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Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Invests $590 Million Into Smartphone Maker Meizu

Alibaba runs a global e-commerce site that is one of the most visited in the world. Now it wants to get into the smartphone business. If this idea sounds funny, remember, Amazon has been trying to do the same thing.

But Alibaba is taking a different approach. Rather than come out with its own brand, it's reportedly purchasing a $590 million stake of the existing China-based smartphone maker Meizu. According to Reuters, this is a minority stake in the company, not enough to give Alibaba control.

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OnePlus Will Open Up Sales Every Tuesday For 24 Hours, No Invite Required

The new OTA isn't the only OnePlus One news this morning. It's getting easier to buy... kind of. OnePlus will start opening up sales every Tuesday to anyone and everyone (in supported countries) without an invite. Imagine that, buying a phone without an invite. How innovative.

Open-Sales_Forum

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[Birthday] Google Maps Turns 10 Years Old Today, Let's Take A Look Back

It might be hard to believe, but the Google Maps we know and love launched 10 years ago today. Before Android, Chrome, Google Plus, Youtube, and most of the other services that make up the core of the Google experience, we had Maps. And while it might be saying too much to argue that Maps led the way to Google's recent successes, it is certainly under-appreciated for its role.

The Beginning

Google Maps wasn't the first online map service. It also didn't obviously relate to Google's claim to fame: search. It's important to remember that by 2005, Google was no start-up anymore.

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[Rumor Smash] NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet To Be Refreshed This Summer - Don't Hold Out For A New Model In March

Earlier this week a report surfaced about a successor to NVIDIA's high-powered SHIELD Tablet coming "within a couple of months," to be announced at the GPU Technology Conference starting on March 17th. The report claimed that the new SHIELD Tablet would be using NVIDIA's next-gen mobile chipset, the Tegra X1, which was announced at CES 2015 without any accompanying smartphone or tablet.

A new generation of SHIELD hardware powered by the Tegra X1 is a no-brainer - despite tepid interest outside of the Android and gaming communities, NVIDIA has shown no sign of slowing down its first-party mobile brand.

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Google Offers Live Video Helpouts Sessions For Would-Be Nexus And Chromebook Buyers On The Play Store

If you're a regular Android Police reader, you probably don't need any "sales assistance" when picking out a new phone, tablet, or laptop - pretty much everything you could want to know is just a web search away. But some people appreciate the personal touch, which is why those guys in the blue shirts at Best Buy still have jobs. To help out these sorts of shoppers, Google is offering live video chat assistance for hardware shoppers on the Play Store.

screen-shot-2015-02-06-at-14-59-58

Image credit: TechCrunch

The new service leverages Google's own Helpouts service (an instruction and assistance portion of video Hangouts) and the infrastructure of the Play Store.

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[Deal Alert] All Moto 360 Variants Currently $30 - $50 Off At Best Buy

If you must have your Android Wear fix, prefer circular smartwatches, and aren't particularly feeling the LG G Watch R, then the Moto 360 really is your only option. That's not to say it's bad one. I've happily strapped one to my wrist for months now.

The Moto 360 remains at its original price point, so the model with a leather strap goes for $249.99, and the metal strap bumps that up to $299.99. Fortunately, Best Buy is currently selling the full set of options for $30 - $50 off. You can get the regular model for $219.99, while the more expensive variant has been temporarily reduced to $249.99.

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InBrief
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Motorola Has The Blue 64GB Nexus 6 In Stock Right Now—Hurry

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[APK Teardown] Upcoming Google Play Services v6.7 Schedules Android One OTAs For Off-Peak Hours, Adds Experimental Activity-Based Personal Unlocking

As the resident teardown guy, Update Wednesday was a huge letdown this week. After slicing and dicing a dozen or so apks, all I saw were bug fixes, minor adjustments, and updates with full changelogs. Come on Google, I can't write about the neat stuff if none of the secrets are allowed to leave Mountain View. Fortunately, I did get to look at an unreleased version of Play Services, and there are a few interesting things to take away from it. (Sorry, we don't have an APK to share with this one.)

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and based on incomplete evidence.
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Official CyanogenMod Is Finally Available For The Nexus 9

The Nexus 9 is Google's new flagship Lollipop tablet, but what if you don't like the software Google put on the device? Well, you can change it. That's how Nexus devices work. Now you can finally install CyanogenMod 12 on the N9. Just head over to the CM downloads page and get ready to flash.

2015-02-06 14_37_35-CyanogenMod Downloads

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Verizon Leak Shows Release Dates For The Nexus 6, The Galaxy Core Prime, And The DROID Turbo In Sapphire Blue

If you've been waiting for Verizon's carrier-branded version of the Nexus 6 to hit stores so you can save a little cash on a subsidized phone, you won't have to wait much longer. A tipster sent a photo to Android Police that appears to show a rollout schedule for Verizon's next round of phone releases displayed on a company intranet or presentation. The Nexus 6 (or at least Verizon's model with a scarlet V) is scheduled to be released on February 26th.

verizon rollout

Verizon's model of the N6 will probably be identical to the ones on the Play Store and other carriers, at least in terms of hardware - the vanilla phone already has a Verizon CDMA-LTE compatible radio.

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