Android Police

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[Weekend Discussion] Leather, Kevlar, Glass, Metal - Do You Really Care What Your Phone Is Made Of?

Exotic or uncommon materials seem to be all the rage in smartphones right now. Motorola started offering wood backs, then later leather, for its Moto X 2013 and 2014 handsets, respectively. But this wasn't even the first time a phone was offered with some integrated exotic or unorthodox materials. When Apple released the iPhone 4 with a glass rear cover, people flipped - wouldn't it break (yes, it would!), or get scratches (not that much) on it?

But people went for it, and there were more glass-backed phones. And then, there were things like Kevlar, football (?), leather, plastic that looks like leather, and so on and so forth.

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Material Design Music Player Gramophone Now Available In Public Beta On The Play Store

Are you looking for a local music player that fits in with your oh-so Material Android 5.1 custom ROM? Then let you fingers do the walking to Gramophone, now available on the Play Store. This stand-alone music app has been in private beta for some time, but now you can grab it without even messing with that awkward Google+ community invitation system. It's a free download for Android 4.1 or later.

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Gramophone is fairly standard as far as music players go: album/artist/genre/playlist views, slide-out hamburger menu, search function. The only part of the interface that isn't immediately obvious is the "now playing" button that brings you to the main playback screen.

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LG Design Patent D726,140 Dreams Up A Bendable Phone-Watch Hybrid Device

The nice thing about a United States design patent, as opposed to a more common utility patent, is that it doesn't actually have to work. Hell, it doesn't even have to make sense - it just has to be a mostly-new idea that's concrete enough to put into a technical doodle. So it is with Design Patent D726,140, awarded to LG by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week. If you could turn one of those slap-bracelets from the 90s into a phone-watch hybrid, it would look a lot like this.

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"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mobile phone showing our new design in which the display part has been bent and wound around the band"

The design patent covers a fairly standard (if impossibly thin) slate smartphone that curves backwards on the top and bottom.

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LG Shows Off The Leather-Clad G4 And Most Features In A Huge Web Leak

Thanks to the fanatical culture that's grown up around mobile technology, we haven't been truly surprised by a new device in years. Even LG knows this: the company has been slowly revealing its upcoming G4 flagship, piece by pedantic piece, in the weeks leading up to the April 28th launch event. Last night an LG "micro site" was briefly published and removed, and it leaves very little of the G4 to the imagination.

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Amazon Reverses Decision: The Original 'Postal' Is Now Available On The Appstore For $1.99, Still MIA From The Google Play Store

Earlier this week we reported on Google's decision to refuse an Android port of the PC shooter Postal in the Google Play Store. Two days later, a representative of developer Running With Scissors told us that Amazon had done the same for the Amazon Appstore, and provided us with the rejection letters from both companies. Google refusing to allow the controversial shooter onto the Play Store is merely inconsistent; as we noted at the time, games with similar levels of violence like Grand Theft Auto III are easily available. But Amazon blocking the sale of the Android app, when the company sells the same game as a PC download, was just downright hypocritical.

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Sprint Introduces Travel Plan With Free International 2G Roaming, Unlimited Texting, And 20-Cent Per Minute Calls In Europe, Latin America, Japan, And South Korea

Sprint wants your business. Obviously. It's a carrier. So today it has announced a plan meant to appeal to those of you who travel. The package includes free international roaming, unlimited texting, and calls that cost 20 cents per minute when you travel to countries in Europe or Latin America, as well as Japan and South Korea. Think of it as International Value Roaming.

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With this plan, Sprint limits international roaming to 2G speeds. If you want something faster, you need to cough up quite a bit of money for a day pass. We're talking $15 for 100MB in a single day.

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[Deal Alert] Most Moto 360 Variants Reduced To $180 - $230 On Amazon And Best Buy

Motorola seems to be clearing stock. The company's Moto 360 is significantly marked down, and I'm not talking about just on one site, nor only one variant. You can currently get the device with leather or metal bands for prices ranging from $70 to $110 off on Amazon and Best Buy alike.

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While the prices are largely identical across the two stores, there are a few discrepancies. Best Buy offers all of the metal variants for $10 less than Amazon. This includes the gold Moto 360, now going for $219 (down from $260 just yesterday).

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Best Buy is also offering the Cognac Moto 360 for $180, $100 less than what Amazon wants.

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The HTC One M9 And Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge Are Available In The US Starting Today

The day has finally arrived. It's been a mad dash for Samsung and HTC ever since their near simultaneous announcements at MWC this year, but the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are available in the US starting today. You can walk into a store and walk out with one of these phones on the carrier of your choice.

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InBrief
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Google Joins Via Licensing, Provides Access To Its LTE Patents As Part Of A Pool

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Review: Samsung's Most Unexpected And Best Phone To Date

Samsung must have known it had a problem early in the Galaxy S5's run when most of the reviews called the phone "boring" or "predictable," while also conceding that it was a good device. A good, predictable phone isn't going to sell like gangbusters, and indeed, the Galaxy S5 fell short of expectations. Over the next few months, we saw devices like the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 that played around with more premium materials and different designs, but the Galaxy S6 is the culmination of Samsung's plans to rehab its reputation.

The Galaxy S6 is still distinctly Samsung with the oblong home button, big camera sensor, and industry-leading AMOLED panel, but it almost feels like it was made by a version of Samsung from some bizarre parallel reality where plastic doesn't exist.

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