Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

27
Mar
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That was fast. Despite the fact that the Galaxy S5 won't be released for another two weeks, well-known developer and modder Chainfire has already rooted the phone. Well, at least one of the Galaxy S5s (S Fives? Galaxies S5? whatever), specifically the SM-G900F model, which seems to be the international GSM-LTE version. The root method will probably work with at least some regional and carrier variants.

To get root privileges, check out this XDA-Developers post for Chainfire's latest version of the CF-Auto-Root tool, flashable via a PC with Samsung's ODIN tool.

27
Mar
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Collectable card battle games are incredibly popular on the Play Store and its mobile contemporaries, perhaps only outnumbered by various Bird ripoffs of the Angry and Flappy variety. Now you can get your tedious, IAP-riddled card action on in a Star Wars flavor, because Assault Team is available in the United States (and probably a lot of other places as well). For the one guy who's been patiently waiting since the Australian test release, this is very exciting news.

27
Mar
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MyColorScreen's Themer is already an impressively powerful app for making your phone look cool. But for something that's supposed to encourage customization, it's surprisingly limiting - you can choose from a wide variety of user-created homescreens, but there aren't many options for tweaking them. With the latest update, Themer gives end users the ability to add some flair of their own via icon packs.

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Themer should work with the vast majority of icon packs that are already in the Play Store and designed for more typical launchers like Nova and Apex.

27
Mar
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HTC has apparently dived head-first into a decentralized software support model. Translation: they're throwing everything they possibly can onto the Play Store, presumably so they don't have to wait for a full carrier update to tweak or improve their various Sense apps. The latest one to land in the Play Store is HTC Dot View, the support app for the interesting Dot View case, a cover that puts a perforated design to use.

26
Mar
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If you've been following the Applanet/Appbucket criminal case, you know that the Department of Justice and the FBI have been working on bringing charges against a number of high-profile Android app pirates for the last eighteen months. Earlier this month the investigations and arrests paid off, as two of the men responsible for large-scale Android app piracy in the United States pled guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

25
Mar
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Last Updated: March 26th, 2014

Update: According to this Google+ post, pre-orders for the phone will begin later today. There's still no word on a shipping date.

Update #2: You can now press the "Add to cart" button. The phone is currently scheduled to leave Google's warehouse in 2-3 weeks:

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One of the more interesting aspects of HTC's One M8 launch is the rapid way the company is releasing the phone, with major American and Canadian carriers getting access to the device in one day or less.

25
Mar
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Has the prospect of KitKat and streaming PC games from anywhere not sold you on NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming machine? Not even the promise of Portal? Well aren't you hard to please. How about a price cut, bringing the final retail cost of the SHIELD down to $199? That's cheaper than the Nexus 7, and it puts the SHIELD in the same range as dedicated gaming portables like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.

25
Mar
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More than a year after NVIDIA revealed its SHIELD hardware, the company has maintained its commitment to keeping the platform updated and supported. The company has added huge chunks of new features to its Android gaming machine at long intervals, and the upcoming KitKat release will be no exception. In addition to Android 4.4, the software package will take GameStream out of beta, expand console mode, add support for streaming from any network, and a whole lot more.

25
Mar
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The Dot View case is HTC's answer to the various windowed cases from Samsung and LG, and you have to give them points for creativity. The front cover is punched with holes - just big enough to see through, not enough to expose the screen to damage. (We hope.) It will cost $49.99, and it's already on the HTC store in five different colors, though you can't buy one yet.

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The Lite-Brite style case allows the phone to show a dot matrix-style display for different functions like the time, weather, and phone calls.

25
Mar
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Easily the coolest part of LG's custom Android skin is KnockOn, a feature introduced with the G2 that allows users to knock on a sleeping phone to wake it up. Knock Code, a pattern-based alternative with a bit more security, was introduced with the G Pro 2 and other phones at Mobile World Congress. According to a new press release, LG will make good on its promise to expand this feature to other phones, starting with the G2 and G Flex in April.

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