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ASUS ZenFone 2 Review: A Good Inexpensive Phone That Would Be Much Better With Stock Android

When you think smartphones, ASUS probably rarely comes to mind. While the company has been building Android phones for several years now, their market penetration outside of Asia has been relatively low, and so they rarely get much attention in American or European markets. But the ZenFone 2, when it launched at CES six months ago, definitely raised eyebrows.

At a starting price of just $199, ASUS is offering up a phone with extremely impressive specifications for a do-a-double-take MSRP - it almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, I don't think it is - the ZenFone 2 is a solid phone that works pretty much like any Android 5.0+ device you'll encounter while simultaneously blowing the doors off pretty much any competitor at this price point for raw spec sheet power.

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Google+ 5.7 Introduces Gray FAB Button In Communities, Profile Loading Spinner, And Other Minor Tweaks [APK Download]

Some updates get everyone excited. Others appeal to a select few. Google 5.7 is more of the latter. There are a few tweaks here, and while they're not going to drastically alter your Google+ing all that much, they're still worth a peek. So here's a look.

What's New

You know the floating action button that hovers in the bottom right corner? Usually it's red, and there's a white pencil inside. Tapping it allows you to quickly make a post.

Now when you're browsing a community, that button turns gray.

Screenshot_2015-06-10-11-27-24 Screenshot_2015-06-10-11-30-19

Left: Gray FAB in communities, Right: Spinning loading indicator for profiles

Another change makes Google+ come off as a tad less flaky.

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Verizon's Prepaid Version Of The Moto E (Second Generation) Updated To Android 5.1

Hey Verizon, you do know that your flagship and completely exclusive DROID Turbo is still running on Android 4.4, right? Right? That being the case, does it seem a little odd that the cheapest of the Moto line, the Moto E, which is only sold to pre-paid Verizon customers, now runs the latest version of Android? No? Well OK, then. If you have the second-gen version of the Moto E, expect an update sometime in the next few days. If you have a DROID Turbo, buy a Moto E.

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Verizon's notes on Lollipop 5.1 don't mention anything out of the ordinary for the update, which shouldn't surprise you, since Motorola's cheaper phones run a version of Android that's almost completely stock.

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Sony Xperia Z4 Launches In Japan With Overheating Warning From Carrier NTT Docomo And Plenty Of User Complaints

Sony is in a strange place these days. It has been on a 6-8 month flagship update schedule for several years, which is surely hard to maintain. Now the Z4 is out in Japan and the Snapdragon 810 at its heart is reportedly getting very, very toasty. So much so that carrier NTT Docomo has warning signs in retail stores. Ouch.

Xperia-Z4-heat_1-315x560 Xperia-Z4-heat_2-315x560

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Last.fm App Gets A Long Overdue Redesign In v2.0

The Last.fm app has been effectively abandoned for several years, but today it has finally been updated with a design that won't make your eyes bleed. If that's not a worthwhile improvement, I don't know what is. There are a few other improvements too. Stop spoiling us, Last.fm.

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Nike+ Running 1.7 Jogs In With Updated Home And In-Run Screens, Improved Run Setup, And More

The more seat bound and satisfied among our readers may be surprised to know that there are no shortage of Android apps out there that want to track how you run. Actually, maybe not. All that time spent on the computer probably means a greater likelihood of running across this post and the many like it than someone who's out running. Either way, the Nike+ app has managed to reach version 1.7 without spraining something, and it has picked up a few new features along the way.

This release comes with an updated home screen. When you sign-in, you will now see a leaderboard preview at the bottom that compares your runs to those of your friends, assuming you know people who also use the app.

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Cyanogen Inc. Partners With Game Distributor Playphone To Include Its 'Social Game Store' In Cyanogen OS

Cyanogen Inc. has forged an alliance with Playphone to bring its exciting bloatware social game store to Cyanogen OS in multiple international markets. It's not clear when or where the Playphone store will be bundled with Cyanogen OS phones, but it should start happening before long. I'm sure no one will be annoyed by this.

2015-06-11 10_16_35-PlayPhone's Social Gaming Network

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[Update: Winners] Win One Of 100 AirDroid Premium Membership Codes From AirDroid And Android Police

AirDroid has been doing its thing for a while now, and the developers are constantly trying to find new ways to make this already-powerful tool even more useful. Today's update to v3.1.3 brings just that, with significant improvements to AirMirror on Samsung phones. For those who may not know, AirMirror is a tool that allows the user to remotely control their rooted Android phone directly from their PC or Mac. It's incredibly useful.

With today's AirDroid update, this feature has been greatly improved on rooted Samsung phones. Basically, at this point it should work with most Samsung phones running Android 4.0 or above.

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[Deal Alert] Big Transcend Flash Storage Sale On Amazon Today Only, Includes 64GB MicroSD Card For $23

Samsung may have backed away from microSD cards with the Galaxy S6, but other manufacturers are filling in the void. For those of you with an HTC One M9, an LG G4, or any of the other bajillion Android devices with expandable memory, Amazon is currently holding a sale on Transcend storage.

Screenshot 2015-06-11 at 10.43.57 AM

 

Today you can get a 32GB card for only $12 or one with twice the storage for $23. This is a few dollars less than what SanDisk and PNY are currently charging for the same capacity, and significantly cheaper than Lexar. Both cards offer transfer speeds of 45MB/s and come with adapters.

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Level Money Adds Flexible Money Management For Those Of Us Who Don't Have A Fixed Income

Money and expense managers are excellent tools for those of us who have a little trouble staying on top of their budgets, counting the ins-and-outs of cash flow from their pockets and bank accounts, and saving a few pennies for emergencies or big purchases. However, most of them usually expect you to have a fixed regular salary and rigid monthly payments in order to calculate their data. That's the problem Level's latest update tries to fix.

If you're a contractor, server, freelancer, and you work on tips, commissions, or variable paychecks, it's now possible for you to add your income to Level in different amounts and intervals that go anywhere from a week to a year.

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