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WhatsApp beta rolls out continuous voice note playback and message forwarding count

Step by step, WhatsApp has been implementing features to combat the uncontrollable spread of fake or even just sugar-coated news on its platform. Today's update to the beta app includes one more measure to help monitor forwarded messages, but it also brings one very handy feature for voice notes.

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Gboard v8.1 makes space for OCR, prepares Pixel-specific theme, enhanced Japanese keyboard, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest update to Gboard is making the rounds, and this one appears to be taking another stab at enabling the clipboard manager. Meanwhile, this update also sets the stage for additional features to be added to the overflow menu, an improved Japanese keyboard, a Pixel-specific theme, and more.

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New Google Pay tweak makes account switching faster

As Google progressively moves things around to comply with the ever-changing design guidelines, we see apps catching up as each new change appears. Google Pay's latest move pushes the account switcher out of the navigation drawer and into the top right corner. This matches other apps like Gmail that have recently seen their own visual updates. Functionally, nothing else has changed, and there aren't any other noticeable visual tweaks to Google's Material theme at this time.

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Android Accessibility Suite 7.3 exits beta, brings screen search and other TalkBack additions [APK Download]

Accessibility options have come a long way in Android, especially in the last year or two. The aptly-named Android Accessibility Suite, formerly TalkBack, just hit v7.3 stable, adding some refinements to the Accessibility Menu and other new options like screen search and additions to continuous reading.

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[Update: Now in Android app] Google Tasks gets timed reminders and recurring functionality

Google's Tasks to-do list service may be simple to the point of uselessness for many, and its old standalone web UI could die at any time, but it's still under active development. Proof for that comes today, as Google is rolling out a much-needed change to Tasks, giving us the option to add specific times of the day to tasks and set them to repeat. Note that these changes only seem to affect Tasks on the web for now. Google's Tasks and Calendar apps for Android haven't picked them up yet.

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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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