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Google I/O 2013 wrap-up: Expanding the Android Ecosystem

Google I/O 2013 wrap-up: Expanding the Android Ecosystem

Because Google's most popular operating system - and the most popular operating system on the planet, mind you - is Android, it only makes sense that much of the company's yearly developers conference would be centered in this multi-device environment. What we expected for this year's Google I/O was an upgrade to a new version of the mobile OS and a new device (or two) to run it on. Instead what we got was a major upgrade to Google's social networking connections and services working in and around Android - a turning point, perhaps, for the company in a single three-day series of events.

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Google Play Music update quietly drops support for Nexus Q

Google Play Music update quietly drops support for Nexus Q

Google Play Music received a big update yesterday during Google I/O when the company launched its All Access music streaming service (we even got a quick hands-on session). However, as the old saying goes, if something gets added on then something must be taken off, and it seems the Nexus Q falls right in line with that. The latest update to Google Play Music drops support for the Nexus Q.

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GALAXY S 4 Google Edition made real with Vanilla Android

GALAXY S 4 Google Edition made real with Vanilla Android

This week Hugo Barra spoke up at Google I/O 2013 on the devices that make Android a unique and powerful system, including the HTC One and the Samsung GALAXY S 4. This introduction moved quickly to a Google Edition of the Samsung GALAXY S 4. This version of the device will be working on AT&T and T-Mobile 4G LTE with a 16GB internal storage and a vanilla flavoring of Android. This will be sold through the Google Play and will receive updates straight from the company.

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NOOK HD gains access to Google Play, apps required

NOOK HD gains access to Google Play, apps required

Starting this week, Barnes & Noble NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ devices will be receiving access to the official Google Play app and digital content store straight from the source. Where since the birth of the NOOK line of ereaders, each Android-based device worked specifically and only with the Barnes & Noble Shop for books and movies, users will now have the ability to access both Google apps and Google Music. There's only one catch - if you'd call it a catch, that is.

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Google blocks non-Play Android updates in Facebook Home snub

Google blocks non-Play Android updates in Facebook Home snub

Google has quietly tweaked its Play store policies to prevent apps like Facebook Home from updating on Android devices without going through the official method. The change, which coincides with Facebook directly tweaking its social homescreen replacement rather than pushing out an update through the Google Play store, adds a new proviso which forbids any circuitous attempts to "modify, replace or update" code.

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Swype now available via Google Play

Swype now available via Google Play

Nuance has rolled out its latest update for Swype, bringing with it some new keyboard themes, and a few other improvements and and change. The big news, however, is that for the first time Android users can get the keyboard app from Google Play, which has a limited-time special price of $0.99, after which point you'll have to shell out an unspecified amount.

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