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Google Announces 2016 Android Experiments I/O Challenge

So you didn't win a ticket to Google I/O in this year's raffle? If you're a developer, you've got a chance to be invited by Google personally to I/O this year. All you have to do is create a particularly cool Android Experiment and upload it to the challenge website.

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Google Bumps Chromecast App To v1.14 With Promised 'Google Cast' Rebrand And Better Support For Some Cast-Enabled Devices [APK Download]

The Chromecast was just the start of Google's growing list of Cast-enabled devices, so it came as little surprise when Google announced the Chromecast app would be taking on a more inclusive name. It's now Google Cast in v1.14, and you can grab it from APK Mirror. It also looks like the app shows your other Cast devices, which would make sense given the name change.

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Google's Nik Collection For Professional Photographers Is Now Free To Download On OS X And Windows

Brief refresher: in September 2012, Google acquired a company, Nik Software. Nik is now a Google subsidiary, but it still develops the software it made before the acquisition: Snapseed, a popular photo-editing app for iOS and Android, and Nik Collection.

Nik Collection is today's focus. Google is taking the price down from $150 to the grand total of free. Google dropped the price from $500 to $150 when it acquired Nik three years ago, so this is a pretty good deal. The Collection is nothing to be sniffed at, either: it consists of professional-level filter plug-ins for Adobe products, including Photoshop and Lightroom, and Apple's Aperture.

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Google's 360 Degree, Cardboard-Compatible Data Center Tour Is VR Porn For Industrial Hardware Enthusiasts

Don't let the information-rich but ultimately sterile presentation fool you. Google's latest 360-degree video, which offers a virtual tour of the company's The Dalles, Oregon data center facility, is porn. Okay, so it's porn for people with incredibly specific tastes. People whose blood starts to boil at the sight of thousands of rack-mounted severs. People who are aroused by a bajillion miles of meticulously organized fiber optic cable. People who get excited at the sight of intense biometric security. But porn nonetheless.

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Google Is Working On YouTube Connect, Aiming To Beat Periscope At Its Own Game

VentureBeat is claiming to have wind of a new app by YouTube, named 'Connect.' The app will reportedly be used for live-streaming, in much the same way as Periscope and Facebook. According to VentureBeat's sources, Connect has many of the same features as those two apps, including a 'news feed' to see which of your subscriptions are streaming or have shared video, and chat among users.

This marks the fourth YouTube spin-off app, following GamingMusic, and Kids. It's interesting to note that Connect will introduce a social element to the internet's go-to video service. While YouTube does have a subscription feed updated with videos from creators you subscribe to, it's a poor rendition of a true news feed à la Facebook.

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Google+ 7.5 Lets You Retry Sending Failed Posts And Fixes Lots Of Bugs [APK Download]

Google+'s app redesign and changes might not be universally liked, but there's little doubt that the team is actively trying to add requested features, improve usability, and make the app and experience more enjoyable and less stressful with each update. With version 7.5, Google+ gets a lot of bug and issue fixes, improves the link preload feature that was introduced in version 7.3, and adds one new element.

As demonstrated in the screenshots above, there's a new notification when a post fails to send that takes you to a screen of pending posts where you can resend or delete any of them.

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Google's New Accessibility Scanner Helps Developers Check Their Apps For Accessibility Issues

Developers, we know you work hard on your apps. So does Google. But they also know that sometimes it's hard to make apps easy to use when you're elbow deep in their design. To that end, the new Accessibility Scanner app allows you to check other apps for potential problems or possible improvements in terms of accessibility. It's a free download in the Play Store, but at the moment it looks like it's limited to Android 6.0 devices.

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In The Wake Of Terrorist Attacks And Violence, Google Makes Hangouts Calls Free To Belgium And Turkey, Adds Info To Now

In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).

In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre.

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Google Photos Gets Smarter Suggested Albums, No Update Needed

Google Photos already has some "smart" features that try to make your photos easier to manage, and today it's getting another one. Google is rolling out "smarter albums" to the app. From now on, when you take pictures while on a trip or attending an event, Google Photos will automatically assemble your best shots into albums for easy sharing.

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Google Photos Now Exports Slow Motion Video At Correct Speed, Making Everyone Wonder Why This Wasn't The Case Before

The ever-evolving Google Photos has another new feature hidden in the recent 1.16 update: the app will now share slow-motion videos to other apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote and not mess up the timing. Videos have of course been exportable and shareable through Photos since the start, but this marks the first time a video with slow-mo frames can be exported without the whole video being converted into slow-motion, rather than just a section. In the same way, you have long been able to edit a video to slow either a portion of the video, or the entire thing, down to 120 frames-per-second, the standard slow-motion video framerate.

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