Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

16
Dec
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Do you remember the end of 2012? Android still ran Jelly Bean (no make that Jelly Bean, or was it Jelly Bean?). A 5.5-inch screen was as big as phone's got, and the mere promise of the Pebble had people virtually throwing money at their screens. Then in December, Instagram introduced a couple of new filters into its mobile app.

Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters.

16
Dec
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Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.

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Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.

16
Dec
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Update: According to our readers, quite a few more movies are free at the moment. Sherlock Holmes is free in the UK and Italy, while Pacific Rim is gratis in Australia. Clash of the Titans is available in Germany, and Canadians can get their hands on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Folks in France can snag The Polar Express. As for the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, it's also free in India.

16
Dec
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Last Updated: December 17th, 2014

Business owners already keep up with Yelp, as reviews can make or break sales. But at the end of the day, the mobile app remains a consumer-facing piece of software, encouraging users to check out which establishments are hot and leave their own feedback.

While Yelp isn't changing its main app, it has released a separate one that acknowledges how much attention the people running restaurants and stores pay to the service.

15
Dec
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Jules Vernes' novel Around the World in Eighty Days is an old book, and like most old books, it reads like one. You can pick it up and work through its pages if you're committed, but inkle, the creator of the Sorcery series, has made a modern-day adaptation that is much easier on the eyes. In this choose-your-own-adventure adaptation, you try to make the right decisions to successfully circumnavigate the globe as quickly as possible (but preferably in 80 days).

15
Dec
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STC, the largest telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia (with well over 100 million subscribers across various Arab states), has launched support for Play Store carrier billing. Now people in the region can pay for goods by adding the fee to their next bill, rather than keeping a credit card on file. Customers can find the feature highlighted directly on the carrier's site.

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You can access carrier billing by going to purchase an app and, when the payment window pops up, changing the method.

15
Dec
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Nest was already smarter than your average thermostat, coming with an app that serves as your mobile command and control center. But now that the hardware is integrated with Google Now, it's even easier to communicate with the device. Wish it were a little bit warmer? Just say the word.

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We knew this functionality was coming, it was just a matter of waiting for Google to flip the switch. Now that everything's working, Nest will respond to any number of voice commands following the words OK Google, including change the temperature to, turn the thermostat to, set Nest at, alter the temp, and seemingly everything in between.

15
Dec
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Update: Here is the link to the OTA file, direct from Google's servers.

We get excited about bugfix releases around these parts, even if they don't bring the kind of glossy user-facing changes that the big updates do. Android 5.0.1 hit AOSP early this month, and now it looks like the over-the-air update will be on its way to Nexus 5 owners before the end of today. Sprint and T-Mobile have both shared the news themselves.

15
Dec
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This fall HTC surrounded the launch of the Desire EYE with a series of camera-centric features that also trickled out to some of the manufacturer's other devices. The company made a big deal of these innovations, releasing no shortage of trailers showing off gimmicks enhancements ranging from face tracking and capturing video using both cameras at once to fusing faces together and instantly applying makeup.

Now HTC has released an app into the Play Store that it can use to update the video chat-related features among the list.

12
Dec
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Version 2.6 makes BBM ready for Android 5.0, but don't get too excited. There's no big redesign here. The app still looks as Gingerbread as ever, it just now explicitly supports devices running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.

That's not to say that the update is without visual changes. If you turn your phone sideways, the interface will now rotate to landscape mode in order to accommodate you.

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