Android Police

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The New Google+ Website Is Crazy Fast, Super Light, And Very Responsive

Yesterday brought the beginning of the rollout of a new and fresh Google+ website on both desktops and mobile browsers. The focus in Google's announcement was on the redesign, the bold colors, and the improved access to Collections and Communities, but there's a better story hiding there for everyone, especially me. (Excuse my selfishness.)

The previous Google+ page was a complete nightmare to load. I am bound by a stupid slow 512Kbps connection, and if you had ever tried to check Google+ on any connection slower than a few Mbps, you'd have a different outlook on life. While waiting for the home feed to load over the previous years, I've questioned the meaning of life, my annoying luck of being born in a country with such slow ADSL speeds, I've thanked my lucky stars for having access to an Internet connection to begin with, I've wanted to smash my computers and routers, I've laughed and teared up and played a bit of basketball and ate falafel and dispensed a few prescriptions to my patients, I've done some introspective thinking, watched half an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, and more...

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Google Photos' Storage Recovery Option Is Now Live And Ready To Compress Your Original Photos To High Quality

As announced yesterday, Google Photos is now ready to offer you an option to downgrade your photos and reclaim some storage space in your account. The option has gone live on https://photos.google.com/settings and will let you convert all photos you had uploaded in Original quality to High Quality (maximum 16MP). Given that the latter don't count toward your Google storage and the former do, this will allow you to save whatever space you had lost on photos while still keeping them stored in your account. Better yet, in our previous review of Google Photos, Alex had concluded that there is no detectable quality loss when switching to High Quality uploads, so you're not likely going to lose anything by activating the conversion.

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YouTube Kids Expands To Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK

YouTube Kids launched in the US back in February with the aim of making it easier and safer for kids to watch videos on YouTube. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times across all platforms, and Malik Ducard, YouTube's Global Head of Family and Learning, says that families consider it to be "among the top kids apps available." Today, the team is expanding YouTube Kids into five new countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — and adding in lots of country-specific programming like Charli's Crafty Kitchen and Wild Kratts, too.

YouTube Kids boasts many elements parents will find very attractive, such as a playful, child-friendly design, voice search for kids who are still learning their ABCs, and plenty of family-focused content.

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[Update: It's Back] Google Removes Another App From The Play Store For Dodgy Reasons, This Time It's Tasker

This isn't the first time we've reported about Google's deplorable policies for removing apps from the Play Store. One day you're the developer of an extremely popular app, distributing it to thousands of users, the next it's poof gone with no warning, no explanation, and no way to easily communicate with the team to understand what has gone wrong.

The latest victim is the famous and ridiculously powerful Tasker app. Tasker has been available on Android since time immemorial and has made many a user extremely happy with its extensive featureset. Want to turn on the popcorn machine when you yell "movie time!" at your phone?

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GravityBox Dev Releases Marshmallow Version Of Xposed Module

Following the launch of Xposed Framework for Android 6.0 last week, C3C076 has just announced a Marshmallow-compatible version of his popular all-in-one toolkit, GravityBox. As with previous releases, GravityBox is available as a separate app for Marshmallow, so older versions will continue to be accessible to users on JellyBean, KitKat, or Lollipop.

GravityBox's Xposed module contains one of the most comprehensive set of tweaks out there, including adjustments to the status bar, lockscreen, launcher, dialer, QuickSettings, navigation bar, and much more. The new version does not yet include any new features, but that shouldn't be an issue to any of its fans who were patiently waiting for Marshmallow compatibility.

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Clarification: T-Mobile Says The Nexus 6P Is Not Band 12 Certified Yet, They're Still Working On It

Yesterday, the Nexus 6P appeared on T-Mobile's website as part of a list of devices certified for band 12 LTE on the operator's network. While we did not have direct confirmation from T-Mobile at the time, we went ahead and let you all know because, hey, it probably meant something. We reached out to T-Mobile on Twitter (along with readers) and have since had it clarified to us that this page does not reflect the current status of the 6P's band 12 certification.

T-Mobile social evangelist Des clarified on Twitter that the certification process was ongoing and that T-Mobile would have more to share about the band 12 status for the 6P "soon."

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[Update: How To Get It Now] Google Begins Rolling Out New Google+ Design With Big Focus On Communities And Collections

Google consists of at least one, maybe two, trillion departments, and they each adopt new visual styles at their own pace. Even then, interfaces can vary from one device to another. Google+ looks one way in the Android app and another way entirely when you sign on from a PC. Now this particular Google department is pushing out a more unified look across devices, starting with the web.

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19 New And Notable (And 1 WTF) Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (11/3/15 - 11/17/15)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

DigiCal Calendar

Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is a complete calendar solution that integrates with Google Calendar, matching it feature-for-feature and then some. A wide selection of calendar views (agenda, day, week, month, text month, list) and great tablet compatibility means that your calendar will look great and be easy to use no matter what device you're using.

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Google Fit v1.55 Adds New Digital Watch Face And Fit Challenge Trainer For Android Wear [APK Download]

It's been a while since we've seen a true update to Google Fit – about 6 months if you don't count a version that turned up in the final M Developer Preview. You might even say the app got a bit flabby over the summer. (Sorry.) The latest version began rolling out yesterday and it's featuring a couple of big changes for Android Wear, including a brand new watch face and a trainer mode to help you get in shape. The main app also went through a couple of changes, but they're nothing to get excited about. However, check back later for a pretty big teardown – some big things are happening.

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Google Lowers The Minimum Purchase Price For Play Store Apps And In-App Purchases In 17 Countries

Last month Google raised the maximum price of apps and in-app purchases on the Play Store in many markets, sometimes doubling the highest available price tier. Now they're going the other way, lowering the minimum price for a handful of countries that currently have access to paid apps on the Store. Oh, and this time they wrote a blog post, so your friendly neighborhood tech blogger doesn't have to track down each individual change and write them out. Thanks, Google!

Here's the list of changes by country:

  • Brazil: R$ 0.99 (was R$2.00)
  • Chile: CLP $200.00 (was CLP $500.00)
  • Colombia: COP$ 800.00 (was COP$ 2000.00)
  • Hungary: Ft 125.00 (was Ft 225.00)
  • Indonesia: Rp 3,000.00 (was Rp 12,000.00)
  • Malaysia: RM 1.00 (was RM 3.50)
  • Mexico: MXN$ 5.00 (was MXN$ 9.90)
  • Peru: S/.
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