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13

Android Auto tests two new UIs for Google Assistant, launcher customization and weather are live (APK Teardown)

Changes to the UI of Android Auto are few and far between, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few things in testing from time to time. There are (at least) two interfaces in the works right now, one of which appears to be rolling out to some people, and we have screenshots of both. Also, for those waiting for the ability to customize the apps in your launcher or get the temperature in your status bar, both appear to be live for everybody now.

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53

Google Recorder v1.1 availability expands to Pixel 2, 3, and 3a (APK Download)

Google's Recorder app has been one of those especially popular revelations from the launch of the Pixel 4, and rightfully so —the voice transcription and search features are incredible. However, plenty of people weren't happy with the Pixel 4 exclusivity. That changes now...kinda. The Recorder app is now also officially available to the Pixel 2, 3, and 3a, but that's about it.

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52

(Update: Weather rolling out) Android Auto v4.8 is ready to add app drawer customization and persistent weather [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Android Auto is making the rounds and it's potentially a pretty major update, even if it's not immediately obvious. There aren't going to be any major visible changes upon installing the update, but one of the most requested features, a customizable app drawer, appears to be ready for launch. Also on the lineup is a persistent temperature display, which may also be rolling out soon.

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13

Samsung Music comes to Android Auto [APK Download]

Samsung phones come with a pre-installed music player. Apart from supporting local music playback, it also integrates with Spotify, which lets you combine your personal library with the one from the streaming service. However, on Android Auto, you had to resort to the dedicated Spotify app, as Samsung Music never worked with Google's in-car software experience. That has now changed with the latest update to Samsung's app, which enables playback and control on your vehicle's dashboard and brings support for Android 10.

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11

Google Files lets you cast local media from your phone [APK Download]

Google Files started out as a Go app and has since been promoted and shrugged off that denomination. It's still a lightweight application aimed primarily markets with low-bandwidth internet, so most of its features don't rely on the internet, such as device cleaning and peer-to-peer file sharing. The app has now also gained support for local media casting, finally bringing it on par with many third-party apps that have supported this for almost as long as the Chromecast protocol has existed.

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6

Play Store navigation becomes simpler on Wear OS [APK Download]

Google may have just bought Fitbit, but it still has to take care of its home-grown wearable OS, Wear OS. While you could argue that the platform feels pretty much dead in the water, the company still adds new software features every once in a while, like a redesigned system navigation a year ago. Now Google has decided to give the Play Store on watches a facelift and has released a new version that makes it easier to navigate it on the small screen.

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37

Google Messages gets new share and download buttons in image viewer [APK Download]

Google's design language is ever-evolving, and thus its apps are always changing, too. The same is true for Messages, which has only recently received automatic dark mode support on Android 10 and the ability to set chat reminders. The most recent tweak is far more minor, though. Messages version 5.2 sports a redesigned image viewer that moves the share and save buttons from the top to the bottom, making them more accessible.

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82

WhatsApp's fingerprint unlock feature arrives on Android in latest beta [APK Download] (Update: Rolling out to stable)

Despite its enormous user base, WhatsApp can often be slow to introduce the most hotly-anticipated new features. A Dark mode is still in the works, but fingerprint unlocking already came to iOS a few months ago. It's now finally available in the latest beta channel update to the Android app.

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6

[Update: Rolling out to stable] Samsung Pay beta adds international money transfers and prepaid Samsung Pay Cash Card [APK Download]

In a perfect world, digital wallets would let you leave your wallet at home. The world isn't perfect, but Samsung Pay gets you closer than most with support for your cards in almost all stores. The latest beta version of Samsung Pay adds two additional features, making it even more capable. Samsung Pay Cash is a mobile-only prepaid card, and Money Transfer lets you send money overseas from your phone.

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18

Android Auto reaches 50 million installs on the Play Store

While other apps recently celebrated download numbers surpassing billions, Android Auto only reached the milestone of 50 million installs on the Play Store yesterday. That's still an impressive number for an app that only works with a limited amount of car entertainment systems and that doesn't come pre-installed on most Android phones, unlike the 'big' Google apps such as Gmail, Search, or Calendar.

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