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Code In Android 5.1 App Reveals Connection Between Unannounced Google VPN Service And "Nova" Carrier Project

We've heard a number of rumors about Google launching its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), codenamed Nova. According to reports, the service will source wireless service from Sprint and T-Mobile, but it will rely on Wi-Fi networks to bear most of the weight of both data and voice services (though VoIP). While the details of this plan still aren't clear, another piece of the puzzle just emerged that indicates Google is going to offer its own virtual private network (VPN) service, and it may be targeted specifically at Nova subscribers.

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InBrief
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The LG G Flex 2 Is Now Available From Sprint For $199.99 With Contract Or $21 Per Month

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New Android 5.1 Build, LMY47E, Surfaces For Nexus 6, Probably Won't Go Out To Existing Devices

As Nexus 6 owners well know, Android 5.1 / LMY47D just started rolling out to devices recently. It appears, however, that Motorola has an even more recent firmware available, build LMY47E. Further, the official filename has "VRZ" in the title, hinting that this newer build may ship on devices that are sold by Verizon. We won't know for sure until Big Red starts sending the devices out next week.

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InBrief
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Gets Official CyanogenMod Nightly Builds

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Google Play Store Carrier Billing Goes Live For New Operators In France, Hungary, Indonesia, Slovakia, And Taiwan

Direct carrier billing is one of the most convenient ways to buy apps and content from the Play Store. Instead of making sure you have a valid credit or debit card or trying to find gift cards or setting up a Paypal account, you can simply have the purchase amount billed with your regular mobile service.

In today's round of new carrier additions on the Google Play support pages we find the French company Free, Hungarian TMI (Magyar Telekom), Indonesian Telkomsel, Slovakian PPF (O2), and Taiwanese Taiwan Mobile.

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[Ermahgerd] Verizon Apps Spotted On The Nexus 6's System Partition After The Android 5.1 Update, Rustled Jimmies Ensue

The Internet is in the midst of having a mini hemorrhage over something that, basically, doesn't matter. Shocking, right? It appears that a few people on XDA have noticed that their Nexus 6 had a couple of Verizon-specific APKs installed on the system partition after updating to Android 5.1. There are two issues at play here:

  • First, there are two APKs that are clearly identified as Verizon-specific. One is VZ Backup Assistant and the other is called VZWAPN.
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InBrief
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[Update: Improved Changelog Available] Developer Changelog Posted For Every Code Commit From Android 5.0.2_r1 (LRX22G) To Android 5.1.0_r1 (LMY47D)

InBrief
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LG G Pad 10.1 Receives Minor Bug-Slaying OTA Software Update From Verizon

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One Month Later, Sony's Metal SmartWatch 3 Is Still MIA In The US

One month ago, Sony announced the stainless steel version of its SmartWatch 3 Wear device would be hitting stores within a week. Then it just didn't. Here we are a month later with nothing to show for it. What gives, Sony?

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Google Cooks Up Reference App To Guide Developers Toward Multi-Device Applications

It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.

But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.

To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with.

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