Sony Xperia Z2 tablet now available on Verizon, starting at $499.99

Verizon Sony Xperia

Verizon has began selling the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet with 4G LTE for $499.99 on a new two-year service agreement, both online and in stores. The tablet can also be purchased for $599.99 without contract, or for 20 equal payments of $29.99 through the Verizon Edge program. The 32 GB black model appears to be the only version that can be purchased online at this time. Read more

LG announces new 5-inch G3 Beat smartphone, available in South Korea July 18

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LG has announced a new mid-tier smartphone dubbed the G3 Beat, which features a 5.0-inch display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 8 GB of bulit-in storage, an 8 MP rear camera with laser auto-focus, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

The phone runs Android 4.4.2 and is compatible with the standard 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and LTE connections commonly found in mid-range devices. Of course, LG’s Smart Keyboard is also present, along with other LG staples like QuickMemo+ and Gesture Shot.

Black, silver, and gold versions of G3 Beat will go on sale in the South Korean market on July 18th, followed by a rollout in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe. There’s no word yet on when this specific model will reach North America, though according to My LG Phones, a device by the same name was just approved by the U.S. FCC.

NFL Sunday Ticket streaming to be supported on Android without a satellite subscription for 2014 season

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For the first time ever, users who do not subscribe to DirecTV service will have access to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service on their mobile devices and computers for the 2014 season. During previous seasons, Sunday Ticket users had to have an active DirecTV satellite subscription to stream the games. While no official announcement has been made, DirecTV has published a promotional page for the service, advertising the fact that users can now “access live, out-of-market NFL games without a DIRECTV satellite TV account.

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Google to aggressively market Android One smartphones in India, a largely untapped user base

Android One

Google placed a lot of emphasis on Material Design and other new Android L features at Google I/O last month, but its Android One reference platform was actually one of the most important announcements made during the three-hour keynote. Android One will consist of Google supplying reference hardware to handset makers, who can use the guidelines to manufacture smartphones that will retail for $100 or less.  Read more

T-Mobile announces monthly payment plans for accessories

 

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Although summer is in full swing, the folks at T-Mobile are getting ready for back-to-school season and to make things easier on starving students, the carrier is adding accessories priced from $69 – $250 to its Equipment Installment Program (EIP). This new setup lets T-Mobile customers purchase items like smartwatches and audio gear with a 24 month payment plan for no money down.

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How to get started automating your home with Android Wear (Video)

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Wouldn’t it be cool if you could tell your watch to change the temperature, turn on/off lights, or perform various tasks on your computer? Well, thanks to Android Wear and some third party services, you can transform existing smart devices around your house into fully automated tasks using a device like the Samsung Gear Live, Moto 360, or LG G Watch.

The process will slightly vary between different Android devices and “smart” devices in your house, but we’ve put together the groundwork necessary so that you can build on these ideas in your own home. The setup procedure is a bit more than some people would like to go through, but in the end saying simple commands from a smartwatch to control things in your house is absolutely worth it.

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Google Play Store now lets you flag content as inappropriate from the Web

Google Play Store flag as inappropriate

The ability to flag content on the Google Play Store as inappropriate, a feature long available on Android, has recently hit the Web version as well. The link to do just that can now be found on the web interface under Report within the Additional information section of the content’s description. While the feature is likely targeted toward apps that may violate some policy or have a lower-than-appropriate content rating, it does extend to other media like books, music and TV shows, and music distributed on the Google Play Store as well.

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Google’s new ‘Android Fundamentals’ course teaches you how to develop Android apps

Google has announced a new online training course called Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals, featuring Google Developer Advocates Reto Meier, Dan Galpin, and Katherine Kuan. The course delivers step-by-step training on how to develop Android apps, including some of the best practices for Android development and mobile development as a whole. All of the course materials are available for free through the educational website Udacity.  Read more

EXPANSYS is unloading retired Google Play edition devices, LG G Pad 8.3 starting at $225

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If you had your heart set on picking up a Google Play edition of Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, only to see it removed from the Play Store, then turn that frown upside down! Online retailer EXPANSYS is currently running a promotion that drastically drops the price of four US Google Play edition devices. For example, the Samsung GS4 GPE goes for $650 from Google Play, but this deal knocks it down to just $400. Not too shabby.

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Google Chrome for iOS update adds Cast support to web pages, gets a tweaked icon

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Google has released an updated version of the Google Chrome application for iOS today, bringing at least one interesting new feature to the app: mobile websites that have Cast support will now work with all of your Cast-capable devices. It’s unclear how the feature works at the moment, but according to the release notes, developers are going to need to add support to their webpages before they can take advantage of the feature.

Also, as will likely be praised by iOS users everywhere, the version 36.0.1985.49 update goes the way of Google Hangouts and finally gets rid of the infamous “lip” located at the bottom of the app icon:

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