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Last Updated: December 12th, 2014

 

Update: India isn't the only country invited to the party. In a blog post, Google has announced that offline viewing is now available in Indonesia and the Philippines as well.

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While hyping up the Android One initiative a couple months ago, Google revealed that it would bring the ability to save YouTube clips for offline viewing to India. The feature is now going live. Users throughout the country are noticing the option to save clips for later use.

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Dec
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HTC Gallery, the stock photo app for the OEM's devices, received a fairly significant update today. It now supports tagging photos, has a "Face Fusion" photo editing tool, a new timeline layout for browsing photos, and has laid the groundwork for cloud integration. And while you can only download on HTC devices from the Play Store, our APK download should work on most devices that are running KitKat or newer.

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Update: Game of Thrones is now on the Amazon Appstore for the same $5 price as the Play Store version. That's handy for Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire TV users... and only those users, since it seems to be incompatible with all standard Android devices. At least you can use those saved-up Amazon coins for the purchase. The game isn't compatible with the Fire TV Stick, probably because of its somewhat low-power hardware.

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The weather hasn't been particularly welcoming for the last few weeks, and it sounds like it's going to get worse. Even if the rain is falling, it doesn't mean there's an excuse to become a couch potato; the latest update to Google Fit can keep everybody in shape with a boatload of new activities to cover both indoor and outdoor workouts. There is also a big improvement to data collection with Android Wear that may significantly increase the accuracy of the step counter.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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