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2 years ago

Google-Motorola deal approved by Chinese regulators

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Regulators in China have approved the multi-billion dollar purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google. The particulars have already been approved in the US and elsewhere, and China has been the lone holdout. With that bit of dirty business behind them, the deal can now go forward. In statements released to Bloomberg Motorola and Google both confirm the news, and are looking forward to getting the loose ends tied up in short order.

We expect things to stay unchanged between Google and Motorola, as we've heard numerous times that Motorola will remain an independent entity. Only time will let us know how that turns out. It will be an interesting summer, that's for sure.

Source: Bloomberg; Thanks, Alexander!

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 19, 2012

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Ready to check out some more of our favorite apps? Each week we bring to you some of our favorites in hopes that they may become your favorites, and we want you to do the same. Drop a line in the comments and let us know some of the awesome applications you have installed on your device, so the rest of the Android Central community can check them out as well!

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2 years ago

Motorola: If ICS won't make our device better, we won't update to it

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Motorola yesterday updated its device update schedule, with the crux being that we'll finally start to see some phones get Ice Cream Sandwich in the next month or so. Specifically, that's the Droid RAZR/MAXX, with the Atrix, Atrix 2, Droid 4 and Xyboards getting it in Q3.

Have a Droid 3 or Droid X2? Sorry, you're out of luck. And today Motorola expanded on why, saying:

"... obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device."

Interesting choice of words. What it probably means is that Moto determined that the cost in time and effort to update those older phones to ICS outweighs the benefit of Ice Cream Sandwich, which indeed sucks given how young those phones are. But that's the crapshoot we all enter into these days, unfortunately.

Good luck convincing folks that Ice Cream Sandwich won't improve their phones, Moto.

You can get the full statement at the source link below.

Source: Motorola

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2 years ago

Android Central international round-up - May 19, 2012

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Compared to all the drama stateside surrounding the customs woes of HTC's new handsets, it was a fairly quiet week for international Android news. But even a quiet week here in the Android world has its share of phone launches, update news, release announcements and the like, so let's dive right in.

We got our first peek at the HTC Desire C this week, as HTC prepares to launch its successor to the Wildfire S. With NFC, ICS and Beats Audio on-board, the Desire C looks like a surprisingly feature-packed little device, and we're looking forward to getting our hands on it in the near future for a full review. Speaking of reviews, we wrapped up our Motorola Motoluxe review this week -- Richard found it to be a well-built entry-level handset, albeit one that's limited by Moto's slightly janky software additions.

And the countdown to the Samsung Galaxy S III launch continues -- T-Mobile UK announced its pricing for the device, and we heard that some stores in the UK will be opening the evening before the official launch day to give eager pre-order customers the chance to pick up their handsets.

We also got a release date for an Android flagship from another manufacturer -- LG revealed that it'll launch the Optimus 4X HD in Europe starting in June.

Check out some choice cuts from the past week's international Android developments below, and if you've got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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2 years ago

Straight Talk, Unified eMail, Signal drops [From the Forums]

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We've blown through a bunch of content for you all this week so be sure to get yourself caught up if, for whatever reason you missed out on anything. In addition to the news and editorials, we also managed to do up a Android Central podcast for you all and if that isn't enough -- be sure to check out the Android Central Forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

Customers don't want shared data plans says T-Mobile

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With all the recent news about forcing customers to use shared data plans we saw this week, T-Mobile wanted to let everyone know their stance on the situation. Posting on the company's Issues and Insights blog, Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing, says "T-Mobile believes that consumers today do not want a ‘one size fits all’ approach to shared family data plans, nor would they benefit from that model". ​Reading through the sentiment in the comments on the recent Verizon news, and one would have to assume he is right.

Reading and watching David poke at Goliath is fun (in some twisted kind of blogger way) but there's one big variable still not defined -- how much shared data, and how much will it cost. With a reasonably high cap, at a reasonably low price, I can see the benefit in a shared data poll across multiple devices. Saying goodbye to a  5GB plan for your phone, your tablet, and your data card or hotspot, and hello to a shared 10 GB plan at half the cost is an offer many would jump on, even if the cost per kilobyte increases.  

