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Android Wear v1.4 Makes Some Minor Changes To The Settings Screen, Prepares For New Wear OS Update [APK Teardown + Download]

Version 1.4 of the Android Wear app started rolling out late Friday. The theme of this update, at least for what's currently live, is a set of changes to the Settings screen. There are a couple of new options, but they come at the expense of the battery stats screen. A look under the hood also shows that a few other features are either live or in the works for the next Wear OS update.

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[Deal Alert] Google Offers Another $6 In Free Play Store Credit For Each Chromecast Or Android TV Device You Own

The Chromecast is already a pretty fantastic deal for a streaming gadget, and it just keeps on giving. It looks like Google is repeating the $6 offer it extended back in February, giving users six bucks of Play Store credit for each Chromecast and Android TV box associated with their account. The credit stacks - I have both a Chromecast and a SHIELD TV, so I now have $12 in credit just begging to be used. Thanks, Big G.

We've seen this credit activated for both the original and updated version of the Chromecast, plus the SHIELD TV and Nexus TV.

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Germany And France Join Short List Of Countries With Google Play TV Shows, Germany And Spain Get Play Promo Codes

Until today, just five countries had access to Google Play TV shows: Australia, Canada, the US, UK, and Japan. Now, Germany and France have joined the rather [frustratingly] exclusive Play TV club, and that's not all. Germany and Spain are also getting access to redeemable Google Play credit promo codes starting today, both having already been in the list of countries with Google Play gift cards.

While Play Movies is available in dozens of countries, licensing television shows can be much more difficult. With many different distribution deals often occurring even within different regions of a given country, let alone for different seasons of a show, the number of deals that have to be made can be quite ridiculous.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow Now Live For The HTC One M8 Google Play Edition

Once upon a time, Google got together with OEMs to sell Google Play Edition versions of flagship phones. They were expensive, but here we are in late 2015 and the 2014 HTC One M8 GPE just got Marshmallow. The regular M8? Good luck with that.

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Play Store v5.12 Reveals Upcoming Family Sharing And Gifting, Option To Easily Add NFC-Enabled Credit Cards [APK Teardown + Download]

A late-night update to the Play Store slipped out just before midnight. A close examination doesn't turn up any big visual changes or new features, but this version is begging for a teardown. I'm not going to beat around the bush, if you've read the title, you know why you're here. Yes, it's true, family sharing and gifting are on the way. No doubt about it. There's even a neat way to add credit cards if they have NFC. There's no point in teasing it out, just get to reading. If you want to jump straight to downloading the latest version, there's a link at the bottom of the post.

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Android Platform Distribution Numbers Updated, Marshmallow Makes Its First Appearance At 0.3%

Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform numbers and there's big news. There are now officially more Marshmallow devices in the world than Froyo ones. Maybe one day Froyo will die, but today is not that day. In other news, there was a big uptick in 5.1 usage and everything else declined.

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Huawei Watch vs. Moto 360 v2: Which One Belongs On Your Wrist?

The first few Android Wear watches from mid-2014 were watches in name only. They were really more like tiny screens strapped to your wrist that told the time. The design of Android Wear devices has evolved significantly since then, and now there are some that look like honest-to-goodness watches. The second gen Moto 360 and Huawei Watch are the most watch-like so far, but they aren't cheap. Let's see how they compare so you can (maybe) pick up the right one for you.

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Android Auto v1.4 Cleans Up The Companion App Interface And Adds Granular Control For Previously Connected Cars [APK Download]

The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.

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As Of Android 6.0, OEMs Will Be Required To Provide Secure Factory Reset On Their Devices (If They Haven't Already)

In our final Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document post, we'll be looking at a small[-ish] clause added in the security section of the CDD. Previously, Google had not actually defined any particularly specific requirements about factory resets for Android devices. While all devices have such a function, they may differ in their efficacy and level of security post-wipe. And while we don't have any reason to believe a particular manufacturer is not already meeting these new requirements (a point I will stress), it's good to see Google is at least laying down a clear mandate on this issue going forward.

Basically, it was possible, pre-Android 6.0, for a manufacturer to merely conduct a logical wipe when doing a factory reset of a device.

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