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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Just over a week after its last update, it seems Google Play Services is receiving another bump - this time up to 6.1.71.

Of course, Google hasn't posted an official change log for the update quite yet, but we've already got the APK and can point out a few differences. The most obvious one is of course the new launcher icon for Google Settings, which follows Google's yet unspoken launcher icon design guidelines

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materiyolo?

09
Oct
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Recently, we took a look at Ultra Violet, a new Hangouts app for Chrome that - at the time - was still in testing. It promised floating chats similar to Facebook's Chatheads feature, but for your desktop. Today, that app is finally a reality and available for download.

The premise is simple - as the video below demonstrates, a Hangouts bubble floats on the side of your desktop, opened from Google's Chrome app launcher, and subsequent conversations float above that.

08
Oct
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Thanks to MotoFirmware.com, Motorola's Droid Turbo has just broken cover in a detailed quick-start guide to the device covering its form factor, features, and much more.

The device, as has been rumored, has a 5.2" display. Besides that, it's got capacitive navigation keys, a big 21MP camera unit (with Moto's dual flash), and of course Moto's secret sauce including Moto Actions, Display, and Connect.

The guide doesn't show a photo of the back of the device, but it does confirm (on page 54) that a back plate that leaked last month is accurate.

08
Oct
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If you've been paying attention the last several months, you're probably aware that since we posted our early look at Google's revamped launcher icons, users have been yearning for the "materialized" versions of their favorite apps' icons. This new design direction even spurred custom icon packs to replicate the look and feel of the rumored Google goodies. For developers and designers on Android, it's easy to see the attention the new icons are getting and start thinking about redesigning your own app's launcher icon.

07
Oct
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One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.

The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.

06
Oct
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With a big OTA expected to hit Android Wear devices starting around October 15th, Google has just published what might be a preparatory update for the Android Wear companion app. Taking the app up to version 1.0.2, the update adds about 3MB to the APK's file size. Google hasn't published a change log quite yet, but we can already tell from a cursory teardown that the new version brings with it an update to Google Play Services for Wearables (a package sent to the watch from the app) - version 6.1.11 (up from 5.0.91).

06
Oct
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Adobe's latest Android creation is Creative Cloud (preview), a file management tool connected - as the name suggests - to Adobe's Creative Cloud.

For those unaware, Creative Cloud wraps up Adobe's effort to transition to a subscription-based service model, providing updates to the Creative Cloud suite of software (which replaced Creative Suite), and online services to aid in collaboration and file/asset management. A free CC membership includes trial access to Adobe's creative tools and 2GB of cloud storage.

04
Oct
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Nexus season is in full swing, and as rumors and leaks continue to pile up around Motorola's Nexus 6 (Shamu), we've been wondering when more news might emerge about Volantis (or Flounder, or T1, take your pick) - HTC's 9" Nexus tablet that we first learned of back in spring.

As Blog of Mobile reports, it looks like the Nexus 9 has passed through the FCC for certification, with the relevant documents becoming available just yesterday.

03
Oct
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Last Updated: October 5th, 2014

Google+ got a somewhat unexpected bump to version 4.6 today, an update that brought with it plenty of Material touches. Since we first reported on Material Design (at the time known as Quantum Paper), we've expected that Google's own apps would be undergoing their own gradual transformations in updates leading up to the launch of Android L. The Google+ app got its first round of material changes earlier this summer, but today's update starts its journey through the last mile.

02
Oct
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Update 9/18/14: An updated version 6.1.07 (previous was 6.1.05) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.

Update 10/2/14: An updated version 6.1.11 (previous were 6.1.05, 6.1.07, and 6.1.09) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.

At Google I/O this year, we learned that Google Play Services is generally updated on a six-week cycle. As expected, the mighty puzzle piece behind Google's Android services is getting an update starting today that introduces a number of small changes that most users probably won't notice but which may make developers' lives a little bit easier.

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