Microsoft Tossup on an iPhone

Microsoft's Garage team has tried to solve many everyday problems with its experimental mobile software, but it's now tackling one of the most common: how do you get your friends together for a night on the town? The group's new Tossup app for Android and iPhone gives you a simpler, shared experience for deciding on where you're going, when, and who's coming. You only have to ask your friends for a vote, and Tossup will automatically plug your decisions into your calendar. Is this a one-trick pony? You bet -- but that might be all you need if you don't want to set up a Facebook event (or juggle multiple conversations) just to head out for Korean barbecue.

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Welcome to the new music experience in Windows 10. As hinted at earlier this morning by Paul Thurrott, the company just announced it's rebranding the Xbox Music experience to "Groove", while also renaming the Xbox Video app to just "Movies & TV." According to a blog post about the changes, the new naming is meant to be "more identifiable to our broad customer base" and will roll out to other devices in the coming months. The timing of the change is odd as Windows and Xbox begin to work more closely together than ever before, but it doesn't appear that the actual features will be much different. Of course, with the launch of Apple Music, rebranding could be just the way to get some attention for an existing service that already offers a lot of the same features.

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If you prefer Bing Maps as your go-to navigation tool, the software's preview version received a big redesign. Focused primarily on helping you plan trips, a load of new features aim to make it easier to search, view and share multiple destinations easily. Bing Maps Preview will pull in reviews and photos from Yelp in its search results, so you'll have quick access to suggestions when traveling in an unfamiliar locale. When it comes to planning an evening out, for example, there's a new card-based format to keep each stop a few taps away. For those entries, hours, useful details and similar options nearby are all included. Bing also employs predictive routing to help you determine the best time to head, showing you what traffic would be like for a specific time of day.

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While Amazon already offered mobile apps for sorting your photos and music parked in its Cloud Drive repository, there wasn't an option for getting at all of your stored files. Late last week, a dedicated Cloud Drive app for iOS arrived in the iTunes App Store, joining both Android and Amazon versions that debuted in late June -- all three of which rolled out rather quietly. Similar to the Dropbox app, the mobile software allows you to organize and access photos, videos, documents, spereadsheets and other files you've stored in Cloud Drive. As you might expect, you can also preview images (no editing abilities), PDFs and other documents from within before sharing in another app, with a link or as an email attachment. And yes, you can use the app to play videos and music stored in Amazon's cloud, too. Until now, desktop apps for PC and Mac offered the only direct access to Cloud Drive as a whole, and mobile devices could only leverage those media-specific apps.

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Germany Gadget Show Samsung

A minor Chinese consumer protection group has filed lawsuits against Samsung and Oppo to contest the pair's use of bloatware on their smartphones. The Shanghai Consumer Council believes that the two companies install far too many additional apps on their devices and then make it difficult for them to be easily removed. The group says that it was motivated to launch the legal broadside after a high number of complaints from users. It believes that people are aggrieved that they've got less storage space than expected, and that these apps slurp down excessive quantities of data.

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Apple Pay UK's initial partners

Irked that Apple Pay is only officially slated to reach the UK sometime in July? Don't worry -- you might not have to wait all month to see it. Multiple retailer leaks at 9to5Mac point to Apple launching its iPhone tap-to-pay service in Old Blighty on July 14th, or soon enough that you can likely use it if you're off to one of the country's many summer music festivals. Just don't expect to splurge on more than a quick bite to eat while you're out. That £20 (soon to be £30) contactless payment cap seriously limits how much you can spend, so the British implementation won't be quite as convenient as it is for Americans.

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Mi Band 1S

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has made a name for itself by delivering premium devices at budget prices. As well as phones and tablets, Xiaomi also sells accessories, including the Mi Band fitness tracker. After almost a year on sale, China's biggest mobile manufacturer feels the time is right to update its popular wearable, and thanks to Taiwan's National Communications Commission, we now know that it will come with its very own heart-rate monitor. The Mi Band 1S retains the same design as its predecessor, complete with aluminum cap, but features a new sensor on the back that's designed to stay in constant contact with a user's skin.

