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Gameloft early access contest for Modern Combat 5 results in piracy

07/23, 6:50pm

Publisher activates anti-piracy measures after thousands of plays turn up online

It turns out that winning an early access to game isn't enough to satisfy every fan as mobile developer Gameloft recently learned. In a contest that gave fans access to Modern Combat 5: Blackout before its expected July 24 release date, one of the lucky winners decided to crack the game and upload it for distribution. Afterward, thousands of players turned up in the game before its release on Android, iOS and Windows 8 devices.

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Microsoft updates Skype for Android, reveals Amazon Fire Phone app

07/23, 6:40pm

Skype update allows linking of phonebook with Microsoft account

Microsoft has made a few changes to Skype for Android, adding the option to connect the smartphone's address book to the service. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed it is releasing a version of the messaging app client for Amazon's Fire Phone, one which will take advantage of the smartphone's home screen and graphical effects.

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Google to battle Rockstar Consortium after judge denies dismissal

07/23, 3:49pm

Patent lawsuit over notifications asked to be tossed based on Supreme Court ruling

Google has stepped into the ring for another patent dispute in East Texas, this time involving its Android operating system, Samsung and the Rockstar Consortium. Last November the consortium filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that Samsung phones using the Android operating system infringed on seven patents that Rockstar holds. The patents in question include messaging and notification systems found on mobile devices.

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Briefly: Google Play Store upgrade, Cortana prepares for China launch

07/23, 5:23am

Google rolls out partial Material Design upgrade of Play Store app

Google has started to roll out its rumored changes to the Play Store, in an update to the Android app. Version 4.9.13 brings a number of smaller tweaks, reports Android Police, along with refreshed app and content pages which uses Google's Material Design rules, including an increased use of images and iconography. A future update is expected to roll out Material Design to other aspects of the store.

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Wacom's Bamboo Paper app now available for Android, Windows 8

07/22, 3:23pm

Previously released for iOS in August, turns tablets into notebook, sketchpad

Those looking for a note-taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom has expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August.

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Amazon Wallet app for storing gift cards, store cards surfaces

07/22, 2:08pm

Mobile app from Amazon stores retailer card details, no mobile payments by card yet

Amazon has quietly launched an app to help people manage gift cards and loyalty cards with stores. The Amazon Wallet app for Android and the Fire Phone is able to store membership cards for retailers on the smartphone, allowing shoppers to digitally carry all of their store cards and gift cards without having to also bring along the physical versions.

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Briefly: Twitch for Android update, Comments added to Photo Spheres

07/22, 8:06am

Twitch overhauls Android app interface, adds user profiles

Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and users.

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Google CEO upset by Samsung investing in Tizen instead of Android Wear

07/18, 7:34am

Meeting between executives concerned Android Wear, Tizen use in smartwatches

Google is unhappy by Samsung's choice to use Tizen for its main smartwatch platform instead of Android Wear, according to a report. CEO Larry Page is said to have spent time earlier this month with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in a "tense private meeting" over the smartwatch software issue, with Samsung allegedly spending more on devices running Tizen than Google's new Android offshoot.

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Amazon executive confirms Instant Video Android app on the way

07/17, 10:58am

Android Amazon Instant Video app, 4K video mentioned by marketing director

Amazon is said to be preparing to launch an Android app for Amazon Instant Video for non-Kindle Fire tablets. An executive allegedly confirmed the long-awaited app for normal Android devices is "imminent" to a report, a move which would finally bring the video streaming service in line with competitors, such as Netflix, in providing a cross-platform video streaming experience.

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Chrome 36 update improves notifications, fixes stability, performance

07/16, 4:24pm

Linux gets better Chrome App Launcher

Google has issued Chrome 36 updates for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users. The new version is mostly a maintenance release, making stability, performance, and security fixes. It does however implement several cosmetic changes across desktop platforms, for instance improving rich notifications with a "flatter" look, and giving Incognito mode a new tab page (below) that's cleaner and easier to read. Likewise, the Chrome App Launcher for Linux has been revamped.

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Google search results now warn iOS, Android users about Flash content

07/15, 4:02pm

Designed to save time wasted on incompatible content

Google has implemented a change to the way mobile search results are displayed, warning users if a website uses Adobe Flash. On devices running iOS or Android, results may now show a tag saying "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Below this are links letting users "try anyway" or learn more about the problem.

