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Google Play Store rolling out govt verified badge to eligible apps

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Google Play Store

Google Play Store begins rolling out verified a badge to apps affiliated with the govt. In a recent development, it has been spotted that UMANG and ABHA apps got a new govt verified badge on Google Play Store in India.

The company last month revealed that government-verified badges will be rolled out in 12 countries. While the availability is reported to expand gradually, Google didn’t reveal which countries are listed in the initial 12 crew.

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It’s worth noting that this change has been implemented in Google Play Store version 39.7.34. It’s a server-side change that the Android maker is deploying in eligible countries like India on targeted applications.

It’s a great move by Google, as part of greatly reducing fraud through spam apps. Many countries nowadays offer digital ways to facilitate with govt schemes and services, which are available through apps too.

Google Play Store govt verified badge

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Apps

Google Contacts app testing new Besties Widget

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Google Contacts

Contacts app’s version 4.35 suggests that Google is working on a Besties Widget. The app’s forthcoming Besties Widget has the exact layout as the Favorite widget and shows starred contacts.

9to5Google spotted that Google Contacts for Android will soon get a new Besties Widget. Meanwhile, the APKTeardown has not revealed the functionality or widget design.

It is expected that the new Besties Widget will replace the Favorite widget. As of now, the widget hasn’t reached its functional stage, however, a future update to the app will bring significant development.

It is assumed that the widget’s development is currently in quite early phases. Recently, the Contacts app updated its individual contact widget with the ability to display notifications.

You can download the app from the Google Play Store for your Android device for free.

Google Contacts Besties Widget

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Apps

Google Messages app will transform MMS chats into RCS

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Google Messages

Google Messages will be updated with the ability to turn MMS into RCS chats. The company is preparing to make some major improvements in its messaging app. The development pops up amid Apple’s long-awaited RCS rollout to iMessage.

APKTeardown hints that Google Messages will update old cross-platform chats to RCS. Messages sent in group chats will automatically transform into RCS chats. Currently, the app turns the entire conversation into SMS and MMS if participants from iPhone and Android users.

Strings of code found in the Google Messages app suggest old conversations will be transformed into RCS. The feature is currently under development. However, the app’s latest Beta version brings references related to upgrading old chats. Flags needed to enable the feature:

  • bugle.enable_mms_group_upgrade_ui_home_screen
  • bugle.enable_mms_group_upgrade_ui_conversation_screen

Once deployed, the Google Messages app will inform users that “You’ve got upgraded chats.” It is also expected that the app will allow sharing of sharper photos with videos with reactions. Interestingly, iOS 18 Beta brings RCS to iPhone users, but a wider rollout is still awaited.

Code:

<string name=”upgraded_group_label”>Upgraded chat</string>
<string name=”group_upgrade_popup_title”>You’ve got upgraded chats</string>
<string name=”group_upgrade_popup_description”>Send sharper photos and videos with reactions — free over wifi. %1$s</string>
<string name=”group_upgrade_close_button_icon_description”>Close dialog</string>
<string name=”group_upgrade_about_rcs_link”>About cross-platform RCS chats</string>

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AI

Copilot AI brings Android phone control to your PC

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Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft is updating Copilot with the ability to let users manage their Android phone from a PC. The artificial intelligence software from Microsoft is getting a fruitful update. Once enabled, the feature will allow you to manage your Android 14 device from PC.

Copilot is Microsoft’s AI service, which is quite famous among Windows and Android users. The developer is also collaborating with several laptop vendors to bring a dedicated Copilot key. Phones linked via the Phone Link app will be managed from the PC itself.

Using this feature, users will be able to retrieve messages, set alarms, and obtain other info. It’s currently rolling out to a limited number of users in certain countries. It will be available as an opt-in feature that users can easily enable through the official website.

To enable the Phone plugin, visit copilot.microsoft.com on the web. Once done, activate the Phone plug-in through the hamburger menu and then send brief prompts to Copilot. As there are many connectivity hurdles, it would take about a minute or two to respond.

Microsoft is continuously enhancing its Phone Link app with additional features. Copilot is also expanding across platforms, bringing AI power to devices for free. To use Copilot’s Phone plugin, you need to first pair your phone using the Phone Link app with your Windows PC.

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