You can't exactly use Google Wallet everywhere you go just yet, but if you do use it often enough to warrant semi-regular transfers from your bank, then you'll love its latest update. Now, you can activate recurring bank transfers, even pick the amount and the schedule (say, once a month or so) you want, to automatically replenish your digital dollars. That's especially useful if you depend on the physical Wallet card, which spends that balance every time it's charged. But in case Wallet balance doesn't matter as much -- say, you have an NFC-enabled Android phone and prefer to tap and pay mostly using credit -- then, you can also just program the app to let you know if it's almost out of cash. These features are available for both iOS and Android, as you can see after the break, but you can only use the tap-and-pay option if your NFC phone runs KitKat or higher.

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A unibody metal body, 5-inch AMOLED display, 13-megapixel camera, a claim as Samsung's "thinnest smartphone to date" and yet, this isn't a flagship smartphone. Especially for Halloween - or not related at all - the Galaxy A5 and A3 yet more smartphones from Samsung, measuring at 6.7mm and 6.9mm thickness. (So, er, just as thin as the Galaxy Alpha?) They may not be close to the thinnest smartphone but with a metallic body, it's still quite an interesting proposition. They're both apparently geared at the youth, with Samsung's own press release praising its social network skills (extending to a GIF maker and 4G connectivity...) and the five-megapixel front-facing camera, because selfies, but given the notion of a metal-framed Galaxy phone, other crankier demographics might also be tempted.

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Rakuten CEO Mikitani, Google EVP Rubin, Twitter Co-founder Dorsey, Skype Co-founder Zennstrom Speak At Japan New Economy Summit

Just about a year ago we learned Andy Rubin had shifted his focus at Google from Android ("the definition of open") to working with robots, like the ones from its acquisition Boston Dynamics, but tonight reports indicate he is leaving the company entirely. The Information and the Wall Street Journal reported the departure initially, which Google has confirmed. In a statement, CEO Larry Page said "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable-with a billion plus happy users. Thank you." The Information reports his departure is the result of some issue with the structure of his team, and that Google research scientist James Kuffner will take over his role directing robotics projects.

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PALESTINIAN-EGYPT-CONFLICT-GAZA

Technology can be pretty wonderful sometimes. Case in point: Warblr, an app that uses sound recognition tech and your phone's GPS signal to identify birdsongs. The application first pinpoints where you are (it'll debut in the United Kingdom), and narrows the results by what types of fowl are common to the area, according to its Kickstarter page. Then, after making the ID, it presents the most likely suspects. Pretty simple, yeah? The folks behind the app say that one of the intentions is to add geo-tracking to, well, track what species are being found where -- useful for the likes of zoologists and ecologists to monitor migration patterns, for one.

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Timex Ironman One GPS+

The last time we thought about Timex, we were still using landlines and adjusting the tracking on the VCR so that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze would display properly. Remember "Indiglo"? That's still a thing, apparently! Anyway, Timex is making a smartwatch, though it's not quite the same kind of smartwatch that the likes of Samsung and Apple are offering. It's more "fitness band" than smartwatch, though it does have the ability to make phone calls (emergency calls, anyway) and act as a GPS. I'm gonna call it a "crossover" smartwatch: it's got a ruggedized exterior capable of diving 50 meters (150 feet) under water, a 3G worldwide connection provided (free for one year, $40/year after) by AT&T, 4GB of internal storage (for music), and a tiny (1.5-inch, Mirasol) screen. It's also dramatically more expensive than other smartwatches/fitness bands out there at $399 for the base model. But maybe it's super rad? We visited Timex reps in New York City this afternoon to find out.

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Apparently I'm a masochist.

That's an odd way to begin a review. But to give BlackBerry's latest handset, the Passport, as thorough a review as possible, I decided to type the entire thing from the phone itself. My twisted idea came from a realization that this (mostly) square oddity is the first phone with a physical keyboard that I've used since the Motorola Droid 4 in 2012 or the BlackBerry Q10 in 2013. It's not even a normal keyboard by modern smartphone standards -- it's a flattened, hybrid setup with both physical and virtual elements and a curiously placed space bar. Needless to say, it's an odd device, one that truly deserves the ultimate test: Can I use it to crank out several thousand words of text?

Of course, there's more to the Passport than just its odd shape and the company's desire to resurrect a now-antiquated smartphone feature. I'm going to dive into what sets this phone apart from the hundreds of others already on the market -- that is, if my thumbs hold up through the experience.

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Sure, smartphones have been getting larger and larger every year. And for those who really want to go big, large-screen "phablet" Android phones have risen to fill the demand. But iPhone users who wanted a larger screen have always been left wanting -- until last months' release of the iPhone 6 Plus, that is. The 5.5-inch screen makes it the largest iPhone yet, but can it compete with Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 flagship? Now that both devices have been available for a while, we want to know how you, our readers, feel about your big-screen phone. Do you like having more screen real estate? Does the extra 0.2 inch on the Galaxy Note 4 make a difference? How do your favorite apps look on the 6 Plus? Is the stylus on the Note 4 still a draw? If you switched to Android for a big phone, have you switched back to iOS? You read our reviews; now we want to read yours. Leave a user review on the product pages for the iPhone 6 Plus or the Galaxy Note 4 detailing your unique experiences, and we'll be featuring the very best comments about both devices in an upcoming post.

