02
Apr
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Well, it's that time again – time for the monthly update to Android's Platform Distribution Numbers. Each month, Google publishes the latest figures, letting developers know what versions of Android are currently dominating active devices.

This month, we're seeing a familiar pattern – Gingerbread is continuing its slow descent, hitting 39.8%, down from 44.2% this time last month. Meanwhile the latest and greatest – Jelly Bean – accounts for exactly 25% of the overall distribution, meaning it's finally hit one quarter of all tallied devices.

02
Apr
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Yesterday, BorrowLenses, a site that rents gear to photo and video enthusiasts, posted up a rental page for Google Glass and a matching blog post. Those interested were invited to rent Glass on April 30th. The prices started at $105 for 3 days all the way to $499 for 4 weeks. With the developer version of Glass going for $1500, this didn't sound like such a bad idea if you were just looking to see how it worked without a huge commitment.

28
Mar
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Google has announced a new initiative today that might, if we're lucky, slowly lead to some meaningful changes in how patent litigation is approached. Or, alternatively, make it easier to highlight the jerks who are ruining it for everyone. The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge gives would-be inventors a pool of patents that Google promises to never sue anyone over, "unless first attacked." That last part is where eyebrows go up, though.

27
Mar
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While Google's been on a roll entering new countries with all its services lately, today is a little different. The Nexus 4 has reached Brazil's shores, but it's not via Google's own-branded storefront. You can pick it up at Fast Shop, Ponto Frio and, presumably, other retailers. No word on when (or if) it might launch on the Play Store.

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With the good news comes the bad, though. According to Google's post, the phone starts at $1,699 Brazilian Reals, or about $843 USD.

27
Mar
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We've all played the "Wait, who is that guy again?" or "What song is that?" while watching a movie. Now, with the latest update to the Play Movies app, if you want to get the answer to that question, all you have to do is press pause. Info cards will then pop up with face recognition of actors on screen, what other movies they're in, and what music you're hearing.

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The feature only works on "supported movies" and it's a little unclear which ones those are (there doesn't seem to be any icon or indicator that shows whether any given movie in your library can show cards).

27
Mar
2013-03-27_12h38_43

Back in 2011, Google added the ability to keep up with live transit updates to Google Maps. After all, commuters in big cities that require cars to get around (like my own Atlanta), have traffic info for highways. Why not people who primarily use the subway to get around? One glaring omission from that service, though, was the New York City subway system. Today, that problem is rectified.

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Starting today, seven lines of the MTA will show live arrival and departure times for stops along their routes.

26
Mar
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Recently, Google quietly began to test auto translation for app reviews in the developer console. Today, the company publicly announced that same feature and began rolling it out to all devs. Now, when they log in to their control panel, they can see the reviews in their preferred language, along with the original text. Neat.

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Of course, this still isn't a replacement for  native fluency, but it should aid developers in troubleshooting problems that users on the other side of the language barrier discover.

25
Mar
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Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.

25
Mar
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Today, Google announced a new update to the Google+ app that will be rolling out later today that brings a host of new features. For starters, the posts have been redesigned to look a little cleaner, provide more content up front, and are easier to interact with. For example, you can now swipe between photos in an album, and tapping content should take you directly to where you want to go.

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