Minor Updates to Google Chrome and Google+ for Android

All indications are it has been a busy week for the Google team.  Earlier today I told you about the update to Google Photos and Google Play Music that brought some improvements and fixes.  Now in the Google Play Store there are updates for Google Chrome and Google+ for Android available.  Both of these absolutely fall into the bug fix and performance improvement category so don’t look for any new functionality or features.  But, as always, you should update to the latest versions of Google Chrome and Google+ to keep up-to-date.

The Google Chrome build is version 44.0.2403.128 while the Google+ build is version 6.0.0.99065591 for those keeping score at home and like playing version number bingo.  The updates are for both Android phone and tablet devices.

Google Chrome for Android – Free – Download Now

Google+ for Android – Free – Download Now

Windows 10 Service Release 1 Expected Next Week

Despite being publicly available for about a day and a half, rumors are already floating that Windows 10 will see its first major service pack next week.  The news was first broken on The Verge that Service Release 1 is expected in August and likely as soon as next week.  This is a far cry from the Service Pack mentality of Windows of old and is likely the path that Microsoft will continue to take as Windows 10 evolves.  Like it or not.

Google Play Music Update Brings Several Key Bug Fixes

Google has released an important bug fix update for the Google Play Music app for Android.  The update also brings some improvements around finding streaming radio stations for those in the United States.  This latest update is build 6.0.1951S.2109908 for those keeping score at home and for those taking bets on who can come up with the longest release version number :-)  The update comes just a couple of weeks after the last update which was more-or-less a bug fix release after the initial launch of the streaming music service back in June.  While Google Play Music is free to use, for a $9.99 monthly subscription you get ad-free unlimited streaming and downloading of music from the Google Play Store.

Google Play Music for Android – Free – Download Now

Google Photos Update Brings More Editing Features

Google has released another update to the Google Photos app for Android, bringing with it several new features aimed at giving you more editing functionality on your Android phone or tablet.  I’m personally a big fan of Google Photos and since the major update to it announced at I/O in June, it has become my first source for storing and editing photos.  If you haven’t given it a try I would suggest you do so.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.  This latest update, build 1.2.1.99143001 for those keeping score at home, allows you to edit your albums and photo descriptions all from your mobile device instead of having to go to the web to do it.

Google Photos for Android – Free – Download Now

Angry Birds 2 Now Available for Android

Oh glorious bird day!  It has taken several years and many sub-genre of games later, but today we finally have the sequel to Angry Birds.  Angry Birds 2 is available now in the Google Play store and the team at Rovio state it is the biggest mobile game prizes ever.  The opening cut scene of the game is brilliant and all the birds you are familiar with in the original game are back with each having their own special purpose or power.  There is however an updated theme song in Angry Birds 2 and the overall game imagery is far superior to the original game.  If you are expecting to see the same game, think again.  This new Angry Birds is not the same as the original.

Windows 10 Available Today in 190 Countries

Windows 10, the next generation of Windows, has officially launched today in over 190 countries globally.  Windows 10 is a free upgrade for those who are running Windows 7 or 8.1 and it brings back the Start Menu which many loathed about Windows 8.1.  It also brings an all new browser experience in Microsoft Edge and has Cortana, the voice recognition personal assistant built into it.

Having used Windows 10 for several months, I can tell you that this feels like Windows yet feels completely new.  I personally think it is the best Windows release yet and after you upgrade I think you will agree.

Google Now Adds Voice Support for 3rd Party Messaging Apps

Google continues to quietly improve Google Now and the latest change is one that users of 3rd party messaging services will appreciate.  Google has now added voice support for 3rd party messaging applications like WhatsApp and Viber, meaning you can send a message with these services without actually ever touching your Android phone or tablet. You have been able to do this with Hangouts for a while with Google Now but adding support for 3rd party solutions really shows how mature this feature has become in Android.

Motorola Announces the Moto G 2015

Earlier today Motorola made several new device announcements, chief among them is the new Moto G 2015 model.  The mid-range phone has reasonable specs for a phone that starts at only $179 and it can be completely customized using the Motorola Moto Maker service on their website.  The Moto G 2015 is the latest update in a successful series of devices for Motorola and this new Moto G comes with some nice updates.

AccuWeather Update Brings Google Now Support

The AccuWeather app for Android phones and tablets has received a nice but small update that brings support for Google Now to the app.  It is the latest in a long line of apps that have started to support the Google Now feature which is part of the Google Launcher.  With the update, you will start receiving weather information cards in Google Now on your device.  The AccuWeather update is 3.4.2.1 for those keeping score at home and is available now in the Google Play Store.  There are two versions of AccuWeather:  A free, Ad-supported version and a non-ad version for $2.99.

AccuWeather for Android – Free – Download Now

AccuWeather for Android Platinum – $2.99 – Download Now

HTC Offering Big Savings Today on Nexus 9, M9 and RE Camera

Today only over at HTC, they have a huge sale going on their most popular devices and accessories that are really impressive.  While supplies last or the end of the day today, you can get 25% off the HTC M9 Android Phone, 40% off the Nexus 9 Android tablet, 50% off the RE Camera and 50% off accessories for these devices.  That means you can pick up the Nexus 9 tablet for example for as low as $239.40.

While HTC as a whole has been struggling, they do make some outstanding devices and their build quality is great.  I’ve had plenty of HTC devices over the years and they always held up well to my daily wear-and-tear.