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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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Google Apparently Testing Tweaks For Maps Web Interface

YouTube isn't the only Google web property getting some A/B testing right now. Apparently Maps is under the microscope as well, with Google testing a new nav drawer menu and refreshed biking and traffic elements.

The nav drawer icon, as you might expect, is embedded in the search bar, a pattern introduced with the new nav drawer icon and material design.

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There's also a "road sign" navigation icon embedded in the same bar.

As mentioned, biking and traffic legends have been refreshed in the new design, too. The information panels have been broken out of the search interface, centered at the bottom of the UI.

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YouTube's Experimental Web Player Interface Can Be Activated Using A Chrome Extension

By now you may have seen YouTube's experimental new web player UI. The new interface has been popping up for some users for a while now, but if you haven't used the new player yet and you're feeling left out - good news. Today we've learned there's a way to enable the UI for yourself using a simple Chrome extension.

You can see a full video tutorial from Saurav Sinha here, but the gist is this:

  1. Download EditThisCookie from the Chrome web store
  2. Go to YouTube
  3. Open EditThisCookie and click "VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE"
  4. Change the value to Q06SngRDTGA
  5. Celebrate

Presumably Firefox users can achieve the same effect using their favorite cookie editing addon.

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InBrief
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Functional 'Trusted Voice' Smart Lock Option Rolling Out To Some Users

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