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4 years ago

Yahoo cleaning house, lays some of their mobile apps to rest


I'm not exactly sure how many folks out there use apps from Yahoo but if you're among those that do, you'll want to check the list below. Reason being - Yahoo is laying some of their mobile apps to rest to focus on a whole new set of apps that more so meet users needs. So what apps got the cut?

  • Yahoo! Meme (iPad and iPhone)
  • Yahoo! Mim (iPad)
  • Yahoo! Answers (Android)
  • Yahoo! AppSpot (Android and iPhone)
  • Yahoo! Deals (iPhone)
  • Yahoo! Finance (BlackBerry)
  • Yahoo! Movies (Android)
  • Yahoo! News (Android)
  • Yahoo! Shopping (iPhone)
  • Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search (iPad and iPhone)

That quite a few apps to kill off but from looking at the list, it's looks as though those apps are smaller on the chain and may have a minimal amount of users.

Source: Yahoo; via: Phonescoop

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4 years ago

EFF working to keep jailbreaking legal, wants your help


Jailbreaking or rooting your smartphone is currently "legal" under Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but that exemption is set to expire in 2012.  The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is looking for help and support to keep it that way, and they would like people to contact the US Copyright office and express their opinion.  They are offering up a handy set of questions and concerns readers can use in their appeal to the copyright office, and have done as much as they can to streamline the process and make it painless, with direct links and a petition.  

The idea behind it all is that once we pay our hard-earned money for our expensive electronic toys, they are ours to do with as we please.  As long as safety regulations are met, and we don't do anything to adversely affect our cellular carrier, we should be able to do anything we wish.  It's a great idea, and it's a shame that this even requires an exemption in the DMCA.

The DMCA has been used against people who hack game consoles, and used against people trafficking cell phones, but has anyone ever been prosecuted for rooting their smartphone?  I've searched the net for a few days, and every time I find something that sounds promising, it ends up being more than just someone jailbreaking their iPad or rooting their Bionic.  Yeah, carriers and manufacturers probably hate it, and we can't blame them, but I don't see a case like HTC vs. Jerry Hildenbrand for rooting his Wildfire S getting much traction in a court of law.  Unfortunately, we can't trust things will stay this way in a world full of companies like Microsoft and Apple.

It's absolutely ridiculous that we would require some sort of waiver to be allowed to mess up our own hardware.  It's even more ridiculous that carriers and device makers have acted in ways to put the fear of prosecution in us so we want an exemption in the first place.  It's mine.  If you want to tell me what to do with it, you need to pay me for it.  Until then, leave me the hell alone and let me enjoy my toys.

Hit the link below, and do your part to make sure the Copyright Office does the right thing.

EFF: Jailbreaking is not a crime

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4 years ago

'Optimus 3D MAX' branding rumored for next LG 3D phone


Earlier this week we saw reports that LG is preparing a successor to its Optimus 3D smartphone, to be unveiled at next month's Mobile World Congress. The LG CX2, as it's apparently codenamed, was to ship with a 1.2GHz CPU, 4.3-inch 3D WVGA NOVA display and dual 5MP cameras. Leaked renders also appeared, showing a device much thinner than the veritable brick that was the original Optimus 3D.

Today GSM Israel says it's learned from a "very reliable source" that the CX2's official branding will be "Optimus 3D MAX" (spelled the old-fashioned way, with just one X). If true, the new name would fit a device which appears to be more a refinement of last year's Optimus 3D than anything revolutionary.

It's likely we'll see more of the Optimus 3D MAX, or whatever it's called, in just a few weeks time at Mobile World Congress, so stay tuned.

Source: GSM Israel (translated); via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson buyout approved by the European Commission


The European Commission has given Sony the OK to take full control of Sony Ericsson, three months after Sony paid €1.05 billion for Ericsson's share of the partnership.  Along with the entire company, the hefty sum also earned Sony an IP cross-licensing agreement, as well as ownership of five patent families. If you'll recall, upon announcement of the buyout, Sony said that the acquisition was fueled by the need to integrate SE smartphones into its existing network-connected devices, including TVs and tablets. The European Commission's approval is a major stepping stone in the acquisition process, which will likely be finalized in the coming weeks. 

What does the buyout mean for consumers? As Sony said, it will likely begin focusing on how its smartphones can mingle with its current line of products. Back at CES, Sony showed off its idea of a "connected home", an environment in which its line of smartphones will almost certainly thrive. Who knows, is a smartphone that acts as a Playstation controller too much to ask for? 

Source: Reuters; via Xperia Blog

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4 years ago

LG Spectrum review - Verizon gets another decent second-gen LTE phone


Our LG Spectrum review comes at an interesting time for both the smartphone manufacturer as well the carrier on which it resides, Verizon. On one hand you have LG, which has brought us some excellent high-end Android smartphones as well as a surprising low-ender in the Optimus line. And then you have Verizon, whose 4G LTE network is starting to mature at the ripe old age of 1 but at the same time can appear to have a glass jaw.

And now, we have the LG Spectrum. It's the U.S. version of the LG Optimus LTE -- the Korean manufacturer's second foray in to the latest in high-speed mobile data -- and cousin to the LG Nitro HD on AT&T. (The LG Revolution was one of Verizon's fledgling LTE smartphones.)

Join us after the break as we put the phone through its paces and see if it has what it takes to help carry Verizon deep into 2012.

Fast processor, fast data and a lot of customizations to make things easy for new(ish) users. Has a bright, high-resolution display.

The level of tweaks and customizations may turn some off. Battery life isn't stellar, slight UI lag in places.

The Spectrum is a solid phone for Verizon, but the highly skinned user interface is starting to look a bit cartoonish. The display is a strong positive, but yet again we're left waiting for the promised upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Inside this review

More info

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4 years ago

What is open source?


