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Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 55.

Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!

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Mar
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Last Updated: April 22nd, 2013

Carriers across the country are gearing up for the next big thing to hit shelves, with T-Mobile offering the handset from May 1 and AT&T accepting pre-orders beginning on April 16th. As it turns out, U.S. Cellular will also begin taking pre-order on the 16th, though the regional carrier hasn't yet announced how much the device will cost. When I reached out for more info, I was told that "pricing will be available on 4/16."

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So, mark you calendars U.S.

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Mar
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Cylons. The Terminator. Gort. Johnny 5. Science fiction seems more than a little obsessed with the idea of murderous automatons, and with good reason: it works. Newcomer developer Uppercut Games has taken the trope to mobile gaming with EPOCH, a post-apocalyptic shooter that does away with the humans altogether (to make room for more robots). The Unreal Engine powers this graphical beast, and it's available for $4.99 for all devices - or at least the ones that can handle it.

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Mar
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Nothing brings a smile to my face like the words "Tablet Optimized," and thanks to SoundHound, I'll be walking around with a little grin all day long. The music recognition service has updated its Android app to include a fully realized tablet UI and a few other performance enhancements. Here are a few screenshots for comparison (taken on my Nexus 7):

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The new tablet UI replaces the boring stretched out rows with drag-able lines of large cover art, making much better use of space on the main screen, discovery, and song pages.

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Mar
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We've watched this project grow from a once-unfunded Kickstarter campaign to a highly-anticipated beast of a gaming console. If you've been kicking yourself over the last several months for not getting behind the Kickstarter campaign and are counting the days until you can grab this Android-powered box-o-fun from a retail shop, the day is drawing near. According to tonight's announcement from GDC, the device will hit shelves in virtual and physical stores across the country on June 4th.

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Mar
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Hot on the heels of Tasker's official 4.0 release which brings a Holo-styled UI for users on Android 4.0+, Crafty Apps has just dropped the price to $1.99. Normally priced at $6.49, this is the first time any of us can recall the popular automation app having ever been on sale.

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If you haven't heard of Tasker, it has long stood as the most popular automation app for Android. While not the easiest to learn or the most user friendly, its power and flexibility remain mostly unrivaled, even becoming the platform to build a game.

28
Mar
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Facebook is throwing an Android event at its headquarters in Menlo Park in exactly a week - on April 4th at 10am Pacific to be precise. We've just gotten our invite, and from the looks of it, so has the majority of the Android and tech press. Needless to say, Facebook wants as many eyes as possible on whatever it's about to announce, be it a new Facebook-heavy phone, another app, or maybe even a full-fledged Android-based Facebook OS not tied to specific hardware.

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Mar
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Google has announced a new initiative today that might, if we're lucky, slowly lead to some meaningful changes in how patent litigation is approached. Or, alternatively, make it easier to highlight the jerks who are ruining it for everyone. The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge gives would-be inventors a pool of patents that Google promises to never sue anyone over, "unless first attacked." That last part is where eyebrows go up, though.

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Mar
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If you've been waiting for an official means of recovering your Verizon or Sprint Galaxy Nexus should an emergency arise, Google's just fulfilled that need. The factory images for both devices – 4.2.2 (JDQ39) for the Verizon variant and 4.2.1 (GA02) for Sprint's – just hit the "Factory Images for Nexus Devices" download page.

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These images allow you to return your device back to its stock state, which includes the stock bootloader and recovery if you choose to flash it.

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Mar
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We sure weren't expecting this, but today Sprint announced on its support site that the Epic 4G Touch (the Now Network's branded version of the Galaxy S II) is getting an update to Jelly Bean. Undoubtedly version 4.1, but this would still be a welcome upgrade as it brings with it the ability to access Google Now, among a host of other features.

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The update will require Samsung's Kies software to install.

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