10
Dec
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At long last, Chromecast has a functional guest mode. While it presumably has something to do with the update to the Chromecast app that rolled out earlier Wednesday, the change did not appear immediately afterwards. Google apparently flipped a switch on the server side, and suddenly anyone with an up-to-date app can cast to a TV without being on the same Wi-Fi network. We've been waiting for this feature to roll out since it was announced way back in June at Google I/O.

10
Dec
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Google My Maps allows you to create your own custom maps, which you can use to chart out a vacation, plan for a difficult hike, or prepare for a lengthy road trip. There's an Android app dedicated entirely to the task, but in a move that makes your creations even more accessible, Google has given them a prominent location inside of Drive on the web.

Now when you go to create a new document, you can produce a new map by going to More > Google My Maps.

10
Dec
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Welcome to Google Update Wednesday, everyone, where you never know quite what you're going to get. The Wheel of Fate has given us a Chromecast update this week, and it's a doozy. A brand new user interface matches the rest of Google's various Material Design apps, more or less. But even more interesting is that the Chromecast app now allows screen casting (where your phone or tablet's screen output appears on your television) for all devices.

10
Dec
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The foldable cardboard VR kits Google gave away at I/O 2014 weren't just a one-off stunt. Today, in its developers blog, Google had some big announcements for the home-brewed virtual reality viewer.

First up, Google has grouped a handful of Cardboard-compatible apps into their own collection on the Play Store. The Cardboard app itself has also received an update, with the ability to discover cardboard apps on the Play Store, and launch them directly from the viewer.

08
Dec
Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.15.06 AM

A couple of weeks ago, a release candidate for Android Studio 1.0 rolled out to the Canary development channel to allow users a chance to poke and prod at it before an official launch. The serious issues have been worked out and Android Studio has been given its first official release to the stable channel. Alongside the title change, Android Studio has also been declared the "official Android IDE." ADT with Eclipse is still available, but is no longer considered to be in active development.

04
Dec
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Updates to Google's Text-to-Speech app aren't always interesting, but today's bump actually brings with it two new languages. For those waiting for Hindi and Indonesian language support, it's your lucky day.

Keep in mind that this is the text-to-speech engine, not the voice recognition software that already has support for Indonesian, but not for Hindi.

04
Dec
Teardown-GooglePlus

A brand new version of Google+ began rolling out to Android users yesterday, but it didn't initially appear to do much more than tweak a few layouts and change the colors to something more theme-appropriate. During the initial teardown, we also stumbled onto the newly expanded Pinning feature, but Google beat us to the punch. Of course, since the feature is on a staged rollout to users, plenty of people won't see that quite yet.

04
Dec
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Last Updated: December 5th, 2014

Our readers in Mexico probably don't have a lot of sympathy for those of us still ticked that we can't grab a Nexus 6 from the Play Store or Motorola itself. But starting next week they'll have the chance to get their own... or more likely, be just as pissed at Google's lack of foresight for another major phone launch. Google Mexico just posted the Nexus 6's Mexico launch announcement on Google+.

04
Dec
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Last Updated: December 5th, 2014

Earlier this year, Google+ community managers gained the ability to pin posts to the top of a page, useful during those times when you want visitors to see something in particular the first time they arrive. The thing is, community pages aren't the only ones that could benefit from such a feature. So the capability is now rolling out for regular profiles and pages as well. General users can now pin posts using the web version Google+ from their PC.

03
Dec
captcha

Whether or not you know the name, you've encountered a CAPTCHA before. It's the little window typically found at the bottom of an online registration form that's meant to separate real people from robots or scripts that could potentially flood a site with phony accounts and fraudulent purchases. reCAPTCHA is a Google-owned implementation that you've probably seen across the web, and convincing it that you're a real person usually consists of squinting at a set of funky letters and re-typing them as best as you can.

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