Google updates its Free Play Music list with Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Phil Collins, more

Google has once again refreshed its free Google Play Music playlist for its December Deals offering with new music for you to grab. This week’s artist once again includes an interesting range of performers including Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Wonder, 2Pac, and Amy Winehouse.

What’s more is the playlist leads with Taylor Swift and follows with Kanye West, the two of which famously made headlines together following the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye unapologetically interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.

At any rate, go ahead and grab 10 tracks while Google’s picking up the tab! Read more

Google announces the winners of its Players Choice award for best apps and games of the year

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Google has announced the winners of the 2013 Players’ Choice awards for top Google Play apps and games. The awards are given based on user popularity, unlike the apps featured last week in the Play Store for a similar award,  which were chosen by Google themselves. There were six categories spanning apps and games. The winners of each respective category are listed below, as chosen by the Android community.

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Google rolling out support for Gmail and Google Calendar data export

Google is rolling out support to its take out service for exporting email and appointment data from its Gmail and Google Calendar services, the company announced today.

While Google often supports data exporting when sunsetting a service, the company says in this instance it’s simply allowing users the ability to better archive personal data and switch to other services with less friction. Read more

Gmail adds action buttons for Offers, restaurant reviews, & YouTube, Dropbox, & Drive uploads

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Back in May Google rolled out new contextual quick action buttons in Gmail that appeared next to messages in your inbox allowing users to, for example, quickly RSVP to an invitation or check-in to flights. Today Google announced on its Gmail blog that it’s rolling out even more quick action buttons in Gmail. One of the new buttons will allow users to rate and review restaurants and save Google Offers with a single click:

For example, you can rate and review restaurants you ordered from on Seamless and even modify OpenTable reservations—all without opening an email. And for the deal lovers out there, you can conveniently save a promotion from Google Offers with one click, making it easy to find and buy it when you’re ready.

Another new quick action button will allow YouTube and Vimeo uploaders to click a “View video” button next to emails in their inbox to jump right to viewing their finished uploads (pictured below). The same button will also appear for Dropbox, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Read more

Google adds handwriting input to Gmail and Google Docs via mouse & trackpad

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Google announced today on its Gmail blog that it is adding handwriting input functionality into Gmail and Google Docs for those that find it easier to draw characters than use a traditional keyboard. Both Gmail and Google Docs within Drive will allow users to draw single or multiple characters using a mouse cursor or their finger on a trackpad:

Gmail and Docs offer wide language support, however in some cases using the keyboard is less than ideal. Whether you’re a student trying to include a foreign phrase in your paper or an international consultant hoping to begin your message with a friendly local greeting, now you’ll be able to use your own handwriting to input words directly into Gmail and Google Docs

The feature is first rolling out for more than 20 languages in Google Docs and over 50 languages in Gmail, including many of the most requested languages for handwriting input such as Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, and Russian.

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Here’s how to enable it: Read more