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Google app v7.20 beta hints at custom hotwords, prepares Duo account linking for smart displays, podcast download management, and more [APK Teardown]

It's time for another Google app update. The beta release of v7.20 follows the trend of making few changes to the interface or functions, but there's a lot to see in a teardown. Thanks to resources harvested from the app, there are clues pointing to a new hotword to wake the Assistant, which may finally mean custom hotwords. We can also see more updates for smart displays and podcast management. There may even be a redesigned order tracking feature coming that keeps better track of status changes.

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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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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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Google's Head of Product for Allo and Duo moves to Facebook

Amit Fulay served as a Product Manager at Google since 2010, most recently as Head of Product for Real-Time Communications. In other words, he was the head of Allo, Duo, WebRTC, and other projects within the company. Fulay announced on Twitter today that he has left Google, and now works at Facebook.

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Google Duo v25 prepares to help users deal with a low battery and low volume [APK Teardown]

As we hit the last few days before Christmas, app updates from Google have gone from a firehose to a slow trickle. It's only natural that most of the developers don't want to ship any major updates right before their holiday plans for fear that they might be called in to fix a catastrophe. Hey, I've done it too. Nevertheless, there's a new version of Google Duo rolling out today. It probably comes as no surprise that this one isn't taking any unnecessary risks either. There are a few very minor tweaks to the interface. However, there is a little bit for a quick teardown, so let's get into it.

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Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

During Google's reveal of the Pixel 2 on October 4th, we spotted a new video call button appearing on the Phone's in-call screen. Tapping on it was meant to switch both members to a video call using Google Duo. Google later added details to support articles that implied this functionality was already live, but the button remained hidden through a few updates to Duo and a couple to the Phone app. That changes today as the video call button is now going live in Google's Phone app when you're calling a number registered with Duo.

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Duo v23 hints at new 'Drishti' camera mode, extends video messaging with re-record, and removes some previously spotted camera effects [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Duo began rolling out to users this morning, but there haven't been any visible changes popping up in the live app. As is tradition, especially with Duo, a teardown does turn up a few of the changes we can look forward to in the future. This time, we're looking at yet another camera effect, but this one may actually stick around and make it to users. There is also follow-up on some previous camera effects and the voicemail / videomail feature discussed in previous teardowns.

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