10
May
Google-Hangouts-Logo

Readers, Babel no more. As first reported by a historically credible member of The Verge forums and confirmed today by a Tech Radar source, Google's unified messaging platform will be known as Hangouts when it's officially unveiled, and may launch as soon as Google I/O. Tech Radar's contact provided a screenshot that further lends credence to the new name: nestled among the emoticons and toolbar of the alleged interface, an expanded drop down menu includes particularly conspicuous options referencing "Hangouts," which is the closest thing to a dead giveaway that I can think of.

10
May
image

The 5.5-inch, LTE-toting LG Optimus G Pro is now available for purchase at AT&T. Packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p display, and a 3,140mAh battery, the G Pro's no slouch, and, as we found in our review of the Korean version, stands up well against competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

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The Optimus G Pro can be picked up for $200 on a 2-year contract, $450 on a 1-year one (an option that makes the least sense financially), or $550 without signing your life away.

10
May
wm_IMG_6001

We review a lot of high-end phones here on Android Police. In fact, we probably review a disproportionately low number of entry-level and mid-range devices, because many of them are, well, boring. We also know that you, our readers, are rarely interested in the often no-value value-proposition that these handsets tend to represent, especially in the US. Here, a wireless contract is two years long whether you're buying a refurbished Galaxy Nexus (ew!) or a shiny new Galaxy S4.

10
May
dirt

The HTC One is pretty great, and HTC has had no problem vividly illustrating its hardware features. Now they've moved on to the software in a pair of 30-second TV spots. The ads are all about BlinkFeed, HTC's proprietary social/news stream, and the centerpiece of the Sense 5 user interface. The commercials get right to the point, showing that other phones make you "dig" for information and content, while the mighty One with BlinkFeed puts everything you want right there on the home screen.

10
May
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What exactly is the deal with slide-out sidebar navigation? Is it a standard Holo thing? Is it not? 3rd-party developers aren't really sure what to do with it, and even Google-made apps are all over the place. Some apps have sidebar navigation, some don't. The ones that do have it all function a little differently and none of the implementations were actually any good - until now.

Google Earth and Google Shopper were just updated with a new sidebar design, and, well, have you seen them?

10
May
recon small

In many ways, the proliferation of the Call of Duty generation is just an extension of ye olde Cops and Robbers, traditionally played with cap guns, rubber bands, or NERF darts. The Tech 4 Kids company is trying to bring kids' games full circle with Tek Recon, a series of toy guns. What makes these toys unique is the video game-style smartphone HUD, enabled with a docked phone and an Android or iOS app.

10
May
credit-cards-cut

In an oddly-specific narrative published this morning, AllThingsD reported that sources close to Larry Page and Google Wallet have confirmed that plans for the physical Google Wallet credit card have been cut up, and VP of Wallet Osama Bedier pushed out of the company.

We exclusively reported on the Wallet card last November, when it appeared in a leaked version of the Google Wallet app. You could even initiate the card ordering process, suggesting the project was well on its way to completion.

10
May
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Watch out, Google Wallet, there's a new player in town. Actually, Google Wallet hasn't really done all that well; it's still being blocked by big carriers, and NFC point of sale systems aren't exactly ubiquitous yet. For those reasons, stopgap apps like Clutch - an e-commerce app that allows you to pay with barcodes generated by your credit, debit, loyalty or gift cards - probably have a better chance than Wallet of moving us towards frictionless mobile payments.

10
May
51KhGoo xwL._SL1000_

We're featuring this external battery charger for three reasons. One: it's a pretty neat piece of kit in its own right, with a huge 12000mAh capacity (4-8 charges for most recent Android phones) and four USB charging ports, three of which can be active simultaneously. Two: the manufacturer made some small but pertinent additions to the hardware design after receiving feedback from a knowledgeable customer. Three: at $40, it would be a pretty good deal even for a basic 1-port charger of this capacity.

10
May
nexusae0_gavel_thumb1

The legality of certain phone modifications in the United States, particularly those that allow phones to be used on wireless carriers for which they weren't originally intended, is currently on a congressional see-saw. Every three years, the Librarian of Congress has to approve or extend an exemption of the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to allow or deny consumers the right to unlock (read: carrier unlock, and in some cases rooting/jailbreaking, but not unlocking bootloaders) their phones by circumventing digital rights management.

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