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Android Messages v3.1 continues toward Android Messages for Web, a GIF browser, and Google account linking [APK Teardown]

It's another busy Wednesday as Google rolls out an update to the Android Messages app. Version 3.1 doesn't appear to have any functional or visual changes, but there are some interesting details about things to come. The upcoming web chat interface is still in progress, but it's sporting a slightly different name than when we last discussed it. There's a GIF browser in the works for those that don't have one in their keyboard. And there may be some new features destined for Android Messages that will be able to benefit from connecting a Google account. We're still watching for any live changes, so let us know if you stumble across anything interesting!

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Google Photos v3.18 may be testing smarter archiving feature, continues work on Likes, and more [APK Teardown]

Google Photos has a new version rolling out to users today. Like so many other updates from Google, this one appears to be holding back new features, likely in preparation for I/O in just about one month. But for as much as Google may be holding back, there are also a few things that are being packed into the app now in preparation for those big announcements.

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Google Play Movies v4.3 prepares configuration options for streaming services [APK Teardown]

Google recently launched a new feature that suggests various streaming services when you're looking at TV shows and movies to watch. The latest update doesn't appear to do any more than ensure that feature is available, assuming it hadn't already rolled out to you. However, it looks like there's still a little more to come. It looks like we'll also get the option to configure those streaming services and cable subscriptions to get better suggestions.

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Google Phone v19 beta switches to bottom navigation tabs, adds spam filtering, and more [APK Teardown]

Yesterday, Google opened the doors to a new beta channel for its Phone app. For those joining the beta releases, there's already a fresh update to v19 waiting for them to play with. There are a lot of changes coming through in this round, including some updates to the UI, an option to filter spam calls, and much more. If you want to get your hands on the latest version, but aren't quite ready to join the beta, grab the apk from the APK Mirror link below.

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25 new and notable Android games from the last week (4/4/18 - 4/10/18)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.

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LineageOS apologizes for late and 'bad taste' April Fools' joke

Every year on April Fools' day we see many companies and organizations try their hand at comedy in a bid to score some good publicity. Some get it spot on — my personal favorite came from the European Parliament, claiming on Twitter that all EU passports would become blue. Inevitably, some get it spectacularly wrong, and in the Android community this year that unwanted accolade goes to LineageOS. The team behind it has now issued an apology.

In a follow up to its original and harmless announcement of the legitimate cryptocurrency LOSCoin, LineageOS released an update that featured a persistent notification and a warning.

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[Update: Fix coming in June] Android Auto looks 'pixelated' for some, but Google is on the case

If your Android Auto head unit looks like it's been hit by a bad case of JPEG, you aren't alone. There have been some recent reports that Android Auto-powered systems are displaying "pixelated" blocky visuals. Thankfully for those affected, Google is working to fix things. 

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Some Google Play app listings are incorrectly showing as beta versions

A new version started rolling out to the Play Store on the web last month and the reception has been decidedly mixed. Screenshots are now viewable in a lightbox, meaning they're larger, but scrolling can be slow and you can't use the arrows on your keyboard to cycle through them. Oh, and getting out of the lightbox did mean finding the tiny arrow in the top left rather than just clicking outside of the image, although that appears to have been fixed already.

While some of the UI changes may be frustrating, it seems there's another more functional bug with app listings.

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Google app v7.26 beta tweaks Assistant's Action details screen, prepares bookmarking Actions, inspecting stored data, and more [APK Teardown]

Google has been pushing out new updates to its self-named app with unusual vigor over the last few weeks. Despite an aggressive release schedule, there are still quite a few additions and clues about future changes. The latest update actually brings some visible changes if you look into Actions on Assistant; but more importantly, there are a handful of clues about future enhancements to Actions, the home screen widget, and more.

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Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG "perks" [APK Teardown]

Late last night, the latest version of Google Maps began rolling out through the beta channel. For many people, this will likely bring new notifications with convenient shortcuts to local area transit maps. There are also signs that Google is adding integration with bicycle sharing services, a vague hint of new activity around speed limits, and possibly some new perks for Local Guides.

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