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You can now request an invite for the updated Google Maps

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Google uncovered the redesigned Maps service featuring a slew of new features and capabilities at its Google I/O keynote yesterday. Alas, you will only have to wait until the summer to experience the new Maps in its full glory. Despite that, Google has set up a page for you to request an invite to experience the beta version of the service.

The new service sports a new user interface that’s centers only on the map itself. The map imagery itself is also slightly touched and is now completely vector-based. The search giant boasts the new Maps to be ‘tailored-made’ for you that gets better and more personal the more you use it. Read more »

Google revamps Maps for mobile and web with new UI, Google+ sync and personalized maps

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Leaks of the redesigned Maps spoiled the Google’s surprise, which was supposed to be the official release of the revamped service at Google I/O. Launching in the summer, the new Google Maps will sport an updated user interface as well as deeper Google+ synchronization

The desktop version of Google Maps got some very cool features from Google Earth such as flyover immersive images, 360-degree viewing and even taking a peek inside buildings. Read more »

Google Play Game Services provides game cloud saves, leaderboards, multiplayer and achivements

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In addition to multiple new and cool APIs for developers, Hugo Barra introduced Google Play Game Service which introduces leaderboards, game progress saves in the cloud, real-time multiplayer and game achievements.

What’s cool is that all of the new game services features, save for real-time multiplayer, are going to work crossplatform between Android, iOS and the web. Read more »

Google boasts 900 million activated Android devices, 48 billion Play Store app installs

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Google I/O 2013 has just started and to get things up to speed Sundar Pichai stepped on stage and announced that Android is doing even better than before. The Google platform has reached a total of 900 million activated devices.

An device counts as activated when you get a new Android handset and log in with your Google account for the first time. There would be several devices out there that were purchased but never logged in, so they won’t be counted in this number. Re-sells haven’t been counted, either, but as you know not every device that was activated would be in use now.

At this rate Google is on track to reach 1 billion Android device activations, in a few months, rather than at the end of the year as earlier predictions suggested.

Windows Blue is officially dubbed Windows 8.1, to be free on the Windows Store

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At the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston today, Tami Reller of Microsoft announced that the Windows 8.1 update, previously carrying the Blue moniker, is going to be free.

Microsoft will launch the update through its Windows Store with a public preview becoming available on June 26 (coinciding with the Build conference). In the meantime, the company will unveil the update’s newly added features and fixes. Read more »

Rovio announces Angry Birds Seasons: Abra-Ca-Bacon, to hit your appstore on May 16

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Rovio has just announced the latest update for the Angry Birds Seasons game. Dubbed Abra-Ca-Bacon, the new release is set to bring some interesting features to the franchise.

One of them is the addition of Magic Portals which allows you to teleport Angry Birds, Bad Piggies and everything else in the game. Furthermore, there are 30 new levels joined by six bonus levels for your unlocking pleasure. Read more »

Nokia outs official Lumia 928 hands-on video, brags about impressive camera

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The Nokia Lumia 928 just went official and the Finns wasted no time releasing its official hands-on video.

Ifi Majid of Nokia is handling the latest Verizon-exclusive WP8 smartphone and uses the video to highlight some of the phone’s main features. Naturally, one of them is the 8.7MP PureView camera, a first for the platform. Read more »

Analyst predicts Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and 16:10 display for the second-gen Nexus 7

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A research report coming from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the second-gen Nexus 7 is going to pack a substantial upgrade compared to the outgoing model. He suggests the new Nexus 7 would feature a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and is going to run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

The upgraded slate is still going to be manufactured by ASUS with the 7″ display left will bring a major resolution boost – 1920 x 1200 pixels. Read more »

A bunch of new Windows 8 ads surface, hilarity ensues

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With Windows 8 not outpacing its predecessor in terms of sales and popularity, Microsoft’s marketing team has been very hard at work to raise awareness of its latest piece of PC software. Their latest attempt is a trio of 1-minute TV ads and there’s no other word for it – they are hilarious.

The large dose of all sorts of weird is mixed brilliant sense of humor and the videos are bound to put a smile on your face. The ad campaign is dubbed “Windows 8 Training Camp” and whatever you are doing right now, you have to spend three minutes of your time to check the ads out. Read more »

Google adds 5 more languages to Translate, reaches the 70 mark

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In an important update to the Translate service today, Google has reached the 70 language milestone by adding 5 more: Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese, Marathi.

Google estimates that more than 183 million people around the world speak the five languages combined, so the update is actually quite important. Read more »

Rockstar issues a dozen new Grand Theft Auto V screenshots

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Rockstar Games has released a dozen of new Grand Theft Auto V screenshots to build up even more hype about its upcoming game.

Though static, the new batch of screenshot is more action-packed than ever. There are car and bike chases, airplane flights, scuba-diving, skydiving. All screenshots showcase the game’s gorgeous scenery and graphics. Read more »

Google allows iOS developers to use Chrome instead of Safari to open links from their apps

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After the launch of Google Now for iOS (check out our full review), Google’s charge on Apple’s mobile platform continues with the little, but important piece of code that allows developers to open links from their apps in Chrome instead of Safari.

The new feature is dubbed iOS links and iOS developers can utilize it to open links in Chrome; something that Google has been doing with its YouTube, Maps and Gmail apps for quite a while now. Read more »

Redesigned Google Maps appears on screenshots, goes for Google Now-like design

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Thanks to a couple of screenshots that leak-focused Google Operating System blog got hold of, we can now take a glimpse of what the redesigned Maps service will looks like.

The Maps design refresh is in line with Google’s new design language that we first saw in Google Now. Evidently, the left sidebar is now gone and is replaced with cards that show different pieces of information and navigation options. Read more »

Rovio introduces accounts for game progress syncing, just two titles supported at launch

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One of the main gripes people have with Rovio and its games is that progress isn’t synced from one device to another. The company has listened and as a result has introduced Rovio accounts yesterday.

Signing up for an account requires just an email address and that’s it. Once you’ve registered you can set up your games to sync between your phone and tablet for instance. Sadly, not all of the Rovio titles are supported just yet. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 gets the teardown treatment, shows its neatly organized internals

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The time has come for the Galaxy S4 to share the faith of many gadgets before it and have its internal exposed in a glorious teardown moment. This time around, Samsung’s flagship was taken apart by Techrepublic‘s Bill Detwiler.

Unsurprisingly, given to the new hardware found in it, the Galaxy S4 sports a redesigned interior, compared to the Galaxy S3. As it turns out though, thanks to the user-removable back cover, it’s quite easy to get to the main internal circuit board. Read more »