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Samsung Shows Off New Passbook-Like 'Wallet' App And API At MWC

Passbook is one of the few features on iOS that I feel a bit envious of (even if it doesn't do payments like Google Wallet). Apparently Samsung had similar thoughts when it was announced, because the company unveiled a brand-new in-house platform this morning called Samsung Wallet that does basically the exact same thing.

Samsung didn't provide a launch time frame for the service, but we're guessing this was just a taste of the new software features we'll be seeing in the Galaxy S IV announcement on March 14th.

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HTC Releases Kernel Source Files For The One SV

We've got some good news for the open source development community today: HTC has released the kernel source files for the One SV, in 16 different varieties to account for slight differences between carriers and countries.

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Although this may not be of immediate interest to consumers, as developers get their hands on the source, it should result in faster and more stable ROMs for the device in the future.

If you want to download the kernel source, which is around 100MB in size, to check it out for yourself, you can download it from the HTC Dev Center.

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Sprint's Optimus G Jelly Bean OTA Update (4.1.2, Build LS970ZVB) Starting To Trickle Out

Well, here's a bit of a nice surprise: one lucky XDA user just got an update to 4.1.2 on his Sprint Optimus G. And then another. And another. And some more. All with nary a word from The Now Network, which is usually pretty on top of announcing updates for devices. Ergo, at this point, we're not entirely sure if this is the start of a full-on rollout or just a "soak test" of sorts.

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Samsung Epic 4G Gets Its First Official Build Of CyanogenMod 10.1

If you have an aging-but-not-yet-dead Epic 4G just waiting to be upgraded, maybe now's the time to slap a good ol' dose of CyanogenMod on it. Why now? Because it just got its first official CM10.1 nightly. Sure, you could've been running CM10 for some time, but now you can have the latest build that AOSP has to offer.

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With CM10.1 – which is based on Android 4.2.x for those who may not know – you get fun things like lockscreen widgets (so you can finally get in on the DashClock action), Quick Settings, and a few other, less obvious tweaks.

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Matias Duarte: "If I Were To Start Poking You, You Wouldn't Like It. But When You Start Stroking, It's A Totally Different Message" [Video]

I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't Eric Schmidt talking. The interview is pretty mediocre and feels scripted and robotic otherwise, but just watch what he says around 1:50.

It's now officially my #1 favorite Matias Duarte quote.

Update: Looks like the CNNInternational's YouTube video is not available in the U.S. of all places (I did not notice this as I was posting from Barcelona).

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[Update: Winners] Quick Look + International Giveaway: SPIGEN Ultra Thin Air Case For The Nexus 4

When it comes to device protection, there's a very large niche that wants to keep things simple. Protection without bulk is really a necessity for so many, otherwise they'd rather just keep their phone naked. Enter the Ultra Thin Air case from Spigen ($19.99), one of the most minimal cases you can get for the N4.

This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future.

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[MWC 2013] Andy Rubin, Finger To The Side Of His Nose, Says Google Has No Plans For Retail Stores

Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."

Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world.

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[Video] Watch ASUS' (Hilarious) Padfone Infinity/Fonepad Unveiling In Its Entirety

Yesterday, we attended a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we were treated not only to the unveiling of ASUS' new Padfone Infinity and aptly-named Fonepad 7" tablet phone (with which we later got some hands-on time), but also to the dazzling (ly awkward and hilarious) antics of a "tech illusionist," and plenty of other awkward moments.

We were able to share a pretty detailed account of the event, along with a short video, but those who want to see the full unveiling from start to finish can now do so, thanks to ASUS' own YouTube channel.

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[MWC 2013] Hands-On (Video) With The ZTE Grand Memo: It's Really Big And The UI Confuses Me

Late yesterday, we headed over to the ZTE booth to check out the company's latest smartphone - the Grand Memo. The selling point? It's big and powerful - sporting a 5.7" display with a Snapdragon 800 600 processor of some kind.

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Of course, that big display is only 720p. And that processor is paired with only 1GB of RAM. And it's using ZTE's Android acid trip of a UI overlay.

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