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[APK Teardown Part 1] Google Search 2.7: Custom Hotwords, Photo Downloads, Automatic Language Pack Updates, And More

A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.

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Alleged Photos Of Droid 5 Bubble Up From Weibo Showing Wireless Charging Coil

According to the aptly-named New Cell Phones Blog, photos of the "4.3-inch or 4.5-inch" Droid 5 have surfaced, which would confirm that Moto has another QWERTY slide-out keyboard in the works. The photos come to New Cell Phones courtesy of Weibo and show off a wireless charging coil. Other rumored features evidently include NFC and a resistance to both water and dust.

Motorola-DROID-5-001 Motorola-DROID-5-verizon

Nothing else is known about these photos, their veracity, or Motorola's plans for a Droid 5, but we'll certainly keep you updated when and if more details emerge.

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Samsung Galaxy Note III Passes Bluetooth SIG Certification

Samsung's Galaxy Note III, the device hotly anticipated by existing Note fans and mobile watchers alike, is one step closer to its imminent reveal, recently passing Bluetooth SIG certification.

The certification listing from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group doesn't tell us much, except that the specific model certified is headed for NTT Docomo. From the reports existence, however, it's safe to assume (if you weren't already expecting an IFA reveal) that the device is coming relatively soon.

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CyanogenMod Set To Bring About 'The Death Of Power Widgets' In Favor Of Quick Access Ribbon

In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.

Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.

"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."

Quick Settings Re-write

The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.

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It Looks Like Motorola Will Be Charging $50 For Real Wood Backs On The Moto X

The Moto X has been making headlines as of late for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the astoundingly versatile Motomaker. Motomaker lets you to customize your phone to a degree that we've never seen before, allowing for a staggering total of 504 unique color combinations. Don't gasp in amazement at that number just yet, though. It looks like Motorola is preparing Motomaker to include the wooden backs we saw last month at the phone's unveiling.

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Here's How To Enable A Brand New, Totally Different New Tab Page UI In Chrome Beta For Android

The cool thing about rocking the beta version of a product is getting to experience all the shiny new things before anyone else, and the new tab page currently in the works for the Android version of Google Chrome is the kind of alluring update that makes doing so oh-so-tempting. It reduces the amount of clutter at the top of the screen, places search front and center, lists most visited websites in a single scrollable row, and provides prominent buttons for accessing bookmarks and synced devices at the bottom of the page.

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[Teardown] Google Pushes Major Update To Play Developer Content Policy, Kills Notification Bar Ads For Real This Time, And A Lot More

Google just published a major update to the Play Store Developer Content Policy, and whether you're a user or developer, you need to be aware of these changes. The content policy is basically Google's "this is what we don't allow on the Play Store" list. As such, you can understand why it's important. Google periodically updates this policy, but this is the biggest change I think we've seen yet - tons of areas have been touched on and modified, and there are significant ramifications to these changes.

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Verizon 'Max' Offer Will Try To Lure Unlimited Data Customers To Edge Plans (Hint: DON'T DO IT)

Those of us who've managed to hang on to Verizon unlimited data after the tiered plans started showing up are not going to give it up lightly. We buy unsubsidized phones at ridiculous prices to stay secure in the knowledge that we can gobble as many gigabytes as we want for $30 a month. This does not please Verizon: unlimited data is not conducive to profits, and unsubsidized customers are more likely to bolt.

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ASUS PadFone 2 Updated To Version V10.4.17.7, Contains Bug Fixes And Other Performance Improvements

I personally like the idea of a smartphone that docks into a tablet. The ASUS PadFone 2 strives for the joy of both form factors without the hassle of maintaining two separately. Those who happen to own the device have seen a steady stream of updates roll out as the months have gone by. While the latest update may not jump the device past version 4.1, it does usher in a slew of bug fixes and other general improvements.

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[New Game] LEGO DUPLO Train Offers Kid-Friendly Construction With No Ads, External Links, Or In-App Purchases

We like to feature at least one or two kid-friendly games in our biweekly roundups, but this one looks so good that we had to give it its own post. LEGO DUPLO is the famous company's line of brick sets for kids age 5 and under, with easy formations, bright colors, and big, swallow-proof pieces. The Android DUPLO game focuses on the branded train sets.

unnamed (5) unnamed (6)

The game itself is a mix between LEGO's standard construction and a sort of "baby's first train simulator." Kids will start and stop the LEGO train, hook up passenger and cargo cars, and build bridges and tracks to avoid simple obstacles.

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