Android Police

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Video Hangouts No Longer Require A Plugin On Desktop - If You're Running Chrome Dev Or Canary Channel

If you're a regular user of Google's video Hangouts service, you'll be glad to know that the experience on desktop for this service is about to get a little more stable (we hope). Google has officially deprecated the Hangouts plugin for Chrome on the developer and Canary channels of the Chrome browser, meaning Hangouts video functionality is now completely built in with the browser. The new UI for this implementation is shown below.

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Android Wear FAQs And Tips Up On Google Support Site, Here Are Some Of The Interesting Ones

As Google typically does upon the release of a new product, it has updated its support documentation with a series of common questions and issues users may find themselves facing when using Wear devices. Some are pretty handy. For example, if your phone is too far from your watch to maintain the pairing connection, you lose voice action controls. You can still set alarms, check your calendar, step count, heart rate, and a few other basic features, though.

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PSA: Guys, Android "L" Isn't A Stable Release, And Things Are Inherently Going To Be Broken

We've already started receiving a ton of emails from concerned readers about L's app compatibility issues, broken functionality, and the like. Of course, we understand how frustrating this can be, but that's actually the point of the developer release.

One of the primary purposes behind Google releasing L for the Nexus 5 and 7 is so developers can get their apps updated before the stable version rolls out, as the switch from Dalvik to ART requires apps to be updated to add support for the latter.

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[Deal Alert] The Sold Out Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Is On eBay For $499.99 ($150 Off)

Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.

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Google Keyboard 3.1 From Android L Developer Preview Ported To All 4.0+ Devices [APK Download]

The new Google keyboard in Android L brings the Material Design aesthetic to text input, but the APK pulled from L doesn't work quite right on other Android builds. It actually breaks the keyboard for most devices. No worries, though. An XDA user has tweaked it to work correctly on (probably) all Android 4.0 and higher devices. There is one method that requires root (it's actually a ZIP file) and one that might not work on all devices that's an APK.

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Sony Steps Up To The Plate, Now Pushing 4.4.4 To The Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, And Z Ultra In Europe

Outside of Google, it looks like Sony is the first company to start pushing 4.4.4 to its devices, beginning with the Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra. While it's only a very minor update, it still says something about Sony's drive to push timely updates that it's the first to get 4.4.4 out the door to consumer devices.

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Included in this software

There are many improvements in this upgrade for your Xperia™ smartphone, some examples are:

  • Android 4.4.4 including the latest enhancements and security updates from Google
  • Updated and improved camera experience
  • Improvements when using Google voice, Contacts, Music streaming and Google+
  • The latest versions of our Sony apps for you to enjoy
  • All of our latest bug fixes, optimisations & improvements

The update is currently only rolling out in Europe, but it will likely follow in other regions fairly soon.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: System-Wide Data Compression For WebViews

Developers who need to display web content as part of an app have the option of using Android's built-in WebView class. WebView renders a webpage without JavaScript and ignores errors. It's fine for reading content and saves devs from implementing a full-fledged browser. There's an experimental setting in Android L's developer options that could make WebViews much cooler – data compression.

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It Looks Like A Yellow Nexus 5 Is Coming To The Play Store [Update]

Should you decide to swing by the main Android website (which there is very little reason to do), you might notice something odd in the section describing the Nexus 5. It comes in "black, white, red, and yellow." Oh, really now?

Update: Google seems to have pulled down the mention of "yellow" and still hasn't responded. So, that's maybe a little suspicious. Or maybe it was just a mistake. Time will tell.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: OpenGL ES 3.1 Support For Prettier Games

Among Android L's many, many features is one that will set game developers' hearts aflutter – support for the recently announced OpenGL ES 3.1. This is the cross-platform rendering API used in many games, both mobile and desktop. Android L's support for v3.1 of the standard brings a ton of new capabilities.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Write Wi-Fi Passwords To NFC Tags Directly From Android

You know the scenario: friends come over, want to use your Wi-Fi, and expect you to just hand over the password. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty weird about just giving my password to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of how well I know them. Most of time I opt to type my password in for them, but there is an easier way: store your Wi-Fi info on an NFC tag.

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