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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O2 already has a number of deals in place that allow its customers to buy digital wares and charge the cost straight to their phone bill. It now has a new partner in Apple, as the carrier's "Charge to Mobile" program has been expanded to include iTunes vouchers this week. Direct-carrier billing is supposed to be about convenience, but O2 contract and pay-as-you-go customers need to jump through a few hoops to take advantage of this new way to pay. It's handled through an O2 subsite -- o2vouchers.co.uk -- where you select an iTunes voucher of up to £30 that'll be emailed to you when the payment goes through. You then volunteer your mobile number, and you'll be sent a text you must reply to in order to approve the transaction. When the code eventually hits your inbox, you can use the credit in iTunes, iBooks and the iOS/Mac App Stores. A slightly more convoluted process than you were hoping for, we imagine, but at least you can get a fiver off a £25 voucher from now until this introductory promotion closes at the end of next week.

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One downside of Indiegogo's lax attitude to projects is that there's no requirement for a prototype or any proof that the device being pitched could even exist. In fact, the site is so laissez-faire, that a creator could probably promise a hoverboard powered by unicorn tears, and the only limit to its success would be human credulity. In unrelated news, Arubixs has taken to Indiegogo to ask for $300,000 of funding for Portal, a flexible, bendable smartphone that can be worn on your forearm like Leela's Wristlojackimator - with a watch strap holding it in place at either end.

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Premier Inn Smart Hotel Room

More than four years in the making, Premier Inn has taken the wraps off its first smart hotel rooms. The UK's biggest hotel chain has embraced mobile with both hands, letting you book your stay, check in and play with various room settings using its official iOS or Android apps. The 123 square-foot rooms in its flagship "hub" in Covent Garden (which opens in November but is now available to book) come furnished with a 40-inch smart TV and as much free high-speed WiFi as you can guzzle. With an app that can seemingly control everything, including the room temperature and what's on the box, we wonder if London's street performers will notice a sudden drop in donations as guests ditch sightseeing for some technology-enabled R&R.

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Apple has finally revealed the date that its new iPhones will be available to eager users in mainland China: Friday, October 17th. The devices had been delayed pending regulatory approval, but Apple was granted a license earlier today by the Chinese government -- despite some security concerns. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will go on pre-order starting October 10th, with units available a week later at Apple Stores and all three major carriers. Both phones will support TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, meaning 4G speeds will be available to users at China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. So far, the lack of availability has meant extortionate prices for smuggled models, though there's been an alarming lack of demand in the gray market. But at least Chinese Apple fans will avoid the parade of early iOS 8 bugs.

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Back in April, Project Ara's Module Developers Kit revealed that the phone's battery will be hot-swappable; in other words, you can replace it without having to switch the phone off. Nifty trick, right? Well, the feature's apparently not limited to the device's battery. Project director Paul Eremenko has recently divulged in a keynote that you'll be able to swap the phone's other modules around, save for the CPU and display, even if you're in the middle of typing out a message or of a phone call. You've got the modified version of Android L that the team developed with non-profit org Linaro to thank for that, as it was the key ingredient Team Ara needed to make most of the phone's components hot-swappable.

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Microsoft's virtual assistant comes in handy for lots of things -- especially reminders. Now, thanks to a hand from SeatGeek's ticket engine, Cortana will alert you when bands you listen to on the regular have a tour stop close by. As you might expect, in addition to date and venue info, the add-on will also provide you with ticket prices and a handy link to purchase. A Concert Watch option is rolling out to the Music section of Cortana's Notebook, and toggling the option on will keep you informed about performances in your area. Google Now does something similar for the Android faithful, displaying concert dates based on artists from your search queries. If you're unable to see the new feature, sit tight: it appears to be on its way to handsets.

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Social media and civil unrest have long gone hand-in-hand, from coordinating revolution during the Arab Spring to repressing corruption in Turkey. Amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, locals have taken to the location-based messaging app FireChat to communicate with each other. 100,000 local users signed into the off-the-grid messaging app for the first time last weekend after a student activist recommended the app for communication should authorities switch off cellular networks. The app creates a mesh network between nearby users using WiFi, cellular data, or Bluetooth, allowing them to communicate with people even when strict firewalls are in place. For now, it looks as though we're a long way away from the heavy-handed tactics of other governments, but FireChat's sudden popularity shows locals are keen to stay one step ahead when it comes to communication.

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Advertisers aren't always a fan of investing in mobile. Part of that reason is that the ads you see on phones and tablets don't command the same amount of attention that ads do on desktops. Google is working on new ad units though that could lure in the big brands, though users might find them somewhat infuriating. Of the four new designs, three are fullscreen ads and some are interstitial ads that would take over the screen at a "logical break point" while you're using an app. These ads could even include video or interactive elements, which pretty much turns them into in-app commercials. So, between levels three and four of the next Angry Birds licensing debacle title you could be watching a 20 second ad for Perdue chicken breasts. Or, you could just be blindly skipping by the ads that hijack your screen to sell paper towels, skin cream, or anything else.

Update: And lest you think Google is about to single-handedly destroy the mobile app landscape, this is pretty similar to an initiative launched by Apple recently.

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Can a 6.1-inch smartphone ever be accepted in the mainstream? That was what Jonathan Fingas asked while reviewing Huawei's Ascend Mate, and found the answer to be a resounding "no." The handset offered a lot of things that did impress him, including a staggering battery life, big display and the company's Emotion UI. On the downside, the old(er) internals, 3G-only modem and modest storage meant that the device had "niche proposition" stamped all over it. But, what about you, out there? Did you buy one? If so, what did you like, what did you hate and what, if anything, would you change? Head to the forum and spill your brains.

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DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon 2

SoftBank may have already bought both a major mobile game studio and one of the US' largest carriers, but it apparently isn't done expanding its turf just yet. Both Hollywood Reporter and the Wall Street Journal claim that the Japanese carrier is now in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, the movie studio you likely know for How To Train Your Dragon and Shrek. Reportedly, SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son wants to wield exclusive content as a weapon against rival mobile networks. While the sources aren't diving into specifics about the potential partnership, it wouldn't be surprising if you could eventually buy Sprint phones that come bundled with DreamWorks' latest flicks.

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