Finding a parking spot just got a little easier, thanks to Google's new Open Spot app for Android. The concept is simple enough, fire up the app to see what spots are near (.9 mile radius) you, and the color of the pin tells you how long it's been since someone marked it. Red means 'freshly-marked', orange pins mean the spot was marked 5 minutes ago, and the yellow spots are older than 10 minutes -- after 20 minutes they disappear.
Speaking of marking the spot, the application is driven by the idea that you mark open spots you find, and lady karma rolls back around to help you find one when you need it. And before you let those devious ideas loose, Google claims to have their own method of dealing with 'greifers' -- people who mark spots when there are none. As of now, this app is Android only; no word on a web version or cross platform availability, but I imagine that this won't stay exclusive for too long. Hit the jump for the download links. [Google OpenSpot via TechCrunch]
Yeah, so by now Fring users likely have noticed that Skype access has been pulled. And, you guessed it, we have the iPhone to blame. Fring recently updated its iPhone version, which allows cross-platform chatting (see our demo with Rene from TiPB) and sure enough, the gathering horde borked it for the rest of us. Here's Fring's official response, from its forums:
This is absolutely amazing. Since the release of our latest iPhone version yesterday we have seen a huge jump in fring video calling.
So, to free up some room for more fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to Skype. Be patient, we'll have some more updates soon.
These things happen, but surely just about everybody saw it coming. Anyhoo, hang tight, folks, and hopefully Fring will have things up and running soon enough. [Fring via Android Central Forums] Thanks to everybody who sent this in.
NTP is once again suing over patents they hold for the wireless collection of e-mail data, charging Google, Motorola, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Apple with infringement. (Seems they forgot carrier pigeon breeders and pilots who fly banner ads). Many of you will remember the drawn out affair between NTP and RIM, which ended in 2006 with a mega-million dollar judgment in NTP's favor, or their subsequent fight with Palm that quietly disappeared for unknown reasons a year later.
The late Tom Campana, NTP's founder and the 'inventor' of e-mail certainly does hold several valid patents showing the technology is his, but it will be up to the courts (with millions of our tax dollars) to determine the validity of the newest claims. Can I haz patent reform plz? The full press release is after the break. [PRNewswire]
Stop and think for a minute. We've seen seven Android phones announced for U.S. carriers in a little more than two weeks. That's just insane. The Droid X. The four phones of the Galaxy S line (hell, toss in two more if you want to count U.S. Cellular and Cellular South). The Motorola Charm. The Samsung Intercept. It's been quite the week, and that's just the hardware side.
So let's end the week right. Bar's open, and so are the comments.
For all the naysayers who didn't think T-Mobile would really sell the Samsung Vibrant a week early, well, how do we say this nicely? We told you so! Today T-Mobile made an announcement on its official twitter page stating that the device will be ready for sale on July 15, a week earlier then previously announced. This 4-inch screen powered by a 1GHz processor and equipped with Bluetooth 3.0 will run $199.99 upon release, so if you were holding out on the Nexus One in hopes of something bigger coming along, it's here! [T-Mobile Twitter via MobileBurn]
If Windows 3.1 on your Droid isn't good enough for you, how about a modern desktop OS running on your Nexus One or Sprint Evo 4G? Braniac Max from NexusOneHacks.net managed to shoehorn Ubuntu onto his Nexus One over the Independence Day weekend. Not to be outdone, a few days later it was modified to run on the Evo 4G. More details after the break. [via NexusOneHacks and GoodAndEvo]
Update: Matt wrote in to let us know that Ubuntu is running on the Droid as well. Added a video for your perusal after the break. Thanks for the tip Matt!
It's always great to see Android spreading it's robo-love to the smaller guys, and starting today Credo Mobile is carrying the HTC Hero (CDMA). The Hero, running Android 2.1, will be offered at $79.99 with a two year agreement, and plans (voice only) start at $59.99 monthly. Credo Mobile is a small nationwide carrier that uses the Sprint network for voice and data. They pride themselves on their social conscience, and in 2009 the company donated $2,680,211 to nonprofit groups from it's revenue. You can read more about Credo Mobile at the source link, and you can find out everything there is to know about the HTC Hero in our forums. [Credo Mobile] Thanks Nick!
