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Samsung Galaxy S5 S-View Case

The Samsung Galaxy S5 S-View Flip Case

It's expensive, but highly functional — so long as you can keep the window clean The Samsung Galaxy S5 S-View Flip Case is an expensive way to protect your phone. But, damn, does it ever look nice. We first got a glimpse of this guy at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and it's now available...
Motorola Gallery app

Motorola celebrates 50 app update milestone with Hangout on Air to talk software

Punit Soni to field questions live with #AskMoto hashtag Motorola has made a big deal out of bringing several of its devices' core functionalities out into the Play Store for easy updating, and it is now marking the milestone of 50 updates to over 15 apps over the last 8 months. Touchless...
Amazon Fire TV remote

Amazon adds Hulu Plus, Crackle and Showtime to their lineup of Fire TV voice search partners

If you're like Gary Busey and enjoy talking to things such as your Amazon Fire TV, you'll be pleased to know Amazon has added new voice search partners to their still fresh set-top box. Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime are joining VEVO in integrating their full catalogs into Fire TV’s...
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The Payments Council, which supervises banking transactions within the UK, has today announced ‘Paym’. This new service will enable account-holders to pay friends, family or other parties without having to abstract bank details and other personal information. Simply using a mobile number, UK consumers can wire funds in no time at all. Think of it as a unique account number all your contacts already have noted.

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Hang tight, folks. WhatsApp, Facebook's $16 billion baby, appears to be down for many this morning. While there's never a good time for an extremely popular service to go down, it's especially ironic given last night's boasting of a record number of messages sent and received — to the tune of 20 billion sent and 64 billion received.

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Want to bring a little 16-bit retro gaming action to your Wednesday? Sonic CD, the time-travelling Sega CD platformer first released on Android in 2011, is available for free today through the Amazon Appstore, down from the regular price of $2.99. The game is a faithful recreation of the 1993 original, brought up to date by Christian Whitehead, the developer responsible for recent ports of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. We've got download links after the break.

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has unveiled a new accessory this morning — a programmable plug-in button that fits into Android smartphones through the headphone jack. If that sounds familiar, it's because it appears to ape a successful Kickstarter project Pressy, which raised almost $700,000 (from a goal of $40,000) to bring to market a suspiciously similar accessory.

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Google's Chromebook are an interesting product line. Not only is it a family of low-cost, affordable notebooks but they're also the backbone of the search giant's Chrome operating system. And today ABI Research has released data showing that 2.1 million Chromebooks were shipped in 2013, the majority of them in the U.S.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini wasn't our favorite miniature Android phone of 2013 — a lackluster display and scaled-back features resulted in a decent but not outstanding 4.3-inch handset. This time around, however, Samsung may be about to address some of these concerns with a beefier Galaxy S5 Mini.

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Chinese manufacturer Huawei is focusing more on premium materials in an effort to break into the high-end smartphone space, and today we have our first look at a new metal-backed Huawei handset. Published on China's Weibo social network by a software engineer, the shot shows the back panel for the phone, alongside what would appear to be an HTC One Max-style rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.

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Nest thermostat

New connected thermostat for British homes now available online

Soon after the Nest Learning Thermostat launched in the U.S., demand began to rise in the U.K. for the now Google-owned company to bring the rather expensive product across the Atlantic. And today Nest has officially launched in the UK and is ready for order, with prices starting at £179.

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The unexpected early launch of the Galaxy S5 in Samsung's home country of Korea doesn't appear to have dampened Koeans' enthusiasm for the device. According to the Yonhap news agency, the Korean GS5 is selling at a rate of around 7,000 units per day, a figure described as "robust" by the outlet's sources.

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We may have had to deal with the usual April 1 articles yesterday, but one that stood out from all the jokes was T-Mobile’s plans to scrap corporate discount from monthly rate plans. The mobile network has today confirmed a partial reversal, allowing only existing customers to retain their discount. Sorry, new subscribers.

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Samsung is looking to take advantage of its presence across the breadth of consumer electronics categories with its new Smart Home service, announced today. The electronics giant aims to make home automation easier for owners of its range of smartphones, smartwatches, TVs and white goods, with a single app able to connect home appliances and mobile devices.

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Xbox One Smartglass Beta

Keep up on the latest developments in this Xbox second-screen app

If you want that second-screen experience between your Xbox One and your Android phone, but also want to ride that bleeding edge known as beta, Microsoft has you covered.

