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Android app update file sizes get shrunken by 65%

Android app update file sizes get shrunken by 65%

There was a time, back in the old Symbian and Windows CE days, when app sizes, were only measured in kilobytes. These days, however, it isn’t unusual for apps to go into megabyte territory, and we’re not talking just about games either. Technology and the price of components have made it far too easy to take file sizes for granted, but just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Especially when it comes to app updates, which, ideally, should be smaller than the original app download itself. Taking up the cause for smaller file sizes, Google has revealed a new technique to keep updates to a minimum, reducing sizes by 65% on average.

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Trusted Contacts app from Google tracks friends with GPS

Trusted Contacts app from Google tracks friends with GPS

Google is launching a new app called Trusted Contacts today, and it's aimed toward making sure you're never truly alone - especially in dangerous situations. With the app, you can name a number trusted contacts who can see your location to ensure that your safe. The app also features some degree of offline functionality, so people will be able to see your last known location even if you're venturing into an area will poor wireless service.

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Google Play Store hardened: here’s how to protect yourself

Google Play Store hardened: here’s how to protect yourself

In an ideal world, users will only install software from, usually a single, blessed source, like a repository or app store, containing only trustworthy and quality software. But we don’t live in an ideal world and even with app stores like Google Play or iTunes, some questionable apps still manage to get through the cracks. In an attempt to protect the integrity and image of its Play Store, Google has announced new security measures to weed out fraudulent or downright malicious apps. But users also have a role to play in protecting themselves from such “soft” attacks.

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Streaming game trials rolling out in Google Play Store

Streaming game trials rolling out in Google Play Store

One of the most annoying things for mobile gamers who like to play on their smartphone is downloading a free or purchased game only to find out it's terrible a few minutes into play and delete the game. To help users find games they really like Google began to support streaming samples of games in December of 2015 but the catch was that the streaming was only for certain apps. As of today, the ability to try games via streaming before you buy has begun to roll out to more games.

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Google Play Store to get smaller app updates, clearer info

Google Play Store to get smaller app updates, clearer info

By nature, mobile apps are meant to be small in size. In the past, that was primarily due to the extremely limited data storage space inside our mobile companions. These days, however, the concern has mostly switched over to the amount of Internet bandwidth each app consumes, both on initial download as well as on updates. Android apps are, however, somewhat notorious for having larger payloads than competing iOS versions. That will hopefully change with Google's introduction of new features that will keep those app sizes in check.

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BBC iPlayer Radio app arrives in US for iOS and Android

BBC iPlayer Radio app arrives in US for iOS and Android

So, you're a fan of BBC Radio and all of the content it puts out, but there's just one problem: you're American, and those broadcasts can sometimes prove difficult to tune in to over here in the New World. The good news is that the BBC is looking to make it quite a bit easier for folks living outside of the UK to listen to its radio broadcasts, today launching its new iPlayer Radio app on iOS and Android in the US.

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Swiftmoji brings predictive emoji keyboards to Android and iOS

Swiftmoji brings predictive emoji keyboards to Android and iOS

The use of emoji is something that only seems to get more popular by the day, but as the popularity of emoji rises, so too do the sheer number of them. After all, there are just so many emoji to use these days that it can be difficult to find the perfect one for what you're trying to say, even though you know it's out there. SwiftKey recognizes this struggle, and today rolled out a new emoji prediction app for iOS and Android, aptly named Swiftmoji.

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Chrome OS dev 53 update brings the promised Google Play Store

Chrome OS dev 53 update brings the promised Google Play Store

It seems that the promised day for Chome OS users has finally arrived. At least for those users who happen to own an ASUS Chromebook Flip and are running the experimental dev version of the OS. Reports are coming in that the latest version 53 of the dev channel is greeting them with a surprise welcome message announcing the arrival of Google Play Store on their Chromebook. There are still some rough edges and unanswered questions, but for some lucky users, it's the start of a renewed friendship with their Chromebooks.

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Android Nearby feature recommends, launches apps based on location

Android Nearby feature recommends, launches apps based on location

Google has just announced a new location-focused feature for Android. Dubbed Nearby, it has the Play Store notifying users of apps they might be interested in, or are relevant to their current location. It simply requires that devices' GPS and Bluetooth be activated. One example includes users near a CVS Pharmacy being notified that they can print their photos through the store's app.

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Google reveals 2016 Play Award winners for design, innovation

Google reveals 2016 Play Award winners for design, innovation

There are literally thousands of apps and games available in the Google Play Store. Google's more open and less restrictive policies invites innovation, experimentation, and even risk. But it also sometimes lets in imitation, laxity, and even malice. So it is good that once in a while, Google pays tributes to those apps that blaze a trail in terms of innovation and design, giving users the best Android mobile experience, whether for free or for a bit of cash. Introducing this year's winners of the Google Play Awards.

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Chrome OS could soon have full Google Play Store support

Chrome OS could soon have full Google Play Store support

To many, it didn't make sense for Google to have different but related and practically competing operating systems. Some of those wished the two would merge, for the benefit of all but mostly for the Chrome OS users. Nearly two years ago, Google stirred things up when it officially supported running a handful of Android apps on Chrome OS, followed by silence. Things heated up again in the Alphabet reorganization but Google quickly shot down rumors of a Chrome-Android merger. Now, however, there might be evidence that Google is further bridging the gap, providing the full Play Store experience on Chrome OS.

Technically, the two OS are very different, except for a shared Linux base and some Google technologies like Chrome. Both, however, could benefit from the other's features. Android, for one, could learn a thing or two about window management and treating web apps as first class citizens. Chrome OS, on the other hand, needs the wealth of popular apps available on Android.

Google partly conceded to the latter in September when it launched ARC, the App Runtime for Chrome that allowed a few Android apps, selected by Google, to run on Chrome. That list started with Evernote, Vine, Sight Words, and Duo Lingo, eventually expanding to a few more, but never embracing the hundreds available on Android. Of course, there were a few attempts to give users that ability, but those were inconvenient at best, buggy at worst. In short, it was technically possible but needed Google's help in opening it up to the whole universe of Android apps. And it seems it finally will.

A user accidentally stumbled on a Chrome OS setting that would have enabled Android apps to run on the Chromebook. The setting quickly disappeared but not before a screenshot was taken. Naturally, dozens volunteered for the treasure hunt and indeed discovered placeholder text for the feature. If enabled, it would ask the user's permission to setup Google Play Store on the Chromebook to access millions of apps and games. Sadly, there is no "Hell Yeah!" button.

The feature is largely inactive for now but we could be given the full Monty this coming Google I/O. Even if it is prayer answered for some, it's still curious to see how Google will manage this strategy. Given how more Chromebooks, and even Chromeboxes and Chromebases, are coming out, Google will hardly kill off Chrome OS anytime soon. On the other hand, Android is set to receive more multi-window features in Android N, which could put it on par with Chrome OS. The two are ironically getting closer together, yet still not the same. Sounds familiar?

VIA: XDA

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Android trails behind iOS in revenue, has twice the downloads

Android trails behind iOS in revenue, has twice the downloads

The app platform wars has never really disappeared. Although we do see more developers targeting both iOS and Android now, parity in terms of the number and quality of apps is far from becoming reality. And App Annie's 2016 first quarter market index hints at why that will remain the status quo for some time. App downloads on Google Play Store have left the Apple App Store in the dust with almost double the number. However, the iOS store generates nearly double the revenue of its Android counterpart.

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