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Verizon now claims that its disconnecting Chromebook Pixels owners prematurely disconnected from their free 100-MB-a-month 4G plans was a mistake, and that it will work with customers to ensure that they are reconnected. A Verizon spokeswoman told TechCrunch only a small number of Pixel customers who took advantage of Verizon and Google two or three-year free data offer were affected. Since ComputerWorld first reported on the problem, Google has begun offering $150 credits for those who lost their plans. If Verizon restores their service as well, those affected customers might come out of this rather well.

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In Brief

On July 1st, you might notice some changes on your Samsung Galaxy device. The Korean company is renaming its app store from the — somewhat unoriginal — Samsung Apps name it currently uses to Samsung Galaxy Apps. It’s a minor change, but another sign that Samsung’s simplifying its branding, and using Galaxy as its term for its Android hardware and software. The move gives Samsung a way to distinguish between the app store it hopes springs up for its homegrown Tizen operating system and the app store it installs on Android devices. Samsung has already removed the Galaxy moniker from its Tizen-based smartwatch, the Gear 2.

In Brief

The day before Google’s annual developer conference, Google Glass is getting a lot of improvements. First, although Glass receives subtle hardware tweaks from time to time, its Google Plus page has announced a bump to 2GB of RAM and a slightly bigger battery, among “several [other] hardware updates.” Second, there are 12 new Glassware apps available for download, including Shazam, Duolingo, and other big names. A complete list is here. There’s also a general software update that brings a viewfinder to the device’s camera function. Google’s I/O conference may be the largest collection of Glass Explorers ever assembled, but we’re not expecting a ton of Glass announcements. However, there are three Glass-centered sessions scheduled for Thursday.

In Brief

Google’s Chromecast streaming stick just got a bunch of new apps: Digital music service Deezer gave its paying subscribers access to casting through its mobile apps. Video workout service Dailyburn added Chromecast support to its website, iOS and Android apps, and PBS Kids added Chromecast support to its mobile apps as well. Earlier on Tuesday, video discovery app Stevie announced its own Chromecast integration.

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This year’s Google I/O developer event is about to take place. Surely we’ll see Android Wear watches debut but will there be any other hardware? It’s not likely; this year is more about software interface changes and shared experiences in Android and Chrome. Read more »

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