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New Nexus 7 now available for UK users; Nexus 4 receives discount

In two bits of Google-related hardware news, the revamped Nexus 7 is now available from the UK Google Play store, as well as other hardware outlets. The Nexus 7 is available in two flavours, 16GB (£199.99) and 32GB (£239.00) – both versions are Wi-Fi only, although a 4G-enabled version is available from O2 in a currently exclusive deal.

The Nexus 4 has also receoved a large discount – the 8GB version is now available for the bargain price of £159, whilst the 16GB version will set you back £199. As the device does not include an SD slot it is advisable to be aware of how much memory you think you’ll require for apps and music. Unsurprisingly there’s currently a bit of a wait for a Nexus 4, with the Play store promising a shipping date of 10th September.

The Nexus 4 discount presumably means a Nexus 5 is to be announced shortly, or perhaps it is aimed at attracting customers before the next iPhone announcement?

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YouTube for Android v5.0 update being rolled out

Google have released a new update for the YouTube app for Android devices, which is slowly being rolled out to users (my Samsung Galaxy S3 running stock firmware has just received it). The app has several obvious differences:

– The app uses the same card-based UI common to most other Google apps, most notably Google Now.
– New multitasking functionality, allowing users to watch a smaller video in a corner of the screen whilst navigating other areas of the app.
– A new icon.
– Easy access to your history, favourites, etc. from the slide-out menus.

The app seems much improved after a quick play. It should arrive in an update on an Android device near you very soon!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 specs rumoured: 5.68″ screen?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be unveiled pretty soon, and there are many rumours flying around the internet about the hardware specification of the device. The standout specs are a 5.68″ screen (compared to 5.5″ for the Note 2), a massive 3450 mAh battery, a 1.8GHz octo-core chipset, 32GB of storage and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box.

From being derided upon release as being too large, Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has been very successful, to the extent that other manufacturers have started releasing devices in sizes that are between phones and tablets (phablets, if you like). No doubt the Note 3 will have a price to match it’s gargantuan specs, but nothing has been confirmed.

It will be interesting to see if Samsung have any surprises in store for the Note 3 – it very much seems to be a case of evolution rather than revolution at present. That’s all very well for now, but if they want users to upgrade they need to provide a good reason.

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Android Device Manager allows users to locate Android devices

Lost your phone and left it on silent so you can’t ring it to find it? Fear not, for the Android Device Manager is now available. The page allows you to locate your Android device, showing it’s location on a map, as well allowing you to make it ring, even if it was on silent.

It’s even possible for you to remotely factory reset your device, which would be handy if you have any important/sensitive information on your phone that you don’t want anyone else to see. This requires updating a setting on your phone, but the procedure is straightforward and you can even send yourself a notification from the ADM website to help take care of it.

This functionality has long been available from other providers, but now that Google is providing it built-in hopefully even fewer people will suffer because of lost phones.