Android Lollipop was years in the making

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With a complete UI overhaul, enhanced functions, and a new runtime, Lollipop is the biggest Android update ever. Android’s Vice President of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer sat down with Business Insider to talk about how Google came up with such an amazing update.

The early roots of Material Design actually started around the same time as the Gingerbread and Honeycomb updates. That was three years ago, so it’s obvious that Google took their time to make it right.

Google Voice adds native MMS support for photo messages, Verizon officially on board

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Last week, Google Voice users noticed that MMS messages were working on Verizon Wireless. Today, it was officially announced, and Google Voice also got another very cool update for all users. Native MMS support for photo messaging has been added, meaning that users will no longer get a SMS with a link.

You need to obviously opt in to Google Voice in Hangouts. Once you have done that, just attach photos to any SMS message, and it will be delivered as a native MMS. Those of you waiting for group messaging, have no fear because Google said it will be enabled in a future update.

source: +Dylan Salisbury

Google Play now listing Sony SmartWatch 3 for $249

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As Verizon’s reign of exclusivity over Sony’s SmartWatch 3 has now come to an end, residents in the United States can pick up Sony’s smart watch offering from the Play Store for $249. The device is currently listed as ‘in stock’ and will ship within 1-2 business days, so if you order today with Standard Delivery, it should be with you no later than Friday, November 14.

Project Ara team working on blood oxygen level tracking module

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With Project Ara, it’s easy to think of swappable modules as being easy ways to get a faster processor, or a higher resolution camera, or extra RAM. However, those modules can potentially do much, much more, including adding significant new features through hardware, such a blood oxygen level tracker.

Paul Eremenko, head of the Project Ara team, recently showed off a pulse oximeter module that measures the oxygen content in a user’s blood. The module was just a prototype, but it was completely functional and it shows the potential of adding on new modules onto a smartphone.

Google releases Lollipop guide in Google Play Books

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This is a title that will probably be more helpful for smartphone owners who are starting off with their first Android device, but long-time Android users may want to check it out as well. Google has released a Quick Start Guide for Android 5.0 Lollipop via Google Play Books. Although the guide specifically targets Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that will be getting Lollipop, it may still be useful for other devices as well.

Google Fit support sprints to Nike+ Running app

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As the days go by, Google Fit earns itself more support from health/fitness tracking applications. The latest app to connect itself to Google Fit is Nike+ Running. It now combines data obtained from wearables with Google’s new platform. It all comes together to create a complete user profile. In addition to getting Google Fit support, Nike+ Running now works with the Samsung Gear S smartwatch.

Hit the break for the changelog and download links.

Google opening Motorola’s Spotlight Story animated shorts for all Android devices

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Among the many things that the original Moto X was praised for was the Spotlight Story animated shorts. They were fully interactive from from the boot animation onward, arriving at random points. First was Windy Day and then came Buggy Night. It was strictly limited to Motorola devices. However, it turns out that the Spotlight Story animated shorts will be heading to all Android devices in 2015. Why? Because the feature belongs to the Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) division that Google retained after selling Motorola.

The next animated short is Duet. Disney animator Glen Keane is developing the story that shows two people connect and fall in love, but starting from meeting each other at a young age. This animated short will arrive first for the Moto X and Moto X by the end of this year before heading off to all other devices. Then, also in 2015, a live action animated short part of the Spotlight Story series will be released.

Source: Medium
Via: TechnoBuffalo

Google adds 7 additional countries to its list of supported Play Store Merchants

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Google has broadened international availability of its Play Store Merchant accounts by adding Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Qatar, and Venezuela to the mix.

For those unaware, Merchant accounts are designed exclusively for developers, enabling them to receive payment for premium apps through Google Play. Prior to today’s announcement, developers in the above seven locations were only able to list apps for free.

Google has a guide on how to achieve success with the Play Store

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Any store is only as good as the content in it and the audience using it. Google Play has come very far since the days of being the Android Market. There have been fifty billion applications and games downloaded. Google has dispersed $5 billion in the last year alone to developers creating  new content. There is more to just launching an app in the Play Store, though. The steps following the launch are vital to the app’s long-term success. Because of this, Google has produced a guide: The Secrets to App Success on Google Play. It is broken down into sections including engagement/retention and monetization.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Google’s Nexus 6 prepping for release in more countries

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It is a familiar refrain from around the globe whenever Google releases something new, whether it be software or hardware, the frustration with the U.S.-centric release schedules. The new Nexus 6 smartphone is no exception as early adopters are just now trying to get their orders in for the device in the U.S. while buyers in other markets merely look on. Hopefully that wait won’t be long as Google has announced availability for several countries and though no dates are indicated, it appears the Nexus 6 will be coming soon.