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Google Maps v9.31 Beta promises SD storage for offline maps, installs to N Preview 4 with fix for Android Auto, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A brand new update for Google Maps just started rolling out last night and it's definitely a big one. Perhaps the most important detail is that this is the first installable on the Android N Developer Previews. The Timeline screen has also gone through a partial redesign and gained a couple of new tricks. However, the really interesting things are coming in the teardown. In fact, there's so much stuff that the teardown portion is going to be split into a second part. Let's get to the good stuff.

Note: according to a post on the issue tracker, this could be a beta release.

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[Deal Alert] Huawei Watch On Sale At Multiple Retailers For Up To $200 Off

If you've been holding off on Android Wear in anticipation of a good deal, this might be it. The Huawei Watch is on sale again, and some of the discounts on the more spendy versions are as much as $200. The deals are live on the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

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Moto 360 2nd Gen And 360 Sport Get Improved Fitness Features In Update, Other Watches Get Security Patch

It's not just Nexus devices that are getting updates right now. Android Wear devices are getting an update as well, but it's just a security tweak for most of them. Motorola's current watches are getting a more sizable update, though.

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[Deal Alert] Best Buy Offers $100-$150 Off The Huawei Watch, As Low As $250

In the admittedly limited field of Android Wear devices, the Huawei Watch is the current stand-out. Between the full circular screen, the all-metal build, the built-in heart rate monitor, and a design that has a high factor of watchiness (a technical term meaning "possessing the quality of a conventional watch"), it's received quite the warm welcome among the Android faithful. The Huawei Watch is also one of the most expensive options out there, but today Best Buy is easing a bit of the sticker shock. 

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Google Maps v9.27 Beta Adds More Notification Settings, A Mini-Splash Screen, And Possibly A Friendly Greeting [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)

  • New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
  • Splash screen on Android Wear

More Notification Settings

2016-06-02 21.19.532016-06-02 21.20.10

Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list.

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29 Best Android Wear Apps And Watch Faces From 3/5/16—5/30/16

Apps aren't just for phones anymore, now they're for your wrist. That's the focus of the Android Wear app and watch face roundup—apps that should go on your wrist. They might not all appeal to you personally, but these are all the best things that have come to Android Wear in the last few months. We've got timers, calendars, and oh so many watch faces.

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How To Enable The Handwriting Keyboard On Android Wear 2.0 Preview 1

After Google released the Android Wear 2.0 Preview images for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, many of us quickly flashed the firmware onto our watches to test out the new features. Most of the major changes are pretty easy to find, and some could even be said to be a little in-your-face. However, we saw quite a few people were confused by what seemed to be the absence of the handwriting keyboard. It turns out that it's just not enabled by default on the preview firmware. While it's not exactly buried, knowing that it has to be activated and where to go isn't very intuitive; so we've made a quick how-to guide for those that got a little lost.

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[Deal Alert] Get 20% Off A MODE Android Wear Watchband With Coupon Code

Google's MODE watchbands launched about a month ago, but they're expensive at $50-60. Now you can get one a little cheaper if you were on the fence. Google is running a promotion in the Google Store for 20% off a single MODE band. Before you get too excited, this is US only. Sorry, everyone else.

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Google Releases Material Design Guidelines for Creating Modern Android Wear Apps

Google may design most of the Android Wear experience, but the company doesn't control everything. One poorly designed app is all it takes to sour someone's impression of a platform. And with Android Wear getting a major update, that would be a shame. So to provide users with the best experience and increase chances that they will keep an app around, Google has released design guidelines for the latest version of its smart watch platform.

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Android Wear 2.0 Announced With Watchface Integration With Other Apps, Handwriting Recognition And Gesture Keyboard, And A Developer Preview, And More

Fans of Android Wear have plenty to be excited about. A major update was just announced during the Google I/O 2016 keynote with many of the features users have been looking forward to. The headlining additions to the platform focus largely on more advanced watchfaces, improvements for messaging, and expanded integration and more automatic use of the Google Fit platform. A Preview program is also being launched for Wear, so developers will be able to work on new apps for the platform before official rollouts begin.

If you want a quick overview of what's new, watch our Wear 2.0 hands-on video.

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