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6

VUDU app for Android now supports offline playback for rented content

VUDU app for Android now supports offline playback for rented content

The Walmart-owned Vudu is one of several services that allow you to rent and buy movies online. Much like Google Play Movies, you can rent or buy content in either standard or high definition (albeit at around the price of a physical copy) and watch on any supported device. The company has had an Android application for some time now, but the 5.0 update brings a few much-needed improvements.

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31

Facebook's Android app can now save offline videos

Facebook's Android app can now save offline videos

Approximately 98% of the videos posted on Facebook are ripped YouTube clips with annoying, aspect ratio-destroying text on the top and bottom, stolen and reposted by some radio station in Ohio that's desperate for social media "engagement." Even so, if you really want to save those videos, the Android app now lets you do so. Kinda. One of our readers spotted the new user interface features and the "Saved" video section in the app, but that word doesn't mean the same thing to Facebook as it does to other folks.

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18

Google Drive v2.4 Adds Inline Uploads And User-Selectable Colored Folders, May Soon Add Various Smart Recommendations And More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Drive v2.4 Adds Inline Uploads And User-Selectable Colored Folders, May Soon Add Various Smart Recommendations And More [APK Teardown + Download]

While Google has been pushing out a ton of OS and app updates, the Drive team got out one of its own. This is a perfectly good update on its own, but it also includes clues to some upcoming features, too. In this update, you'll find a newly revised look and operation for uploading files, and there's even a color picker for folders. (Yey!) On the teardown side, we can look forward to recommendations for files, a shortcut to "Team Drives," and possibly even another form of device backup. Oh yeah, and the FAB changes color.

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10

[Update: Deep Learning] Microsoft Translator 1.3 Adds Offline Language Pack Support, Further Bridging The Gap With Google Translate

[Update: Deep Learning] Microsoft Translator 1.3 Adds Offline Language Pack Support, Further Bridging The Gap With Google Translate

Many of us Android users (and Android Police readers) have been accustomed to using Google Translate to fill our language knowledge gaps, but we often forget the other challenger in the arena: Microsoft Translator. The app was first released last August and when I looked at it back then and compared it to Google's offering, I found it a worthy challenger, but one that lacked a couple of key features.

Translator has since been bridging the gap with Google's Translate, by adding natural live conversations in version 1.2 and now enabling offline download of language packs.

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90

[APK Download] Maps 9.17 With Offline Navigation, Searching, Much Larger Saved Areas, And Direct Shortcut To Your Contributions

[APK Download] Maps 9.17 With Offline Navigation, Searching, Much Larger Saved Areas, And Direct Shortcut To Your Contributions

Several years ago Google introduced the ability to use Google Maps offline, sort of. You could save portions of an area, but you couldn't use navigation, nor could you do much else. It was more of a tease than a practical feature.

At this year's I/O, Google announced that better things were on the way. Soon, the company said, we would get offline search. We would get turn-by-turn navigation.

Nearly half a year later, Google has now officially rolled out the functionality. The feature is making its way to devices. If you cannot wait, you're in luck, because we have the APK available for download at the end of this post.

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60

The Google Android App Now Supports Limited Voice Commands For Offline Use

The Google Android App Now Supports Limited Voice Commands For Offline Use

Keeping a constant data connection is getting easier every day, whether we're in heavily populated areas or in the middle of nowhere. But there are still situations when we're bound to lose service, perhaps during a power outage or while driving through a dead zone. Just because you've lost access to Google's servers, it doesn't mean you should lose all of the powerful capabilities your phone has to offer. Google has just enabled a small set of voice commands for use even when you're completely offline.

2015-09-28 00.05.092015-09-28 00.05.29

If your phone was offline about a week ago and you tried a voice action, you probably would have seen a "Something went wrong" error message pop up just below the Google search box.

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35

YouTube 10.35 Adds Option To Clear All Offline Videos And May Soon Enable Automatic Sync For Offline Playlists [APK Teardown + Download]

YouTube 10.35 Adds Option To Clear All Offline Videos And May Soon Enable Automatic Sync For Offline Playlists [APK Teardown + Download]

YouTube updates have been rolling out at a pretty speedy rate lately, averaging about 3-4 each month. The latest bump is relatively minor, but it includes a useful new feature to quickly wipe any offline content from your device. A teardown also reveals that there may be a new auto-syncing feature that will download content for offline viewing without the need to manually pick out videos. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you'd like to grab the apk.

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58
[APK Teardown] Google App v4.8 Prepares For 'Ok, Google' Offline, Voice Commands To Control Volume And Brightness, And Much More

[APK Teardown] Google App v4.8 Prepares For 'Ok, Google' Offline, Voice Commands To Control Volume And Brightness, And Much More

Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon.

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
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57
[I/O 2015] Google Maps Is Getting Offline Search And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

[I/O 2015] Google Maps Is Getting Offline Search And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Let's face it, Google Maps' current offline functionality sucks. Even saving an area for offline viewing is a relatively hidden option that you either stumble upon by mistake once or that you have to actively remember how to get to when you need it. But Google seems intent on making offline maps better.

It doesn't look like they're changing the way saving offline maps work, which is a shame because it's difficult to find and there's no option to easily download a state or city, but they are adding more functionality that will be accessible when you're offline. During the I/O keynote yesterday, Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of engineering at Google, announced that both search and turn-by-turn navigation will be possible if you don't have a data connection.

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18
Tip: Turn On This Chrome Flag To Enable 'Show Saved Copy' Button And Load Cached Pages When Offline [Updated]

Tip: Turn On This Chrome Flag To Enable 'Show Saved Copy' Button And Load Cached Pages When Offline [Updated]

Loading up a website without a connection established is a real shame. Instead of the information you were looking for, Chrome shows you a dinosaur and an error message. You're left sitting there, out of luck.

But if there's a cached version lying around, Chrome can display that instead. There's an experimental flag available that turns this feature on. Just look for the "Enable Show Saved Copy Button" that you can find at chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy

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