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How To Try The Google Experience Launcher With Translucent Bars And Google Now Once You Get Your KitKat Update [APK Download]

Now that the KitKat update has started rolling out to various Nexus devices, we're, unfortunately, seeing no traces of the Google Experience Launcher, which confirms an earlier report stating as much. No GEL means no transparency in the default and a pretty barebones boring AOSP launcher. It also means no Google Now integration and no "Ok Google" hotword support while on any home screen.

Screenshot_2013-11-13-01-21-11 Screenshot_2013-11-13-01-20-48

Boring Nexus 7 launcher

However, not all is lost.

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Your KitKat Is Ready: Download And Flash Android 4.4 OTA Update (KRT16O) For 2013 Wi-Fi Nexus 7

Last night, roughly two weeks after the Nexus 5's release, Google announced the first round of KitKat updates for the Nexus 10 and 2012/2013 Nexus 7. While most of us are still waiting our turn, maniacally mashing the Check for updates button, the over-the-air update url has been discovered.

That means you can easily flash the 243MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build right now without waiting any further, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is.

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[New App] LEGO TV Arrives In The Play Store, Provides Fans With A Portable Selection Of Hilarious Animated Movies

If building blocks are still the first things to come to mind when you hear the word "LEGO", it might just be a sign of your age. LEGO video games have been hitting the market for over a decade now, and they've been good enough to appeal to kids and adults alike. Of course, if the brand has spawned games, it's also inspired television shows and movies. The latest LEGO app to enter the Play Store provides direct access to the official LEGO YouTube Channel and select downloadable movies, so you, or your kid, can stream and download LEGO content all day long.

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[New App] Google Text-To-Speech Arrives In The Play Store, Paves Way For Future Updates, Fixes Awful Default Voices On Note 3 And Others

Text-to-speech engines read text aloud, saving users from having to read it themselves. Google's TTS offering comes pre-installed on numerous Android devices, and like much of the software previously shipped as part of Android, it's now ready to spread its wings in the Play Store. Here it's available to far more users, as it can now be installed on devices that don't come with the software pre-installed (pictured below -left). In contrast, on the Nexus 5, Google TTS is apparently already installed and unremovable (pictured below - right).

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Download: Latest Google Play Store 4.4.22

Following yesterday's unveiling of Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5, we've been enjoying a nonstop barrage of APKs which got here before any of us even got a chance to receive our own Nexus 5s in the mail thanks to the Nexus 5 factory image.

One of the updated APKs inside the image, as it turns out, is a slightly updated Play Store with version 4.4.22. The latest Play Store before that - the one that brought us the slide-out navigation panel - was 4.4.21.

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APK Download: Hangouts 2.0 With Support For SMS, Animated GIFs, Location Sharing, Moods, And Statuses

Earlier this week at a Google+ event, the company announced several important additions to Hangouts for Android. The updated version 2.0 comes with SMS support as well as location sharing, the ability to display animated GIF files, as well as the previously discovered in a teardown statuses and moods. AndroidPolice covered the rumor on October 7th following my initial Google+ report on October 4th.

The coveted update may take a while to reach you, considering it hasn't even started officially rolling yet.

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APK Download: Android 4.4 Clock/Alarm/Timer/Stopwatch App With Fixed Font, Four Tabs, New Time Picker, And More

Android 4.4 is out, and that means developers and tinkerers have already started digging through the code and various APKs in hopes of porting as many updated apps as possible for use with existing devices. The first and easiest app to extract is, unsurprisingly, the clock, which also acts as an alarm, timer, and stopwatch. I've installed it on my Galaxy Nexus without any issues and only had to clear data to get rid of the pesky force close, which is completely undestandable.

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[APK Download] The Redesigned Facebook Messenger Is Currently Only Available To Limited Users, But You Can Get It Now

Yesterday Facebook announced that it was revamping its Messenger app, stripping it of SMS functionality and creating a more attractive, streamlined experience that the company hopes will draw more users to the app. The new version is currently rolling out to a limited number of users, with a wider release planned for the coming weeks. So when it arrives, what should you expect?

What's New?

To get started you're going to hand over the keys to everything, including your car, before using the app.

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[APK Download] Google+ 4.2 For Android Rolling Out: Auto Awesome Movie Maker, New Menus, 'G+ Photos' Is Now 'Photos', And More

Earlier today at a livestreamed event in San Francisco, Google's SVP of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced a slew of new features slated for Google+ and Hangouts.

While we're still waiting for the Hangouts update that will enable SMS support, animated GIFs, and location sharing to hit the Play Store, which should happen in a few days, the Google+ update 4.2 is already live.

What's New?

G+ Photos is now Photos

After playing around with this version for a bit, I'm glad to report that the annoying and superfluous G+ Photos shortcut is now gone.

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AT&T, T-Mobile, And Verizon Moto X All Get CyanogenMod 10.2 Experimental Nightly Builds

The Moto X already comes with a Nexus-like user experience, but for many users, that just isn't enough. The looks are great and all, but there are just some features that can only be found buried at the end of custom ROMs like treasure at the end of a rainbow that only power users can see. But CyanogenMod fans who happened to pick up a Moto X on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, hold up before downloading the recently released nightly builds, as these files are only intended for the unlocked or developer editions.

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