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
Oct
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Rockstar Games has gifted the Play Store with "the official manual app for Grand Theft Auto V." The whopping 181MB app (which debuts at version 0.0.1) has over a hundred pages of literature on the expansive new entry in the infamous franchise, containing information on the game's dynamics, local neighborhoods, activities, game features, and an interactive map to explore when taking a break from the real game (or while exploring in-game if you're a multitasker).

08
Oct
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Back at IFA, I got my hands on Sony's QX10 lens camera, one of two such devices the electronics manufacturer announced in Berlin. I wasn't sure what I thought about it then, having only played with it for about a day, but I've spent some quality time with the device since, and I'm ready to lay down my full impression.

For those not quite up to speed, the QX10 (and its higher-end counterpart, the QX100) is a camera in a lens.

07
Oct
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Today Google Glass got its awaited update to XE 10 (explorer edition 10), and it looks like the system image is already up for grabs from Google's developer site. For those who missed our earlier post, XE10 brings transit directions, the ability to click links in notifications, and new visual flare by way of profile photos embedded behind messages or comments.

If you want to grab the update, you're looking at a 343MB download.

05
Oct
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Courtesy of an anonymous tipster, we've got a nice weekend treat for those caught up in Nexus season rumor hysteria. A document, purported to be an internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 and posted to scribd, gives us an in-depth look at the next Nexus phone.

There's a lot of technical information, flow charts, diagrams, and photos of silicon here, but there are a few things worth picking out before you dive into the full document.

30
Sep
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Just a few days ago, we saw Google expand the reach of Play Books to New Zealand and a handful of countries across Asia. Continuing its arduous march of international availability, Google today expanded Google Play Music and its All Access service to seven new countries. So, who's been added to the list of those able to jam out with Google's on-demand music streaming service/store? Here's the full list:

  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Switzerland

wm_czech republic1 wm_netherlands1 wm_russia1 wm_russia2

If you're in one of the above countries and have been waiting for Google's music service to open up, go listen to some music!

28
Sep
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Since CyanogenMod became Cyanogen Inc., we've been anticipating a quick and easy CM Installer that would make flashing to the "CyanogenMod experience" fast, simple, and less "hideous" than the current process.

The CM team is currently canvassing G+ for usability testers, with the stated goal of taking the process of installing third-party ROMs (specifically CyanogenMod) and streamlining it, making it less intimidating and more accessible to more users.

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After running through the installation process for myself, I can confirm that it does just that.

25
Sep
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We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).

First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.

25
Sep
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Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.

First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.

25
Sep
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Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.

The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.

21
Sep
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Earlier today, we received a few emails from a tipster claiming to be running a build of the much-hyped and hotly anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat. I'll cut straight to the chase – we're pretty sure they're not real.

The photos we were provided show an alleged KitKat home screen, messaging app, dialer app, and "about" screen, each with their own design tweaks that, pretty or not, likely won't be showing up in official Android any time soon.

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