15
Apr
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It was just five days ago that Hazard Rush was released to the Play Store. The developer took to Reddit to make the announcement and offer some freebies. Well, the community was into Hazard Rush, which (according to the app description) is a little like Snake and Geometry Wars. It's the next part of the description that got Hazard Rush banned from Google Play. The developer made a cheeky SEO joke, and that was enough for it to get swept up in Google's Play Store purge.

15
Apr
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Press, arguably the most well-designed Reader client of them all, got a sizeable update today. It's the "biggest update yet," in fact. Climbing up to version number 1.2, Press got some useful new features. Though this update isn't the one with which Press migrates to "a new backend syncing solution" as it is promised to do once Reader takes its final breath, it's definitely an update worth looking at.

First up, Press now has widgets, both large and small.

15
Apr
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For the first time in a million years, Google Voice got an actual update. While the changelog is, as usual, of no help whatsoever ("Improved the reliability of SMS delivery"), a teardown teases out an eyebrow-raising tidbit: Google Voice’s configuration settings can now be read by other apps.

The GV update comes packing a new service for handing out this info, called “GoogleVoiceConfiguration,” and a new permission, "com.google.android.apps.googlevoice.permission.FETCH_CONFIGURATION."

There’s an explanation of the permission in the strings file:

<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_label">Read Google Voice configuration</string>
<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_description">Allows applications to read the configuration of Google Voice, including your Google Voice phone number.</string>

That's about it for the cold, hard facts.

15
Apr
2013-04-15_19-12-06

Don't drink and drive. Ever. Now that we've got that out of the way, Breathometer, the smartphone-powered breathalyzer, has reached its Indiegogo goal about six times over. What does that mean for you? Cheap BAC tests for everyone! The $20 device aims to make it inexpensive and easy to know when you're too intoxicated to drive. This will, naturally, replace the more commonplace test of "Have I had any alcohol? Yes?

15
Apr
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Google Voice is a great service for replacing your carrier's voicemail and texting options. If you need something that's a bit more robust, however, SendHub has launched on Android and allows business-class users to set up a phone number (or set of numbers) and get texting and calling for free or cheap, depending on what class of service you need.

sendhub1 sendhub2 sendhub3

Free users can get 60 voice minutes, 500 messages, and 3 groups of 50 contacts for their first line.

15
Apr
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Last Updated: April 26th, 2013

Let's get one thing out of the way first: if you've never heard of BLU Products, it's a company to keep an eye on moving forward. Why? Because we all love affordable unlocked devices, which happens to be what BLU specializes in. And today, the company announced the Jelly Bean (4.1.x) update for the Vivo 4.3. So, not only does it provide crazy-affordable devices (the Vivo is $199 off contract), but it also supports them.

15
Apr
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Last Updated: April 22nd, 2013

Looks like every carrier in Canada (give or take a couple) decided to announce GS4 pre-orders at the same time. The good news, though, is that if you're on Telus, Bell, Virgin, or Videotron, you're one step closer to landing yourself a shiny new phone. The device is available for pre-order on all four of the aforementioned carriers, with a shipping date of April 27th for the former three.

Customers on Telus and Bell will be able to grab this handset for $200 with a three-year agreement (yikes!); Videotron customers will see the same price, though there's no word on agreement terms in the PR.

15
Apr
2013-04-15_15h00_24

If you happened to be one of the less than 13 people who shelled out $550 to get Verizon's variant of the Galaxy Camera, then a nice update is heading your way. It appears to bring some pretty useful new features, like S Memo, a new Help App, four new Smart Modes, and a nifty remote view finder.

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So far as the new Smart Modes are concerned, the update brings scenes for dawn, indoor parties, snow, and food to the device, for a total of 19.

15
Apr
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Last November, I reviewed a product called the SuperTooth Disco 2. It's a really great little Bluetooth speaker, because it manages to pack a ton of sound into a small, attractive (I think so, at least) package. But it isn't the most refined  speaker ever built, and its decreased audio output when compared to its predecessor did leave a little to be desired.

It also was missing something - a feature that it originally promised to ship with: wireless stereo pairing with a second Disco 2 speaker.

15
Apr
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We just got done breaking down the proposed Dish-led acquisition of Sprint which is in no small part about gaining control of Clearwire's sweet, sweet spectrum. Now we're hearing that Verizon is reportedly also throwing its bid in, but not to buy any of the companies involved. Just to gut their ability to function as wireless carriers by gobbling up spectrum.

In a recent filing, Clearwire disclosed that an unidentified "Party J" offered up to $1.5b for the airwaves that it owns.

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