Frustrated with the Google Hangouts app on iOS from time to time? Us too. Mountain View updated the mobile software today with a refreshed UI and more. First, you'll likely notice the new coat of Material Design paint that tidies things up a bit. Heck, even the dialer got a redesign. There's also a new quick compose button that allows you to quickly send messages to the folks you chat with often. Access to images from the gallery, camera or emoji library is easier too, and you can now send multiple photos at once. The update includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, and the latter hopefully remedies a few of the headaches some of us at Engadget HQ have been experiencing lately. The goods are available now at iTunes, and the Android version is said to arrive shortly.

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Sprint Reports Q4 Loss Of $224 Million

Sprint is trying to do everything it can to compete with T-Mobile's audacious, budget-friendly plans. As such, the carrier's introducing a new plan called Best Buy One Family, featuring two lines with unlimited data, talk and text for $100 per month -- each additional number (up to eight total) will cost $40. Back in March, Sprint also announced a Best Buy-only plan that gives people a smartphone and all-you-can-have service for a flat monthly rate, so this isn't the first time the network and retailer have teamed up. Naturally, if you're interested in taking advantage of this offer, you'll have to visit a Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store.

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It turns out that Uber's desire for mapping tech didn't really stop with Nokia's Here maps. The ride-sharing platform just picked up a portion of Microsoft's Bing maps technologies and about 100 of Redmond's employees as TechCrunch tells it. The way that TC describes the deal, the employees that Uber is absorbing were responsible for putting image data into the search engine (aerial, 3D and street footage, apparently) and the folks'll likely be doing the same task at their new employer. What's that mean for you? Well, that the map display in Uber's app is probably going to get a bit more detailed now, hopefully making it easier for your driver to figure out exactly where you are. Nah, they'll still likely drive around in circles while you watch in frustration.

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LG Chem's hexagonal battery

Quite a few smartwatches are round, so why are they still using rectangular batteries? LG Chem certainly doesn't think that makes sense. It just started shipping a hexagonal battery that should deliver 25 percent more capacity in circular watches, where a lot of space normally goes to waste. You're theoretically getting another four hours of juice, or enough to make it through a long night without resorting to a low-power mode. The company isn't naming customers, but it's safe to say that LG's next wave of rounded wristwear will last that much longer. And that's just the start -- LG is planning more unusually-shaped batteries that will extend the running time of gadgets without dictating their look and feel.

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Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, er, Androids

When Oracle got a second chance at making Google pay for using Java programming kits in Android, the folks in Mountain View raced to the Supreme Court in hopes of stopping that renewed lawsuit dead in its tracks. Unfortunately for Google, that's not going to happen -- the Supreme Court now says that it won't tackle the case. The move kicks the issue back to a lower court, and denies a once-and-for-all decision on the extent to which companies can copyright their code. This doesn't necessarily mean that Google will be on the hook for Android, but the company is going to face a tougher fight than it wanted.

[Image credit: CSA Images/Getty Images]

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Apple Watch with the steel link bracelet

Wondering how you'd exchange info between smartwatches when their displays are so small? Apple thinks it has an easy answer: make the same gestures you already use to greet your friends. The tech firm has applied for a patent on a system that exchanges data between wearables (presumably Apple Watches) whenever both people make a similar greeting gesture, such as a handshake, bow or fist bump. The watches would only need to use their motion sensors and short-range wireless to tell that you're getting cozy -- you wouldn't need to tap the screen at all. Devices could also swap different kinds of data depending on the exact gesture and how well you know the other person, so you'd only share contact info if you're grabbing hands for the first time. There's no guarantee that Apple will roll this feature into the Watch any time soon, but it strikes us as a very logical (and, dare we say it, handy) upgrade.

Photo by Will Lipman.

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Octonauts

When Sky announced the launch of a new Kids section on its set-top boxes, it immediately put Google and Netflix in its crosshairs. On-demand TV shows and movies were suddenly front and centre on the homepage, allowing children to select up to 4,000 episodes from cartoons like SpongeBob Squarepants, Ben 10, Adventure Time and Dora The Explorer when the company is done adding them all. It appears that was just the start though: Sky is now embracing mobile and will launch a dedicated kids app for smartphones and tablets.

