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Silent Circle Buys Out Geeksphone To Get Full Control Of Blackphone, Plans To Unveil More Devices And Services At MWC

Remember Blackphone? Chances are you haven't seen it on store shelves. This $600+ handset, built in response to recent concerns over government surveillance and Internet vulnerabilities, strives to keep your communications private and your information secure. The phone was a joint project between Silent Circle and hardware partner Geeksphone. Today the former has announced it's buying out the latter, giving it full control over the Blackphone project.

Blackphone relies on a custom version of Android creatively called PrivatOS, which uses a combination of privacy-focused apps and encryption services to reduce how much information leaks out.

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Wired: Moto Maker Will Support Customizing The Moto 360 Starting In March

Motorola apparently intends to expand Moto Maker out to more than just smartphones. According to Wired, the company will start offering the ability to customize your own Moto 360 next month.

MotoMaker360

Before you get too excited, Motorola isn't rolling out new color options or anything particularly fancy. Instead, it's letting you mix and match the components already available off the shelf. So you can get the watch casing or metal band in silver, black, or champagne gold; or opt for a leather strap instead.

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Google+ Gets A Much-Needed Facelift For Mobile Browsers And Changes URL Structure To Match Desktop Version

Have you ever used Google+ on a mobile browser? It has never been very fun. Trying to share something or make sense of a link was no better. However, after over a year without noticeable improvements for mobile browsers, it has finally gotten a revamp. In fact, it's arguably a better experience than the current Google+ app for Android.

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InBrief
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NVIDIA SHIELD Gets Hotfix Update To Fix Color Reproduction Issues

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Samsung Electronics Starts Mass Producing The Industry's First 128GB Universal Flash Storage, Almost Certainly Galaxy S6-Bound

Before every MWC event, Samsung gradually unveils bits and pieces of its semiconductor innovations that not-so-suprisingly end up inside its line of imminent Galaxy S devices. So far this year, the company has announced its 8Gb LPDDR4 RAM chip (with 4GB of RAM) and 14nm FinFET processor (to be introduced in the company's Exynos 7 Octa), both of which promise faster speeds and more power efficiency.

samsung-ufs2-128gb

Today we get another glimpse inside the Galaxy S6, well...presumably.

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Don't Trust Case Manufacturers For Device Leaks: HTC One M9 Edition

We are rapidly approaching that fun time of year when the largest Android smartphone manufacturers unveil their newest flagships. That means we're already in the silly season of rumors and leaks. Isn't it interesting to follow all the developments on, say, the HTC One M9? The M7 was great, the M8 was better...it's understandably hard to wait for official information about the 2015 iteration. However, whatever you do, do not look at product images from case manufacturers like Spigen to learn what the next phone will look like.

Remember when famous tipster @evleaks posted these supposed renders of the M9?

nexus2cee_HTCOneM9rendersleak

The supposed M9 is on the left.

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The Cat Is Really Out Of The Bag: Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Appear Side By Side In More Leaked Images

Now that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is approaching its real unveil at MWC, the leaks have turned into an open faucet. Following yesterday's images of the Galaxy S6 from all angles, today we have a couple of photos of the S6 and S6 Edge side-by-side being all, "I'm flat!" and, "I'm curved!" Oh come on, you're both pretty. I mean, kind of.

galaxy-s6-s6-edge-1 galaxy-s6-s6-edge-2

New XDA member graaler posted these screenshots of images of both devices from the front and the back. They appear to be similarly sized, with the S6 Edge looking slightly more svelte thanks to its curved, well, edges. The home button is present on both devices, with a few rumors talking of an improved fingerprint reader, and there are no on-screen navigation keys to be found.

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[Update] LG Takes On Samsung With The Watch Urbane LTE: Voice Calls, GPS, NFC... But No Android Wear

If the LG Watch Urbane just isn't fancy enough for you, the manufacturer is going to up the stakes. LG just announced the Watch Urbane LTE on its home turf of South Korea, ostensibly to have something to compete with Samsung's Gear S. The Watch Urbane LTE includes the capability to make voice calls, essentially turning it into a wrist-mounted cell phone. It would be the first Android Wear device with stand-alone voice capability... if it were running Android at all. According to LG's (translated) press release, the Urbane LTE is using a proprietary operating system, just like the Tizen-based Gear S.

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Ars Technica: Google Is Preparing To Launch Android Pay, An API For Seamless Tap-And-Pay Transactions

Google has had a fairly rough time convincing consumers to use Wallet for in-store purchases. However, with the recent acquisition of Softcard's "technology" alongside plans to preload Wallet on Android phones from most major US carriers, Google is putting its weight behind a renewed effort to be a major player at brick-and-mortar locations. Amidst rumors that Google still has something else to announce at I/O, Ars Technica received a tip that a brand new payment platform called Android Pay will be announced at the conference.

According to the source, Android Pay is specifically geared for mobile devices and allows 3rd-party apps to drive both virtual and real-world purchases through a single interface.

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InBrief
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HTC One M7 Getting Lollipop 5.0.2 Update In Europe

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