Looking forward to the day you can buy a Xiaomi smartphone in the US? Keep waiting. The company's founder announced the first ten countries in Xiaomi's international expansion today, and the United States didn't make the cut. A shame, perhaps, for fans of the company's affordable, well-specced handsets, but not much of a surprise -- Xiaomi's aversion to traditional sales and marketing puts it at odds with what American consumers have come to expect. Right now, the company's products are only available in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, but CEO Lei Jun says it will start selling devices in India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and in several east asian countries and emerging markets later this year.

The company's also simplifying its image a little, dropping "Xiao" from its webpage URL. The newly christened Mi.com should play well in the new markets: not only does it match the MI branding the company uses on its MI2 and MI3 smartphones, but it's easier to remember, market and -- for international customers -- pronounce.

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It's clear that when Facebook said it was going to be a mobile-first company back in 2013, it meant it. It's now surpassed 1 billion active mobile users a month, which is about a 34 percent increase compared to a year ago. Sure, a lot has happened in the land of likes in the early part of 2014 -- it spent close to $19 billion for WhatsApp and another $2 billion for Oculus VR -- but its primary source of income for the year still comes from good ol' advertising on its core product: Facebook. Specifically mobile advertising.

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It's that time again: Apple has just posted its Q2 2014 financials, and there are some interesting device sales numbers to peep at. Apple saw a big year-over-year jump in the number of iPhones sold (43.7 million this time vs. 37.4 million in the same quarter last year), thanks at least in part to a deal that brought the 5s and 5c to China Mobile -- a carrier that has over 750 million subscribers. Alas, Apple never breaks down its sales figures between models, so how many people opted for the colorful (and cheaper) 5c instead of the 5s is still a mystery. It didn't warrant a mention in the earnings release, but the company's moved 20 million Apple TVs (the hobby days are well behind it) and Mac sales surged slightly, too. The iPod did about as well as we thought... which is to say not well at all. The company sold fewer than half this quarter than it did during the same time last year, but it's no secret the venerable music players were slowly falling by the wayside.

But then there's the iPad.

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Remote Desktop for Windows Phone

Microsoft promised that it would put out a Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone, and it's making good on its word -- provided you're an early adopter, anyway. The company has released a Remote Desktop Preview that requires Windows Phone 8.1 (which itself is considered a preview) just to run. If all the stars align, though, you'll get fairly advanced remote PC access that lets you perform Windows 8's multi-touch gestures and stream "high quality" media. The folks in Redmond haven't said when the finished app will arrive, but we wouldn't be surprised if it launches after Windows Phone 8.1 rolls out in earnest.

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"Our major aims were usability, friendliness and a more humanistic design. We wanted something with a pleasing feel ... and better grip. If we used metal, [we felt] the designs felt heavy and cold," explains Senior Product Designer Dong Hun Kim, pointing to why Samsung still plays in polycarbonate. "But with plastic, the texture is warmer. We believe users will find [the device] both warmer and friendlier. This material was also the best at visually expressing volume, better at symbolizing our design concepts."

The design concept for Samsung's Galaxy S5? Modern and flash -- and boy, that blue GS5 is certainly flashy. In the middle of a design library deep inside Samsung's "Digital City" in Suwon, Jeeyeun Wang, Samsung's principal user experience designer continues, putting it to me this way: the smartphone is no longer a cold slab of technology; "it's a fashion product now."

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Google's mobile-streaming tech has a lot going for it, but listening to music stored in Mountain View's cloud is still limited to a handful of home devices. AirPlay-compatible gadgets, however, are a probably a bit more common than the Nexus Q, Chromecast and Sonos systems are, and developer doubleTwist's latest project acts as a bridge between the two ecosystems. The outfit recently released "AirPlay for Android," which is exactly what it sounds like: the tweak open's the search giant's media-streaming to AirPlay devices. The rub is that your device running Google's mobile OS has to be rooted for the hack to work. First, grab and install the aforementioned APK from the dev's blog, launch Google Play Music (GPM) and hit the Cast button. From there, you need to grant root access to the app, force-stop it and then relaunch. Voila! AirPlay devices on your wireless network should populate the list of compatible targets.

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If we draw an almost totally arbitrary line in the sand and call it "500 pixels per inch," then smartphones now stand proudly on one side of it, while tablets still languish on the other. Japan Display is gently nudging the market forward, however, with the 4K 12-inch tablet panel we saw last year (which offered 365 ppi) and now with a 4K 10-inch prototype that delivers a much higher pixel density of 438 ppi. That's good news for Chuck Yeagers who reckon they can spot the difference, but Japan Display is promising something even more important: It claims its 4K (3,840 x 2,160) screens have just the same appetite for energy as the regular 2,560 x 1,600 panels found in many tablets today. That means 4K slates could arrive at no cost to battery life, relative to current technology, leaving us with just the pesky financial and computational overheads to deal with instead.

