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WhatsApp legal threats target 3rd party apps interfacing through standard Android APIs

So much of what we do on our smartphone is driven by services, as companies provide us with access to things like cloud storage, social-media publishing, and instant messaging. And while many of us default to accessing these services through their official apps, plenty of third-party alternatives exist. Some of the companies behind these services are more tolerant of those alternatives than others, and we've already seen WhatsApp take heavy-handed action against such software. Now a new round of legal threats is underway, and this time the targets don't seem to be doing anything particularly objectionable.

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Chrome Duplex being renamed 'Duet' to avoid confusion with Google Duplex phone-call AI

Back in May, Google announced something called 'Google Duplex' at I/O. The feature would be able to call businesses using humanlike speech patterns to set up appointments or make reservations. But months before that, the Chrome team had already renamed its experimental 'Chrome Home' interface to 'Chrome Duplex.' Chrome Duplex is now being renamed again to 'Chrome Duet' to avoid confusion with the fancy new Google Duplex.

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34 temporarily free and 43 on-sale apps and games to celebrate Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, U.S. residents! Take a break from your grill-out/celebration preparations and check this nice list of app sales. We have some good ones today, so be looking for those in bold. Enjoy your holiday.

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Tip: WhatsApp can re-download deleted media, hide it from your gallery

Dear Android Police readers, I must apologize for not being as dedicated as before to WhatsApp's teeny changes in the past few weeks. I won't try to find excuses, but I will promise to be more vigilant and start making it up by telling you about two small features you may not have noticed yet. One of them is probably a few months old, the other is more recent.

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Netflix is testing an expensive new 'Ultra' subscription tier

Towards the end of last year, Netflix raised its prices in the US, with the most expensive option (Ultra HD, 4 screens) increasing from $11.99 to $13.99. In Europe, that top tier costs €13.99 (£9.99 in the UK). Thankfully, it doesn't look like Netflix is planning to hike its current subscription prices any further, but a new even higher tier could be on the way.

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Google upgrades Maps traffic layer for 6 countries, but downgrades speed limits in 7 others

You might not have known this, but people in other countries don't often get the same features in Google Maps as you may. There are only a handful of countries that support all of Maps's coverage details, including the US, UK, Canada, and several European nations. Google recently added/improved the traffic layer to six countries, but downgraded speed limit availability in seven others.

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Google testing new home button designs for Chrome on Android

Chrome for Android has had a home button since its inception, but only on certain devices. Google started experimenting with allowing all devices to have a home button in April, but the feature is still opt-in. Now it appears Google is experimenting with the button's design.

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Google Drive on Android now supports encrypted Office files [APK Download]

Google Drive on the web received the ability to read password-protected Microsoft Office files a while ago - well over a year ago, in fact. This capability is finally rolling out to Drive on Android, and we've got the APK if you need it.

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Gboard Smart Replies being tested for other apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Android Messages

Google's been throwing its Smart Replies at pretty much every app or venue capable of accepting them, from Android Messages to Gmail. It even has a standalone app that introduces the shortcuts—and their occasionally borderline-offensive responses—to third-party app notifications. Now Gboard is testing out adding the same feature to other applications like Facebook and WhatsApp.

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