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Google Maps is finally getting that crazy AR walking navigation, testing with Local Guides

Back in May, Google showcased an innovative navigation system that leveraged the phone's camera to provide augmented reality GPS guidance. Although the demo was very promising, the feature wasn't expected to be immediately available, even for testing. However, the company is now letting select people, mostly Local Guides with access to a preview version of Maps, use the feature, and David Pierce from the Wall Street Journal was among the lucky ones to give it a first try.

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Chrome Beta 73 adds copy and share buttons to address bar, improves media playback on PCs, and more [APK Download]

Now that the Stable version of Chrome 72 is out, Chrome 73 has moved up to the Beta channel. While there are a few nice improvements on Android, most of the new features in this release are for desktop platforms. Without further ado, let's take a deep dive into Chrome Beta 73.

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Google Messages v4.0 enables renaming of group chats, changes colors for unpictured contacts, and more [APK Teardown]

Google's Messages app came out with a brand new update this week, and while it's sporting a major new version number, the changes are fairly moderate. It's now possible to give custom names to your group chats, and there's a tweak to the UI that makes Messages look a lot more like Google's Contacts and Phone apps. There are also several things to discuss in a teardown, particularly with regards to RCS.

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YouTube v14.06 prepares to raise the limit for offline video quality, and more [APK Teardown]

If you're just about to leave the comfort of Wi-Fi to risk expensive data fees and dead zones — or, you know, get on a plane for 2 hours — you might plan ahead and download some YouTube videos to kill some time. If you're like most people, you still want to see the highest possible quality, so you might have been disappointed that YouTube caps offline downloads at a measly 720p. That may be changing as it looks like the cap will be rising to a cool 1080p in the future.

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InBrief
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Google Crowdsource app given Material refresh and wants your selfies [APK Download]

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The Pokémon TCG Card Dex app is officially available on the Play Store

Earlier this week the Pokémon TCG Card Dex app was soft launched on the Play Store in Sweden, and more territories were scheduled to open up shortly. Well, now that a few days have passed The Pokémon Company has officially announced the global release of its trading card management app. You can use this release to scan and keep track of your physical cards, and you can also browse the built-in Pokémon TCG database to formulate new plans for your competitive deck design or simply track which cards you still don't own.

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33 temporarily free and 39 on-sale apps and games to kick off the weekend

Hey, there. It's Friday. Exciting, right? Well, you know what that means. Just before the weekend starts, it's time for a final round of app sales for the week. Enjoy, and I'll see you all next week.

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Childish Gambino AR Playmoji dances onto your Pixel five months after Google reveal

Some of you may remember when Google showed off an AR Childish Gambino for the newly rebranded Playground app during Made by Google 2018. If you do, congrats! For some reason, Google seems to have edited out that section of the announcement (and perhaps others). Whatever the motivation behind its apparently revisionist take on history, the feature is actually here now. You can download the Childish Gambino Playground plugin today.

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Google’s K-2 reading practice app Rivet adds smartphone support

We've recently told you about Rivet, a free reading-practice app for kids developed by Area 120, Google's experimental product division. Since the software is still in beta phase, it's continuously improving with better features and interface tweaks. The app was initially designed for tablets because they offer a better experience, and couldn't be installed on phones through the Play Store. The APK could still be sideloaded on handsets, though, but the interface didn't look pleasing compared to larger screens. However, the application has just been updated and now officially supports smartphones as well.

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Spotify cracks down on ad blockers, may ban accounts using them

The free tier of Spotify includes non-skippable audio ads, so naturally, developers have found ways over the years to circumvent those ads. Spotify has become much more aggressive towards ad blockers over the past year, like filing DMCA claims against the popular 'Spotify Dogfood' app, and now it will start taking more drastic measures.

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