The web version of Google+ isn't the only thing getting some extra eye candy after I/O. Today Google announced an updated version of the G+ Android app, incorporating all the automatic photo selection and improvement tools shown during the Google I/O keynote last week, plus a few new additions for the location and stream functions of the app. Version 4.0 will be rolling out to the Google Play Store for the rest of the day - if you've got it on your phone or tablet already, you should see an update within the next 24 hours.
There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO!
The white LG Nexus 4 has popped up a few times thus far, but now it has found its way into the hands of AndroidAndMe. The new image looks legit to us, so it appears this device is finally going to be a reality. What's potentially much more interesting is the assertion that Android 4.3 is going to be announced along with the new color option on June 10th.
The white N4 reportedly has the same vibe as past white Nexus devices with a white back and black screen surround on the front.
Today, Google announced Google Play game services that brings a suite of new features that game developers can integrate into their titles. The biggest of them is cloud data sync. Game developers can sync their players' progress across devices and platforms. Yes, this feature works on Android and iOS. This is hot.
In addition to cloud data sync, the suite of services also brings achievements and leaderboards. Any game can now tap into a unified system for showing off your accomplishments.
Speaking at Google I/O, Android and Chrome chief Sundar Punchai just let on that there has now been over 900 million device activations. However, Google can't rest on its laurels. In the same breath as the announcement that Google has reached nearly a billion users in just a few years, the company showed off a map of countries where Android has less than 10% penetration. Those countries are green in the map below:
The message to the rest of the world is clear: Google's on its way to your town, too.
On the eve of I/O, Google managed to finalize deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to bring a music subscription service to both YouTube and Google Play, according to a report by The Verge that is now being corroborated by The Wall Street Journal. If everything goes smoothly, a preview or launch of the new service tomorrow isn't out of the question. The Journal similarly says the streaming solution could launch "as soon as this week." That would give Google a substantial leg up over Apple, which is still in the process of negotiating contracts for its own music streaming solution.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now.