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Kyocera Verizon

Microsoft can cross out another patent dispute in its list, now that it has settled its issue with Kyocera. Redmond filed a lawsuit against the Japanese electronics maker back in March, claiming that the latter's Android phones infringe upon seven patents it owns, including their messaging and location tracking features. Several Android device manufacturers, such as HTC, ZTE and LG, have been paying Microsoft royalties to use its patents for quite some time. It's unclear if money will change hands when it comes to this particular deal, though, since its announcement only talked about signing "an agreement expanding" an older one. The two have apparently signed a cross-patent license after making peace, allowing them to use each other's technologies in their own devices.

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EE

As part of its job as the communications industry regulator, Ofcom routinely checks to see if UK mobile carriers are doing a good job of looking after their customers. This includes how they log complaints and what they do once they've received them. After almost three years of investigation, the watchdog announced today that Britain's (current) largest operator, EE, hasn't properly handled customer complaints and has issued it with a £1 million fine.

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Early summer on the East Coast hasn't been its usual level of brutal this year, but it's only a matter of time before smartphones start wigging out in the heat. Things only get trickier when you're charging up in your sweltering car, so Chevy cooked up an "active phone cooling" system to keep gadgets from overheating in their 2016 range of vehicles. Don't get too carried away, though: That's just a high-falutin' name for an air vent that points at a warm phone while it's wirelessly charging.

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Rumors of a fully Android-powered BlackBerry device popped up again last month, and today Evan Blass aka evleaks has posted a picture showing a glimpse of the phone. Specs for the alleged "Venice" popped up on N4BB a couple of weeks ago, calling it a slider with a 5.4-inch screen, 18MP rear camera and 1.8GHz Hexa-core CPU. According to Blass, the Venice will run Android, and is coming to AT&T first.

Update: We're told the picture is of the old Passport with the screen mocked up, but the "Venice" is coming, and should have a more sensible profile.

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SoundCloud has been keen on adding new features regularly to make its version of music streaming more useful for listeners. With an update today, the company's iOS app received a handful of tools that'll make it a bit easier to find new tracks and keep your favorites organized. When you find a song you like, selecting the "Play related tracks" option from the menu will serve up some related suggestions. For that collection of songs you've liked, or playlists you've created, there's a new shuffle option to change things up a bit. Finally, when the time comes to edit those playlists, you can now add or remove tracks from inside the app. You'll no longer need to venture over to a browser to do a bit of organizing. The new tools are available now for iOS users, but, unfortunately, there's no word on when the Android faithful will get access.

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An iPhone 6

Tired of recording 'just' 1080p video on your iPhone while your friends produce clips in glorious 4K? You won't have to look on with envy for much longer, if the latest rumors are on the mark. A tipster on China's Sina Weibo has posted what appear to be leaked details of the next iPhone's rear camera, and it'll reportedly jump to 12 megapixels with 4K video recording. There's no guarantee that this is in the cards, but it jives with earlier claims that Apple's future handset will focus on camera upgrades. You're not likely to see design changes, if 9to5Mac's photos are accurate, so photographic improvements like this will likely be more important this time around.

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Bolivian Marcelo Claure, founder and pre

John Legere is famous for being the sweariest man in the mobile industry, but it looks as if Sprint's Marcelo Claure now wants a run at that title. In response to a snarky tweet by the T-Mobile CEO, Claure responded by saying that he was tired of Legere's "Uncarrier bullshit." He went on a four-tweet takedown of the company's policies, saying that it "trick[s] people," and that it's "all a fake show," before adding the hashtag #Tmobilelikehell. We're fairly sure that everyone who saw the exchange made the same ooo noise that pre-schoolers do when they know there's about to be a fight in the sandbox.

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Xiaomi has announced that it sold 34.7 million smartphones in the first half of 2015. Since it's already July, though, it's safe to say that the company will have to think of something exceptional to reach its target number for the year: CEO Lei Jun proclaimed long ago that he and his team aim to sell 100 million phones. Still, 34.7 million is quite impressive, seeing as it represents phones sold to customers and not devices "shipped" to retailers -- not to mention, there's been a shipment decline in China recently. It's also still 33 percent more than what the company sold within the same period last year.

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