It shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that the NSA worked on iOS and Android malware meant to capture information from a target's phone, but actually getting the software onto phones? That's tricky. To help solve that problem, the NSA (and the rest of the Five Eyes intelligence community) attempted to hijack data being sent to and from app stores like those run by Samsung and Google. According to a document leaked by Edward Snowden, obtained by The Intercept and published by the CBC, it was mostly in search of a way to implant secret surveillance payloads into those data connections in hopes of identifying an Arab Spring in action in other countries.

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Digital Life Review TV Cord Cutting

So far, Dish has done an exceptional job of launching its internet television service, Sling TV, on most major mobile and stationary platforms. And now Android TV is the latest to offer support for the cord-cutter app, joining others like iOS, Roku, Xbox One and, of course, Android in doing so. At the moment, Sling TV on Android TV really just means being available for the Nexus Player, although there are many devices launching soon with Google's newly minted ecosystem on board. Sling TV also announced ESPN Deportes (the Spanish version of ESPN) has been added to its channel lineup, which it will be including as part of the Latino-tailored, $5-per-month Deportes Extra pack.

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Contactless Payments

It's taken a while, but the UK is now primarily cashless. No, it's not all-digital, but for the first time, consumers and businesses are making more payments with cards, smartphones and online banking than standard notes and coins. That's according to the Payments Council, which found that 52 percent were completed without physical currency, with debit cards accounting for almost a quarter (24 percent) of all payments.

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Amazon Prime Now

When it's not busy sending its delivery personnel on the New York subway, Amazon has quietly been working to expand its one-hour delivery service. From today, customers in Manhattan, the company's first Prime Now location, can shop at a number of local businesses and have fresh food delivered within 60 minutes. D'Agostino, Gourmet Garage and Billy's Bakery are the first companies on board, offering groceries, cooked meals and freshly baked cupcakes respectively alongside Amazon's own range of goods. The online retailer is starting small but plans to add more stores across Manhattan over time, with Italian food market Eataly and Westside Market already waiting in the wings. As before, Prime Now's one-hour deliveries cost $7.99, so be sure to factor that in before impulse buying those delicious treats.

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Instagram filters on an iPhone

Whether or not you think photo filters represent creative assets or the death of photography as we know it, one thing's becoming increasingly clear: they're your ticket to popularity. Yahoo and Georgia Tech researchers have learned that filtered photos (at least, on Flickr) are 21 percent more likely to get views, and 45 percent more likely to receive comments. This doesn't mean that you can throw on any effect you like, mind you. Warmer-looking filters usually get the best results, while colder examples have less of an impact. In short, feel free to tweak your Instagram shots if you feel they lack a certain oomph that will draw in the crowds -- just don't try to be overly dark and edgy.

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Before you dismiss this as a slow-day news post, hear us out: these aren't your run-of-the-mill phone cases. These are the first products Google has released under its new Editions project, a series of collaborations with artists to develop limited edition "live cases" for select Android phones. For this batch, Mountain View worked with electronic dance music producer/DJ Skrillex, who designed an outer space-inspired set. Now, here's the cool part: in keeping with the space theme, the products come with live wallpapers showing images of the Earth from the stratosphere during the day and constellations visible from your location at night. The tech giant actually launched a high-altitude balloon named after Skrillex's dog Nanou to capture images of our planet and didn't just take images from NASA.

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Verizon Wireless store

It's no secret that Verizon wants to drop its legacy phone service like so much dead weight. But is the underlying CDMA network going to go away, too? Not for a long while, the carrier's Fran Shammo says. He explains that CDMA will hang around for "internet of things" devices (think appliances, cars and machinery), which need only "small bursts" of data to communicate. The newer LTE network is still top priority -- eventually, all of Verizon's cellphones will depend on it -- but it won't completely replace the older technology for quite some time.

[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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Twitch video on demand for mobile

Missed out on a live game tournament stream when you were at home, but want to catch up when you're on the road? As of now, you can. Twitch is pushing out updated Android and iOS apps that include video on demand, giving you highlights and past broadcasts when you're stuck on the bus. Both releases are available today, although it's important to note that you can't simply update the Android version -- a security fix requires that you install a brand new app, and the old one will stop working as of today.

