Headlines

4 years ago

Napster now available on Android Market

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Don't worry, you weren't sent back to the year 1999. It's still 2010. The original peer-to-peer music sharing service as hit the Android Market. Only now, it's legall. The app is free, but to access the music, you must be a Napster subscriber -- $10 a month. 

Here is the description:

Listen to your choice of over 11 million full-length songs -- anytime, anywhere, all for just $10 a month. Also enjoy Napster on any connected computer, compatible TV, Blu-ray player, or other home audio products. Sign in today, or sign up for a FREE TRIAL and save 20% with the annual plan. Enjoy Napster everywhere.

Download link after the break.

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4 years ago

Microsoft sues Motorola over Android

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Microsoft v Motorola

Take the natural progression of mobile device software, add in some overpriced corporate law types and a very big and very popular target, and you get a new round of patent lawsuits!  This time around it's Microsoft v. Moto, at least on the surface.  The suit (we have the full filing after the break) focuses on Motorola's Android devices (of course) and specifically names the Droid 2 in several of its nine claims of infringement. 

Here's the full statement from Microsoft, with the meat in bold:

“Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones. The patents at issue relate to a range of functionality embodied in Motorola’s Android smartphone devices that are essential to the smartphone user experience, including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.

We have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year in bringing innovative software products and services to market. Motorola needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its Android smartphones.”

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I claim to be, but even I can fix this one.  Moto -- make a few Windows Phone 7 handsets so Microsoft doesn't feel like the ugly girl on prom night, sign Redmond's papers and settle for very little financial loss, and be done with it.  Worked for HTC!  But please, be sure to lock the bootloader and change the OS so that Google is the default search engine for us m'kay?  Hit the break to read the whole 243 pages of legalese.  [MicrosoftCNet]

Update: Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez blogs about it here.

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4 years ago

HTC Merge benchmarks

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 HTC Merge benchmarks

The HTC Merge we took for a spin sports an ARM7 processor at 800MHz. Go ahead, start typing your comment about how it's "only" 800MHz. We'll wait. Now look up at the Quadrant score above. Hit delete. It's OK. In our brief time with the Merge, it seemed speedy enough.

Of course, we ran a few benchmark tests: Linpack, Quadrant and the oldie but goody, fps2D (just because). Check out the full results after the break.

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4 years ago

Google's Car Home app updated, now with customization!

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Car Home 1Car Home 2

Google continues to put their applications in the Market, which allows for easier updates to be pushed out to users. Car Home is the newest to join the bunch and is now available to download in the Market; with the update comes some much improved features.

Users are now allowed to re-arrange the icons and also have the ability to add other shortcuts to the pages. The four options that are presented to users when they click add shortcut are:

  • Car Applications
  • Other Applications
  • Direct Dial
  • Directions and Navigation

There are now four screens that allow users to fill up Car Mode with everything they'll be needing, so they won't feel tempted to close the app while driving. Other customizable options include the colors of the icons, the wallpaper on the back of the app and a new feature that will automatically start the Bluetooth radio when Car Home is launched. 

It's great that Google is putting these apps in the Market so that we don't have to wait for an OS update to see additional features. Please see more pictures and a link to download the app after the break. Note on installation: When you install it, just open the regular Car Home app if it is already installed on the phone; it acts as simply an update. [Google Mobile Blog via cnet]

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Oct. 1, 2010

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applications

The Android market is a fun place, full of plenty of different applications and many other things. Finding something that is fitting for yourself can be a difficult task, as it contains so many applications, but this is where we come to save the day (as always) and bring you some of our favorite choices from our very own devices.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab available in the UK on Nov. 1, going to all major carriers

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Samsung Galaxy Tab UK

Samsung's Galaxy Tab will be available on November 1st in the UK from all major carriers. A press release this morning announced the release date, but there still is no word yet on pricing. 

