Weekend roundup: All the best Android stories from last week (May 19 – May 25)

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As we close out one week and head off into another, now is a great time to look back at the best stories from the past week (May 19 – May 25). Some of the featured posts you may recognize, some may be new to you, but all the information below is worthy of another mention.

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LG posts new retro teaser for the G Watch; Moto 360 to arrive in July for €249

Among the Android Wear smartwatches that were announced a couple of months ago, the Moto 360 is high on our list for obvious reasons. A new report now claims that the smartwatch will make its way to the markets by July this year carrying a price tag of £203 or $341 when it is launched in the UK and the U.S. respectively.

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Google overtakes Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand

Google has long been considered one of the top brands in the industry, but all rankings and surveys kept Apple in the top spot. However, according to a new list of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands compiled by Brandz, Google has successfully overtaken Apple for the crown with a global brand value of $158.8 million rising up by 40% compared to last year.

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CyanogenMod 11 gets Performance Profiles; Say hello to inflated benchmark scores

Last year, Samsung and HTC received a lot of flak for automatically boosting the CPU and GPU speed on their flagship devices, while running certain benchmarks to inflate their scores. Now, it looks like CyanogenMod is adding a similar functionality to their ROM.

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New Galaxy S5 Active leak reveals the presence of OIS and a dedicated ‘Active’ button

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active leaked out yesterday in a video which showed off the smartphone from all angles. And today, a series of videos have also been released that reveal the smartphone in its entirety and talk about some new features we didn’t know about.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to break cover on September 3?

According to a new “insider report”, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will break cover on the 3rd of September, following in the footsteps of its predecessors which have always seen a September launch.

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Samsung planning to launch a smartwatch that works as a standalone phone

Not to be deterred by the failure of its Gear branded smartwatch, Samsung is working on a new smartwatch that will work as a stand-alone phone without the need to be paired to any Android device. The Wall Street Journal reports that the smartwatch in question would be able to make and receive calls, send emails, take photos, click pictures and more all by itself.

LG G3 dummy unit poses for the camera
LG G3 dummy unit poses for the camera

In what could be among the last few leaks before the LG G3 is officially announced, a demo unit of the phone has surfaced in leaked photos taken at a retail store in South Korea. Since it’s a dummy unit, it’s not the hands-on we would have liked, but the pictures do give us a good overview of the hardware.

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LG G Pro 2 Review: The new interim king of phablets?

This year at MWC, LG announced the successor of the Optimus G Pro and a bigger brother to the G2 — the LG G Pro 2. The G Pro 2 is more of a stop-gap solution from LG until it announces the LG G3 later this month. After all, the company could not sit quiet while Samsung, Sony and HTC went all out with their early 2014 flagships. So, has LG managed to improve the already excellent G2 with the G Pro 2? Is the G Pro 2 finally the phablet that can rival Samsung’s Galaxy Note series? Read our review to find out.

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How to enable ART on the Galaxy S5

Last year, Google introduced a new experimental runtime with Android 4.4 KitKat, dubbed ART or Android RunTime (check this video to see the benefits of ART compared to the default runtime in Android, Dalvik). Up until recently, the only devices that featured ART support were the Nexus devices from Google and the Moto G and X. Thankfully, most of the newer generation flagship handsets now feature ART support, including Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

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How to use the Samsung Galaxy S5 as a baby monitor

The Galaxy S5 is loaded to the brim with features — Air View, S Voice, My Magazine, Single Handed Mode, Gestures and more. For some strange and unknown reason though, Samsung has also included a Baby crying detector feature on its latest flagship. It looks like the company was trying to become the jack of all trades with the Galaxy S5. With this option enabled, your Galaxy S5 will automatically send a vibrating alert to your Gear smartwatch every time it hears your little baby crying.

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How to get the stock Android look on your Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung gave TouchWiz a pretty hefty makeover with the Galaxy S5. However, even with its new flatter looking UI, TouchWiz still does not hold a candle in front of stock Android. Sadly, Samsung has not yet unveiled the Google Play edition S5, so that stock Android lovers could have the best of worlds. Thankfully, using a few apps, you can easily get the stock Android look on your Galaxy S5, at least for the most commonly used UI.