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[Team Coco FTW] Get a free Google Cardboard courtesy of Conan O'Brien (US only)

So you don't live in Australia and couldn't get a free Cardboard viewer from that Optus giveaway a couple of days ago. Maybe you live in the US — actually our Analytics tell us that a nice majority of you do — and you'd like a chance to get your free VR viewer nonetheless. Maybe you're a fan of Conan O'Brien and maybe you've missed that Cardboard giveaway that he did last year. Now's your chance to pounce on your coveted freebie and grab it.

Team Coco is giving away Google Cardboard VR viewers again this July, although the design is different and less playful than last year's orange haired cute avatar.

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OnePlus 3 and Xiaomi Mi 5 receive TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP) support

Some folks prefer to run a custom ROM on their phone than stick with the stock software. I'm one of them. But you need a good custom recovery in order to get the job done. That's why it's good news whenever we see more devices gain support from the TeamWin Recovery Project.

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Wileyfox Storm gets Cyanogen OS 13 update with Android Marshmallow

Wileyfox and Cyanogen formed a partnership last summer to deliver smartphones running Cyanogen OS to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The Wileyfox Swift was the second phone to get version 13 of the operating system. Now the Wileyfox Storm is getting that same update.

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Samsung announces a limited edition Olympics version of the Galaxy S7 Edge

The Olympic Games in Rio are shaping up to be incredibly entertaining, in the same sense that one watches a kindergarten play to see how long it takes the kid in the bunny costume to wet himself and run away. But for those of you who still believe in the spirit and the majesty of the Olympic Games (you, in the back, stop that chuckling), Samsung has produced a limited edition of its flagship device with an official license. This time it's the Galaxy S7 Edge in black, with gold, blue, green, red, and white trim to match the colors of the Olympic rings.

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Huawei releases Marshmallow for the Honor 5X with EMUI 4.0

See that green bugdroid above? It's carrying a heavy(ly customized) version of Marshmallow specially to your Huawei Honor 5X. Wrapped tightly with it is a new version of EMUI for the device: 4.0.

In terms of Marshmallow, you should expect the usual features that we've been talking about for nearly a year now: Now on Tap (which is getting more useful with time), Doze mode for better battery optimization while idle, better volume controls, a new open apps menu, and more.

As for EMUI 4.0, it brings a few interesting modifications. There's motion control to launch different apps or perform some actions while the screen is off (draw M to launch the music player, double tap to wake, etc), a personalized navigation bar with a notification drop-down shortcut à la LG, one-handed mode, different drag locations to drop the notification shade or the toggle shortcuts, and a few more.

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OxygenOS 3.2.1 update begins rolling out to the OnePlus 3

The OnePlus 3 is out. We've reviewed it. We've reviewed it on video. By this point you know whether you want the device.

Those of you who have already jumped the gun may have received the 3.2.0 update. Or you may not have, since OnePlus paused the rollout. Now the update is resuming as 3.2.1 with additional improvements.

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Google Maps Local Guides cuts Level 4 free Drive storage from 1TB to 100GB

Back in November of 2015, Google expanded its Local Guides program with a points and level system that introduced new rewards for each tier. At 200 points, you would reach the coveted Level 4 and receive 1TB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years. Now Google is backing away from that promise and lowering the amount of free storage to 100GB only.

It might be that Google Maps' recent updates that incentivize you with notifications to post photos, reviews, and answer questions about places you're visiting have had a positive effect and Google is seeing more and more people reach Level 4.

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[Ultra Fast Storage] Forget MicroSD cards, Samsung introduces UFS removable cards with up to 530MB/s read speeds

Samsung has been championing Universal Flash Storage (UFS) storage for a couple of years now. Back in February of 2015, it started mass producing embeddable UFS chips at up to 128GB capacity to replace the typical eMMC cards that smartphones had been using previously and provide super fast read, write, and random read and write speeds. The goal, at the time, was to convince users to dump external MicroSD cards and see the benefit of fast embedded storage, which was even later raised to 256GB. That strategy, which was carried out in the Galaxy S6 (and corresponding line-up), didn't pan out all that well with the company's avid power users who loved the flexibility of removable storage, and Samsung resolved to adding back the MicroSD slot the next year in the Galaxy S7.

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NVIDIA updates Shield Portable with bugfix release (Upgrade 110)

NVIDIA has released an update for its Shield Portable console device today, namely update version 110. The OTA doesn't add anything new, but it resolves some long-standing bugs and gives the device some much-needed security patches. You can see what's changed (rather, been fixed) in the official changelog from NVIDIA's forums, below.

  • Updates SHIELD security to the latest Android Security Bulletins
  • Fixes a bug that causes the LED brightness level to reset after a system restart
  • Resolves instances of the audio volume fluctuating during video playback
  • Fixes a bug that could result in SHIELD becoming unresponsive after lid close and reopen
  • Resolves instances of the ‘Optimizing apps’ message appearing in error
  • The Shield Portable is the oldest Shield device, having been announced over three years ago.

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    Android One heads to Japan with the Sharp 507SH

    Android One isn't Google's most-loved product initiative, but it does proposition consumers with a deal they aren't getting anywhere this side of a Nexus: updates direct from Google and minimal bloatware. Android One has predominantly launched in Southeast Asia and a few other locations - such as Turkey - but has remained firmly out of tier-one economies to date. Today's announcement by Google, Sharp, and Y! Mobile, then, is quite interesting.

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