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Google Turns 16 Today, Celebrates With A Doodle Before Dad Takes It To The DMV

Happy birthday, Google. You didn't invent Android, but you made it awesome, for which we are sincerely grateful. Most of the other stuff that you do is pretty cool too. We'd tell you to watch a certain John Hughes movie, but you're too young to appreciate the reference.

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The Doodle seen on Google.com today.

Google declared September 27th its "official" birthday with a 15-year celebration last year, though a precise date for the start of the company isn't really known - you could say that the start of the project goes back at least 18 years to when Larry Page and Sergey Brin began work on their custom "BackRub" search engine at Stanford University.

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Google Cleans Up Google Search Listing In The Play Store With Newer Icon, Shorter Name

For a long time now, Google's Search app has had a new, more rounded launcher icon and a simple label in your app drawer: Google. The app's Play Store listing, however, has stubbornly clung to the name "Google Search," while retaining the old boxy icon of yore. Without a word, it looks like Google has cleaned up its Play Store listing at long last with the refreshed icon and simplified name.

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Motorola, Why Must You Torture Me With These Two Clear Shots Of The Perfectly Round Moto 360 Without The Flat Tire Look?

I think everyone knows by now that Motorola had to make a few sacrifices with the Moto 360, one of which I personally still notice every time I wear it - the flat tire look. The small blacked out area on the bottom of the watch contains the ambient sensor and a few other components that didn't fit elsewhere in this design, at least in the amount of time the company had to deliver the first iteration to consumers.

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Yet Another Photo Purports To Show Shamu, Motorola's Gigantic Maybe-Nexus

Relative to last year's downpour of Nexus 5 leaks, there's been a bit of a drought in Nexus phone rumors this season. So far, we know that Motorola is expected to have made a large Nexus device codenamed Shamu, which multiple sources have affirmed and which is supposed to share an impressive spec sheet with another device codenamed Quark. This device is supposed to be set for a November release.

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Sprint Sends The Nexus 5 To The End-Of-Life Underworld, But No One Cares Because Nexus

According to a source inside of Sprint, the wireless carrier has officially placed the LG Nexus 5 on the end-of-life list. That means that Sprint won't be promoting the N5 in its stores, though any stock that's still in retailers or sales partners will probably remain on sale in at least some capacity. It also means that Sprint won't be sending out any more standard software updates to the phone.

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Of course, that's not as big a deal for the Nexus 5 as for other devices, thanks to the developer status of the phone.

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Multiple Sources Claim HTC's 'M8_EYE' Is The M8 With A 13MP Duo Camera, Coming Next Month [Update]

HTC has been experimenting with different camera gimmicks lately. First there was the Ultrapixel camera in the M7, then the M8 added a second camera for simulated depth of field (that's the Duo Camera, of course). Now rumors are pointing to a new HTC device that ditches the Ultrapixel camera altogether. The M8_EYE will reportedly have a 13MP Duo Camera when it is announced next month.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review: A Good Phone, But Probably Overpriced

Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.

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New Moto X Now Available From Verizon Wireless Directly Or Through Moto Maker

For people living in the large swathes of the US where Verizon Wireless is the only real option, your chance to get the second generation Moto X has arrived. The handset is now available on the carrier's site for $99.99 with a two-year contract, though the price differs with other payment options depending on color. The site is showing the black one available for $24.99 a month with Verizon Edge or $499.99 outright.

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CyanogenMod 11 ROM Support Extended To The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

For all the grief we give Samsung tablets about fake leather and physical home buttons, the higher tiers of hardware have some great specs. Speed demons and resolution fanatics might be particularly enthralled with the Tab Pro series, all of which feature 2560x1600 screens. If you appreciate the hardware but could do without Samsung's Android skin, the developers at CyanogenMod now support the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.

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CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are already available for the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, giving users of two out of the four tablets in the series access to AOSP-style software with rapid updates.

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HTC Launches A Private Preview Program For Software Updates, Currently Restricted To Members Of The HTC Elevate Community

Getting OTA updates out the door is no easy task, especially with carriers standing between the OEM and users. That's why Motorola has long used soak tests with small groups of users to hammer out bugs before the final certification. HTC has just posted details of its own "HTC Preview" program that does essentially the same thing.

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