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Google Play Music's Songza-Powered Contextual Playlists Go Live In The UK

Over the summer, Google bought Songza, a music streaming company that provides playlists suited for certain moods and times of day. The Big G has left the service running, but that didn't stop it from integrating the functionality with Play Music several months later. This brought recommended playlists to the "Listen Now" area of the Android app and website for listeners in the US and Canada. Now the functionality has expanded to the UK.

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Google Removed The Gigantic High-Quality Voice Downloads In New Text-To-Speech App Because The Standard Voice Is Now Better

Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.

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[APK Downloads] Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, And Drive All Receive Assorted Updates [Updated: Full Hamburger Menu Icon, Voice Search, And More]

Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.

What's New

Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.

Screenshot_2014-12-16-18-06-45

In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.

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After Scuffles With Apple, Google, And Others, Holder Of Defunct Patent Goes After Independent Developers [Update]

The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.

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Google Is Giving Out $5 Credits For Theaters, Whole Foods, Toys R Us, Staples, And Others Via Wallet App

Open up the Google Wallet app on your Android device, because there might be a $5 surprise waiting for you. Many Android users are reporting on various social media that they have found $5 gifts to various vendors for no apparent reason waiting for them in their Wallet app.

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[APK Download] My Tracks 2.0.9 Update Brings Google Fit Integration, Becomes Far More Useful In The Process

For a long time, Google's My Tracks app was basically a niche app, if not just a novelty. However, the recent addition of Android Wear support started to get things to make more sense. Location tracking on a smart watch is more convenient and may render obsolete the GPS watches of yesteryear. With the new 2.0.9 update, My Tracks has Google Fit support, giving My Tracks some credibility as a fitness app.

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Google Posts Factory Image For LTE Nexus 9

If you took the plunge on one of those new LTE Nexus 9s earlier today, you'll be happy to know there's a factory image waiting for you. That makes restoring the device to stock a snap. All you need is a computer, a USB cable, and an unlocked bootloader.

2014-12-12 16_45_33-Factory Images for Nexus Devices - Android — Google Developers

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The LTE-Equipped Nexus 9 Pops Up On The US Play Store, Ships By December 19th For $599

After appearing for sale on T-Mobile earlier today, the LTE version of Google's Nexus 9 tablet has gone live in the US Play Store. It's the same basic device that launched a few weeks ago, but now it has its own LTE data connection. The price? Still a whopping $599.

2014-12-12 12_54_13-Nexus 9 (32GB, LTE, Indigo Black) - Devices on Google Play

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Data Conservation, Improved Gender Identity Options Come To Google+ App, Post Pinning On The Way

From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.

A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other).

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[I'll Take Search Engines For 400, Alex] Google Now Shows Info About Jeopardy Answers While You Watch

I love Jeopardy. If it wasn't for football and Agents of SHIELD, Jeopardy would be the only reason I have an over-the-air antenna hooked up to my TV. Apparently someone at Google feels the same way, because at least one viewer started seeing information about the quiz show's answers as they appear on television. The Google Now card live updated with the show as clues were chosen and then answered (in the form of a question).

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