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As we get closer and closer to the Annual Android Handset Giving Period commonly known by many as Christmas, another week of Android news grows to a close. This week has brought a number of new stories, including reports that YouTube are delaying their streaming music service, the news that Chrome apps could be coming to Android as early as January and more information about Google’s mysterious barges that first hit our headlines last month. Let’s take a look!

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I really like Google Chrome, but I often wish it had a few more features. I don’t like the way it handles javascript, and when it comes to mobile browsing, it’s just less efficient for me than Safari on iOS. There’s no doubt that as a whole package, Chrome can’t be beat — it’s just lacking for me in small details. I figured it was time for a change.

With that in mind, I decided to give Mercury Browser a shot. Its focus on design and flexibility is refreshing for me, and I love some of the features it brings to the table. Within minutes of use, I made it my default Android browser on my Nexus 4. Read on to find out if Mercury Browser is right for you.

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In my part of the world, SMS messaging fees are exorbitant and unlimited plans are non-existent. That’s why services like WhatsApp have taken off quickly and become the de-facto messaging solution for everyone, from the tech-minded geek to the older 50-something parents, the hip teenager, and the business man and woman.

The one caveat however, is WhatsApp’s mobile-only limitation. For one, I keep interrupting my work on the computer to unlock the phone and respond to messages, and for two, I have to continuously hammer messages on my phone’s touchscreen. When you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome like I do, there are days when this is just a recipe for insufferable pain.

Enter WhatsRemote, an app that recently came under my radar thanks to Aatif Sumar. It essentially promises to let you continue your WhatsApp conversations from your computer’s browser. Does it work, and what are its caveats? Let’s take a look.

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Google Cloud Print is the cool beta service we all know and love for over-the-air printing. We’ve come to accept it as part of our day-to-day printing lives on our desktops but what about our Android phones and tablets? When do they get a turn?

In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at some of the Google Cloud Print-compatible apps available for Android so you can get printing literally wherever in the world you are. If you haven’t got Google Cloud Print setup or are left wondering what it actually does, be sure to check out Getting Started with Google Cloud Print on Tuts+.

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Are your emails not enough? Do you need some ads to spice up your communications? Be happy, then, that it looks like Google’s going to be introducing advertising in Gmail for Android shortly! If that doesn’t take your fancy, how about a look at the upcoming Nexus 5, all in this week’s instalment of This Week in Android?

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As evidenced by our roundup earlier this year, there are a lot of apps and desktop software out there that allow the pairing of an Android smartphone to a Windows or a Mac computer. Most manufacturers (such as Samsung and HTC) even offer their own software, which ships with many of their devices or is downloadable from their website. But most of these are a bloated attempt at an all-in-one solution to syncing.

Certainly, none offer the finesse and reliability afforded by Chrome 28, Google’s newest version of the browser, along with a neat third-party App. Krome, developed by Damien Piwowarski allows all notifications to appear as a ‘rich notification’ in Chrome. But that’s not all. This beautiful app has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

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If you’ve been having trouble with your Nexus 7′s multitouch display or have a hankering for comparison shopping while you’re wearing Google Glass, this week might have brought you some answers and solutions. Let’s jump in and take a look at the week’s best news in Android! (more…)

It’s been a busy week in the world of Android, with Google’s Android and Chrome event hosting a bunch of pretty major announcements, including an update to one of our favourite 7-inch tablets. Let’s dive in and take a look! (more…)

Any Android phone or tablet comes supplied with a web browser installed — depending on your carrier or manufacturer you’re likely to find that it is either terrible or just about bearable. But few people stick with the default browser for long and there are now plenty of alternatives to choose from. The likes of Chrome, Firefox and Opera prove about as popular on mobile devices as on desktop computers, but in fact there is even more choice. Next Browser comes from the company best known for producing Go Launcher, and we thought we’d take a look to see how it compared to the competition. (more…)

The rise in popularity of mobile devices can be intrinsically linked to the real birth of a casual, mobile gaming market. While individual hardware manufactures and game developers have tried to unify certain games from a specific developer or specific platform with a companion social service, the proprietary nature has historically lead to low user engagment and adoption. That’s where Google comes in.

At Google I/O this week, the company announced Google Play game services, a developer and client-side system for powering and syncing games cross-platform, providing matchmaking, achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves and more for platforms such as Android, iOS and the web. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Google Play game services is all about and evaluate whether it might have a shot at revolutionising how we play games on our phones and tablets.

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