Google has (finally) released the Music Manager PC client for Linux, meaning work-arounds like WINE are no longer necessary. You can download pre-packaged binaries in either .rpm or .deb format, ready to install on many popular Linux systems. This is a closed source project, so if you're not using a Linux distro that can parse a deb or rpm package, you'll have to convert it to your preferred package type with a program like Alien, or extract the archive and manually inspect the install script (I'll drop those ubergeek instructions after the break for those interested).
Along with official Linux support, Linux versions of Google Music Manager also support .ogg files, by transcoding them to 320kbps .mp3 files. This is the same way it handles FLAC files, and while not perfect, we're not going to complain because any support is better than none. Getting it installed is easy -- just fire up your web browser (on your Linux computer, of course) and head to music.google.com. Once there, click the "add music" link, and download the client. It seems pretty solid, and certainly better than using the (not an)emulated Windows version.
Microsoft has released a set of tools and samples that now makes it a good bit easier to get users Windows Live data from Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger for smartphone applications, including Android apps. Developers will only need to enter the application name and language used, and then they will receive a client ID and secret token. These are then used in your application to allow the user to sign in via the web, with no back-end needed for this from the developers. Microsoft provides a working sample to view a user's SkyDrive photos, with more examples to follow.
Microsoft, as much as anyone, understands the open platform model. It's been good to them over the years, and it's nice to see simple and effective methods to access user account data across mobile platforms. I hope some developers out there with the "next great idea" for a Windows Live app takes advantage of them. Drop us a line if that sounds like you!
At this point it's just a matter of time before the Motorola Droid Bionic turns up for sale and available to all -- however, Verizon still appears to be swaying on the side of caution and maintaining as much secrecy as humanly possible. What you see above is a new Verizon display unit that is clearly missing a unit. That space, looks like a like it could house a device with a 4.3-inch display much like the Droid Bionic has doesn't it? In any event, we're still stuck in "wait and see mode" here.
Good news for HTC Desire owners on British network Three -- the carrier has confirmed today that it'll be pushing out the official Gingerbread update for the popular handset as soon as it's made available by HTC. No waiting around for network testing or the addition of carrier-mandated bloatware, instead Three-branded Desires will get the update at the same time as unbranded phones. In a post on its official Twitter account, a Three rep said --
Three customers will get this update as soon as HTC release it, there is not a Three version
The Gingerbread update for the HTC Desire is currently in the final stages of testing at HTC, and is expected by the end of the month.
Asked this on Twitter earlier today, and let's put it to you folks: We're more than halfway through the year, and chances are we'll see a new Nexus device -- whatever it may be -- by the end of the year, if Google keeps up with previous schedules. (Though we have no assurances that it will.)
So the question is this: With the possibility of a new Nexus device in the next five or six months, are you willing to shell out for a Samsung Nexus S? It's a mere $99 on contract, but $529 outright.
Remember the snafu last month where T-Mobile was shipping out warranty-replacement G2s running Gingerbread? Well, some crafty tinkerers have extracted the build and made it available for all to download. This 2.3 update is the same exact version as the one T-Mobile mistakenly shipped out, so though it isn't "official," rest assured that it is the build that big T is working with. No, you don't need root, but yes, there are some bugs that still need squashing, so as always, download at your own risk. Hit the source link to grab the update from T-Mobile's support community.
We're going to suspend disbelief here for a moment and imagine that some of you have girlfriends, and that these girlfriends on occasion shop at a store called Wet Seal, which apparently sells "cute teen clothing." (Note to self: Don't ever let your daughters grow up.)
Anyhoo, they might soon be asking about a promotion in which they can get a free Android smartphone for trying on a pair of jeans (and they'll likely be wondering where you're hiding the camera).
Here's the deal: Yeah, they (or you) can get a "free" phone in exchange for trying on jeans. It's free insofar as you still have to sign up for a two-year voice/data plan. So if that's a good deal for you, then go for it. But remember, free ain't quite "free."
As the patent world turns ... The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, this morning reports that Google is in talks with InterDigital Inc. about acquiring the "technology developer and licenser" in the wake of its failed bidding for that Nortel patent suite.
The WSJ story says IngerDigital owns around 8,800 patents regarding transmitting wireless data, noise-cancellation and other technology for cellular phones and networks.
What's 4.3 inches of Tegra 2 power, chock full of on-board storage, and sitting in Android Central reader Shawheim's pocket? Why the Motorola Photon, of course. It looks like he was lucky enough to come across someone selling a unit on the web, and like any self-respecting Android geek he jumped. He was kind enough to post a handful of pictures and some initial thoughts in the forums, and while I don;t want to spoil anything, he says "its a BEAST!"
It's coming for the rest of us on July 31, but in the meantime we can all hang out in the Motorola Photon 4G forums and patiently wait. Be sure to visit and check out all his pics!