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Google+ Collections Feature Begins Its Rollout

It seems that while Google hasn't actually released the official announcement yet (it's expected this morning), the Collections feature we've heard so much about in recent days now appears to be going live for some users.

Google has now officially announced Collections on the official Google+ page.

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Google+ Collections Set To Launch Tomorrow, May 4th

Google is just about ready to introduce Collections to Google+ publicly, according to sources.

Evidently, Collections is expected to launch tomorrow, May 4th, in the morning (Pacific Time), with an announcement coming from the official Google+ page of ... Google+. After its announcement, the feature will activate for web and Android users on a rollout that's expected to last a day or so. There's no word yet on when Collections will come to iOS.

The new feature, which we got a sneak peek at recently (followed by pretty strong code-based clues of an impending launch), will allow users to curate "collections" of their content for others to share and follow.

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[APK Download] Google Shopping Express Goes Material For Version 3.0

Before we go any further: Google's local delivery service Shopping Express is still limited to portions of the San Francisco bay area, Los Angeles, northern California, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. If you live outside of those areas, go ahead and skip this story, because Google Shopping Express (and similar competing services) aren't expanding outside of the densest US urban zones anytime soon. But for those who do qualify for the service, version 3.0 includes a new user interface.

2015-05-02 17.15.30 2015-05-02 17.15.38 2015-05-02 17.15.49 2015-05-02 17.16.11

New above, old below.

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The app has been redesigned from the ground up, more or less, conforming to Material Design guidelines.

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InBrief
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YouTube Kids Updated With Immersive Mode And Voice Search Improvements

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Nexus 10 Receiving An OTA To Android 5.1.1

The Nexus 10 appears to be receiving its Android 5.1.1 update over-the-air. This is mainly a bugfix release, but any update is welcome news, especially on a device that's considered by some to be past its prime.

511_nexus_10

The update weighs in at a somewhat paltry 13.9 MB and is most likely build LMY47V. We don't have a link to the OTA update ZIP file yet, but once we do, we'll update this post. This is likely a good sign that we'll start seeing a wider rollout to more Nexus devices in the very near future, possibly even to the so-far-neglected Nexus 9.

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["OK Google, Listen To NPR"] Custom Voice Actions Launch On Android, Allow You To Control Selected 3rd Party Apps

Over on the Android Developer's Google+ page an awesome new feature for Google's voice search was just announced. A small selection of applications will now open directly when using certain voice commands. For example, you can now say, "Ok Google, find houses near me on Zillow," and Google will automatically start the Zillow app, showing a map of properties near your current location (this also works with the applications for Trulia and Realtor.com). Previously a query like this would have directed you to Zillow's mobile site and given you a link to download Zillow's app.

NPR_Full

Let me give you a few more examples of what you can do with the new voice commands.

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Screen Recording App SCR Pulled From Play Store And Developer's Account Closed Without Warning

Google has been clamping down on what developers can do in the Play Store as of late, and the latest victim appears to be screen recording app SCR. Both the free and paid versions disappeared the other day, and the developer has explained on XDA that Google removed them and closed his developer account. He alleges he wasn't even given any warning before it happened.

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Google+ v5.4 Begins Rollout In Preparation For New Collections Feature [APK Download]

A few days ago, we posted about a new Google+ feature called Collections expected to launch in early May. An update to the social network's app appeared earlier today, and while it probably won't produce any noticeable changes to the interface for most of us, it's packing everything Google needs to begin rolling out Collections to everybody. There are also some reports that a few people are already gaining access to Collections a little earlier than expected without being a part of the initial test group.

A quick teardown reveals a couple hundred new strings, some new activities, and even a few custom images (seen above).

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Messenger 1.3 Treats Texters To Quick Reply And A New Widget [APK Download]

Messenger is Google's basic alternative to Hangouts for sending SMS messages, and today it has received an update bringing along a widely-requested feature. No reason to tease you about it. Let's jump in.

What's New?

Quick Reply is the ability to respond to a message without having to switch to the full app. Now when the notification comes in and you hit the reply button, you can tap out a response and go about your day.

However, the feature isn't without its drawbacks. The Quick Reply interface takes up the full screen, but it doesn't show you any of the message you just received.

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New Google Now Card Tells You When A Product You've Searched For Goes On Sale

Google is turning app developers loose on Google Now, but search data is still finding its way into the feed in new ways as well. If you haven't already, you'll soon start to see cards that tell you when a product you've searched for goes on sale. Google previously did this with flight data, but now it seems to work with all kinds of stuff.

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