20
May
buttons

Google's social boss was kind enough to give us the rundown of what was in the new G+ update this morning, but he did omit a few key details. One feature in particular that didn't get mentioned finally makes that location screen worth using. You can now jump directly into turn-by-turn navigation to make your way to wherever your friends are on the map.

20
May
g

The Google+ app has long had a number of annoying UI quirks, but a leaked redesign last month gave us hope big changes were on the horizon. Today is the day we finally get out hands on that new UI. Google+ head honcho Dave Besbris has kindly provided a complete changelog for the update, and it's a big one.

compose motion-mix navigation profile

19
May
unnamed

Gmail just got an update to version 4.8, an update that brings with it some refreshing UI changes, and a few other features too. First, we'll take a look at the UI tweaks.

First up, the pull-to-refresh animation has been brought into line with the Google Search app - it now cycles through Google's red, yellow, blue, and green brand colors rather than using a simple blue animation. The length of swipe necessary to trigger a refresh has also been shortened.

19
May
Divide-Thumb

Google has bought Divide, a startup that secures smartphones to make them enterprise-friendly. It uses containers, a concept that should not sound unfamiliar around these parts thanks to the likes of Samsung KNOX. The approach separates a user's personal data from work-related files, effectively isolating them from one another on the same device. Google's purchase could imply a desire to tighten up Android's security out of the box and better attract the interest of enterprise customers.

19
May
padfone

Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.

17
May
unnamed (5)

A few days ago, Google added a line of official snap cases to the Play Store for the Nexus 5. Some readers may be yearning for a closer inspection of Google's late-entry accessory, which - at first glance - looks a lot like the myriad cheaper options available online, so we're going to give it a quick look.

wm__DSC4811

To tell the truth, the selection of snap cases online isn't separated from the official case by much.

17
May
iapthumb

You can't talk about mobile gaming without mentioning the elephant in the room: the free-to-play model. The bane of many a purist gamer and unwitting parent, an over-reliance on free downloads and hooks for in-app purchases has made mobile gaming a minefield of games based on upsell and addiction. Italy's had enough, and its antitrust authority is investigating app store owners Google, Apple, and Amazon, and game publisher Gameloft, for unfair commercial practices.

17
May
silverthumb2

We've been hearing about Android Silver, a leaked program between Google and manufacturers to promote quality, standardized Android hardware, for about six weeks now. Today Evleaks, whose consistent pre-release info is almost always spot-on, weighed in on the subject. According to Evan 'Evleaks' Blass, the Silver program is currently scheduled to go into effect in February of next year. Oh, and there won't be a Nexus 6.

There is no Nexus 6.

16
May
android-eats-apple_

Apple and Google have been fighting it out over patents ever since Android devices went on sale. Until today, that involved more than 20 ongoing lawsuits (in the US and Germany) between the two technology behemoths. In a joint statement earlier today, Apple and Google have announced all that is over. They will be ending the patent cases and will instead work to reform patent law.

This certainly sounds great, but it's probably not as significant as you're imagining.

16
May
gv

One of the most popular ways to make use of Google Voice on Android has long been GrooveIP. This app was able to route voice calls on a device through Google's free IP call service. Google finally ended third-party access to Google Voice yesterday, but GrooveIP was ready with an alternative.

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