Twitter for Android rolling out Tweet sharing through Direct Messages

Last week, Twitter announced a list of improvements coming to the service including enhancements to Direct Messages and video capabilities slated for next year, and today the social network started rolling out its new features as promised. With the latest version of Twitter for Android, you can now share public Tweets privately over Direct Messages with native embedding. You can see the new feature in action below…
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PSA: Google Play Music now comes with access to YouTube Music Key

YouTube Music Key

Last week, we found out that YouTube’s new music streaming service dubbed YouTube Music Key would be accessible to Google Play Music subscribers, however the company didn’t provide an exact date. Today, via Google Play’s official Twitter account, the search giant announced that the service is now available to Music customers at no additional charge.

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Google launches Contributor, a Netflix/Spotify model for crowdsourcing content creators

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Google has today launched a new platform that aims to reinvent how content creators on the Internet make money. It’s called Contributor, and it involves readers committing to a certain monthly payment of $1-3, which will in turn give visitors an ad-free browsing experience on some sites. This could potentially be a full-blown alternative to Google’s AdSense, giving publications like this one and others a new form of monetization.

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YouTube Music Awards set to return in March 2015

YouTube Music AwardsAfter a bit of a hiatus, YouTube announced today that it’s bringing back its Music Awards for a second showing. The event is set to take place sometime in March with the Google-owned company dishing out awards to recording artists selected by its viewers. In addition to having a say-so in who receives top honors, fans will also have some type of creative influence over the content being streamed. Read more

LG’s low-cost 7″ and 10.1″ tablets now available from Verizon starting at $50 w/ contract

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Verizon announced the availability of two low-cost LG tablets today. Priced at $300, LG’s full-size 10.1-inch tablet sports an HD IPS display, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter, 16GB of internal storage, an 8,000mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. The smaller and cheaper ($250) 7-inch slate features nearly identical specifications, with the exceptions of its smaller stature and its 4,000mAh cell.

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Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Google Play, Beats, Spotify & others in album sales

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Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Google Play, Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

Here’s a look at how Android 5.0 Lollipop might run on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen pre-release versions of Android 5.0 running on a Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5. Today, however, we’ll be taking a look at Google’s new mobile operating system on a Galaxy Note 3. Described as a rough draft of the Android 5.0, this alleged internal build of Lollipop for Samsung’s king-size smartphone should help give an idea what’s in store for owners of this popular handset. Read more

Google announces Play Store merchant support for developers in China

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Google, in its continued effort to support developers and users from all across the world, announced today that developers in China are now be able to list both free and paid apps on the Play Store. The company made the announcement via a post on the official Android Developer Blog, saying that the addition of China means that developers can now sign up to be merchants in more than 60 countries. Users in more than 130 countries can purchase apps those apps, as well.

As part of that continued effort, we’re excited to announce merchant support in China, enabling local developers to export and sell their apps to Google Play users in more than 130 countries. Chinese developers can now offer both free and paid applications through various monetization models, including in-app purchasing and subscriptions. For revenue generated on Google Play, developers will receive payment to their Chinese bank accounts via USD wire transfers.

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Google introduces ability to embed Street View images and Photospheres

Google, in a post on the Geo Developers Blog, today announced the ability for website owners to embed Street View panoramas and Photospheres within their site using an HTML snippet. Google launched this feature for Maps last year, but only today did it add support for Street View and public Photospheres.

Today, we added the ability to easily embed the Street View and Photo Sphere images you find in Google Maps and we’re also enabling the same capabilities programmatically in the Google Maps Embed API. These embeds use the new imagery viewer technology that powers Street View in the new Google Maps.

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Mozilla ditches Google as default Firefox search engine, negotiates new agreement w/ Yahoo

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Mozilla and Yahoo today announced a joint five-year “strategic” partnership that will see the Firefox browser’s default search engine change to Yahoo. Since 2004, Google has been the default search engine for Firefox, but when the agreement came to an end this year, Mozilla said that it decided to make a change.

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Google Glass helps blind teenager continue seeing the world around him

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Google Glass has been used to help people fight hearing loss, but how about blindness? Last year, a Michigan teenager by the name of Ben Yonnatan was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy, which rapidly caused him to lose a major portion of his vision. “Within a few short months, he went to having about a four-degree field of view, which is like looking through a straw,” Yonnatan’s mother, Erin Brown Conroy told Kalamazoo’s WWMT-TV Newschannel 3.

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