Google rebrands Maps Engine to My Maps on mobile devices and desktop


While most users of Google Maps make use of the normal Google Maps product, whether on the desktop or on their mobile device, other users tap into Google’s Maps Engine product to create custom maps. Starting yesterday, Google started rolling out an update to the Maps Engine mobile app that included a change to the name of the app. It is now known as My Maps and even got a new logo. Today, the Google Maps team announced through their blog that My Maps, both the free Lite version and the paid Pro version, is also coming to the desktop. 
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Chromecast adds support for WATCH Disney Channel, Twitch, iHeartRadio, and DramaFever

Chromecast_dongle (1)Google is still hard at work building out Chromecast support, and today you’ll have four new options to cast to your television. Disney channel, Twitch, iHeartRadio, and DramaFever are all on board with casting support.

The WATCH Disney, WATCH Disney Jr. and WATCH Disney XD apps all support casting content on demand, and if you sign in through your television provider, you can even stream live content. Twitch has finally added Chromecast support, even though their deal with Google didn’t materialize. You’ll be able to watch any live streams from the Android or iOS apps, and they’re also supporting casting from a web browser.
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Google looking into utilizing drones to provide internet access in remote areas


As 2014 nears its end and the new year approaches, it is very clear that 2015 will be filled with headlines involving drones. Everyone from the government to technology companies are utilizing them (for different reasons). According to a request for permission sent to the FCC, Google would like to use drones to bring internet access to remote areas that would not otherwise have a connection.

The request submitted by Google is specifically to start testing its drones on October 6, 2014. The location for the testing would be outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico in an unincorporated community. It will be transmitting at 910MHz to 927MHz and 2.4GHz to 2.414GHz. Some of this is to be used by a more sophisticated 911 location service, but Google is noting that that service is not yet live.

And, like Amazon, Google is working with drones for a future delivery service.

Source: FCC [PDF Download Link]
Via: Ars Technica

Get answers to your questions much faster in Chrome for Android with hidden experimental feature


By now you have noticed that whenever you start typing a query in Google, auto-suggestions appear below. If you’re using the Chrome app on Android (and you should be), you will also get answers in this auto-suggestion area meaning that you don’t even need to complete the search. You will have to enable a flag within your app since it’s not set by default, but trust me, it’s easy.

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You can make your own Google Cardboard headset for less than $4


One of the biggest surprises of Google I/O 2014 was the company’s cardboard virtual reality headset. Google Cardboard is a very inexpensive, do-it-yourself option to have a virtual reality experience. The device was given away to I/O attendees and has not been put into Google Play for availability to everyone. Luckily, there is a kit on TinyDeal that has everything you need to have your own Google Cardboard headset. The cost? A whopping $2.99 with free shipping.

This kit is compatible with the Galaxy S 5, Galaxy S 4, Moto X, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and Galaxy Nexus.

Source: TinyDeal
Via: Android Authority

After departure of project lead, Google’s Android@Home may be in trouble


A new report from The Information claims several changes have occurred inside Google’s walls involving the Android@Home project. That project has been trying to put together a marketable consumer entertainment device, rather unsuccessfully thus far. The closest the team got was the Nexus Q, which was scuttled after negative reviews. The most recent effort was a Nexus TV, also known as the ADT-1 Android TV developer reference platform.
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Nexus 9 keyboard shows itself in NCC filing


We had a chance to see drawings of a keyboard folio case for the upcoming Nexus 9, but now we have real images courtesy of the NCC. The NCC is the Chinese equivalent of the FCC here in the U.S.

You can easily see that there are two different keyboard layouts being tested, so we aren’t sure which one will be the final product. It could even be something completely different from what we all know, but the design will probably be pretty close.

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Google to enable offline YouTube video playback in India


In conjunction with the announcement of Android One smartphones in India today, Google announced a change to the YouTube app for customers in that country. The YouTube app for Android smartphones will be able to download videos when a customer is on a WiFi connection and then they can be watched later when no connection is available. According to Google this new feature will be “a great benefit for times with a slow connection or rewatching videos without using up the data plan.”

Since the Android One series of smartphones is targeted at lower price-points for a market like India, it makes sense for Google to try something like this to help Indian consumers avoid additional data charges or having to upgrade to plans with large or unlimited data caps. We will have to wait to see if Google makes this feature available for markets outside of India. This could probably benefit users around the globe, especially those moving to data plans with caps as carriers increasingly move away from unlimited data. Users who find themselves in locations or situations where any kind of connection is spotty at best would probably appreciate the ability to store videos on their device for later viewing. Users currently have to rely on a variety of different tools to achieve this, so having the capability native to the app would make things much easier.

source: TheNextWeb

Google officially launches Android One, the smartphone for the next 5 billion


Google introduced Android One at Google I/O and told us to expect the launch soon. Today is that day. Android One is an initiative that will bring high quality smartphones to as many people as possible. 1.75 people around the world own a smartphone, which is a lot, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are still 5 billion more people on this earth, and Android One gives those people an opportunity to join the revolution.

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