21
Oct
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Google Maps is a fine tool if you need to find your way around, but Google also has a way to create custom maps called Map Engine. The service is getting a mobile upgrade today with the release of the Map Engine app. This will allow users to view and share custom maps on Android devices. It even comes with some neat samples.

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The Map Engine Lite web service is available to everyone and has a fairly robust set of tools.

19
Oct
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If you're a Chrome Beta user who was getting bored with their weekend web browsing, we've got a tip for you - Chrome Beta for Android has an experimental "Accessibility Tab Switcher" flag that'll allow you to switch tabs in a compact, pleasing interface, also enabling you to bring back closed tabs with a handy "undo" button. That should take a little pressure out of your tab management experience.

wm_Screenshot_2013-10-19-10-45-23 wm_Screenshot_2013-10-19-10-44-53 wm_Screenshot_2013-10-19-10-47-27 wm_Screenshot_2013-10-19-10-48-38

To turn the Accessibility Tab Switcher on, just open up Chrome Beta and head to chrome://flags.

18
Oct
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Update: Vic Gundotra, Google's SVP of Engineering, had this to say after posting on Google+ about the new Voice update:

Guys, don't worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don't get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people :-)

So chill out: it looks like VOIP for Voice is coming to Android sooner or later.

18
Oct
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Update 2: We've now received independent confirmation from a credible source that there will be no news, Android or otherwise, at this event. Sorry, everyone - continue your Nexus reveal date conspiracy theorizing as normal.

Update: Geek.com has updated its story with a statement from a "reliable source," and that source is playing down any hopes of a Nexus reveal next week:

We just received a tip from a reliable source telling us that the 10/24 event will not feature any hardware.

18
Oct
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This is the point in Google's product cycle where the leaks start falling like rain. Earlier today a Korean site named UnderKG (in case you couldn't tell through the obnoxious watermarks and bloom) posted photos of what appears to be the retail packaging of the LG Nexus 5. The boxes depart a little from the design of the previous Nexus devices, but still follow the basic pattern.

1390627_599747473420998_1015783506_n 13 - 1 13 - 2

What's more interesting is that the device itself seems to be a white variant that we haven't seen before.

18
Oct
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Wall Street analysts always read the tea leaves to come up with predictions of how a company will perform each quarter. If said company does better, investors are happy. If it does worse, investors are angry. The financial system is really based on our primal urges. Today, investors are very happy with Google. The company that spawned Android announced Q3 earnings last night that beat expectations, and the markets are going wild – Google stock is currently trading over $1000 per share.

17
Oct
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Well, here it is, official and direct from Google's own image server (here's a link, though it may go down). Feast your eyes.

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We found this minutes after a link to the Play Store listing for the Nexus 5 inadvertently appeared on a Play Store device splash. We see a new camera icon, a new phone icon (as suspected), and if you look closely, a new Gmail icon, too. Neat.

16
Oct
doakes

Well, folks, it finally happened - after numerous APK teardowns, Google has finally dropped a message to the Android Police teardown team inside one of the APKs - the Android Play Store v4.4 nonetheless.

The message reads: <string name="ap_teardown_notice">"These aren't the features you're looking for, officer"</string>.

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Many of you have joked about this in past comments, so I've been wondering whether a Googler will actually do it one day.

16
Oct
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It can be a pain to type on a virtual keyboard in a language that doesn't use Latin characters, but for the many speakers of Cantonese, Google is here to help. A new Cantonese input app has appeared in Google play to make typing in Cantonese a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but that rhymes better than 'faster and more accurate.'

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The app supports multiple keyboards including Pinyin, Cangjie, handwriting, and voice input.

15
Oct
books

On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.

What's New?

The official changelog is as follows:

  • Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.

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