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Earlier this year, Virgin Media became the UK's first 'quad-play' provider, meaning it began offering one-bill bundles that include all four of its services: mobile, landline, broadband and TV. Soon enough, however, TalkTalk will be joining Virgin Media in the exclusive quad-play club. Well... not really, but close enough. Come December, any TalkTalk customers on the Plus TV package (which includes landline and broadband subscriptions) will get a free mobile SIM that includes 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB of 3G data each month. Existing customers can also pre-register for a SIM right now if they want it as soon as possible. TalkTalk will technically be offering four services in one when the free SIM deal launches, but is it a true 'quad-play' package when you can't choose your tariff, and you don't actually pay for the mobile element? Nevermind, let's not argue over semantics. A free SIM is a free SIM.

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If people weren't too happy with the first batch of sponsored posts by Instagram, those temper tantrums might reach a new level soon. According to Adweek, the Facebook-owned imaging service is now rolling out video ads to users' feeds, having been quietly testing them for the past six months. So, starting today, don't be surprised to unexpectedly run into a random 15-second video while you're trying to find a picture of the next great brunch. As it stands, Adweek points out that Instagram is pushing motion ads from Activision, Banana Republic, CW and Lancome, but chances are you'll start seeing others from more companies as time goes on. In the meantime, head on past the break to check out what you can expect -- because you're dying to know.

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After last month's iPhone event, I was disappointed -- I realized the iPhone 6 and its "Plus" sibling were still catching up to Android in a lot of ways. Regardless, the devoted iPhone fan in me still pre-ordered an iPhone 6 a few days later, in the wee hours of September 12th. The next morning, I awoke to the alarm on my iPhone 5s and went to silence it, only to discover a small spot of water damage had worsened overnight, rendering the phone unusable. With less than 24 hours before jetting off on a work trip, I had no choice but to force myself into using another phone sitting on my desk: the OnePlus One. Now, you might be thinking that this was unusually convenient. The truth is, I decided to get a second phone a couple of weeks earlier and wanted one of the unlocked Android variety. Might as well ensure it's a good phone too, so with an Engadget score of 90, the One made sense.

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Samsung Gear S

Itching to strap Samsung's 3G-equipped Gear S smartwatch on your wrist? If you're in the US, you'll only have to wait one more week. The cellular-capable timepiece is now officially slated to reach American stores on November 7th, including Best Buy, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Just how much you'll pay depends on your choice of network. Verizon hasn't mentioned pricing just yet, but AT&T will sell the Gear S for $200 on a two-year contract; Sprint and T-Mobile will offer the wristwear on monthly installment plans that have you shelling out respective totals of $384 and $350. That's a lot to pay in the current smartwatch market, but this is also one of the few wearables that lets you leave your phone at home.

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Google's latest Play Books update for Android makes the app a lot easier to use for reading non-fiction e-books. See, Play Books is perfect if you're just reading something from cover to cover. But if you're using it to read text or reference books for school, or maybe even cookbooks (materials you usually flip through to find the page you're looking for), then it can be infuriating to use. Now, the latest version comes with a handful of features to change that, including one called Skim Mode that makes it easy to skim pages, as you can see after the break. Another feature called Quick Bookmarks lets you jump between the parts you've bookmarked, while the last one called Notes & Highlights is especially useful for students, since it lets you highlight text (say, quotes or important info you want to remember later) and take notes while reading. If you desperately need these features to get you through the next semester, head over to Google Play to download the app's latest version.

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Productivity-focused app Any.do, which is available on iOS, Android and the web, has gained popularity largely because, well, it helps people get things done. But, with households and businesses being about more than just one particular user, the to-do application knows that catering itself to only a single person per account isn't enough. Accordingly, Any.do is introducing its Team Management and Group Sharing features, allowing you to create, distribute and assign tasks among a number of different people -- with as many as you want, in fact, so long as you have a new Premium account, which costs $5 per month (though right now there's a promo for $3 monthly).

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EE's been conducting closed trials of LTE-Advanced technology since last year, so imagine the red faces when Vodafone reported earlier this month that its own faster 4G network was about to go live in three cities. EE's now being forced to play catch-up, but it's well on its way today after flipping its LTE-A network live in parts of central London, including Kensington, Old Street, Shoreditch, Soho, Southbank and Westminster. This 4G+ network, as EE brands it, should cover the whole of Greater London by the middle of next year, before rolling out to other big cities like Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester later. While standard LTE can deliver a theoretical maximum download speed of 150 Mbps, LTE-A doubles that to a maximum speed of 300 Mbps (though real-world speeds tend to be around half the max).

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The folks at Flipboard must have been crazy busy these past months: the company has just unleashed a huge update for its iOS and Android apps, a few weeks after finally releasing an app for Windows Phone. This update gives the digital magazine/social network aggregator a major makeover, with a new font and a brand new menu bar at the bottom. The menu, which you can see above, gives you quick access to your home page, redesigned profile, news tiles, notifications and an improved search function. In addition, the app comes with a feature called "The Daily Edition," a curated roundup (by the Flipboard team) of all the top stories from the day before, complete with an animated GIF at the end.

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