Sony begins rolling out KitKat update for several Xperia devices

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Sony is beginning to roll out the Android 4.4 KitKat update for several of its Xperia devices, including the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z1 Compact, and the Xperia Z Ultra. The update includes the latest and greatest from Google’s Android team, as well as some tweaks and updated features from Sony. Aside from updating the guts of the software to Android 4.4, Sony is including a tweaked status bar and quick notification toggles and some interface revamps to make it feel more similar to Sony’s own Playstation 4.

The update also updates Sony’s native apps on the devices, including apps like MyXperia, Smart Connect, and Smart Social Camera, and several of Sony’s other media apps are getting cloud integration with Sony Entertainment Network.
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Updated Skype application promises to save more battery life

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Many Skype users prefer to stay logged out of the service on their phones and tablets while not video chatting because of a fear of drained battery. If you remember, Google admitted that the Nexus 5 battery is currently experiencing faster battery drain due to the camera communicating with apps such as Skype.

Skype just updated the Android app to version 4.7, which will hopefully alleviate the situation. Just one other change includes message notifications in group chats being turned off by default.

Battery life is precious these days, so anything Skype can do to improve the situation is good news.


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Big update for Google Play Services rolling out

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With support for Google Play Games being extended to the iOS platform, developers will need tools to enable this throughout their games. That will be coming forthwith as Google prepares to rollout a new SDK for developers in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Laying the groundwork for that, Google has started rolling out an update to Google Play Services that includes new APIs.
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Latest version of the Google Play Store is now available to download manually

 

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Have nothing to do and dislike waiting for updates? Good news. The latest version of the Google Play Store is now available to download. What is included in v4.6.16? First off, you can now install a ton of applications all at once; however, mass removal of apps has been removed. Why Google added one side and got rid of the other is rather odd. Also, due to the recent in-app purchases lawsuit, the Play Store now has a diverse set of three required password options: always, every thirty minutes, or never.


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Chromecast app sees update to version 1.5.3 with new language support and improved Samsung device optimization

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In the latest round of Google app updates, the Chromecast app has seen a jump from version 1.3 to version 1.5.3. The update brings a few small changes, including making the app available in over 50 languages, improved stability on Samsung devices, and some additional settings and fixes for Chromecast in general.

It isn’t a major update, but it’s worth grabbing anyway, especially if you own a lot of Samsung devices. Hit the link below to grab the download.

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Play Store Download Link

Plex makes Chromecast support free for everyone

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When Plex first added Chromecast support to their app, it came with a caveat – users had to signup for the PlexPass subscription service to cast media. That is changing with an update to the app that is rolling out to Google Play. Now, anyone using Plex can cast media to their Chromecast device. Although casting support is now available to all users, PlexPass or no, Plex is still not a free solution.
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Google Search app updated with expanded card information, better image searching, and other new features

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Google has updated their Search app with a handful of new features, so you’ll likely start seeing a few new additions as you get the update. A majority of the new changes are in Google Now’s information cards, including extra information for Cricket teams, sports card improvements, and expandable information in cards relating to stock information. Outside of the Now cards, Google has improved image searching, adding in the ability to open an image in a browser to quickly save it. One of the biggest pain points of Google image searching with the app was that it was impossible to save a picture if you needed to store it for later, so this addition is a welcome one. Google has also separated hotword detection in the settings to make it quicker to toggle.

Like other Google app updates, you can expect this one to roll out over the next few days. Hit the link below to see if the update is live for you yet.

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Play Store Download Link

YouTube 5.5.26 (accidental?) update brings Dogfooding menu

YouTube_Dogfooding_VersionYouTube received an update today, but it isn’t the update you’re probably used to. Once you update, you’re going to get nothing new expect that the icon in the top leftt of the UI that has a bone inside. It symbplizes Google’s “dogfooding” program, or internal testing program, for those not familiar with the term. The program brings a menu with ExoPlayer options inside. Not quite sure what exactly the options do, and there’s a good chance this update was sent out mistakenly.

The update brings YouTube to version 5.5.26. It doesn’t seem like there are any other functional changes, but if we find something, we’ll be sure to let you know. Find a download link past the break to push the update to your device, if you haven’t yet received it.


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Google Translate update brings handwriting support for 13 more languages

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Google is hard at work today releasing updates for some of its apps, one of them being the Google Wallet app that received an update earlier today bringing the new “Orders” feature. Now it looks like Google Translate is next in line to receive an update.

The new update improves the stability of the app and fixes bugs and crashes. Aside from this, the app now supports handwriting in 13 more languages :  Arabic, Bosnian, Cebuano, Gujarati, Hmong, Kannada, Maltese, Mongolian, Persian, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil, Telugu.
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Google Wallet app receives a new update, introduces “Orders” feature

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Google announced today that it’s rolling out a new update to its Google Wallet app that will bring a new feature called “Orders”.

With Orders, users can now easily track their online purchases as well as receive notifications of status updates regarding the shipping and delivery of their purchases. In addition, you can view receipts of your past online purchases.

Google said it will fetch the receipts you receive in your Gmail in order to find out the orders that you’ve made online.
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