Despite the ongoing battle between Android and iOS, the truth is you're likely loading up Google services on it either way. Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Drive -- take your pick, as Homescreen.is shows (generated based on the most popular apps among @Engadget Twitter followers), they're popular. Now Google has a new webseries devoted just to iOS developers (to go along with its community efforts for everyone busy making Android apps) but as the first entry demonstrates, getting the dialogue started can be a little awkward on the Mountain View campus. Google has its reasons for pulling iOS developers deeper into the fold including cross platform gaming and wireless file sharing, so we won't hold our breath expecting to see a similar move from Apple any time soon.

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It's true: you probably bought Call of Duty and/or Destiny this year. If you play games or buy presents for someone who does, there's a strong possibility that you paid for one or both of these two blockbusters this year. They're number one (Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) and number two (Destiny) on this year's top sales list, and they're both from one publisher: Activision.

Do you know how many games Activision publishes? Three games, more or less: Call of Duty, Destiny and Skylanders. There's a strong possibility you've heard of that third game from your children, who won't stop hounding you for more and more $12 toys to use with their $60 game.

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There you were, enjoying your iPad for Netflix, perhaps occasionally flinging some relatively upset avians or getting cerebral with Monument Valley. Suddenly, an air raid siren. Someone in the distance shouts, "Glory to Arstotzka!" What is even happening? It's Papers, Please, the post-Soviet Bloc simulation that puts "players" in the position of an unwitting immigrations office, stuck on the border of two dangerous territories, trying to make enough money to feed and care for an ailing family. The critically-lauded game is heading to iPad tomorrow, and we're betting it'll be just as "fun" as the first time around on PC.

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Facebook's trending feature on Android

When there's a big event happening while you're away from home, what apps do you use to keep track on your phone? Probably not Facebook -- it's often the last service to show you up-to-the-minute info. That might change after today. Facebook has started rolling out its Trending feature on mobile, along with a few upgrades that make it easier to see what others are saying about a hot topic. You can follow a Twitter-like live feed if you want to see reactions as they trickle in, but you can also limit your reading to people nearby, those who were directly involved, news articles or your friends.

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Nokia Here Maps for Android

If you've been looking for a big-name alternative to Google Maps on your Android phone, your moment has come. After weeks of testing, Nokia has officially released Here Maps on Google Play. The experience will be familiar if you sideloaded earlier versions. While it's not as multi-talented as Google Maps, its simple interface specializes in navigation (especially driving) and offline mapping -- this may be ideal for trips abroad where cellular data isn't guaranteed. The biggest additions with the Google Play edition are support for 18 new countries and some bug fixes.

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Taxi drivers protest Uber in Spain, (AP Photo/Paul White)

Uber can't keep itself out of the news lately. The San Francisco-based company best known for creating a mobile app that connects taxi/livery services with smartphone users is now banned from operation in Spain. The injunction is a result of a complaint from the Madrid Taxi Association, and it forces Uber to cease operations in the country immediately; a statement from the Madrid court announcing the injunction points out that Uber didn't even get to defend itself, and cites Uber's business license being from Delaware (a tax haven where many companies file, despite not being based there) as the reason.

If all this sounds a bit like a kangaroo court, that's because it likely is: entrenched taxi and livery companies have been working against Uber and other ridesharing services in a variety of cities all over the world. Uber is of course far from perfect -- this is a company that was recently caught plotting against journalists, headed by a CEO that's been heavily criticized for misogyny -- but it wasn't even present to defend itself in the Spanish court hearing that ended its ability to function in Spain. Expect Uber to push back in the coming weeks; the company didn't respond to request for comment as of publishing.

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Samsung's virtual reality headset, dubbed "Gear VR," is available for purchase as of today. For those not following the last three years of virtual reality's return from obscurity, today is a big day: Gear VR is the first virtual reality headset available to general consumers. Though Sony's PlayStation arm and Facebook's Oculus VR have high-powered development kits in the wild, Samsung's the first major electronics company to go to market with a VR headset. Almost, at least -- the headset's full name is, "Gear VR Innovator Edition." In fact, when you buy the headset on Samsung's website, you have to agree to this condition: "I understand the Gear VR is an Innovator Edition device targeted specifically to developers or early adopters of technology."

So, what's the goal with Gear VR for Samsung? And what are its plans for the future? We asked Nick DiCarlo, VP/GM of immersive products and VR at Samsung, in an interview this morning. Head below for his answers, and for the full list of apps coming to Gear VR today.

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Consumer virtual reality is kind of, sort of, almost a reality. It's basically a reality today, actually, as Samsung's virtual reality headset -- "Gear VR" -- is available for purchase online. As previously reported, the headset will set you back $200 and it requires a Note 4 smartphone to act as its screen. The device is dubbed "Innovator Edition" by Samsung, and the Korean phone giant clearly isn't joking around with that phrase: the product order page requires you to acknowledge that you're buying a, "device targeted specifically to developers or early adopters of technology." So, how is it, and should you buy it? When we last used it at IFA 2014, we were impressed (check out our hands-on below the break). Whether you should buy it, however? We can't tell you just yet -- expect a full review of Samsung's Gear VR from Engadget just as soon as we get our hands (heads?) on one. If you just can't wait for the review, here's where you can buy Gear VR right now.

