12
Dec
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Google Currents is not the only Android app the company updated today as many first-party apps saw relatively minor updates through the Play Store this afternoon. Basically, the next time you check your app list be prepared to wait on those updates to download.

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If you are one of the few still using a Google TV device, the PrimeTime and TV Search apps have been updated. PrimeTime comes with bugfixes and faster access to the channel guide.

11
Dec
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It seems like we can't go more than a week or two without hearing that one of Google's content services has rolled out to a new country. Today, Russia is getting in on the action with Play Books and Movies now available throughout the country. You can purchase books like normal, and movies are available both for rental and purchase.

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Prices for movie rentals start at around 49 rubles (USD$1.60) and purchases start at 99 rubles (USD$3.22).

10
Dec
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In an update to version 4.2.16, Google's YouTube app has received a (thankfully) refreshed UI for ten-inch screens, along with some bug fixes. The "revamped" UI seems to be the only thing of note in this update (though if there are any hidden goodies, you can be sure Ron will tell us about them soon), but it makes for a great refresh. For the sake of comparison, we'll take a look at a few before and after shots.

10
Dec
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Sure, "in-app purchases" becomes a bit of a dirty phrase when we're talking about games that abuse the privilege, but they're a critical element of any profitable app ecosystem, and today Google's making a bunch of IAP features easier and smoother for developers and, by extension, you. Here are some of the new improvements.

Easier Purchasing Implementation

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Previously, if you bought an item in an app, the purchase was handled via an "asynchronous notification through a background service." This meant that the app would call out to Google to announce a purchase, but then have to talk to a separate service in order to find out how it went.

10
Dec
play logo

One of the biggest problems with the Play Store is that, compared to certain other platforms, its international support for both products and payment systems is comparatively meager. This is, of course, one of the main reasons that earning revenue on Android seems harder for developers. Starting today, though, if you live in Australia and use Telstra, you have one more way to pay: carrier billing.

The rollout comes with special thanks to mobile payment platform Bango.

08
Dec
googlenowtiny

I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.

Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:

Google confirmed that it's working on the project, but stopped short of committing to it.

06
Dec
google logo

As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.

06
Dec
snapseedtiny

There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011.

06
Dec
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One of the biggest problems with Google+ has been its inability to create a group wherein all peers are equal. You can create a hashtag that everyone can post to but you can't control the membership of, or a Page that a few moderators can share to, but it's difficult to add users to (for non-public posts, Pages can only add users to circles once they add the Page first). Communities finally fixes this problem by creating public or private groups that anyone within can share to.

05
Dec
booksmovies

After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.

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Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles.

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