They've released a beta version of their Xbox One SmartGlass app into Google Play, allowing users a way to preview new features and provide feedback to the folks writing the code. We do have to wonder why Microsoft didn't use the official beta track in Google Play, but we aren't about to second guess what goes on in Redmond.

If you're the adventurous type who want to give the beta a try, uninstall the stable version and hit the Google Play link at the top of the post.

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doubleTwist Podcast

Another complete podcast manager choice

doubleTwist has updated their Android app, bringing some great new features for folks who use it to listen to their favorite podcasts.

Today's new features are all available in the free, ad-supported mode, but of course are also available for premium customers. Here's the list of what's new:

  • Added related podcasts for many popular podcasts. These appear when you scroll to the bottom of the list of episodes on a particular podcast, although not all feeds have related podcasts.
  • Added podcast episode sorting options, so users can browse by chronological or reverse-chronological order.
  • Added support for password protected podcasts.
  • Added support for adding podcasts manually via URL, so that users can subscribe to podcasts that are not in the doubleTwist directory.

There are also a couple of features that aren't podcast-related — better Apple TV detection for easier sharing, and the ability to delete a song from the overflow menu.

A whole lot of Android users love doubleTwist, and features like these are the reason why. Give it a look by clicking the Google Play link at the top of the post.

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Platform Versions for April 2014

KitKat doubles its share of active installs in just a month

Google has released its monthly report on active Android devices and their software version, and as you'd expect things are moving towards the latest releases. Android 2.2 is present on just 1.1 percent of devices accessing Google Play, down from 1.2 percent last month, while Honeycomb is still at its lonely 0.1 percent.

Gingerbread is holding down a sizable 17.8 percent, but that's down from 19 percent this time last month. Android 4.0, 4.1 and 4.3 all dropped slightly, but gains on Android 4.2 and 4.4 made modern versions (Ice Cream Sandwich and above) as a whole grow to over 80 percent for the first time.

Android 4.2 gained one percentage point to 18.1 percent of active devices. KitKat makes the jump over the 5 percent (5.3 percent to be exact) mark for the first time, a dramatic jump to over double the 2.5 percent we saw a month earlier.

Source: Android Developers

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Using apps found in Apple's App Store, Google Play, the Amazon Appstore and the Windows store, viewers will be able to watch live programming from ABC Family, Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as live network streams of ABC, which are currently available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Fresno, Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham.

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A new menu item is showing up for some users in the Play Store on the web, giving you a look at all of your +1 and comment activity in the store. This reflects a change that was added to the Play Store on Android back in December, letting you have a broad look at all of your Play Store engagement in one place.

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Google is petitioning the Supreme Court to dismiss one of the Google Street View lawsuits.

Google Street View vehicles would scan unencrypted and open Wifi networks to help find the Street View cars location, which led to cries of privacy violations, and ultimately lawsuits.

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Google has a slick 25-percent off sale on some Nexus (and a Chromebook) cases going on right now at Google Play.

We saw these go on sale back in January, but if you missed your chance to pick one up you have a second chance.

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Nexus 5, HTC One M8

How does HTC's latest match up to Google's six-month-old Nexus?

With the launch of the new HTC One M8 last week, the first major Android flagship of 2014 is finally upon us. And as we said in our full review of the phone, the M8 is one of the most impressive Android devices we've used. But Google's own flagship phone, the Nexus 5, is barely six months old, and a whole lot cheaper than an off-contract M8. (Though not that much more expensive than a subsidized M8, we suppose.) What's more, you've got two significantly divergent software and hardware experiences on both handsets — soft-touch plastic and stock Android on the Nexus versus brushed aluminum and Sense 6.0 on the M8 — running on similar internals.

But despite the hardware similarities, there are plenty of differences to mull. So join us after the break as we compared Google's Nexus 5 to the HTC One M8.

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Galaxy S5

Same $660 up-front price or $27.50 monthly financing applies for later pre-orders

T-Mobile is pushing back the date you can pre-order a Galaxy S5 and still have it by launch day, giving everyone an extra week to get their orders in. When T-Mobile first gave details on its Galaxy S5 launch it had pre-orders available from March 24th to the 31st, and ordering in that week guaranteed delivery of the phone by April 11th. You'll now have all the way until April 6th to get that order in.

The phone will still set you back a full $660 if you want to buy it straight up, or $0 down and $27.50 per month with Simple Choice device financing. T-Mobile isn't making any indication of why it is expanding pre-orders, but we have a feeling that fewer than the purported 300,000 'pre-registrations' have turned into sales at this point.

Source: TmoNews

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