03
Oct
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Without any warning, Google started rolling out Android 4.3.1 (JLS36I) late Thursday night. The first device to receive it is the 2013 LTE Nexus 7 (also known as deb and razorg).

At the moment, it's unclear what exactly the new features and bug fixes in this update could be, but it's worth noting that while Google has patched 4.3 in the past several times, this is the first 4.3 release to increment the version number.

03
Oct
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Starting today, anyone with Glass can now submit their own creations to MyGlass, the Google Glass app store. Google has opened up the Glassware Review Process to any developer seeking to make their software available to the many Explorers who already happen to own a pair. All a developer has to do is take a look at the Distributing Glassware documentation and meet the basic requirements provided.

Glass

Today's announcement coincides with the release of several new third-party Glassware in MyGlass.

02
Oct
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When the Chromecast launched it had only one non-Google content source from Android devices: Netflix. Now that service's primary opponent, Hulu, also has the ability to "cast" video directly to Google's streaming dongle. Of course, like everything else concerning Hulu, you'll have to shell out $8 a month for access to the Hulu Plus service and corresponding Android app to take advantage of it.

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To start using this feature, just press the Chromecast button from any window in the Hulu Plus app.

30
Sep
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Just a few days ago, we saw Google expand the reach of Play Books to New Zealand and a handful of countries across Asia. Continuing its arduous march of international availability, Google today expanded Google Play Music and its All Access service to seven new countries. So, who's been added to the list of those able to jam out with Google's on-demand music streaming service/store? Here's the full list:

  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Switzerland

wm_czech republic1 wm_netherlands1 wm_russia1 wm_russia2

If you're in one of the above countries and have been waiting for Google's music service to open up, go listen to some music!

30
Sep
hangouts

Hangouts was one of many Google apps that received pretty significant updates last week. Version 1.2 finally brought availability statuses for people on your contact list, better organization of contacts, and several other improvements. Under-the-hood, however, I spotted a few more additions that don't seem to be live just yet, which is exactly what we have APK teardowns around here for.

Hey, you. Yes, you. Don't forget to check out the Gmail teardown I did on Saturday and voice your opinion on ads that are coming to the Android app.

30
Sep
google japan

Japan loves vending machines. You know those machines with iPods and Bose headphones at the airport? Japan had them first, among, many, many others, including machines for liquor, live bait, produce, Pokemon, and various other slightly insane things. Now it looks like Google is joining the fray with a promotional machine that dispenses Android games right to your phone. What?

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Engadget was on-hand at a Google event where the company showed off one of three vending machines that will soon go into service.

28
Sep
gmail

Now that the insane week of Google app updates has passed (gotta love those Rollout Wednesdays, right?), I've had some time to dig into the APKs and have found a number of interesting things in some of them.

We'll start with Gmail, which received a fairly significant Card UI update with version 4.6.

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Ads are coming to Gmail

The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads.

27
Sep
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It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.

25
Sep
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We've got one last Google update to discuss this evening – YouTube. Bumping up to version 5.1.1, YouTube didn't get an official change log, but there are a few things worth discussing briefly (before Artem does his teardown magic, anyway).

First up, YouTube has a new permission for receiving data from the internet, which it uses to give you new video notifications.

25
Sep
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Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.

First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.

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