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AOKP Finally Releases Jelly Bean 4.2 Milestone 2, Complete With SwipePad-like Ribbon Feature, New Devices, And More

It's been quite some time since we heard major release information from the ROM developers at the Android Open Kang Project, or as the cool kids call them, AOKP. After three months of relative quiet (though plenty of development and testing has been going on behind the scenes) The team just announced AOKP Jelly Bean Milestone 2, a complete and hopefully bug-free build that brings a ton of new features.

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Verizon's 'Edge' Is Official – New Payment Plan Options Start On August 25th

At this point, we've all heard of T-Mobile's JUMP! program, designed to let customers upgrade smartphones up to twice-yearly. And not to be outdone by T-Mo, AT&T announced its variant of the plan, dubbed Next. Of course, Verizon has its own thing going on, too – Edge. Up to this point, we've only seen leaks that allude to Edge's existence, but Big Red finally took the wraps off and made it official this morning.

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Download: Android 4.3 For Google Nexus 4 Leaks (JWR66N) - Here's The System Dump [Updated]

For the past few hours, I've been observing a curious case of Jeff Williams on Google+. Jeff posted a screenshot of what he claimed was a Nexus 4 he bought from a Googler... with a build of Android 4.3 on it. The same build, JWR66N, that we saw leaked earlier on a Galaxy S4 GPE by SamMobile.

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In disbelief, some have called him a hoaxer, but a number of resourceful folks decided to get Jeff on IRC (channel #Android43 on freenode) and worked with him for hours, trying over and over to get the magical system dump that would prove Jeff's story to be real.

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Fun Fact: AT&T And VZW's New "Jump"-Like Upgrades Will Actually Make Leaving Your Carrier Early More Expensive

Late last night, AT&T began promoting its new "Next" smartphone upgrade plan in earnest. And earlier yesterday, a leaked training document revealed Verizon's "Edge" upgrade plan. Both are very obvious four-letter copies of T-Mobile's new Jump plan. Let me give you the breakdown on these Jump competitors as quickly as I can.

AT&T will allow you to finance (0% interest, no down payment, no finance charges) a phone for 20 months, pay it off monthly, and after 12 months of payments, will let you trade it in and start financing a new phone, and remaining payments on the old phone will be forgiven.

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[New App] Duo Security And NEU SecLab Releases ReKey Master Key Vulnerability Patch For Rooted Android Users Still Waiting On Their Carriers

A few weeks ago the "Master Key" APK verification vulnerability rocked the Android security landscape... then immediately stopped rocking it, once Google revealed that they had patched the vulnerability months ago. Still, that's little comfort to users who aren't on a brand-new 4.2 phone (or, you know, a Nexus device that gets real updates). CyanogenMod has responded by patching all of its official ROMs (twice), and now noted security firm Duo has teamed up with Northeastern University's SecLab to do the same for all Android rooted users, regardless of their device.

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AT&T Takes On T-Mobile With "Next" Upgrade Plan: Payment Installments On New Hardware, Trade In Option After A Year

Whether or not you want to partake in T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" experiments, they're obviously having an effect on the wider American carrier landscape. Today AT&T announced plans to counter T-Mobile's JUMP! upgrade/trade-in plan with one of their own, called Next. The Next plan will allow similar installment payments on new phones with no money down, and users will be given the option to trade in their existing phone and begin paying off a new one.

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Sony Xperia Z Launching Later This Month On Bell Mobility As A Canadian Exclusive

The Sony Xperia Z might be a few months old now, but it's about to officially arrive in the great white north as an exclusive on Bell Mobility. The Canadian carrier will begin selling the Xperia Z later this month (July 2013) in white, black, and purple.

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This is going to be the proper Xperia Z, not that watered down, non-water-resistant Xperia ZL. In case you need a refresher on the Z's specs, here they are:

  • 5" 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • 13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS sensor
  • Water and dust resistant (IP55 & IP57) with a durable glass display
  • 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 2GB RAM

The Xperia Z is no slouch, but it's starting to look a bit dated next to the HTC One and Galaxy S4.

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HTC Publishes, Pulls Post Teasing The HTC One Mini, Will "Bring The One Experience To As Many People As Possible"

Update: The post has now been published.

Just a few minutes ago, it seems someone over at the official HTC blog pulled the trigger on an HTC One Mini teaser campaign a bit early. A post titled "Little Things That Pack a BIG Punch" was live for a few moments, only to quickly disappear. It was a pretty obvious hint at the upcoming HTC One Mini, which is perhaps best-known at this point as HTC's worst-kept secret.

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Muku Shuttr Bluetooth Remote Camera Shutter Looks Pretty Cool, Already Funded On Kickstarter

Professional portrait photographers swear by their expensive wireless shutter triggers - those little remote gadgets that let them take photos while waiving a stuffed bear at a toddler. Now someone is trying to bring the same functionality to smartphones with the oddly-named Muku Shuttr, a tiny Bluetooth remote that lets you snap photos without holding your smartphone. It's a novel idea, and the Kickstarter campaign has already passed its modest $10,000 goal with more than three weeks left.

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Still Believe A microSD Card Slot Is Necessary In Your Smartphone?

As smartphone storage capacity grows on average with each passing year, many manufacturers have begun to abandon the microSD card slot on flagship handsets. Google itself has taken multiple opportunities to trash expandable storage as a "messy" feature that, from the standpoint of the people who actually develop Android as a profession, is not worth the problems it creates.

This has been a major point of contention between Android enthusiasts and Google, particularly when it comes Nexus devices.

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