Refreshed Hangouts in Gmail makes it easier to see who’s online

Hangouts2

Today, Google announced an update that improves Hangout’s integration in Gmail. In an effort to make your contacts more accessible, this new tab displays friends who are online first, followed by those who aren’t. You can still send messages to offline contacts, however they won’t get them until they sign into Hangouts from a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

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Nexus 6 rumored to be launched as Nexus X to avoid Blade Runner trademark, expected quiet launch around Halloween

nexus

We heard last month that there was a new Nexus phablet on the way, code-named Shamu. The device is said to have a 5.9-inch 1440×2560 screen and a fingerprint sensor, and to be made by Motorola rather than LG – and seemed a good candidate for the Nexus 6.

PhoneArena is now citing anonymous Motorola sources as saying that the device will instead be launched as the Nexus X, to avoid trademark issues over the Nexus-6 androids in the Philip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - later turned into the cult movie Blade Runner …  Read more

Secret for Android update removes ability to access photo library or post full names, adds Flickr search, polls

The popular anonymous social sharing network Secret may be under fire in Brazil, but in the U.S. and abroad the software lives on, and today received a big new update on the Android platform. The new version both adds and removes several capabilities to the app.

One of the most important changes in the new build is the removal of the ability to access photos saved to a device’s photo library. The camera is still fair game, but Secret is attempting to cut down on personally-damaging photos by taking away the option to upload older images.

That’s not to say that the camera is the only way to upload photos, though. The app now supports Flickr search so users can still find just the right photo for their posts without the need to go through their photo libraries.

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Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more

MediaFire for Android updated w/ refreshed UI, automatic photo backup, streaming, more

Popular file sharing service MediaFire announced a major update to its Android app this afternoon, bumping it to version 2.0. The update adds a variety of new features and enhancements, both visually and feature-wise. Overall, the interface looks much cleaner in version 2.0 than it did in earlier versions. The overall navigation process remains the same for the most part, but icons, menus, text, and other visuals have been modernized quite a bit.

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Uber introduces API for integrating the transportation service into other apps

Uber API The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.

Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.

As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.

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Pushbullet for Android updated, brings awesome new universal copy & paste feature

pushbullet android

Pushbullet is one of the more essential utilities when it comes to making my daily workflow a breeze, and today the team behind it has announced that app has been updated to include a small but potentially game-changing feature—not just for me, but for everyone who uses an Android phone and a Windows PC. I think it’s obvious how many benefits would come from being able to quickly and seamlessly copy & paste text across platforms, and the latest version of Pushbullet for Android takes the cross-platform notification and file sharing app to the next level by letting you do just that.

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Brazilian judge orders Google to remove Secret from the Play Store, remotely delete from users’ phones

A judge in Brazil has had it with the anonymous bullying carried out on social networking apps like Secret  and has stepped in to put a stop to it, according to a report from  Estadao [translation]. Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho has ruled that Google must delete the application from its Play Store, but the ruling doesn’t stop there.

According to the report, the judge has demanded that Google remotely delete the application from every device that has installed it in the country. While that might sound like a hilarious case of a judge not understanding how technology works, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a capability that Google has, sort of.

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1Password for Android updated w/ freemium pricing model, ability to create vaults on mobile, more

1Password-4-Android

When a totally revamped version of 1Password for Android was released to the Play Store earlier this summer, the AgileBits developers still weren’t quite sure on how to price the app. Since the release, the app has been free for anyone to use. At the time of release, AgileBits said that eventually, a premium version would be released with many of the features hidden in it.     Now, in a blog post, the developer team has announced that, as part of today’s 1Password 4.1 update for Android, many of the premium features are behind in-app purchases.

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Microsoft updates OneNote for Android w/ handwriting support, full tablet experience, more

Microsoft announced today that it’s releasing a big update to its OneNote app for Android that includes full support for handwriting and brand new experience for tablets with a new UI.

Handwriting support has been the biggest feature request and we have listened to your feedback!  If you have an Android tablet, say goodbye to pen and paper because now you have OneNote to take notes during lectures or meetings. With this update you can take handwritten notes, draw with your stylus and even with your finger. Your notes will sync across all your devices, helping you access them easily and stay organized.

Also included in the update is a new tablet-optimized UI with formatting options including “font type, font size, font color, highlight color, text alignment and heading style.”

We have completely redesigned the UI to fit your Android tablet. The new tablet navigation lets you scan through your notebooks and sections so you change to your notes quickly. For those of you who like to keep your notes well formatted, this update has a lot to offer. We have added many new formatting options… You can even organize your notes better by inserting tags to your notes.

Other new features in this release include the ability to “change the page color for visual appeal or add grid lines or ruled lines to your pages to assist in handwriting or drawing.”

The update is available now on Google Play.