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[APK Download] Chrome Beta for Android adds a little Android L Material Design

Posted by wicked July - 25 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Chrome_Beta_Large_Icon

A couple of days ago, the Play Store app was updated with Material Design, and now the Chrome Beta app gets a little lovin as well. It’s not full blown because the tabs don’t show up in the Android L recents like we saw at Google I/O, but there are other changes such as the tab switching interface, a bigger omnibar, and an action overflow menu.

You will also get a simplified sign in for multiple accounts along with other bug fixes. The version is 37.0.2063.39 and is rolling now. You can hit one of the Play Store links after the break, but if your device isn’t eligible yet, you can opt for the APK download link from XDA.

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Play Store Download Link

APK Download From XDA

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Report: Google’s YouTube reaches deal to acquire Twitch for $1 billion

Posted by wicked July - 25 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

twitch-tv-bot

Back in May, it was reported that Google was exploring the purchase of Twitch, the premier game streaming service. Although not officially announced, today it was revealed that a deal has been reached for roughly $1 billion.

Apparently both companies started talking back in September, but nothing leaked until May. It’s also expected that Google’s YouTube division will be the ones swallowing Twitch. YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion back in 2006.

Twitch has grown considerably over the years. Back in 2011, Twitch had just 3.2 million active users, but today that total tops 50 million.

source: Venture Beat

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google_voice_hangouts_merger

We already know that Google has been working for a while now on completely migrating the functions of Google Voice into Hangouts, so that it can merge most of its communication apps into one (besides Gmail).

 

We’re getting closer to that reality now, as Google has added support for making phone calls via Hangouts from the Google Voice website — and you don’t even need Google+.

To get started, just go to your Google Voice account (Google.com/Voice) and when you go to make a call, select “Hangouts” as a “phone to call with.”

It’s a nice new addition, although not major, but still a step closer to full integration.

Source: +Alex Wiesen 

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Google Maps gets new Explore feature to help you find points of interest nearby

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Google Maps explore

In addition to getting new ad extensions, Google Maps is getting a brand new Explore feature that’s going to make finding new locations and points of interest even easier.

Tapping the new Explore button at the bottom of Google Maps opens up a pane that displays different kinds of places to visit in your general location. After confirming your location, you can specify how close you’d like recommendations to be (within 10 minutes walking distance or 20 minutes driving distance, for example) and what time of day you’re interested in going, and Google populates the results based on that information. This keeps the feature from suggesting you head to a breakfast spot at 8 at night, or from recommending driving locations when you’re out and about on foot for the day.

If you’re using an Android device, you can also view more detailed information about specific locations, including things like restaurant reviews and transit information where applicable. As you check into more and more locations, Google builds more personalized results to make sure you’re only seeing relevant information. Definitely a step in the right direction towards making Google Maps your go-to app when you’re looking for anything around your city or travelling.

source: Google Maps Blog

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Google Maps now show ad extensions in search results

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google maps ads

Not too long ago, Google Search started returning results for eligible ads whenever you searched things like hotels or restaurants. These results quickly show you nearby and relevant locations, which is great if you’re trying to find somewhere to eat or go and need to see what’s in the area. Starting today, those ad extensions are also going to start showing up in Google Maps, too.

Whenever you search for any type of location, the results you see in Maps will show ads for businesses or places if applicable. Searching for a restaurant will show places to eat near you, and you’ll be able to quickly tap one and get directions to it. The implementation isn’t intrusive, so it’s a very welcome addition to make navigating and finding places much more convenient.

source: Google Plus

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JW Player

JW Player, a video playing platform used by millions of sites, most notably including ESPN, Chevrolet, AT&T, EA Games and more, just received a major update that will bring Chromecast support to the platform.

That means that with the new release (version 6.9), you’ll now see the Chromecast button on the bottom of the screen, adding the ability to stream the content directly to an existing player.

Here’s a quote from JW Player’s announcement on its website.

If you are looking at bringing an element of OTT to your brand, in three lines of code you can start using the basic Google Chromecast integration that we have built into JW Player 6.9. The JW Player can cast video onto the Chromecast connected TV and then turn into a remote control. This means no more messy VGA/HDMI/RCA cables, lost dongles, or wireless mice and keyboards making a mess of your living room. On top of a super easy setup, the Chromecast integration has additional advanced features that are worth checking out.

Along with the new update comes keyboard shortcuts for HTML5 and Flash videos — you should start seeing the update take place on sites as they update their players.

Source: 9to5 Google

 

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[APK Download] Google updates Play Store app with Material Design

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google_Play_Store_Update_4.9.13_Screenshots

You don’t need Android L to experience a little Material Design. Google has updated the Play Store to version 4.9.13 and it brings a new look with Material Design. You will notice larger videos, new animations, and a bigger emphasis on +1s. You can also view app descriptions, changelogs, the version number, last update time, and number of downloads in full screen mode.

This is of course a staged roll out so you might not get it for a few days. If you’re the impatient kind, we have the APK download link below.

source: @GooglePlay / APK Download from XDA

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Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Siri-vs-Google-Now

The war between Android and iOS isn’t just about smartphone or tablet market share. How about Google Now vs Siri? Which is better? Well Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted a study that answers the question.

He threw 800 questions at both apps, and half of them were asked indoors, while the other half was outdoors. The questions were about local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS command.

Back in December 2012, Munster conducted a similar test and Siri came out on top answering 83 percent of the questions correctly, while Google Now answered 81 percent correctly. This year was much better for Google, but the spread was the same. Google Now got 86 percent of the questions correct while Siri was able to get 84 percent of the questions correct. Google Now received a grade of B while Apple got a B-. Google Now is the winner, but I guess you have to ask yourself if 2% better is really going to be all that noticeable?

Other interesting tidbits from the study was that Siri used Google as the source for only 3 percent of the questions. That is a 27 percent drop from December 2012. Siri is now relying more heavily on Bing for its search engine and Apple Maps for navigation related questions. Siri can still do somethings on its own, but not much. This year, Siri was able to answer 4 percent of the questions on its own, which is better than the 1 percent it achieved the last go around.

source: CNet

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Kernel source files for LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live released by Google

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android_Wear_Sample_Cards

Google, via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has made the official kernel files for the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch available for download. This is good news for developers who want to work on developing custom ROMs for the devices or fine tune apps to take full advantage of the platform. Being smartwatch devices, this should also help those developers who want to create unique watch faces for the devices.

In releasing the code, Bill Yi on the Android Building Google Group indicated the development team is planning a “full platform push” for the next version of Android, currently dubbed Android L.

If you want to grab the source, hit the source link below.

AOSP

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Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

chromecast_site_july_2014_revamp

Google has given the dedicated site for Chromecast a redesign. It was previously difficult to actually use the site as a tool for exploring what Chromecast has to offer in terms of applications. Now, though, Google is giving breakdowns for featured, new, and other apps to help users get the most out of the $35 dongle. A filter is included to see which platforms for Chromecast are supported. And there is even a search button to see if Chromecast has exactly what you are looking for.

Let us know if you find the redesign useful.

Source: Chromecast

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