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Google Apologizes For Embarrassing Maps Mishaps In The Last Couple Of Weeks

So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations.

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Report: NSA And Allies Planned To Hack Play Store, Successfully Exploited UC Browser For Years

In the latest update on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on the surveillance establishment's efforts to use the Google Play Store to distribute spyware. Another fun fact from the data dump is that these agencies found and exploited a security hole in the ultra-popular UC Browser for years until an activist group informed its developers about it just about a month ago.

The information comes from a set of slides distributed to agency specialists in 2012 discussing plans for the use of mobile devices in surveillance.

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Google Updates Hangouts Chrome App With New Android-Inspired Interface

We've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.

nexus2cee_hangouts2 nexus2cee_hangouts

The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app.

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Report: Google Is Working On An Operating System For The 'Internet Of Things'

The 'Internet of Things' is a bit of a nebulous concept, but it boils down to adding smart, connected features to the objects and tools you use in everyday life. Things like wearables can loosely be put into this category, but it's usually applied to less conventional products like connected thermostats, home monitors, "smart" appliances, remote car tech, et cetera. It's a growing if somewhat unfocused segment, and according to a report on The Information, Google wants to get in on the ground floor.

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Smart Lock Now Notifies You When It Locks Your Phone After 4 Hours Of Inactivity

Google has been rolling out updates to Smart Lock over the past months, adding On-body detection and Trusted voice, and while this recent change doesn't bring other options to the table, it does make the feature more user-friendly.

smart-lock-4h-notification

Previously, if you had set your Android phone or tablet to trust a certain place, Bluetooth device, or any of your physical attributes, it would keep your phone unlocked when those variables were in effect, but you'd still come across a secure lock screen if you left your handset untouched for a period of time.

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Google Posts Android 5.1.1 Factory Images For Nexus 4, Nexus 5, And Cellular Nexus 7s

For many Nexus owners, the wait for Android 5.1.1 is finally over. Today, OTAs began rolling out for several Nexus devices which had thus far been stuck on Android 5.1. If waiting on an OTA update isn't your thing, you can now head on over to Google's Nexus developer page to get the latest factory images.

factory images 5-1-1

In order to flash these, you'll have to have some familiarity with unlocking bootloaders and using Google's Fastboot utility.

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Lollipop 5.1.1 OTA Available Now For T-Mobile Nexus 7 2013 LTE

Today is a good day to be the proud owner of a T-Mobile Nexus 7 2013. Lollipop 5.1.1 is here with bug fixes and security enhancements in tow. The OTA actually started to show up on some devices yesterday, but your device may not have been part of the first wave of tablets receiving the update availability notification. If you haven't been invited to update yet and can't bear to wait, then you can head over now to the system tab in settings to manually initiate the software download.

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The Google Store Now Sells Skrillex-Branded Cases With Matching Live Wallpapers For The Nexus 5 And 6, Galaxy S5 And S6, And Galaxy Note 4

Remember those hints of a "Google Workshop" with user-customizable phone cases with matching wallpapers that Android Police showed off back in April? Those were really cool, huh?

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AOSP Developer Changelog Posted For v5.1.1_r2 (LMY47X) To 5.1.1_r3 (LMY48B), Points To Nexus 6 Update Coming Soon

Changelogs come in all shapes and sizes. Well, maybe there is just the one shape, but many different sizes. A new tag for 5.1.1_r3 turned up a few hours ago in AOSP and we've generated a list of changes the change for those who would like to know what's going on.

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Google Uploads Android 5.1.1 Factory Image For The Nexus 9 LTE (LMY47X)

The Android 5.1.1 factory image for the Wi-Fi Nexus 9 came just over a week ago, and now it's the LTE-enabled model's turn. Google has posted a factory image that bumps the tablet up to version LMY47X.

Screenshot 2015-05-20 at 2.40.11 PM

This news comes at the same time that the Nexus 9 LTE is getting its OTA update.

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