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Google Apparently Exploring A Design Revision For Hangouts Chrome App

We first saw Ultraviolet, Google's Hangouts app for Chrome, back in August. Just a couple of months later, the app went live for Chrome users with an interesting new chat heads-style interface that put your Hangouts conversations on top of everything else as floating circles.

For the most part, Ultraviolet currently resembles the Android app - it's got green toolbars, and a one-at-a-time approach to viewing conversations or the conversation list.

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Google Acquires iOS App 'Timeful,' Plans To Bake Its Intelligent Scheduling Into Calendar And Inbox

Timeful produces an iOS app of the same name that takes your calendar or to-do list and makes it smarter. The service suggests events to go along with those you create manually. I see you have a meeting at 12. How about spending the hour before working on your presentation? That sort of thing.

In a post to the official Gmail blog today, Google announced that it has acquired Timeful. Going forward, the team will now spend its time working on Google apps.

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Google+ Collections Feature Begins Its Rollout

It seems that while Google hasn't actually released the official announcement yet (it's expected this morning), the Collections feature we've heard so much about in recent days now appears to be going live for some users.

Google has now officially announced Collections on the official Google+ page.

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Google+ Collections Set To Launch Tomorrow, May 4th

Google is just about ready to introduce Collections to Google+ publicly, according to sources.

Evidently, Collections is expected to launch tomorrow, May 4th, in the morning (Pacific Time), with an announcement coming from the official Google+ page of ... Google+. After its announcement, the feature will activate for web and Android users on a rollout that's expected to last a day or so. There's no word yet on when Collections will come to iOS.

The new feature, which we got a sneak peek at recently (followed by pretty strong code-based clues of an impending launch), will allow users to curate "collections" of their content for others to share and follow.

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The Indiana State Congress Uses A Collection Of Nexus 7s And CyanogenMod To Let Members Vote

Here's a mildly interesting story discovered by one member of the CyanogenMod Reddit board. Apparently the state congress of Indiana uses a custom setup to allow its state senators and representatives to submit votes. A Nexus 7 running the CyanogenMod custom ROM is permanently attached to each congressperson's desk, connected to the building's intranet system using a custom Ethernet adaptor (to avoid problems from an overcrowded Wi-Fi connection - there are 150 senators who vote at once), and hooked into SmartVote software from Propylon.

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Android Engineering Program Manager Says Nexus 9 5.1 OTAs "Aren't Far Out"

Samsung and T-Mobile are starting to roll Android 5.1.1 out to the Galaxy S6 Edge, which is crazy when you consider the Nexus 9 is still sitting there on 5.0.1. According to engineering program manager Sascha Prüter, the OTA will be ready soon. For real this time.

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Android 5.1.1 Factory Images Are Now Available For 2012 And 2013 Wi-Fi Nexus 7 And Nexus 10

After an early tease with the Nexus Player, it looks like Android 5.1.1 is legitimately rolling out to the Nexus family. An OTA for the Nexus 10 was spotted just a few hours ago, and now factory images and binaries have been posted for that tablet and both generations of the Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi only, for now). There haven't been any OTA reports for the two smaller tablets, but they will probably start rolling out shortly.

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There are still no signs of OTAs or factory images for the seemingly ignored Nexus 9, nor any phone or tablet with a cellular radio.

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Nexus 10 Receiving An OTA To Android 5.1.1

The Nexus 10 appears to be receiving its Android 5.1.1 update over-the-air. This is mainly a bugfix release, but any update is welcome news, especially on a device that's considered by some to be past its prime.

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The update weighs in at a somewhat paltry 13.9 MB and is most likely build LMY47V. We don't have a link to the OTA update ZIP file yet, but once we do, we'll update this post. This is likely a good sign that we'll start seeing a wider rollout to more Nexus devices in the very near future, possibly even to the so-far-neglected Nexus 9.

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[Deal Alert] Get A Pre-Owned Nexus 5 With 1 Year Of FreedomPop Data (Including 500MB LTE Per Month) For $200 On StackSocial

Over a year later, the Nexus 5 remains a great device. I love mine, and I have no desire to move on to the Nexus 6. The phone is increasingly difficult to find these days, so if you want one, listen up. You can currently get a pre-owned 16GB model on StackSocial for $200. This is a significant discount from the gadget's original $349.99.

Screenshot 2015-04-30 at 6.16.41 PM

What may or may not make this deal more compelling is the inclusion of free FreedomPop service. You get one full year of unlimited talk/text and 500MB of LTE a month. The MVNO operates on Sprint's network, so if that's feasible in your area, this offer is looking to save you significantly more than around a hundred bucks.

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["OK Google, Listen To NPR"] Custom Voice Actions Launch On Android, Allow You To Control Selected 3rd Party Apps

Over on the Android Developer's Google+ page an awesome new feature for Google's voice search was just announced. A small selection of applications will now open directly when using certain voice commands. For example, you can now say, "Ok Google, find houses near me on Zillow," and Google will automatically start the Zillow app, showing a map of properties near your current location (this also works with the applications for Trulia and Realtor.com). Previously a query like this would have directed you to Zillow's mobile site and given you a link to download Zillow's app.

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Let me give you a few more examples of what you can do with the new voice commands.

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