01
Aug
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Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. This lawsuit just got a lot more boring.

According to re/code, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung today for failure to pay royalties as part of a contractual IP licensing agreement between the two companies. The agreement in question is for Microsoft's infamous smartphone patent portfolio, which has pretty much every Android OEM in the US paying out a percentage of their handset sales to the struggling Windows Phone maker.

31
Jul
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Verizon is sending out an over-the-air software update to Galaxy S5 owners that brings in a number of improvements. Though, before you get too excited, most of these changes skew towards the minor side of things. Verizon's Caller Name ID, Message+, and Cloud apps have all been updated. Likewise, some of Samsung's apps and accessories have seen attention as well. Web Search has been added to S Finder, and Visual Voicemail now works when the S-View flip cover is closed.

31
Jul
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The Oculus Rift has been in development for a few years with development kits available to those who wanted to experience the future of motion sickness, but now the second iteration of the development hardware is out. Naturally, iFixit got one to tear apart. What they found is solid evidence of the collaboration between Oculus and Samsung. The screen in the Oculus Rift DK2 is literally the whole front panel of a Galaxy Note 3.

31
Jul
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Samsung spent a lot of time at its latest earnings call trying to re-assure investors that its meteoric rise to the top of the Android hardware business wasn't going to end anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal quotes Senior Vice President Kim Hyun-Joon, who mentioned two incoming models in particular: one with a large screen, and one that would be made using "new materials." The former is almost certainly the next iteration of the Galaxy Note, which has been released in the latter half of the year since 2011.

30
Jul
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Samsung pitched Milk Music this spring as a totally free music service exclusive to its devices, but slipped in at the end that it might not be free forever. You can still stream tunes for free without ads (or so the description says), but the new update to Milk adds the expected $3.99 monthly subscription for additional features.

2014-07-30 22.25.58 2014-07-30 22.25.03 2014-07-30 22.25.19

30
Jul
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Update: It looks like FreedomPop ran out of stock on its refurbished tablets almost immediately, and at the moment the links below default to various hotspot gadgets. Given the limitations of Sprint service, it's not a surprise that the company's secondhand hardware stockpile wouldn't be huge.

Also, several prospective customers have told us that they've been given the run-around when trying to sign up for the free plan, instead being placed on the free trial for paid service and almost immediately charged.

30
Jul
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Sprint has announced that an over-the-air software update is due out for its version of the Galaxy S4 going by the name of version number L720VPUFNG2The changelog for this one is pretty minor, so there's little reason to start abusing that update button. Galaxy S4 owners should be on the lookout for an HD Voice icon (which they might be able to notice), and a number of security patches (which they won't).

30
Jul
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The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.

Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.

30
Jul
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Not everything in the Android world is super-high-end, and if your carrier is building a brand on being cheaper than the other guys, perhaps having a few cheap phones around isn't a bad idea. Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy Avant, the latest addition to T-Mobile's hardware lineup. The internal specs won't blow anyone away, but with an off-contract price of just $216 (or $9 a month for two years on Jump), they don't need to.

29
Jul
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Samsung's finally getting into the premium personal audio market with its Level line of products, but can they just walk into this increasingly crowded space, one that is, frankly, dominated by the oft-maligned Beats Audio? Two pairs of headphones, one pair of earbuds, and a portable Bluetooth speaker comprise Samsung's first real effort to break into this lucrative space - are any of them worth your attention? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer could be yes.

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