Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

08
Oct
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There's a trend toward gold-colored smartphones as of late, but none of them are actually made of gold. That would be totally impractical and expensive, right? Exactly. HTC is crafting five HTC One smartphones in 18-carat gold to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the MOBO awards, which recognize black and urban music in the UK. The gold HTC One carries a price tag of £2,750, or about $4400.

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Inside, it's the same HTC One you know and love, but the aluminum outer casing is replaced with a gold-plated wrap.

07
Oct
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Maybe you've never really noticed the sponsored shopping results that pop up in Google searches, but Google is aiming to change that by making those ads more relevant to your physical location. The search giant is rolling out local shopping results that guide users to nearby brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, you may already have them in your search results.

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The shopping results that appear on both mobile and desktop searches may now open a dedicated local storefront when clicked.

07
Oct
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Even with Microsoft pulling Skype's strings, there are still updates coming to the Android version of the app. Skype 4.4 brings the usual collection of bug fixes and tweaks, but there's also a new tablet UI and improved video quality for all Android devices.

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The updated tablet UI will emphasize conversations by displaying your most recent calls and chats with each contact entry. The look and feel has been streamlined a bit too.

07
Oct
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Looking to mod your Verizon HTC One in every way imaginable? You're going to need S-OFF, and it looks like you won't be waiting long. Recognized XDA Developer beaups has posted a picture showing the Verizon device's bootloader indicating S-OFF.

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07
Oct
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Reports have been circulating for the last week or so that the Android 4.2.2 bits were arriving on WiFi-only Note 8.0 devices, but now the floodgates appear to have opened. Almost all Note 8.0 units in the US should now be able to get the update in the system menu or by connecting to Samsung's Kies software.

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07
Oct
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Most smartphone makers move quickly from one project to the next, always trying to stay ahead of the curve. That can be trouble when you want an update on the phone you bought from them last year. The future of HTC's EVO 4G LTE has been up in the air recently with some claiming an Android 4.3 update was coming, and others denying it. Now we know: 4.3 is coming by year's end.

07
Oct
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Big phones are a big deal these days, and HTC looks to be getting in on the fun. After leaking a few times in various blurry-cam shots, the HTC One Max has showed up again, but this time it's wearing a Verizon logo.

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The device was reportedly being shown to sales reps in a Verizon store when the images were captured. The One Max looks as big as the specs would lead you to believe.

07
Oct
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Samsung was the target of extensive hate recently as it came to light that the Note 3 and other high-end devices would be sporting a new region lock designed to cut back on gray market importers. The company said the lock was only a problem the first time a phone was activated, but some users now claim to be having ongoing issues with foreign SIMs not working. Whether or not Samsung's region lock is working as intended, noted developer Chainfire has released an app that can circumvent the lockdown entirely.

06
Oct
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What's the point of being good at something if you can't gloat about it? The new Android version of Microsoft's Wordament puzzle game offers you the opportunity to pluck words out of a game board and compare your skills against the rest of the world. Bring it, everyone else.

2013-10-06 22.57.39 2013-10-06 22.55.06

05
Oct
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Kickstarter has allowed a lot of folks with reasonably good ideas to make them a reality – or at least try. Shadowrun Returns was more than a reasonably good idea, though. This game promised a classic turn-based RPG experience in a much-loved gaming universe. After raising nearly $2 million last year, it launched on PC a few months ago and on mobile last week.

I have a soft spot for this genre, so I was excited to dig into Shadowrun Returns on Android.

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