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Gboard v7.9 prepares new emoticons, adds many new languages, and more [APK Teardown]

The holidays (and CES) are over and the many of Google's app teams are back in the full swing of releasing updates. Gboard's latest version hit this morning few directly visible changes outside of minor wording and color changes. However, there are some interesting things that can be gleaned from wandering through a teardown of the apk.

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Google app v8.91 beta prepares Continued Conversations in German, tweaks to Slices and Collections, and more [APK Teardown]

Ever since the Google app moved to weekly releases, often with several minor updates along the way, notable changes have been spread out. This update brought the rollout of Android Auto integration for Google Podcasts, but aside from that, the last few updates have been pretty conservative with their changes. As a result, teardowns from the last few versions are getting bundled together in a single post to keep things cleaner for our readers.

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Android Auto v3.9 improves visibility for currently selected apps [APK Download]

Things are really happening for Android Auto this week. They're not necessarily big things, but they are things, and that's pretty cool. In addition to yesterday's news that Google Podcasts is finally integrated with Auto, meaning we can stop fiddling with our phones to listen to podcasts and start fiddling with the screen built into the car, there's also an update to the Auto app itself that brings its own helpful change to the source picker.

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Google is rolling out Android Auto support for Podcasts

When Google released the all new Podcasts app (again), many people were surprised its stark lack of features. Many things were missing, like auto-downloading, Cast support, and Android Auto integration. While many of these things have either trickled in, or are obviously on the to-do list, Google v8.91 is finally checking Auto support off of that list.

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Google Pay v2.80 adds notification setting for places to use loyalty cards, prepares automatic imports from Gmail [APK Teardown]

If you haven't already seen enough activity with Google Pay in the last month, there are a few notable things happening in the last couple updates. Version 2.80 brings changes to the notification settings screen by dropping the long list of loyalty cards and adopting a new setting to notify you about places those cards can be used. A teardown also reveals upcoming notification channels and a brand new feature that will automatically import relevant tickets and passes when they arrive in your Gmail account.

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Movies Anywhere comes to Comcast Xfinity and now supports 4K on Android [APK Download]

Two Movies Anywhere tidbits for you today, including its addition to Comcast's Xfinity and support for 4K streaming in the Android app. Subscribers with Xfinity On Demand or the Xfinity Stream app will now be able to take advantage of the huge catalog of blockbuster films.

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Poweramp v3 finally reaches stable after 3 years in development, with new UI and audio engine [APK Download]

The makers of popular Android music player Poweramp made an alpha build of version 3 available for download way back in January 2016, and development would have started way before then, at least 3 years ago. After hitting beta this summer, it's now finally finished and a stable build is rolling out through the Play Store.

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Android Messages can now send calendar files, in case you ever want to do that

I don't think anyone anywhere has ever said the phrase, "Let me text you that calendar file." Perhaps it was commonplace practice before the era of Google Calendar and other cloud-synced tools, but it's hard to see a case for texting calendars in 2018. Still, someone at Google must have thought that functionality would be useful, because it just arrived in Android Messages.

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Google Play Games v5.14 enables Dark Theme for all, prepares Minesweeper, and... ┴┬┴┤( ͡° ͜ʖ├┬┴┬ a pointless side project? [APK Teardown]

Google Play Games is officially going dark. Well, the latest update is making its dark theme accessible to everyone. But that's not the only thing this update brings, there are now app shortcuts and a new sorting feature for achievements coming soon. A teardown also shows the team is preparing to add Minesweeper to the built-in games repertoire. Oh, and we're heard from the dev team, and we've got a hunch they're having a good time.

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Microsoft releases Hummingbird, a personalized news app powered by AI

Everyone is trying to crack the curated news segment. From Google News to Apple News to Facebook and Twitter's algorithmic feeds, some of the biggest companies out there are doing their best to find the news you want to read, but if I'm being honest, few of them manage to do it. They get close, but I often find articles in my feeds that I have no interest to check. Microsoft is throwing its hat in the ring with a new app, Hummingbird, and my first-run experience with it has left me with the same mixed feelings.

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