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Google+ Auto Enhance expands its reach to videos

Posted by wicked December - 20 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

google_plus_auto_enhance_video_uploads

When uploading photographs to Google+, you may know them a bit different about them. The social network will actually aim to make them better with a feature called Auto Enhance. It makes slight changes here and there, some of which may go unnoticed by the user. Auto Enhance is now capable of working with video uploads rather than just photos. Tim St. Clair, the Google employee that shared news, says it will “make your videos look and sound better.” Google+ will analyze the the picture and audio quality and provide users with a side-by-side comparison to see which one is preferred.

Hit the break for directions and the video demonstrating the feature.

From Google+ on the web:

  1. Open a video
  2. Click “More”
  3. Select “Auto Enhance”

From the Google+ Photos app:

  1. Open a video
  2. Tap the overflow menu button
  3. Select “Auto Enhance”

Pretty simple, right? Go ahead and enjoy your revitalized videos!

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: +Tim St. Clair

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Androidify Santa appears in new Google ‘Be Together Not The Same’ commercial

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google_Santa_Be_Together_Not_The_Same_Commercial_Screenshot

Google continues their “Be Together Not The Same’ campaign with a little Christmas love. In this short spot, Santa delivers a round Android Wear smartwatch, what could be a Nexus 6, and a tablet to some lucky children (or adults). There’s only one problem. He has a hard time getting the tablet in the stocking. Check it out after the break.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Google Inbox users can now invite ten friends to use the service

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google Inbox

If you’re lucky enough to be using Google’s new Inbox application, you’ll be glad to hear that you now have ten golden tickets to send to family and/or friends requesting them to join you in the beta testing action this holiday season.

Inviting someone to use Inbox is extremely simple. All you have to do is open the Inbox mobile app, hit the compose button and locate the ‘golden ticket’ icon. Tap it, and an ‘Invite to Inbox’ email will be created. All that’s left to do then is choose a recipient, and you’re good to go.

If you aren’t already part of the beta testing action and have just received an invitation to the join in on the fun, we’d love to know your thoughts — so be sure to drop us a comment in the section below.

Source: Twitter

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[APK Download] Google updates Opinion Rewards app with Material Design

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google-Opinion-Rewards

Google has just updated its Opinion Rewards application in the Play Store. The app now has a new ‘card view’ and a completely redesigned user interface, which complies with the company’s recently-announced Material Design guidelines.

For those unaware, the app allows its users to take part in quick surveys in order to earn Google Play credit and, believe it or not, some of the survey’s are rather fun and are a good way of passing the time. Users can earn a maximum of $1.00 in Play credit for completing each survey, which asks questions like, “Which logo is best?”, and “When do you plan on traveling next?”

As is customary with all manufacturer updates, the upgrade is being distributed in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device, you can search for the update manually. To do so simply head into the Play Store,” then “My Apps,” and select “Opinion Rewards.”Alternatively, you can scan the QR code below to initiate the procedure.

If the update’s isn’t ready for your device just yet, don’t worry. You can always navigate to this page to manually download and install the APK on your handset.

qr code

Play Store Download Link

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Google may court automakers to install next version of Android in new cars

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

android auto

During 2015 we should finally see some vehicles hit the market with Google’s special version of Android designed for automobiles, Android Auto, installed and ready for use. The issue for users who want to tap into Android Auto features will be finding a vehicle that supports this particular version of Android and they need a device running at least Android Lollipop. Sources indicate that Google is already looking ahead to the future when they hope automakers will include Android M directly in a vehicle’s dash.

That would be a difference from the current iteration of Android Auto and most other automaker solutions for connecting mobile devices to auto electronic systems. Currently, most of these systems just mirror what is supplied from a smartphone or serve as an additional screen or input device. With Android M built-in, users could enjoy Android without hooking up their mobile device.

Having Android built-in to an automobile may make it a little easier to take advantage of the Android operating system. Automakers could hook in diagnostic systems and media systems directly, easing the path to usability for customers.

Sources do point out some additional performance and stability improvements would be needed for a system tightly integrated into a vehicle’s other systems. Google would also have to get Android, at least whatever version is used in vehicles, capable of booting up in mere seconds if not instantaneously.

There is also some concern that different automakers may opt for other solutions, like Apple’s Car Play system, in an effort to distinguish themselves from those utilizing Android. However, it seems like this could be an opportunity for automakers to follow the path of smartphone manufacturers and put their own skins on Android. That would give them the power of Android while at the same time giving the platform a unique set of features and, maybe more importantly, branding that helps distinguish their product from others.

When looking for a new vehicle, would the presence of Android natively installed in car be a selling point for you?

source: Phandroid

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Here are the offers available when buying a new Chromecast

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Chromecast_product-image

Lately, there have been offers seen just about everywhere involving Google’s Chromecast. The little streaming dongle has been discounted or bundled with trials or attached with freebies. It is confusing, but we can clarify everything for you.

