18
Aug
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Google has big plans for both YouTube and Google Play Music. We've heard a lot about YouTube's potential subscription music playback service, background audio, and offline playback, and there's been much speculation about what such an arrangement would mean for Play Music All Access. What we've got today gives those rumors and clues some clarity.

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Here's the basic rundown - YouTube is set to launch a service called YouTube Music Key, and Google is set to rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key.

20
Jun
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Right now, in the slide-out "hamburger" menu of most Google apps, there's a Help button, with a tiny circled question mark icon. If a user needs help with the app (or anything else), this button will pull up a web page. Once on the web page, users can browse through categories for help articles and potential solutions or, if all else fails, request a support call from Google.

It looks like Google wants to make that experience a little more elegant, though.

14
Jun
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We have heard tell (from Forbes) that Google is preparing a new service called Google Fit, supposedly for debut at I/O, where the company is expected to also announce partnerships with certain wearables manufacturers. The report says that Google Fit will provide developers with APIs to plug into the service, and that the overall goal is a second take at the quantified health data space.

With Apple recently unveiling HealthKit, the iron is hot.

30
May
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Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.

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Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date.

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.

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