Google Maps now show ad extensions in search results

by Jared Peters on
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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

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

by Robert Nazarian on
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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

Google releases updates focused on filters and views for Google Sheets

by Jeff Causey on
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google_sheets_filter_options

The Google Drive team has announced some new features and updates that have been added to the Google Sheets spreadsheet app. The updates focus on filter and view options for spreadsheets. Headlining the changes is the ability to create a “temporary filter view” on spreadsheets for which users only have read access permissions. Using the temporary filter, users can filter and sort data in those spreadsheets.

Google also added some features that will make it easier to share spreadsheet data with other users. First, a specific view can be shared so that recipients don’t have to go through a long list to figure out what it is you are wanting them to look at. This can be achieved just by copying and pasting a URL. Second, Google added the ability tothe range that is used to define a filter view. Previously, to change the range users would have to delete the existing range and then create a new one.

source: +Google Drive

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

by Robert Nazarian on
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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.

» Read the rest

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

by Jeff Causey on
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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

Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness

by Justin Herrick on
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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

Amazon Wallet is a new digital wallet to compete with Google and Isis

by Justin Herrick on
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There are a few options for people wanting to take everything in their wallet and turn it digital. Google Wallet and Isis (which it is being called for now) are both among the popular choices. Amazon is the newest entrant with an appropriately named app. Amazon Wallet will collect and store you gift cards and loyalty cards from various retailers and companies.

Right now, Amazon Wallet is missing the ability to actually act as a payment tool. So its current state is more of a digital wallet strictly for storage. To easily add items to the digital wallet, Amazon Wallet will allow users to use their devices to scan barcodes.

Hit the break for download links. » Read the rest

New and improved ‘Explore Nearby feature’ coming to Google Maps

by Robert Nazarian on
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Google_Maps_New_Explore_Nearby_Screens_01

Google recently updated the Maps app last week with new features, but it looks like a handful of people are getting one additional feature. It’s a new and improved “Explore Nearby.”

Everybody already has the current version of Explore Nearby, which will give you ideas for different types of establishments. This newer version gets its own button at the bottom right, and it’s more powerful. It has more groups along with points of interest. You can even select the time of day to get better suggestions such as a bar for later at night.

We aren’t sure when this will land on an official update, but we are thinking sooner rather than later.

source: Android Police

Want an updated factory image of Android L Dev Preview? Not gonna happen, a Googler says

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Nexus_5_Android_L_Developer_Preview_Home_Screen_01_TA

If you’re one of the many who jumped ship from their stable Android version to try out the Android L Developer Preview, you definitely noticed it’s not exactly the most polished thing in the world (not even close, actually).

No reason to be mad at Google, though — it’s just a developer preview, and we’re lucky to have something before launch.

As most Android enthusiasts tend to do, we looked ahead, and hoped for Google to upload an updated factory image of the L Developers Preview. But according to Googler Rich Hyndman, it ain’t happening.

» Read the rest

ZTE announces Google Now Launcher coming on new devices

by Jeff Causey on
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zte_blade_vec_4g

ZTE has announced that they are adopting the Google Now Launcher for a couple new devices, and probably more later, instead of loading a custom user interface making them some of the first smartphones outside of Nexus devices and Google Play Experience devices to do so. The ZTE Blade Vec 4G is a mid-range device that has been selling in China and Europe. ZTE’s announcement regarding the use of the Google Now Launcher coincides with the device’s entry into the Hong Kong market. » Read the rest