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[Freebies And Fighting] Packt Is Kicking Off Android vs. iOS Week With Free Xamarin Cross-Platform Dev eBook And Promises Exclusive Deals To The Winning OS

Remember back in December (and January) when Packt Publishing gave away a couple free ebooks focused on Android development? The one-a-day promotion has been going strong since, but the books haven't exactly been targeted at the OS on our phones. But great news: this whole week is dedicated to mobile development!

The current freebie is all about showing love to both sides of the phone war – it's Xamarin Cross-platform Application Development. But you better hurry over and claim it, this particular book will expire in just over 5 hours. (Sorry, we saw this one a little late).

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While the free book is enough reason to drop by, there's something more interesting afoot in this promotion.

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Samsung Will Offer A Free Gear VR With Purchase Of Galaxy S7 Or S7 Edge

Samsung just announced the Galaxy S7, and it's going big on VR this year. Not only is there a spiffy new 360-degree camera, you can get a free Gear VR with purchase of a GS7. You'll have to jump on this fast if you want to get in on the promotion, and as usual, there are several caveats. Notably, this promo is valid in the US only.

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New York's LinkNYC WiFi Hubs Have Built-In Android Tablets Now

LinkNYC is an ambitious plan to cover the Big Apple in free super-fast gigabit WiFi using a series of hotspots that will replace all those boring old payphones. Starting today, the first updated LinkNYC WiFi access points are up and running with their own Android tablets, ready to provide quick access to maps, a browser, calls, and city services.

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Verizon Now Offering Extra 2GB Of Monthly Data For Upgrading Or Activating An XL Or XXL Data Plan

Verizon is continuing to tweak its offerings to better compete with the upstart T-Mobile, this time offering bonus data for anyone who signs up for its larger data plans. For a limited time, you can get 2GB of extra data each month when you sign up for the XL or XXL data buckets. If you've got more than one phone on your account, they each earn the bonus 2GB.

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Bombing Bastards (Previously Android TV Only) Launches For All Android Devices, And It's Completely Free

The arcade-style game Bombing Bastards hit Android TV last year, but now it's finally available on regular Android devices. This is actually a separate listing from the Android TV game, and it's completely free. Yes, like the real kind of free, not free-to-play.

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Verizon Adding 1GB Of Free Data To Prepaid Plans When You Activate A Phone With Auto-Pay

Verizon is not traditionally known as a good carrier for those on a budget, but the strong growth of T-Mobile has encouraged Big Red to make some changes. The latest tweak to Verizon's offerings comes in the form of extra data for prepaid users. You can get a 1GB boost for enabling auto-pay.

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Streaming Music App SomaFM Has Gone Free In The Play Store

You have ample choices when it comes to music streaming on Android, and SomaFM has been among them for a long time. However, it's always been a paid app. Now, it's suddenly free, and in the Play Store, that means it's free forever. It's not clear what this means for SomaFM's business model, but hey, free stuff is cool.

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Pushbullet Competitor 'Join' Goes Paid, Introductory Price Set At $3.99

Join, by joaomgcd of many Tasker plugins and automation apps fame, has been in beta for nearly two months now. When I tried it out at launch, it already had a lot of its functionality covered, allowing your phones and computers to share things with each other: links, SMS messages, screenshots, media files, copied text, and more. The app has been getting frequent updates since then, adding Tasker integration and making it possible to send SMS from any browser without the need for a Chrome extension. You could say that Pushbullet's little brother has grown up to actually compete against it.

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WhatsApp Goes Officially Free On All Platforms, Promises No Ads And Better Business Communication To Stay Profitable

Ever since its launch, WhatsApp has had two business models on paper: you pay for the app on iOS or Blackberry (that has changed a long time ago when the app went free) or you get the first year free and you have to pay $0.99/yr afterward. However, that latter model was never put into action consistently. Despite having used the messenger for more than 6 or 7 years, I was never charged once and neither have any of my friends and relatives. Whenever the expiration date approaches, we get a small pop-up telling us that our service has been extended for another year and that'd be it.

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Google's 'Tap 10' Android Pay Promo Could Net You A Free Chromecast And Some Tunes

Google has been running some Android Pay promos lately, a stark contrast to the Google Wallet days when Google pretended mobile payments didn't exist. Last month there was the Best Buy gift card deal, and now you can get some freebies simply by using your phone to pay 10 times between now and the end of February. There are some caveats, of course.

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