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Google's Android For Work App Hits The Play Store

 

In February, Google proclaimed "Android is ready for work," marking an official opening to the Android for Work effort first introduced at Google I/O 2014. Today, Google's official Android for Work app has hit the Play Store, ready to help users running Android 4.0-4.4W (since setup is built into Lollipop) and working with Android for Work partner solutions set up their device for work use.

For those out of the loop, Android for Work is Google's take on dual-persona device management, allowing users to have two copies of the same app - one for personal use and one for business.

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Google Announces Winners Of The Google Fit Developer Challenge

In Late 2014, Google - along with Adidas, Polar, and Withings - opened a Google Fit developer challenge, hoping to get more apps into Google's burgeoning fitness ecosystem.

Today, the winners of that challenge have been announced. The twelve grand prize winners will get special promotion in the Play Store, greatly increasing their visibility to potential users. Additionally, winners (grand prize and runners up) will receive the X_CELL and SPEED_CELL from Adidas, an unspecified "new" Android Wear device, a Loop activity tracker from Polar, and a Smart Body Analyzer from Withings.

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[Update: Potential Nexus 6 Case Spotted] Exclusive: Google Exploring 'Google Workshop' To Take Customized Smartphone Cases To A New Level

Google hasn't exactly had a spotless track record when it comes to official Nexus accessories. Accessories have been teased or shown off only to arrive months later or not at all (remember that Nexus 10 dock?).

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Google Handwriting Input App Enters The Play Store With Support For Handwriting In 82 Languages [APK Download]

Update Wednesdays are always exciting, but particularly so when Google releases a new app. Today, Google has hit "publish" on Google Handwriting Input, a new keyboard option that - as the name implies - allows users to type by handwriting text in 82 languages.

Google says the app supports print and cursive, written with or without a stylus. If you draw a smiley face, Handwriting Input will even suggest emojis.

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Of course the input method is styled to resemble Google's other input methods, using the same light grey and teal (or dark blue-grey and teal if you choose the dark theme) colors found in Google's main Keyboard app.

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Play Store Category Icons Are Showing Up In Searches For Some Users

Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps.

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The Play Store search has had integration with categories for a while now, so expect the interface tweak to appear for you sometime in the next few weeks.

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[OTA Download Link] Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi Receiving OTA To Android 5.1

Yesterday, something odd happened...the 2013 Nexus 7 LTE got an OTA before its Wi-Fi counterpart. Thankfully, it appears that it was only a day early, as Google is now rolling out its latest Android build to the Wi-Fi only variant as well.

n7_2013_wifi_ota_screen

The OTA is build LMY47O, just like the LTE model, and weighs in at roughly 170 MB. If the update isn't available for you, fret not. We've got you covered. See below for a link to download the OTA file for manual sideloading.

Download

razor LMY47O from LRX22G (5.0.2 -> 5.1): http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_razor/d8aa77dd9fdbd05160be70093d0fa4c847b06911.signed-razor-LMY47O-from-LRX22G.d8aa77dd.zip

  • Thanks:
  • Matthew Minor
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[Update: Google Responds, Expects Android Investigation Too] The European Union Is Expected To Announce Formal Antitrust Charges Against Google Tomorrow

After a five year investigation of the search giant, European regulators are expected to launch an official antitrust case against Google tomorrow. The Wall Street Journal reports EU Commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager will make the announcement tomorrow (Wednesday the 15th). Google will then be served with a "statement of objection" and charge sheet. At that point, the lawyers will begin legal wrangling that is sure to last years.

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Google Updates Material Design Spec With Dedicated FAB Section, Updates On Typography, Cards, And More

Back in November, Google updated its new design guidelines for the first time, adding guidance on the navigation drawer and launcher icons, and - happily - a "what's new" section, which it said would serve as a place to explain future updates to the guidelines.

Yesterday, Google gave the guidelines another sizable update, adding an entire section to guide devs and designers on when and how to use floating action buttons, along with new guidelines for data tables, overall app structure, and guidance on important units and measurements, plus a lot more. Here's Google's full list of changes.

What's new

The April 2015 release of the material design spec includes the following new sections:

Additional significant content updates include:

  • Typography adds further guidance on style and line height for dense and tall languages
  • Cards includes more specs for laying out actions and content
  • Dialogs contains additional layout guidance
  • Tabs adds guidance around label content and more complete sizing specs
  • Scrolling techniques adds guidance for overlapping content

Where Google's last update to the guidelines seemed to be about filling holes, this update is positioned as a response to the community, giving more specific guidance on things that seem to have arisen as points of interest in material design.

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[Rumor] Google's Carrier Project Detailed In Leaked App - Pay-Per GB, Unused Data Refunds, In-App Service Activation, And More

Large companies have a hard time keeping secrets, especially when multiple partners and countless employees become involved. Bits and pieces are bound to leak out, both intentionally and accidentally, and sometimes a wealth of information can be discovered about unannounced plans. It appears that an app designed for Google's much anticipated MVNO has turned up in an unofficial Nexus 6 firmware image. If legitimate, the app not only confirms the service, but it may reveal some details about service plans, billing, and even a previously unheard-of name, "Project Fi."

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.

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