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Sprint Is In Talks With Softbank For A "Substantial Investment" That "Could Involve A Change Of Control"

We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint.

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How To: Manually Update Your Nexus 7 To Android 4.1.2 (JZO54K) With Stock Or Custom Recovery

If you want to update your Nexus 7 to official Android 4.1.2 that started rolling out earlier today but your turn hasn't come yet, you have two options: wait (possibly for a while) or flash it manually. The latter is absolutely safe and lets you bypass the line without any risk whatsoever. Even better - you don't even need to be rooted or running a custom recovery - updating with Jelly Bean and full stock recovery is easier than ever before.

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Google Acquires Nik Software, Maker Of The Incredible Snapseed Photo Editing App

It's almost become trite to hear that Google has bought another company that deals in photo editing software. Yet, here we are again. Today, Vic Gundotra announced on Google+ that Nik Software, creators of the impressive Snapseed app that we saw demoed at CES this year, will be joining the Mountain View team.

While there's no indication yet just which Google product will see the benefit of this new talent, it can only mean good news.

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[Screenshots] CyanogenMod Doubles Down On Core Android Functionality, Adds Stopwatch And Timer To Stock Clock App

Part of the fun of custom ROMs is seeing how devoted developers improve upon the stock Android experience. Yesterday, we saw a fantastic example in the graphing calculator that's been released to the Play Store and will soon be integrated into CM10. Now, the team is bringing a new improvement to the stock clock app: stopwatch and timer features.

stopwatchlandscape Screenshot_2012-08-31-04-17-44

Screenshots taken during development. Actual features may appear different (in fact, almost certainly in the case of the left shot).

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Lenovo Washes Its Hands Of The Ideapad K1, Offers Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich Update For Your Flashing Pleasure

So here's a novel idea: when a device reaches its end of life, manufacturers should provide users with a way to keep the flame burning. In a nutshell, that's what Lenovo has done with the Ideapad K1.

Here's the gist: the company is finished with this device. They no longer sell it, and it's clear that, past the most recent update (Android 3.2), they no longer plan to support it. So, they made a smart move: they built stock, unmodified Ice Cream Sandwich for the the K1, and released it to the public.

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SwiftKey 3 Is Now The Top Paid App In The Play Store, Company Is Unfazed By Google's Fancy New Keyboard

Swiftkey 3 recently arrived on the Play Store, and not too long afterwards, the company has posted a statement on its blog letting us know that the app is currently the best-selling paid app on the Play Store. Not too bad, SwiftKey! Of course, the biggest challenge is ahead, as Google announced yesterday that, from Jelly Bean onwards, the default Android keyboard will attempt to predict your next word. Which smacks just a little of SwiftKey's pitch.

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Archos 101 G9 Turbo Review: A Good Budget Tablet, Largely Because It Gets Out Of Google's Way

Archos may not make the most headlines for its series of mid-range tablets, but occasionally, one of them deserves a mention. The Archos 101 G9 is a strong contender for your money if you're on a tight budget. The savants among you may want to hold off for a Galaxy Note 10.1, or whatever Google is cooking up for its tablet line. Still, with prices starting at $270 for the 8" 8GB version to $330 for the 10" 8GB version, it's difficult to ignore.

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Motorola Droid Bionic And Atrix 2 Fastboot Files Leak – Come Back From Soft Brick In A Snap

Hot on the heels of the Droid Razr's leaked fastboot files, two more Motorola devices can now be restored to stock configuration in case of emergency.

Motorola's Atrix 2 and Droid Bionic have both had their fastboot files leaked in recent days, providing a bit of insurance for daring users and developers alike. The Atrix 2's files are available here, while the Droid Bionic's fastboot set can be found here.

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[Updated: Now With ICL53F] Official Factory Image ITL41D For Verizon Galaxy Nexus Released - Developers Can Now Brick Away

Update: We've also got the images for the newest update to the Galaxy Nexus, Android 4.0.2:

Google Android software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru has just let loose a factory image of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, meaning developers now have an official software build to recover from bricks and to tinker with to their hearts' contents. You can find the image, ITL41D, here. The post also indicates more Verizon Galaxy Nexus goodies will be coming later, so we'll keep you updated as more is released.

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Verizon Specifically Marks The Galaxy Nexus As Having "No OEM Customization," 32GB Internal Storage

In a recent "Competitive Comparison" graphic, Verizon has labeled Samsung's Galaxy Nexus as having "No OEM Customization," ostensibly as a selling point against the competition.

galaxy-nexus-competition

It's interesting that Verizon would go so far in labeling the Nexus' UI as such, but it may hint that VZW is at least vaguely aware that some consumers prefer a stock experience, and consider it a strong enough selling point that it should be included in a comparison chart.

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