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Uber app updated with new features to help you through the holiday season

The Uber app is pretty convenient already, but there's always room for improvement. Earlier in the year, the ability to message your driver via in-app chat was added, and now Uber has a few more enhancements that it hopes will help ease the stress during the festive season.

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YouTube TV v1.11 adds picture-in-picture support

Google's TV streaming service is still continuing it slow city-by-city rollout in the US, but those who have access to YouTube TV are getting a nice bonus in the latest build of the app. The new v1.11 update adds picture-in-picture (PiP) support.

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YouTube Gaming v2.03 adds playback speed controls [APK Download]

YouTube is a lot of things to a lot of people, but for gamers, it's the ultimate cheat guide to every game, ever. If you can't figure out how Nathan Drake is supposed to get through that tower scene with the snipers or you're stumped over the pattern needed to survive 8 more seconds of Cup Head, you're going straight to YouTube. But depending on the game, you might have to sit through 20 painstaking minutes of slow gameplay to understand a strategy, or you might have to rewatch the same clip a dozen times to spot the timing needed for each move.

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Start the week with 18 temporarily free and 13 on-sale apps

Hello, and welcome back to your thrice-weekly app sales roundup! It's a holiday week here in the U.S., so I bet most of you are just scrambling for your days off later on. News this time of year is scarce, so deals are king and I'm here to add to all of that. Have fun.

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[Boondoggle] USPS has a VR app about whitewater kayaking for some reason

When you think of the US Postal Service, I doubt that the first thing to spring to your mind is "whitewater kayaking." They're more known for shipping (and losing) mail and packages in the US. Well, for whatever reason, the USPS has an app titled "USPS® VR," and instead of an immersive mail-tracking experience (or even a tech demo for, say, the exciting technology behind mail sorting), you get a kayaking trip.

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[Update: Money transfers & Duo calling are live] Android Messages v2.7 prepares to add new message indicators and RCS support for dual-SIM phones, drops 6 MB in size [APK Teardown]

It's time for a new version of Android Messages. The latest update takes a slightly larger than average jump from v2.5 to v2.7, but no obvious changes to the UI are really popping out. However, the apk did get much smaller with this release, and there are some things visible through the lens of a teardown. We'll keep watching for other changes, but let us know if you see anything.

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[Update: Details on lock codes] SmartThings app adds Scenes, fingerprint authentication, visitor lock codes, and more

One of the most requested features in the SmartThings app has been scene support. I'm new to the system, so I'm sure there were some enterprising solutions to the lack of scenes, but there wasn't any native and easy way to do it. That changes with the latest update to version 2.10 of the SmartThings app.

Scenes reside inside the My Home tab, next to Things and Rooms, and allow you to change multiple lights, switches, and devices to different presets to suit a certain mood. So if you're working, you can have the lights go all the way up but if you're watching a movie, they can be dimmed down.

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Gboard update adds support for 40 additional languages, sticker packs

Gboard—the virtual keyboard app from Google—has received an update adding support for 40 additional languages, including Japanese. Although Google has long offered a separate input method for Japanese and other languages which do not have a writing system based on Latin script, support for additional languages has been added in gradually since Gboard launched on Android in December 2016. With this update, Gboard now covers over 120 languages.

This update also adds support for stickers by default. Previously, Gboard included stickers only if Allo was already installed, and you made or downloaded stickers for use with that app. Now, four default sticker packs are included in Gboard, even if Allo is not installed.

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Opera's Android TV browser renamed to 'Vewd Browser'

Several years ago, Opera Software spun off its TV division as a separate company, fittingly named 'Opera TV.' While the company was responsible for the various TV ports of the Opera browser, it also developed an entire software platform designed for media players, car head units, and smart TVs - similar to Roku OS and Android TV.

Opera TV was purchased by Moore Frères & Company in 2016, and in August of this year, the company announced it was rebranding itself as 'Vewd.' Now the Android TV browser, which is included on some Sony Smart TVs, has changed to 'Vewd Browser.'

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InBrief
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CVS Pharmacy v4.0 lets you turn photos into photo cards, offers same-day in-store pickup

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