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3 years ago

Google's first-quarter 2011 earnings call is set for April 14

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Set your alarms, boys and girls: Google's first-quarter 2011 earnings call has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST on April 14. You'll hear the word "billion" used more than you ever will in your life. And, more important, we'll probably get a couple of juicy Android nuggets. See you there! [Google]

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3 years ago

Popular puzzle game Geared now available on Android Market

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Geared is a puzzle game that's been big on the iPhone for years, and now it's finally launched on the Android Market. Geared for Android features 150 levels of gear-connecting puzzles, and while it's a not quite as visually polished as the iOS version, it's certainly no less addictive.

As you'll notice in the screenshots above, Geared is ad-supported, meaning the app itself is free to download. It'll run on any phone with Android 1.5 or better, and the download itself weighs just 4MB, so there's no excuse to not give it a try. Join us after the jump for the QR code and Market link, as well as a video of Geared in action.

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3 years ago

Google bids for Nortel's patent portfolio in hopes of helping Android and Chrome

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Google has announced today via its blog that it has bid for Nortel's patent portfolio. They begin their blog post by chastising companies that use patents to stifle innovation and the current patent system in general. 

Here is the next paragraph:

But as things stand today, one of a company’s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services. Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories.

Nortel is a communications giant that dates back to the 1800s, thus their patent portfolio must be enormous. Google's current bid was labeled as the "stalking-horse bid," which means that others wanting to bid for the portfolio will have to use its bid as the starting point. 

Google also mentioned the Android and Chrome projects specifically towards the end of its  post, citing the need to protect them as a main reason for bidding. 

Ideally, the patent system would undergo much needed reforms; until then, moves like this are the best defense against an onslaught of lawsuits. [Google blog]

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3 years ago

Android Central Forums member snags HTC Merge early in Alltel retail store

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The HTC Merge is still officially only available for pre-order on Alltel. But Android Central Forums member jtowndawg scoped out his local store in Georgia and, sure enough, was able to take one home already. And even better, he's given us a nice little photo gallery of his bounty. And for that, he'll be rewarded.

The HTC Merge, as you undoubtedly remember from our exclusive hands-on way back last fall, and in more recent sit-downs, is a 3.8-inch Android 2.2 phone with an excellent sliding keyboard and 5MP camera that all but disappeared for a few months. And now it's on Alltel, and it's also headed to Cellular South. What we don't know is if it's ever going to see release on Verizon, as it was initially intended. There remain hints to that fact -- some new, some old -- but nothing official.

But if you're on Alltel and are dying for the Merge, it'd behoove you to swing by your local store. Tell 'em Android Central sent ya. And check out more pics of jtowdawg's new Merge in the forums. [HTC Merge in Alltel stores now, HTC Merge forums]

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3 years ago

Beautiful Widgets tablet beta hands-on

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Widgets are a big part of Android, providing information at a glance without having to go through the steps of opening an application.  Beautiful Widgets has been a long time favorite of both fan and Android Central staff alike, and when we heard that Levelup Studio had released a public beta of a tablet version, we had to go hands-on.  It's not perfect -- beta software never is -- but it's stable, and lives up to the beautiful part of the app name.  Having said that, the toggle widgets aren't 100 percent just yet, but the clocks, weather, and battery widgets work like a champ.

Hit the break to see a quick video of them in action on the Xoom, as well as a download link for both the public beta and the full, paid Market version (Android 1.5 and up) and a link to the wallpaper before you even have to ask.  [Android Central forums]

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3 years ago

Experimental Honeycomb ROM now available for Samsung Galaxy Tab

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The unofficial Android 3.0 Honeycomb port for the Samsung Galaxy Tab that we reported a couple of weeks ago has made some pretty impressive progress in a relatively short space of time. Now ROM chef spacemoose1 has made some initial alpha builds available for download, giving the CDMA Galaxy Tab its first taste of Honeycomb. The ROM is based on the Honeycomb SDK build, and although it's (mostly) functional, it's still in the early stages of development and as such is unstable, slow and prone to crashing. Check out the video above to see exactly what we mean.

So it's something you can play around with, but definitely nowhere near stable enough to use as your main ROM. Still, if you have a spare CDMA Galaxy Tab and are feeling adventurous, you can hit the source link to find out more. [XDA] Thanks for the tip, Dan!

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3 years ago

Zipcar Android app in the works

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Zipcar, the popular metro-based car loaner company, has let slip via its Twitter account that there is finally an Android app in the works. Fun the uninitiated, Zipcar's an easier alternative to buying or even traditionally renting a car. There has been a very nice app on the iOS side which allows users to reserve cars on-the-go, unlock them and much more. 

No time frame for when the app is expected to be released, but knowing it's on the way is great news for heavy Zipcar users. [Twitter] Thanks, BSG75!

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3 years ago

Sony Honeycomb tablet in U.S. 'by end of summer', says Nikkei

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Sony will release an Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet by the end of summer, according to Bloomberg, which cites Japanese newspaper Nikkei. Nikkei's report is apparently based on information from Sony CEO Howard Stringer, and says Sony will launch its tablet to the U.S. market first.

These reports add considerable weight to earlier rumors that Sony is working on a 9.4-inch Honeycomb tablet based around its PlayStation Suite and Qriocity service. The tablet, codenamed "S1", was said to be powered by a Tegra 2 processor, and due for a September release at a price point around $600.

Early concept drawings of the S1 showed an interesting design with a bulge at one end to make it easier to hold and prop up. If Sony can combine this design with a compelling software package then they could be onto a winner. We'll keep you posted in the months ahead as more info emerges. [Bloomberg]

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Ace used to shoot slow-motion hipster stunt

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Oh, hipsters. You give them a couple free Samsung Galaxy Aces and what do you know, they run out and take a video of themselves doing some crazy public stunt using said phones. While the video itself is pretty standard fare -- hip soundtrack, 20-somethings, annoyed older bystanders -- the video quality is quite good and shows that the mid-range Ace is a perfectly capable device. [YouTube] Thanks, Vincenzo

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3 years ago

T-Mobile G2X retail packaging revealed

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The first photo of the retail box for the T-Mobile G2X, T-Mo's unskinned version of the LG Optimus 2X, has emerged. The image obtained by TmoNews shows a box similar to that of its keyboard-toting cousin, the G2 -- there's the standard picture of the phone on a patterned white background. This isn't really much to write home about, but the fact that retail packaging has started to leak suggests that a release probably isn't far off at this point. T-Mobile hasn't confirmed a release date yet, but rumors suggest the device may launch as soon as April 20.

Be sure to check out our hands-on coverage of the T-Mobile G2X from CTIA to find out what's inside the box. [TmoNews]

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