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BLOCKS Modular Smartwatch Video Shows Off A Prototype With Interchangeable Modules

Modular design is the coming thing in smartphones... at least it is according to LG and Motorola Lenovo. But what about smartwatches? At least one group seems intent on translating the idea to wearables. The BLOCKS design uses a conventional smartwatch body that houses the primary screen, battery, and SoC, but adds extra functionality via modules that snap into the body like links in a metal band. It's a lot like the Project Ara idea, but integrating the modules into a functional band makes for a surprisingly elegant product.

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Big VSCO 4.0 Update With Even More Incomprehensible UI Now Rolling Out On Android

VSCO started as just a camera and photo editing app, but it's grown into a little hipster-y image sharing community. The company announced a visual redesign last week, and it has started rolling out slowly on Android. This update brings gestures to the interface, but not normal ones. No, these are bizarre and confusing gestures.

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Video: Our Favorite Themes For The Galaxy S7 & S7 edge

Looking to fancy up your Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, but having trouble navigating Samsung's less-than-perfect theme store (there really are a lot of bad themes in there)? Check out our latest video for five of our favorites with Facundo Holzmeister. You'll find links to each theme below the video!

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Google Extends The Nearby API: Beacons, Physical Web, Cast And Wear Setup, And Plenty Of Contextual Notifications

When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.

But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices.

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Cyanogen OS 13.1 Is Rolling Out With MOD Support, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Hyperlapse included

 

Back in February, Cyanogen Inc. announced the MOD platform, a way for developers to customise the Cyanogen OS experience with deeper-level integration into the framework of the operating system. The update to Cyanogen OS 13.1 - with MOD support included - is now rolling out to the OnePlus One.

Currently, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Microsoft Hyperlapse hook into the platform and provide features integrated into Cyanogen. Twitter shows trending tweets on your lockscreen; Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone's contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to 'take a selfie' hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.

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Hands-On With The Moto Z And Moto Z Force (...And Mods)

I had a chance to go hands-on with the Moto Z and Z Force today (full name: Lenovo Moto Z DROID Edition and Lenovo Moto Z Force DROID Edition... which, OK), and here are my initial thoughts. Videos also follow.

First, I think both phones actually feel of a high quality - the design Moto is going with here is actually a lot nicer in person than I think various leaked photos have given these devices credit for. In particular, I love the black / dark gray versions of both devices - they have kind of a Darth Vader thing going on, if you ask me.

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Motorola Has Four Moto Mods Ready To Launch Alongside Moto Z, More Coming Later

The first time we heard about Motorola's plans to launch a phone with modular back plates, they were called Amps and there were going to be at least six of them. However, Motorola only announced four "Moto Mods" with the new Moto Z today. You'll be able to get stereo speakers, a projector, a battery, or a pretty back cover.

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Lenovo Announces Moto Z And Moto Z Force, With Verizon Droid Editions Arriving First

So Lenovo, you're not going to let Motorola announce its own stuff anymore, is that it? That certainly seems to be the take-away from the company's reveal at its Lenovo Tech World presentation in San Francisco. In between discussions of new tablets, augmented reality 3D design, and network tech, the much-leaked Moto Z flagship was announced at the event, along with the Moto Z Force. They're both coming in "DROID Editions" only to Verizon, at least initially.

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Lenovo Phab2 Pro Tango Phone Is Official—Coming In September For $499

Lenovo did as expected and announced the Phab2 pro Android phone at Tech World today, making it the first consumer-ready device with Google Tango technology built-in. The leak appears to have been accurate; this is a huge 6.4-inch phone with an array of cameras and sensors on the rear. The phone will launch worldwide in September as an unlocked device for $499.

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SHIELD Android TV Update 3.2 Will Add A Built-In Plex Media Server And Remote File Access, Among Other Improvements

The SHIELD TV is the best Android TV device around, even if its competition isn't up to much. With NVIDIA's Tegra X1 architecture and an available 500GB hard drive on the Pro model, one might wonder why something like the fan-favorite Plex software wasn't available before. (Plex was previously installed on the SHIELD, but only as a client for streaming media from another server.) Well soon enough it will be: NVIDIA and Plex announced that the next update to the SHIELD firmware will include a built-in Plex media server.

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