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Google Phone v18 switches to system settings for sound and vibration controls [APK Download]

Android Messages set an example last year by doing away with its own built-in notification settings and instead redirecting users to the new Notification Channels feature in Android 8.0 Oreo. This single change gave users more options to fine-tune notifications than the app previously offered, and it was all in a fairly standard system interface. The Google Phone app is now making a similar change, but this time it's relinquishing its old settings screen for sound and vibrations and replacing it with the Sound settings offered by the system.

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30 new and notable Android games from the last week (3/14/18 - 3/20/18)

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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15 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last week (3/13/18 - 3/19/18)

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

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[Update: Odd-even is live] Google Maps v9.73 beta prepares to allow reviews to be saved as drafts, odd-even road rules for Jakarta, and more (APK Teardown)

A new version of Google Maps began rolling out late last night. The immediately visible changes are semi-cosmetic, including some slightly more informative details, but there aren't any obviously huge additions to see here. As we turn to a teardown, there are signs that reviewers will soon be able to start writing, then save their work as a draft. Also, if you're going to be driving in Jakarta, Indonesia, Google Maps is going to make it easier to deal with odd-even driving restrictions.

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Google Camera v5.2 adds dirty lens warnings, buries grid options, hints at Portrait mode app shortcut and circus mode [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google Camera app is beginning to roll out, and there are quite a few interesting adjustments in this update. The Settings screen looks much better with a full set of icons, and there are several new additions to be found within it. Grid overlays have been moved into the Settings screen, and double-taps can now be configured with a different action. A long-awaited feature, Dirty lens warnings, can now be enabled. A teardown also suggests there will be a new app shortcut to launch Portrait mode, and hints at something called Circus mode.

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[Update: Google confirms new international support] Google Pay on the Huawei Watch 2 works again for some outside the US and UK

When the Oreo update landed for Huawei's Watch 2 back in February, many reported that it was disabling Google Pay (then called Android Pay). One month and one rebranding later, this issue seems to have been fixed. There are reports that something in the last few days has re-enabled Google's rebranded NFC payments for the Watch 2. 

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Google Photos v3.16 hints at new movie editor, improvements to search, and more [APK Teardown]

An update to Google Photos landed earlier today. So far, we haven't come across any visible changes, but there are a few topics for a teardown. Hints can be found suggesting Google may be building a new movie editor. Improvements to the search interface could be forthcoming, as are helpful suggestions about features that may not be obvious to all users. As always, a link to the latest updates is available at the bottom.

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[Update: Google is working on a fix] Downloading Motion Photos via Google's Backup and Sync is broken for some

For many people, especially those of us here at Android Police, Google's various backup tools are an integral part of our daily workflow. Frankly, I'd have to entirely restructure how I do things without the convenience of Google Photos and Google Drive/Backup and Sync. For some, the combination of those two services isn't working as expected when it comes to Motion Photos, and backup synchronization to a desktop fails for those MVIMG-labeled images. 

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Android Messages v3.0 drops KitKat support, prepares notification improvements, more on purchases and enhanced chat features [APK Teardown]

Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices. There are also clues about changes to notifications about pictures and videos, enhanced chat features, and making purchases.

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