One thing Sherrard is saying that I think most would agree with is that "Customers who pay more, should get more". There are many ways for Verizon (and AT&T, who surely won't be far behind) to make this a change for the good. Until we see the plans and pricing, I'm not ready to crucify anyone just yet. If everything holds true, we'll know more in about a month. 

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

ITC orders import ban on Motorola Android phones over Microsoft patent issues

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Update: More of the story is coming out, and we learn that Motorola was found not to infringe on eight other patents in the case. This verdict is currently under Presidential review, and will be subject to appeal. In a statement to ArsTechnica Motorola has said the following: 

Although we are disappointed by the Commission’s ruling that certain Motorola Mobility products violated one patent, we look forward to reading the full opinion to understand its reasoning. Motorola Mobility will not experience any impact in the near term, as the Commission's ruling is subject to a $0.33/per unit bond during the 60 day Presidential review period. We will explore all options including appeal.

The original story follows.

HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE may soon have a few friends to keep them company while they wait for customs to allow them into the US, as the ITC has decided to ban the import of Motorola Android phones for infringing on a Microsoft patent for "generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device". According to FOSS Patents, this order will likely go into effect in 60 days, as the ITC has rejected Google's claims that an exclusion order was not in the public's best interests. Because of FOSS Patents owner Florian Mueller's close ties to Microsoft and his track record on proceedings of this type, we're awaiting on an official word from both sides to see just how damaging this decision may be before we make any predictions. It's very likely that Motorola can just tweak a setting and comply with the ITC's rulings while they await a full judgment.

If you recall, Motorola has been embroiled in legal disputes with Microsoft while other big players have decided to pay licensing fees to stay out of court. Sometimes this strategy will work, sometimes it backfires. In the end innovation gets stifled by patents on ideas instead of methods, and consumers always lose. More on this as it comes forth.

Source: FOSS Patents

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2 years ago

Motorola Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich schedule updated

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Motorola device owners have been pretty vocal about their want for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on their devices. Motorola in response to that, has kept an ICS rollout schedule updated and recently they made some changes to it that will either excite you or upset you, depending on which device you own.

Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR MAXX and XOOM 3G/4G owners have the most to be excited about as ICS updates for those devices should be rolling out at just about any moment right now. Atrix, Atrix 2, Droid Bionic, Droid 4 and XYBOARD owners will be waiting until the next quarter for their updates.

Own a Droid 3 or Droid X2 though? Looks as though you better start looking towards some ICS compatible ROM's as those devicse will be stuck on Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the remainder of their lifecycle, minus some bug fix and maintenance releases.

Source: Motorola, Android Central Forums

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2 years ago

Beckham bending it for the Samsung Galaxy Note, London Olympics

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Samsung's teasing it on its Facebook page today, but the full advert's already leaked out on Twitter -- David Beckham's doing his thing for Samsung and the Galaxy Note. Some folks in the forums have opined that we're looking at a "new" Galaxy Note (and indeed the "new Galaxy Note with "Premium Suite" upgrade" is mentioned, but it  more to us like Samsung's just promoting that "Premium Suite" upgrade that includes Ice Cream Sandwich and started pushing recently. The description on the teaser points to something going down May 22, so stay tuned. (Our guess: More with the Olympic torch, which Becks helped welcome to the UK today.)

We've got the teaser and the full video after the break. Check it out before it gets pulled.

Via AT&T Galaxy Note forums

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2 years ago

Get yourself a new Android smartphone just for eating at Chili's

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We've seen some pretty interesting Android promotions in our time, but Chili's latest takes the cake for sure. They have a new app out and they really want you to try it out. In fact, they want you to try it out so bad that they'll give you a free Android smartphone to do so.

The process is fairly simple of course, visit the Chili's website and order up $25 worth of food and you'll get be able to collect a free Android device and then download their app onto it. The fine print is where you may get caught up though, it shows it's with a new 2-year contract and subject to terms but that's just how it has to be. Interested? Check out the link below for the full details.

Source: Chili's; Thanks, Cory!

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