Here are the offers:

  • Buy a Chromecast, get a free trial to EPIX (redeem by March 6, 2015)
  • Buy a Chromecast at Costco, get three months of Sesame Street Go (redeem by January 2, 2015)
  • Buy a Chromecast at Costco, get sixty days of DailyBurn Video Workouts (redeem by March 7, 2015)
  • Buy a Chromecast, get $20 in Google Play movies (redeem by January 31, 2015 and use by January 31, 2016)
  • Buy a Chromecast, get X-Men for free (redeem by February 28, 2015)
  • Buy a Chromecast between December 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015, get three months of DramaFever
  • Buy a Chromecast, get two months of Hulu Plus
  • Buy a Chromecast from Costco, get $25 credit for Google Play movie rentals (redeem by August 16, 2015 and expires by August 15, 2016)
  • Buy a Chromecast from BJ’s Wholesale Club, get $20 credit for Google Play movie rentals (redeem by August 16, 2015 and expires by August 15, 2016)
  • Buy a Chromecast, get ninety days of Google Play Music (redeem by January 31, 2015)

For full details with the nitty-gritty details, hit the source link below.

Source: Google Support

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Google publishes short story written by three authors using Docs

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_docs_short_story_challenge_2014

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Google brought together three authors to write a short story. The twist is that they collaborated across the country using Docs. Edan Lepucki, Mike Curato, and Tope Folarin simultaenously wrote the short story featuring 1600 words and three illustrations in one hour. The opening line, which the authors had to work the story around, was submitted by Lauren Lopez of Malaysia. Google is celebrating the power and creativity of collaboration while showcasing what is possible with its productivity suite.

You can click here to read the short story and hit the break for a recap of how it came together.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Google Drive Blog

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Google continues on its quest to expand its Play Store gift cards worldwide availibility

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_play_giftcards

Google took to its support page earlier today to notify consumers that its Play Store gift cards are now available in an additional six countries in Europe. Denominations of the gift cards vary depending on the country; Norway, Denmark, and Sweden will offer 150, 250, and 500 Krona cards, whilst the standard 15, 25, and 50 Euro cards are being sold in Belgium, Ireland, and Finland.

After you’ve purchased or received a gift card, you’ll need to redeem the code and apply it to your account. All you have to do is visit Google Play, sign into your account, visit the “redeem code” section and punch in the code. You can redeem your Google Play gift card in any of the three ways listed below:

  1. At play.google.com/redeem: Scratch to reveal the redemption code on the back of the gift card, and enter that code at play.google.com/redeem – funds will automatically be applied to your Google Play balance.
  2. During the purchase flow: After choosing the digital content you want to buy, during the purchase flow, under Choose a payment method, select Redeem a Google Play Gift Card, and enter the redemption code found under the scratch-off section of your gift card.
  3. Using the Redeem option on the Google Play Store app on your device: Launch the Google Play Store app, then tap Menu > Redeem, and enter the redemption code from the back of the gift card.

Once the credit has been applied to your account, you’ll be able to purchase applications, games movies, books, music, TV shows and magazines, which can all be downloaded directly from the Play Store and stored straight on your Android device. If you wish to find out more about Google’s Play Store gift cards – click the source link below.

Source: Google

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Google Drive gets a slew of updates

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_drive_multi_platform

In a series of announcements via Google+, the Google Drive development team has announced several enhancements to the service to make it easier to use and more powerful whether being tapped on the desktop or from a mobile device.

Following some updates that were released last week on iOS, the trio of Android apps that make up the primary Drive apps – Docs, Sheets, and Slides – all received a batch of improvements. For Docs, users will find they have new line spacing options, including fractional spacing. Sheets users get scrollbars for faster navigation, and Slides users have new tools to insert, move, resize and rotate text boxes, shapes and lines. The Android apps will also handle Office files better, including creation, and some bugs were squashed with the update.

On the desktop, Drive now offers support for the three major ODF file formats – .odt for word processing files, .ods for spreadsheet files, and .odp for presentation files. For Office file formats, besides the improvements in how they are handled in the mobile app, Drive added some improvements on the desktop. These include support for more complex SmartArt and a change announced last week to support merged cells in Word tables and slide numbers in PowerPoint files.

Finally, Drive has improved their integration with mobile operating platforms. On Android devices, users can now use the Google search function to find files without opening the app. For example, a user can say “OK, Google – search for holiday letter on Drive.” For iOS users, Google has improved the ability of users to save documents to Drive from other iOS apps. For both platforms, the team also announced the availability of My Maps through Drive.

sources: +GoogleDrive (1), +GoogleDrive (2), +GoogleDrive (3)

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Verizon signs patent licensing deal with Google to curb patent trolls

Posted by wicked December - 16 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Verizon-Wireless-logo-7893

Executive VP of Verizon, Randal Milch has just announced the signing of an agreement with Google to cross license patents between the two companies. This will help both Verizon and Google go further in the innovation trail without being hindered by patent trolls.

Verizon makes it clear that it will look for further opportunities with other manufacturers to strike similar deals, so this is certainly not the last we’re hearing of it. Milch said the following in a brief statement posted on Verizon’s blog – “High-tech products can implicate thousands of patents, and when patent litigation takes years, costs millions of dollars, and comes long after innovators have launched new products, the Johnny-come-lately owner of a single patent can threaten an entire innovative ecosystem.”

He was also mindful that these cross licensing deals will not curb the issue completely and stressed that more needs to be done. In conclusion, he expressed optimism in the American Congress and hoped for better patent litigation reforms next year.

Source: Verizon 

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