Google Play Edition of HTC One (M8) Available for Pre-order Today

HTC not only announced the new HTC One (M8) today, but they also confirmed our previous report that a Google Play Edition will be available as well. According to HTC’s press release for the new 2014 flagship, the Google Play Edition will be available for pre-order today and then available in the “coming weeks” on Google Play.

For those new to Google Play Editions, just understand that it’s the same hardware as the regular One (M8), except it’ll run stock Android 4.4.2. So all of HTC’s custom Sense software is removed in favor of a pure Android experience. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not.

Google will sell the device for $699 (ouch).

Contest: $300 in Google Play Gift Cards Up for Grabs From Droid Life!

Last night on Twitter, we teased a contest for this morning, because who doesn’t like to start out a week with a chance to win freebies? In case you can’t count or do simple multiplication, yes, we have $300 in Google Play gift cards to give away. No sponsors, no special occasion – just Droid Life saying “Thank you” to the wonderful community that gathers here each and every day.

The contest is simple and only asks that you follow the easy steps in the Rafflecopter widget below. You don’t have to do all of the items, but the more you do, the more chances you have to win one of the six $50 gift cards that we are giving away.

Easy enough? Let’s do it.  (more…)

Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Chromecast Available in All Sorts of New Countries

Last night, Google pushed forward on its quest to bring its range of hardware to other parts of the world outside the U.S.

The Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are now available in eight new countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

Google’s HDMI dongle, the Chromecast, is now available in eleven new countries including Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. Retailers like Amazon, Google Play, Currys PC World, Elkjøp, FNAC, Saturn, and Media Markt will all carry it.

And, yep.  (more…)

Google Play Services 4.3 Rolling Out – Includes APIs for Game Gifts, Analytics, Drive, and More

This morning, Google announced all sorts of new Google Play Games-relate goodies like Game Gifts, that allows players to send virtual in-game objects to fellow players. But what good are new goodies without APIs for developers to use to build them in? This afternoon, Google is giving us a Google Play Services update to v4.3 that introduces all sorts of APIs.

We’re talking Analytics and Tag Manager APIs now being incorporated into Google Play services as a “first class citizen,” Game Gifts API, updates to the Drive API (pinning, app folders, change notifications, etc.), and an Address API.

The Google Play Services 4.3 update is rolling out worldwide as you read this.

Play Link

The dirty details of all of these new tools can be found below.  (more…)

Google Play Games Get “Gifts,” New Multiplayer Tools

With GDC (Game Developers Conference) kicking off this week, Google has gone ahead and made a handful of Google Play Games announcements that should enhance the Play Games experience for both users and developers.

For users like you and I, Google is adding in “Game Gifts,” a service that lets players send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or through player search. This new addition is on top of the recently announced multiplayer invite system, plus 18 new and more specific gaming categories(more…)

Download: Google Play v4.6.16 – Batch Installs, Menu Tweaks, Require Password, and More

A new version of Google Play is rolling out like molasses this week as v4.6.16 (staged rollouts, so fun!). The update isn’t major by any means, not like when we first exclusively showed you version 4.0, but does include a bunch of tweaks that will satisfy the geekiest of Android elitists. We’re talking the little things that annoy you as you use the Play store.

We also have it available for download below, so feel free to sideload away.  (more…)