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Breaking: Essential is dead, and so are updates to Essential Phone

Andy Rubin's Essential launched its first phone in 2017, and it turns out that will be its only phone. After making some news last year with the bizarre Project GEM prototype, Essential has now announced that it won't be releasing that device or any other. Essential will shut down, effective immediately.

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[Update: Review units pulled] Galaxy Fold review units are failing left and right with disastrous display issues

Four Samsung Galaxy Fold review units in the hands of major US tech journalists all experienced device-breaking display failures today. Steve Kovach of CNBC, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, and Dieter Bohn of The Verge have reported major failures of their phones' display panels, just two days after receiving them. To say this is a disaster for Samsung is probably underselling it. Well-known YouTuber MKBHD claims to be having similar problems, but hasn't posted any images (update: he has, see below). Bohn and Kovach claim their displays failed without removing the panel's protective film (Samsung says not to take it off), but both Gurman and Brownlee did remove it and hypothesized that it led or contributed to the failures.

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New BlackBerry KEYone units won't break as easily

The KEYone is the first QWERTY BlackBerry phone manufactured by TCL. Despite having a great deal of software problems at launch, many owners enjoy simply having a modern keyboard smartphone. However, the original batch of devices were not very durable (to say the least), but BlackBerry and TCL have been working to fix that.

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[Update: Fix available] Google Drive on Windows self-updating to 'Backup and Sync,' breaking in the process

Did you think Google's intentional downgrade OTA for the Nexus 6 from yesterday was bad? Google appears to be on a mission to break as many products as possible, and next up is the Google Drive client for Windows.

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Google Voice Integration Is Currently Rolling Out In Hangouts

There have been rumors, speculation, hints in Hangouts updates, and now finally Google Voice is being rolled into Hangouts. The Hangouts app is offering to enable Voice SMS and voicemail via a popup in the conversation list. So check your app now!


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Breaking: Nexus 5 Prototype Bares All In Leaked Crystal Clear 7-Minute HD Video

A crystal clear 7-minute video of the Nexus 5 (I think we can accept that's going to be the name at this point) was just leaked on the web. It's an older build than the one leaked by TuttoAndroid yesterday, but look - it's the Nexus 5 hardware in the clearest shots we've seen yet! appears all over it, so the full credit for this leak goes out to them.

In the video, shot on October 9th if we are to believe the lockscreen, we're obviously looking at a prototype, considering there's no Nexus branding on the back, but one that offers the highest amount of detail to date.

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BREAKING: Google Signs Agreement To Buy Motorola Mobility For $12.5 Billion

Google has just announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The search giant will be paying $40 per share, a premium of 63% from the closing price of Motorola's shares from last Friday. The actual acquisition is expected to take place in late 2011 or early 2012 pending regulatory approvals.

A partnership between the developer of the Android platform and a top 3 Android device manufacturer is likely to light a fire beneath the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, and other Android partners. However, to quell their fears Google's press release clarifies that Motorola "will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open...

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[Updated] Exclusive: Vulnerability In Skype For Android Is Exposing Your Name, Phone Number, Chat Logs, And A Lot More

Update #1: Skype is investigating the issue, we've been told.

Update #2: Skype's official first response can be found here.

The safety of our personal information is often a concern of mine - who has my email address, my phone number, my date of birth? How can I keep my private information safe while still enjoying the internet? These concerns have prompted me to take a deeper look at Android apps more than once, and often this can yield some frightening information.

On April 11, a leaked version of Skype Video hit the web and, having a Thunderbolt, I had to try it.

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[Review] My Taptu: Social Media + News + Eye Candy = Success

If you, like me, are constantly checking what's going on in the world of technology, science, world news, entertainment, gaming, music, and a million other things - on top of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, have I got an app for you. Picture, if you will, an Android app that will aggregate all of these news feeds and your social media streams into a cohesive and, quite frankly, sexy interface. You just imagined My Taptu, my new favorite news reader.

My Taptu's interface is really easy to grasp immediately and adding feeds, modifying the existing feeds, adding your Facebook and Twitter, and sharing all of this information just could not be any easier.

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[Updated] New Options In The Android Market App Publishing Interface: Promo Videos, High Res App Icon, Feature Graphics

Whoa! Only a few hours after sending out a notification about a big Market maintenance, Google sneakily updated the Market publishing interface with a variety of new options, pointing to nothing less than an updated Market likely to launch very soon, probably together with Gingerbread. The presence of higher resolution graphics underscores Google's newly embraced support for tablets and TVs, and possibly suggests that Market web interface we've been waiting for since Google I/O is finally around the corner.

Here are all the new options available to developers publishing their apps, in addition to the 2 screenshots and the promotional graphic+text (I can't think of a place where the latter is used):

  • High Resolution Application Icon - 512w x 512h, 24 bit PNG or JPEG (no alpha).
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