Tweetbot on an iPhone 6

Tweetbot 3 for iOS is frequently regarded as one of the better mobile Twitter apps, no matter the platform -- it's full of shortcuts and visual flair that most clients (including Twitter's own) sorely lack. It has been lagging on support for Apple's latest developments, however, which makes today's version 3.5 update pretty important. The interface now scales properly on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, giving you much more screen real estate when you're browsing tweets. There are also a few noteworthy upgrades that apply to everyone, including interactive notifications, sharing sheets and support for fetching your login from 1Password. It'll cost you $5 to get the new release if you don't already use Tweetbot, but it might well be worth the outlay if the free Twitter apps aren't quite cutting it.

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The market for used iPhones is fraught with risk, because you may end up paying hundreds of dollars for a locked off device, or worse -- one that appears legit but can't make calls. However, Apple has just revealed an iCloud tool that lets you check a device's activation lock status. All you'll need is the iPhone's IMEI or serial number, and if you're the rightful owner, you'll get info on how to disable any activation locks before selling. Meanwhile, buyers will be shown how to remove the previous account (with the seller's permission). The tool will be particularly useful at sussing out "doulCi" devices, which bypass iCloud to enable activation but won't actually connect to a cell network. That'll prevent you from being fooled by a stolen or lost iPhone that appears to work, but is effectively... an iPod.

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Since the launch of the Signature Touch, Vertu CEO Max Pogliani promised that "technology will be more a merging factor and not a differentiation point" for his phones. That's literally the case with the new mid-tier Aster launched today: This titanium Android device is every bit identical to its flagship sibling device internally, just wrapped within a more contemporary and unisex design. We're looking at a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 5.1-inch 117 carat sapphire screen, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset, a 13-megapixel Hasselblad-certified main camera with twin LED flash, a 2.1-megapixel front-facing imager, 64GB of internal storage, a 2,275mAh battery, front stereo speakers, NFC, Qi wireless charging and great LTE compatibility (though no love for China, for some reason). With the specs out of the way, let's look at why this swanky phone starts from $6,900 or £4,200.

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Curious as to just which Honda models you'd see Android pop up in first? If you had money on the 2015 Civic, Civic Tourer and CRV it's time to collect your prize from the pool. Google's mobile OS will appear as standard equipment in those vehicles with a little help from Nvidia, naturally, and as the GPU giant tells it, Honda Connect will be the first infotainment system to run embedded Android on a Tegra chipset. Nvidia says that Connect will sport a 7-inch customizable touch-screen display that acts a lot like what you'd expect from a smartphone or a slate. Naturally that means there are swipe, pinch and zoom gestures along with an app store for the Ice Cream Sandwich-based system. How this will all play with Android Auto, though, remains to be seen.

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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Verizon is about to make it much easier to catch The Daily Show when you can't reach your TV on time. As part of a renewed carriage deal, Big Red will let you watch all of Viacom's live channels (including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon) through the FiOS Mobile app when you're away from home. You'll also have access to all of Viacom's authenticated TV Everywhere services, so you'll get to stream on-demand shows through a wide array of apps and devices. There's more on the way, too. Verizon says the renewal will let it offer a mysterious bundle of "marquee content" nationwide to its wireless customers -- even if they don't have FiOS -- and it expects to roll out "innovative new TV packages" that better match viewers' tastes. We doubt the channel bundle will disappear entirely any time soon but we'd welcome more choices and, hopefully, lower prices.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster]

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Hong Kong protesters light up their phones in solidarity

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters have more to worry about than they thought -- someone is gunning after their phones, too. Lacoon Mobile Security says it has detected new spyware, Xsser, that tries to trick WhatsApp users on Android and iOS by posing as a coordination tool for the Occupy Central movement. Anyone who falls for the ploy grants access to virtually all of their sensitive info, including contacts, call logs and instant messaging archives. The code is unusually sophisticated, to boot; it's a rare instance of a cross-platform mobile attack, and it updates itself over time.

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Verizon Wireless store

If you were worried that Verizon would start throttling your unlimited data plan because you use it a lot, you can relax -- Big Red just had a last-minute change of heart. The carrier tells Droid-Life that it has decided against pursuing "network optimization" (read: throttling) for uncapped LTE users. There's no direct explanation for the about-face, but Verizon says that it "valued the ongoing dialogue" on slowdowns. In other words, it's likely trying to avoid a clash with the FCC, not to mention angry customers, over a potential violation of net neutrality guidelines. Whatever triggered the provider's second thoughts, it's good news if you've felt that the unlimited service you pay for shouldn't have any strings attached. Check out the full statement below.

Update: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler approves, saying in a statement that "I salute Verizon Wireless's decision. This is a responsible action and I commend Verizon's leadership on this issue." Clash averted.

[Image credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo]

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Not to be outdone by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have now announced they are also going to double the data for users on shared mobile plans, at no extra cost. What's more, both carriers are bringing the promotion to family and business customers alike, making the news all the better. With Sprint, for example, you can get 120GB maximum for $225 per month on a family plan, while business accounts will receive up to 200GB for $330 -- on the former, there's also the $130 option, which lets you share 60GB between lines. Similarly, Verizon is set to double the data amount on its 20GB, 30GB, 40GB and 50GB More Everything plans; the 12GB and 16GB are making the jump as well, but only to 15GB and 30GB, respectively. Verizon's promo is kicking off tomorrow, with Sprint following suit the day after. But be sure to act fast, since the networks will only be offering this through the end of October.

