An update to Google Play Services is now being released to devices worldwide. This release will be more of interest to developers than end users, but there is actually quite a lot here. In addition to some updates to Play Games services and the Drive API, Google has brought Analytics, Tag Manger, and a new Address API into the fold as well.
Even better, all four new territories can access the all-you-can-eat All Access music subscription service. That's generally been the way it works - currently all twenty-five countries supported by Google Play Music also have access to All Access.
Google just pushed an update to the Play Movies & TV app with one big change – support for Play Movies in a ton of new countries. We count 37 in total, but the app's changelog says there are over 40. Either way, that's a lot of new places to get video from Google Play. That's in addition to the big Music expansion today. [Update: We spotted Aruba as well. It's been added to the list.]
Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for way too much money, making the app's developers very wealthy individuals. This deal, theoretically, gives Facebook access to the data provided by the app's nearly half a billion users. The companies behind the social network and the instant messenger have both promised that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously, but this hasn't completely alleviated privacy concerns. Thus WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has shared a blog post aimed at "setting the record straight."
In it he states:
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address.
There are many reasons to pick up a Google Play gift card. Whether someone's birthday is coming up, you don't have your own credit card, or just you want to force yourself to stick to a budget, gift cards can make it easier to scratch a Google Play itch. Google's gradually rolled out availability to a handful of countries around the world, and it looks like the latest locale to make the list will be Hong Kong.
That new smartwatch may not be the first platform that comes to mind when the urge comes to kill time gaming, but Pebble wants to change that. Today at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, the company announced three games that it's immediately making available for its smartwatch. The three titles - Mr. Runner, Icon Pop Quiz, and Hatchi - all come from different developers, and as you can see below, they're now just a tap away in the Pebble appstore.
Google Now is a powerful tool. A step toward Google's vision of a Star Trek computer in the palm of your hand, Now is built to serve up information that you need, exactly when you need it, without you asking for it.
To that end, the service has seen many improvements since its debut. It will tell you when your favorite teams are playing, when you need to leave to make it to the airport on time, whether your plane is delayed, and plenty of info about your destination and surrounding attractions, among numerous other things.
People who have used Duolingo on the web or on iOS may have grown accustomed to a virtual shop where they're encouraged to spend hard-earned points on cool stuff. Now that engaging feature has come to Android. Whenever you complete an achievement going forward, Duolingo will reward you with Lingots that you can spend on all sorts of items ranging from power-ups to bonus language skills.
Duolingo already turns language-learning into a game by breaking down lessons into achievements and giving players a limited number of hearts.