Here is an excerpt from the release; to see the full version, see after the break:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be available in the UK across all major networks, key high street and out of town electrical retailers and online such as Carphone Warehouse, Dixons Store Group and T-Mobile. The Galaxy Tab will be available on a range of attractive price packages, making it as widely accessible as possible to all consumers.

The Galaxy Tab is going to be accessible from a lot of retailers, so pick your favorite and gear up for November 1st. [via Engadget]

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4 years ago

U.S. Cellular is out to change the game with 'The Belief Project'

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Us Cellular

U.S. Cellular, the nations number six carrier, has just announced that they will be changing the way they do business with news of "The Belief Project".  The Belief Project is simple -- finish your current contract, or sign up for a new one, and when it's finished it's finished.  You still get all the perks that an in-contract customer would have -- discounted phones every 18 months, point to use for accessories or to upgrade early, and the same overage forgivness.  There's no fee to participate, simply finish a standard two year plan and enroll in The Belief Project.  You can quit whenever you want -- with no ETF, because you're not tied to a carrier contract.

While I applaud U.S. Cellular, I also have to question the other carriers.  If the little guy (U.S. Cellular has about 6 million customers) can afford to treat their customers well and earn customer loyalty instead of enforcing it with contracts and outrageous ETF's, why can't the big four?  It's awful tempting to just dump what I have here and head over to US Cellular and get a shiny new Desire -- all that holds me back is coverage.  I urge all of you to check US Cellular's coverage for your area, if for no other reason than to question your current carrier about why they can't offer what the little guy can.  The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC Merge initial review

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We bring you an exclusive hands-on with the elusive global horizontal slider

Slim, sleek and ready to do business -- that's how we'd decribe the HTC Merge. The Merge (aka the Lexikon -- and both of those names are subject to change, by the way) on Verizon looks to be the Android smartphone you worldwide travelers have been waiting for. Take the best HTC has to offer -- hardware, build quality, physical keyboard, user interface -- toss it atop Android 2.2 and slap on a global SIM card. That's the Verizon HTC Merge.

Pique your interest a bit? We go hands-on -- all the way hands-on -- after the break.

More on the Merge: Hands-on video |  Photo Gallery | Benchmarks | More in the forums

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4 years ago

Watch penguins with Street View -- now on seven continents

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 Watch penguins with Street View -- now on seven continents

Way back on the original T-Mobile G1, Google brought us Street View in Maps. Here it is two years later, and the Android Google Maps app brings us so much more--turn-by-turn navigation, places search, and walking navigation. Every time we turn around, Google is throwing another amazing feature into Google Maps, which in turn makes its way to the Android app. This time it's no different as they add all seven continents to Street View. That's right, all seven--including Antarctica. Just pick a spot on the map, select Street View, and if it's available for that area you'll be looking around in no time. [Google Mobile Blog]

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4 years ago

Android reaches new high in purchase intentions

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 Smartphone purchase intentions

These last few months have seen nearly exponential growth for Android as a platform, and we have seen the numbers to prove it. Now, new data has come out from InvestorPlace that shows Android is increasingly gaining mindshare along with marketshare. The numbers, shown above, show a 7 percentage point jump for Android purchase intent in September compared to back in June. This is a huge increase over September of 2009, when the number stood at just 6 percent.

In addition, consumer satisfaction with their Android devices remained high with 65 percent of users saying they were "very satisfied" with their Android phone. This is very competitive to the iPhone's score of 74 percent and blows away the next highest operating systems, Palm's webOS at 32 percent and RIM's BlackBerry OS at 31 percent. Jump past the link for more beautiful graphs and some hard numbers. [InvestorPlace]   

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4 years ago

Google expands paid app support to a ton of new countries

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After hearing reports awhile back that Indian users were seeing paid apps, Google has finally announced that it is launching a huge expansion in the number of nations that can buy and sell paid applications on the Android Market. Developers in 20 new nations will now be able to sell paid apps, brining the total  up to 29. In addition, Google plans to enable the purchasing of paid apps in 18 additional countries over the next few weeks, brining that total to 32. The majority of additions come from Europe and South America, but there are a number of other nations included as well. Click past the read link to get the full list and to see if your country has been included. [Google]

