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Google Updates Android Platform Distribution Numbers - KitKat Makes Tiny Jump To 1.4%, Gingerbread Continues Decline

Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.

KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.

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Google Play Services 4.1 Begins Rollout With Location Reporting Battery Fix, Turn-Based Multiplayer, And More [Update: APK Download]

Update: You will find several mirrors of the APK below for manual flashing.

Google Play Services 4.0 was released in late October just after the Nexus 5 and Kit Kat became official, bringing with it plenty of improvements to things like Google+ sign-in, Wallet, Location services, and more.

Today, via the Android Developers Blog, Google announced the rollout of Google Play Services 4.1, which offers developers more and better tools to make compelling apps.

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Gmail Cuddles Up A Little Closer To Google+, Website Now Suggests People In Your Circles When Composing A New Email

Email addresses are like phone numbers - who memorizes more than a handful these days? For years, cranking out a new email has begun with typing a few letters and clicking on the relevant contact that pops up (occasionally followed by frantic deleting and carefully selecting the correct contact). Soon Gmail users will have an even broader pool of names to select from, as Google+ connections will start to appear below saved contacts when typing out a recipient.

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[APK Download] Gmail 4.7.2 Update Adds Promised Auto-Show Images Feature

Google said it would do it, and now it has. The latest update to Android's Gmail app has enabled images automatically, now made safe because Google is serving up the images after hosting them on its own proxy servers. Users will no longer need to tap the "show pictures" message above the email content.

2014-01-09 03.16.13 2014-01-09 03.17.39

Left: old style. Right: 4.7.2.

What's New

We're looking through the application now to see if there are any more changes - this thing is so fresh that Google hasn't even updated the Play Store description.

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Google Play Carrier Billing Comes To US Cellular, Tele 2 In Sweden, Megafon In Russia, T-Mobile In Czech Republic, And Rogers/Fido in Canada

It just got slightly easier to blow money on apps and games through Google Play all over the world. Google has updated the list of carriers that support carrier billing with six new entries. Going to buy yourself a little something?

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[CES 2014] Google And NVIDIA Team Up With GM, Honda, Audi, And Hyundai For The Open Automotive Alliance

Cramming mobile technology and other goodies into automobiles is a recurring theme at CES 2014, and even Google is getting in on the action. The web giant is normally pretty quiet at the industry's biggest hardware trade show, but today it officially launches the Open Automotive Alliance, a collaborative association aimed at bringing Android to your car. Google and NVIDIA have already partnered with some of the biggest car companies in the world, encompassing the American, European, and Asian markets: General Motors, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai.

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[Deal Alert] The Chromecast Sale Is Back: $29.99 At Best Buy And Amazon, Or $24.98 For Amazon Student Members

One has to wonder: what's the point of a sale on a proverbially cheap item? And the obvious answer is, it's five bucks you wouldn't have otherwise had. So it is with Google's Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, which has once again gone on sale at both Amazon and Best Buy. You can pick one up for $29.99 at either retailer, with free shipping for Prime members at the former and free shipping for everyone at the latter.

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Google Buys Timely Alarm Clock Developer Bitspin, Premium IAP Content Is Now Free

In an odd bit of M&A news, the developers at Bitspin announced that the small company will be joining forces with Google. Whether Google has purchased the company outright or merely hired its Zurich-based development team isn't clear, but in either case, the big G will be benefitting from their impressive user interface experience soon. Google has not commented on the situation, and there is no dollar amount posted on the Bitspin website.

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File Sharing Apps Bump And Flock Are Now Dead Following Google Acquisition

Bump was and early innovator in the area of file and contact sharing on mobile devices. Interest has waned a bit in recent years, but then Google bought the company back in September. Work seemed to stop on Bump's apps shortly thereafter, and now we're getting the official word – Bump and Flock are no more. Both apps will stop working and be removed from Google Play (and the App Store) on January 31st, 2014.

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Google And Audi Will Reportedly Announce A Collaboration At CES To Build An Android-Based In-Car Entertainment System

We all know about Google's experimental self-driving cars, but according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Mountain View is partnering up with Audi to tackle the entertainment aspect of the automobile first. The companies are expected to announce a new Android-based in-car entertainment system at CES in January to combat Apple's already tight relationship with auto manufacturers.

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Google hopes to establish Android as a core element of future cars to provide music, navigation, apps, and Google voice search.

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