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[Update: Mi Note Pro, Mi Box Mini, And Headphones Too] Xiaomi Announces The Mi Note With A 5.7-Inch 1080p LCD, 3000mAh Battery, Snapdragon 801, And More

Xiaomi has been stepping up its hardware game in recent years to compete with more established OEMs, and the newly announced Mi Note is the latest example of this commitment. This device is basically a higher-end version of 2014's Redmi Note. Not only is the Mi Note significantly more powerful than the Redmi Note, it's lighter and thinner too.

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Adobe's Lightroom Mobile Comes To Android

It's no secret that Adobe hasn't exactly done a stellar job at keeping parity between its collection of apps for iOS and Android. iOS users, for instance, enjoy Adobe Illustrator Line and Draw, Color CC, Premiere Clip, Brush CC, and many more that have yet to see the light of day on the Play Store.

It isn't all bad news, though - today, Adobe is bringing Lightroom Mobile to Android. The app actually has a couple of cool things to offer, but before we take a look, there are a few caveats that should definitely be mentioned.

For one, the app isn't optimized for Android tablets - Adobe says that actual Android tablet support is "on the roadmap" for the future, but didn't specify any time frame.

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[Deal Alert] Sennheiser MM30G Earbuds With Android Controls Are $25 On Amazon ($50 Off) - A Great Upgrade Over Freebie Headphones

Ah, the good old days, when every phone, MP3 player, Walkman, and toaster included a pair of pack-in earbuds. These days you're lucky if you get a damn power adapter (just ask the folks over at Nintendo). If you're still using the ancient headphones that came as a freebie in you Nexus One or a long-forgotten iPod, then take a gander at this Sennheiser set over on Amazon. The MM30G, complete with in-line music controls and a mic, is $50 off of the retail price for a cool $24.99.

headphones

Sennheiser is one of the better audio brands, especially if you want good sound at a reasonable price - the kind that your audiophile uncle begs you to buy instead of Beats or Monster.

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Google Maps Updated To 9.3 With Shareable Directions [APK Download]

Google Maps, for its part this Update Wednesday, has received a bump to version 9.3. The changes aren't immediately apparent to users just opening the app, but there are at least a couple of things worth mentioning in the new update.

First, shareable directions. Once a user looks up directions or navigation to a destination, they can share the directions with any app in the normal share menu or - if Google Glass is connected - to Glass.

Screenshot_2015-01-14-15-31-28 Screenshot_2015-01-14-15-31-44

Users can also permanently dismiss the GPS nag dialog that pops up if a user's location settings aren't ideal for Maps. (Thanks Allen!)

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The app also comes with new permissions, including access to Bluetooth settings and devices, and the ability to run at startup.

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Samsung May Be Looking To Buy BlackBerry For As Much As $7.5 Billion [Update: BlackBerry Responds]

It's no secret that Blackberry has struggled to find its footing in a post-Android/iPhone world, but the end may finally be around the corner. According to a report from Reuters, Samsung has approached the Canadian smartphone maker with an offer to buy the entire company for as much as $7.5 billion. Investors seem keen on the idea--shares of Blackberry jumped more than 30% on the news.

BlackBerry

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Hands-On With Oco, A New Dropcam Competitor With An Emphasis On Ease Of Use

When it comes to IP security cameras, Dropcam is (and has been) one of the biggest names in the game. It's easy enough to use, sets up quickly, and can basically be left alone once everything is in place (most of the time, at least). That's the kind of simplicity that most home and small business owners want, which is what Dropcam has been offering since day one. Add in the fact that the company is constantly adding new, useful features to its apps, and you have a winner.

Naturally, challengers are going to come. There's clearly a market for products like this, so why let one manufacturer own it?

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Verizon Wireless Pushes Out Xperia Z3v OTA Update Enabling HD Playback In Play Movies And More

The Xperia Z3v is the Z3 with Verizon branding. Since the logo alone isn't enough to keep customers happy, the carrier also provides them with the largest network in the US and occasional over-the-air updates. Currently it's pushing out an OTA (version 23.0.E.1.44) that hits the Sony flagship with a number of enhancements.

The standout item on the changelog, if you're into Play Movies, is the ability to stream in HD. This is the way video was meant to be consumed on the device's 5.2-inch 1920 by 1080 display.

Screenshot 2015-01-14 at 4.00.08 PM

Other tweaks include improving NFC performance, reducing mobile data notifications during calls, and disabling HTML links in email.

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[Update: APK Download] New Google Translate App Includes Word Lens Image Translation And Smarter Conversation Mode

We had an exclusive preview of upcoming changes to the Google Translate app last month, and Google just announced an update that matches exactly with our information. The new version of Translate is rolling out on Android and iOS with built-in Word Lens translation via the camera and a smarter conversation mode that can listen to both languages at once.

Google Word Lens iPhone GIF

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Project Ara Trailer Makes Us Drool, Highlights Market Pilot Coming To Puerto Rico Later This Year

If you haven't heard, Project Ara is coming. No, I don't mean that in the vague it's being worked on sense. It's actually on its way to Puerto Rico in the form of a market pilot sometime later this year. Google announced the news at the second annual Project Ara Module Developers Conference currently underway.

Google selected Puerto Rico due to the research opportunities the location provides. Mobile users there are as likely to use a feature phone as a smartphone, and they have a varied selection of carriers to choose from, ranging from big US carriers to smaller local options.

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Apple Sues Ericsson Over 'Non-Essential' Wireless Patents, Ericsson Sues Apple Right Back

This story is about American hardware and software company Apple and Swedish telecom infrastructure company Ericsson. Neither of these companies makes Android hardware (though Ericsson dabbled in it with its ex-partner Sony), but the outcome might affect all manufacturers that release phones in the United States. That said, it's about patents and lawsuits, so get ready for a snore-fest over the next few paragraphs. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Still with us? Alright. Ericsson is the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world, though their sales are mostly business-to-business, so most consumers don't see a lot of their wares.

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