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.

02
Dec
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With Android Lollipop finally getting into full swing, November was the month for developers (or at least those devs that are paying attention) to release Material Design UI updates. Those updates took up a lot of AP coverage last month, but there are still a few standout apps for you to check out below. Just don't get too attached to Clippit - it's entirely too cool and useful to survive the wrath of the US copyright system.

02
Dec
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If you're a fan of strategy games, you had a very good month in November. In addition to soft strategy like Kingdom Rush: Origins and Godus, you've got new entries in the XCOM and Civilization series, not to mention the very impressive newcomer The Banner Saga. There are also some respectable entries in what you might call the casual genre (if you weren't busy swearing at some of the higher levels in The Blocks Cometh), and we've added a few honorable mentions as well.

02
Dec
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Yota's unconventional hardware design has gained the company a lot of press, but following the Mobile World Congress debut of the YotaPhone 2, we've heard nary a peep for the better part of a year. That changed today in a Moscow presentation: the second-gen phone with a built-in e-ink screen on the rear of the case will go on sale in 20 European countries later in December, presumably including Russia.

02
Dec
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The one Nexus-style smartphone that's even bigger than the N6 is getting its Android 5.0 update today. At least a few owners of Sony's Z Ultra (nee Xperia) Google Play Edition are getting over-the-air updates to Lollipop, as evidenced by this XDA thread. Conveniently, one of those fine folks has found the link to OTA ZIP file, so you can download and flash it manually to your own phone if you don't want to wait for the rollout.

02
Dec
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PasswordBox is a system that allows users to keep long and secure passwords to major services, auto-inputting the fields on desktops and mobile platforms and syncing them to a cloud-based system with a single login. It's a popular alternative to the similar LastPass system. Yesterday Intel announced that it had acquired the 44-person company for an undisclosed sum, and intends to integrate it into its Intel Security team (which includes support from McAfee) going forward.

02
Dec
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Most of you have probably heard of theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking, one of the most high-profile scientists in the world. Hawking suffers from a rare condition related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that leaves him with extremely limited movement; for the last few decades he has used a customized mobile computer and a voice synthesizer to speak and write with tiny muscular actions. The latest version of his personal setup was created with the help of Intel and SwiftKey, and the keyboard software developer detailed the process on its company blog.

02
Dec
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Last Updated: December 3rd, 2014

No, it's not Android 5.0. There, we've got that over with. And while I'm sure at least some owners of the Verizon version of Samsung's penultimate Note are disappointed at the lack of Lollipop, others will be happy to see it updated to the latest version of KitKat. A new software update is rolling out to Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 right now (PDF link), with Android 4.4.4 in tow. The last time the phone got an Android version bump was the KitKat (4.4.2) update back in May.

01
Dec
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Normally the IDrive mobile backup service is $5 a year for unlimited data backups. (Not to be confused with the desktop version, which is considerably more expensive.) But today you can get a lifetime of backup service for just ten bucks. StackSocial is running the promotion, which will be available for another six days. If you find Google or Dropbox's backup plans too limiting, this might be worth a look.

01
Dec
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If your Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon has been randomly rebooting, you might want to check for a system update. No, it's not getting Lollipop, but Verizon says that this update does fix "the intermittent power cycle issue." Translation: before this update the phone crashed. Now it will not crash. We hope. The only other change for software version KOT49H.I545VRUFNK1 (PDF link) is a VPN connectivity fix.

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Verizon's S4 has gotten a few of these small updates, so you should know how it goes by now: any modification to the system or the recovery will cause a flash error, and if you have root before the update it's possible you might lose it afterward.

01
Dec
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'Twas the first of December, when in the Play Store

came an app that we'd all seen just one year before.

A Santa tracker made kids really keen

with a sizeable update for Twenty-Fourteen.

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