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Carriers Around The World And Google Announce Initiative To Speed Up Adoption Of Rich Communication Services (RCS)

It's time for text messaging to improve. Sending brief bursts of texts is fine, but appending an image turns a largely reliable form of communication into a coin toss. MMS, despite being available on traditional flip phones, is still a headache for many smartphone owners.

There's an effort to adopt a more modern standard known as Rich Communciation Services. Several months ago Google acquired Jibe, a company that prioritized implementing this technology on modern phones, and now the tech giant along with a bunch of carriers around the globe are announcing an initiative to accelerate adoption.

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Google's Amazing Android Exhibit At MWC - A Photo Tour (With Smoothies)

Last year, Google marked its return to public exhibition at Mobile World Congress, but with a whole new twist: it wasn't really exhibiting any of its own or any of its partner's products, it was all just in the name of fun. You see, at trade shows like MWC, business is the predominant subject of conversation, and while quite a few consumer product announcements may occur, they're often secondary to the whole issue of "things which cause money to change hands." MWC isn't open to the public, either, and so attendees are largely in the mobile business in one form or another, or members of the media.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Adds Gmail-Like Features To Non-Gmail Accounts With Gmailify

Google started allowing non-Gmail email accounts in the Gmail app about a year ago, but you would lose all of the cool Googley features that come with Gmail. Now, you can get some of the Google magic in your email without migrating to a Gmail address. All you have to do is "Gmailify" it.

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YouTube Acquires BandPage, A Musician Profile Company, On Undisclosed Terms

You may have heard: YouTube is getting into music in a big way. The Google-owned service has been a hotbed of music videos and independent artists almost since its inception, and lately pushes like YouTube Music and YouTube Red are formalizing that relationship. The latest progression comes out of left field: YouTube (and by extension, Google/Alphabet) has purchased BandPage, a service that helps artists and groups create website profiles specifically for music.

The acquisition was announced on BandPage's company blog, and the terms of the sale were not disclosed. BandPage uses a WYSIWIG editor for easy website creation, and publishing music or videos on the site allows for easy distribution on YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, and other music and social websites all over the Internet.

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Google Decides To Shut Down Picasa, Directs Users To Google Photos Instead

Before Google+ and Google Photos, Picasa was Google's photo sharing and management product. You may not be aware, but it has continued to exist all this time—well, languish may actually be a better term. There have been no improvements to Picasa lately, and now Google is closing it down.

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Google Reportedly Planning New VR Headset That Doesn't Require A Phone

Google handed out the first Cardboard viewers at I/O a few years ago, and at the time it seemed like a bit of a joke. It wasn't really a joke for long, though. VR has been growing in recent years, and the low barrier to entry made Cardboard a hit. Now, sources report that Google is looking to release a standalone VR headset that doesn't require a phone to function.

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Google Completely Redesigns The My Maps App In Its First Update Since 2014

The Google My Maps app seemed ripe for discontinuation. It hadn't been updated in years, had an old UI, and the feature set wasn't exactly essential. However, Google has opted to rework it from the ground up and release a new version of My Maps. You can grab it from the Play Store and start making your own maps right now.

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Google+ Web Preview Update Lets You Search For Members In A Community, Upload Multiple Images To A Post, And More

Googler Luke Wroblewski continues to share stimulating changelogs for the preview version of Google+ on the web, and we're happy to point you toward what is new.

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Google+ Now Really Wants You To See The Posts You Missed While You Were Away

There's a widely known issue with social networks—they're impossible to keep up with. Something is always happening, and unless you follow only a handful of people, there's no way you can read all the content that streams by.

To get around this, some networks have taken their own approach to resurfacing content you may have missed. Facebook and Twitter do this. Now Google+ does as well.

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Google+ Updated To v7.2 With Chrome Custom Tabs For Everyone, Search History, And More [APK Download]

A new version of Google+ started rolling out yesterday, and now we've got all the details on what's new. There are a few subtle UI changes, some navigation improvements, and a big change to link handling that some users started to see in the last build.

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