Google’s Material Design takes home the Gold Prize at the User Experience Awards 2014

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Material Design was introduced at Google I/O, and we all  fell in love with it instantly. It’s by far the biggest visual change for Android since Ice Cream Sandwich.

The User Experience Awards 2014 took place last week and Google received the Gold Prize for the “Best Contribution to UX” category. Other Gold Prize winners included Volkswagen for Best Brand Experience and SAP Consumer Insight 365 for Best Enterprise Experience. The Grand Prize went to Virgin America for Most Significant Industry Evolution.

Congratulations Google!! Just in case you aren’t familiar with Material Design, we have a short video after the break.


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Android Silver plans get shelved amid “serious doubts”

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The Nexus program is here to stay indefinitely. Android Silver, once seen as the Nexus program’s successor, has been shelved due to concern from within Google and its partners. The exact status of Android Silver is that it is “on hold,” according to The Information. So it looks like this fall will see the release of another Nexus phone alongside a tablet from the program.


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

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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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New Android vulnerability described as “a privacy disaster”

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Security researcher Rafay Baloch released information about a vulnerability in the Same Origin Policy (SOP) protection used by browsers running on Android devices. The SOP is used to stop malicious code from spreading from one site to sites that a user has open in other tabs. According to some sources, this vulnerability is “a privacy disaster.” It appears to be limited to the Android Open Source Platform(AOSP) Browser, which has been replaced by Chrome on more recent builds of Android, and does not impact users on Android 4.4 or higher.
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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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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