Google's various digital media stores are slowly, slowly making their way across the world. Today's expansion of Google Play Movies brings it to 12 new countries and Hong Kong, for a total of 25. The new countries added today are mostly smaller nations, scattered all over the globe, and strangely featured before larger ones get the service. Put it down to the precarious nature of international content negotiations.
Yesterday, The Information reported that Google is rumored to be working on smart thermostats, in a renewed bid to help users manage their home energy (and interior climate). Information on the project is sparse so far, but Google hopes it will be a successful follow-up to the unsuccessful PowerMeter, a service that was killed off due to apparent scaling difficulties.
Thanks to a tipster who is - we know you've heard this before - familiar with the matter, we've got an early glimpse into Google's upcoming thermostat foray - we've got a few new details and a look at the service's Android app.
The default way to order content from the Play Store is to add a credit card to Google Wallet, but if you've grown accustomed to having purchases show up on your bill like the good ol' days when phones were phones, there's the option to enable carrier billing. The choice isn't universal, and while it's available to customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon here in the US, it still has to trickle out to other carriers around the world.
Google Calendar has been updated recently, but a quick glance at the change log only finds "Bug fixes and performance improvements." What actually happened? Not much, but what's there is a doozy - replying to calendar events from within Gmail should now be a much less tedious experience.
Now when you press Yes, Maybe, or No in an email invite, you will get a toast notification confirming your response.
For many of us, it's getting cold outside. While there's always the option to invest in a thicker coat, bundle up in more blankets, or crank up the thermostat, none of these options particularly involve Android (with some exceptions). So here's another approach. Fire up YouTube on your Android device of choice and load up this YouTube channel. Send it out to the nearest Chromecast and you have yourself a warm fire that will burn for the next hour or so.
It's not uncommon for Google (or other hardware manufacturers) to make subtle changes to devices post-release to fix problems that went unnoticed before the device hit hundreds of thousands users. That's exactly what happened with the Nexus 4, and it looks like the Nexus 5 is getting some hardware modifications of its own, as well.
As pointed out by XDA user shinral, the updated model has more rigid power and volume buttons, the SIM tray fits flush with the body of the phone, and probably the most visually noticeable difference, the speaker grill holes are now larger.
App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
Google is already selling zip-up sleeves and some stylish cases for the Nexus 7, but now you can add the new folio case to the list. This is essentially a bumper case with a front flap that can fold back and be used as a stand. It actually looks pretty neat.
The folio case comes in black and bright red, just like the Nexus 5 bumper. Unlike the N5 bumper, this is more of a bumper design with the back of the N7 exposed.