Google’s Ingress project is bigger than it seems

Ingress

Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress, has reached a critical mass with a relatively large following even before it’s public release earlier today.

Although the game was set aside as a minor gaming project for Google’s Niantic Labs at its beta launch, we’re finally starting to see what all of this actually means.

John Hanke, a key leader on the project and a co-creator of Google Earth, likened Ingress to a “concept project” that could eventually turn into a platform to allow anyone to create an alternate reality game of their own.


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[Deal] Grab the 2013 Nexus 7 WiFi 16GB for only $179 or 32GB for $229 at Office Depot

Nexus_Office_Depot_Sale

Office Depot has the 2013 Nexus 7 WiFi 16GB model for $179, which is a savings of $50 and a smoking hot deal. Back on Cyber Monday, refurbished models were selling for $169, so this is only $10 more for a brand new unit. They also have the 32GB version for $229, which is a $40 savings.

The best part of this deal is that it’s available online and in stores and NO coupons or coupon codes to deal with. The deal ends on December 21, but we can’t guarantee their inventory will last that long.

Unfortunately, if you desire the white 32GB version, you will have to pay full price from the Play Store, but don’t forget, Google has that Chromecast combo deal as well.

source: Office Depot – 16GB or 32GB

Google launches Google Tips to help you use Google products more efficiently

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Google just launched Google Tips, which will help you use Google products more effectively. The site sports the Google card layout and covers 13 different Google products, which include Search, Gmail, Chrome, Android, YouTube, Maps, Docs, Drive, Play, Calendar, Keep, News, and Google+. Each card includes a tip that you can flip over to find out more. You can also share them to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Some example tips are, “View the world’s greatest art in your pajamas,” “Watch videos without watching them load,” and “Unsend the email you’re having second thoughts about.” You can even make suggestions as to what tips you think should be included. Hit the source link below to check it out.

source: Google Tips

Native Chromecast support comes to Play Movies and Play Music from the web

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Folks who have Chromecast devices know well that there are two types of casting from the desktop. First there are those applications or sites that support Chromecast directly. This includes services like YouTube or Netflix where the cast button can be found in the video player area and allow you to use the Chromecast as intended, with the content delivered directly to the Chromecast. The other type are those sites that require the user to just cast the entire web page from their browser tab. This is rather slow and requires the content to be delivered from the computer to the Chromecast. Surprisingly, Google did not include the first type of casting for Play Movies and Play Music from the web when using a laptop or desktop. That oversight has now changed.

According to Google, if the Google Cast extension is installed for your browser, you can look for the cast button in the video player area when you fire up your favorite title. This will then cause the movie, TV show, or song to be streamed directly to the Chromecast, just as it would if you had launched the title using a smartphone or tablet.

source: +Google Play

Google adds blue theme option into Google Keyboard update

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Remember the theme engine that’s baked in (but hidden away) in Google’s stock keyboard? Looks like Google might be taking advantage of it in their latest keyboard update.

The new version of the stock Android keyboard gives you two options for themes; the new white theme that matches with the color palette that’s been introduced in KitKat, or a theme that matches the more traditional Holo blue we’ve gotten used to ever since Ice Cream Sandwich was released. They aren’t exactly the most varied themes that we’ve ever seen, but it’s a good start. You never know, Google may start regularly rolling out new themes, or they might even open up that theme engine for third-party developers on the Play Store to take advantage of, similar to how Cyanogenmod does things.
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Latest Google+ update allows you to shake your device like a snow globe to add snow to your photos

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Last week, Google gave us Auto Awesome Snow, but wouldn’t it be cool to add the effect to any photo? The most recent Google+ update lets you do just that by shaking your device like a snow globe. Snow will start falling, and if you like what you see, just shake again to save it.

Now that is not the only addition that you will get with this update. You can now search for posts, people, photos, and communities all from one place. There is also a new “Who can notify me” setting that allows you to control who can buzz your phone. If you frequently check out the What’s Hot stream, you can now explore content by a number of categories such as music, science, sports, and photography. Last but not least, Google promises that you will see something “lovely” when you +1 posts in the stream.

The update is rolling out gradually so it might take a couple of days to hit your device. Hit the break for a short video on the new shake and snow effect.


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Nexus 5 gets slight revision with improved buttons and larger speakers

nexus 5 revision 1

Google is now selling a “new” version of the Nexus 5 with a few tweaks. No, it doesn’t mean it’s an entirely new Nexus device, unfortunately. Google and LG have slightly tweaked a few things about the Nexus 5 to make a better device. This happens to many devices, it’s just rare that they get much press about it. When we’re talking about a device aimed at Android enthusiasts, though, you can expect those “slight” adjustments to be noticed pretty quickly.

The most major things you’ll notice are larger holes for the speaker at the bottom of the device and some adjusted buttons. Many users reported loose or rattling buttons on the Nexus 5, but the new ones appear to be a bit more stiff and more sturdy, which is definitely a good thing. You can see the small changes in the pictures below.
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Google+ study reveals IT workers are most active user group

Google_Plus_BannerA new study looking at the demographics of Google+ users didn’t offer much of a surprise in terms of their most active user group. People who work in IT are the most active Google+ users, accounting for more than a third of usage on the social network. Full time parents, support level employees, financial services employees and people with ages between 55 years and 64 years are the people least likely to use the Google+, according to the same study.

The network clearly isn’t being used as much as Google would have hoped. While the social network has 540 million registered users, engagement and sharing data is still unimpressive. A different study revealed that Google’s social network accounts for only 2% of all social shares, behind LinkedIn, Pinterest, and of course Facebook and Twitter.

Source: BGR

 

Gmail to automatically display email images in Android app next year

gmail

If you use Gmail for your primary email address, I’m sure you’ve seen the button at the top of all of your emails that you have to tap to display images in messages. The reasoning behind it is sound; it’s a security measure that keeps your inbox safe. Even if it’s just a safety thing, though, it can still be pretty annoying to have to tap that every time you get email from a new sender.

Thanks to some improvements in Gmail, the “Display images below” button is soon going to be a thing of the past. Google is planning on routing all email messages through their own proxy server, then displaying them in your inbox which helps them to make sure the images are secure and removes that button in one move. This will make your inbox faster, more secure, and more importantly, it’ll look better thanks to filled in images.

If you’re not okay with the change, Google says you can still keep the old method of having to approve images before they’ll display. This can help people that are trying to manage extremely small data caps, or someone that just doesn’t like the extra fluff of images in their emails. The change should be rolling out to Android apps in early 2014.

source: Gmail Blog

Gmail Android app gets updated with vacation responder, printing support, and more formats for attachments

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Google just updated the Gmail Android app to version 4.7 with a few new features. First is the ability to add an auto response for when you are on vacation. This was already available on the desktop, but now you can create your auto response message from anywhere. Next up is the ability to attach just about anything to your emails. Previously you could only attach photos or videos. but now you can attach PDFs, ZIP files, and documents.

The last two deal with only KitKat devices. You can now print your emails using the built-in native printing that’s available in KitKat and you there is also some performance enhancements with low memory devices as part of Project Svelte (KitKat).

This is a staged roll out so you might not see your update right away. Hit the break for download links.


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