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Internet calling and messaging service Viber does a solid job of constantly bringing new features to its apps, regardless of the platform. Now, some seven months after iOS 7 was released, Viber is finally changing the looks of its iPhone app to match that flat, minimalist appearance of Apple's OS. Aside from overhauling the UI, the Viber application now also lets you create a list of numbers you'd like to block and send longer video messages to people. The company's CEO, Talmon Marco, tells us this update isn't just about iOS 7, however. "This is the first time we are introducing a new look and feel for Viber. Our goal was to create a simple and friendly interface but at the same time establish a solid foundation for future updates," Marco stated. In other words, don't be surprised when you see some of these design cues make their way to other Viber apps, like those on Windows Phone 8 and Android.

Furthermore, Viber has also released an app for BlackBerry 10, complete with all the voice and messaging features that have made it popular on other devices. By doing this, Viber is now well covered within BlackBerry's ecosystem, since it already offers an application on older BB handsets. "Our BlackBerry 10 app is a beautiful twist on our design delivering the most up to date experience for our users," said Marco about the new app.

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Rarely do we see a tech startup spending five months actively hyping up an unborn product; and when we do, most of them end up being vaporware. Luckily, that's not the case with OnePlus. Today, the Shenzhen-based company has finally unveiled its first smartphone, the One (not to be confused with the HTC One). While the device's impressive specs have already been listed in detail beforehand, OnePlus had remained tight-lipped about the actual prices (unsubsidized) until today: $299/£229/€269 for the 16GB model, and $349/£269/€299 for the 64GB flavor; both due mid to late May. This aggressive pricing is obviously going right after the Nexus 5 ($349 for 16GB, $399 for 32GB), but is this too good to be true?

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Some companies lose their following after an acquisition, but not Whatsapp -- apparently, its userbase just continued to grow after Facebook bought it for $19 billion. The FB-owned entity has revealed that it now has 500 million active users, up 50 million from the time the social network snapped it up. According to Whatsapp CEO Jan Kuom, the app has seen the fastest growth in Brazil, India, Mexico and Russia in recent months. Kuom didn't mention whether the buyout helped boost Whatsapp's influence in those regions, but it's worth noting that Brazil, India and Mexico had some of the biggest Facebook user numbers in 2013, according to a statistics analyst. He also mentioned that people have been sharing over 700 million photos and 100 million videos per day over the app.

With growth like this, we wouldn't be surprised if it's true that providers everywhere have collectively lost out on $33 billion due to the popular messaging app. Unfortunately, the CEO didn't have anything to share about the VoIP feature for iOS, so the Whatsapp faithful will have to wait a bit more.

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HTC One for Sprint

If you're with Sprint, you don't have many options for unlocking your phone's SIM card slot; if you can do it at all, you're limited to service on foreign networks. You'll have far more flexibility in the near future, though. The carrier has revealed that it will unlock devices for American use starting with those launched on or after February 11th, 2015. The move will let you use SIM-based features (such as LTE data) on AT&T, T-Mobile and other US providers as long as your device supports the right frequencies. Sprint's prepaid brands, including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, will also offer the added freedom.

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Google AdWords spot with deep app linking

Ads for mobile apps are rarely personal; they're more often based on search keywords than your actual habits. Google is fixing this today with new ads in search and on YouTube that reflect your day-to-day app uses and purchases. If you regularly track your runs with fitness software, for instance, you may get ads offering to install a companion diet app.

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HTC Droid DNA

Don't worry, Droid DNA fans -- HTC may have given the One series its first batch of Android 4.4 KitKat upgrades, but it still has plenty of love for Verizon's late 2012 flagship. Mo Versi, Executive Director of Product Management, announced that the DNA will get an over-the-air update to the latest firmware update (along with the Sense 5.5 interface) starting on April 24th. This is great news because the DNA, Verizon's version of the Butterfly, is quickly approaching its 18th month of life -- a milestone which is too often considered an expiration date by Android manufacturers. HTC recently announced its Advantage program, in which it guarantees its flagship phones will be updated for at least two years, but the DNA came out well before such a promise was given. Adding to our surprise is the fact that Verizon isn't exactly the quickest at pushing out phone updates.

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Back in my day, we carried backpacks loaded with six or seven textbooks... up a hill... both ways in the snow. Once we got to class, we had to take all our notes in equally large notebooks. A new app from Barnes & Noble called Yuzu is making life easier for kids these days, offering youngsters all the books without the chronic shoulder pain. The iPad app allows you to tote around all your textbooks and add notes or highlight key points in them as you read. Books are organized by class, and are synced online, so if you're too lazy to bring your iPad with you to Anthropology you can still follow along from any web-connected computer. Yuzu can be accessed via Internet Explorer or Safari 6.1/7 (standard-issue for school-locked computers), and everything you do can be pulled up on your tablet when you're back at the dorm. Later in the semester when you opt to go to a playoff game rather than study for finals, all your notes can be pulled together on a single page for a high-speed court-side cram session.

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The latest rumors about LG's G3 handset have mentioned a Quad HD display, but now it's time to take a look at what you'll see on that screen. According to leaked screenshots acquired by Digital Trends, the upcoming smartphone will feature a completely new interface with a flat design and brighter icons, along with a revamped notification drawer with circular icons. The screens show a phone UI that's leaps and bounds sleeker than what you'll find on the G2, and it's a more than a tad reminiscent of Apple's aesthetics in iOS 7.

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