Android L keyboard surfaces on Google Play

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Since the Android L developer preview was made available by Google, developers have been busy at working breaking it down and extracting code to be used on current Android platforms while we wait for the official release of the next version of Android based on L. One of the most noticeable changes in Android L is the keyboard which uses the new Material design framework. Developers had already pulled the apk for the keyboard out of Android L, but installation on other devices required root and some work with custom recoveries and flashing zip files. Now a couple developers have posted a version of the keyboard on Google Play that does not require root and only needs Android 4.0 or higher to work.
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Get an eye on new notifications style in Android L with Heads Up! app

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One of the new features that Google showed off in Android L last week was a new way of displaying notifications in a floating window that will pop up over running apps. If you want to get an idea of how this may work without installing Android L and you have a device running Android 4.3 or 4.4, you may want to check out the new Heads Up! app fro XDA member Dr.Alexander_Breen.
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Android L’s new camera API will come with several new features

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Google is overhauling a ton of things in Android L, one of which will be the camera API. Fortunately, this means you can expect to see several new features and improvements to the standard Android camera application, which has honestly been lacking up to this point.

The biggest thing to come from this new camera API will be pure performance. Thanks to better synchronization between the physical camera and the software, devices should be able to capture better images as well as 30 FPS videos at full resolution. The Nexus 5 on Android L, for instance, can capture a 30 FPS, 8 megapixel video, which is a big improvement over what it could do on previous versions of Android. 
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Google Maps updated to include Android Wear support

 

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If you were at Google I/O and got your hands on an Android Wear device already (Gear Live, G Watch, or perhaps even a Moto 360 if you’re lucky), you may have noticed that navigation commands to Android Wear devices didn’t work.

Until now…

Google was clearly aware of this, and just updated Google Maps to version 8.1.1, bringing support for Android Wear.

If you don’t yet see the update on Google Play, just be patient as it may be rolling out to devices in waves. Once updated, you can search for a location, start navigating, view directions and more, all from your smart watch. Hit the break for the Play Store download link and QR code.


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Google+ Photos introduces new World Cup face paint after-effects

 

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The knockout phase of the World Cup is here, and Google+ will be helping us celebrate.

The platform has introduced a new Auto Awesome feature which lets users upload pictures of their faces, and have country-colored face paint automatically applied to the picture. All you have to do is add the hashtag “#PaintUSA” (or any other country) to a photo when you share it, and the effects will be added after a few minutes.

The feature works with up to four people in the picture, so grab some buds and start uploading!

Source: Google+ Photos

 

Amazon hosting two day promotion full of free apps

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One of the major driving forces of the Amazon Appstore — when it was first released — was the free app of the day. In the beginning, Amazon sported useful apps that if you were on the ball, saved you hundreds of dollars in purchases. However as time progress, the quality of free apps per day as since declined. However every so often, Amazon has promotions that brings back the chance of getting those useful apps for free. Starting today, Amazon is holding a promotion, through tomorrow, offering about a $100/£100 worth of apps for free.

Some notable apps include Plex, Accuweather Premium, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Splashtop Remote Desktop. Depending on whether you’re in the UK or the US, you have a few different apps to pick from, but for the most part they’re consistent. Hit the source to get to your respective deals.

source: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK)

Manage your channel with the new YouTube Creator Studio app

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Operating a YouTube channel from a mobile device can be pretty difficult. Until now, the only solution was to use the YouTube app. That changes today with Google’s release of the YouTube Creator Studio. This new app lets users track their channel’s statistics and respond to comments left by viewers. Users can also setup custom notifications. And, unsurprisingly, you can edit channel details to keep everything updated.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.
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T-Mobile adds speed-testing apps to data limit exemption

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Earlier this month as part of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 6.0 announcement, the company indicated they were not going to count data generated by several music streaming services against customers’ data caps. Going a step further, the company has now announced it will also exempt speed-testing apps from the limits. T-Mobile uses network throttling restrictions on user data when customers exceed their monthly data limit in lieu of charging overage fees.

T-Mobile indicated the popular Ookla Speedtest.net app in particular would be exempt, but other similar apps would also be whitelisted. According to T-Mobile, their goal with this move is to show off the data speeds available on its network. Of course, by removing the throttling restriction on speed-testing apps, this means customers will not be able to measure how much T-Mobile has slowed down data speeds for traffic that is not exempted from the restrictions.

source: Fierce Wireless

Google makes it easy to check your phone for compatibility with Android Wear

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With the release of the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live yesterday and the Moto 360 coming soon, all powered by Android Wear, you may be ready to drop your money on one of these new smart watches. Before you do though, it might be worth the time to verify that your smartphone will work with Android Wear. According to Google all it takes is a phone running Android 4.3, so most new devices should be okay.

If you are not sure whether your specific phone is running Android 4.3 or is otherwise compatible, Google is making it easy to figure it out. Just fire up your browser on your smartphone and surf over to http://g.co/WearCheck. I will note that this only seemed to work with the stock browser on my phone and not the Chrome browser.