17
Apr
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The lottery situation with Google I/O this year means nobody is guaranteed entry. Google knows this. And it's Google we're talking about. So they planted a bunch of secret codes you can redeem for a guaranteed I/O ticket. The hunt is already on, and some lucky folks have already won.

Correction: You don't win free tickets, but rather a guaranteed opportunity to buy them.

Good scavenger hunts are tough, and the best ones don't even announce the rules.

17
Apr
w

Samsung hasn't added as many of its stock apps to the Play Store as Motorola, Sony, or HTC have, but it still uses Google's platform to distribute a few things. The new version of WatchON has been added to the Play Store for the Galaxy S5 (might also be available on the Note 3 Neo in some regions). This version of WatchON has a different look than older versions, and fits in nicely with Samsung's new design aesthetic.

17
Apr
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A new feature has snuck into the Chrome OS dev channel that, while not yet fully baked (okay, it's still mostly a block of ice), could one day allow users to unlock their Chromebooks automatically just by having their phone in close proximity. This feature is "Easy Unlock."

17
Apr
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Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.

Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.

17
Apr
g flex

Hey, you. Yeah, you with the fancy curvaceous phone. Stop showing off that flexible frame and self-healing back, and check your settings menu. According to AT&T's blog, the LG G Flex is being updated to Android 4.4 as of today. Huzzah, excelsior, and general rejoicing abound. At least a few users over at XDA have already received the over-the-air update.

1398003142847 1397744214261

Credit: XDA user hands0m3. Ignore the carrier text - the model number (D950) matches AT&T.

17
Apr
Ouya

The newest update for the Ouya game console has been made available, and it's a big one. This time the cryptozoological mascot is the infamous goat-sucker itself, the Chupacabra. It's more than a name, though. This is a notable update that addresses some of the concerns users have had about the device since launch.

ChupacabraBlogpost

17
Apr
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Last Updated: April 18th, 2014

The original LG Lucid wasn't anything to write home about, but for some reason Verizon kept the name around for the much-improved mid-range sequel. Now the phone line is getting a third entry, as the Lucid 3 has appeared on Verizon's site after a candid leak last month. New Verizon customers can pick up the phone for free on-contract, and those who prefer to go without the ball and chain can pay a reasonable $299.99.

16
Apr
2014-04-16 16_17_42-Google Design Minutes — Search_ The beauty of speed - YouTube

In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.

16
Apr
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Earlier today, Google released a dedicated camera app into the Play Store. This would have been news on its own, as this method of distribution allows for camera updates without having to wait for a new firmware to come along. But the goodies didn't stop there. Google has completely redesigned the app, and while your opinion may vary, here's mine - it's better.

Why, You Ask?

For starters, there's a new lens blur effect that I've already elaborated on in great detail.

16
Apr
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Along with two new apps, today's Update Wednesday has brought us a new version of YouTube with version 5.6.31. The previous version was 5.5.27, so it became clear right away that we should expect something relatively significant as opposed to simple bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disappoint those of you still waiting for offline and screen-off playback - those are not here just yet. There are no major UI changes either.

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