20
Nov
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Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.

So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Evernote premium users on Android are now receiving a feature that can take the frustration out of managing a stack of business cards. Instead of storing them all someplace never to be seen again, people can use the app to take a picture of the card and have the information digitized into a note, with Evernote automatically populating the appropriate contact fields.

If you integrate the app with LinkedIn, it will also pull down their photo and other information from the site.

20
Nov
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Joining the likes of other Google apps like Play Movies, Play Books, and Play Music, and Facebook's Messenger app, Google Play Newsstand became the latest Google app to reach the 500 million download mark, reaching it some time this month. This number obviously reflects only downloads/installs, not active users, but it's still an impressive figure.

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Of course this count is including downloads from the days when Newsstand was still Google Play Magazines, before it superseded both Magazines and Currents as Google's de facto news-and-magazine reader.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

As many of you doubtless know by now, Google's first Android 5.0 devices ship with full-disk encryption enabled out of the box - encryption that can't be disabled without flashing a new ROM to the device. We've heard from at least one source that this encryption shouldn't really affect on-device performance noticeably, but new benchmarks from Anandtech seem to suggest otherwise.

The heavily tech-focused review and news site didn't publish storage benchmarks for the Nexus 6 in their review, because the app used - Androbench - was deemed to be producing inaccurate results on Lollipop devices (and it definitely is).

20
Nov
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Just one day after its run as Free App of the Day on Amazon's Appstore, Monument Valley is getting its new levels - titled Forgotten Shores - today, again through Amazon.

The levels, which come via an in-app purchase of $1.99, will be exclusive to the Amazon Appstore until this Sunday, with the update coming to the Google Play Store after that.

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For those who haven't played Monument Valley and have somehow managed to avoid hearing about or seeing it, the game is a gorgeous, beautifully-executed geometry puzzle in which you navigate a silent princess through numerous impossible architectural scenarios.

20
Nov
sw
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Sony was already an experienced veteran of the smartwatch market when Android Wear was announced. Of course, I don't mean that they were experienced selling them—oh, goodness no. Sony sure did make smartwatches, though. When asked if there would be an Android Wear device in Sony's portfolio, the company said it would continue to do its own thing. Well, that didn't last long. The SmartWatch 3 is essentially a beefed up version of Sony's past smartwatches running Android Wear, and that could make it a potent competitor in the burgeoning wearable wars.

20
Nov
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Update: It appears RDGateway support is currently in the release client, so we're not sure what this beta update actually added.

Microsoft's RDP client for Android is a surprisingly robust application, and today the beta version just got a pretty significant new feature for corporate and enterprise users: Remote Desktop Gateway support.

RD Gateways are servers that allow remote desktop clients to start a remote desktop session from outside the corporate intranet via an SSL-encrypted port, meaning you don't have to use a workaround like a VPN connection.

20
Nov
demo
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

One of the things we all kind of deal with when using a web browser is a total lack of elegant transitions. Most browsers and web pages lack anything in the way of transition animations, and those that do are one-off jobs coded in things like Ajax that can be complex. Otherwise, we're left with white flashes in-between page loads and seemingly random assemblage of elements as they render. Google wants to change that, and they want to do it with something called the Navigation Transitions API.

20
Nov
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Half a year ago, Google purchased Divide, a security-focused startup that isn't exactly a household name in the consumer space. The company appealed to enterprise clients by separating personal data from work-related stuff using containers. The acquisition, we figured, came as part of Google's efforts to make Android a better option for corporate users that have traditionally acted squeamish towards the mobile OS.

Now we're seeing at least one byproduct of that arrangement.

20
Nov
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If you get your prescriptions filled at Target, the big-box store has just released an app on the Play Store to help you manage them much more easily. The Healthful (shudder) app lets you submit refill requests, transfer scrips to another store, and can even help you find a cheap generic for your prescribed medication. Oh, and it tracks your prescription fill status, too, so no more annoying SMSs or phone calls.

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