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Friday, May 16, 2014

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Google’s new Glass lead will make wearables cool

Posted: 16 May 2014 01:49 PM PDT

Let's face it, Google Glass has an image problem. I'm not talking about the quality of the hovering display the device uses, I'm talking about its cool-factor. Despite being featured in sporting events, fashion shows and more, there's still an undesirable stigma attached to wearing a computer on your face. Now that Glass is open to everyone, it's time for Google to fix that. Enter: Ivy Ross, Google's new head of Google Glass.

Just how is Ross going to make Glass a fashionable, cool, desirable product? Look no further than her previous employment to get an idea of the kind of experience she'll bring to the Google Glass team. In her own words, Ross has worked at, "Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, Bausch & Lomb, Gap and, most recently, Art.com — at the intersection of design and marketing." With experience in clothing, fashion, art, wearable accessories, design and marketing Ivy Ross looks like the perfect person to lead the new Google Glass charge.

As much as we'd like to see Glass succeed, it might be awhile until the stars align. We can't help but think that no matter how cool Glass becomes, $1500 is still a lot to swallow. If Ross does her job, by the time prices comes down, Glass will be flying off shelves. We'll be keeping a close eye on the direction Google Glass takes from here, it could get interesting.

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Google I/O 2014 schedule announced

Posted: 16 May 2014 01:49 PM PDT

For Android and Google enthusiasts Google I/O is like Christmas in June. Which makes today the day you sneak downstairs with your siblings and peek under the wrapping to see what you're gonna get. Google has released a detailed schedule for its I/O 2014 developer event with info on the keynote –where we get to learn about all the good stuff coming to Android and Chrome– and more.

Starting off the schedule at 9AM PDT, Google will be hosting a 2 hour keynote this year. We've certainly seen longer, but this should be more than long enough to pump out a handful of exciting announcements. After that there are two full days of developer sessions on everything from growing your brand identity to garner more engagements and downloads, to saving the world using Google Maps, to wearable computing. Much like last year, quite a few of more popular sessions will be live-streamed for those not attending the event.

It's worth noting that there isn't really anything to get too excited about yet. No sessions that were announced detail any sort of unreleased products or anything like that. But apparently Google isn't done yet. There is still a bit more to be announced. Maybe Google is planning on doing some sort of soft announcement of something, like they did with Kit Kat, before doing a big reveal? We'll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, what do you want to see at Google I/O this year?

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Rumors point to NVIDIA SHIELD tablet running Tegra K1

Posted: 16 May 2014 01:35 PM PDT

This rumor is both a little weird and interesting. NVIDIA may be making a tablet that will be released under the SHIELD brand and will be dedicated to gaming. The current NVIDIA SHIELD is a handheld gaming device with a controller setup, so launching a tablet under the same brand would be a very strange move. Integrating a controller would be an interesting solution, but not having a controller defeats the purpose of a SHIELD.

According to GFXBench, the specs of the device (called the NVIDIA Mocha) include a 7.9-inch display with a 2048×1536 resolution, a Tegra K1 quad-core processor running at 2.1GHz, 1.7GB of RAM and 13GB of storage. GFXBench is known for being very wrong in listing specs even for existing devices, so we can assume that the display may have a slightly different size, the RAM is actually 2GB and the storage is 16GB.

The real focus here is the Tegra K1 processor, which features a 192-core GPU. It could be an absolute monster when released. And with such a nice display, GameStream (which streams games from your PC to your SHIELD device) will look awesome. However, this device does move away from NVIDIA's standard of lowering specs to keep the price affordable.

We're not sure if a SHIELD tablet really is the right thing to make, especially with the tablet form factor being so unoptimized for gaming. But NVIDIA might really do something special with it and surprise us all. What do you think of a SHIELD tablet? Will you be getting one? Tell us in the comments!

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Verizon's XLTE to bring double-fast 4G

Posted: 16 May 2014 01:10 PM PDT

After being rumored earlier this week, it looks like we have more leaked information about Verizon's rumored XLTE service. XLTE is not a new service, but Verizon's marketing as part of its plans to utilize its AWS spectrum to bring faster data in select markets.

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Google snatches up company behind Word Lens visual translator, offers free language packs for limited time

Posted: 16 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

Word Lens Russian

Word Lens has been around in the mobile world for a long time, first arriving to iPhone in 2010 and later coming to Android in 2012. What makes the app so interesting is its ability to translate in real time by pointing your device's camera at the text you wish to translate, and then it instantly translates right before your eyes.

