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.

15
Jun
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AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.

14
Jun
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The Gear Fit has its share of problems, but it's still easily the best of Samsung's wearable watch-style devices so far. And one of the best reasons for picking one up over the larger and technically more capable Gear 2 models is the lower price. Now Amazon has given Samsung smartphone owners even more reason to lay their money down: a considerable discount on the Gear Fit.

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Right now Amazon's price on the Gear Fit is $168.84, just a tad over $30 off the $200 retail price.

14
Jun
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Last Updated: June 18th, 2014

It's a card. Yippee.

Update: We've now gotten the Pokemon Master package from Google as well, and turns out there are actually 10 cards inside, not 1. The updated image is below.

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If you remember Google's April Fools Day promotion that scattered digital Pokemon in maps all over the globe, you'll remember that it was awesome. Google also allowed those who had found all 150 Pokemon (with or without #151, Mew) to submit a form for a special prize.

14
Jun
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The folks at CyanogenMod are on a roll with Chinese hardware. After adding official support for the Xiaomi Mi2, they've now published the first nightly ROMs for the OnePlus One and the very similar Oppo Find 7A. You can find the One download and forthcoming builds under the "bacon" codename, while the Find 7A is available under the Find7 label. Team WIN Recovery Project is already available for both phones.

14
Jun
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Clash of Clans fans will find a lot of familiarity in Boom Beach, a similar title from Supercell with more conventional characters and weapons. This tower defense and tower attack game has become popular very quickly on iOS, and now it's available on Android... if you happen to be in Finland or Germany. (A limited geographical rollout is typical for testing.) If you've got access to this early version of the game, have fun: it's a free download.

14
Jun
Aries (1)

If you're not familiar with Xiaomi's Mi2 (Also called the M2s or the Xiaomi Phone 2) hardware, you're probably in good company. While the company's phones are wildly popular with tech enthusiasts in China, Xiaomi has almost zero presence outside of the country. Still, they seem to have at least a few fans in the larger Android community, because the Mi2 model now has official CyanogenMod support. You can download the first nightly builds under the "Aries" codename now.

14
Jun
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Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of Cartoon Network's current lineup. I exited the channel's target demographic when Dexter's Laboratory and Ed, Edd & Eddy went off the air, and more recent fare like Adventure Time is just unintelligible garbage to my jaded adult eyes. But if you enjoy the recent stuff, and you'd like to watch them all play a game of soccer in a thinly-disguised World Cup tie-in, then Superstar Soccer is the game for you.

14
Jun
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At this point, Android's notification system is pretty elegant. But there's no way to avoid confusion (and for some users, frustration) when a ton of notifications come in all at once. Echo Lockscreen attempts to fix that with a lockscreen replacement that puts your current notifications front and center, then organizes them by app or urgency. Currently Echo is in alpha testing, and it's a free download in the Play Store.

14
Jun
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Sprint customers have enough connection woes to deal with when their phones are working just fine (I kid, I kid), so I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to have one that randomly loses data access. Apparently that was what was happening to at least some owners of the HTC One M8. According to the notes released on this support website, the latest Sprint over-the-air update (1.54.651.10) should fix the problem.

14
Jun
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Mobile rumor master Evleaks is at it again, showing off what appears to be a press render of the Samsung "Galaxy F." The photo shows a phone that looks very much like a slightly larger Galaxy S5 with a metal (or at least metal-looking) rear cover, in a "perfect golden" white-on-gold color scheme. The pulse oximeter beneath the rear camera indicates that this is a high-end Samsung phone, possibly a premium alternative to the Galaxy S5 or a replacement for the next Galaxy Note.

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