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59

Exclusive Early Glimpse At EnergySense, The Start Of Google's Renewed Bid For Home Energy Management

Yesterday, The Information reported that Google is rumored to be working on smart thermostats, in a renewed bid to help users manage their home energy (and interior climate). Information on the project is sparse so far, but Google hopes it will be a successful follow-up to the unsuccessful PowerMeter, a service that was killed off due to apparent scaling difficulties.

Thanks to a tipster who is - we know you've heard this before - familiar with the matter, we've got an early glimpse into Google's upcoming thermostat foray - we've got a few new details and a look at the service's Android app.

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16

[Deal Alert] Best Buy Selling Chromecast For $29.99 Again (That's $5.01 Off)

If you missed out on November's Chromecast deals but still want to pick up the mighty-yet-inexpensive streaming accessory, good news - Best Buy is once again offering the Chromecast for just $29.99, about five dollars (and one cent) off its normal super-affordable price of $35. What's more, BB will give you free shipping, available for delivery by the 24th.

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It doesn't appear that the previous deal's Google Play credit offer applies this time around, but saving five bucks is always nice.

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28

Use Chromecast To Create A Virtual Fireplace And Let The Gentle Glow Of Your TV Keep You Warm

For many of us, it's getting cold outside. While there's always the option to invest in a thicker coat, bundle up in more blankets, or crank up the thermostat, none of these options particularly involve Android (with some exceptions). So here's another approach. Fire up YouTube on your Android device of choice and load up this YouTube channel. Send it out to the nearest Chromecast and you have yourself a warm fire that will burn for the next hour or so.

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11

[Deal Alert] Office Depot Has The 16GB Nexus 7 Available For $50 Off, $40 Savings With The 32GB Model

Google wants to entice you to buy a Nexus 7 from the Play Store, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you pick one up. So if you're looking to snag one in time for Christmas at a discounted price, Office Depot is currently willing to sell you one for $50 off. This brings the price of the 16GB model down to $179.99.

OfficeDepot

If you insist on buying the larger 32GB model (and really, I wouldn't blame you), Office Depot is willing to part with that for $40 off the usual retail price.

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68

Google Subtly Revises The Nexus 5's Hardware With Larger Speaker Holes And Improved Buttons

It's not uncommon for Google (or other hardware manufacturers) to make subtle changes to devices post-release to fix problems that went unnoticed before the device hit hundreds of thousands users. That's exactly what happened with the Nexus 4, and it looks like the Nexus 5 is getting some hardware modifications of its own, as well.

As pointed out by XDA user shinral, the updated model has more rigid power and volume buttons, the SIM tray fits flush with the body of the phone, and probably the most visually noticeable difference, the speaker grill holes are now larger.

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22

Google Posts Massive User Experience Guide For Chromecast Developers, Still No Word On The Whitelist Policy

Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.

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63

Google Maps 7.5 Gains Gmail Integration - See Hotel, Restaurant, And Flight Reservations Right Inside The App [APK Download]

Last night, Google started a slow rollout of the new Maps with version 7.5. Since the previous version was 7.4, we knew there had to be some key features that prompted the update - it couldn't just be a bug fixer. After thoroughly examining the UI, I was unable to find anything new.

As it turns out, that's because the new feature Google stuffed into the app only shows up upon very specific conditions.

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27

Black 32 GB Nexus 5 Back In Stock At US Google Play Store, Shipping In 1-2 Days [Updated]

Following on the heels of the white 32 GB Nexus 5, the black 32 GB version is now in stock on the US Google Play Store, leaving the warehouse in 1-2 days. If you weren't able to get your hands on a black 32 GB Nexus 5 originally, now's your chance. If you're in the market for a new phone, the Nexus 5 is certainly an attractive option with its hefty hardware specs and comparatively low price.

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14

Google Releases New Tools For Game Developers: 2D Physics Library And Play Games Plugin For Unity

Today, in a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced two new tools that might be of interest to quite a few of the game developers out there. Among the releases is a new open-source 2D physics library called LiquidFun and a Unity plugin for adding Google Play Games support. These releases coincide with the news of additional game categories coming to the Play Store in February, which we covered earlier today.

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