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HTC trashes Apple and Samsung in its own rap video. Really.

Oh, man. Video HTC

Oh, man. Photo: HTC

HTC does some pretty terrific things — its One M8 is a prime example of that. But it does some downright ridiculous things, too, like producing its own rap videos.

Yes, you read that right: The Taiwanese company has produced a rap video that explains the many advantages the One M8 has over its rivals, and trashes competing products like the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

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Microsoft’s new Outlook app will change the way you do email

Microsoft's Outlook remix is now available on iOS and Android. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft’s Outlook remix is now available on iOS and Android. Photo: Microsoft

Back in December, we noted that Microsoft had acquired the popular iOS and Android email app Acompli, which offered a more task-oriented approach to email, with the ability to schedule meetings, edit your calendar, and in your most important emails to the top of the page.

Just under two months on, and Microsoft is launching a cross-platform version of Outlook for the first time ever — incorporating pretty much all the tools previously found in Acompli.

And don’t worry: if you’re not a user of Microsoft’s email services, Outlook also supports Yahoo, iCloud and Gmail accounts.

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Apple and Samsung are tied as world’s top smartphone vendors

Samsung-vs-Apple

Samsung and Apple are evenly matched. Kind of.

Apple and Samsung were dead even when it came to worldwide smartphone sales in the last three months of 2014, with each company selling 74.5 million handsets around the globe to capture a shade under 20 percent of the total marketshare.

For those keeping track at home, the last time the two were tied so evenly was Q4 2011 — shortly following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and just after Tim Cook took over as CEO.

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Google gets more app downloads, but Apple’s making the big bucks

Breaking news: there's money in apps.

Breaking news: there’s money in apps.

Thanks to the plethora of low-cost devices in addition to some higher end smartphones, Android has long been beating Apple’s iOS when it comes to market share. But a new report from app analytics firm App Annie shows just how imprecise this metric is — by comparing total number of app store downloads to actual money generated.

And it sure makes for interesting reading.

As expected, Google’s Play Store experienced 60 percent more app downloads than Apple in 2014. While that sounds like a definite win for the Android loving crowd, Apple’s iOS App Store still managed to generate more money than Google did — to the tune of 70 percent more yearly app revenue.

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Xiaomi is one step closer to its massive smart bracelet sales target

The Mi Band in all its $13 glory. Photo: Xiaomi

The Mi Band in all its $13 glory. Photo: Xiaomi

Not content with simply being the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker, occasional Apple copycat Xiaomi is also making inroads in becoming a major wearables company in its own right.

Recently, the company’s CEO Lei Jun laid out his plans to sell more than 10 million of its affordable Mi Band smart bracelets within the next 12 months.

While we obviously don’t yet know how well that will turn out, early indicators are certainly promising — with reports that in at least one minor market, Xiaomi is off to a strong start: selling 100,000 units of its smart bracelets in the Taiwan market alone in less than two months.

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Apple’s on track to knock Samsung off its perch

iPhone sales are on the up. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone sales are on the up. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is close to becoming the world’s top smartphone maker for the first time since it conceded the title to Samsung more than three years ago. The Cupertino company is selling more iPhones than ever before, while Samsung’s smartphone sales are slowing.

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Google’s wireless network will swap between T-Mobile, Sprint, and Wi-Fi

Something much more ambitious than Google Voice is coming.

Something much more ambitious than Google Voice is coming. Photo: Google

Google is about to become its own wireless network, and while the company is keeping quiet on its cellular ambitions, new details have leaked claiming Google’s service might finally be able to cure your signal loss problems.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with Google’s plans, the Wall Street Journal reported today that Google’s network will switch between service on Sprint, T-Mobile and WiFi to route all voice, text messages, and data through the best possible signal.

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Xiaomi wants to swap your iPhone for its fancy new phablet

Fancy swapping your iPhone for one of these? Photo: Xiaomi

Fancy swapping your iPhone for one of these? Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that’s found fame in the West thanks to its many Apple clones, is said to be preparing a trade-in program that will swap your iPhone for the newly-announced Mi Note phablet.

The program is designed to dissuade those with an older iPhone from upgrading to an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, or to encourage those who already have to make the switch.

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How Apple ruined Google’s plan for a fingerprint scanner in the Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 could have had a fingerprint scanner just like the iPhone's. Photo: Apple

The Nexus 6 could have had a fingerprint scanner just like the iPhone’s. Photo: Apple

Google and Motorola went all out with the Nexus 6 to make it as good as flagship rivals from other manufacturers, but their super-sized handset could have been even better.

The device was set to get a fingerprint scanner, according to former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, but the plan had to be scrapped when Apple bought the best supplier in the industry.

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Amazon Prime will be just $72 tomorrow

Treat yourself to Amazon Prime this weekend. Photo: Torley/Flickr CC

Treat yourself to Amazon Prime this weekend. Photo: Torley/Flickr CC

At $99 a year, Amazon Prime is a killer deal — especially if you do a lot of online shopping. But it’s going to get even better tomorrow, January 24, when you’ll be able to bag a one-year subscription for just $72 — more than 25% off — to celebrate the Golden Globe Awards.

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