21
Nov
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Google Play Services version 6.5 began rolling out to users a few days ago, and as we work on an APK teardown to see what's under the hood, it looks like there's at least one more user-facing change in the update. Specifically, Android's system update screen is prettier.

The screen which, until now, consisted of the same drab title, horizontal break, "last checked" text, and "check now" button, has been granted a better design treatment.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis.

20
Nov
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Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.

So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too.

20
Nov
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Joining the likes of other Google apps like Play Movies, Play Books, and Play Music, and Facebook's Messenger app, Google Play Newsstand became the latest Google app to reach the 500 million download mark, reaching it some time this month. This number obviously reflects only downloads/installs, not active users, but it's still an impressive figure.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.31.49 PM

Of course this count is including downloads from the days when Newsstand was still Google Play Magazines, before it superseded both Magazines and Currents as Google's de facto news-and-magazine reader.

20
Nov
GMS-Teardown
Last Updated: November 21st, 2014

Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects...

19
Nov
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In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.

The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD.

19
Nov
heart-2x
Last Updated: November 20th, 2014

We've all seen it happen. A great technology, service, or platform comes out, but without a solid base of users and apps, it fails to gain traction. Google wants to see the Fit API work out, and developers have been called upon to help make that happen. If you know how to write an Android app, and you've got a great idea for something that will get people off the couch and into the gym, you're invited to join the Google Fit Developer Challenge.

18
Nov
Hobbit-Thumb

When you've already created a browser-based interactive experience that lets players explore a 3D recreation of various locales spread throughout Middle-earth, how do you up your game? You add multiplayer. At least, that's what Google's decided to do. The company has updated its "A Journey Through Middle-earth" Chrome experiment with the ability for players to challenge each other to a bout of Hobbit-inspired fun.

Google developers designed the game using web technologies such as WebRTC and WebGL.

18
Nov
HudforGlass

Let's change the way we think about Google Glass for a moment. At the end of the day, they're just too jarring for the average person to feel comfortable wearing in public. To people who don't know what they are, they're weird. To people who do, they're $1,500 worth of easily-stolen accessory being flaunted on your face.

But for performing specific-tasks, Glass makes sense. If they can help you perform surgery, why not?

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