work on shortcuts, and much more [APK Teardown]

Google Maps has a new beta peeking out on devices. After a great deal of poking around, the list of changes for the interface is pretty sparse, but as always, there's a ton to discuss from the teardown. There's more from the home screen shortcuts, showtimes with ticket sales, detail fields for food photos, and way more.

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Google Duo v26 begins testing H.265, continues work on Google sign-in and videomail, and removes camera test settings [APK Teardown]

The Duo team began rolling out v26 today, but this one doesn't have any obvious changes, so it may be a service update. A teardown is also fairly sparse, mostly calling back to some older topics, including the upcoming feature for sending video messages when connections can't be made on the spot, the removal of some camera adjustments used in development, and the start of H.265 testing. Since there's not a lot of meat to most topics, they'll be kept pretty short. Of course, if you stumble across anything new, let us know in the comments!

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Play Books v4 prepares to launch audiobooks with support for casting and Android Auto [APK Teardown]

Play Books just hit version 4 yesterday, but on the surface it looks like very little has changed. There are a couple of relatively small tweaks here and there, but it wouldn't appear to deserve a big version jump. However, this is the version that will launch audiobook support. A teardown shows that there's a ton of new functionality hiding below the surface and it's all just waiting for Google to flip the switch.

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Gboard v6.9 prepares Smart Replies to messenger notifications, deeper Bitmoji integration, and more [APK Teardown]

Yesterday brought us a new version of Gboard, bumping the version number up to 6.9. There's not much in the way of changes that you'll see right away, but there is now a semi-hidden feature that will tell you about changes when they happen. However, a deeper look into the APK does reveal plans to add a feature that provides suggested responses to go with messaging apps that implement Direct Replies. Also, the MAKE A GIF feature from the iOS version is making the jump to Android, Bitmoji support is getting baked in, and there's a universal search feature in the works.

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Google Photos v3.12 prepares to redeem free storage codes, better support SD cards, and lets us know Austin is up to his most mystery-er feature yet [APK Teardown]

With that other major news event out of the way, it's time to move on to more interesting news – Google app updates. Late last night brought us a version bump to Google Photos. While there haven't been any notable changes popping into view yet, a teardown does present some pretty interesting revelations for the future. Fans of the free original storage promotion might soon have some options to enjoy that with other phones. If you've felt like SD card support wasn't up to snuff, there's reason to think that might be getting better soon. And finally, Austin has reappeared with the most curious of features yet.

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Google app v7.19 beta prepares Assistant to go bilingual, expands on smart display details, and hints at TV show identification [APK Teardown]

It's already time for another update to the Google app, and this version bump carries a little bit of the post-CES glow with it. Of course, there are some new details related to the smart displays we've been expecting. Also joining the round of topics are clues that suggest we'll be able to use Google to identify TV shows by sound and that Google Assistant is going to become bilingual. There's even a sign of a new feature called summer time mode, though it's still a mystery for now. We haven't spotted any changes to the UI yet, but you can grab the latest version from the APK Mirror link at the bottom and let us know if you come across anything.

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YouTube v13.01 continues development on dark mode, may enable swipe-to-skip ads, and relocates autoplay setting [APK Teardown]

YouTube just took a big version jump from v12.49 to v13.01, but you probably won't notice a lot of changes if you're just tapping around. In fact, this update appears to be pretty average for most of YouTube's releases, which usually include a couple tweaks here and there, and sometimes some interesting material for a teardown – and this update has both. You'll find a new page in the Settings screen for autoplay options, and a teardown turns up some inspiring progress on a dark mode and possibly an adjustment to the ad-skipping experience.

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Duo calls can now be made with some users that don't have it installed, Allo chats also improved

Google recently began rolling out a slightly updated look to the contact list on the Duo video calling app. Alongside this fun rearrangement of pixels, there was also a very real, very significant change made: You can now call people that haven't installed or registered with Duo in the past. It works almost exactly like a normal Duo call, including the Knock-Knock feature.

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Google Duo is getting an updated contact panel with suggestions and full contact list merged into one

One thing is certain in life: Google apps are going to get regular interface tweaks. Okay, somebody might have said something about death and taxes, but we all know at least one of those can be avoided with the right accountant, but I digress. Google appears to be testing some new interface changes to the contact list in Duo. These are essentially cosmetic changes, but they serve to make the list a bit more fluid and streamlined, as well.

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