Google updates Play Store developer policies, forbids notification bar ads, forced home screen shortcuts and other annoyances

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I’m sure all of you have downloaded an app at some point that did something annoying with advertisements. Whether that was forcing you to place a shortcut to some weird website on your home screen or annoying you with ads in your notification bar every day, there’s a handful of sneaky tricks developers have tried to get you to look at ads. Technically, you can’t really fault those developers because Google never said it wasn’t okay to make apps that did that, but it’s pretty clear that Google didn’t like the practice, as they’ve updated their developer policies for the Play Store to explicitly block that type of behavior, among other things.
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Latest Google Chrome beta includes new gestures and nifty image search features

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Good news for you Chrome Beta users out there as the fine browser’s development team has announced a major overhaul of the popular browser, which should make more than a few of you out there very happy. Right off the bat, Google has included some new image search functionality— users can now press on an image and then have the option to search for that particular image within the default search provider (presumably Google). Additionally, the Chrome team went ahead and included some pretty slick gestures that allow the switching of tabs to be even more seamless and smooth. Users will now have the option of swiping horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs or drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view. So yes friends— it appears that life just gotten a little better for us Chrome users, right?

The new features are available in the latest beta now, though there’s no word on when a full rollout will hit the masses just yet. Here’s hoping we’ll see everything available for the rest of the Android world sooner than later.

source: Chrome Blog

Google sneaks in a hidden redesigned new tab page in the newest version of Chrome Beta for Android

chrome_new_tabGoogle’s Chrome Beta for Android browser recently got an update, but we didn’t know that they had sneaked in a redesigned new tab page. You have to look for it, but once you find it it’s pretty neat. If you type chrome://flags into your URL bar in the newest version of Chrome Beta for Android, and tap the “Enable the NTP” option, you’ll get the above page every time you open a new tab once you restart the browser.

The new page features a large Google logo, with a search box and a voice-command icon. In addition, your most visited pages are at the bottom, along with shortcuts for “Bookmarks” and “Other devices.”

Source: ComputerWorld

 

Latest Nexus 7 update, JSS15Q, now available on AOSP, additional details emerge

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Yesterday, an update started rolling out to new Nexus 7 devices to address the multi-touch and GPS issues the new device has been subject to in its first few weeks in the hands of early adopters. Several other Nexus devices also started to receive an OTA update earlier this week to address some security issues. The factory images for all of these updates have now been posted over to AOSP, including the JSS15Q image for the Nexus 7 2013 version.

According to sources, the updates not only address the issues already mentioned, they also took care of some crashing issues involving the devices’ clipboard, tweaked App Opps permissions and some other miscellaneous bits. If you are still running your device on the stock Android install, you can continue to wait for the OTA to hit your device. If you are not afraid to tinker with loading a factory image or your device is rooted and not able to get the OTA update, you may want to head over to the Google Developers site to grab the files.

source: Google Developers
via: Engadget

Android 4.3 factory images now available for Galaxy 4, 7, 10, and GSM Galaxy Nexus

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Aside from the occasional legal quirks and roadblocks, owning a Nexus device is great because you’ll always have access to factory images of your device in case you ever need to completely undo any customization or just want to start from scratch. If you happen to own a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or a GSM Galaxy Nexus, you’ll now have access to those factory images for the latest version of Google’s Android 4.3.

The Nexus 4, all older versions of the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus all have images with the build number JWR66Y. The new 2013 Nexus 7 has a different build number, build JSS15Q, but still serves the same purpose. If you’re looking for any CDMA variants of any Nexus devices, you’re unfortunately still out of luck.

source: Google Developers

Google Nexus 7 2013 update also fixes GPS issues

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Earlier today Google started rolling out update JSS15Q for their Nexus 7 devices that included a fix for the 2013 model to address problems with touchscreens. We now have confirmation from Google that this latest update also corrects GPS problems that some users were having.

The GPS problem would cause the Nexus 7 to lose the GPS lock after prolonged use of the GPS capability, especially in cases where a users was switching between several apps that use GPS. Considering all of the apps that are interested in a device’s location, it was quite easy to overwhelm the GPS code.

The update is still slowly rolling out to Nexus 7 owners. Other than the information gleaned from the support forums, Google has not released any official word on just what JSS15Q includes. We also continue to wait for Google to make the update available for download for those users who have moved on from stock and may not get it through the regular OTA method.

source: Google Product Forum

Google adds virtual zoo and animal park visits to Street View

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Google added a new little feature to their Street View portion of Maps today. If you’re browsing around in Street View, you can now check out a handful of zoos and animal parks from many different countries, including North and South America, Canada, China, Germany, and several others. Google’s own blog post about it mentions that it does include China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which houses about one-third of the world’s Giant Panda population. And, come on, who doesn’t like pandas?

So if you’re bored today and want to take a virtual vacation somewhere on your phone, try a zoo.

source: 9to5 Google

First post-release Nexus 7 update rolling out, fixes touchscreen issues

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Google has begun pushing the first-ever update to the 2013 Nexus 7 and will reportedly fix touchscreen problems that some owners were experiencing with their devices.

Google’s Paul Wilcox confirmed the plans to release new firmware on the company’s forums:

“As a couple of you have mentioned, there’s a new system update that’s started rolling out for your Nexus 7s. This update does address the touchscreen issues discussed in this thread. If you’re one of the people experiencing touchscreen issues, please let us know how it’s going after you’ve received and installed the update.”

It’s unknown as to whether the update includes other improvements/bug fixes as well, but it would make sense if it also included the security update that was pushed to other Nexus devices yesterday. Be patient and you should get the update eventually— as we all know, OTA updates are a process.

Source: Google Product Forums

Google’s Field Trip app now available for Google Glass

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Timothy Jordan, a Senior Developer Advocate with Google’s Project Glass, announced today the addition of Google’s Field Trip app to the list of apps that can be loaded and used on Google Glass devices. The Field Trip app uses a device’s location to alert users to information about places with some historical or cultural significance. Just like with a smartphone, Field Trip will pop up information on Glass devices as the user moves throughout the world.

Jordan also mentioned Google is in the process of developing a method for developers to submit their own apps, referred to as Glassware, so users can access the app through MyGlass.

Check out a short video showing Field Trip on Glass after the break.
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Google Keep gets updated with reminders

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When Google Keep launched last March, there was one thing keeping me from using it: reminders. Well that’s no longer the case as Google just added them to version 1.0.79. Not only will Keep remind you at a specific time, but you can also set it to remind you based on your location. There is now a “Remind Me” button at the bottom of each note. You can set it to remind you at a specific date and time or a general time of day, such as tomorrow night. For locations, Google Drive will make suggestions as you type. Of course reminders are no good without a snooze function, and Google has you covered there.

Google also added a new navigation drawer, which is a way to view all upcoming reminders. You can even switch easily between home and work accounts. Last but not least, adding photos to notes is much easier with the camera icon. Just tap it and you will be given a choice for taking a new photo or adding an existing one from your Gallery.

I will definitely give Google Keep another try. The update is gradually rolling out to Google Play so you might not get it right away. Download links after the break.


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