Apps & Updates Today

Especially with conflicting gestures on Android 10, navigation drawers in apps increasingly don’t make sense. For its part, Google has been moving first-party services away from side navigation to bottom bars. The latest app to test such a redesign is Google Maps.

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Apps & Updates Yesterday

Earlier this week, we spotted how Rich Communication Services became enabled stateside following a Carrier Services update. Google today announced that RCS is now fully available in Messages for Android stateside.

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Following the Play Store and other first-party apps, Google Photos for Android is rolling out a Material Theme account switcher. Unlike those clients, this new UI element neatly incorporates a redesigned backup upload indicator.

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Given people’s general aversion to calling these days, the amount of important communication conducted over texting is not surprising. Google’s Messages app wants to secure this process with Verified SMS, and the first supported businesses have been announced. Meanwhile, spam protection in the client is now rolling out for the US.

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Back in January at CES, Google announced an Interpreter Mode for Smart Displays and speakers. The real-time translation tool is now coming to Assistant for Android and iOS with a new Smart Replies capability.

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Apps & Updates December 11

October’s visual revamp of the Google Home companion app did nothing to tame the complicated assortment of Assistant device preferences. However, one tweak rolled out this past week tries to clarify how personalization and notification settings — particularly for the Nest Hub — works.

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