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Nvidia's next Shield device rumored be an Android powered console

07/14, 3:22pm

BBC points to the newest Shield being powered by K1, utilizing same software

The BBC has learned through anonymous sources that the next iteration of the Nvidia Shield could be used to play Android and stream PC games in a new way. The rumored device looks to build on existing technology surrounding the Shield, including the use of the GeForce Experience and GameStream to stream games from a host computer powered by an Nvidia GPU.

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Google Play Store makeover image leak hints at Material Design use

07/14, 7:02am

Android L UI design appears in alleged Play Store upgrade screenshots

Google may be preparing a visual upgrade to the Play Store, if leaked screenshots are to be believed. The images, apparently taken from within the Android app, appears to show a greater emphasis on screenshots, video stills, and other graphical elements to create a large background, while the core app information and pricing details are made more apparent to the viewer via a central placement on a white background.

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Samsung relaunches Android app store, second try called 'Galaxy Apps'

07/12, 3:23pm

New offering attempts curated approach at apps for Galaxy-series devices

Samsung is rebranding its mostly quiescent app store. The Korean manufacturing giant has announced "Galaxy Apps," a new version of its app store for Android devices. The refreshed offering will be available to all users of Samsung smart devices, and will be divided into three major divisions -- best picks, top, and "For Galaxy."

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Misfit, Beddit collaborate on sleep-tracking tech

07/10, 2:41pm

Plans for HealthKit support still in the air

Misfit, the creator of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has announced a partnership with Beddit enabling sleep tracking in the official Misfit apps for iOS and Android. Rather than relying on the Shine, there is now a Misfit/Beddit-branded sleep monitor. The device is placed on a mattress, and tracks breathing, heart rate, restlessness, snoring, and ambient sound. The apps analyze this data over a seven-day period, and can also use it to trigger an alarm during a light sleep phase, ensuring a more refreshed feeling.

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Google updates Camera app with Android Wear shutter trigger

07/10, 5:53am

Android Wear devices can take photos using paired smartphone camera

Google has updated its Camera app, allowing it to work in tandem with a smartwatch running Android Wear. Version 2.3 of the app, slowly rolling out on Google Play, adds the ability for Android Wear devices to remotely control the camera app's shutter function, though the update also introduces a few other new additions to the software at the same time.

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Google updates Chromecast app for Android with screen mirroring

07/09, 3:36pm

Android users can stream smartphone display to Chromecast

Google is starting to roll out Chromecast screen mirroring to Android devices. Previously only available through Chrome for desktop, and demonstrated at Google I/O last month, the function lets smartphone users display what's on their screen on a nearby television via the Chromecast, with the update beginning to appear on devices via an update to the Chromecast app.

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Three Android devices disappear from Google Play Editions range

07/09, 5:46am

Sony Xperia Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, HTC One M7 removed from Google Play

The roster of Google Play Edition devices available from Google Play directly has halved in size. Thee of the six smartphones involved in the program, which offered stock Android on popular devices, have been permanently removed from sale after being listed as out of stock since last month, though neither Google nor the manufacturers involved have provided any explanation for the disappearance.

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Android Wear bug halts paid app install, Goggle issues workaround

07/09, 3:30am

Bundled Wear apps not reading encryption file correctly, only free apps install

Earlier this week, a significant issue was discovered in Android Wear devices, keeping users from installing paid applications on the wearables. According to news from Android Police, when the apps are downloaded to the phone and then channeled to the watch, a key piece of information isn't accessed correctly. In the process, the encryption key that ties an app to a device, as part of Google Play's App Encryption, cannot be read -- leaving the apps unable to be installed.

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Briefly: Android L for OnePlus One, UK Post Office becoming a carrier

07/08, 7:21am

OnePlus One will receive Android L within three months of Google release

The OnePlus One will be receiving an upgrade to Android L, OnePlus has confirmed. Writing on the device's support forum, the phone manufacturer promises to have the update ready for rolling out to devices within three months of Google releasing a final build of the mobile operating system. Though exact dates are unknown, Google is expected to release Android L sometime in the fall,, suggesting the OnePlus One will gain it before the end of this year.

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LG's G3 smartphone and G Watch available July 8 through AT&T

07/07, 4:25pm

Flagship phone comes out on AT&T ahead of competitors, G Watch at discount

LG's new phone, the G3 and the company's first Android Wear entry, the G Watch, will be available to AT&T customers starting tomorrow. While the availability starts as a pre-order for the G3, retail locations are said to offer the devices on July 11. The announcement follows news from Sprint and T-Mobile that they would offer the G3, but AT&T is the first carrier to make it available to consumers.

