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.

20
Nov
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Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.

So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too.

20
Nov
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Joining the likes of other Google apps like Play Movies, Play Books, and Play Music, and Facebook's Messenger app, Google Play Newsstand became the latest Google app to reach the 500 million download mark, reaching it some time this month. This number obviously reflects only downloads/installs, not active users, but it's still an impressive figure.

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Of course this count is including downloads from the days when Newsstand was still Google Play Magazines, before it superseded both Magazines and Currents as Google's de facto news-and-magazine reader.

20
Nov
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Just one day after its run as Free App of the Day on Amazon's Appstore, Monument Valley is getting its new levels - titled Forgotten Shores - today, again through Amazon.

The levels, which come via an in-app purchase of $1.99, will be exclusive to the Amazon Appstore until this Sunday, with the update coming to the Google Play Store after that.

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For those who haven't played Monument Valley and have somehow managed to avoid hearing about or seeing it, the game is a gorgeous, beautifully-executed geometry puzzle in which you navigate a silent princess through numerous impossible architectural scenarios.

19
Nov
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In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.

The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD.

19
Nov
apkmt

Over the past month or two, you may have noticed a change in our "APK Download" posts. Previously, we went through an admittedly tedious process of first hunting down the APK we wanted, and then uploading it to a selection of various mirroring services, each with their own interfaces, ad concerns, and other quirks. In fact we have switched mirroring services several times because of intrusive advertising or other issues our readers faced.

13
Nov
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Nexus 4 owners will be pleased to hear that Lollipop build LRX21T is on its way for their devices. While there isn't a specific time frame for the rollout, Sascha Prüter states in a post to Google+ that the build is "locked and loaded," indicating in the comments that LRX21T is destined for the Nexus 4 some time soon.

Just Nexus 4 for now. Our goal was to use as many letters as possible for all the different devices ;)

...

13
Nov
finance

Google's Finance app is in desperate need of attention. If you haven't checked in on it lately, it's still stuck with Gingerbread design. No seriously, go look. Tiny header bars, legacy menus, odd layouts, and assets that look tiny or pixelated (or both) on today's high resolution devices.

Just for fun, I decided to take a look at the app and see if I could give it a fresh coat of paint, inspired by material design.

12
Nov
keep

Cross one more item off your list of Google apps in need of material facelifts! Next on this bountiful Update Wednesday, Google Keep is receiving a bump to version 3.0 with some new material-inspired touches, the most obvious one being its launcher icon. Instead of a realistic stack of sticky notes, we now have a single dog-eared sheet of paper with a lightbulb cutout sitting on top.

Once you're inside the app, there's plenty to look at.

12
Nov
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Reviewing a Nexus phone is always a daunting task. It’s one of the most important devices of the year for much of the Android community, and it represents - in theory - the very best of what Google has to offer on phones for the respective update period.

I’ll start by saying the Nexus 6 is a great phone, albeit huge. It’s also different from previous Nexus phones in a number of key ways, which I’ll try to cover as faithfully as possible in this review.

07
Nov
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Motorola's been planning a soak test for select users of the Moto X 2014 Pure Edition for a little while now, and it looks like it's officially beginning. Earlier this evening, a tipster shared a shot of the update prompt with us, confirming that the test is bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to the handset, earlier than Google's own OTAs for existing Nexus devices (besides the new Nexus 9 and unreleased Nexus 6).

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