Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

10
Jun
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There have been rumblings recently that, adding to its other (perhaps more far-flung) efforts to improve Internet access around the world, Google would eventually deploy its own fleet of satellites. Today, those rumblings got a little bit closer to reality as Google announced its agreement to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million in cash.

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Skybox's journey so far, according to the announcement on its own blog, has been about revolutionizing "access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth." Having already deployed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, the company says it's already made "great strides."

07
Jun
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Kiwanuka is a Lemmings-inspired physics puzzler that we've been looking out for on Android since we heard about it on iOS. Thanks to a partnership between original devs CMA MegaCorp and the developers at Jakyl, the game has finally made its way to our favorite platform, and it's awesome.

Basically, you play the guy or gal in charge of saving a crowd of Kiwanuka, using a magical staff that whips the humanoid critters into shape, arranging them in tall, swaying towers you can use to climb through low-poly geometric terrain.

07
Jun
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One of my few complaints with the Netflix app for Android has always been that the app makes it more difficult than it should be to indulge in binge-watching behavior. Watching episode after episode of a TV show meant either going back into the episode list again, or hitting the show's tile from the home view again, and neither was ideal.

With a recent update, however, Netflix has added what it calls a "post-play" experience, which gives users the number and title of the next episode, along with a big red "play next episode" button.

06
Jun
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Google translate can be tricked into providing some hilarious results, but for average queries, it generally does a really good job of translating and offering additional information like synonyms and usage types. It looks like Translate on the web is learning a couple of new tricks though - recently, Google flipped the switch allowing Translate to show usage examples and word definitions. Various alternate translations (sorted by frequency) still appear on the right, while the new bits of info appear in a column on the left.

06
Jun
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A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.

06
Jun
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For some reason, it seems that streaming music is the new hotness in the world of tech firm acquisitions. Today, the New York Post reports that Google is eyeing the acquisition of Songza.

Songza is a popular music curating and streaming service that, with five and a half million active users, is nothing to sneeze at. The Android app is currently in the 1 million - 5 million download range, with almost 60,000 ratings.

06
Jun
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Kingsoft, makers of the popular productivity app Kingsoft Office, today announced that the Android app has reached 210 million users around the world. To mark the event, the app has been rebranded to WPS Office and given a new icon to match. The announcement comes on the heels of the app's update to version 6.0, which introduces "over 100 feature updates and enhancements," including a revitalized interface, support for 44 languages, and - in Kingsoft's words - "much more."

The app can view, create, and share office documents on any Android device running 2.1+, and offers collaboration features like edit tracking and comments.

06
Jun
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It looks like Hangouts on the web is learning a new trick. Some users are reporting that Hangouts can now sketch a message, drawing with a variety of brush widths and colors on a little scratchpad, which is sent to the user on the other end of the conversation as an image. To sketch, users need only hover over the camera icon, click on the pencil icon that appears, then draw away.

01
Jun
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Last Updated: June 2nd, 2014

A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.

It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally.

30
May
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Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.

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Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.

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