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Google app v7.3 beta prepares for podcast subscriptions, data saver for Now Cards, and more [APK Teardown]

Version 7.3 of the Google app began rolling out to users in the beta channel earlier today. There are a few odd little changes to be found poking around in the UI, like a new menu shortcut on many of the Assistant settings screens that leads to the Activity Controls settings, but it's all pretty innocuous. We'll surely see more significant features going live as Google activates them remotely over the coming weeks™. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to be found during the course of a teardown.

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Amazon launches 'Subscribe with Amazon' to sell third-party subscriptions

Amazon has been selling Prime subscriptions for years, but Amazon has to, like, do stuff for you when you're a Prime member. Wouldn't it be nice if Amazon could sell subscriptions for other companies and get a piece of the action? Well, that's the new "Subscribe with Amazon" in a nutshell. It's a marketplace where Dropbox, The New Yorker, Sling TV, and many other entities are now selling monthly subscriptions.

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[Update: App is available] Time Warner will offer classic cartoon addicts an ad-free Boomerang subscription for $5 a month this spring

If were lucky enough to have cable TV back in the 90s (and you were around the right age and/or state of mind) you probably remember countless hours of Cartoon Network. The fledgling channel was nothing less than a classical education in the golden age of Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera shows. Eventually Cartoon Network filled up with its own original programming, but the classic shorts and Saturday morning cartoons moved over to a sister channel, Boomerang, which is still showing off the good stuff. Cord cutters don't get access to Boomerang, but that's about to change.

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Pandora announces premium subscription that lets you choose your tracks

Pandora has been streaming music for longer than many of the top streaming services, but it's always gone about things differently. Pandora is based on radio stations rather than specific tracks. Today, Pandora is deploying a new version of its service that's more in-line with competing options. For $10 per month, you can pick songs instead of trusting that the radio station won't stink.

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The previously announced Google Play billing for Drive storage is already live for some

Google announced a couple weeks ago that billing for Google Drive would move over to the Play Store subscription system. At the time it said this would happen sometime in January, but it looks like it's already live for some people. Time to check your Google Play account page.

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Google announces new subscription promo ability and refund identification API for developers

Google has brought Playtime, its developer education event, back to San Francisco with some news for those that help to make Android awesome. If you missed the event or the video highlights, there is a handy blog post with a summary of the information announced. The most interesting points from it are that Google is now giving developers the ability to run subscription promotional prices and to see which users have requested refunds. Fun stuff, right? 

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CloudMagic rebrands as Newton Mail, adds $49.99 yearly subscription fee

CloudMagic has long been one of the most popular third-party email applications on Android. Today, the developers are really testing the loyalty of their users by changing the name and payment model of the app. It's now called Newton Mail, and it will cost you $49.99 per year after an initial 14-day trial. Thus far, people do not seem pleased with the change.

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BlackBerry Hub+ comes to non-BlackBerry Marshmallow devices, includes a $0.99 monthly subscription option

BlackBerry is trying to make Android phones these days, or at least sell them. Its latest device is just a re-branded Alcatel Idol 4, but you don't have to get a BlackBerry phone to get all of BlackBerry's software features anymore. The company has released Hub+ in the Play Store, which gives you access to features like unified inbox, BlackBerry Calendar, and a password manager.

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YouTube's Tablet Subscription List Gets Filters

Back in December, we reported on a new "pseudo-drawer" for the YouTube app on Android - replacing the horizontal list of avatars and activity indicators found on phones, the drawer gave users a scrollable vertical list of subscriptions - avatars and names - along with actual numbers.

Now, it looks like the drawer is getting some tweaks. First, it overlaps the UI when expanded now, rather than pushing everything to the side. Whether this is better or not is debatable, but the more important change is inside the drawer itself. Instead of just "Channels," the drawer header now has filters to let users sort their subscriptions by relevance or new activity.

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YouTube Has A New Pseudo-Drawer For Subscriptions On Tablets

The YouTube app's hamburgerless layout has been with us for a while now, and while it's gotten a mixed bag of reactions, Google is still iterating on it slowly but surely. It seems like the latest development is a new layout on tablets for the subscription tab.

Previously, a strip of avatars lined the top of the content area, with blue dots to indicate whether the channel had a new video for you. In the new layout - which seems to be rolling out pretty quickly from the server-side judging from our inbox - subs have their own sort of pseudo-drawer on the left of the screen.

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