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Accompli on an iPhone

Hey, Google: you might not be the only tech giant that can rethink email apps. Twitter user WalkingCat claims to have discovered a download page for Microsoft's "Flow by Outlook," an iPhone email app that's all about "rapid" and "light-weight" conversations. Reportedly, the software tosses out the usual trappings, such as subject lines and signatures -- you're supposed to use Flow almost like a chat client, and it only includes threads that started within the app. There's no mention of when Flow would arrive (or spread to other platforms), and Microsoft isn't commenting on the leak. If the scoop is accurate, though, you'll probably get a chance to try this client at some point in the relatively near future.

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Adblock Browser

Whatever your views are on online advertising, it's here to stay. But that doesn't mean that companies aren't doing all they can to strip the web of ads on your behalf. Perhaps the most notable is Adblock Plus, which has made a name for itself by delivering browser extensions so efficient that Google and Microsoft have paid to be whitelisted. After briefly enjoying a period on the Play Store before it was pulled by the search giant in 2013, Adblock Plus today makes a return to Google's marketplace in the form of a browser.

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Nope, these aren't the near-bezel-less phones that Oppo teased us with back in March, but they are still very compelling. Following the super slim R5, the Chinese company has shifted its focus back to specs with two new models: the 5-inch R7 and the 6-inch R7 Plus. For us, it's really all about the bigger phone: its 7.75mm-thick aluminum unibody manages to pack a generous 4,100 mAh battery, which goes very well with Oppo's renowned VOOC rapid charging -- a feature that's proven to be faster than most of its competitors'. Not to mention that the device also comes with a single-touch fingerprint sensor on the back, along with an 8-megapixel f/2.4 front imager plus a 13-megapixel f/2.2 main camera with an RGBW sensor (Sony's IMX278) for better sensitivity in the dark, as well as laser auto-focus and dual-tone LED flash.

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Facebook Messenger's video calling feature is now available in more locations -- almost everywhere, according to David Marcus, "with the exception of a few countries." Marcus, the social network's Vice President of Messaging Products, announced the development as a status update. He didn't exactly list the newly supported countries, but he revealed in the comments that the company "would love to offer the service in UAE, but operators are blocking it." We can say for sure that video calling hasn't arrived in the Philippines yet, and according to commenters on Marcus' page, it's also still not available in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Folks in countries included in this update can take advantage of the feature on both iOS and Android, as well on messenger.com.

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ReVault looks just like any ordinary smartwatch, but its main feature's quite different from others in the category: it has wireless local storage you can access like a private cloud. According to its Indiegogo page, the storage is accessible from your phones, tablets or laptops using an app (like Dropbox and other cloud services) that works on Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows and even Linux. You can even program a trusted device to auto-sync every time you save new images or download files -- anything you store will be encrypted, and you can also set up a password and two-factor authentication for added security. The watch connects to those devices via WiFi and Bluetooth, and since it can make its own WiFi network, you can upload files even without internet connection.

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Last November, Samsung introduced Flow, which lets users seamlessly share activities between devices. (Yes, much like Apple does with Continuity.) And while the software still isn't fully baked, the South Korean company is now letting people give it a try -- so long as they have compatible Android hardware. The beta application, available on Google Play, offers a taste of what Flow can do, like allowing you to start reading an article on your smartphone, pause it and pick up where you left off on, say, a tablet. Flow Beta is only available to some Galaxy devices at the moment, and Samsung's encouraging developers to make their apps compatible with its new feature as soon as possible.

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The latest version of Android Wear that Google promised back in April is finally starting to make its way to devices today. It comes with quite a list of updates, starting with the activation of dormant WiFi chips in the LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3 and the Samsung Gear Live. In addition, apps can now stay visible until you dismiss them, which is the ideal scenario for sports or shopping apps. You can swipe left to access apps and contacts, get notifications even when you're looking at something else on the watch, change your font size and lock your watch screen, as well.

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