David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

05
Aug
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Have you been holding out for a Galaxy S5 of a slightly more interesting hue than black, white, or gold? If so, Best Buy's got you potentially covered with the new "electric blue" S5 that comes in August 17th here in the US. This color has been available internationally for some time, but it looks like Best Buy managed to wrangle an America-exclusive with Samsung to stock this more aquatic-toned variant of its best-selling handset.

04
Aug
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If you've purchased an app or game on the Play Store recently and gone to see if you could return it, you may have noticed something a bit odd: you could still do so outside of the alleged 15 minute return window. In fact, that now seems to be the case for many paid apps and games, despite no published changes in the store's refund policies.

To test this seemingly longer window, three members of the AP team all bought apps on the Play Store.

02
Aug
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To the excitement of many, Google has finally made the Google Now Launcher available for all Android devices running Android 4.1 or later.

The GNL is what Google thinks your Android device should look like, in a basic sense. A dedicated Google Now homescreen pane, a permanent Google Search shortcut at the top of every screen, and a very bare-bones app drawer. It's simple, fast, and Google-y. What's interesting is that, despite some degree of love for the GNL in the wider Android community, it's really not an enthusiast's launcher at all.

01
Aug
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Google+, for all the criticism it has garnered from the "hip" tech crowd, has been an incredibly important product for the search giant since its unveiling back in 2011. Remember when you had to get an invite to join Google+? How far we've come.

But Google+ quickly became more than just Google+. The Hangouts messaging platform and, later, Google+ Photos were key leaps forward for Google in two areas where the company was arguably becoming stagnant.

01
Aug
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Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. This lawsuit just got a lot more boring.

According to re/code, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung today for failure to pay royalties as part of a contractual IP licensing agreement between the two companies. The agreement in question is for Microsoft's infamous smartphone patent portfolio, which has pretty much every Android OEM in the US paying out a percentage of their handset sales to the struggling Windows Phone maker.

01
Aug
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HP is gearing up to unveil a smartwatch in cooperation with luxury goods discount site Gilt and awarded men's fashion designer Michael Bastian. The watch will work with both Android and iOS devices, and HP is in charge of heading up the software effort. That means, yes, that this watch will 100% definitely not run Android Wear, but could quite possibly be Android-based.

Fashionista seems to have been given advanced access to information about the watch, which will "[allow] the wearer to receive email and text message notifications, control music remotely and check weather, stocks and sports updates." The teaser image, below, does look pretty nice.

29
Jul
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Samsung's finally getting into the premium personal audio market with its Level line of products, but can they just walk into this increasingly crowded space, one that is, frankly, dominated by the oft-maligned Beats Audio? Two pairs of headphones, one pair of earbuds, and a portable Bluetooth speaker comprise Samsung's first real effort to break into this lucrative space - are any of them worth your attention? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer could be yes.

28
Jul
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Popular password manager Keeper has updated its Android app today with two big new features: web password auto-fill and encrypted cloud file storage. They're called Keeper FastFill and Keeper Secure File Storage, and they're available now. Here's the blurb from the Play Store listing:

Announcing Keeper Secure File Storage, the best way to store and organize your private Files, Photos & Videos! Encrypt and upload secret photos, loan docs, passports and confidential files to your Keeper vault.

28
Jul
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If you use Google Gesture Search, an app that we have largely ignored over the years because, well, Google doesn't exactly do much with it, good news - it's been updated! For the first time in over a year.

Google Gesture Search 2.1.4 adds a new widget that allows you to quickly launch recently used things, and the app now displays as a popup on tablets. There are also the requisite "bug fixes and UI improvements." The widget seems, frankly, pretty damn useless aside from being a widget that displays things you sometimes are prone to doing on your phone, with no apparent logic behind said displayed items.

27
Jul
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We've come to have reason to believe that Motorola and possibly Google are working on a 5.9" phone codenamed Shamu. That's about all we know. We know it showed up in Google's issue tracker, and that the issue was created by a known testing company who check prerelease hardware for just this sort of thing. We know the device is running a Google-built kernel and that this points to a Nexus or, at least, something Nexus-like.

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