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ComScore: iOS continuing to grow share against Android in US

07/04, 8:03pm

Android dominant but stagnant, no growth despite arrival of Galaxy S5

According to the latest statistics from ComScore MobilLens and Mobile Metrix, Android remains the most widely-used mobile OS in the US -- but has stagnated in terms of growth, while Apple iOS devices slowly climb. As of the end of May, iOS accounted for 41.9 percent share of US smartphone users, a gain of 0.6 points from the month before. Android overall remained steady at 52.1 percent marketshare, but Apple continued to be the top individual manufacturer.

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Briefly: Android Wear in Google Play, VLC for Android update

07/04, 8:40am

Google adds Android Wear section to Google Play

Google has started to compile a list of apps compatible with Android Wear smartwatches. The "Apps for Android Wear" collection, spotted by The Next Web, currently includes 29 apps, including Google's own Android Wear companion app, with the list consisting of a number of contributions from prominent apps and their developers, including IFTTT, Duolingo, Pinterest, and American Airlines.

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Briefly: ScottEVest's RFID Vest, Google Play Service 5.0 released

07/03, 11:28pm

New Radio-Frequency Identification blocking vest launched

ScottEVest, a developer of tech-enabled clothing, has launched a new series of products that aim to protect wearers from others exploiting weaknesses in cell phones, credit cards and passports. The Radio-Frequency Identification Blocking Vest features pockets lined with RFID-blocking materials, so that vulnerable objects can be carried securely. ScottEVest's travel vest is its flagship product, with a "men's" style offering 26 pockets and "women's styles" 18 pockets.

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EFF: Android phones could be 'leaking' location data

07/03, 5:35pm

Foundation discovers phones less than three years old broadcasting visited locations

Recently, the Internet advocacy and legal group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discovered that a number of Android devices could be sharing location information when not connected to Wi-Fi. The Android phones in question periodically send out information on Wi-Fi networks it knows in order to speed up the process of connecting. However, in doing so it gives off previous location data based on stored wireless networks in "human language."

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Android L's Project Volta shows impressive battery savings in testing

07/03, 7:40am

Battery life gain of 36 percent found in tests compared to Android KitKat

The next version of Android could give a significant increase to the battery life of smartphones and tablets, early testing of the mobile operating system has shown. Project Volta, an attempt by Google to minimize the amount of battery used by apps and Android itself via various internal improvements and new development tools, has been found to help extend one test device's battery life by over a third.

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Microsoft reportedly starts testing Office for Android apps

07/02, 1:53pm

Android version of Office apps allegedly scheduled for release later this year

Microsoft is building a full suite of Office apps for Android, a report claims. Following the official port to the iPad it launched in March, Microsoft is said to be privately testing separate apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the mobile operating system, with the company apparently seeking businesses and individuals to provide feedback on pre-release versions.

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Ouya attempts to draw in more gamers with 'All-Access Pass' promotion

06/30, 7:08pm

Limited deal gives Ouya owners access to more than 800 games for free

The team behind the Android gaming console Ouya is trying its hand at a new pricing structure that could draw some extra attention. Polygon found a listing on the Ouya Shop today that offers an "All-Access Pass," giving Ouya owners access to more than 800 games for the price of $60. Ouya states the deal is worth $2,000 for 12 months of free game access through the pass.

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Google stops device manufacturer overlay use in Android Wear, TV

06/30, 3:26pm

Android Wear, TV, Auto must use stock appearance

Android Wear, Android Auto, and Android TV will only use the stock visual style, according to a report. Google engineering director David Burke advised in an interview that third-party device producers, including LG and Samsung, would not be allowed to change the user interface at all, with Google not only controlling the overall appearance of the software, but also the underlying software.

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Google prepares to pull QuickOffice from app stores

06/30, 5:39am

Feature integration with Google Drive apps prompts removal of QuickOffice

Google has confirmed it will be removing QuickOffice from both Google Play and the App Store. Set to take place in the coming weeks, QuickOffice is being taken down following Google's updates to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that allowed the apps to work directly with Microsoft Office files without first converting them, among other new additions.

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Android TV controller spotted in wild, comes with developer kits

06/29, 3:30pm

Controller images found in Android L SDK, confirmed with picture of dev kit

Those thinking that Google wouldn't be taking any real step into gaming with the Android TV set-top box may want to reconsider. A Reddit user digging through the system developer kit (SDK) for Android L, discovered a directory full of images of an Android TV controller, which also detailed all of its pieces. Photos from Google I/O of the developer kits for Android TV would affirm its existence.

