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.

15
May
Google Wallet

Google asserts that over 97% of mobile shoppers abandon their shopping carts because the process simply makes them jump through too many hoops. To free Android users from this heavy burden, Google has launched a new Google Wallet Instant Buy API that will allow mobile shoppers in Android apps to check out in as little as two clicks. No more poking out lengthy street address and re-looking up credit card information.

15
May
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Google just announced that a brand-new Google maps smartphone experience will be landing on Android and iOS soon, and it looks astoundingly good. The aesthetics of 2D street maps have been completely redesigned to be easier on the eyes, and better at organizing information. The only downside is that it's not coming until "this summer."

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Nearly every aspect of the Maps app has been reworked. Zagat ratings are no longer the default ratings system for places (it's now a 1-5 star user rating), and place cards have an all-new look.

15
May
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Google's official Search app (aka Google Now) for Android has been updated with a few new features, though they're pretty awesome ones. First, voice reminders are finally live - you can now say, for example, "remind me to buy milk this evening" or "remind me to take out the trash when I get home." I think we can all agree that's kind of amazing.

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The second new feature is suggested content, in the form of upcoming books, music, TV, and video games you might be interested in.

15
May
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If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off.

14
May
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Even if you're not physically attending Google I/O, the official convention app might serve you well. It allows attendees to scan badges, view schedules, and just guide themselves around with vector-based maps. If you're not going to be in Moscone Center tomorrow, you can stream sessions with the app. Waiting just about as long as possible, Google has pushed an update to the I/O app, and it adds some cool stuff.

14
May
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Google I/O is almost here, so surely you've got Google on the brain. Why not take your mind off things with some neat new apps and games? Oh, but the cost! At least there are some cool sales going on to reduce the impact on your wallet. The selection is solid today, ranging from classic utilities to polished games. These deals aren't just in Google Play – Amazon's Appstore is makes a few appearances this time, as well.

14
May
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It seems like every cable and satellite operator is in a hurry to provide a second screen app for tablets and phones. And they all seem to have something in common: either they don't offer live streaming, or they do, and the service is rather arbitrarily restricted to use on a home Internet connection. Time Warner Cable's TWC TV app for Android was just updated to get around this restriction... at least in some cases.

14
May
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While details are scant at the moment, Blackberry just dropped a bomb at BBLive: Blackberry Messenger is coming to iOS and Android "this summer" as a standalone application. After years of rumors, the company is finally taking the plunge and making its most popular app multi-platform. Brilliant.

The app will start initially be released with support for "messaging and groups," though additional support for for "voice, screen share, and [...] channels" will come later.

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