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.

12
Jul
$_12

Samsung's Pro line of tablets was considered ridiculously expensive when it debuted, but thankfully for those who want in on the hardware, the market is quickly correcting the company's overzealous pricing. After seeing big price drops on eBay in both May and June, the refurbished Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is now cheaper than it's ever been at $369.99. That's nearly $300 off the retail price of the new tablet, and much more palatable when compared to offerings from competing manufacturers.

12
Jul
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The Xperia Z2 Tablet isn't the most high-profile tablet around, but there are more than a few fans of Sony's unique industrial design. Combine that with the company's unlocked hardware (at least for non-carrier versions), and you've got a perfect candidate for custom ROMs. The CyanogenMod team has started publishing nightly releases for the Z2 Tablet, in both its Wi-Fi (castor) and unlocked GSM (castor_windy) flavors. The first nightly build is available for download now.

10
Jul
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Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a space pirate math game, a randomized roguelike, and a rebooted Sega jumper.

10
Jul
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Statistically speaking, if you're using a pair of earbuds, they probably suck. And not just because you've been using the same dingy pair that you got with your iPod Nano back in 2006: even premium earbuds come with the same circular silicone pads (or maybe three or four sets if the manufacturer is feeling generous), none of which are likely to fit you perfectly. There are custom-made options, but most of them require you to visit an audiologist to make impressions, which drives up the cost of hardware that's already expensive.

10
Jul
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The art of needlessly re-naming manufacturer's phones for American carriers seems to have gone out of vogue in the last year or two - no more Droid Xyboards, no more Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. But in the case of the HTC One Mini 2, I think the original name was bad enough that we can forgive Verizon for wanting a rebrand. The HTC One Remix, which is almost certainly Verizon's rebranded version of the One Mini 2, was featured in a Verizon promotional video this morning.

10
Jul
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Verizon sure took its sweet time when it came to getting LG's latest flagship phone out. But if you're on Verizon and you've been salivating at the admittedly awesome G3, Big Red is now ready to your money. The G3 will go on sale next Thursday, July 17th, but you can pre-order it on the website now. The two-year contract price is $99.99, the off-contract price is the usual $599.99, and Verizon will let you split that up with its EDGE system if you'd like the option.

10
Jul
z2

Tablets that aren't iPads don't sell well on US carriers, probably because no one is all that keen on paying an extra monthly fee in order to use them and/or sharing a limited amount of data. (3G and LTE tablets are much more popular overseas.) So there's really no point in pre-ordering a tablet from a carrier, unless you absolutely have to have it on day one. If that's the case for the Xperia Z2 Tablet, let your fingers do the walking over to Verizon's website.

10
Jul
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The various detractors of the free-to-play gaming model, including yours truly, often refer to such titles from the likes of Glu and Gamevil as "pay-to-win." That's never been so true as in FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE 2 PLAY, where an ogre steals the princess and you have to literally ransom her back. You could spend hours and hours grinding through the 2D platformer, avoiding the advertising that will crush you and stomping on it to collect coins, slowly building up to 1,000,000 in-game dollars.

08
Jul
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Quick, if you're on a desktop browser, open a new tab and head for Google Drive. You might just see a new interface for Google's document and storage service, first announced back at Google I/O. Drive is getting a makeover to make it more like navigating files in a desktop file manager, complete with thumbnail views for all items and keyboard modifiers that let you manage multiple files at once.

08
Jul
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Games made specifically for Android Wear devices were almost inevitable. Despite the small size, there's a lot of potential for Wear integration for full-sized Android games - you could use your watch as a Star Trek-style alert system for an RPG, or as a fun secondary screen, like the Visual Memory Unit on the old Dreamcast. Even games limited to Wear itself could do a lot with simple taps or swipes.

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