Google announces AppCompat version 21, allows for Material Design on pre-Lollipop devices

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Continuing the pre-Android 5.0 Lollipop update extravaganza, Google this evening announced that it has updated the public AppCompat library to version 21. For those unfamiliar, this essentially means that it will allow for a more Material Design look and feel in apps on devices running pre-Lollipop versions of Android. This concept is exactly what we’ve been seeing in recent Google app updates, giving us the look of Material Design without running Android 5.0.

AppCompat (aka ActionBarCompat) started out as a backport of the Android 4.0 ActionBar API for devices running on Gingerbread, providing a common API layer on top of the backported implementation and the framework implementation. AppCompat v21 delivers an API and feature-set that is up-to-date with Android 5.0

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Google Now rolls out Solar Eclipse and Police Activity cards

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Google Now can remind you to pay your bills and now it appears that Mountain View’s intelligent personal assistant software can help keep you safe. A group of Reddit users have received police alert cards from their local law enforcement branches advising them of nearby criminal activity. So be sure to read these cards carefully if you happen to see one on your phone.

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Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

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Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform. Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Google’s new Inbox app is a marriage between Gmail and Google Now (update)

 

Inbox

Today, Google unveiled a new email solution called Inbox, which looks like a marriage between Gmail and Google Now. Currently available by invitation only, this new app takes bits from your email like purchase invoices and bank statements and groups them together for fast access. Like Google Now, Inbox adapts to the way you operate, highlighting key pieces of emails like flight plans, photos, documents and upcoming event information.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: The best phablet on the block (Video)

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The industry’s most popular large screen smartphone is back again and better than ever, but will “better” be enough to call it your own? Today we’re getting into our full review of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 to find out if this phablet king can hold the throne.

Just prior to the Galaxy Note 4, we had the Galaxy Alpha. This was Samsung’s first attempt at a metal-framed smartphone and gave me an optimistic view on the future of its mobile devices. So as you can imagine, when the Galaxy Note 4 was announced, my optimism grew tenfold. Samsung is building things better, there’s no doubt about it…

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Google confirms that a second-generation Chromecast is on the way

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Google’s first Android TV device is less than a fortnight away, however the company’s current television-friendly hardware appears to be doing just fine. In a recent interview with GigaOM, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said that Chromecast users have tapped the cast button 650 million times, a significant increase from the 400 million figure shared at I/O back in June.

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Sketchy suggestion of “different direction” for Google Glass as company invests in virtual reality startup

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Chardan Capital Markets analyst Jay Srivatsa believes that a combination of two Google investment decisions could signal that the company is planning to take “a different direction” with Google Glass, reports StreetInsider.

Srivatsa noted that Google had decided against further investment in Himax, a company specialising in controllers for conventional head-mounted micro-displays, at the same time as investing in virtual reality startup Magic Leap …  Read more