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Barclaycard bPay

If you didn't know, Britain now prefers cashless payments to notes and coins. Contactless cards play a big part in the shift away from cash, but as technology evolves, smartphones and wearables are beginning to influence matters too. Barclaycard has long supported contactless technology, via its PayTag NFC sticker or bPay bracelet, but the credit card provider recently pulled the products and warned that something new was coming. Indeed, Barclaycard is back with three "new" wearable bPay payment devices: a wristband, fob and sticker.

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The TouchBot tests an Android phone

Yes, Google hates lag on smartphones as much as you do -- enough so that the search giant has a robot dedicated to spotting that delay between your finger input and what happens on screen. Meet the Chrome TouchBot, an OptoFidelity-made machine that gauges the touchscreen latency on Android and Chrome OS devices. As you can see in the clip below, the bot's artificial digit pokes, prods and swipes the display in a series of web-based tests (which you can try yourself) that help pinpoint problems in both code and hardware. This isn't the only gadget monitoring device lag at Google, but it could be the most important given how much the company's software revolves around touch. Don't be surprised if this automaton boosts the responsiveness of Mountain View's future platforms.

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Facebook's in-testing photo uploader

Facebook may be not as in tune with the teen crowd as Snapchat, but that isn't stopping it from trying to fit in. TechCrunch has discovered that Facebook is testing an iOS photo uploader that lets you overlay Snapchat-like filters, stickers and text on pictures as you post them. While it's not exactly a subtle attempt at riding the coattails of a fast-rising rival, it does show that the social network has ditched writing me-too apps in favor of adding features you're more likely to use. Whether or not you see this uploader any time soon is another matter. Facebook regularly experiments with features, and it wouldn't be surprising if the revamped software sees a lot of tweaks (assuming it makes the cut) before you get to try it yourself.

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Apple Music

Determined to try Apple Music and its accompanying Beats 1 radio the very moment they're available on June 30th? The streaming service's senior director, Ian Rogers, is happy to help those early adopter impulses. He says that iOS 8.4 (and thus Apple Music) will be available at 11AM Eastern on that day, and Beats 1 will go on the air one hour later. It's not clear what you'll hear if you tune in to the station right away, but the first slate of programming will include an interview with Eminem as well as appearances from everyone from Cara Delevigne to (unsurprisingly) Beats brand co-founder Dr. Dre.

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Ryan Seacrest's iPad keyboard is surprisingly good, but expensive

It's hard to expect much from Typo, a company that was co-founded by Ryan Seacrest and whose legal tango with BlackBerry has forced it to stop selling phone keyboards. But with its new iPad keyboard, Typo has at least proven it's worth keeping an eye on. For $189, you get a Bluetooth keyboard that actually feels like a decent laptop keyboard, as well as a cover to protect your iPad. There's no shortage of iPad keyboards on the market, but Typo's offering might be compelling to anyone who wants a premium laptop-like experience with their iPad. The only problem? It's far too expensive for what you get.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Don't like that your Galaxy S6 conks out before you're finished for the day? Samsung might offer some relief in the future. Its scientists have developed lithium-ion battery technology that promises much longer-lasting power packs. They use a silicon anode (which promises much more capacity than a typical battery), but grow layers of graphene on top to improve the density and longevity that would otherwise suffer. In experiments, they got batteries that were 1.5 to 1.8 times denser than what you get today. If your smartphone barely makes it 12 hours before giving up the ghost, this would theoretically give you 21 hours -- enough that you wouldn't have to panic if you forgot to plug in before bedtime.

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A Force Touch example on the iPhone

Those rumors of a pressure-sensitive iPhone just gained a little more weight. Bloomberg sources claim that Apple has begun "early production" of iPhone models that incorporate Force Touch input. Full-scale manufacturing would start as soon as July, if all goes well. Don't expect these devices to be conspicuously different, though. The tipsters say the devices will be similar on the outside to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, right down to the 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens. In other words, this could well be the stereotypical iPhone "S" release -- all the big improvements (such as Force Touch, a faster processor and upgraded cameras) may be found under the hood.

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Chromecast

In case you needed another way to beam photos and videos to your Chromecast, the Android OneDrive app has you covered. The latest update for Microsoft's cloud-storage service will take all those gorgeously arranged images from your device running Google's mobile OS and put 'em on your TV via Mountain VIew's HDMI wunderstick. Pretty handy, right? Your Galaxy S6 (or any other Android device with the app installed) should see the update shortly if it already hasn't downloaded. As for iOS users, they'll likely have to wait a bit longer -- the last update only mentions bug fixes and stability improvements.

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