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In the midst of attempting to gobble up its largest counterpart, battle Netflix on net neutrality and face down customer service scandals, Comcast is still slowly extending its new TV platform. The latest addition to its X1 setup is enhancing the cloud DVR feature that CEO Brian Roberts showed off at the beginning of the year. While the 500GB cloud DVR and in-home streaming are already a part of the system in several areas, in the Bay Area and Houston viewers can stream or download recordings to their mobile devices (iOS or Android, PCs can only stream) starting today. Inside the house, the X1 app fulfills Roberts promise of turning any mobile device into a television, with access to live TV streaming, recordings and video on-demand.

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Microsoft Office Sway

Sharing ideas on the web is tricky. You probably want something more persuasive than a social network update, but it's usually overkill to design a whole web page just to get your point across. Microsoft may have reached a happy balance between the two with Sway, a new part of the Office portfolio that lets you publish content in a slick, web-native format without knowing a thing about code or design. All you do is write and pull in content, whether it comes from your device or internet sources like Facebook, OneDrive and YouTube; Sway automatically organizes it all into polished web layouts that adapt to any screen size. You can switch layouts to fine-tune your work and update projects over time. Think of this as a Medium-like authoring tool that handles much more than just articles -- it's possible to publish daily photo diaries, non-linear presentations and other pieces that would typically require a dedicated web editor or a specialized app.

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Remember that Pokémon iPad game that was teased not too long ago? Well, if the mere mention of it stoked a fire inside that made you want to abandon Blizzard's Hearthstone forever, Joystiq has spotted that the pocket monster trading card game is available on the App Store now. Pokémon TCG Online is free to download, but there are a few catches. As the name suggests, it requires an internet connection to play and your Apple-branded slate needs to be of the Retina-display variety -- your first- and second-gen iPads won't cut the mustard, according to iTunes. If you're already heavily invested in the game on OSX and Windows, Time points out that progress you've made in the last three years transfers over to the mobile version as well. Handy! And just like that, a Nintendo property is appearing somewhere other than on one of its own devices. Somewhere, an investor is probably smiling.

[Image Credit: Josh Wittenkeller]

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There's no way you'd use a shock collar to train your beloved dog, but you wouldn't mind using one on yourself if it means breaking your nastiest habits, eh? If that's the case, then your day has come: Pavlok (a wearable band that can zap you with electricity) is now up on Indiegogo, with its designer hoping to raise $50,000 to develop more features and to begin mass production. In order to train yourself to stay away from bad habits or continue doing good ones, you'll need to program the Pavlok app -- for instance, you can instruct it to zap you awake if you hit snooze twice on your alarm. The good news is that you can set the electricity the wristband zaps you with from 17 to 340 volts, so you can adjust it accordingly and make sure each it's not strong enough to actually hurt.

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MSN circa 2014

Well, that was quick -- after just a few weeks in preview mode, the revamped MSN homepage is rolling out to everyone. You should see Microsoft's simple, desktop-like web portal in your browser sometime within the next three days. If you're using Windows devices, you'll also see updated Bing and MSN apps that draw on the site's many services; the Food & Drink app will keep track of your recipes, for instance. Windows Phone users get a few perks on their lock screens in the process. The Health and Fitness app will show pedometer stats if you're using a Lumia 630, 635 or 1520, while Weather will show your local forecast. You'll still have to wait for MSN apps on Android and iOS, but all the other pieces of Microsoft's grand vision are otherwise in place.

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Spotify streaming some proper Canadian music

Canadians: you no longer have to jump through hoops (or hope for an early invitation) to check out Spotify. The streaming music service has finally launched in Canada, complete with an extensive collection of domestically-made tunes. As elsewhere, you can play songs for free if you're willing to put up with ads, and shelling out $10 CAD per month for Premium lets you stream without commercials. The service is definitely late to the party -- it's years behind Rdio, and even Google Play Music arrived a few months ago. Still, it's hard to object to having one more way to listen to Grimes or Leonard Cohen.

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If you've been thinking about getting a smartwatch but haven't been persuaded to plunk down a lot of cash, Pebble's trying to make the decision a little easier for you. The watch maker is lowering the price of its full lineup by $50, which means you can now get the sporty original model (above, right) for $100 and the fancier Steel (above, left) for $200. Usually significant price drops like these are a reaction to slowing sales, but CEO Eric Migicovsky says that on the contrary, sales are still as strong as ever and the ecosystem is growing. The company wants to offer the "right price for the product" and properly represent Pebble watches in light of the swelling competition in this category, Migicovsky said. Indeed, with the debut (and proliferation) of Android Wear this year and Apple Watch next year, Pebble wants to add cost to its list of competitive advantages alongside battery life and cross-platform functionality -- especially as the holidays approach and smartwatch choices become even tougher.

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