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Xiaomi the money: Apple copycat raises record $1.5 billion in funding

Xiaomi is about to become a $40 billion company. Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi is about to become a $40 billion company. Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi has quickly become the world’s third largest smartphone supplier, thanks to its cheap Apple-esques devices, and all that copying is about to pay off big time. CNBC reports that the Chinese startup is raising $1.5 billion in capitol, the largest private financing deal of since Facebook in 2011.

Negotiations haven’t been finalized, but investors include Russian Internet company DST – which backed Facebook, Airbnb, and Alibaba – with a valuation expected to top $40 billion.

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Lenovo’s iPhone ripoff is so blatant it puts Samsung to shame

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It’s easy to point a finger at Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker that clearly draws a lot of… inspiration from Apple. And there’s Samsung, of course. But there’s another copycat offender out there that’s almost just as bad, if not worse: Lenovo.

The Chinese manufacturer has a new phone coming out called the Sisley S90. Excuse the fact that the device looks just like an iPhone 6; its website is basically a carbon clone of Apple’s.

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WhatsApp’s blue checks confirm your messages have been read

WhatsApp finally provides read receipts. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp finally provides read receipts. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet, finally offers one of the most basic messaging features — the ability to tell you when your messages have been read. The app will now display blue checks instead of green ones next to messages that recipients have seen.

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Google Maps gets a super sweet redesign for Lollipop

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Google Maps for Android is the latest Google app to get a Material Design makeover for Android 5.0 Lollipop, following the improvements to Calendar on Monday. It’s not just more colorful than it was before, however; you’ll also find new services built–in, including Uber and Open Table.

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare goes mobile with new companion apps

Manage your Clan Wars with the Advanced Warfare companion app. Screenshot: Google Play

Manage your Clan Wars with the Advanced Warfare companion app. Screenshot: Google Play

Advanced Warfare, the latest shooter form Activision’s hugely successful Call of Duty series, is out now on PC and consoles, and just like last year’s title, there’s a mobile companion app to go with it. Available now for Android and iOS, the free download lets you access your clan stats, edit your emblems, customize your classes, and more.

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Size matters: Samsung plots giant, 13-inch tablet to beat iPad

Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 in all its giant, block-out-the-sun glory. Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 in all its giant, block-out-the-sun glory. Photo: Samsung

Samsung as good as pioneered the “bigger is better” approach to mobile device display size, so what do you do when Apple plans to launch a 12.9-inch iPad to compete with your Galaxy Note Pro 12.2? Build a bigger tablet, of course.

According to new reports coming out of Korea, Samsung is planning to launch a new 13-inch tablet by the end of the year. Although details currently remain scarce, it is reported that Samsung may adopt an LCD display for its 13-inch tablet, rather than the Super AMOLED used for devices like the Galaxy Tab S series.

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Amazon Prime’s an even greater deal with unlimited photo storage

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Prime just keeps getting better. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Amazon Prime has always been a pretty incredible deal, and it just keeps getting better. As of today, Amazon is giving all subscribers unlimited photo storage at no extra cost with a new cloud-based backup service called Prime Photos.

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Google overhauls its Calendar app for Android 5.0 Lollipop

The new Google Calendar app has a stunning Schedule view. Screenshot: Google

The new Google Calendar app has a stunning Schedule view. Screenshot: Google

Google’s been hard at work overhauling all of its apps for Android 5.0 Lollipop, and we’ve already seen the fruits of its labor inside the latest versions of Gmail, Google+, and Google Play. The next big update will be for the search giant’s Calendar app, and it will deliver a gorgeous new look and awesome new features.

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Why Steve Jobs told Google’s Larry Page he was doing too much

Photo: Niall Kennedy/Flickr CC

Photo: Niall Kennedy/Flickr CC

Google’s co-founder Larry Page partook in a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times, published Friday. Among other topics, he talks about Google’s oppository approach to business compared to Apple — epitomized by a story about Steve Jobs.

“He would always tell me, You’re doing too much stuff,” Page says. “I’d be like, You’re not doing enough stuff.”

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BBM gets Snapchat-inspired self-destructing messages

You can now retract messages sent via BBM. Photo: BlackBerry

You can now retract messages sent via BBM. Photo: BlackBerry

BlackBerry is rolling out a number of new features for BBM that give you greater control over the content and messages you share with friends. In addition to Snapchat-inspired self-destructing messages, the release also brings the ability to retract messages you wish you hadn’t sent.

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