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Google Play Listings Now Support Distinct "What's New" Text For Alpha, Beta, And Production Channels

Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel.

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Android Wear Developer Site Reveals More About The User Interface, Notifications, And Capabilities

Google threw the tech world a curveball today with its new Android Wear platform, a wearable version of Android that's starting with "smart" watches. Digging through some of the developer documentation reveals even more information on the upcoming platform than what's in the consumer-facing videos. After reading through the developer site, a rough image of Android Wear begins to take shape.

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There are three major functions of Wear: a Google Now-style "homescreen" with a a scrollable list of cards, a notification system that alerts you to information from your smartphone, and a series of contextual tools that pop up during certain activities.

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Google Is Planning To Release An SDK For Android-Based Wearables In Two Weeks

It's no mystery that Google has been poking around wearable gadgets for quite some time. The list of projects seems to keep growing as we hear about rumors of an LG-made smartwatch, another prototype watch designed by Motorola, and of course, Google's own Glass. Earlier today at SXSW, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to announce plans to release a brand new SDK for Android-based wearable devices in about two weeks.

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Google Announces Project Ara Developers' Conference, Taking Place Online Via Live Webstream April 15-16th

Remember Project Ara? We haven't heard much about it since Motorola revealed its existence back in October, exciting us with the real possibility that one day we will be able to effectively build and customize phones to suit our tastes. As it turns out, the Advanced Technology and Projects team (now owned by Google) is still working full-steam ahead. Today they've announced the first Ara Developers' Conference, which will take place online from April 15 - 16th.

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Google Finally Announces Google I/O 2014 Dates For June 25-26, New Application Process For Tickets Starts Next Month

We were left wondering what Google had planned for its annual developer conference this year as we inched closer to the usual time of year. Now Google's Sundar Pichai has finally spilled the beans. Google I/O 2014 is happening June 25-26 at Moscone West in San Francisco.

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As usual, there will be live streams if you can't get there. Those interested in attending will want to keep an eye out next month.

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Qualcomm Releases The Toq SDK, Empowering Developers To Finally Create Apps For The Otherwise Limited Smartwatch

Qualcomm has released the software development kit for its Toq smartwatch, which could be just the shot in the arm the limited product needs. The Toq's colorful Mirasol e-ink display, which is easily visible in sunlight, gives the smartwatch a real advantage over competitors. But without more compelling functionality, it struggles to justify its relatively expensive price point. Hopefully there's enough interest in the product for developers to flock to the SDK.

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Google Adds Support For App Listings In Local Currencies For 25 New Countries

You may be seeing a lot more round numbers in Google Play soon. Developers now have the option to set prices in the local currency of 25 new countries through the developer console. This applies to regular purchases and in-app purchases.

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Google Finally Opens Up The Chromecast To Developers With Release Of Google Cast SDK, Now Part Of Google Play Services 4.2

The Chromecast is cheap, affordable, and easy-to-use. Great. That's almost all you need to have a stellar product. Unfortunately, it's been held up by a lack of content. If you want to cast something that hasn't been made by a handful of providers, you've been largely out of luck. But this situation is hopefully about to change. Today Google has released the Google Cast SDK. This way additional developers can finally build Chromecast support into their apps and websites.

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Google Updates Android Platform Distribution Numbers - KitKat Makes Tiny Jump To 1.4%, Gingerbread Continues Decline

Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.

KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.

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Google Play Services 4.1 Begins Rollout With Location Reporting Battery Fix, Turn-Based Multiplayer, And More [Update: APK Download]

Update: You will find several mirrors of the APK below for manual flashing.

Google Play Services 4.0 was released in late October just after the Nexus 5 and Kit Kat became official, bringing with it plenty of improvements to things like Google+ sign-in, Wallet, Location services, and more.

Today, via the Android Developers Blog, Google announced the rollout of Google Play Services 4.1, which offers developers more and better tools to make compelling apps.

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