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4 years ago

Epic 4G update on hold, Samsung says

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 Epic 4G update

If you keep hitting the update button on your Samsung Epic 4G in hopes of getting that update that was supposed to drop to today, well, stop it. There's been a tiny snag, Samsung says. And because we know how you guys love conspiracy theories, we'll bold the part that proves Samsung's not trying to screw you over:

We learned this evening that there were administrative issues getting this software loaded to Google's servers. We don't yet have an expected time when this will be available but will update you as soon as possible. Please see the statement below that was sent by the Sprint Product Management team:

We were planning to release an update for your Samsung Epic 4G on 9/30. The file was delivered and on track for distribution but late this afternoon, we learned that an administrative issue prevented Google from releasing the update as we had planned. We are working to resolve the issue and will provide an update as soon as we understand the new delivery schedule.

We would like to clarify that the timing of this update has nothing to do with the 30 day return window that many of you on these blogs have been discussing and that this delay has nothing to do with any last minute changes within the release package itself. The delay is simply due to an administrative issue that we are working to resolve.

So there you have it, you disbelieving disbelievers, you. Let's hope things get back on track soon. [Sprint via Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Verizon leaks surface, revealing lots more Android and an LTE tablet

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Verizon

Verizon's mobile strategy for the next few months has surfaced and if true, we will be seeing a large LTE tablet and many more high quality Android devices in the near future. 

Here are some of the devices Verizon has up their sleeve:

  • The Samsung Continuum (perhaps you've seen our hands-on of that funky phone with two screens) is on schedule for a late October release. 
  • The Motorola Venus is supposedly coming out in October. Verizon has billed the Venus as being very similar to BlackBerry's form factor and will sport a 1GHz processor, Froyo, as well as GSM in addition to CDMA.
  • Motorola's Droid Pro world phone has a late October/early November goal for release. This is that 1.3 GHz world phone that is rumored to be replacing the Droid 2
  • The HTC Lexicon (or Merge) seems to have a similar release schedule as the Droid Pro, coming either late October or early November
  • LG supposedly has a high-end phone coming to big red with a device labeled en V Pro. This phone is rumored to have a 1GHz processor along with a global radio. If true, it would be one of LG's best Android phones to date, which would hopefully signal their commitment to the OS
  • The Motorola Stingray tablet in Q1 of 2011. According to the source, the Stingray will sport Android 3.0 (Gingerbread), a 10-inch screen, 16GB onboard storage, and Tegra 2.  These specs sound awesome already, but the juiciest part is that it is upgradeable to LTE, which would be quite appealing.

All of this info comes from Engadget's sources, so take the info for what you will. If this is Verizon's plan though, we're very excited for the nest few months. [Engadget]

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4 years ago

HTC Merge user manual leaked

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HTC Merge user manual

We've already seen the RUU for the HTC Merge (Lexikon) leaked out, determined that it's been Binged, and now it's time to scope out the user manual a bit.  The fellas over at DroidLife are showing off a few pages of said manual, and it's just what you would expect a smartphone manual to be.  Concise, to the point, and geared for the new consumer. 

Not saying that's a bad thing, but with all the insane news and links so far this week I was secretly hoping for something more, maybe involving guns and/or firetrucks.  Oh well, I can settle for instruction on how to use the thing I guess.  [DroidLife]

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4 years ago

Foursquare app updates to version 2.0

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Everyone's favorite stalking application just received an update. The new Foursquare 2.0 update allows users to access foursquare's "Tips and To-Dos" much easier within the app than previously before. "Tips and To-Dos are now out in the open, making it easy to share and plan your outings." Having these features out and more present to the user, should allow more and more people to add content to the service. The more people contribute to these lists, the more foursquare will become a useful tool in getting around the neighborhood -- and not just some app you use to stalk your co-workers. [Foursquare Blog]

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