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VLC 3.1 brings back Android Auto support, improves Chromebook compatibility, and more [APK Download]

VLC is one of the best media players out there — not only can it open just about every type of video and audio file in existence, but it works on just about every platform too. VLC 3.1 is now rolling out on the Play Store, and it has plenty of useful additions.

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Google Fit brings back elevation levels for workouts and sleep tracking data from third-party apps [APK Download]

Google Fit is an excellent service for tracking your health goals and gathering data from various fitness apps on your Android device. After its big redesign last summer and the re-addition of the widget it lost during that transition, the app now receives even more formerly available features: the latest update to version 2.10.36 includes elevation charts for outdoor workouts and support for third-party sleep tracker data again — the latter being first introduced 2015.

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Android Auto v4.1 adds widescreen support and UI tweaks, prepares auto-resume, and more [APK Teardown]

Android Auto continues to work toward adding features people really need in the car. The latest update brings a few minor surface-level changes, and under the hood there are some new features that may be pretty useful, including an auto-resume feature for music (or podcasts and audiobooks), a filter to prevent group messages from becoming too distracting, and more.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Drive app Material Theme refresh starts rolling out March 18

Google has been slowly but surely updating its apps to reflect the new Material Theming conventions, scorching many a retina in the process. The Google Drive app was already predominantly white, so the upcoming Drive revamp won't murder your eyes any worse. It will, however, add features like bottom navigation, an expanded search bar, and a new account switcher.

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Google Messages v4.1 prepares Verified SMS support to eliminate spam, Google Assistant integration, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Google Messages hit earlier this week, and while it's featuring a few visible changes, including a new setting to enable Suggested Actions and a new About screen, the most interesting changes aren't intended to go live quite yet. We already know Google is adding Assistant integration to Messages, and now some of that is manifesting in the app. But the most exciting addition is support for a great new carrier-level feature called Verified SMS that may put an end to scam messages (and calls).

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Google Lookout uses AI to help visually-impaired people navigate the world [APK Download]

I can't imagine having to navigate today's world while visually impaired. From streets to people to items, and even trivial things like preparing a sandwich or knowing the proper toilet sign in a restaurant, it would all be infinitely more difficult without sight, and I have a lot of admiration for those who have to handle these situations every day. Smartphones can make some of this easier, especially with AI at the helm. If Google Lens can identify a dog's breed from a photo, there's nothing stopping it from using the same tech to help visually-impaired people, and that's where Lookout comes in.

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[Update: APK available] Mozilla's upcoming browser Fenix packs a new UI and fundamental changes to tab management

Firefox has a hard stand on Android. With a market share of way less than 1 percent, it’s clear that Mozilla needs to do something to breathe new life into its mobile product. However, if you’ve followed Firefox development on Android for the last couple of months, you may have noticed that it’s basically come to a halt. Enter Fenix.

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'Suggested actions' come to Google Messages in version 4.1.065

Using the increasing power of its AI smarts, Google is getting better at anticipating our next move and offering us convenient suggestions that make our lives easier. We've seen this with App Actions in Android and suggested edits in Google Photos, and now a similar feature has arrived in the Google Messages app.

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Google Voice Access picks up support for four new languages [APK Download]

When it comes to accessibility on Android, Google's Voice Access is one of the hallmark options to make it easier to use your phone. Late last year, we saw the big 3.0 release, which brought a whole slew of new features, so today's update is small in comparison. It is, however, still important since it adds support for German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

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Pushbullet adds support for bundled notifications, quick replying, and more [APK Download]

After more than two years without a major update, Pushbullet rose from the dead last month with a ton of new features. The app received a new bottom navigation bar, adaptive icon support, and a dark mode (if you have Pushbullet Pro). Another update has now arrived, with even more long-requested features.

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