18
Dec
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If you've noticed a few changes around the Play Store on a desktop browser, you're not alone. Some Chrome users spotted a new layout for app pages on Google Play starting this yesterday evening. It isn't universal, and it seems to be a minority for the moment - only one Android Police staff member saw the updated layout, and even then, only in the latest beta for Chrome (40.0.2214.45).

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The change modifies the full-width view that we've grown used to into a more narrow, three-column view.

17
Dec
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Yesterday, Google Cardboard revealed that Maps has a pretty awesome easter egg hidden in plain sight - users can take a look at streetview through Cardboard with a simple tap.

As the gif below explains, users need only double-tap the "look around" FAB in streetview to trigger a stereoscopic view of the location they've looked up.

Slide your phone into a Cardboard viewer, and you can "see the sights" just like you were there (as long as you've got a fast connection, anyway).

17
Dec
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That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.

16
Dec
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In an update to Gmail's web interface, Google has added support for attaching files stored in Drive to your emails like conventional attachments. Before, you had no choice but to share Drive files as links or upload them yourself. This is especially useful when sharing files to people who aren't using Gmail and therefore don't enjoy the smooth integration with Drive that Gmail has. For those worried that Google would abandon Gmail with the recent focus on Inbox, this is encouraging news.

15
Dec
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The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.

14
Dec
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Have you ever let the number of tabs in Google Chrome get out of hand? A nifty trick has popped up in Chrome Beta's tablet interface, now making it simple to deal with a large amount of tabs. Simply press and hold on the "X" you would normally use to close a single tab, and you will be prompted with a small dialogue that says "Close all tabs." Hit that and you have a clean slate.

13
Dec
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Open up the Google Wallet app on your Android device, because there might be a $5 surprise waiting for you. Many Android users are reporting on various social media that they have found $5 gifts to various vendors for no apparent reason waiting for them in their Wallet app.

13
Dec
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For a long time, Google's My Tracks app was basically a niche app, if not just a novelty. However, the recent addition of Android Wear support started to get things to make more sense. Location tracking on a smart watch is more convenient and may render obsolete the GPS watches of yesteryear. With the new 2.0.9 update, My Tracks has Google Fit support, giving My Tracks some credibility as a fitness app.

11
Dec
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From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.

A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other).

11
Dec
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I love Jeopardy. If it wasn't for football and Agents of SHIELD, Jeopardy would be the only reason I have an over-the-air antenna hooked up to my TV. Apparently someone at Google feels the same way, because at least one viewer started seeing information about the quiz show's answers as they appear on television. The Google Now card live updated with the show as clues were chosen and then answered (in the form of a question).

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