Android Police

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Google Helpouts Is Shutting Down In April 2015, Android App Already Removed From The Play Store

Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.

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Facebook Is Testing A Version Of Its App With Material UI Elements

Facebook's app has long been a source of great discontent among the Android faithful. Facebook goes its own way with design and is slow to change direction, but it looks like some users are getting an updated version of the UI that has at least a little material influence. Specifically, there's a floating action button.

nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-08-13-50 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-02-23-33 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-02-23-13 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-08-39-49

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Google Launches WebView Beta Channel In The Play Store

You're probably more aware of WebView after the recent dust-up over security issues in older versions of Android. WebView is a tool developers can use to display web content in an app without implementing a whole browser, and today Google is opening a beta test for WebView on Android 5.0 and higher. Simply head over to the Google+ page to join and get the latest tweaks and fixes.

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AT&T Introduces A New $75-7GB Mobile Data Tier... For When 10GB Is Too Much, But 6GB Is Not Enough

Far be it from us to question the actions of a multi-billion dollar corporation... no, wait, questioning the actions of corporations is exactly what we're supposed to be doing. Let's try this again: hey AT&T, what gives? Today the carrier is introducing a new tier to its data pricing, giving it a grand total of eleven options in its Mobile Share Value plan segment. $75 gets you 7GB of data, with the new rollover feature enabled.

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Google Goes For Record Lack Of Android Mentions In Latest 'Be Together' Ads

When Google kicked off its Be Together, Not The Same campaign, it started off with Androidified characters just being generally adorable. This month, the company has decided it doesn't need to make any references to Android, phones, tablets, or devices of any kind in order to sell its products. Google handles most of our searches, and it knows nothing draws eyeballs like cute animals doing cute animal-y things.

Now it's released another ad that's nearly as absent of tech as the last.

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Google And Mattel Partner To Bring Back The View-Master As A VR Headset

Google Cardboard seemed like a bit of a joke when it was announced at I/O last year, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly apparent that Cardboard was the legitimate starting point for Google's take on VR. You'll probably recognize the next step—Google is teaming up with Mattel to revive the classic View-Master brand as an Android-powered VR headset. It even has collectible reels.

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Verizon's Ellipsis 7 Tablet Isn't Ready For Lollipop, Gets KitKat Update Instead

The Verizon Ellipsis 7 launched in November of 2013, a time shortly after Google released the Nexus 5 and manufacturers were thinking about pushing KitKat to their devices. Given the timing, it made sense that Verizon didn't ship Android 4.4 on its tablet.

But man, the carrier sure took its time. Three months after the world has had time to become acquainted with Lollipop, Verizon has decided to push KitKat out to its 7-inch tablet.

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Canadian Television App CTV GO Gets Chromecast Support, Revamped UI, And More

Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).

CTV-Go-Chromecast

Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface.

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[Video] Google Japan Set Up 300 Androidify Characters As A Joyful Coordinated Chorus

What would 300 singing Androids sound like? Very cute. Impossibly cute. Like a marshmallow of kawaii wrapped in a cotton-candy of adorable and sprinkled on top of a rainbow of charm. It would also be very cool. Like a groovy logistical nightmare hidden inside a fun technical challenge. But that's what the Google Japan team has managed to produce: a chorus of 300 different but perfectly synchronized, lovable, dancing and singing Androidify characters, each coming alive inside its own phone or tablet to perform a rendition of The Hymn Of Joy, from Beethoven's Symphony No.

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Samsung Blacks Out Retail Employees Vacations For Two Periods Starting On March 22nd And April 19th

A trusted source working at a Samsung retail location in the US has sent us the image below from an official company correspondence. In it, you will see Samsung blacking out employee vacations, leaves of absence, and time offs, for two upcoming periods. The first starts on March 22nd and lasts until March 30th. The second goes from April 19th through April 27th.

samsung-retail-blackout-2015

These blackout periods are usually an accurate indicator of when the company expects a big product launch and wants all hands on deck.

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