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[Update x2: Denials issued] Chinese government snuck secret surveillance chip into servers at Apple, Amazon, and dozens more according to report

Take this with the proverbial grain of salt, but Bloomberg has published a detailed investigative report today alleging that a list of U.S. Companies, including Amazon and Apple, suffered a security intrusion via hardware infiltration. This isn't a hack in the software sense, it's a result of literal physical modification to server motherboards at the time of manufacturing by subcontractors in China, allegedly coerced by operatives working for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army — making this a potentially state-backed attack.

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Google estimated to be paying $9 billion to be Safari's default search engine

For search engines, there's nothing more lucrative than being the default provider on a popular web browser. In the past, companies have paid massive amounts of money for the position; Yahoo gave Mozilla over $300 million to be the default engine for Firefox, but the company was later outbid by Google. A new report estimates that Google's place as the default iPhone search engine is costing the company $9 billion this year.

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Apple completes acquisition of Shazam, will remove ads from free version

Shazam pre-dates the smartphone as we know it today, but it didn't become popular until everyone was carrying internet-connected devices that could play music. Then, everyone wanted to know what song was playing in the background. Shazam is no longer the only way to ID songs, but it's the only one now wholly owned by Apple. Why does this matter to you, an Android user? Shazam is about to be free.

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[Update: Leaves beta, available for all] Apple Music is privately testing Android Auto integration in v2.6.0 beta

It may not be the most loved music service on Android, but Apple Music is certainly an appealing choice, especially for those who live in countries where YouTube Music (né Google Play Music) and Spotify aren't available. When I reviewed it back in 2015, I loved a lot of its features, but I eventually had to give up on it because it wasn't compatible with many other things I often use: Android Auto, Chromecast, and Google Home. But there's hope on the horizon, at least for the first one of those three.

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Android Police talks Apple: The biometric gap, shifting affordability, and Watch envy

Last year, Apple's iPhone X literally changed how the company's customers used their phones, dropping such steadfast design choices as the home button and fingerprint sensor in pursuit of that all-screen dream. Yesterday's announcement wasn't as shocking, but it did democratize 2017's changes with the new, more affordable iPhone XR. In its own way, Apple is set yet again to change how its customers use its phones by delivering most of its flagship features at a new, more palatable price.

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Apple's "cheap" iPhone Xr just ate Google's lunch

For years, fans and analysts alike have clamored for Apple to release a proper "mid-range" iPhone. Today, they finally got what they wanted - sort of. The new iPhone Xr represents an entirely new direction for the iPhone lineup, and one that poses a serious threat to "flagship" tier Android phones that lurk anywhere above its $749 MSRP.

While you may be thinking "there's nothing 'mid-range' about $749," be reminded that the iPhone Xs and Xs Max cost $1000 and $1100, respectively, making the all-new Xr a fairly significant price cut in Apple terms. It's also not even the smallest iPhone: the Xr features a 6.1" LCD (the Xs is a 5.8" OLED, the Max is 6.5") that Apple claims will wipe the floor with any other in terms of color accuracy, and given their history, I believe them.

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New Moto P30 leaks reveal specs and strong Huawei P20/iPhone X resemblance

What do you call a copy of a copy? The Moto P30, if new leaks are any indication.

A wealth of images and specifications for the Moto P30 have emerged via Chinese social media platform Weibo, publication Androidpure, and through the company's own channels (some reportedly by mistake). All show what appears to be a pretty clear-cut copy of Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro, which itself borrows many of its design elements from Apple's iPhone X.

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Apple has become America's first trillion-dollar company

We're pretty keen on Android news here, but some things outside our immediate purview are significant enough to be worth mentioning. Here's one: today, Apple became the first US company to surpass a total market capitalization of $1 trillion (trillion as in a thousand billions).

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Play Store beats App Store in downloads for Q2 2018 by 160% but loses in spending by almost half according to App Annie

For a while now, App Annie has been offering its metrics to interested parties so developers can better understand their place in the app economy. Careful examination and integration of data like this, paired with the knowledge of a target audience, can influence where a developer's time can be best spent. And according to App Annie's latest report, Play Store downloads are up significantly, with a 20% rise year-over-year, and 160% higher than Apple's Play Store. On the other hand, consumer spending is still 80% higher on iOS. 

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After 7 years, Samsung and Apple have finally settled

Samsung and Apple have come to an agreement in a patent dispute so protracted it's become a running joke. Following seven years of verdicts and appeals, a California judge has filed a motion stating the case has been settled, and any further claims will be dismissed. The sum of the settlement hasn't been disclosed.

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