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[Update: Winners] AirDroid 3 Is Out Of Beta And On The Play Store, And We've Got 100 Premium Upgrades To Give Away

We've already covered the beta, but now AirDroid 3 is available as a completed release on the Play Store. The new app has an updated UI and a few new features, but the biggest change is the addition of stand-alone clients for Windows and OS X, besides the app's famous desktop browser management. You can grab the desktop apps from here.

airdroid

The Windows and OS X versions of AirDroid let you do pretty much all of the things you could do in the browser, albeit without the "virtual desktop" interface: send and receive SMS, file transfers to your device, contact and call log access, and of course, notification mirroring for your laptop or desktop, including call alerts.

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Some Web Users Now Have Access To YouTube Music Key

If you're excited to try out YouTube's new music subscription service, you may not have long to wait. We've gotten several tips this morning from users who now have access to YouTube Music Key on the web, though that access doesn't seem to extend to the Android app just yet. Most users seem to be left out at the moment, so it's probably another one of Google's frustrating staged rollouts.

ymk

Having the latest version of the YouTube app (5.17) installed on your phone doesn't seem to help, though at least one reader with Music Key enabled said that there were now no ads being shown during music videos.

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The Google Play Music Website Now Has A Nifty 'Particles' Visualizer

The web browser version of Google Play Music isn't exactly full-featured - it pales in comparison even to built-in tools like Windows Media Player or iTunes. But now it has one more tool that's bringing it a little closer: a visualizer. A visualizer is an overlay that presets a visual accompaniment to a musical track. Some of them get pretty elaborate, some of them aren't much more than a graphic equalizer.

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Google+ Has Gained A Tab For Mentions, But It's Only On The Web For Now

When you're using a social network, getting tagged in messages is par for the course. Unfortunately Google hasn't always made it easy to find all the times you've been mentioned. Sure, you could look back over all of your notifications, but that list gets cluttered quickly with comments on your posts, +1's, and follows.

Thankfully, Google has added a "Mentions" tab. It's situated between the "More" and "Explore" sections on the right-hand side.

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Pocket Casts For The Web Is Now Up And Running As An Exclusive Beta

Pocket Casts is one of the more attractive mobile podcast managers out there, and it's pretty accessible too. The Android app is easy to use, and with a cloud sync account, you can keep up with shows across numerous devices. Now the team is expanding functionality to the desktop as well. A web version of Pocket Casts is on its way, and it's currently available in a private beta.

You have to get permission to use the beta, but once in, here's what you see.

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Gmail Hangouts Updated With Tab That Puts Online Contacts At The Top, Lets Users Pin Favorites

Google is continuing to shine a brighter light on Hangouts users who are currently online. A few months ago the company brought back the green dot that used to mark online contacts in the days of Google Talk (which was replaced with a subtle green line in Hangouts). Going forward, the messenger in the web version of Gmail will contain a new tab that puts online contacts at the top. It's still possible to message friends who are offline, they're just tucked at the bottom where they're out of the way.

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Exclusive: Quantum Paper And Google's Upcoming Effort To Make Consistent UI Simple

There have been a lot of leaks and rumors leading up to Google I/O this year. From Gmail to your Android device's home screen, nothing has been spared. Through all of this, we've seen some really interesting and non-traditional Android app designs, with matching web counterparts, that have made readers rightfully question their validity, and Google's design direction.

We've received new information related to what appears to be a new design paradigm for all Google's products across all platforms that should help explain what we've been seeing - say hello to Quantum Paper.

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Google To Acquire Skybox Imaging For $500 Million To Improve Internet Access And Disaster Relief

There have been rumblings recently that, adding to its other (perhaps more far-flung) efforts to improve Internet access around the world, Google would eventually deploy its own fleet of satellites. Today, those rumblings got a little bit closer to reality as Google announced its agreement to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million in cash.

Skybox Announcement Logo_sm

Skybox's journey so far, according to the announcement on its own blog, has been about revolutionizing "access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth." Having already deployed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, the company says it's already made "great strides."

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Rumor: Google's Plan To Bridge Chrome, Android, And Search To Do Everything On Your Device [Updated]

Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely revamped the UI and added guidelines that made Android look cohesive for the first time. 4.4 added Svelte, which promised to seat Android comfortably on an even broader range of devices. We have reason to believe another one of those changes is right around the corner, and it's known internally as Hera.

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It's Not Just You: The Web Version Of The Play Store Is Erroneously Hiding The Action Bar And Categories (For The Moment)

If you've perused the Google Play Store on the web in the last few days, you may have noticed something missing: the Action Bar, wherein you usually find the drop-down links to app categories, top charts, the Play Store settings menu, and other important stuff. We've noticed it too, and we've got no explanation. In addition to making it impossible to browse apps by category or popularity on the web, it's blocking access to the links to My Orders, Settings, and the Android Device Manager, at least from the main Play Store page.

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