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Principal Designer For Google Search Jon Wiley Hosts AMA That Sheds Light On Design Process, Future Of Search

In case you missed it, Jon Wiley hosted an AMA session on Reddit yesterday. Wiley, as the principal designer for Google Search, had plenty of insight to share on topics from specific product features to what roles a tech company should play in its local community.

Sifting through the whole thread can take a while, so we thought it'd be helpful to pick out just a few of the most interesting responses for those who just want a quick taste.

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Living With Wear: Some Observations After A Month With Android Wear

Like other Google I/O attendees, I picked up an Android Wear device at the conference. I went with the LG G Watch. What follows is not really a review so much as my experiences and thoughts about Wear thus far, having lived with it literally every day since picking it up. I'll include some of my opinions on the platform (ignoring for now the hardware), and what I think might be relevant insights and comparisons to Google's other efforts (like Glass).

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YouTube's Music Project Manager Christopher LaRosa Leaves For A Startup Job, Striking Another Discord For The Upcoming Music Service

It seems like the only thing we hear about the upcoming YouTube music service as of late is how many problems it's having. Case in point: the Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube's product manager in charge of music, Christopher LaRosa, is leaving the company in favor of an as-yet unnamed startup. LaRosa's LinkedIn profile says he's worked at YouTube for over four years, and at Google for two years before that.

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[OMG Hallelujah] Google No Longer Makes You Sign In Twice When Setting Up Accounts With Two-Factor Authentication Enabled On Android

When certain things finally happen, they make us want to search for that hidden ladder that takes people up to the rooftop and scream "Hallelujah," religious or no. This is one of those things. Google apparently no longer requires people with two-factor authentication enabled to sign in twice when setting up a new Android device or adding another account. Better yet, this change doesn't require Android L or anything fancy. Here's a video of the magic taking place on an HTC One M8.

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Google Revamps Chromecast Site With A Full List Of Chromecast Apps And Search Functionality

The official Chromecast page has not thus far been a good resource for finding apps. It only listed a tiny fraction of the apps with Chromecast support, but now you can use the page to see all the apps. That's a lot of apps, but luckily you have search functionality now too.

2014-07-21 16_53_09-Apps that work with Chromecast

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Google Is Testing An Enhanced "Explore Nearby" Feature In Google Maps

There are a lot of goodies in the newest version of Google Maps, which just started rolling out to devices last week. However, some users are getting a bonus that didn't show up in the changelog. We've been able to get a few confirmations of a new Explore Nearby tool in Maps that offers much more fine-grained control of location-based suggestions.

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Google Maps Engine App Update Introduces Several Editing Features And Some UI Improvements

When the Google Maps Engine app hit Android in late 2013, it enabled users to view and share custom maps. Now an update has landed that empowers them to create and edit such maps as well. Users can spawn new ones, add layers, and move points around as needed. They can then go back and rename aspects as they wish.

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The update has also introduced some UI changes, so while it may look largely the same, it's a little cleaner around the edges.

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[APK Download] Google Wallet App Updated With Gift Card Management And Money Requests [Update]

Update Wednesday has gotten off to a slow start, but there's a new Google Wallet version to get things moving. You can now use Wallet to manage your gift cards and request money. As usual, it's US only.

giftcombinediPhone

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Chrome For Android Bumped To v36 With Improved Text Rendering On Non-Mobile Sites, Desktop Chrome Updated As Well

The Chrome developers have released a new version of their browser that may not have a particularly exciting changelog, but it does lead to a better browsing experience. Version 36 should make text on those websites that don't have a mobile alternative render somewhat better. This, combined with non-specified performance improvements and bug fixes, should result in more enjoyable browser use.

Chrome

Text rendering on a non-mobile website using a previous version of Chrome.

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Google+ Drops Questionable Real Name Requirement, YouTube Trolls Everywhere Cheer

Since the beginning of Google+ itself, the service has required as part of its registration process that users fill out their real names in order to create a profile. Since the beginning of Google+ itself, people have found various ways to skirt this requirement, Google has added support for 'established' pseudonyms, and dropped the real name requirement for Google+ pages.

A lot of this, it seemed, was an effort to reign in the anonymous hate speech and trolling rampant on things like, I don't know, YouTube.

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