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Google Blocks AdSense And AdWords In Crimea Following US Sanctions, Play Services Starting February 1st

The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.

Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether). When Google cuts off access to Google Play services, this will apply to both paid and free provisions, but the company will continue to provide access to web-based services such as search, Gmail, and Maps.

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Google Reportedly On The Verge Of Launching 'Nova,' A Cellular Phone Service To Compete With Big Four Carriers

Reports indicate that Google has taken definitive steps towards launching their own cellular phone service, making a long-whispered rumor sound like more than just hearsay. Google is working on deals with both Sprint and T-Mobile to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on their infrastructure. While details are sparse for now, this might be your surest bet to avoid bloatware if there ever was one.

An MVNO is a third-party who uses a major carrier's network to provide service.

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[APK Download] Chrome v40 Goes Stable, Includes New Bookmark Manager, Lollipop Merged Tabs Fix, Squished Bugs

Version 40 of Google Chrome went live today after a couple months in beta. There's no single headlining feature in this update, but there are a variety of genuinely useful additions and fixes. It is Wednesday, after all, and what better update than a major Chrome release?

nexus2cee_2014-12-03-21.25.33  Screenshot_2015-01-09

We have previously covered the bulk of the changes in this release. What's on the menu? Here's a changelog, created by me with links to previous coverage (as if Google would provide one):

About that last one, here's what we mean: press and hold on the address bar and you'll see something like the image below.

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Google Starts Selling Nexus 9, Chromecast On The Play Store In New Zealand And Taiwan

It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.

For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.

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The HTC One M8 Google Play Edition Is No Longer Available In The Play Store, Leaving No GPE Devices For Sale

Google Play Edition phones and tablets started dropping like flies last year, and now we've reached the eventual conclusion. The HTC One M8 GPE is no longer for sale in the Play Store, and it was the last. If you want a new device with stock Android, it's going to be a Nexus.

2015-01-21 16_01_07-HTC One (M8) Google Play edition - Devices on Google Play

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Google+ App Updated To v4.9 With Swipe To Refresh Post, Renamed Sections, And More [APK Download]

It's update Wednesday, and you know what that means. It's right there in the name—updates. There's a new version of Google+ rolling out, but it doesn't look like a huge change so far. As usual, we're digging in to see what's what, but you can grab the new version below.

2015-01-21 12.37.30 2015-01-21 12.37.52 2015-01-21 12.38.10

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Google Play For Education-Powered Android Tablets Are Now Available To UK Schools

Through the Google Play for Education platform, Google has brought Android tablets to schools throughout parts of the US, along with the apps teachers require to put the hardware to use in their classrooms. Now the search giant is expanding the offering to the UK, including software that caters to the country's curriculum.

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Google Invests In SpaceX To Further Its Goal Of Bringing Internet Access To Everyone

The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.

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Google's Updated Branding Guidelines Clarify How To Name Third-Party Apps

Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.

Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this.

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Google Field Trip 2.0 Update Brings Material Design Elements And Content From New Publishers

Field Trip is one of Google's less-known official apps (from the same people who work on Ingress), and appropriately, one of the most unique. The urban exploration app gets its 2.0 update today, bringing the user interface in line with Material Design standards introduced with Android 5.0. As nice as it is to see Google keeping its apps fresh, I have to say that the redesign takes something away in this case.

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