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HBO GO App Update Adds Chromecast Support Just In Time For A Boardwalk Binge

You asked. You begged. You pleaded. And your requests have not fallen on deaf ears... but it did take HBO a while, didn't it? The HBO GO app got a small update this morning, adding support for Google's streaming Chromecast dongle. Nothing more, nothing less.

boardwalk

After today's update to both Google's Chromecast whitelist and the HBO GO app itself, there are still just four third-party streaming apps that are compatible, including Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus. You can also stream from YouTube, Google Play Music and Movies, or directly from a Chrome tab if you've got a PC handy.

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It's Not Just You - Google Play Services Seems To Be A Battery Hog Today

If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain. Others simply ask "why?"

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13 - 1 (1) 13 - 1 19.11.13 - 1

Image: Thomas Gatt, Vidit Parab, Luan Baruti, Maximilian Enck

Some have suggested stopping the app and clearing data, but this is likely only a temporary fix, if that.

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'Developers Can Now Do More With Glass' - Google Releases GDK Preview, Brand New Glassware

Google has released an early version of the Glass Development Kit, opening the doors for leagues of new developers to create software for the company's advanced pair of glasses. This is only a sneak peak that's subject to change at any time, but developers can already download it now and start creating apps for Glass right away. It's available directly within the Android SDK Manager.

SDK

Developers need to own a pair of Glass in order to test what they produce, as an emulator isn't included. This limits who can currently produce software for the platform, but for anyone who can surpass that bar, development amounts to taking an Android app and altering it to work with Glass.

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Google Seeks To Reward Proactive Security Improvements In Android By Expanding Patch Rewards Program To AOSP

Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."

Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.

We started with a fairly conservative scope, but said we would expand the program soon. Today, we are adding the following to the list of projects that are eligible for rewards:

  • All the open-source components of Android: Android Open Source Project
  • Widely used web servers: Apache httpd, lighttpd, nginx
  • Popular mail delivery services: Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, Dovecot
  • Virtual private networking: OpenVPN
  • Network time: University of Delaware NTPD
  • Additional core libraries: Mozilla NSS, libxml2
  • Toolchain security improvements for GCC, binutils, and llvm

According to the patch rewards guidelines, rewards can range from $500 to $3,133.70, with higher rewards going to solutions with unusually high impact or solutions to exceedingly complex issues.

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Android 4.4 KitKat Factory Images And Binaries Are Up For Nexus 4, All Variants Of Nexus 7 (2012 And 2013), And Nexus 10 [Flashing Instructions]

Back on Halloween, Google promised that proprietary binaries and factory images for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 would arrive shortly after devices received their OTA updates. Even though some OTAs haven't even rolled out yet, as of a few minutes ago, all modern Nexus devices now have Android 4.4 KRT16O factory images and drivers available for download.

image

This means you can flash stock Android 4.4 onto any supported device, even if an OTA either wasn't available yet or wouldn't work for some reason. The availability of binaries/drivers, on the other hand, is great news for custom ROMs.

Note #1: If your bootloader is locked, your data will be wiped for security reasons - there's no way around that.

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Google Search Talks Back - Latest Update Can Hold A Conversation For Certain Commands

Besides fixing Google Experience Launcher on tablets and adding some new cards, the new Google Search update has another trick up its sleeve - it will now hold a conversation with you to perform certain functions, and talks to you in a new way.

Basically, you can now start with very general voice commands like "send a message." The microphone will then turn into a white speaker on a blue circle, indicating that Search is responding to you. It will ask "Who do you want to send the message to?" Then it's your turn. Say a name, and Search will ask what the message should say.

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Massive Google Search 3.1.8 Update Rolling Out, Brings Google Experience Launcher To All 4.1+ Devices, New Cards, Completely Fixes GEL On Tablets, And More [APK Download]

A huge Google Search update started rolling out earlier today. It is absolutely massive on many levels:

  • It officially brings Search version 3 (3.1.8 to be exact) that shipped in KitKat to all devices running 4.1+. This includes an updated UI, new refresh animation, among other things.
  • Because Search houses the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) inside, this update also brings GEL to all devices running Android 4.1+. All you need to do after installing Search 3.1.8 is install the launcher app from here, and voila - GEL for all, not just KitKat devices. I have it running on 4.1, 4.3, and 4.4 on both phones and tablets, and it finally looks perfect.
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Nexus 10 Owners, Your KitKat Update Is Ready - Download And Install Android 4.4 Now (KRT16O)

Following closely behind the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 KitKat OTA updates, it's finally the Nexus 10's turn to receive the same treatment. You can now flash the 219MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build without having to wait for your tablet to alert you, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is. Of course, if you've modified the system partition in such a way that the OTA won't apply cleanly anymore, you have to either revert those changes or wait for the factory image.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Nexus 10 (it's the only modern Nexus device I didn't buy), so I won't be able to post my own screenshots.

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[KitKat] 2012 Wi-Fi Nexus 7 Owners, It's Your Turn To Download And Flash Android 4.4 OTA Update (KRT16O)

Yesterday, Google announced the kickoff of the KitKat OTAs for the Nexus 7 and 10, though we haven't seen the update for the 2012 N7 actually pop up until a few minutes ago. (If you have a 2013 Nexus 7, head over here.)

2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (not 3G yet) owners, listen up. You can now flash the 185MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build without waiting any longer, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is. Of course, if you've modified the system partition in such a way that the OTA won't apply cleanly anymore, you have to either revert those changes or wait for the factory image.

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How To Try The Google Experience Launcher With Translucent Bars And Google Now Once You Get Your KitKat Update [APK Download]

Now that the KitKat update has started rolling out to various Nexus devices, we're, unfortunately, seeing no traces of the Google Experience Launcher, which confirms an earlier report stating as much. No GEL means no transparency in the default and a pretty barebones boring AOSP launcher. It also means no Google Now integration and no "Ok Google" hotword support while on any home screen.

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Boring Nexus 7 launcher

However, not all is lost. There are several ways to obtain the coveted transparency in the status and navigation bars, and even a way to get GEL and Google Now. The latter doesn't work 100% - there are very minor quirks, but it should satisfy those of you craving Google Experience for the time being.

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