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.

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Android Messages v3.0 drops KitKat support, prepares notification improvements, more on purchases and enhanced chat features [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Play Movies & TV v4.2 switches to bottom nav bar, adds Certified Fresh ratings, and hints at all-new Guide screen [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Play Movies & TV is making the rounds, and this one has quite a bit to discuss. There are several surface-level changes, including a new bottom nav bar, improved support for Rotten Tomatoes, and even some rearrangements to the screens in the app. Digging a bit deeper, we can also see there’s a new Guide screen in development, some degree of support for external content providers, and even a rating system for content.

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Play Movies & TV v4.2 switches to bottom nav bar, adds Certified Fresh ratings, and hints at all-new Guide screen [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

SwiftKey Beta update includes ‘Toolbar’ for quick access to features, customizable stickers

The latest SwiftKey Beta fixed an annoying bug that made typing in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome a headache. Well, it turns out that the update brought a few new features, including an expandable toolbar that sits atop the prediction bar and stickers. If you’re the creative type, you’ll be happy to know that you can even make your own stickers within the keyboard.

The main attraction here is what SwiftKey is calling “Toolbar.” Tap the “+” sign sitting on the left side of the prediction bar to expand Toolbar, where you can access GIFs, downloadable sticker packs, settings, themes, the clipboard, and your “Collection” (more on that below).

By my count there are currently 13 sticker packs to choose from. Once you download a pack, you can choose to either send a sticker as is, or add a text overlay to a sticker before sending it. Whether you add text to them or not, you can save stickers to your Collection for quicker access. Some stickers have blank spaces specifically for text to be added, while others are fine without text.

 

Once you download a pack, you have the options of adding text to a sticker and saving it to your Collection before sending it.

If you want to create a custom sticker from scratch, expand Toolbar, tap the pin symbol all the way on the right, and tap the blue “Create sticker” button. Once you give SwiftKey Beta the appropriate permission, you can select a photo from your phone to use as the basis for a sticker. As with the downloadable sticker packs, you have the options of adding a text overlay to the image and saving it to your Collection.

You can also use an image on your device to create a custom sticker.

You can delete a downloaded sticker pack or custom sticker saved to your Collection by long-pressing it and confirming your decision. All in all, it’s neat that you can do all this within the keyboard, but I don’t know how often I’d use any of this.

The latest beta update also includes a new layout for Japanese and nine new languages, in addition to the bug fix we mentioned at the top. Here’s the full changelog:

WHAT’S NEW
* Introducing Toolbar, a new way to get faster and easier access to your favorite SwiftKey features. Just tap the “+” on the left of the prediction bar to give it a try.
* Use & make your own stickers directly within SwiftKey
* Type in Hiragana layout for Japanese
* You can now type in 9 new languages: Afar, Banjarese, Fulani, Gayo, Guarani, Madurese, Minangkabau, Nias & Bengkulu
Fixed
* Jumbled words in Chrome should not be happening

If you’ve got a hankering to use Toolbar or the new sticker features, download the latest SwiftKey Beta using the widget below or via APKMirror.

SwiftKey Beta
SwiftKey Beta
Price: Free