Headlines

1 week ago

This is Google's new health tracker that you won't be able to buy

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Google has unveiled an experimental new health tracker built for medical studies.

Google has revealed a new health-focused, wearable device built to provide accurate patient data to doctors and those running clinical trials. Built by the Google X division, the device is not intended as a consumer product, and will instead be prescribed by medical institutions.

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1 week ago

Social polling app Straw updated to v2.0 with fresh design, StrawCast global stream

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In its biggest update since launch, Straw is adding some polish and new social options

The app, which lets you pose quick polls to get feedback from friends and strangers alike, is hitting version 2.0 with a general design refresh and a few new features. The headline addition is StrawCast, which lets you send your poll to everyone using the Straw app in addition to sending it to your own social networks or contacts of choice. StrawCast is a great way to let the world of Straw users weigh in without any additional comment.

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1 week ago

Instagram adds new location search options along with trending photo features

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Instagram is updating its app to include more search options, along with an improved way to explore and find photos.

Users of Instagram should find some new options when they download the latest version of the photo sharing app in the Google Play Store. It will include some new search features, along with a revamped Explore page.

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1 week ago

Verizon's OTT mobile video service will support sponsored data to save users money

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Verizon's upcoming over-the-top (OTT) mobile video service will be partially subsidized by advertisers, as the company has revealed that it will support sponsored data.

The new service, which Verizon has plans to launch this summer, will have ad-sponsored data as part of its product offering, allowing the company to lower costs for the users. Currently, Verizon is still in the process of securing deals with content providers for live, emerging, and on-demand content, and the company plans to have a "number of fresh titles."

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1 week ago

Grab an ecobee3 smart WiFi thermostat for only $229 while supplies last

Was smart home cooling not part of your Father's Day gifts this year? Not to worry, because the ecobee3 WiFi thermostat is now on the cheap.

Sponsored by ecobeeAs the temperatures rise this summer, it's important to have a WiFi thermostat that can keep up with cooling you down — no matter what room you're in. Right now you can pick up the popular ecobee3, regularly priced at $249, for just $229 (while supplies last) and start maintaining the temperature in your home like never before.

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1 week ago

Unlocked phones in Europe (Or, a Guide to What Americans are Missing)

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Unlocked phones

As we kick off a series of features on unlocked smartphones, mainly focused on mid-priced devices in the U.S. market, it's worth remembering that Europe does 'unlocked' very differently.

For most smartphone buyers in the U.S., picking up a new device usually involves a trip to the carrier store and the signing of a new multi-year contract. Even if you were upgrading mid-cycle — and paying full price for the privilege — you'd need to pick up your operator's version of your chosen device to guarantee compatibility. But doing so is a double-edged sword: devices are often SIM locked to prevent them being used on other carriers, and loaded with unwanted bloatware. And in the Android world, updates for operator-branded phones have an extra certification hoop to jump through before roll-out.

Hence the draw of unlocked phones — handsets supplied directly by the manufacturer without any operator meddling. In the U.S., unlocked phones typically fall into two categories: super-cheap burners from your local mall, and pricier mid-to-high-end models sold online, like the the ASUS ZenFone 2, Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, Moto X, Nexus 6 and HTC One M9 unlocked/dev editions. A broad selection, sure, but major players like Samsung and LG are unrepresented, and unlocked versions aren't available anywhere near as widely as the carrier-branded models.

Over in Europe, things work a little differently. The carrier model still dominates, but it's just as easy to pick up unlocked, unbranded versions of Android phones big and small that work on just about any local operator (and often many not-so-local ones.)

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1 week ago

Google Play Music launches a free, ad-supported, version in the US

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Google is rolling out a free version of Google Play Music in the US, supported by ads.

Google Play Music now has a new option that allows users to listen to its library of songs for free. The new version is available in the US only at the moment and is supported by ads.

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1 week ago

Go back to Pandora in the third episode from Tales of the Borderlands

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The third episode of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands will come to Android on June 25.

The third episode of Telltale Games' Tales from the Borderlands has started rolling out. Episode 3, "Catch a Ride", features our protagonists Rhys and Fiona as they continue their quest to open one of the mythical Vaults of Pandora in hope of uncovering new treasures. The episode features new locations, new characters, and of course, new choices to make.

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1 week ago

Dropbox's revamped Android app adds faster photo storage, quicker search and more

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Dropbox will offer Android users a revamped app this week, with a new look and many new features.

The Dropbox cloud storage service is rolling out a newly revamped version of its Android app this week in the Google Play Store. In addition to a new user interface, it also has a number of additional features.

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1 week ago

Should you wear a case on the leather LG G4?

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A hot topic that has both sides very committed to their choice.

For those of us out there, including myself, that never leave home without some sort of protection on our phones, the leather LG G4 might be the one (and only) exception to the rule. There are alternatives to consider, if the naked lifestyle won't keep your worries at bay. Hit the break for the nitty-gritty.

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1 week ago

Android Auto support announced for select 2016 Buick and GMC models

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Two more GM brands are lining up behind Android Auto as GMC and Buick announce compatibility in some of their 2016 models.

GM is continuing to move forward in its commitment to Android Auto, announcing that the system will come to two more of its brands, GMC and Buick. Android Auto will come to these brands starting with the base model 2016 GMC Sierra, and is expected on the Canyon and Yukon, as well as Buick's LaCrosse and Regal, later in the model year.

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1 week ago

Google Domains will refund next year's registration fee if you set up to auto-renew

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Here's a nice little deal from Google Domains landing in our inboxes this morning. If you set your domain registration to auto-renew, Google will refund the next year's fee ($12 a domain) in two to three weeks. That's enough of a savings to ... register more domains!

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1 week ago

Amazon Echo is now available for everyone to buy for $179.99, shipments start on July 14

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Amazon is finally allowing anyone to buy their Amazon Echo speaker without having to wait for an invite.

Amazon first introduced its Amazon Echo connected speaker several months ago, but so far it has only been sold on an invite-only basis. Today, that changed as Amazon is allowing anyone to purchase the speaker without needing an invite for $179.99.

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1 week ago

John Lewis starts selling mobile phones to take on Carphone Warehouse

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UK retailer John Lewis aims to take on Carphone Warehouse by offering an alternative to the lack of competition found on UK high streets, now Phones 4u is no longer in business.

John Lewis will begin a pilot scheme at two trial stores, Oxford Street in London and Cheadle Manchester, rolling out the scheme to more stores if successful.

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1 week ago

Latest Periscope update lets you edit your profile and login with your phone number

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Periscope for Android has just been updated. The latest release adds a number of changes, including the ability to update your profile and view personal broadcast history.

Twitter's Periscope lets users of the service to broadcast live to viewers, much like Twitch.tv and the like but on your mobile.

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