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

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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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Google turning down its Flash Maps API on September 2nd

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Google announced today that it’s completely turning down Google Maps API for Flash on September 2nd. This decision follows suit with the company’s initial depreciation period, which started almost three years ago. Developers now have three weeks to migrate their outdated applications to JavaScript Maps API v3 in order for them to remain relevant.

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SwiftKey updated with performance improvements and new themes

SwiftKey

SwiftKey received an update today that resolves some of the keyboard app’s recent performance issues. According to the software’s changelog, users should experience improved typing, loading times, translations, and several other bug fixes for glitches that caused force closes. In addition to some much needed technical improvements, SwiftKey announced the availability of five new themes: Spotlight Purple, Edge Green, Pulse Yellow, Pulse Pink and Hazy Pink.  If you’re interested in upgrading the look and feel of your keyboard, the outfit is holding a special summer sale that discounts prices on select themes by up to 33 percent.

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Skype for Android updated with contact syncing

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Skype for Android received an update today that makes it easier to import your phone’s contact list. Although this new software is currently available to download, Microsoft says that its contact tracking feature will be available in the “coming months.” When ready, the app will prompt you to verify your phone number and after that Skype will start matching its contacts with people saved to your device’s address book.

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SWIP3 is the first game designed specifically for Android Wear

Android Wear is still in its infancy, with the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live the only devices on the market, but that hasn’t stopped developers from taking advantage of the new opportunities that the platform presents. SWIP3 is a new match-three puzzler that now holds the accomplishment of being the first game designed specifically for Android Wear.  Read more

Google Maps now lets you measure and calculate the distance between multiple points

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Google recently updated its desktop version of Maps with a new feature that lets users measure the distance between two or more points on the map. To toggle this option, right-click on a starting point on the map and select “Measure distance,” and then choose a destination to see the distance between the two points.

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Flopsy Droid becomes first Flappy Bird for Android Wear clone to hit Google Play

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You knew it was going to happen.

Just when you thought that Flappy Bird clones had run their course, Flopsy Droid has become the first unofficial Flappy Bird port for Android Wear devices. The app brings the bird-and-pipe experience to the LG G Watch, Moto 360 and other Android Wear devices, with the same one-tap controls as the smartphone version. The only difference is that Flopsy Droid is designed for markedly smaller screens.  Read more

Isis mobile wallet app will be rebranded to avoid association with violent militant group

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Isis chief executive Michael Abbott announced this afternoon that the mobile payment platform will undergo rebranding so that it does not share its name with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, often abbreviated as ISIS by the media. The militant group is often associated with violence and conflict against innocent civilians, and Isis wants to ensure that its brand has zero association with those actions.  Read more

New Android Wear apps continue to flood in as devices begin shipping

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We told you late last week that Android Wear devices had started leaving the warehouse, and this week is seeing many of those orders reach their destinations. And with the devices now in more and more developers hands, countless apps have started appearing on the Play Store. It will soon get to the point where there are too many to keep track, but in the meantime we’re watching the Play Store closely for great (and not so great) new apps. Read more

Google no longer accepting legacy packaged Chrome apps, support completely ending in June of 2015

 

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In 2010 Google took steps towards separating its Chrome browser and the way its apps operated. Unlike traditional web-based applications, the software didn’t have URLs or navigation buttons, making it feel more like native desktop programs. This new breed of Chrome apps were also capable of working offline, connecting with peripherals and delivering desktop notifications.

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First standalone Android Wear applications hitting the Play Store (Video)

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Android Wear doesn’t just show you notifications. In at least one developer session at I/O, Google made it clear that its new smartwatch platform will actually be capable of running standalone applications, even further extending the possibilities of what the device will be able to do in the near future. But now, some of these apps are already hitting the Play Store.

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