27
Jun
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Compared to the popular third-party alternatives, Android's stock recovery has always been pretty...weak. Makes sense, because it's not really meant to do all the stuff that ROM flashers tend to use recovery for, but rather a failsafe of sorts in case something goes awry.

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With L's Android release, the recovery is getting a little bit more useful with two new options: reboot to bootloader and power down. Nothing groundbreaking here, but still incredibly useful (especially "reboot to bootloader") for those times when stock recovery is the only option.

27
Jun
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There are big things happening at the world's biggest video site. Which one is biggest will probably depend on exactly what you want out out of Google's streaming behemoth, but the most notable addition from an Android perspective is the new YouTube Creator Studio app. This add-on allows frequent YouTube uploaders to check analytics, likes, comments, and that sort of thing without needing a PC. If you make your living on YouTube, which is statistically unlikely, this will be an invaluable resource.

27
Jun
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Lucky developers and Google I/O attendees who received an Android Wear watch and tried to use navigation commands must have noticed that this aspect of the experience wasn't working at all. Commands simply wouldn't carry through to the phone. This will all be fixed with the update to Google Maps version 8.1.1.

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The update, which should be pushed to your device or coming shortly, squashes the regular bugs and adds support for Android Wear devices.

27
Jun
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Google is slowly expanding support for developers all over the world, and while devs in hundreds of countries can publish Android apps on the Google Play Store, only a small subset can charge money for them. After extending support to eight new countries last month, Google has added another nine today, bringing the total up to 54. Here are the new additions:

  • Belarus (US Dollars)
  • Chile (Chilean Pesos)
  • Colombia (Colombian Pesos)
  • Costa Rica (Colón)
  • Egypt (Egyptian Pound)
  • Kazakhstan (US Dollars)
  • Kuwait (US Dollars)
  • Nigeria (US Dollars)
  • United Arab Emirates (Dirham)

To be clear, customers in these countries could already download and/or pay for Android apps on Google Play, and developers could already upload free apps, but after today they can charge for apps and in-app purchases and collect revenue from a Google Play Merchant account. 

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If you want in on the action, head to the Google Play Developer console and set up a Merchant account for $25 USD (or your local equivalent).

27
Jun
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Amazon's Gold Box deals always tend to gravitate back to flash memory storage every few weeks. Today is another iteration with discounts on many Sony SD cards, USB drives, and more interestingly for mobile users, microSD cards and microUSB OTG flash drives.

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If your phone has a microSD slot and you want to add extra storage for your media files, you may want to pick up the 64GB microSD Class 10 card for $33 instead of $115.

27
Jun
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Earlier this year, both Evan 'Evleaks' Blass and The Information's Amir Efrati claimed that the upcoming Android Silver program would replace the Nexus line of developer phones. Blass went so far as to say, "There is no Nexus 6. Farewell, Nexus." Both of those reports would seem to be contradicted by our own exclusive reveal of the HTC Volantis, a new Nexus tablet. Now we've got even more claims that the Nexus hardware line isn't going anywhere soon, this time right from the proverbial horse's mouth.

27
Jun
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Amazon's Android Appstore always has at least one paid app featured for free every day, but for whatever reason, they've decided to make a whopping 31 apps free right now. Taken together they're worth over $100 USD. Most of them are barely notable, but there are some worthy games and apps in there as well. Plex, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Room Two, AccuWeather, Root Explorer, Ravensword, Dungeon Village, and Splashtop are all worth it even at the paid price.

26
Jun
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Anyone who was hoping for big changes to the Google Keyboard's functionality is going to be disappointed with L. The performance and features are almost identical, but it looks a lot different. Don't freak out yet – the old themes are still there.

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26
Jun
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NVIDIA had the 4.4.2 update ready to roll out to Tegra Note 7 devices over four months ago, which is when it rolled out to the EVGA Tegra Note 7 (among others). The HP Slate 7 Extreme – which is virtually identical to other TN7s – has been waiting ever since. And finally, today, that same update started rolling out.

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I guess it's better late than never, but it's still pretty clear HP dropped the ball here (surprise!).

26
Jun
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Project Ara is still going strong, and Google demonstrated it at I/O at the ATAP presentation. Project Ara Technical Lead Paul Eremenko talks up the modular phone platform in the video below (starting at around 23:30), bringing the concept beyond simple phone component upgrades. "What if a phone could see in the dark? What if a phone could test if water is clean?" The collaborative Ara team wants the hardware to be just as flexible as the larger Android ecosystem.

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