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Apple reportedly acquires maps company, note-taking app

Apple acquired two companies in the areas of mapping and note-taking, according to a post 9to5Mac published Monday.

Following a trail of Internet breadcrumbs and citing unnamed sources, the first company mentioned in 9to5Mac's report is BroadMap, which specializes in managing and analyzing mapping data. It's an area that Apple has struggled with in the past -- the tech titan found out the hard way that its mapping feature was not up to snuff. Apple likely acquired Broadmap in the first half of 2013, said 9to5Mac.

The second company is Catch, an Evernote competitor that was acquired by … Read more

Behind Samsung's push to rule the world

Editors' note: Be sure to catch the other stories in this package: on the many pieces of Samsung Group's empire, on road-testing Samsung's S Translate app, on TVs and appliances in a Q&A with co-CEO Boo-keun Yoon, and on how Samsung torture-tests its products.

SEOUL, South Korea -- "It sounded like a toilet."

Samsung Electronics sound designer Myoung-woo Nam is describing the not-quite-right noise his team created for the Galaxy S3, at least initially. Here, in a dimly lit room on the eighth floor of a Samsung skyscraper, in the heart of Seoul's … Read more

Rumor Has It: Watch out Spotify, YouTube is coming for you

Samsung rumors run rampant in this week's episode.

First, insiders are predicting that a "lite" version of the giant Note 3 could be released early next year. And, not even a year after the Samsung Galaxy S4 dropped, Sammy could already be gearing up to release the Galaxy S5. And this time, it might have a more-premium feel.

The biggest news this week, though, is the rumor that YouTube is working on a subscription-based service called "Music Pass." Imagine ad-free YouTubing. Sounds good to me.

Thanks for watching!

Heard a tech rumor you think we … Read more

Report: Samsung plans 5 smartphones for early 2014

The Samsung Galaxy S5 may be among five smartphones announced in the first quarter of 2014, reports ETNews (translated). While this is but one report, and from a not-always accurate source, the rumor dovetails with recent rumblings.

The last few weeks have given way to plenty of leaks and whispers about the Galaxy S5. Details such as the design of the case and display technology have been in the mix for quite some time.

But, with new information coming in almost daily, it feels as if the device is almost ready for takeoff.

A variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3Read more

New color options come to Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung has added some "accents" to its Galaxy Note 3 line.

Samsung on Monday announced that its Galaxy Note 3 will be available with Rose Gold accents. Samsung also offered up a Merlot Red Galaxy Note 3 option.

The Galaxy Note 3, which launched in September, previously came in Jet Black, Classic White, and Blush Pink versions. According to Samsung, the Rose Gold accents will make their way to the Jet Black and Classic White models. The Merlot Red Note 3 will stand alone as a separate model.

Despite the color changes, nothing else has changed in the … Read more

Samsung may go cheaper with Galaxy Note 3 variant

Consumers who've shunned Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 because of its $300 price tag may see a less-expensive version early next year.

Previous rumors had suggested that Samsung would offer both premium and not-so-premium editions of the Note 3. An unnamed insider told blog site SamMobile that the lower-cost Note 3 Lite will appear at Mobile World Congress next year and reach consumers in February or March.

No specific details were revealed about the device beyond its availability in black and white. But new shipment records for a model SM-N7505 phone, which could be the Note 3 Lite, show … Read more

Experience the Galaxy Note 3 on nearly any Android device

Do you currently have an Android device? And are you on the fence about whether or not the Note 3 is the right device for your next purchase? Samsung has an answer for you if you said yes.

By downloading and using the Galaxy Note 3 Experience app, available for free in the Play Store, you can get a firsthand experience of what the Note 3 offers. You'll need to be using a device running Android 4.1 and above.

As noted by Android Authority, you'll be guided through selecting different functions you value, and then walk through … Read more

The 404 1,390: Where we need a doctor's note (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Microsoft pens playful doctor's note for Xbox One gamers.

- Xbox One just as sleek (on the inside) as PlayStation 4.

- This stealth company nestled against (inside?) Google is building flying cars.

- FCC considers lifting cell phone ban on planes.

- The inside story of the woman who single-handedly taped 35 years of television news.… Read more

The EVGA Tegra Note 7 is an affordable, capable stylus tablet

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the EVGA Tegra Note 7 is your best bet. It costs only $200 -- compared to the Note 8's $380 price tag -- and is outfitted with enough features to satisfy those looking to save some cash, while still taking advantage of a stylus interface.

However, you won't have to look too closely to see where Nvidia cut some corners in design. The long, uncomfortable groove along the tablet's right edge -- a space which the screen cover/stand accessory slides into -- … Read more

Connect with an expert on Google Helpouts

CNET Update always offers expert advice:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about Google's new service called Helpouts, which uses Hangouts video chats to connect to people with expertize in different subjects.

- Get the latest on BlackBerry's struggles, as the company fails to find a buyer to go private and appoints a new CEO. Perhaps there's still hope in the new BlackBerry Z30 smartphone, hitting Verizon later this month.

- Watch Netflix go after Oscar glory by picking up a documentary called "The Square," while Amazon plays catchup and launches its first TV series next week. … Read more