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Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910F (International Snapdragon Version) And Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 Getting Lollipop In Some Markets

We've been seeing a handful of Samsung flagships get updated to Lollipop here in the United States, where the lion's share of phones are still sold with shackles firmly attached to the carriers. The standard international model of the Note 4 uses Samsung's own Exynos chipset, but there's also a variant with a Snapdragon 805, model number SM-N910F. Users in Germany can access the official Lollipop update on these phones today via Samsung's Kies program, according to SamMobile.

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Google Helpouts Is Shutting Down In April 2015, Android App Already Removed From The Play Store

Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.

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Google Goes For Record Lack Of Android Mentions In Latest 'Be Together' Ads

When Google kicked off its Be Together, Not The Same campaign, it started off with Androidified characters just being generally adorable. This month, the company has decided it doesn't need to make any references to Android, phones, tablets, or devices of any kind in order to sell its products. Google handles most of our searches, and it knows nothing draws eyeballs like cute animals doing cute animal-y things.

Now it's released another ad that's nearly as absent of tech as the last.

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[Video] Google Japan Set Up 300 Androidify Characters As A Joyful Coordinated Chorus

What would 300 singing Androids sound like? Very cute. Impossibly cute. Like a marshmallow of kawaii wrapped in a cotton-candy of adorable and sprinkled on top of a rainbow of charm. It would also be very cool. Like a groovy logistical nightmare hidden inside a fun technical challenge. But that's what the Google Japan team has managed to produce: a chorus of 300 different but perfectly synchronized, lovable, dancing and singing Androidify characters, each coming alive inside its own phone or tablet to perform a rendition of The Hymn Of Joy, from Beethoven's Symphony No.

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Samsung Blacks Out Retail Employees Vacations For Two Periods Starting On March 22nd And April 19th

A trusted source working at a Samsung retail location in the US has sent us the image below from an official company correspondence. In it, you will see Samsung blacking out employee vacations, leaves of absence, and time offs, for two upcoming periods. The first starts on March 22nd and lasts until March 30th. The second goes from April 19th through April 27th.

samsung-retail-blackout-2015

These blackout periods are usually an accurate indicator of when the company expects a big product launch and wants all hands on deck.

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HTC's Video Player Makes Its Way To The Play Store To Facilitate Faster Updates

HTC has been one of the most prominent OEMs to adopt the Play Store as its apps' update ground, decoupling them from the software and thus making it possible to update them separately and regardless of firmware versions, operator approval, and so on. The latest app to join the independent fold is HTC's Video Player.

This is the same video player that's built inside HTC's Sense UI layer, with multiple format decoding, gesture controls (two-finger swipes act as FF and RW for example), streaming, still image capturing, and subtitle support.

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[Deal Alert] $50 Off Sony SmartWatch 3 Via Verizon Wireless, A 20% Discount, Plus Free Shipping

As some may wait for the impending release of the metal version, Sony's SmartWatch 3 can be had for a pretty nice deal at Verizon. At a discounted $199, you'll save $50 or 20%, whichever sounds like a bigger deal to you. Even better is that this offer comes with free shipping, which is great no matter how you slice it.

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InBrief
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HTC Posts Lollipop RUUs For HTC One M7 and M8 Developer, Unlocked Editions

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Sony Live On YouTube App Updated With Many More Devices Supported And Full HD Broadcasting

Sony's Live on YouTube app, which allows you to offer live streams from your Xperia handset, has updated to bring more devices into the fray. First off, sorry, but this is still Xperia-only and is likely to stay that way. The other key feature addition is the ability to broadcast in full HD when the camera and local upload speed allows it.

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Nokia's HERE Maps Leaves Beta, Adds 3D Venue Maps, Design Tweaks, Background Downloads, Improved SD Card Support

Just yesterday, HERE Beta sent out an update with a few minor improvements. Today, they came out like gangbusters by dropping the beta label and adding some serious polish to the app. This navigation app, perhaps the most serious challenger to Google Maps, is developed by once-ubiquitous OEM Nokia. Now, they think they are ready for showtime.

collect-drive 3d-interaction routing

It's really a quite nice looking app and has become popular for its solid international support.

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