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16 new and notable (and 2 WTF) Android apps from the last week (9/19/17 - 9/25/17)

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

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Google Maps v9.62 relocates layer modes to FAB and adds dedicated tab for videos, prepares enhanced commuting features and more [APK Teardown]

Google Maps is one of the most feature-packed apps in existence, and fitting everything into easily reachable places is a challenge that requires regular changes. The latest update to v9.62 makes a big move by pulling the layer modes out of the navigation drawer to place them in a new persistent FAB (floating action button) right on top of the map. Amonth many other things, this update also adds a dedicated tab for videos uploaded by the community. On the teardown side, there are signs of some more significant improvements coming for commuters, and much more.

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Android 8.0 Oreo settings app crashes for some when viewing Wi-Fi or mobile data usage

Picture the scene: you're near your monthly data allowance and you want to check your usage to see what you should turn off to avoid some astronomical overuse charges. We've all been there. But imagine when you get there your settings app decides to give up the ghost, over and over again. That's been the situation for Artem the last couple of days, as you can see from the tweet below.

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Android Messages has broken new SMS notifications for many people since its latest update

Google fixeth and Google breaketh away. That's the mantra of any app or software update from our beloved company (we're really masochists, aren't we?). The latest update to version 2.5.207 of Android Messages seems to have broken one essential feature for a messenger app: notifications.

It looks like notifications will stop working at some point in the app, thus no longer informing you of incoming SMS: no sound, no pop-up, no vibration. The only way to know you have new messages is either if you have Pushbullet mirroring SMS to a desktop computer or by looking at the unread counter in Nova Launcher for example.

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Allo v19 hints at Firefox browser support, icecream-on-head effect, and more [APK Teardown]

It seems like Allo is slowing down a bit as the updates are no longer packed with an assortment of new features on each release. Instead, we're starting to see more things that spend some time in the teardowns before going live. An examination of today's update to v19 hasn't turned up anything notable in the live app yet, but a teardown does promise a few smallish tidbits like Firefox support for the web client and a camera effect that will probably place a sweet dairy treat on your head.

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YouTube v12.37 hints at a new subscription tier called YouTube Plus [APK Teardown]

It has been nearly two years since the launch of YouTube Red, or as I like to say: The subscription that lets you actually watch YouTube. Prior to that, it was called YouTube Music Key and only served music videos and enabled background and offline playback. Now it looks like there might be a new subscription tier called YouTube Plus coming soon.

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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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[Update: Official downloads] The September Oreo update broke SafetyNet and Android Pay for some Nexus 6Ps, but there's a fix

Update-woes continue. A recent OTA (OPR6.170623.017) for the Nexus 6P appears to have broken SafetyNet and, subsequently, things like Android Pay. Thankfully, there's a fix. All you need to do is update to a slightly newer build (OPR6.170623.019), and we've even got a link if you'd rather not wait. 

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Google app v7.12 confirms squeezable sides on Pixel 2, prepares for multi-step shortcuts, resuming podcast episodes, and more [APK Teardown]

As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions.

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Some users are experiencing random reboots on Android 8.0 Oreo

Usually, updates improve an experience, but that isn't always the case. For some, the recent upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo seems to have come at the cost of stability. A large number of people have reported frequent random reboots occurring since they made the jump, including some of us here at AP. 

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