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If you're using Pocket or some other method to store Vimeo content for later viewing, you're in luck. The video repository revamped its mobile offering, and in the process, tacked on a Watch Later option to keep those interesting bits easily accessible. There's a tidier UI too, and in addition to getting better organized, the app got a speed boost for swiping through the options on the go. YouTube debuted a similar feature a while back, but while Vimeo is playing a bit of catch-up here, the menu item is certainly a welcome addition for regular users. And perhaps best of all, this is all on the outfit's mobile site, so there's no need to install an app on your gadget of choice in order to take advantage.

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Circular Devices' Puzzlephone

It looks like Google's modular Project Ara smartphone has some fresh competition. Circular Devices has been working on the Puzzlephone, a simpler take on Android phones that you can upgrade yourself. Instead of letting you replace things piece-by-piece, it divides parts into "the Brain" (core electronics and camera), "the Heart" (battery and secondary tech) and "the Spine" (LCD, speakers and basic shape). It's not as flexible as Ara, but it promises a sleeker design that still includes real futureproofing; you can swap in a new module when you want a faster processor, a fresh battery or new features. The goal is to have a base phone that can last for 10 years, rather than two or three.

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Tired of just having static pictures to visually guide you through your contacts list? If so, you're in luck. A new app for iOS brings video updates to said collection of names and numbers so "you can see what all your friends are up to." The software is called Rinbw, and it replaces images for your pals that opt in with 5-second clips updated at will. You can also "fruit" a clip, which is the app's term for letting folks know you've seen their latest work. And as you might expect, notifications alert you every time a fellow Rinbw user posts a new status. "Scrolling through your contact list used to be boring and unexciting. Rinbw turns it into a fun way to share moments of your life with your friends at any time and place," the company explains. Itchin' to give it a go? The app available for free via the iTunes link that follows.

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Vine favorites

If you're a Vine aficionado, you probably have a short list of people whose six-second videos you want to see right away -- you may want to marvel at a Zach King illusion or scratch your head at one of Will Sasso's lemon clips, for instance. Well, you won't have to wade through your feed to find gems from now on. Vine has updated its apps (we're only seeing the iOS update as of this writing) to let you favorite accounts; tap a star in the corner and you'll get a notification whenever that person posts something new. You can manage all your favorites from your settings if you ever lose interest. Yes, this is a super-simple addition, but it should help you cut through the clutter when you just want to see the hits.

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StreetSmart SmartWallet

So long as you still need physical ID cards and cash, you'll need something to carry them -- but that doesn't mean that you're stuck with a low-tech purse or wallet. StreetSmart is crowdfunding the SmartWallet, a money holder with both a Bluetooth-connected GPS locator and a 1,000mAh battery to charge your phone. It's not nearly as world-changing as the company's (rather hyperbolic) promo video suggests, but it's potentially handy if you tend to forget your cash or phone when you head out the door. Leave the wallet behind and you'll get a heads-up through an Android or iOS app that will help you find it, including directions within 50 to 150 feet; lose your phone and a button on the wallet will make your mobile device ring.

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Corning Gorilla Glass 4

Plenty of mobile device screens can easily resist minor cracks and scratches, but let's be honest -- those aren't the biggest problems. No, the real crisis comes when you drop your phone and the display shatters into many pieces. Thankfully, Corning is tackling that accident-related damage in earnest with Gorilla Glass 4. The newly formulated cover material is designed to survive collisions with rough surfaces, like the sidewalk. It's reportedly very effective, if imperfect. While conventional soda-lime glass will always break if you drop it from a meter (3.3 feet) above the ground, Gorilla Glass 4 will remain intact 80 percent of the time. You shouldn't be careless, in other words, but the added resistance could mean the difference between a costly out-of-warranty repair and carrying on with your day.

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Float around the internet long enough, and you'll find a video stream that just doesn't wanna work. Maybe you're lacking some plug-in, or something's up with your browser? Either way, bad times. To help end situations like this, and to ensure the best video streaming experience possible, some of the biggest names in content delivery have formed "The Streaming Video Alliance." While big names like Yahoo, Major League Baseball (a powerhouse of its own) and Fox are onboard, there are two notable omissions: Netflix and YouTube. Like, really big omissions -- as these two account for over half of all internet downloads in the US (according to Sandvine).

By comparison, the third most popular service (Amazon Video, also not part of the alliance) is a huge drop down at just 1.6 percent of peak period downloads. Still, the Streaming Video Alliance (not to be confused with the Internet Streaming Media Alliance) has enough names signed up that its influence on what you watch isn't to be sniffed at. The door is, of course, still open for Netflix and YouTube (or Amazon) to join at any time. The alliance's main goals may center on the bits you'll never see -- content delivery techniques, industry collaborations and business standards -- but they all result in one thing: you watching the game without a glitch.

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