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Latest Play Music Update Extends Artwork And Navigation Menu Through Notification Bar, And More [APK Download]

A fresh release of Play Music is going out to devices, and it brings a bit more consistency to another one of Google's apps. Now the navigation menu that extends from the side of the screen will reach up through the notification bar.

PlayMusic1 PlayMusic2

Left: Old, Right: New.

That's not the only element of the interface that's reaching upwards. When you go to play a track, you will find that the album artwork extends to the top of the screen as well.

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Waze 3.9.4 Brings Traffic Bar, Better U-Turns, Speed Improvements, And More [APK Download]

Waze has bumped its Android app up to version 3.9.4, and it's asserting that the app is faster. How much faster? 85%. That's an oddly specific number, but whatever. All that matters is that users should be able to pull up locations and routes more quickly.

The big feature in this release is the new Traffic Bar. This little meter gives you an estimate of how long you will be stuck in a traffic jam.

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Chrome For Android Updated To Version 41 With Pull-To-Refresh Functionality [APK Download]

There's a new version of Chrome Beta available in the Play Store, though it doesn't seem to add a whole lot to the app itself. That means that the features from the last beta graduate to the stable build, which you can get in the Play Store (if you're patient) or at the APK Mirror link below (if you're not). The biggest user-facing change is the ability to "pull" down from the top of a page to refresh it, a gesture already seen in various other Google apps like Gmail.

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[Update: Notifications Working!] Chrome Beta Bumped To Version 42 With 'Site Notifications' And Not Much Else [APK Download]

Hey Google, I know that this is a beta release of Chrome for Android, but a little explanation on your update page would be very helpful. For example, what exactly are site notifications, as alluded to with the text "get the latest updates from sites with notifications?" Presumably they'll show up in Chrome Beta 42 when initiated by a website, but will that be when you're on that particular page, when you're using Chrome, or will the notification be presented in Android's notification bar?

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Google Releases Virtual Reality Cardboard App To Show Off Its First Branded Store

Have you ever wished that Google would just open its equivalent of an Apple Store, so you could have a one-stop-shop for your favorite phones, tablets, and Chromebooks? The company has dabbled with the idea before, and Americans can kinda-sorta experience this in the corner of a local Best Buy, but now the Big G is taking things to the next level by opening its first branded shop. It just happens to be at Currys PC World in London.

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Google Releases Street Art, Its First Android Wear Watch Face

For some reason, Google has only now released a watch face for Android Wear. It's called Street Art, and it features the work of more than a dozen artists from the Google Art Project. It's light on options, though.

wm_2015-03-11 11.10.10

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[Update: Google Clarifies Description] Google Pushes New 'Interactive Events' App To The Play Store

Okay, we always get a little excited when a new app from Google Inc.

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[Update: Check Now] Play Store For Android Gets Search Bar With Hamburger Flip In Server-Side Update

Google is pushing out an update to the Play Store's Android interface that replaces the action bar with a standard search bar. Inside are the words "Google play," which, when tapped, show off the hamburger flip animation and pull up recent Play Store searches.

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WhatsApp For Android Is Invited To The "1 Billion Installs" Group Chat, Makes Fellow Member Facebook Proud

WhatsApp (8:00 am): Hey guys, thx for the invite! 😍

Facebook (8:01 am): Oh darling, wlc to the group! I just saw your Play Store install stats and noticed you crossed the magical 1 billion 🎉

Facebook (8:01 am): Dawg, here's your screenshot!

whatsapp-1-billion-1

WhatsApp (8:01 am): I've been checking the numbers, I knew it was going to happen soon. But then I got busy with this whole Call feature invite mess over the past week and I missed it.

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Bookmark Sync Returns To Opera Browser For Android In The Latest Update

Back in 2004 (or thereabouts), Opera was my go-to browser. I liked that it was available on both Windows and Linux, and it just seemed faster than Firefox to me at the time. That was of course long before mobile phones were what they are now - I was probably carrying an old Nokia bar phone and changing the faceplate every three days. Good times.

opera2

Another thing missing back in the dark days of the early 2000s was something Google really made happen with Chrome: cross-device/platform sync.

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