14
Aug
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Earlier today, Google announced a pretty significant update to the Google+ app for Android. Version 4.1, which follows 4.0.2, brought the following new features:

  • Google Drive Photos integration, including viewing, easier sharing, and auto-awesome/auto-enhance.
  • Account switching without having to log out.
  • Better location sharing controls.
  • Google+ified swipe-down-to-refresh (like Gmail, except with funky fresh Google+ colored bars).
  • Messenger extermination (finally, the Messenger menu item is gone).
  • Google Apps for Business support.
14
Aug
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Update: The issue (#10230007) has been marked as resolved by the Play Store team. Apps should install and update fine now.

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For the last week or so, a great number of Android users have become increasingly frustrated with frequent "Package file is invalid" errors when updating or installing apps. A variety of supposed fixes have been put forward by the community, but have proven to be merely placebos. Now Google has confirmed there is an issue.

14
Aug
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Google Now is quickly becoming an excellent aggregator for all the information that most users need on a regular basis – be it weather, that day's schedule, tracking shipments, and so much more. Aside from its already-useful functionality, though, Google has been working towards making most actions voice-searchable. For example, you can tell Now to set a reminder, play a particular artist in Music, and more. Today's Search update brings more voice actions to existing functions, making it even easier get quick access to important information:

  • Flights: Ask Google “Is my flight on time?” to get info on your upcoming flights and live status on your current flights.
14
Aug
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In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.

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First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again.

13
Aug
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The new Nexus 7 is a substantial upgrade over last year's model, as Google has managed to fit a 1080p resolution into the same 7-inch screen without destroying performance or battery life. This year's offering makes the leap to a new Qualcomm S4 Pro N7 processor, comes with a rear-facing camera, and has the latest version of Android available. What could make it any better? Wider distribution. That's why the tablet is now available for purchase in Canada directly from Google Play.

13
Aug
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Another month, another update for Google Glass. The OTA started rolling out yesterday, offering a safe way to experience a nice set of improvements to the Glass experience. Still, advanced users need to flash updates for one reason or another, and they will be pleased to know that the XE8 system image is now available for download. The ZIP file is a healthy 348MB in size, which is roughly the same as last month's.

09
Aug
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Since its inception, things have been tough for Google Wallet. Adoption hasn't been great, many carriers have blocked its use, and the rollout of new features hasn't gone as smoothly as one would hope. In short, it's been a long, hard road for such an initially promising product.

While we've already seen Google cut support for the prepaid Wallet card, the company has now decided to ax NFC redemption of gift and loyalty cards as of August 21st.

08
Aug
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As promised at Google's recent event, textbooks have arrived in the Play Store. They have been tacked on as a sub-section of Play Books, not a completely new area of the store. At present, there is no way to filter within textbooks only, but search seems to work fairly well for finding books on a particular subject.

2013-08-08 15_36_40-Human Biology - Books on Google Play

Both rentals and purchases are showing up in the store, but most books are only offering one or the other.

08
Aug
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My Tracks is not one of Google's more well-known offerings, but it's been around for nearly as long as Android has, lurking in the Play Store as a handy resource for Android users who enjoy moving around. Today My Tracks received an update expanding on the usefulness of this location-monitoring service bold enough to tell you exactly what it does in its name. Now when the app shows where you've been, it will provide a more exact and attractive picture.

06
Aug
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Google (and perhaps other search engines, but who uses those?) has made finding information easier than ever. Unfortunately, this phrase comes with a wide range of caveats. Finding information that isn't current can be quite a challenge, and the first pages are often flooded with results from sites like Yahoo! Answers, which rank a few rungs higher than Wikipedia on the list of websites not to use as sources on college papers.

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