While Word Lens is far from perfect in its translations and only is offered in a few language choices (English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian and Portuguese) — there's tons of potential here, and apparently Google agrees. Google has now purchased Quest Visual, the company behind the app, for an undisclosed amount.

For now, Words Lens will continue to be available, but the long-term goal is to obviously combine Word Lens' technology and expertise into the Google Translate experience. Considering Google's wider range of resources and expanded language support, this is certainly an interesting proposition to say the least. Of course, Google already can do image translations but they're not on fly like Word Lens — nor can Google Translate do it while offline.

In the meantime, you'll not only be able to still get the Word Lens app, you'll also be able to download all the existing language packs free of charge. Once the Word Lens team fully integrates into the Google Translate team? It's likely only a matter of time before the app is officially canceled, though neither Google or Quest Visual come right out and say this.

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New leak claims Verizon XLTE will offer double the bandwidth of 4G LTE

Posted: 16 May 2014 12:34 PM PDT

We've already heard of some plans for Verizon's XLTE, which will be the new brand for the AWS spectrum Verizon has acquired to offset the load on its current LTE network. With so many people on Verizon's massive LTE service, speeds haven't been as fast as they should be in some regions. XLTE should help bring those speeds back up.

Verizon XLTE

According to the latest leak, Verizon will advertise XLTE as having double the bandwidth of 4G LTE. If this is true, it's a very impressive statistic. With double the bandwidth, Verizon could regain its title as the fastest provider of LTE in the US.

According to previous rumors, Verizon will announce this XLTE network on May 19th. The first supported devices will be the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8), both of which will receive an update to gain support. By the end of 2014, Verizon is expected to have XLTE in 50 markets.

It's exciting to see Verizon upping the bandwidth on its network, because with more customers comes more congestion. Hopefully soon we'll hear something about an LTE-Advanced network for some crazy next generation speeds. Verizon customers, how is your LTE connection doing where you live? Is it speedy or bogged down?

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Unlocked HTC One M7 and HTC One M7 developer edition get Sense 6 update

Posted: 16 May 2014 12:19 PM PDT

htc sense updates

Good news for those who owned HTC's most vanilla versions of the HTC One M7 — those being the unlocked and developer edition models — the Sense 6 KitKat update is finally rolling out to you lot! All you'll need to do is turn your WiFi signal on and trot over to the settings menu of your phone to pull it down over-the-air.

Need a good look at what the upgrade will bring? It should be nearly identical to what's found on the HTC One M8 save for obvious exclusions like UFOCUS and other depth camera-related features. As such, you might want to take a gander at our HTC One M8 review to get an idea of what you're in store for.

HTC has made it a point to not only be quick about upgrades, but also to be more transparent about the process. That's why they revamped the software update section of their website to give us a closer look at where, exactly, they are in the process of upgrading some of their most popular phones. Be sure to check that out here if you're curious to see what the status is for all their 2013 phones so far. Otherwise, ghoul huff!

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Word Lens developer snapped up by Google

Posted: 16 May 2014 12:10 PM PDT

Google has purchased Quest Visual, the company behind Word Lens, an app that translates text in the world using the iPhone's camera. The technology from Word Lens is expected to be incorporated into Google Translate. The Word Lens language packs will be made free during the transition to Google, according to the Quest Visual website:

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Google Buys Word Lens Maker Quest Visual, App Will Probably Die, But All Language Packs Are Free For A Limited Time

Posted: 16 May 2014 11:50 AM PDT

unnamed (1)

Makers of the exceptionally popular AR translation app Word Lens, Quest Visual, have been acquired by Google, according to the company's website. Quest's tech will be merged into Google's Translate products.

The statement from the company is as follows:

With Word Lens, we've seen the beginnings of what's possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to "see the world in your language."

By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual's technology into Google Translate's broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Google Buys Word Lens Maker Quest Visual, App Will Probably Die, But All Language Packs Are Free For A Limited Time was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime and Google Play edition get Bluetooth certified

Posted: 16 May 2014 11:35 AM PDT

Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition

Samsung can deny rumors of a higher-end Samsung Galaxy S5 all they want, but that hasn't stopped leaks of the device from springing up all around the internets. This time, we have something a little more official and comes by way of the Bluetooth SIG. Turns out both the alleged Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime (SM-G906L) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition (SM-G900FG) has recently received their Bluetooth certification, the usual sign of an impending release.

