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9 hours ago

TYLT Vu-Mate Qi charging card for the Galaxy Note 4

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TYLT Vu-Mate Qi charging insert

A viable option for adding wireless charging to your Note 4, but read the fine print first

The Galaxy Note 4's lack of wireless charging leads owners to the decision of buying Samsung's own first-party wireless charging back, or going with a third-party charging insert, in order to add the capability. Unfortunately the replacement Qi charging back that Samsung sells is thicker than what the phone comes with and kills any chance that you can use a case with your phone, which is a deal breaker for many.

Coming to the rescue, TYLT offers a Vu-Mate Qi wireless charging card for the Note 4 — just like previous Notes and Galaxy S phones before it — that adds wireless charging capability right underneath the stock back cover with no discernible increase in bulk. But of course nothing's perfect — you'll still be giving up in a few different areas to add Qi charging to your Note 4 this way. Read along for our review of the TYLT Vu-Mate Qi charging card.

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18 hours ago

OnePlus set to unveil its own ROM for the One, OxygenOS, on Feb. 12

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Though people have been quite happy with the incarnation of CyanogenMod on the OnePlus One, OnePlus is ready to give folks another option with its own custom ROM called OxygenOS. Posting to its forums — as it often does — we get the teaser that this new OxygenOS software will be light, open and accessible, following the same design ideas that led to the creation of the One itself.

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22 hours ago

Z Launcher beta update brings preliminary icon pack support, UI improvements

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After making its Z Launcher open to the public in beta form last fall, Nokia has issued the first major update for the app. In this update, Nokia is laying the groundwork for icon pack support, along with various UI and design improvements.

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23 hours ago

Microsoft reportedly invests in Cyanogen Inc., world predictably freaks out

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Cyanogen

The Wall Street Journal today on its Digits blog dropped word that Microsoft is "putting money into Cyanogen." No dollar amount figures were listed by the Journal's anonymous sources, thought it is noted that Microsoft "would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing."

This, of course, means that Google is doomed and Android as we know it is over. The Internet said so shortly after the rumor broke.

Except that's not what it means at all.

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1 day ago

Chromecast is now the No. 1 streaming device in the U.S., users have casted 1 billion times

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Today in the earnings call coinciding with its Q4 2014 release, Google CBO Omid Kordestani let us in on a few metrics of the Chromecast's success. The $35 (or less) streaming stick has been available for over a year and a half now, and just crossed the milestone of users tapping the "cast" button a full one billion times as of last week.

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1 day ago

Google Play drives growth in 'other revenues' section of Google business to $1.95 billion

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Google released its Q4 2014 earnings today, showing strong numbers all around, but on the earnings call we also got word on the strength of Google Play. Google CFO Patrick Pichette said today on the call that Google's "other revenues" segment grew by 19 percent year-over-year (6 percent quarter-over-quarter) to $1.95 billion, driven primarily by growth in Play Store sales.

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1 day ago

Google confirms Nexus 6 supply constraints

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Nexus 6

It's hardly been a secret that the Motorola-manufactured Nexus 6 has been a hard phone to get ahold of since its release. It's been MIA for many moon on Google Play, and the 64-gigabyte model is pretty much a White Whale. Today on its Q4 earnings call, Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette confirmed the scarcity.

"We also faced a few real challenges as well" for the quarter, Pichette said. "While the Nexus 6 was very well received as a new phone, we had real issues and were unable to secure sufficient inventory to meet the demand that we had forecasted." [Ed note: Pichette mistakenly said "Nexus 7" on the call and clarified things at the start of the Q&A.]

So it wasn't just you. The Nexus 6 is a rare bird.

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1 day ago

Google posts earnings: $66 billion revenue for 2014, $18 billion in Q4 alone

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Google Bike

Revenues jump, and Motorola is officially off the books as a $740 million net gain

Google has just announced its Q4 and full year 2014 earnings, with the search giant and Android purveyor showing growth in revenues for both the final quarter and the full year. Revenues for 2014 came in at $66 billion, up 19 percent, with Q4 revenues hitting $18.1 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year.

The full breakdown of the financials:

  • 2014 revenues of $66 billion, up 19 percent year-over-year
  • Q4 revenues of $18.1 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year
  • Q4 net income of $4.76 billion, up from $3.18 billion in 2013
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS) of $6.91, up from $4.95 in 2013
  • Capital expenditures for the quarter were $3.55 billion
  • Google's effective tax rate was 16 percent

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1 day ago

Saygus V2 pre-orders will be $549, registration deadline extended until Feb. 2

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The Saygus V2, the upcoming Android smartphone that can support up to 320GB of storage, now has a firm pre-order price of $549. The company behind the device also announced that pre-order registration for the phone has been extended from today until Monday, Feb. 2.

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1 day ago

Google's Nexus Player to be available in Japan by the end of February

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It looks like the Nexus Player is beginning its exploration of the wide, wide world. Google announced today that the Android TV device will be coming to Japan at the end of February for 12,800 yen (about $108).

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1 day ago

Blu Vivo Air specs

The Blu Vivo Air is many things. It is very affordable at just $200 off contract, and absurdly thin at just 5.15mm from front-to-back. But there are things it is not — it's not a barn-burning high-powered flagship device, not that you should expect it to be so at that price. For the nitty gritty on one of the world's thinnest smartphones, head on past the break for the complete specs list of the Blu Vivo Air.

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1 day ago

Three metallic band options are coming to the UK for the Moto 360 later in 2015

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UK fans of Motorola's Android Wear-based smartwatch, the Moto 360 will be able to choose from three metallic band options later in 2015: Light Gold, Light Metal and Dark Metal. Those band options launched in the US market in late 2014.

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1 day ago

Chrome OS Smart Lock feature now available in stable channel

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Chromebook owners running the stable channel of Chrome OS can now take advantage of Google's new security feature called Smart Lock. The feature is enabled when you have a phone running Android 5.0 paired with the Chromebook over Bluetooth, and lets you bypass the typical password lock screen when the phone is nearby. The Smart Lock feature was live in the dev channel a few weeks ago.

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1 day ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop now rolling out to some HTC One M8 phones in Canada

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Owners of the HTC One M8 in Canada might want to check their devices. The company announced today that an over-the-air download for the smartphone that will update it to Android 5.0 Lollipop has begun for Bell, SaskTel, and WIND Mobile customers.

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1 day ago

The ever-growing list of things you can connect to a Nest Thermostat

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nest

As a standalone device, Nest is cool. The 'Works with Nest' program makes it invaluable

In the first part of our Nest Thermostat series, I called this device the first connected home appliance everyone should want to own. Curiously, this statement had very little to do with the hardware itself (although I do still think it's one of the nicest looking thermostats out there today) or even really the apps that help make that hardware useful. The core of any connected home gadget needs to be a combination of thoughtful software design and an ability to talk to the other devices in the home. The closer you can get to an open platform for connected home tech, the better. Nest isn't currently what I would call an open platform, but the company has been working very hard to play nice with as many different devices as possible through a program they call "Works with Nest."

The good news is there's already a ton of things out there that work with this program. The even better news is when you combine Nest with other tech you get a lot of very cool things in return.

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