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[APK Teardown] Google Search 3.4 Hints At Timer Integration, Cards For Your Friends' Photos, And Much More

The latest version of Google Search rolled out yesterday with a couple of pretty great new features. We already know that 3.4 offers a new parking reminder, mall directories, and the start of voice commands for system settings. But there are still a few secrets worth exploring, so let's get to it!

See Your Friend's Photos

The content of Google Now tends to focus heavily on your current or future location, and as a close second, it tries to be helpful with reminders about TV shows and events. What it hasn't really done is hook into the events generated by your friends.

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Developers From Greece, Luxembourg, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, And Vietnam Can Now Sell Paid Apps On The Play Store

While developers from a startling number of countries can post apps to the Google Play Store for users around the world to download, setting up the infrastructure for these developers to sell paid apps - and more importantly, to get paid for their apps - isn't quite so widespread. Today Google is opening up Google Wallet Merchant registration to eight more countries, allowing developers in those countries to get paid in their local currency.

The new countries and currencies are as follows:

  • Greece (Euro)
  • Luxembourg (Euro)
  • Romania (Leu)
  • Saudi Arabia (Riyal)
  • Slovakia (Euro)
  • Turkey (Lira)
  • Ukraine (Hryvnia)
  • Vietnam (Dong)

Developers in these countries can head to the Google Play Developer console to get started - a registration fee ($25 in the US, equivalent amounts elsewhere) will be applied if you don't already have free apps available.

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Redbox Instant Joins The Ever-Growing List Of Streaming Apps With Chromecast Support

Hey you. Yeah, you. Reading this text. Do you like movies? Sure ya do. Everyone likes movies. Do you watch movies on your phone? Or tablet? How much better would those movies be on your TV? A lot better. If Redbox Instant is your preferred way of consuming flicks, Chromecast streaming is now a reality. That means you can watch movies on your TV. You know, exactly what that ultra-thin superdeluxe HD box in your living room was made for.

The Chromecast support-bringing update is now available in the Play Store, so hit the update button to grab it. It might just make your life a little bit better.

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Additional Google Glass Features Are Due Out This Week, Including New Backup Settings, Smarter Phone Answering, And More

The big XE16 Google Glass update hit two weeks ago, but as we saw in our teardown, some of the included features were not turned on yet. That is set to change sometime this week. The Glass team has shared a number of features to be on the lookout for, with the first of which being a change to how the glasses handle automatically backing up photos and videos to the web. Rather than only working on Wi-Fi, wearers will now have the choice to backup on any connection. They can access this by swiping to the Auto Backup card in Settings.

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Google Drive Can Now Cast Presentations To Chromecast, Desktop Version Only For Now

Chromecast has apparently received support for Google Drive presentations, something that should drastically change just how useful the product is for offices and schools. This feature was previously visible to only a limited number of users while Google worked out the kinks, but now it looks like it may be ready for primetime. The option is visible to us, along with plenty of you as well.

To cast a presentation, hit the Present button in the top right corner. If, and only if, you have the Chromecast extension installed, you should see the option to Present on another device. From here, you can select which device to cast to.

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[APK Teardown] Glass XE16 Part 2: Location Sharing, Toast Notifications, New Voices, And So Much More

Last week I posted a teardown of the Settings app from XE 16. That was really just a teaser, because this update is huge. This time I'm ripping into the guts of every app on Glass. That's over 100 apks (counting multiple version updates from the last month), and there's plenty to see. I'm not going to waste time on a long intro, you know what you're here for!

New APKs

One of the biggest changes to hit Glass with the update to XE 16 can be seen without even cracking open any apks. The total number of apps went up from 44 to 52.

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Google Search Now Makes It Even Easier To Find The Right Restaurant In Your Price Range And Area

Ever since Google Now became a thing, I've used the hell out of Google search on my phone. Need to find a gas station? "Ok Google, where's the closest gas station?" Trying to find someplace I've never been before? "OK Google, navigate to <address>." You know, common stuff that just makes sense.

Now, Google is making it easier to find a restaurant near you, which includes a new "filter" option that lets the user define certain criteria, like price, rating, hours, and type of cuisine. Here's how it works: fire up your phone and say the hotword ("OK Google" on Nexus devices, "OK Google Now" on the Moto X) and tell it to find restaurants in your location.

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Rumor: 'Ok Google Everywhere,' Modular Actions, New Navigation Buttons Coming To Android

We've recently seen plenty of rumors related to Google's future plans for its Search app, from automatically remembering where you parked to reminding you of things when you're with another person, to reminding you to pay bills, down to something as simple as setting a proper timer. Clearly, Google's got plenty of plans for what will happen inside Search. But today, we've got something a little different - this time, it relates to how Google's voice assistant will break out of Search, entering other Google apps to help you do more with your voice and perform more actions with Search in general.

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Google Glass Store Is Now Open To All – Get Your Own Face Computer For $1500 [Update: Or Not]

Update: Google Says the link to purchase Glass is supposed to be for Explorers who were already waiting from last week when the device was out of stock. Still a bit odd that a public link was the best way Google could think of to do that. (Thanks, +Rafael Morales)

Apparently that one-day Glass event earlier this month was just a trial run for something much bigger – Google Glass is now public. The Glass store is accessible to everyone with the Explorer Edition still selling for $1500. This could (finally) signal big things for Glass.

2014-04-24 11_12_21-Glass

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Glass XE16.1 Update Soft Bricks Some Devices, Google Halts Update And Begins Work On A Fix [Update: Fix Is Rolling Out Now]

It was just last week that the Google Glass team started pushing out eagerly awaited update to XE16. It was followed less than 24 hours later by a silent hotfix dubbed XRE15C. Unfortunately, these updates left many Glass owners with complaints about stability and an even shorter battery life than the device was already known for. Yesterday, in a bid to resolve some of these issues, the team began rolling out a new update to XE16.1. There still hasn't been an announcement or changelog regarding the new firmware, but several users have already identified a pretty severe problem: it's sending their devices into perpetual boot loops, leaving them effectively soft bricked.

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