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Google Play Movies & TV update: Material Design and second-screen

Google Play Movies & TV update: Material Design and second-screen

Watching movies or TV via Google Play just got a bit prettier, and lot more useful. An update, rolling out today, brings Google’s Material Design to the app, and adds a bit of second-screen functionality. Streaming movies to your Nexus Player or Chromecast might just give you some info about what you’re watching, like which actors are involved or what that song playing is. If you’re the kind of person who’s mind wanders a bit during a movie, this update will bring you back into focus a bit.

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Watch this: Project Ara modular phone boots up

Watch this: Project Ara modular phone boots up

When we first heard about Project Ara (or Phonebloks, if you prefer) here at SlashGear, our eyes lit up. The idea that we could switch-up the spec sheet on our phone was — and is — beyond exciting. Making your phone much more personal via hardware is a brand new take on what smartphones should be, but it’s coming slowly. Luckily, Google has been great to share details of their project as it happens, and have released a new video showing another big step toward true customization.

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Nexus 6 now available for pre-order [Update]

Nexus 6 now available for pre-order [Update]

You wanted it, and Google is giving it to you: the Nexus 6 is available for pre-order. The flagship Android device, straight from Google, is now available direct from the Play Store. At $649 for the base 32GB version, it’s not going to be the easiest pill to swallow when the credit card statement comes — and gets harder if you upgrade to the 64GB variant, which is $699. Still, if you’re anxious to get your hands on some Android Lollipop, you can!

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PlayStation 4 YouTube app wants to pwn Twitch.tv

PlayStation 4 YouTube app wants to pwn Twitch.tv

Have a PlayStation 4? Good news — there’s an official YouTube app, now! Google has finally made a YouTube app that belongs on your PS4, and it’s free to download from the PlayStation Store. It’s not just a YouTube video portal, though. Users will get a few features they’ve been asking for, and the ability to stream game-play content right into YouTube. Gamers won’t even need to do anything clever; just hit the Share button on your controller, and away you go.

 

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Google’s January Project Ara event will spill 2015 pilot details

Google’s January Project Ara event will spill 2015 pilot details

Google will hold its next Project Ara modular phone developer event in mid-January, the Google ATAP team has confirmed, teasing a major update to the software platform as well as details on how the swap-friendly gadget will launch commercially. Dubbed DevCon2, the second of the developer conferences will take place on January 14th, 2015, close to Google's home base in Mountain View, California, and be followed a week later by the identical agenda being replayed in Singapore. Top of the to-do list is running through Ara MDK 0.20.

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Google X Nano Pill will seek cancer cells in your body

Google X Nano Pill will seek cancer cells in your body

Google's moonshot group Google X is working on a pill that, when swallowed, will seek out cancer cells in your body. It'll seek out all sorts of diseases, in fact, pushing the envelope when it comes to finding and destroying diseases at their earliest stages of development. This system would face "a much higher regulatory bar than conventional diagnostic tools," so says Chad A. Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University.

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Google Fit now available via the Play Store

Google Fit now available via the Play Store

With Apple’s HealthKit, we were promised a core app in Health that would give us insight on our overall wellbeing, based on apps that worked with the platform. though HealthKit had a rough start, it’s here, and when used properly, not all that bad a take on your health and fitness stats. Google previously announced their own health platform in Google Fit, which aims to do the exact same thing HealthKit does — just for Android. Google has now published their app to the Play Store, and it’s compatible with just about every Android phone around.

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DROID Turbo detailed for official release with Verizon

DROID Turbo detailed for official release with Verizon

This morning Verizon unveiled the Motorola-made DROID Turbo, their newest in a long line of DROID-brand devices. This device works with a 5.2-inch Quad-HD (that's 2560 x 1440 pixel) display (that's 565 PPI) and a unique quick-charge battery setup. You'll need this device's Turbo Charger - included in the box - to get a 15-minute charge for up to 8 hours of use. This device works with a 3,900mAh battery rated at up to 48 hours of use in a single (extended) charge. As a Motorola device, the DROID Turbo also features a collection of Motorola-specific apps.

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Nexus 6 camera shown off in gallery of HDR+ photos

Nexus 6 camera shown off in gallery of HDR+ photos

Google cares about your photographs -- at least, about the quality of your photographs. Anyone who has their images shuttled off to Google+ is aware of the Auto Awesome feature, and many Android users have enjoyed the HDR functionality in Google Camera. For Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 users in particular, Google has taken things a step further, offering them an "HDR+" feature that produces notably improved image quality when compared to a non-HDR photo. Google took to its Research Blog recently to discuss this feature, detailing what its latest and greatest in particular has to offer.

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Google’s Skybox for Good to help nonprofits save lives

Google’s Skybox for Good to help nonprofits save lives

Satellite imaging is a rather touchy subject. So much so that it was only June this year that the US allowed the taking and use of high-quality satellite images. Aiming to give this kind mapping a more positive face, Skybox, which Google acquired just before the lifting of that satellite imaging restriction, is introducing Skybox for Good. This initiative will give nonprofit organizations such as Appalachian Voices or HALO Trust access to high-quality real-time maps of areas in order to help them save lives, human or otherwise.

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