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Waze could be pre-installed on Android smartphones

Waze could be pre-installed on your next Android smartphone. Right out of the box, you might see the GPS maps & traffic social app as Google is adding Waze as a pre-installed software option on Android phones. This means carriers and OEM partners can choose to have the service available by default. So when consumers turn on their phones for the first time, the Waze app is already there and ready for immediate use.

Google releases preview of Contacts update

While other Google products like Gmail, Maps, Hangouts, have been constantly updated with new features or even just bug fixes, some like Google Contacts have been sorely neglected. It's funny because it's one of the most basic things that we use, whether you're on an Android device or you're highly reliant on the whole Google eco-system. Well, they've finally heard our gripes as Google has released a preview of what the Contacts update will now look like.

Google issues statement on Android encryption by default

Yesterday, we learned that Google is no longer requiring full-disk encryption on Lollipop despite being so excited about telling the world that Android L (Android 5.0) would have it by default last year. However, some smartphones experienced storage performance issues with the Android 5.0 encryption according to tech website AnandTech after running a benchmark test. It was an unfortunate move but Google had to back away from its earlier decision for the benefit of most Android users.

Google no longer requires full-disk encryption on Lollipop by default

We were certain that Google would be adding encryption as default to the then upcoming Android L (now Android 5.0). A few months later, we discovered through a benchmark test by tech website AnandTech that Android 5.0 encryption was bringing storage performance issues to most smartphones already running Lollipop. Google seemed to be serious about requiring full-disk encryption on new phones but right now, the Internet giant is quietly backing away from its decision.

Android Lollipop catches up in latest distribution chart

We complained before how long it took for Android 5.0 to make it to Google's Android Distribution chart. But ever since it landed last month, it seems to be making strides. As of March 2, 2015, just at the beginning of MWC 2015, Android 5.0 Lollipop has climbed up to 3.3 percent of the pie. While still an extremely small number, it's already twice than it's number last month. If this is the start of a trend, Lollipop may very well quickly rise up to take a larger portion in the months to come.

Google confirms Android Pay framework, MVNO network

Google announcements at major tech events are always worth noting, and at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, they made some major announcements that may not have been the "sexiest" but will definitely have a major impact on not just users but OEMs and their future partners as well. Google's Sundar Pichai confirmed several things, including the setting up of an Android Pay framework as well as the possibility of their own MVNO network.

Bradley Horowitz confirms he’s in charge of Google’s Photos and Streams

While they do have a steady band of loyal users (mostly those that are anti-Facebook probably), Google+ has still not hit its stride, despite being in the social media market for almost four years now. A new move by its parent company, which is of course Google, will try once more to reinvigorate the social networking service, this time by dividing it into two main parts, Photos and Streams, and giving it a new boss.

Google submits plans for moveable, “futuristic” new digs

While a lot of offices around the world have used the Google HQ in Silicon Valley as an inspiration for their own creative, unique, sometimes weird office spaces, the tech giant seems not content with their current already awesome hub. They have submitted a proposal to the Mountain View local government to expand their existing corporate offices into block-like structures that can eventually be moved around as they expect to be moving around when they expand in the future.

Nexus 6 with VoLTE rumored to be coming to Verizon

While we're still waiting for the fulfillment of the promise that the Nexus 6 is "coming soon" to Verizon but a new rumor has already started that it's not just the latest Google-powered Motorola-made phone that will be available to the carrier's subscribers. Yes, the Nexus 6 will still be coming, but it will be with a brand new Android 5.1, which means it will be the first device to have the latest update to Lollipop, if the rumors are to be believed.
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