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66

Google Maps dark theme is finally rolling out, more than a year after it was first teased

Google Maps dark theme is finally rolling out, more than a year after it was first teased

Google has been teasing a dark theme for Maps for over a year now, and it even briefly rolled out to a few people, but it was never properly formalized or acknowledged officially. That changed last month when Google finally announced that dark mode is coming, and now, it's starting to roll out more widely.

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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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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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216

[Update: Rolling out more widely] Gmail's dark mode is here for some users (APK Download)

[Update: Rolling out more widely] Gmail's dark mode is here for some users (APK Download)

When Android 10 officially rolled out, dark mode aficionados were a bit miffed to see that several of the apps that were still white hadn't been updated yet. The Google app, Play Store, Maps, and Gmail were the biggest holdouts, but now the last one is finally getting its darkness on.

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17

Google Maps overhauls hotel listings with price and location insights, reviews from other services, but removes some important features

Google Maps overhauls hotel listings with price and location insights, reviews from other services, but removes some important features

Recently, Google announced many new features coming to its travel planning services, including flight and hotel insights. Those changes are only a small part of the overhauled hotel listing layout that's rolling out to Google Maps right now. While the design appears to be cosmetic at first, with plenty of the new Material accents everywhere, you can quickly spot many useful new additions as well as some very worrying feature removals.

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39

"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps

"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps

The road to Instant Apps has been a long and tedious one. After being announced at I/O 2016 (yes, more than a year ago), they only began testing at the start of 2017, were opened to devs at I/O this year, and started properly rolling then to reach more than 500 Million devices in August. One component was still missing though from the Instant Apps experience: a way to try an Instant App on the Play Store without downloading it first. That's what we're here to talk about.

The "Try Now" button was announced as part of a large post about new Play Console features on the Google Developers Blog, but it's not yet showing up for everyone.

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