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Google Chromecast Review: Nailed It

Rumors about Chrome OS running on a tiny HDMI stick started leaking out a few months ago, but we were all wrong about what it was going to be. The Chromecast is not a shrunken down Chromebox – it's not even really a Chrome OS device in the strictest sense. The Chromecast is Google's latest attempt to be invited into your living room. It also might be the first one to succeed.

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NEC Calls It Quits, Announces That It Is Getting Out Of The Smartphone Business

Manufacturing smartphones is a competitive game. I'm talking playing StarCraft in South Korea rough. Succeeding in this market is akin to getting into an Ivy League university, then going on to join the NFL. It's not impossible, but neither is becoming president. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. It must be too hot for NEC, as they're bowing out of the smartphone market. Given that this was one of their latest models, the news doesn't come as too much of a surprise.

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AT&T Galaxy S III Finally Getting "Premium Suite" Multi-Window OTA Update, Android 4.1.2 (Build UCDMG2)

While the AT&T Galaxy S III received its Android 4.1 update way back in December 2012, it still had yet to get the Samsung "Premium Suite" upgrade with the much-vaunted multi window feature. Starting today, that update is rolling out - a full two months after even infamously-slow Verizon managed with its own S III. Better late than never, I guess.

Here's AT&T's brief changelog:

Software update includes

  • Multi Window: You can open two different apps at the same time into two different windows on the mobile screen.
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AT&T Pantech Discover Makes The Jump To Android 4.1.2 Via OTA Update

Thanks to an update released today, the AT&T Pantech Discover is making the jump to Android 4.1.2. It may be two versions behind at this point, but it still gives users access to Google Now, which is perhaps the biggest advancement that Jelly Bean has to offer. Now you would be forgiven for seeing this phone's brand and rolling your eyes, but the Discover is actually a competent device.

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[Update: Winners!] US Giveaway: Win A 32GB Nexus 7 (2013), 16GB Nexus 7 (2013), Or A $50 Gift Card From Staples And Android Police

At this very moment in time, the new Nexus 7 is probably the hottest tablet on the planet. There's a good reason for that, too: Google built on what it started last year with the first gen N7, improving it in almost every way. The new generation has a faster processor, double the RAM, and a higher-resolution display, just to name some of the most obvious changes. Early reviews of the device (worry not, ours is on the way) have praised it almost endlessly, proving that Google really hit the mark with its newest small tablet.

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Amazon Now Listing An Assortment Of Well-Reviewed Cases From rooCASE For The New Nexus 7, Only $4-6 Shipped

When you buy a new device, that's only the beginning. You also have to buy stuff for it. If you're searching for a case to protect your new Nexus 7, Amazon has a number of good deals. Updated versions of several cases from rooCASE are about to ship, and they'll only cost you a few bucks.

2013-07-31 09_16_56-Amazon.com_ rooCASE Google Nexus 7 FHD 2nd Gen Tablet Dual-View Folio Case Cover

These cases got excellent reviews for the 1st generation N7, so they ought to work well with the updated model too.

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HP's Tegra 4-Powered SlateBook x2 Launches For $479: Includes Full HD Screen, Android 4.2, And Keyboard Dock

HP's return to the tablet market hasn't exactly set the world on fire just yet, with only the budget-focused Slate 7 filling in the spaces on retail shelves. Today the company aims a little higher with the StateBook x2, a riff on ASUS' Transformer series with high-end specs and a high-end price to match them. The tablet comes bundled with a keyboard - there's no tablet-only option - for $479.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Review: A Bright New Future For Android Gaming... We Hope

NVIDIA’s SHIELD is a gaming device that defies classification. The full-sized controls and Android software make it more than a portable gaming device, at least on paper, but it doesn't compete with (or complement) more conventional mobile form factors. SHIELD is something entirely new.

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The only way to evaluate a gaming machine is on how it plays games, and in that respect, SHIELD is amazing... at least in a few specific circumstances.

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Samsung Allegedly Boosting Galaxy S4 Benchmarks By Selectively Changing CPU/GPU Performance In Certain Apps [Updated]

Update: Samsung has posted an official response to yesterday's benchmark kerfuffle, explaining that the maximum frequency for the S4 is actually 533MHz, but that it is actually scaled down for "certain gaming apps that may cause an overload". The maximum frequency, according to the statement, is also attainable in "apps that are usually used in full-screen mode" like the gallery, S Browser, etc. This may not fully explain the explicit mention of certain benchmark apps in TwDVFSApp, but it is at least nice to see an official response to the situation.

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Google Sending 'Invite A Friend' Emails To Some Glass Explorers

Googlers have alluded to an expansion of the Glass Explorers program for some time now, but we may finally be seeing some forward motion on the idea.

Posted by Explorer Ryan Mott and confirmed by Glass community advocate Sarah Price, the screenshot below shows an email being sent out to some explorers allowing them to "Invite a Friend" to become an explorer.

For now, Price indicates that the program is "an experiment," and independent of the previous #IfIHadGlass campaign, though some explorers from that contest "may receive this email."

We've reached out for more details and will keep you updated if more information emerges.

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