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PSA: Bootloader Unlocking On Google Play Edition Devices Shows Each One To Have Its Own Nuances And Pitfalls

In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.

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Google's Android Compatibility Definition Document Says OEMs Must Use White Icons If They're Using Translucent System Bars - But Will They?

With any luck, Android users may soon have more consistent system bar icons regardless of whether they buy their devices from HTC, LG, or Samsung. The latest version of the Android Compatibility Definition Document states that OEMs must use white status icons so that app developers taking advantage of Android 4.4's new translucent system bars can provide a consistent user experience. Here is the clause in full:

From version 4.4, Android now supports a new variant theme with translucent system bars, allowing application developers to fill the area behind the status and navigation bar with their app content.

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CyanogenMod 11 Nightlies With Android 4.4 Are Now Rolling Out For A Bunch Of Devices

Just yesterday the Nexus 4, 5, 7, and 10 all received their first nightlies for CyanogenMod 11. Now KitKat-flavored builds are rolling out for a slew of additional devices. The team has shared a list of devices with incoming nightlies, and while it isn't yet an exhaustive list, it does include multiple variants of the HTC One (m7att, m7spr, m7tmo, m7ul) and LG G2 (d800, d801, d802), as well as the international Galaxy SIII (i9300).

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[New App] CyanogenMod Installer Hits Google Play To Bring A Custom ROM To The Masses [Update: Desktop Client Is Live]

After a bit of testing, the CyanogenMod Installer app has hit Google Play for everyone. When combined with the desktop client (and a USB cable), this becomes the fastest way to install CyanogenMod. It won't work on every phone, but it completely automates things on supported devices.

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Nexus 5 Review, Voltron-Style: Read Three Android Police Authors' Takes On The Latest Nexus

Introduction

By: David

The Nexus 5 was perhaps the worst-kept secret in tech this year, but nonetheless, rumor and speculation built up a category 5 hypestorm around it - everything from the farfetched, like revolutionary camera tech and flexible displays, to the mundane-but-desirable, like a much larger battery or 3GB of RAM.

But now the Nexus 5 is finally here, and Google has, for the most part, built a very iterative product.

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Motorola Trademarks 'Moto G' For Use With Future Smartphone Models And Accessories

The Moto X marked the spot for the the company's Google-centric rebrand earlier this year, and it looks like the naming convention may stick around for future models. The US Patent and Trademark Office is showing a new trademark filing from Motorola: the "MOTO G." This doesn't indicate that a new phone is coming, but it does mean that Motorola is interested in using that particular name for a future product.

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Google Maps 7.3 For Android Shows Up, Brings Compact Navigation Cards, Better Expanded Notifications, And More [APK Download]

Earlier today, Google started a staged rollout of a new point release of Google Maps. We've been poring over all the UI differences between the new version 7.3 and the previous version 7.2 from last month for the last couple of hours and managed to catch a few interesting changes. Since the official changelog isn't out yet, these will have to do for now.

Here's what we've spotted.

wm_Screenshot_2013-10-09-23-44-46

What's New?

Duration, distance, and estimated arrival time in the expanded notification

The expanded notification now carries a lot more information than before.

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Galaxy Note 3 Deep-Dive Review: Still Making Every Other Big Phone Look Bad

You've been warned: the Galaxy Note II was probably my favorite smartphone of 2012, and it looks like its successor, the Note 3, is stealing my heart all over again. With big hardware improvements across the board, as well as substantial additions to software, the Note 3 feels like a true next-generation sort of phone. Samsung has rather effectively ruined every other large-screen device for me, and frankly, probably every other phone released this year.

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DROID Maxx / Mini Dual Review: Motorola Is Officially Back On Track

Let me just start by saying that I like the DROID Maxx and DROID Mini. Why conclude a review before I begin it? Because so many people have already concluded that they cannot like these phones. Motorola's new devices have proven incredibly polarizing among enthusiasts, especially to Google and Android diehards who held on till the bitter end to a fantasy (and that is what it was) that the company would come to the rescue of marginalized power users.

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LG G2 Review: A Pretty Good Phone Held Back By Some Pretty Not Good Software

I am generally of the view that when it comes to high-end smartphones, most such phones are now squarely in the "pretty good" category. While the internet moans and groans about SD cards, removable batteries, and heavy-handed UI modifications, these things are trivial to most people in the day-to-day operation of a device. But much in the same way some car enthusiasts refuse to relinquish the manual transmission, some smartphone enthusiasts will not let go of the microSD slot until it is pried from their cold, dead fingers.

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