Other than model numbers, the Bluetooth documentation doesn't reveal much. While we already know exactly what the Google Play edition S5 will offer — a mostly stock Android experience using Samsung's hardware — the S5 Prime is still a bit of a mystery. According to rumors, the Prime will feature a QHD 2K display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, and support LTE-A. Some believe this might be an exclusive model to South Korea where competition between Samsung and LG is fierce.

Samsung SM-G906L SM-G900FG

Guess all we can do now is wait for something more official, or more leaks. In the meantime, Samsung is hosting a press event on June 12th to talk about their new SAMOLED tablet line. I know I wasn't too enthusiastic about the TouchWiz'd version of the Galaxy S5 for reasons, but my money is currently on that Google Play edition that already sorta popped up in the Play Store a few weeks back. We'll be keeping an eye out.

Bluetooth SIG (Samsung SM-G906L) | Bluetooth SIG (SM-G900FG)

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The Kairos hybrid mechanical smartwatch with a transparent screen is up for preorder

Posted: 16 May 2014 11:07 AM PDT

If you've been looking at the current crop of smartwatches and said, "meh, not fancy enough for me", we recommend you take a look at the Kairos smartwatch. The watch aims to combine a traditional mechanical automatic movement watch with a custom smartwatch overlay that's compatible with Android and iOS. What makes the watch interesting (at least in its current render form) is that the display is a transparent OLED layer over the hands and exposed movements of the watch. But the Kairos does not look to come cheap, especially for something that we've only see in renders.

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Stacking Notifications For Android Wear Is This Easy

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:57 AM PDT

Today's post on #AndroidWear is from +Wayne Piekarski.

Stacking notifications with the Android Wear Developer Preview is really simple—it requires only a few lines of extra notification code:

Notification wearableNotification = new WearableNotifications.Builder(notificationCompatBuilder)

A few weeks ago, I published a new DevBytes video which covered how to implement stacking notifications with Android Wear:

In the video, I included a demonstration of what these notifications look like in the emulator, and thought it would be useful to share the code for the demo. If you're just getting started with stacked notifications, this should be all you need to get up and running right away. So here it is, with some additional instructions below. The wearable-specific code is highlighted and in bold.

Bitmap bitmapMila = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(getResources(), R.drawable.mila256);

// Nuke all previous notifications and generate unique ids
int notificationId = 0;

// String to represent the group all the notifications will be a part of
final String GROUP_KEY_MESSAGES = "group_key_messages";

// Group notification that will be visible on the phone
NotificationCompat.Builder builderG = new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
.setContentTitle("2 Pet Notifications")
.setContentText("Mila and Dylan both sent messages")
Notification summaryNotification = new WearableNotifications.Builder(builderG)
.setGroup(GROUP_KEY_MESSAGES, WearableNotifications.GROUP_ORDER_SUMMARY)

// Separate notifications that will be visible on the watch
Intent viewIntent1 = new Intent(this, MainActivity.class);
PendingIntent viewPendingIntent1 =
PendingIntent.getActivity(this, notificationId+1, viewIntent1, 0);
NotificationCompat.Builder builder1 = new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
.addAction(R.drawable.ic_action_done, "Treat Fed", viewPendingIntent1)
.setContentTitle("Message from Mila")
.setContentText("What's for dinner? "
+ "Can we have steak?")
Notification notification1 = new WearableNotifications.Builder(builder1)

Intent viewIntent2 = new Intent(this, MainActivity.class);
PendingIntent viewPendingIntent2 =
PendingIntent.getActivity(this, notificationId+2, viewIntent2, 0);
NotificationCompat.Builder builder2 = new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
.addAction(R.drawable.ic_action_done, "Water Filled", viewPendingIntent2)
.setContentTitle("Message from Dylan")
.setContentText("Can you refill our water bowl?")
Notification notification2 = new WearableNotifications.Builder(builder2)

// Issue the group notification
NotificationManagerCompat notificationManager = NotificationManagerCompat.from(this);
notificationManager.notify(notificationId+0, summaryNotification);

// Issue the separate wear notifications
notificationManager.notify(notificationId+2, notification2);
notificationManager.notify(notificationId+1, notification1);

Using the code is really simple:

  1. First, make sure you've followed the Android Wear Developer Preview instructions to get your IDE set up correctly.

  2. Once the IDE is ready, create a new Android project with all the defaults. Make sure it compiles and runs before you continue to make fixing any problems easier.

  3. Add the necessary support libraries by following the installation instructions so that your project supports wearable notifications.

  4. Create a method in your main activity called showTheNotifications(), and paste all the code into it.

  5. Call showTheNotifications() from your activity's onCreate method to show the notifications automatically at startup. Alternatively, add a button that calls the method on clock.

