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Google Extends The Nearby API: Beacons, Physical Web, Cast And Wear Setup, And Plenty Of Contextual Notifications

When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.

But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices.

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[US Deal Alert] Get A Black Or White 32GB Nexus 5X For $269.99 On B&H (With Free Screen Protector)

We posted a pretty sweet 32GB Nexus 5X deal two days ago, but today's B&H deal is just a touch sweeter yet. Just head to B&H's website, drop a 32GB white or black Nexus 5X in your cart and use promo code "DADSDAY16" - you'll knock $100 off the price. B&H also throws in a couple of screen protectors, if that's your thing.

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While still not quite as good as the Project Fi sign-up offer, this does get you a proper US Nexus 5X and not some GSM-only international unlocked model. That means this 5X will work on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Project Fi (among many other MVNOs) - making it quite the cosmopolitan carrier choice.

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Google Reportedly Plans To One-Up Apple's New Subscription Revenue Sharing With Even More Generous Terms

Apple announced a new revenue sharing policy in the App Store earlier today. The company said it would change the subscription revenue split from 70/30 to a more generous 85/15 after those subscriptions have been active for a year or more. We were wondering if Google would follow suit, and it didn't take long. Recode is reporting that Google will be doing just that, but it's actually an even better deal for developers.

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Google Will Announce Android N's Name In A Few Weeks

Did you get your Android N name suggestion in yet? If not, you missed your chance. Google has closed submissions and says the final name will be announced in the coming weeks. So, pay attention in late June or early July.

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[Deal Alert] Chromecast Audio £15 At Currys With Free Delivery

If you're a regular reader, you'll be familiar with our US Deal Alert posts. The occasional European deal alerts also pop up as well, but as of yet we've had no UK-specific deal alert (or none that I can find, anyway). That changes now, with the Chromecast Audio going down to £15 at Currys.

The Chromecast is normally £30 in the UK, so £15 is a considerable saving. I'm debating buying one despite not having any speakers to use it with (yet). The deal is only for delivery or click and collect - it's not available off the shelf in a Currys brick-and-mortar store.

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Vizio's New SmartCast Sound Bars Are Cast-Enabled, Start At Just $180

If you've been waiting to "smart" up your home theater's audio, Vizio may have just given you incentive to pull the trigger on a purchase with its new SmartCast sound bar collection, launched today. They start at just a paltry $180 for the basic 38" three-driver sound bar and go all the way up to $500 for fully-equipped 5.1 systems. What makes them smart? Well, they're Google Cast enabled right out of the box, meaning you can cast audio to your Vizio SmartCast speakers just like a Chromecast, and that's pretty damn cool.

At launch, Vizio has nine configurations available, so there's probably a setup that fits in a price:performance:practicality bracket for you.

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Android Platform Distribution Numbers Updated For June, Marshmallow Breaks 10% Adoption

Google has updated its platform distribution numbers today, and Marshmallow has taken a nice jump upward. The latest version of Android is now over 10% of active devices. Just in time for Android N to show up, right? Then there's Froyo, which stubbornly hangs on at 0.1% of the market.

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[Editorial] Now On Tap's Image Recognition Is Quickly Becoming The Google Goggles I Always Wanted

Google's Goggles is all but abandoned now. We've seen Google resurrect apps from the dead and update them after years of neglect, but it's hard to imagine the company putting a fresh coat of paint on Goggles at this point. If only because the app has been superseded by others from Google, with its functionality cut off into little pieces and moved to various places inside the ecosystem.

But that doesn't take away from the fascination and respect that Goggles deserves. It could recognize landmarks before Google Photos, read and translate text before Google Translate, use OCR on images before Now on Tap, and even solve sudoku puzzles, scan and add contacts from a business card, and find and suggest similar products — all options that have yet to be transplanted into any other Google app.

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[Update: Deal Back June 6 - 17] [Deal Alert] Chromecast And Chromecast Audio On Sale For $5 Off Everywhere

The Chromecast and Chromecast audio are already very competitively priced devices at $35 each, but they're even cheaper today through May 8th. Both devices are $5 off at most retailers, bringing the price down to $30. Oh, and Amazon doesn't sell the Chromecast at all because reasons.

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[Update: June OTA Does Not Contain Fix] Some Pixel C Owners Are Reporting Random Reboots After The May Over-The-Air Update

Google's commitment to Android in the form of monthly updates for its own branded hardware is pretty great... until it's not. That's the case with the May security and stability update for the top-of-the-line Pixel C tablet, which has created some serious headaches for owners. Some (but by no means all) owners of the Pixel C are reporting more or less random reboots of the tablet, usually occurring every five to thirty minutes when the Pixel C is off its charger.

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