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If you're hoping that Apple will launch its retooled music streaming service alongside a smartwatch next week, you'll have to wait a bit longer. 9to5Mac reports that Monday's "Spring Forward" event won't include details on the next phase of iTunes/Beats Music. Instead, the audio subscription option will launch at WWDC in June as part of an iOS update that annually rolls out soon after. Reportedly priced around $8 per month, the music service is said include features like curated playlists and content tailored to users' personal tastes -- both of which are key pieces of Beats Music. As you might expect, an app for the new service will make its way to Apple TV, and the same report claims a redesigned (read: slimmer) case and more capable remote control are on the way for Cupertino's set-top box. However, with the rumored 13-inch iPad and Retina MacBook Air that we may see this year, it'll be interesting to see how Apple plans to reveal a highly-anticipated update to its living room tech.

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Shazam comes in handy for identifying tunes that you may not immediately recognize, and soon, the app will hunt for details on unfamiliar products, too. That's right, the next step for the popular music reference software includes tasks like Shazaming a cereal box for nutritional info or a DVD case to view (and purchase, natch) the film's soundtrack. "The famous blue button that our users love will remain on the home screen but will be able to do much more," CEO Rich Riley told Reuters. The app attracts 100 million users with its audio tool, which also allows you purchase tunes (via link) and plays nice with a number of streaming services for easy access to your personal library.

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It's hard out there for Gmail addicts on iOS, who still don't have an app that's as robust as Gmail on Android. But at least things are getting a bit better: Google just released version 4.0 of its Gmail iOS app, which finally takes advantage of some useful iOS 8 features. You can now reply or archive messages that pop up in your notification tray, as well as send files straight to Gmail using the iOS sharing menu. It's also easier to deal with attachments now, since you can choose specific apps to view files people send you. Unfortunately, the app is still pretty much useless when you're offline, since it's not very good about caching messages. On Android, on the other hand, you can still get plenty of work done without an internet connection. For now, Microsoft's new Outlook iPhone app is looking like a better alternative for weary Gmail users. And yes, the irony that a Microsoft app on Apple's platform is the best way to view Google's mail is pretty darn rich.

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Rare Ltd., the storied game developer Microsoft bought off Nintendo for a hefty sum at the beginning of the century, has started to stir again. After years of developing poorly received motion-control games like Kinect Sports, all while members of the original staff left for other studios, rumors were swirling that the team will return to its classic series from the '90s. Conker, the foul-mouthed star of Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64, actually popped up as a guest star in Xbox One game creator Project Spark. Just today a Reddit poster, verified as a former Microsoft employee, said that the company has been trying to get a new Conker game off the ground for some time. No time like the present to dig into Conker: Live & Reloaded for the original Xbox on JxE Streams.

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Let's face it: Google's internet knowledge is handy for a number of tasks. As of today, though, the folks in Mountain View want to help you sort out car insurance. That's right, Google now offers a Compare tool that'll allow you to enter your Zip code, vehicle info and coverage details before scrolling through a collection of quotes from providers in the area. Right now, 14 insurance companies will tally up rates for the tool -- including MetLife and Mercury Insurance. If you happen to find a plan you're happy with, a handy link will allow you buy online, or if you'd rather, a contact number and reference code are provided as well. As TechCrunch notes, a similar tool has been live in the UK for quite some time, in addition to the ability to gather mortgage quotes.

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Nobuo Uematsu is distinguished amongst game soundtrack composers not just because of his work for Squaresoft in the '80s and '90s or his lustrous mustache. He's one of the few songwriters responsible for the way video games sound across the board, influencing other creators over 30 years. Square's Final Fantasy series, on which Uematsu was sole or primary composer for the first 10 games, molded how storytelling in games should sound. The synthesized minor key melody of series theme "Prelude," the ambient wash of Final Fantasy VII's "Opening/Bombing Mission," and hundreds of other songs are landmarks in gaming's aural landscape.

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While Microsoft is hard at work on the final version of Office 2016 for Mac that'll arrive later this year, it's offering folks who are too eager to wait an early look. The preview version of Redmond's productivity suite is now available for download, serving up Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook to machines running Apple's desktop OS. There's sure to be a truckload of updates in the months to come, but if you're still using Office for Mac 2011, the changes that are already in place (read: the redesigned UI) will certainly give you something to look forward to.

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How a spinning chair made virtual reality feel more real

When donning a VR headset, it's easy to be awestruck by whatever 3D world you find yourself in. It's a whole new medium that simply can't be replicated on a TV. Still, there are reasons the likes of Oculus and Sony aren't selling headsets to the masses just yet. While Samsung's Gear VR and other smartphone-powered headwear are filling the void, headsets that tap into the processing might of PCs and consoles will ultimately deliver the most immersive experiences. But, the technology isn't quite there yet. Stereoscopic 3D can be jarring, with complicated worlds often appearing slightly out of focus. Then there are issues like nausea that can strike when moving through virtual surroundings. Also, how we interact with virtual spaces will continue to evolve, moving beyond the gamepad and keyboard to more natural and hopefully intuitive methods of control.

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Some products have a hard time ever getting to market. Some (seem to) come out of nowhere. Then there's the Avegant Glyph video headset. It initially launched on Kickstarter back in January 2014 (raising a cool $1.5-million). Along the way we've seen a ropey prototype. And then a less ropey one. And an even less ropey one. Today, we got to try out the nearest thing to the consumer product we're likely to see before it finally launches later this year.

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At long last, the first Ubuntu phones are here. It's been more than two years since Canonical first showed off its Linux-based mobile platform, and fans have been clamoring for consumer devices ever since. The Ubuntu Edge never made its ambitious $32 million crowdfunding target, and the first handsets from BQ and Meizu were delayed last year. But finally, it's all starting to come together. BQ has started selling its "Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition" in Europe and Meizu shouldn't be too far behind with its modified MX4.

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