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Nexus device line will continue to exist, advises Google engineer

06/27, 9:59am

Head of Android Engineering at Google refutes claims of Nexus death

Google will continue to offer Nexus devices for the foreseeable future, the head of Android Engineering has confirmed. Putting to rest rumors of the Nexus line's demise, Dave Burke advised it will not be replaced by the rumored Android Silver nor the recently-announced Android One program, with new Nexus devices to be expected when the next version of Android is officially released.

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Google makes developer preview of Android L available to download

06/26, 4:15pm

Android L developer system images installable on Nexus 5, Nexus 7

Google has released the preview version of Android L to developers. Following its formal unveiling at Google I/O yesterday, the company has made an early version of the mobile operating system available to download, with developers able to install the next iteration of Android onto just two devices: the Nexus 5, and the Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 2013.

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Analysis: Google IO Keynote

06/26, 9:53am

Three staffers discuss the good and the bad of the 2014 IO keynote

With a massive industry keynote, such as yesterday's Google I/O event, comes discussion. Google gave us a lot to toss around with L, Android One, Android Auto, and Android TV, all four both good and bad simultaneously. Join MacNN editor Charles, and Electronista writers Mike and Jordan as we evaluate the ins and outs of the 2.5-hour keynote kicking off Google's annual I/O conference.

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Samsung warns investors that Q2 'doesn't look too good'

06/25, 11:10pm

Analysts fear a drop in profit of up to 16 percent year-over-year

On top of an early warning in April that profits would be down from the year-ago quarter in fiscal Q2, a rare public statement from Samsung's CFO has sent the Galaxy maker's stock tumbling on a warning that the balance sheet "doesn't look too good." The statement was later confirmed by Samsung, amounting to a full-throated warning on earnings that sent the company's stock tumbling nearly two percent, on top of a month-long 8.5 percent decline. Initial blame for the disappointment is centering on sales of the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone.

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Razer jumps into Android TV, announces development of micro-console

06/25, 4:55pm

Android TV set-top box set for fall release with an emphasis placed on gaming

One of the first Android TV boxes has already been announced, but it might not come from a vendor consumers were expecting. Gaming company Razer, famous for their mice and keyboards, said today it would be creating a micro-console based on Android TV technology which Google confirmed on Wednesday at the I/O conference. The console comes at a time when there is a single major Android gaming machine, the Ouya, already on the market.

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Google IO: Android TV coming with L, Chromecast functionality boosted

06/25, 2:00pm

New platform integrates with Android Wear controllers, Bluetooth controllers

Google is taking yet another shot at the set-top box industry. Announced today, Android TV is a new software platform with similar functionality to the Chromecast or Apple TV. The platform will be made available on a wide array of 2014 and 2015 4K television models, bringing Android integration into the living room for those investing in the new HDTV platform.

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Android Auto SDK ships, Open Auto-equipped vehicles launch in 2014

06/25, 1:30pm

Forty partners launch Open Auto Alliance, 20 manufacturers making cars

A new "Android Auto" product was unveiled by Google today at its I/O conference. The car-centric branch of Android prioritizes safety and navigation with a large, custom interface with voice control. The implementation links an in-dash screen to an Android phone carried by the user. Android Auto will be available to users with the public "L" release, with 40 partners in the Open Auto Alliance, with the first Android Auto cars being sold later this year.

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Android Wear demoed, first devices using new UI available for order

06/25, 1:15pm

New Android branch specifically for wearables sped up, made more flexible

At Google's 2014 I/O conference, the company has given more details on the its previously-announced Android Wear platform. Amongst other improvements, the operating system for wearables supports both rectangular and circular screens natively, in a large array of sizes. Some of the abilities of the platform, such as instant data sync across devices were demonstrated. Additionally, sending data to a linked phone was displayed by swiping the note over to the device.

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Google details Android L design changes, new software features

06/25, 1:01pm

Material Design aesthetic used in next iteration of Android

Google has previewed the upcoming major update to the Android mobile operating system, Android L, at Google I/O. The latest iteration is said to be built for multiple types of displays and devices, from smartphones and tablets to large-screened televisions. New design elements were tackled, including an overhaul in how the user interface operates, a new flatter appearance and other new additions.

