Games with in-app purchases will no longer be called “free”

by Justin Herrick on
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in-app-purchase

Everyone loves free games, but many of them are not actually free. In-app purchases within a game can make just as much money for a developer that releases a paid one without any purchases after the initial download.

The European Union feels that this is an issue for consumers since many parents have run into an problem with children making in-app purchases after a “free” game has been downloaded. Google has listened and will no longer use the word for games featuring in-app purchases. Also, the company will have restrictions built to make it not so easy for people (but primarily children) to make in-app purchases without permission. These changes will all become official in September.

Google working on fixing laptop battery drain bug in Chrome

by Jared Peters on
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A recently uncovered bug in Chrome showed that Google’s browser was unnecessarily using too much battery on laptop computers due to the way Chrome handled PC processors when it was idling. Chrome sets the processor tick rate at 1 millisecond, even when it’s just sitting in the background not doing anything, which can cause up to an extra 25% battery drain on some hardware. Other browsers, like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, keep the CPU tick rate at the default 15.625 milliseconds when it isn’t doing intensive tasks. » Read the rest

[APK Download] Google Maps now has richer biking navigation and voice input

by Justin Herrick on
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Google Maps Icon 16:9 lowres PNG

A Google Maps update is rolling out now (to version 8.2). Firstly, it brings a much better experience to bikers that use Maps. When designing a route for biking, Maps will now show much information such as altitude. This will be very helpful for bikers that are serious bikers. the other part of this update is in the form of new voice input while navigating. Just hit the microphone on the display and voice input is ready to go with whatever you throw at it.

The update is unsurprisingly moving at a slow pace, but we have the APK file ready for you.Hit the break for download links.

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Google, Samsung have growing tension over wearables

by Justin Herrick on
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Gear Live

First they argued and made up over a software scuffle, but now there is tension regarding wearables. Samsung recently made the decision that Tizen would be its smartwatch platform, but Larry Page of Google is not very happy about that. According to The Information, Samsung’s vice chairman Jay Y. Lee met with Page a few weeks ago and Page expressed exactly how he felt. » Read the rest

Google will release a custom watch face API for Android Wear soon, current watch faces may not work with it

by Robert Nazarian on
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When Google released the Android Wear SDK at Google I/O a few weeks ago, we were told that custom watch faces weren’t supported. I was very disappointed, but very excited to actually see custom watch faces in the Play Store a week later. How was this possible? Well I am no developer, but there is some sort of workaround that is working pretty well.

Google’s Wayne Piekarski recently posted about this and mentioned that a custom watch API is in the works.  He also notes…

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Google Wallet updated with ability to store gift cards and more

by Robert Nazarian on
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Google Wallet has been updated today with a couple of really nice features. As you know, Google Wallet already lets you store your loyalty cards, which makes things a lot easier. With this update, you can now store your gift cards for the same easy access. Just like loyalty cards, you can snap a picture of your gift card or enter the information from it in the app to store it. If you received an electronic version, you can click “Save to Google” directly from the e-gift. Once your gift card is in your Wallet, just show your phone to the cashier at checkout.

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Android One program to hit India this October

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Android One Google IO

Google’s Android One program, which is aimed at bringing affordable devices to developing markets, will be making its first stop in India later this year.

Google’s Sundar Pichai will be heading to India to promote and officially launch the program this October — the devices are expected to sell for only $100 each,  and will be manufactured by Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, Intex and Celkon. Pre-installed apps will be allowed, although Google will be handling the OTA updates.

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Google partners with Udacity to teach about Android app development

by Justin Herrick on
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We all want to create an application. While there are simplified tools out there allowing users to drag and drop blocks to build something of their own, it does not go very much further. And learning to develop apps is a time-consuming task that not many people have the patience for. It can be rather difficult. Google, though, wants to promote the education of developing Android apps and is doing so by partnering with Udacity. » Read the rest

Samsung chatting with SmartThings about purchase for around $200 million

by Justin Herrick on
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The next target for Samsung? Your home. The company is reportedly in talks to purchase SmartThings for a deal in the range of $200 million. According to TechCrunch, the deal has yet to be completed but it is very well on its way to being so. Google owns Nest and Apple is launching HomeKit, so it is only right that Samsung gets in on the action. » Read the rest