Today is the launch of the Samsung Acclaim on US Cellular, and the nation's sixth-largest carrier has a treat for everyone coming in to pick one up -- the Acclaim (as well as other select handsets), will include Your Navigator Deluxe. Your Navigator Deluxe is a TeleNav powered turn-by-turn navigation system (very much like SprintNavigator for Sprint smartphones) that includes enhancements like comprehensive business listings and weather conditions. Many (this author included) prefer TeleNav products over the standard Google navigation because of the small extras like a personal launch page and details about your destination. In any case, more options is never a bad thing.
Check out a video overview of Your Navigator Deluxe and the full press release after the break. [TeleNav Blog]
While some of us use our phones to communicate or play awesome games, there are those who take science and spare time to the next level. Mike Partain is one of those people. Using an off-the-shelf Lego NXT robotics kit, a Motorola Droid and a whole bucketful of ingenuity and smarts, Mike has added sensors the robotics kit was missing -- camera, GPS, and compass. Hit the break to read about it in Mike's own words, a link to the source code (special thanks Mike!), and a couple videos seeing different views from the Droid's unblinking eye. [spike3 on PBase]
When we saw Martin Cooper -- the inventor of the cell phone, by the way -- on C-SPAN in March, he was telling us how he gave up his iPhone for the Motorola Droid. Fast forward to today, and he's continuing his praises of everybody's favorite smartphone operating system, this time in a Q&A with CNN. Much of it has to do with his influence on the cell phone industry, but it's the final quote that has the zinger:
"I think that the Android phones are catching up now, and the latest version of the Android phones are every bit as good, if not better, than the iPhone."
Behold, the retail box for the AT&T Samsung Captivate, which will be available July 18 for $199 after two-year contract. You'll note how the front of the box, at least, is way heavy on the "Samsung Galaxy S" and light on any mention of Android. Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily, though it certainly stands out. Same goes for the promo video that's making the YouTube rounds (and which you can see after the break). Figure with the Galaxy S launching on all four major U.S. carrier in the next month or so, this is just tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, folks. [via Engadget]
The Motorola MB710 (which looks and sounds a lot like the Motoroi) has been cleared by the FCC, and it appears headed to T-Mobile. The FCC documents include a user manual mockup that shows us MyFaves, and the radio bands (1700 MHz AWS) pretty much scream that T-Mobile is where it's headed. Wonder which device on the leaked roadmap it could be?
What we know about specs: MOTOBLUR, 3.5 mm headset jack, GPS, WiFi, bluetooth, microSD card support, 8 megapixel camera, and a xenon flash. If this is really a Motoroi variant, we can expect Android 2.1, and the familiar 3.7 480x854 LCD display. Of course, not a peep from Motorola or T-Mobile about the handset, so educated guesses are the rule of the day. [FCC via Phonescoop]
It's Android contest time, boys and girls, and the folks at Seidio are offering up a whopping 20 cases. On tap for the Verizon Droid Incredible are five Innocase Rugged cases and five Innocase Active cases. And it's the same deal for the Evo 4G -- five Innocase Active cases and five Innocase Rugged cases.
Phil, Mickey and Jerry survive the LeBron James announcement and find time to talk new Android phones, who's getting Froyo when, a bunch of new apps and a slew of your e-mails and voicemails. Listen in!
Online auction giant eBay this morning announced that its Android application is now available internationally, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. With the app, you'll have access to:
Buyer alerts – Stay up to date on the status of auctions and watched items with timely alerts
Daily Deals – View limited time bargains on popular items, where items are often more than 50% off the original price and include free shipping
Feedback – Leave Feedback for items bought and sold within the application
My eBay – Improved experience that includes an easier to use interface so sellers can quickly access listings, watched items, bids and sales
Member Messages – Buyers and sellers can now receive and reply to messages and emails sent through My eBay. Ask a seller a question or reply to an inquiry or keep track of notifications directly through the app
Sharing – Enabled with sharing functions so that buyers and seller can share items via Facebook, Twitter or email with friends and family
Payments – PayPal account users can purchase items directly through the application
View Sellers Other Items – View what other items a particular seller has to offer across eBay
Voice search – In addition to type search, the eBay application comes enabled with speech-to-text voice search
You should be able to download the eBay app now in the Android Market (link). [Business wire]
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