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Google is testing a new cardless Discover interface

Google is testing a new cardless Discover interface

Google is always tweaking its Discover feed ever so slightly to fit your taste even better, but sometimes, the company is also willing to make big changes. It looks like it's currently testing a brand-new look for Discover that does away with the signature card interface, and it's adding a share button while it's at it.

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14

WhatsApp launches disappearing messages

WhatsApp launches disappearing messages

Telegram and Signal have had disappearing messages for a long time, and even Facebook's own Messenger lets you set delete timers on messages in secrets chats. Now WhatsApp has announced that it's joining its competitors — ephemeral messages are rolling out to the stable version of WhatsApp today.

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29

Gboard is rolling back Assistant-powered voice dictation for many

Gboard is rolling back Assistant-powered voice dictation for many

The new Google Assistant on the Pixel 4, 4a, and 5 is much faster and more capable than the regular voice control interface on other Android phones. It's tightly integrated with system functions, allowing you to use it to reply to messages and interact with apps without ever touching your screen. We also covered that the advanced Assistant can even power voice typing in Gboard. After a brief period of a wider rollout, it appears that Google is halting the update again and reverting back to the old voice typing experience for many.

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16

Facebook announces it's publicly testing dark mode after months of publicly testing dark mode

Facebook announces it's publicly testing dark mode after months of publicly testing dark mode

Facebook long introduced dark themes for Instagram, WhatsApp, the Messenger, even Facebook Lite and its website, but so far, its main mobile app hasn't received an official gray-and-black coat of paint. After a year of appearing and disappearing a/b tests, it seems like the company is now almost ready to fully launch the theme. In cooperation with renowned app sleuth Jane Manchun Wong, Facebook has announced that it's now publicly testing dark mode.

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4

Instagram is rolling out app shortcuts, only a full year after we first spotted them

Instagram is rolling out app shortcuts, only a full year after we first spotted them

Android has supported app shortcuts since 2016, but some popular apps still haven't implemented the feature yet. We found evidence that Instagram was about to change that in October 2019, though it took the company until now to finally roll out shortcuts widely. Most people should now be able to tap and hold the Instagram icon on their home screen to quickly access the camera, create a new post, view their activity, and open direct messages. Additionally, Instagram has quietly reworked the Stories archive, which is now organized in three sections.

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70

YouTube no longer lets you tap the seek bar to skip

YouTube no longer lets you tap the seek bar to skip

A few years ago, a YouTube update changed the video player's progress bar, extending it over the full width of the display. Ever since, it's been easy to miss the fullscreen button and hit the end of the seek bar just below it instead, often making for a frustrating experience. A YouTube app update tries to remedy that problem by preventing the bar from responding to single taps at all — you now need to hold and slide your finger to seek.

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10

YouTube Music gets a tabbed homescreen to match your current mood and activity

YouTube Music gets a tabbed homescreen to match your current mood and activity

Google Play Music is on the way out (the desktop Music Manager has just been discontinued), and it looks like the company is polishing up YouTube Music as much as it can ahead of the full shutdown. Just a few days ago, Spotify-like personalized mixes popped up for a few people, and now some topical top tabs have appeared that sure seem inspired by the regular YouTube app. A few personalized mixes have also resurfaced in these tabs.

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11

YouTube Music's expanded New Releases section is rolling out widely

YouTube Music's expanded New Releases section is rolling out widely

YouTube Music has had an official mix of new releases and showed you a few selected recent records in their own section since last year, but until now, you couldn't see more than ten new albums or singles there. With version 3.49 of the streaming service, first published mid-January, this has started to change for some lucky people who have seen a vastly expanded version of the new releases section. Judging from reports on Reddit, this refinement is rolling out widely now.

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21

Gboard working on GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji

Gboard working on GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji

It's incredible how feature-packed Gboard has become over the years with integrated stickers, GIFs, Google Search, clipboard management, and much more, so Google is trying to make some options more accessible. At the moment, the company is testing a function that gives people GIF and sticker suggestions when they add emoji through the keyboard.

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6

Google Search gets new account picker with Incognito mode

Google Search gets new account picker with Incognito mode

The Google Search app has been getting a lot of love from its developers lately. The beta version is currently testing an incomplete dark mode while the stable release has seen the addition of the account switcher we see in many other Google apps. Recently, another new feature has rolled out to many users – the app now includes an incognito mode, depicted in the screenshot above as "Use without an account."

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