  6. Add the below imports, or just have your IDE auto-add the missing imports.

    import android.support.v4.app.NotificationCompat;
    import android.app.Notification;
    import android.app.PendingIntent;
    import android.content.Intent;
    import android.graphics.Bitmap;
    import android.graphics.BitmapFactory;
    import android.preview.support.v4.app.NotificationManagerCompat;
    import android.preview.support.wearable.notifications.WearableNotifications;

  7. Add the images on the right to your drawable directories.



  8. Build the project. If there are any compile issues try a clean build of the project.

  9. You can now run the application on your phone, and see the results on the wearable.

And that's basically it, it's really simple! Once you have a good feel for how the code works, make sure to check out the stacking notifications documentation to learn more. Make sure to also familiarize yourself with the Android Wear Design Principles, which explain more about the types of icons that should be used for actions. For the picture of the dog, it's important you use an image that is quite small, and not straight from a digital camera, since there are limits to the size of the images that can be handled by the API.

I hope this post is useful in helping you to get started with Android Wear notifications!

Android Match

Google I/O 2014 schedule is now available

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:54 AM PDT

The schedule for this year's Google I/O keynote was released today. You can find it here. Only one keynote address this year, and it's a mere two hours (unlike last year's marathon).

At first glance we're not seeing any big spoilers (say, Android TV), but there's a full session on the ART Runtime, which shouldn't be too surprising, and look for other details to drop after the news from the keynote. And we'd keep an eye on the Cross-Platform Design session. And, yes, What's New in Android will explain in more detail what's new in Android. As in new things in Android.

Android Match

Full Google IO schedule now available

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:47 AM PDT

google io schedule

Headed to Google's big developer show this summer? You may want to start planning out all your sessions, keynotes and meeting hours ahead of time. Thankfully Google has made all of that possible by releasing the full schedule for all to see.

All of us will obviously be interested in the big day one keynote that should bring some exciting news regarding Android, Chrome OS, and anything else Google feels like talking about that day. Those in attendance will especially be excited to attend that keynote because they'll likely be treated to some awesome freebies — at least a new device, if not more.

We're expecting Google to announce a new Nexus Tablet, which could be an 8-inch option manufactured by HTC. We could also be in-store for the renaissance of Google TV, which is rumored to be reintroduced as Android TV.

All of it takes place starting June 25th in San Francisco, so be sure to bring a strong seat belt for what should be a very exhilarating ride. Peep the full schedule at the link ahead.

[Google I/O]

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GrooveIP Gets Updated With Support For A New VoIP Service And Makes Paid Features Free As Third-Party Google Voice Access Ends

Posted: 16 May 2014 10:30 AM PDT

gv One of the most popular ways to make use of Google Voice on Android has long been GrooveIP. This app was able to route voice calls on a device through Google's free IP call service. Google finally ended third-party access to Google Voice yesterday, but GrooveIP was ready with an alternative.


Users who update the app will find that Google Voice has been replaced with Ring.To. That means you'll have to sign up for a new account and use a different number when placing calls from the app.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

GrooveIP Gets Updated With Support For A New VoIP Service And Makes Paid Features Free As Third-Party Google Voice Access Ends was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Yahoo Mail on Android now includes the news, weather, and sports

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:59 AM PDT

The Yahoo Mail app has been updated to add Google Now-like personalized, at-a-glance news and information. With one tap, you can get sports, national news, your local forecast, and more.

Android Match

Titanfall app comes to Android — PC and Xbox 360 players not invited

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:49 AM PDT

Titanfall WM_1

Titanfall's big update and new maps are finally here, and it looks like EA wants to enhance that experience even more. The gaming giant has released a new companion app for Android that should add to your gigantic robot-blasting agenda.

Upon downloading, you'll be given access to exclusive lore regarding the game universe, characters, weapons and how this titan-infested future came to be. Beyond all that, you'll get quick and easy access to all your stats, and when you connect the app to your Xbox One console while playing you can get a real-time map of everything going on around you. The map even features filters and points of interest that the in-game map doesn't, so there's a bit of incentive to downloading beyond just being able to see a bigger outline of the land.

titanfall app screenshot

Unfortunately the app isn't compatible with the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Titanfall, which is why it's been met with tons of 1-star reviews in Google Play already.

We'll be reaching out to EA to see if support is planned for those other platforms in the future. In the meantime, if you have an Xbox One and want to add to your Titanfall experience then be sure to give it a download for free over at Google Play. And I implore you to hop onto a WiFi connection — this is coming in at a hefty 612MB of additional installation data.

