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[Update: Money transfers & Duo calling are live] Android Messages v2.7 prepares to add new message indicators and RCS support for dual-SIM phones, drops 6 MB in size [APK Teardown]

It's time for a new version of Android Messages. The latest update takes a slightly larger than average jump from v2.5 to v2.7, but no obvious changes to the UI are really popping out. However, the apk did get much smaller with this release, and there are some things visible through the lens of a teardown. We'll keep watching for other changes, but let us know if you see anything.

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Google's Android Messages app hits 100 million downloads

Google has a long and often complicated history with messaging. For a time, there was no core Android SMS app while Google dabbled with SMS in Hangouts. Well, the Nexus 6 debuted with the Messenger app, later renamed Android Messages. Hangouts has since lost SMS capabilities, and now the Messages app has hit 100 million downloads in the Play Store.

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Android Messages v2.5 removes the FAB for new conversations, prepares to launch video calls, read QR codes, and exchange money [APK Teardown]

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." That's a famous quote by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Nobody knew it at the time, but he had been sent back from the future and was actually making a snarky comment about Google's approach to design. It was only about two years ago when every app was adding FABs (floating action buttons) regardless of how much or little they made sense, and now we're saying an abrupt goodbye to the one in Android Messages as it vanishes with the latest update. Alongside that simple change, a teardown also turns up signs that the app will soon provide shortcuts to launch video calls, exchange money with contacts, and read QR codes.

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"OK Google, send a Google Voice message" command is coming soon to help those with Google Voice numbers

Some of you exclusively use their Google Voice (GV) numbers, some have differentiated between friends and colleagues by giving their regular number and GV number separately to each set of contacts, and some might use the GV number occasionally for a few contacts only. Regardless of your case, sending texts from that GV number has been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to Android Auto, Android Wear, and Assistant. But that should be fixed soon.

As explained by several complaining users in this support thread, if you have a Google Voice number and you set it as the default SMS number in Hangouts then set Hangouts as your default SMS app, when you're using Android Auto and you say, "OK Google, send a text," the command will forego your defaults and just issue a regular SMS text through your carrier number.

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Google Voice 5.3 update brings multi-select for messages [APK Download]

Google just pushed a minor revision to the Google Voice app for Android, bringing it up to v5.3. Nothing huge appears to have been changed, but there is one small but useful new feature. Now long-pressing on a message brings up an option for multi-selection, rather than just a menu for simple actions pertaining to a single message. So the next time you need to mass-delete messages sent to your Google Voice account, it won't be quite such a tedious affair. 

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Google fixes Android Auto issue that left users unable to read or reply to messages

Android Auto seems to have had a lot of issues as of late, which isn't great considering you don't want to be fiddling with a screen on your dash while barreling down the freeway in a two-ton mass of metal and glass. In keeping with that theme, a recent issue left users unable to read or reply to messages on their Android Auto head units. Fortunately, though, Google was able to fix this via a server-side update.

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Google Voice notifications are broken for some, but Google is on the case

If you haven't been reliably receiving notifications for messages in Google Voice, you may not be alone. Some users at Google's Product Forums have been reporting that notifications from Google Voice don't always appear, and often don't show up until the app is opened and refreshed. Thankfully it seems that Google is on the case. If indicators for events like messages or voicemails in Google Voice do not show up in your notifications, perhaps it's worth taking a look at the threads over on Google's forums.

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Google app v7.4 beta prepares for Google Home calling, manual rerouting of voice commands, and more [APK Teardown]

There's another version of the Google app floating around in the wild, and as we've probably become accustomed, it doesn't appear to make any notable changes upon installation. However, there are some interesting elements floating around in the apk. In this update, we can see the first signs of support for making calls with Google Home and a new action that allows users to manually reroute voice commands to the device in their hand. There's also a new feature that looks at your notifications in an effort to give easier access and suggests about your contacts and messages.

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Google Phone v10 enables post-call messages for failed calls, prepares for enhanced incoming calls on RCS and voicemail backup [APK Teardown + Download]

With the dust settling after the deluge caused by I/O 2017, it's time to take a closer look at some of the many other things that came with out last week. Some interesting changes came with a brand new version of the Google Phone app included with Android O Developer Preview 2. There's a new prompt suggesting users send a message after a call fails to connect. A deep dive into the apk also turned up signs that Google is working on new RCS calling features and preparing some kind of backup option for voicemail.

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Sony Releases PlayStation Messages To The Play Store, Decouples It From The PlayStation App

PlayStation gamers have access to a complementary Android app that allows them to send new game downloads to their console remotely, use as a second-screen on some titles, and get social with other PlayStation members. The latter feature has now been cut from the main app and is getting released as a standalone PlayStation Messages client.

Messages is actually better designed than the full app, with a clean Material layout to view your current and favorite chats, check your friends list, see what they're playing, and interact with everyone. You can send texts and voice messages, attach photos and themed stickers, brag about your progress and scores, and more.

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