07
Mar
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One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time.

20
Nov
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After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient.

04
Nov
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A few weeks ago we found some Newsstand-related goodies in the Play Store APK, hinting at the possibility that the upcoming news service is poised to absorb Google's Play Magazines.

In the teardown, we found a wide range of assets with a purple-and-white Newsstand icon, making use of a brand color similar to the purple that currently belongs to Play Magazines. This lead us to believe that Google had abandoned the yellow hue we previously suspected in pursuing a strategy that would lead to Magazines' being gobbled up by the new service.

21
Oct
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Recently, we tore down an unreleased version of Google's Play Store 4.4 update and discovered that Newsstand, an upcoming Play service we first learned about back in March, had made some progress.

When we first saw Newsstand, it was in the midst of Javascript and CSS in the web Play Store. At the time, it looked like Newsstand would be an addition to the existing apps, books, tv/movies, music, and magazines categories, adopting its own yellow brand color (#FFD700 to be exact).

05
Oct
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Courtesy of an anonymous tipster, we've got a nice weekend treat for those caught up in Nexus season rumor hysteria. A document, purported to be an internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 and posted to scribd, gives us an in-depth look at the next Nexus phone.

There's a lot of technical information, flow charts, diagrams, and photos of silicon here, but there are a few things worth picking out before you dive into the full document.

15
May
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Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts.  Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.

07
Apr
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From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.

27
Mar
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Back in 2011, Google added the ability to keep up with live transit updates to Google Maps. After all, commuters in big cities that require cars to get around (like my own Atlanta), have traffic info for highways. Why not people who primarily use the subway to get around? One glaring omission from that service, though, was the New York City subway system. Today, that problem is rectified.

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Starting today, seven lines of the MTA will show live arrival and departure times for stops along their routes.

24
Mar
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The rumors were true and now T-Mobile has launched its new, simplified, contract-free plans. Starting at $50/month for unlimited talk and text with 500MB of high-speed data (throttled, but sans overage fees after that), the new services allow customers to forget about counting minutes and messages and focus solely on data. This could be good or bad news, depending on your usage, but perhaps the most important aspect of these new plans is that you can get them without a 2-year commitment.

19
Mar
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If you're a new AT&T U-Verse internet customer (or considering becoming one), listen up – the service provider announced yesterday that it is now offering a selection of devices free when new customers package internet service with either U-Verse TV or Voice. Customers can choose between a Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Sonos Play:3 (with WiFi bridge), or an Xbox 360. What's more, customers will get access to AT&T's WiFi network free of charge.

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