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Google+ 5.7 Introduces Gray FAB Button In Communities, Profile Loading Spinner, And Other Minor Tweaks [APK Download]

Some updates get everyone excited. Others appeal to a select few. Google 5.7 is more of the latter. There are a few tweaks here, and while they're not going to drastically alter your Google+ing all that much, they're still worth a peek. So here's a look.

What's New

You know the floating action button that hovers in the bottom right corner? Usually it's red, and there's a white pencil inside. Tapping it allows you to quickly make a post.

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New Android Auto Update Includes Compatibility Fixes For Samsung Galaxy S4 And S5 On Sprint, AT&T, And Verizon [APK Download]

Android Auto is starting to finally show up in cars and third-party head units, but there are still a handful of compatibility issues to work out, it seems. The latest update to the Android Auto app includes compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Android Auto

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Android Auto (Pioneer 8100NEX) Review: A Worthwhile Convenience If Money Is No Object

It's been a year since Android Auto was announced, and it's only now starting to hit the market. You can buy a handful of cars with support for Auto (with a software update), and more vehicles are on the way. There are also some aftermarket head units that can smarten up your dumb old car. Now that it's finally reaching consumer availability, we can see how Google's car infotainment platform works.

I've had a chance to play with one of Pioneer's NEX Android Auto kits (the AVIC-8100NEX), and have already posted some initial impressions. Now let's dig in and explore this new frontier for Android.

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Google's Voice Interaction API Will Give Apps A Better Handle On Voice-Initiated Requests

Remember that "Voice Access" talk that was supposed to happen at I/O but was removed from the schedule? It turns out that, while it wasn't the full-on in-app voice craziness we had hoped for, Google did have some news about voice interactions to share.

Specifically, with Android M, Google has introduced the Voice Interaction API, which will allow apps to get a better handle on a user's voice-initiated requests. Check out the video below, by the leaders of a sandbox talk at I/O about voice actions.

The new API, as Google Search Developer Advocate Jarek Wilkiewicz explains, shouldn't be confused with custom voice actions.

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Google Keyboard Updated To v4.1 With Personal Dictionary Sync, Emoji Access From Physical Keyboards, And More [APK Download]

The Google Keyboard has been updated to v4.1, and it brings a few handy new features. At the same time, several options have been removed. Google giveth and Google taketh away. One of the additions is cross-device dictionary sync, so maybe you can forgive Google on this one.

2015-06-03 20.47.35 2015-06-03 20.47.46 2015-06-03 21.13.30

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Chromecast And Nexus Player Owners - Grab Another Free Rental From Google Play Movies

If you own a Chromecast or Nexus Player and grabbed a free rental from Play Movies last time the deal was offered, it looks like you can head to chromecast.com/offers and grab another.

After opening up the Dads & Grads sale, Google has apparently reset the free rental deal, which gives Chromecast and Nexus Player owners the chance to select a movie to rent from a special collection on the Play Store.

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Google Is Apparently Giving Project Fi Customers Who Also Ordered A Nexus 6 Welcome Kits Containing Cases, Earbuds, And External Batteries

You have two options when you sign up for Project Fi. You can buy a SIM card with a new Nexus 6. Or you can just buy the SIM card and stick it in your own Nexus 6. Want to use another phone? You can, as long as you tether it to a Nexus 6. A Project Fi SIM has to go into a Nexus 6.

For the time being, that eliminates a sizable chunk of interested consumers. Project Fi is relatively cheap, but the Nexus 6 is not. The latter is also a pretty girthy device to choose as your one-size-fits-all solution.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] App Standby Forces Individual Unused Apps To Hibernate To Save Power

We've already talked about Doze in Android M a few times. That's a system-wide state that keeps your phone or tablet in deep sleep when it's not being used. App Standby is a distinct feature that works to keep individual unused apps from gobbling up power in the background. Depending on how many apps you install on your phone, this could be a bigger deal than Doze.

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[Updated] Google Will Unveil Voice Access At I/O, Allowing You To Control Apps Entirely By Voice

Touchscreens are okay, but what about putting those pipes to better use? The description of one of Google's talks at I/O later this month points to an interesting new feature called Voice Access. Basically, instead of touching the phone, you talk to it to control apps. So essentially Star Trek? That'd be rad.

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