Android Wear 4.4W.2 rolling out to LG G Watch, brings the beginnings of GPS and Offline music support

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A new version of the Android Wear firmware is rolling out to the LG G Watch today, and with it comes what appears to be the first parts of some intriguing new features. These new features, including support for on-board GPS and offline music playback via Bluetooth, have long been promised to Android Wear users. And today, it appears that the LG G Watch is the first device to start showing signs that these features are coming in full.

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Google Play Music updated with Songza-style curated music stations

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Google announced as part of its acquisition of Songza in July that it would bring some of the music streaming service’s features that users love to Google Play Music. Three months later, the company has followed through with those plans by integrating Songza’s “Concierge” feature with Play Music, enabling users to create contextual expert-curated playlists for an improved listening experience across all platforms. Read more

Google Classroom gets Groups integration, improved teacher controls & more

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Google just announced some enhancements and new features rolling out to its Google Classroom service today including much improved controls for teachers. Google Classroom, a platform for teachers to plan lessons, assignments, and work alongside students in real-time, was announced earlier this year and first opened to all Apps for Education users in August. Read more

Leaked photo confirms our Motorola Nexus ‘Shamu’ mock ups from yesterday

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Following our report from yesterday, the first real photo of the purported Nexus 6/X Motorola “Shamu” has surfaced on the internet. The photo appeared in a thread on the XDA-Developers community and was apparently posted by one named “Michael Sudol.” Notably, the photo is almost perfectly in line with the mock up we shared less than 24 hours ago, noting the device’s aluminum edges and build almost identical to that of the second generation Moto X.

What exactly this device will turn out to be is still unknown, but all rumors have pointed toward it being part of Google’s upcoming lineup of Nexus devices (one piece of evidence is that all Nexus devices have had ocean-themed names). While a 5.2-inch variation of this device is seemingly floating around, the device we’re familiar with has a 5.92-inch screen, QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 of 498 PPI, a 3,200 mAh battery, a 13 MP camera on the back, and a 2 MP front camera.

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Amazon announces massive Kindle refresh including new ‘Kindle Voyage’ and $99 Kindle Fire HD tablet

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Following a big day of Apple news, Kindle has unleashed a massive refresh of its Kindle lines, including three refreshed Kindles and—interestingly—one completely new Kindle model. The lineup includes the company’s new flagship e-reader dubbed Kindle Voyage, a new entry-level Kindle that now packs a touch screen, an updated Kindle Fire HDX, and a new Kindle Fire HD, which is starting at just $99. Read more

Google Hangouts for Android updated with Google Voice integration, free VoIP calls

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It’s finally all coming together. As many suspected would eventually happen, Google Hangouts is finally—in an update rolling out over the next few days—going to be getting integration with Google Voice. The latter service seemed to definitely be getting neglected by Google as of late, with much of the company’s focus going to its Hangouts platform. But it appears that Voice may even moreso eventually become a thing of the past because, starting today, Google is putting it straight into Hangouts as part of a new update to its apps across Android, iOS, and the web.

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Chrome OS updated with multi sign-in support, managed bookmarks, more

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Google has pushed an update to Chrome OS this afternoon, bringing a variety of interesting new features to the stable channel. Of those packed in this update include the oft-requested ability to sign in to multiple Google accounts, a new “App info” page in the OS app launcher, the separation of the Settings page into its own window, and more.

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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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Upcoming XE 20.1 Google Glass update brings major improvements to contacts and messaging, more

Google is getting ready to push out the latest update for Google Glass—numbered XE 20.1—and with it is coming some pretty major changes to how contacts are handled, notably allowing users to access all contacts by voice via Google Contacts. Also included in this update is the ability to actually choose which method you would like to use when sending a contact a message—Hangouts, email, or SMS.

Your entire phone address book is now available on Glass thanks to Google Contacts. You can access 20 of your most recent and starred contacts by voice and the rest are just a swipe away. Starring a contact is really easy. Just find them in your phone and click the star. If the star is filled in, then the contact has been favorited.

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

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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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Facebook Messenger adds Android Wear voice replies, conversation mute, more

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In an announced by Facebook’s Ian Lake, an updated version of Messenger, version 9, will include lots of new Android Wear focused improvements. First on the list is voice replies. The update includes the ability to tap the reply button when a message comes in, and speak what you want to say. Also included is the ability to mute a conversation directly from a Wear device.

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