Google reportedly sending out rewards to people who completed its Pokemon April Fools gag


Remember that Pokemon April Fools joke that Google ran earlier in the month? While it was an obvious gag, it turns out that there was a slight piece of truth to this challenge. Google is reportedly sending out reward notifications to participants who completed its Pokemon Master challenge by finding all 151 of the pocket monsters. While we’re not too sure of what Mountain View is sending to the people who finished its challenge, we do know that it’s a physical item, because the company advised participants that it’ll take four to six weeks for their reward to arrive.

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LG schedules press event for May 27, likely for new flagship LG G3


We’ve been seeing more and more leaks in recent weeks for the upcoming LG G3, the company’s follow up to last year’s flagship LG G2 smartphone. Just yesterday the company confirmed that the device was excepted to launch within two months sometime during the second fiscal quarter, and shortly after an image appearing to be the backside of the device leaked online.

While there is no way of confirming if the event is indeed for the LG G3, the timeline would make sense and events happened simultaneously in New York, San Francisco, and London hint that a major announcement is planned. LG is also repeatedly planning a new smartwatch lineup that’s expected to make an appearance this summer.

Leaked specs for the LG G3 so far have included a quad-HD display, 2.3 GHz SnapDragon, Android 4.4.2, and a 16 megapixel camera. Other leaks have recently shown off a new flatter UI expected to arrive with the LG G3.  Read more

Scroogled! Google removes all ads from Google Apps for Education [Update: Business too]


Update: Google has confirmed to TechCrunch that is is applying the same policy to business Gmail accounts.

Microsoft may or may not have killed its Scroogled ad campaign, in which it attempted to portray automated customized ad serving as an invasion of privacy, but it appears to have notched up a success. Google has announced today that it is permanently removing all ads and ad-scanning from Google Apps for Education.

Google had earlier disabled ads by default, allowing administrators to switch them back on if desired, but continued to use automated keyword scanning of Gmail to serve personalised ads if they were switched on. As of today, the option to enable ads is gone, along with keyword scanning within the education version of Gmail …  Read more

LG’s G Watch reportedly launching in France in June for €199, suggests $199 in U.S.


French site Les Numeriques is reporting that LG France has said that its G Watch will launch in the country in June, priced at €199. While a straight currency conversion would mean a U.S. price of $276, gadgets are typically priced higher in Europe than in the USA (partly due to taxes), so it’s likely that LG would match the $199 price of the Galaxy Gear 2.

If the watch does indeed launch in June, it’s likely to be the first Android Wear smartwatch on the market, ahead of Motorola’s Moto 360 expected sometime in the summer. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 uses instead Tizen OS. Google announced the Android Wear platform and SDK last month. As we exclusively revealed last October, the platform puts Google Now functionality at the heart of the offering …  Read more

Spotify for Android updated with new interface, ‘Your Music’ feature

Earlier this month, Spotify updated its iOS app with a totally new, darker-themed interface. This, of course, left Android users in the dark and stuck with an older design. Today, however, Spotify has announced that its Android app has been updated with the redesigned interface.

The new interface features a darker theme with refreshed typography and rounded pictures and album art. The design is nearly identical to that found on iOS and the Spotify desktop app.

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Motorola to discount Moto X to $299 for 24 hours on Thursday, May 1 (Reg. $349)

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.47.28 PM

Just last week, select Moto X variants started to receive price drops to $349 and $399 for 16GB and 32GB respectively, but now the company is looking to further discount all models of the device. Starting on May 1 at 12:01AM ET and running for 24 hours, the 16GB Moto X will cost just $299. The 32GB and Developer editions will receive an even steeper price cut, from $399 down to $324.99.

It’s unclear how many units Motorola will sell at this price, or if it will simply run the entire day. You also have to keep in mind that Motorola has promised a new flagship by late-Summer. But if you’ve been waiting for your chance to snag one of the best Android smartphones out there, this is your opportunity.

Let’s just hope this sale goes better than Moto’s Cyber Monday catastrophe

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New updates will stop Google Glass from hijacking your phone calls


Today, Google announced a trio of updates heading to Glass later this week and they appear to be pretty thoughtful. First on the docket is image backups.This process will only take place when Glass is connected to WiFi, however users with wireless data to burn will have the option of forcing a data backup if they wish to do so. Snap happy shutterbugs will also be able to clear photos and videos from their timelines, which should help keep things nice and tidy.

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Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition discounted to $450


If you’ve been flirting with the idea of buying a gigantic phone or a small tablet with a vanilla Android experience but your cash flow is low, look no further than the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition. Typically priced at $650, Mountain View has knocked $200 off the phone-tablet hybrid’s asking price. In addition to a shrunken premium, Google Play is offering free ground shipping with a standard warehouse departure time of 1-2 business days.

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Google Drive can now stream presentations to Chromecast


You were all set to wow the boardroom with that new presentation you worked on over the weekend, but before you walked out the door to head to the office, you received a call telling you that the conference room’s projector was on the fritz. What do you do now? Pull that Chromecast out of your TV, that’s what! Google has quietly updated its desktop version of Drive, giving it the ability to stream presentations to its mighty media dongle.

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LG says flagship G3 coming within two months (Update: shot of the device leaked?)


LG has confirmed that the G3 will be made available in the second fiscal quarter of this year. That means that the device will be available within the next two months — much sooner than some were expecting, as the LG G2 launched in September of last year. The launch window was confirmed by LG in its earnings press release. The company expects “higher revenues” in the second quarter due to this flagship launch: Read more

Google reportedly plans to launch “Android Silver” devices w/ partners next year


Earlier this month a report from Android Police noted that Google was planning on launching a live 27/7 support service called “Android Silver.” Today, TheInformation reports on additional details of the in-development service and claims that it will extend well beyond just a support offering for customers that purchased an Android device. Accoridng to the report, Google will be spending as much as $1 billion on promoting “Android Silver” branded devices being sold through its usual OEM partners that come with access to various perks. Google plans to do so with in-store advertising and training of sales staff, but it will also apparently require Silver devices to allow users to remove third-party apps and or limit the number of third-party apps that come preinstalled.

Google is also reportedly planning on assisting OEMs in integrating new hardware features such as waterproofing and voice recognition through the Android Silver program, and it will initially be working with partners LG and Motorola opposed to the larger players like Samsung and HTC that already offer many similar features through its own program.  Read more

Sprint launching special edition Harman Kardon HTC One M8 on May 8


Sprint just wrapped up its event today where the carrier unveiled a partnership with Spotify to offer 6 free months of the music service to all on its shared “Framily” wireless plans. In addition, however, the company also revealed that it will be launching a special edition HTC One M8 that it has teamed up with Harman Kardon to create. Of course the Harman Kardon team up means the companies have further refined the device’s sound quality and in the process improved the sound of streaming audio for those getting access to the new Spotify perk. Read more