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Android One initiative provides support to new device makers

06/25, 12:35pm

Program launches in India now, spreads worldwide before end of year

At today's Google I/O conference keynote, Google's Senior Vice President of Android announced a new company initiative for emerging markets called "Android One." The new program invokes a vendor qualification process, making sure that prospective low-cost Android smartphone vendors meet unspecified performance criteria. Additionally, the process enforces some rules for builders, including the use of stock Android on the devices.

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Survey: 35 percent of Android users might switch to larger iPhone

06/25, 1:59am

Investment bank study shows strong interest, even if bigger screen costs extra

A new survey of future smartphone buyers by RBC Capital Markets suggests that a new iPhone with a larger display could help Apple chip away at some of Samsung and other rivals' sales of Android-based big-screen smartphones and "phablets." Analyst Amit Daryanani, who recently raised his 12-month target price for AAPL stock to $100, told investors that the study showed that screen size was a significant factor in consumer resistance to buying an iPhone.

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Next major Android version will be previewed at Google I/O

06/24, 3:05pm

New Android version to go on display at event says Sundar Pichai in interview

Google Senior Vice President of Android Sunday Pichai said that the next major version of the Android operating system is going to be previewed during Google I/O. In an interview with BusinessWeek, Pichai let the news out as the company is looking to add more transparency to what the team is doing. The preview comes ahead of the fall schedule that Android versions are usually released under.

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Nokia X2 launches with updated software, improved rear camera

06/24, 5:42am

Entry-level Nokia X2 first Android smartphone launched under Microsoft ownership

Nokia's Devices and Services business has launched its second generation of Android smartphone, its first Android launch under the ownership of Microsoft. The Nokia X2 takes after the Nokia X launched in February, using a heavily customized Android implementation and a physical design reminiscent of the Lumia range, and though it is still a low-priced entry-level smartphone, it still offers a few improvements on the original.

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Path launches separate Path Talk messaging app for iOS, Android

06/20, 11:48am

Promises messages will disappear within 24 hours

Social network Path has spun off its chat functions into a separate app for iPhone and Android users, Path Talk. One of the app's key features is security; although messages won't vanish instantly, Path is promising that they'll be deleted from servers 24 hours after delivery. Another feature is Ambient Status, which can be used to tell Path contacts when a person is nearby, traveling, or even when their device is low on battery.

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Nokia unveils Z Launcher for Android with context awareness

06/19, 12:59pm

Z launcher marks Nokia's second major foray into Android since Nokia X

Nokia has launched an Android launcher, just two months after completing the sale of its mobile phone manufacturing business to Microsoft. The Z Launcher, the company's second major foray into Android after releasing the Nokia X smartphone, is an Android user interface that attempts to offer shortcuts to tools and apps when the user needs them most.

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Google developer video explains reasons for Android Wear notifications

06/19, 10:05am

Android Wear notifications meant for glancing, different from smartphone notifications

Google has given more of an idea of what to expect from wearable devices running Android Wear, such as the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch. A video from Google Developers expands on an earlier YouTube clip about notifications for the smartwatch operating system, reiterating that there is "No work required" for smartphone notifications to exist in a basic fashion, though adding a few lines of code to apps will make the notifications more useful for users.

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Aptoide files European antitrust complaint over Google Play dominance

06/18, 1:10pm

Claims Google abusing position over third-party app store measures

Google is abusing its position as the dominant Android app store, according to an antitrust complaint from another app marketplace. Aptoide, a store from Portugal that hosts 200,000 apps and has 6 million active users, has met with European Commission representatives in the last week, and claims that Google makes it unfairly difficult for Android users to use a different app store with their device instead of Google Play.

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Amazon Appstore heading to BlackBerry in fall operating system update

06/18, 9:31am

Licensing deal brings 240,000 Amazon apps to BlackBerry 10 devices

Owners of BlackBerry smartphones will soon have more apps to choose from, thanks to a licensing arrangement with Amazon. BlackBerry OS version 10.3 will include the Amazon Appstore when it ships in the fall, with the deal giving users more than 240,000 Android apps to use, on top of those already offered through the company's own BlackBerry World store.

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Chinese officials let Microsoft's anti-Android patents out of the bag

06/17, 4:55pm

Regulators reviewing Nokia deal find 310 patents Microsoft leverage against Android

After the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services business, Microsoft was found to have 200 patent families necessary to build Android phones. In the process of posting news on the merger approval, however, the MOFCOM posted a list of 310 Microsoft patents that Android could be infringing upon.

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