Asus has brought the support page for the 3G model of the Eee Pad Transformer online, but we still don't have the part we want to know -- when is it coming. We last heard that the 3G model would launch in the UK sometime in August, and we're expecting it soon, since August is already half over. While there shouldn't be any hardware changes, we're also curious if the 3G model will launch with Android 3.2 on board, but that's anyone's guess at this point. We know a lot of people have been waiting for this, and Asus knows this as well, so hopefully we see it out the door shortly. We'll keep our eyes and ears open and let you know more when there's more to tell.
If you're rocking an Optimus S on Sprint, and we know a lot of you are, here's one more reason to hack the daylights out of it -- the Theme Team. Android Central developers jstntp and jondevere have been busy in the kitchen, and some kick ass themes are the result. There's sure to be something there to suit your tastes, and everything is well organized with easy to follow instructions. Chances are, if you're running custom software on your Optimus S you already know these guys, and the awesome level of support that comes with. We're lucky to have them.
Google has broken their silence on the whole Lodsys software patent nonsense, and are asking the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to re-examine the validity of both patents in question. This is in contrast to the way Apple has handled this situation, they have made the argument that the patents are covered by their license with Lodsys and developers for the iOS platform are immune to litigation. Google is saying that the patents should have never been issued in the first place. In a statement to Wired, Google senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker said:
We’ve asked the US Patent Office to reexamine two Lodsys patents that we believe should never have been issued. Developers play a critical part in the Android ecosystem and Google will continue to support them.
Lodsys is currently suing 11 application developers for infringment, saying that their patents cover in-app payment technology. Of the 11, Rovio, and Illusion Labs have released applications for the Android platform. There is no wanton suing of Android specific developers -- yet.
Google's stance that these patents are invalid goes along with their strategy of the patent system being broken and in need of a revamp. But even if the USPTO grants the re-examination request, that doesn't mean they will be invalidated. A quick look at the current crop of lawsuits and trade dress actions makes that evident. We wish Google, and the developers involved, the best of luck.
Many of you probably spend a bulk of your social media time on the new shiny Google+, and if that is the case you probably would like to keep up with your favorite Android Central crew, right? Well, let's make things really easy for you and give you our links, so you can add us to your circles, and chat it up with us!
Still not invited? Don't worry, we've got you covered for that, too. Click this link to get in before they're all used up! (New link is up, seeing as how you burned through Josh, Jason and Alex's invites in a few hours!)
Have yourself a Motorola Photon 4G, all ready to root it, but haven't picked up the HD dock yet? You're in luck! A new method has been figured out, one that doesn't have a purchase of $100 worth of accessories as a prerequisite. You will need to be able to use the Android SDK and follow well written instructions, but the method actually looks pretty simple for the end user. AC member sandtiger has a nicely written tutorial all laid out in the Photon forums, so grab a chair and a beverage, and have a look.
Apps are oh so much fun, and they make the Android experience so much better. If you have a hard time while searching the Android Market, you won't want to delay any further. Hit the jump and let's take a look at what we got this week for you.
We're back with another reader submitted ROM review, this time around we have Android Central member digitalslacker showing some love for the Nexus S 4G with a great review of Oxygen ROM. I've used this one for the GSM flavor of the Nexus S, and he hits it right on the head with his review -- a sweet ROM for a sweet phone. Hit the jump and check it out.
If you've yet to watch anything form the Authors@Google series, you're very much missing out. And a recent guest was George R.R. Martin, who penned "A Game of Thrones," the first book of the "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. Perhaps you've heard of it.
As if an hour-long sitdown with Martin isn't cool enough, check out the shirt the Googlers presented him with. It's an Android Dragon T-shirt. How awesome is that? You can get your own at the link below. But head on past the break and watch the interview, too. It's well worth it.
No self-respecting boy (and probably a few girls, too) has never thought about driving a tank. Closest most of us can get to doing it, though, is in a video game. And that brings us to Tank Hero. It's a cool little shooter -- you've got a tank, you need to destroy the other tanks. The maps (at least in the initial levels -- remind me a lot of the old Gauntlet game. (Speaking of which -- need that on Android, ASAP!) Anyhoo. You can unlock more maps as you progress through the campaigns. There's also survival and timed modes.
Gameplay is simple. There's a D-pad on the left with which you'll direct your tank. (You can also try a janky swiping control if you want.) Tap the enemy tanks to fire at them (and note how you can do bank shots off one wall). But that's where the trouble begins. If the tank's on the left side of the screen, it's an awkward reach with right hand. Or you have to let off the D-pad with your left hand. That's no good.
Otherwise, Tank Hero's a little slice of fun. And, even better -- it's free. Give it a whirl. Download links are after the break.