Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

15
May
2013-05-15_13h47_50

Today, Google announced a new look for the Google+ stream. Gone is the weird, bubbly look that we've had for forever. The cards-centric UI that we've seen on phones and tablets is now coming to the desktop as well. You can select a one, two, or three-column layout and each individual card can flip over with a slick animation and provide more information and options.

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Google's also improving its search and tagging functionality.

15
May
play music logo

Today, Google brought it's A-game with a subscription service for Play Music. Now, you can pay a $9.99 monthly fee to get unlimited access to a library of music. It also comes with a new, updated Play Music app that doesn't look like complete garbage. There's also a host of features including the ability to turn any track into a radio station.

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The one key way that this service distinguishes itself from other subscription services is that this includes all of your own personal music.

15
May
2013-05-15_12h22_45

Today, Google announced Google Play game services that brings a suite of new features that game developers can integrate into their titles. The biggest of them is cloud data sync. Game developers can sync their players' progress across devices and platforms. Yes, this feature works on Android and iOS. This is hot.

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In addition to cloud data sync, the suite of services also brings achievements and leaderboards. Any game can now tap into a unified system for showing off your accomplishments.

15
May
2013-05-15_12h14_53

Speaking at Google I/O, Android and Chrome chief Sundar Punchai just let on that there has now been over 900 million device activations. However, Google can't rest on its laurels. In the same breath as the announcement that Google has reached nearly a billion users in just a few years, the company showed off a map of countries where Android has less than 10% penetration. Those countries are green in the map below:

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The message to the rest of the world is clear: Google's on its way to your town, too.

14
May
2013-05-14_10h38_32

For years, Rovio lived on Angry Birds and nothing else. Then it tried to get you to love Alex. Then it gave the piggies a shot. Finally, Rovio went back to doing what it does best: throwing birds and cashing out. The demand for new games hasn't stopped, though. So what's a mega-giant corporation that's stuck in a creative rut to do? Crowd source, of course. Introducing Rovio Stars.

09
May
2013-05-08_18h11_10

Guys, stop talking about the Ouya for a second. Bluestacks has a different console it would like you to pay attention to: GamePop. The company that has previously worked on interoperability between Android software and other platforms, is now launching a console of its own. The hardware—including a console and physical controller—will be entirely free for people who pre-order. The catch? You have to pay for a subscription to play games.

08
May
ashmadtiny

For the unfamiliar, Ashley Madison is a dating site that enables couples in monogamous relationships to find partners for illicit affairs. That's the baseline we're starting from. The company's new app, however, takes this concept one step further by providing users with disposable phone numbers that can be used for calling and texting without your spouse finding out.

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The BlackBook app doesn't include access to the social network itself, so it's purely used for correspondence.

03
May
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Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 60.

Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!

03
May
2013-05-03_12h19_08

When we talk about Google Glass, we have a lot to be hopeful for and a lot to be worried about. Some of those worries might be a little less than rational. Like the fear that you'll potentially be monitored all the time, which is totally different from how it is now. So, for all the Glass skeptics out there, allow me to do you a favor and replace some less rational fears with some that are more reasonable: if Google Glass becomes popular, everyone is going to start looking at cat pictures on their glasses, no one will watch where they're going, and society will collectively walk into poles, open sewer holes, and each other.

02
May
abfriendstiny

It's been three and a half years since Angry Birds was first released and you thought it was finally over. You disconnected your internet, set up your shack in the woods, and you're living off the land without ties to the metal world. It's over, right? There are no more birds to be flung. They can't touch you here. At last, you can relax, send a carrier pigeon to the two friends who still talk to you and invite them over for a tree bark barbecue.

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