[via Titanfall]

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Yahoo Mail App Updated With News, Weather, Sports Scores, And That Other Junk From Your Yahoo Homepage

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:37 AM PDT

YahooMail-Thumb You get in, you check your email, and you get out. That's the plan anyway, and Yahoo doesn't like it. That time spent using other apps is valuable time that could be spent using its own. To tackle this issue head-on, the company has updated its Yahoo Mail app with the goodies (read: distractions) from the Yahoo homepage that people know and love. Now instead of just the mail, users will have access to the latest current events, weather reports, sports scores, popular videos, and other non-mail related attractions.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Yahoo Mail App Updated With News, Weather, Sports Scores, And That Other Junk From Your Yahoo Homepage was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Official Titanfall Companion app from EA lands on Android

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:34 AM PDT

EA has launched a batch of official apps for Titanfall, the popular next-gen first person shooter (FPS) game. The companion app – available on Android, iOS, Windows 8 and Windows Phone – keeps players up-to-date with everything Titanfall when not at the gamepad and enjoying the destructive power of their titan.

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[New Game] The Official Godzilla Movie Tie-In Is A Match 3 Puzzle Game, Obviously

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Godzilla-Thumb Godzilla is a giant, city-destroying monster that challenges us to ponder the fragility of life and the horrors of mass destruction. A 2014 adaptation is hitting theaters now, which means a movie tie-in game is destined to hit the Play Store. What do we have this time? A brawler? A first-person shooter? A side-scroller crammed with in-app purchases? No, silly. It's a match 3 puzzle game.

Somewhat surprisingly, this was a good decision.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New Game] The Official Godzilla Movie Tie-In Is A Match 3 Puzzle Game, Obviously was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung posts use case video for Galaxy K Zoom

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:10 AM PDT

Samsung has posted a use case video for their Galaxy K Zoom smartphone-camera hybrid. The video features a woman using her Galaxy K Zoom in many different scenarios, like taking a picture on a sunny day or in low light. The video also highlights the device's specs, particularly the camera sensor and its 10x optical zoom.

Android Match

Google adds Quick facts to Maps results

Posted: 16 May 2014 09:07 AM PDT


Google announced yesterday the addition of a new feature, Quick facts, to Google Maps search results. When a user finds a point of interest on Google Maps, if information is available, a small blurb with some summary facts will be available in the search results interface via the web browser interface. According to an inquiry from Search Engine Land, Google has indicated the Quick facts card is built using data from Google's Knowledge Graph.

The Quick facts card should be available for locations like lakes, mountains, cities, or countries. Notable points of interest may also result in a Quick facts card being displayed.

source: +Google Maps and Search Engine Land

Come comment on this article: Google adds Quick facts to Maps results

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HTC One M7 unlocked and developer editions getting Sense 6 today!

Posted: 16 May 2014 08:55 AM PDT

The unlocked and developer editions of the HTC One M7 are getting an update to install Sense 6 today. The update comes after Canadian One M7 owners received an update to do the same earlier this week. The update weighs in at 668MB and brings a lot of what we've come to love about Sense 6 on the HTC One M8 to the year-old original One.

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Did the Galaxy S5 Google Play edition just sneak through Bluetooth certification?

Posted: 16 May 2014 08:40 AM PDT

An unannounced Samsung smartphone — the SM-G900FG — made its way through the Bluetooth SIG's certification process recently, and this might very well be a Google Play edition of the Samsung Galaxy S5. The current TouchWiz-ed Galaxy S5 is the SM-G900F, and last year's Galaxy S4 Google Play edition was the GT-I9505G (the standard Galaxy S4 being the GT-I9505), so it stands to reason that a Galaxy S5 with a model number appended with a G could very well be a Google Play edition as well.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 official wireless charging cover

Posted: 16 May 2014 08:40 AM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy S5 wireless charging cover adds little bulk — but it also helps you keep your GS5 topped up throughout the day

The daily chore of charging our phones is one we're all familiar with. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S5, this process is a little more fiddly than most, due to the plastic flap protecting the phone's ports from water damage. Fortunately Samsung's preparing to launch a wireless charging back for the GS5 — officially dubbed the "S Charger Cover" — which allows you to place the phone on a Qi-compatible wireless charging mat and charge it without messing around with USB cables. And we've today managed to get hold of one to give it the full hands-on treatment.

Head on past the break to learn more.

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