12
Nov
nexus2cee_image_thumb1

It's the moment you've been waiting for. Google just announced the Nexus devices are getting OTA updates to 5.0, and now the full system images have been posted on the Google Developers site. With these files, you can flash your device back to stock even after you've done unspeakable things to it.

2014-11-12 15_03_36-Factory Images for Nexus Devices - Android — Google Developers

12
Nov
ap_resize

It's update Wednesday, and you know what that means. Well, yeah... updates. I guess it's sort of in the name. But at any rate, lately that specifically means material themes are coming to all your favorite Google apps. Today the new version of Google Keyboard is available to all in the Play Store. Or rather, it will be soon. You don't have to wait for it to reach your account, though.

05
Nov
Place info sheet & Explore

Google Maps. Material design. That's pretty much all I need to say, right? Here it is.

Place info sheet & Explore Restaurant Reservations Uber card in Google Maps

The new version of maps isn't just a visual overhaul, though - a few functional tidbits are packed in as well. Deeper Uber integration will allow you to see the estimated pickup time for an Uber, as well as the estimated fare based on the directions you're currently seeking under the transit or walking direction modes.

04
Nov
thumbcal

Yes, you read that right. We took an early look at it a couple of weeks ago, then Google formally announced its existence, and now Google Calendar 5.0 is here and ready for download, working on devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.

Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-42 Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-48 Screenshot_2014-11-04-14-33-53

The app itself is exactly what you'd expect having seen our previous coverage - a super smart "schedule" layout at the front, with supporting day and 5-day views on phones, with a month and week view appearing on tablets.

03
Nov
Gmail-Thumb

The Gmail 5.0 APK was, for many users, the sweetest thing they tasted on Halloween. But that release was just a very thorough preview, a test build that was essentially complete. Now Google is officially rolling the stable version of the app into the Play Store.

What's New

The changes here are predominantly bug fixes, but there is at least one user-facing tweak. Gmail has traditionally displayed an image in the background whenever you load up an empty folder.

03
Nov
unnamed (8)

Google Inbox has been available for only a week, and Google is already tweaking the Android app. Not much, of course - sweeping changes don't come that fast. But as with the recent updates to Newsstand and other apps, Google is getting a little more consistent with its Material Design standard. There don't appear to be any huge shifts in functionality in this update, though users with multiple email accounts will certainly appreciate at least one.

02
Nov
unnamed

If you're as frustrated at Google's somewhat inconsistent implementation of the new Material Design user interface as our own Liam Spradlin, you'll be happy to see the latest small change to the Google Play Newsstand app. Newsstand got its major Material re-design early last month, but version 3.3.1 adds a few more tweaks to the UI. This demonstrates that Google intends to keep working on Material Design in general and its look in individual apps in particular.

31
Oct
nexus2cee_gm_thumb

The day is finally upon us - the Gmail 5.0 APK has landed, and we have it for your (production-signed) downloading pleasure.

As we've expected since we first saw the app more than a week ago, the new Gmail is very... "material." It's got a FAB, the beautiful thread interface we've come to know and love from Inbox, and a drawer that complies with guidelines.

Screenshot_2014-10-31-17-18-11 Screenshot_2014-10-31-17-17-41 Screenshot_2014-10-31-17-11-23

But Gmail's beauty isn't only skin deep - the app holds some new features, too.

31
Oct
ic_launcher_play_store

Update 10/17/14: Play Store 5.0.32, a small bump over 5.0.31, is now available for download.

Update 10/31/14: Play Store 5.0.37, a bump over 5.0.32, is now available for download. It comes with at least one new change - a new permission bucket called Wearable sensors/activity data to help explain permissions for apps that can grab data from wearables, such as heart rate monitors.

Of course, as I have to pick up my son from daycare, breaking news had to hit, and Google had to start pushing out the Play Store 5.0 update (5.0.31, to be exact).

30
Oct
Admin-Thumb

Google Admin has recently received its first update of the year. If you aren't the administrator for a Google for Work account, then there's nothing here for you to sink your teeth into. But there are a few new features here for people on the management side of things.

What's new

Administrators can now implement a 4-digit PIN that works on numerous devices. This way you could have all of the spare tablets in a college IT department, for example, secured with the same code that gets changed every week or so.

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