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Chrome v42 Will Be The Last Release For Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was a sweet frozen treat when it came out in 2011, but now something else is freezing—Chrome for ICS. Google has announced that Chrome v42 will be the final build available on Android 4.0. It's a sad day for any remaining ICS users... well, more sad than a regular day of being stuck on ICS already is.

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Google Play Services 7.0 Adds APIs For Detecting Places And Connecting To Nearby Devices, Improves On Mobile Ads, Fitness Data, Location Settings, And More

The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks.

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Android Platform Distribution Numbers Updated, Lollipop More Than Doubles To 3.3% As Android 4.3 And Below Slowly Lose Ground

It's only been a month since Lollipop made its debut on the platform distribution chart, and it's making decent headway. Android 5.0 more than doubled its standing, bringing the total from 1.6% to 3.3%. Most of this bump can be attributed to firmware updates that have been rolling out to 2014's flagship phones and tablets. Surprisingly, KitKat also increased its hold by 1.2%, totaling 40.9% of all Android devices.

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Since Lollipop and KitKat only account for a combined 2.9% shift, most of the remaining versions of Android lost ground pretty evenly.

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[Watch Out For That Tree!] Google Maps Street View Rides A Zip Line Through The Amazon Rainforest

Google Maps lets you take a look at cities and landmarks from all over the world, but its Street View feature primarily allows you to take a virtual walk along roads and sidewalks. Yet that hasn't stopped Google from using it to show off the world's natural beauties and majestic man-made monuments alike. Without leaving your seat, you can view the Pyramids of Giza, and the beautifully cold parts of Greenland. Now Google will let you experience what it's like to ride a zip line through the Amazon rainforest.

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Bradley Horowitz Takes Over As Product Head Of Google+ Photos And Streams

Google+ Vice President of Product Bradley Horowitz has received a promotion and will now step up to take the place of David Besbris. This change comes less than a year after Vic Gundotra left the company and the social network that he had led since its inception. This makes Horowitz the third person to head up Google+.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Contacts Gets A Few Welcomed Tweaks

We've already posted plenty of interesting tidbits and changes from Android 5.1, but of course there's still more to uncover. It looks like in the latest version of Lollipop, Google has given the Contacts app a few welcomed tweaks.

With Lollipop 5.0, most of the Contacts app graduated to a slick new experience inspired by material, but for some reason the contact creation/editing screens clung to old holo paradigms.

The newly tweaked editing layout in Android 5.1 makes a decidedly more thoughtful use of horizontal lines and adheres to material design's standard keylines (at 16 and 72dp) making for a cleaner, clearer interface with helpful iconography highlighting each type of field.

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Check Out Google's Proposal For Its Awesome New Mountain View Headquarters

For Android fans, Google's corporate head quarters in Mountain View has taken on the mythical status of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. But for all the cool stuff that comes out of it, the Googleplex is essentially just a collection of big office buildings, no more or less interesting than any of the wide office parks in that part of California.

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Forbes' Interview With Sundar Pichai Hints At An Uncoupling Of The Various Google+ Entities, Further Monetization Options On Mobile, And Google's Future Strategies

The Czar has spoken. After his anointment as Google's Senior Vice President of Products last October, which put him in charge of Chrome, Android, search, ad technology, Google+, Maps, social, commerce and infrastructure, Sundar had been operating in incognito mode, occasionally letting loose a few tidbits of information, like Inbox' deployment to Apps users. In a recent interview with Forbes, the man behind most of the things we talk about here on Android Police has answered some interesting questions regarding his vast portfolio of products, tried to put an end to a few concerns, and remained mum about other issues.

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InBrief
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Google Has Started Automatically Converting Flash Ads To HTML5

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Google's Project Loon Balloons Surface In Popular Flight Tracking App [Updated]

Feel free to file this one under amusing. You know those balloons Google started releasing into the stratosphere several years ago in an experimental attempt to expand Internet access?

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