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[New App] Google Text-To-Speech Arrives In The Play Store, Paves Way For Future Updates, Fixes Awful Default Voices On Note 3 And Others

Text-to-speech engines read text aloud, saving users from having to read it themselves. Google's TTS offering comes pre-installed on numerous Android devices, and like much of the software previously shipped as part of Android, it's now ready to spread its wings in the Play Store. Here it's available to far more users, as it can now be installed on devices that don't come with the software pre-installed (pictured below -left). In contrast, on the Nexus 5, Google TTS is apparently already installed and unremovable (pictured below - right).

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Verizon Issues OTA Update For The Galaxy Note 3 That Improves Connectivity And Enhances Sound Quality

It's not often that I get to fit the entire changelog of a software update in the headline, but today's the day. Verizon has shared details about an upcoming update for the Galaxy Note 3 that does two things - strengthens connectivity and improves sound quality. Though Verizon hasn't provided a proper software version number, the build hitting devices is apparently VRUBMJ7.

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Verizon: Google, Asus Have Opted To Wait Until Nexus 7 Gets KitKat To Certify For Use On Network, "Systems Issue" With 4.3 To Blame

We've received an official statement from Verizon on the ongoing Nexus 7 LTE / Verizon saga, a story that has gone silent in the months since Verizon promised the device was being certified for the network. Today, we've finally been given official word from Big Red on what the problem is, and let me say: you're not going to like it.

According to a Verizon spokesperson, during certification it was discovered that the Nexus 7 had a "systems issue" that presumably would have caused it to fail Verizon's testing.

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The New Yellow And Gray Nexus 7 Cases Are Now Available In The Play Store

You might have missed it in the tidal wave of news when the Nexus 5 was released, but Google also posted two new colors of the Nexus 7 zip case in the storefront. They were both listed as 'coming soon,' but now they're live.

2013-11-06 13_20_31-Nexus 7 Sleeve (Bright Yellow) - Devices on Google Play

The official zip case can now be had in gray, yellow, or black. Note that the gray case is listed as gray/white because the interior is white.

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Vodafone Drops Play Store Carrier Billing In The UK, Germany, Italy, And Spain, No Explanation Offered

Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

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Report: The 'Google Experience' Launcher From The Nexus 5 Won't Come To Other Devices Any Time Soon

One of the more drool-worthy aspects of the software from the Nexus 5 (and not necessarily Android 4.4) is the homescreen and launcher, which includes a ton of new features tied directly into Google Now and Google Search. But you might want to curb your enthusiasm: according to a report from The Verge, Google isn't interested in expanding that launcher to other devices at the moment.

2013-11-05 19.58.32 2013-11-05 19.58.10 2013-11-05 19.57.29

Google tells us that the new Launcher on the Nexus 5 is exclusive to the phone — though the company may change its mind and offer it for the Nexus 4 and perhaps even put it on the Play store someday.

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Leak: US Cellular's Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Update Is Scheduled For Friday, November 8th

There was an unusually specific leak from Samsung last month, showing a relatively accelerated schedule for updates on the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II on all four major American carriers. That isn't much comfort for those customers on US Cellular, since the #5 carrier wasn't quite important enough to be included in the leak. But now there's a new leak in town, helpfully provided by an anonymous tipster, showing that the US Cellular Galaxy S4 will be updated on Friday the 8th.

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LG G Pad 8.3 Review: A Potentially Good Device That Gets Lost In The Software

When LG announced the G Pad 8.3, I was really excited. Finally, another entry into the eight-inch tablet market! Couldn't wait to get my hands on it and really dig in. Sadly, throughout my use of the tablet, my excitement slowly dwindled – when I opened the box and saw the device itself, I was more eager than ever to turn it on, but as time went on, the user interface just killed the experience for me.

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Psst, LG, Google, The Nexus 5 Doesn't Have 802.11nc

It was understandable when early pre-release specs listed the Nexus 5 as having a fictional 802.11nc (as opposed to 802.11ac) Wi-Fi, which many definitely noticed at the time. After all, the Nexus 5 wasn't official yet, and something like that could have been a typo made by a PR person or an intern.

Then the Nexus 5 launched, and O2's and LG's official specs still said 802.11nc. Reluctantly, I decided to let it go, thinking someone would eventually notice and correct it.

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Verizon's LG Intuition Gets OTA Update To Software Version VS95022B, Finally Receives Android 4.1

When the latest version of Android starts rolling out, it's well-known that the vast majority of devices out there will never get updated. It's not the best situation, but it's one that at this point in time, many of us go into knowingly. So you LG Intuition owners out there, you already know you're not going to see KitKat come to your device, but at least you will finally now be able to leave Ice Cream Sandwich behind.

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