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Google+ for Android 4.1 update features: multiple accounts included

Google+ for Android 4.1 update features: multiple accounts included

In an effort to bring about changes as requested from the Android community, Google has issued an update this week to the Android version of Google+, complete with a full axing of Google Messenger. While some may hold a torch for said service, it's been fully translated - transformed, even - into Hangouts, a service that's essentially the same as Messenger and has been kicking it live since back at Google I/O 2013. This service works with Android, iOS, Chrome OS, and Chrome web browsers for cross-platform text and video chat, as well as media file sharing.

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Google City Experts takes on Yelp with crowdsourced local reviews

Google City Experts takes on Yelp with crowdsourced local reviews

Google has launched Google City Experts, a new program aiming to take on Yelp and other local review sites by promising perks and praise for those regularly writing up their experiences at restaurants, theaters, and other locations around select cities. The scheme, which ties together Google Maps and Google+, promises "Local Insiders" access to an exclusive community, Google-branded swag, and special event invitations in return for committing to producing "quality reviews" each month.

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Google kills Latitude and buries Google Maps offline

Google kills Latitude and buries Google Maps offline

Google may have a new version of Google Maps to be excited about, but it's also goodbye to some old features along the way, with the search giant announcing plans to retire Latitude and hopefully shift users to Google+ instead. Latitude has a month left to live and is in fact completely absent from the new version of Google Maps, but users won't be able to avoid the shutdown by bypassing the upgrade since Google is axing server-side support - and Latitude friends lists - too. Meanwhile, offline mapping for Google Maps has been buried away as a bizarre "Easter egg" in the newest version.

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Google Hangouts gets desktop voice calls (with North America bundled)

Google Hangouts gets desktop voice calls (with North America bundled)

Google has restored voice call functionality to desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, after the feature disappeared for those early-adopters who switched from the previous chat widget. The company has offered voice calls through Gmail for some time now, including free calls within the US and Canada as part of a frequently-renewed promotion, and as of this week Hangouts gets the upgrade too.

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Google Mine: don’t believe the hype (not all of it, anyway)

Google Mine: don’t believe the hype (not all of it, anyway)

This morning a report has surfaced of an service called "Google Mine", one that would allow users to control and keep up-to-date on their belongings (digital and physical) and share them with other users in an easy-to-work-with environment. This system has been claimed to be heading toward the public soon, but in fact such a service - if it does indeed exist - has been tagged "internal Only". In this case, with Google, many such services and apps are in testing all the time, and might never see the light of day.

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Facebook’s next “new product” may be to become too large for its own good

Facebook’s next “new product” may be to become too large for its own good

As invites are sent out for an event on the 20th of June that'll have Facebook's next "new product" unveiled, it seems only too good a coincidence that this morning more than one reference to RSS feeds in the social network were found. While it's possible already to pull feeds in to Facebook with some 3rd party Facebook apps, it would seem only natural that the big blue social network's next move would be to bring it all in officially.

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Google+ Hangouts to integrate Google Voice “soon”

Google+ Hangouts to integrate Google Voice “soon”

Google recently unified its various chat services into one last week with the announcement of Hangouts at Google I/O. This will allow you chat with friends like a normal IM client, but it also integrates Google's video chatting capabilities. However, if you use Google Voice religiously, you might have noticed that outbound calls from the desktop have been disabled, but Google says that this will come back in the near future.

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Google+ for Android 4.0 update adds smart photo tweaking and more

Google+ for Android 4.0 update adds smart photo tweaking and more

Google+ stepped up as the hub of Google's "context ecosystem" at I/O last week, with 41 new features now being joined by an updated Android app to take advantage of them. Google+ for Android 4.0 arguably makes its biggest advances in how photos are handled, tapping into the new auto-highlight and auto-enhance functionality which can automatically edit photos as well as pick out which are the most interesting from your uploads.

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