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Update Notes for Android Wear, Play Store, Maps, YouTube and YouTube Kids, Project Fi, and more (Mar 4, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Hands-on: Google's 'Reply' gives other apps concise Smart Replies - when it isn't throwing shade

Around a week ago we heard that Google was going to test a new app called Reply, which allegedly ports Allo's Smart Reply functionality over to a wider number of apps. Looks like the test has started rolling out, and we've gotten our hands on the APK. So far, Reply seems to fulfill its promises: you get mostly-apt automated response shortcuts in message notifications. 

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Google is testing 'Reply,' a new app that adds smart replies to popular messaging apps

One of Allo's highlight features is Smart Reply, where the app guesses what you might respond to a message with, and adds a button to send that response. A few other apps have implemented it as well, like Android Messages, but usually not in notifications. Google seems to be testing an app called 'Reply,' which adds smart replies to other messaging apps.

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Instagram 10.29 adds photo and video replies to Stories [APK Download]

Instagram added 'Stories' a while back, enabling users to post photos and short videos that only last 24 hours. Even though it's a direct clone of Snapchat's own Stories feature, there are more people using it than the collective userbase of Snapchat itself. So, it only makes sense that Instagram would continue to improve it, and now you can reply to Stories with photos and videos.

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[Update: Already live] Google is rolling out smart replies in Gmail

One of the unique features of Google's Inbox mail application was smart replies. Inbox tries to predict what the message is about, and provides three quick replies. I'll admit, I don't use it much, but it's pretty nice if you're quickly exchanging messages.

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WhatsApp 2.16.118 Beta Adds Message Quotes And Replies

We've been getting reports over the past couple of hours of WhatsApp showing a reply button when you select any message. Let's start by clarifying this: it's not exactly WhatsApp 2.16.118 beta that's adding this quote feature, but your best bet to see it is on this latest beta version. It might be a server-side switch because some users have reported it on 2.16.116 and 117, but from our testing on a couple of devices, it wasn't there. It only showed up when we updated to 2.16.118, and even then, we had to uninstall and reinstall the app on some phones to get it to work.

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Pushbullet And EvolveSMS Join Forces To Give You One Less Reason To Touch Your Phone

Pushbullet is an app that consistently has strong updates that work toward crafting, step by step, a better harmony between your devices (including your computer). EvolveSMS is an app with good design that takes a sharp focus on functionality and making text-based communication easier. It only makes sense, then, that the two would make a great pair.

Today, Jacob Klinker, the developer behind EvolveSMS, announced a partnership with Pushbullet that will - put simply - allow users to receive, view, and reply to SMS messages from their desktop. That last bit is the killer feature - Pushbullet has mirrored notifications to your PC for a while, but the ability to reply to SMS messages is a very welcome addition.

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Gmail Update v4.3 Allows You To Reply, Archive, Or Delete Emails Right In The Notification Shade

Google has finally added the feature that we've been wanting since Google first started adding functionality to notifications back in Ice Cream Sandwich: the ability to archive email directly from the notification shade. Now, when you get a new email, you can choose what to do with it immediately. This is extremely handy for the chronic email checkers who would like to be able to dismiss the clutter as it comes in, rather than let it pile up later

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This is something that seems so obvious that when Ron reviewed Jelly Bean, the lack of buttons was a disappointment in an otherwise fantastic update.

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Download: CyanogenMod 10 Messaging App With Quick Message, Notification Shade Quick Reply

CyanogenMod's recent improvements to CM10's messaging app – Quick Message pop-ups and "Quick Reply" functionality in the notification shade – are now available for download in apk form.

If you missed our initial coverage of CM10's latest enhancements to the messaging app (thanks to David von Tonder), here's the short version: the default messaging app in recent CM10 builds includes a feature called Quick Message that, upon receipt of a new SMS message, triggers a handy popup notification that allows users to quickly type up a reply, swipe to other new messages, view the message in the messaging app, or simply dismiss the notification.

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CyanogenMod Introduces Quick Message Pop-Ups, Notification Shade 'Quick Reply' Action On The Way

A couple of days ago, the CyanogenMod team announced via Google+ a new feature merged to CM's Jelly Bean code branch – Quick Message. In case you missed it, Quick Message is a feature (built by David van Tonder) that displays a pop-up notification upon receipt of a new SMS message, offering the ability to reply from within the pop-up, view the message in Android's Messaging app, swipe to another new message, or close the notification.

Today, van Tonder (along with CyanogenMod) announced even further enhancements to the feature, primarily influenced by user feedback, adding a "Quick reply" option to SMS messages' actionable notifications.

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