20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis.

20
Nov
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After last night's news that the AT&T-sold Nexus 6 has the carrier's logo on the back of the device as well as the boot screen, you just knew there was more to come, right? Well, that time is upon us. It appears that the carrier's Nexus 6 variant is SIM-locked, won't let you tether without verifying your subscription status, and has AT&T's suite of ringtones as well.

Nexus 6 SIM Unlock N6 tethering N6 ringtones

It should be noted that none of these things mean that AT&T has a different ROM than any other Nexus 6 - quite the contrary, in fact.

20
Nov
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Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.

So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too.

20
Nov
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Joining the likes of other Google apps like Play Movies, Play Books, and Play Music, and Facebook's Messenger app, Google Play Newsstand became the latest Google app to reach the 500 million download mark, reaching it some time this month. This number obviously reflects only downloads/installs, not active users, but it's still an impressive figure.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.31.49 PM

Of course this count is including downloads from the days when Newsstand was still Google Play Magazines, before it superseded both Magazines and Currents as Google's de facto news-and-magazine reader.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

As many of you doubtless know by now, Google's first Android 5.0 devices ship with full-disk encryption enabled out of the box - encryption that can't be disabled without flashing a new ROM to the device. We've heard from at least one source that this encryption shouldn't really affect on-device performance noticeably, but new benchmarks from Anandtech seem to suggest otherwise.

The heavily tech-focused review and news site didn't publish storage benchmarks for the Nexus 6 in their review, because the app used - Androbench - was deemed to be producing inaccurate results on Lollipop devices (and it definitely is).

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Sony was already an experienced veteran of the smartwatch market when Android Wear was announced. Of course, I don't mean that they were experienced selling them—oh, goodness no. Sony sure did make smartwatches, though. When asked if there would be an Android Wear device in Sony's portfolio, the company said it would continue to do its own thing. Well, that didn't last long. The SmartWatch 3 is essentially a beefed up version of Sony's past smartwatches running Android Wear, and that could make it a potent competitor in the burgeoning wearable wars.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

While Verizon rather weirdly got this OTA well before any of the other major carriers over 2 months ago, Sprint is finally officially announcing that its Galaxy S5 will be receiving the update to Android 4.4.4 starting today.

Seven weeks ago, Samsung jumped the gun and announced that the Sprint version would be getting 4.4.4, and its own update site further alleged that the OTA had gone live way back at the end of September.

20
Nov
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If you're the owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for AT&T, you should be getting your Android 4.4.4 OTA update starting today. This will bring you up from Android 4.4.2, and Samsung has packed in a few extras with this 459MB OTA, as well. Namely: Kid mode, SideSync 3.0, Knox 2.0, virtual tour mode in the camera app, and some updated AT&T bloatware.

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The Uber app has been added to the list of things-AT&T-won't-let-you-uninstall, and I imagine there are a boatload of bug-fixes and the standard exploit patches you would expect in an OTA of this magnitude.

20
Nov
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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2014

Big Red has just announced a pair of (kind of) budget-friendly tablets with LTE just in time for the holidays. So why not give someone the gift of a two-year mobile data contract? Well, maybe you should ask first. At any rate, you can get the LG G Pad 7.0 and 10.1 for $49.99 and $199.99 with a new contract, but these are temporary promo prices.

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