11
Dec
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First there were ponies and pitchforks, and now Hangouts has added more cuteness to the app in the form of animated emojis. The team had teased these easter eggs earlier in a Google+ post, but they remained mum about the way you trigger them.

If you have the latest version of the app, simply typing any of the words below will result in an emoji popping up from the bottom of the screen and either celebrating, laughing, or wishing you happy birthday.

11
Dec
nexus2cee_newsstand_thumb.png

If you live in the 4th, 5th, or 11th most populated countries in the world — in layman terms, that's Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico — you should pay a visit to the Play Store and check out the Newsstand section — or Banca (de jornais) in Portuguese. There you will find that you now have access to paid magazine subscriptions.

newsstand-paid-content-1 newsstand-paid-content-2

Thanks to this addition, users in Brazil and Mexico will be happy to know that they have access to almost all Play Store content (only TV shows are missing on their checklist), whereas Indonesian Android fans still lack access to movies and music.

11
Dec
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Here's a feature I have yearned for in Android Wear since I first used my LG G Watch: disabling the gesture monitoring that wakes the screen when you tilt the watch toward you. Sure, it feels a bit magical at first, but I am a fairly active person and I wave and gesture a lot when I'm talking. This means that my watch's screen keeps turning on when I'm running, driving, or just having a regular conversation.

11
Dec
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There was a time, a few months ago, when I would check Kickstarter and Indiegogo every couple of days for new projects. I was fascinated by the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and creators and I wanted to keep an eye on all the new ideas that were just ripe for production. I haven't lost that interest, but after investing in dozens of crowd-funded projects — most of which resulted in really great products that I use and love, thankfully — I'm a bit less obsessed and more selective in my choices.

10
Dec
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At long last, Chromecast has a functional guest mode. While it presumably has something to do with the update to the Chromecast app that rolled out earlier Wednesday, the change did not appear immediately afterwards. Google apparently flipped a switch on the server side, and suddenly anyone with an up-to-date app can cast to a TV without being on the same Wi-Fi network. We've been waiting for this feature to roll out since it was announced way back in June at Google I/O.

10
Dec
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It's Update Wednesday again, and Google is firing on all cylinders. We've seen updates for both Android Wear and the companion app, Chromecast, Cardboard (who saw that coming?), and many more. Google Wallet also found its way onto the list with a few changes to its organization and styling. It started rolling out today, but we've got the latest version ready to download right now.

What's New

A post on Google+ earlier today calls out the most significant change for this version, which brings together gift cards, loyalty programs, and offers into a single link on the navigation drawer.

10
Dec
moto-g-gpe
Last Updated: December 12th, 2014

If you're the owner of a Moto G GPE, your Lollipop update is here. Google and Motorola have begun rolling out the latest version of Android to the budget GPE device, but if you don't have it yet, we've got the direct download link for you at the bottom of this post.

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Oddly, even though this new firmware is Android 5.0.1, the build is LRX21Z, which would appear to be older than LRX22C, which is the 5.0.1 build heading out to Nexus and other GPE devices.

10
Dec
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If you are the proud owner of a white or red Nexus 5, cradle your baby extra close tonight. It's now an endangered species. Google has removed the red and white options from the Play Store. leaving only the black N5 for those who like the Nexus experience, but hate big phones.

2014-12-10 16_39_08-Nexus 5 (16GB, Black) - Devices on Google Play

10
Dec
unnamed (9)
Last Updated: December 12th, 2014

There's a new 2D fighter available for Android, and it stars iconic Marvel characters! Now settle down, it's not Marvel Versus Capcom. Nope, this is a new property licensed by Marvel and developed by Kabam, which specializes in that sort of thing. Formerly a browser game, Contest of Champions has an impressive setup for a mobile fighter, with tap and swipe-based gameplay replacing the somewhat impractical on-screen buttons. But once you master the innovative controls, you'll find yourself in familiar freemium territory.

10
Dec
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Google My Maps allows you to create your own custom maps, which you can use to chart out a vacation, plan for a difficult hike, or prepare for a lengthy road trip. There's an Android app dedicated entirely to the task, but in a move that makes your creations even more accessible, Google has given them a prominent location inside of Drive on the web.

Now when you go to create a new document, you can produce a new map by going to More > Google My Maps.

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