What is open source? Open-source software is software that makes the source code freely available, for anyone to see and use. Companies, individuals, universities and a lot of other entities build entire projects and use an open-source license, then they give the code away to anyone who wants to use it. The license used determines how others who use this code share their modifications.

There are different open-source licenses that have different use conditions, from the GPL (GNU General Public License) — which allows "free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same license" — to more liberal licenses like the Apache License, which doesn't require modifications to be open and have the source code available. Android uses both of these licenses, and we'll have a look at them in turn.

The Linux kernel that is used in Android is covered under the GPL.  This means that any changes made to the source code must be made available when a binary (geek-speak for a compiled, executable piece of software) is released to the public.  This means manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Motorola and the rest must release the kernel source-code for any devices they sell at the same time they begin selling them. Of course, this rarely happens and we end up waiting for a team to remove notes, source comments and other helpful things before it gets to us. These are the code releases you'll see mentioned on the internet, and consist of the kernel source and other open-source "bits" that are covered under the GPL.

The source code for Android itself is released mostly under the Apache License. Anybody is allowed to download the source code and change it however they like, but they are not required to make their changes available in source code form to the public. This is why we can't easily modify Samsung's Touchwiz (for example) — the changes they made to the base Android source code aren't available to us. While many folks (myself included) don't like this situation very much, it does make sense from a business standpoint. If manufacturers had to share all of their secrets, there wouldn't be as much monetary incentive to innovate, so the source was offered with a far more liberal license. It certainly worked, as we see devices from many major players in the electronics world.

Google's other major consumer product — Chrome OS — is written from the Chromium source. The Google-written parts of Chromium are open source, under the BSD license. Other contributors use various open-source licenses like the MIT license or the GPL. 

An important thing to remember here is that Android and Chromium are open source, but the operating systems used for Nexus devices and Chromebooks are not. They are built from the open-source projects, but may contain proprietary parts to improve the software for each particular device. For Nexus phones, these proprietary bits are released on the Android Developer site and are ready to drop into anything you may build from the AOSP to get the same experience. Chromebooks will run on a completely open build of Chromium, but won't have some closed Google APIs or the full suite video and audio codecs.

Google also releases applications that are not open-source licensed. Gmail, Maps and plenty of the other Google apps that come on our phones aren't part of the AOSP, and are developed independently for Android, Chrome, iOS and the web. When you hear the internet squabbles about Android not being "open", this is what they are talking about. Android, and everything required to install and run Android apps is completely open-source, but the popular applications that make it better are not. This isn't likely to change.

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4 years ago

Shadowgun: The Leftover update live in the Android Market


We brought you the news back on Tuesday, but today is the day. "The Leftover" update for the brilliant Shadowgun is now live in the Android Market. 

The expansion pack is a direct update to the original app, and brings with it 4 whole new levels among a bunch of other cool new features. We're not going to bore you with details, because we know you'd rather be playing this. Hit the break for download links, and a trailer for "The Leftover." 

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4 years ago

ClockworkMod developer teases touch-based recovery


ClockworkMod developer Koushik Dutta has shown off some early progress in bringing touchscreen functionality to his popular custom recovery image for Android. In a video posted on his Google+ page, Koush demonstrates the ability to navigate through menus using touch, rather than the regular volume rocker/power button combo required by current ClockworkMod builds.

A custom recovery image is an important tool for anyone wanting to use custom firmware on their Android device, so it's great to see advanced functionality like touch headed to a popular recovery like CWM.

This isn't the first time we've seen early implementations of touch support in custom recoveries, though. Previous efforts have included an unofficial version of ClockworkMod for the Galaxy Nexus, which uses on-screen keys instead of old-fashioned clicky buttons. The important difference with Koush's implementation is that it allows you to touch and scroll anywhere on the screen to select the item you want, just like when you're browsing through menus in Android.

The developer points out that the version shown in the video is still a "rough cut", with plenty of work yet to be done. But based on what we've seen in the video, things are already looking very promising.

Source: +Kouishik Dutta

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4 years ago

New in at Verizon Galaxy Nexus spare battery and charger



Well, look at that. New on the shelves at is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Spare Battery Charging System. It includes a spare 1850 mAh battery, plus a spare battery charger, so you can make sure you've always got a fresh one ready to go. Ours also comes with a microUSB travel charger, so there are no excuses in keeping your phoen ready.

While we're at it, let's give one away to our U.S. Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners. Just leave a comment on this post and we'll pick a winner later this afternoon. Good luck!

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4 years ago

Verizon ZTE V66 tablet gets pic outed by the Bluetooth SIG


Behold, the ZTE V66 Android tablet, apparently destined for Verizon at some point. The tablet as already been submitted to the U.S. FCC, and now a thumbnail picture (we've blown it up a tad here) has been listed on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's site. 

What we're looking at in the V66 is a 7-inch tablet with some pretty rounded corners, Android 3.2 Honeycomb and 4G LTE data, along with the usual CDMA, Bluetooth, Wifi, and all that jazz.

We can also see a custom lock screen here, for what it's worth. And we're trying not to read too much into the "Sunday, February 2X" date -- it could mean anything or nothing, or it could be smack in the middle of Mobile World Congress. You don't typically see U.S. announcements come out of MWC, but then again we don't ZTE devices in the states yet to base that one, and there's no reason why Verizon couldn't be part of a larger launch.

Anyhoo, we'll be at Mobile World Congress if and when the V66 -- and we don't expect that to be the name Verizon ultimately bestows on it -- is announced stay tuned.

Source: Bluetooth SIG, FCC; via Unwired View, The Verge

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4 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Over the Rockies


Here's a nice one from reader ThreeofNine, who snagged this shot from an airplane while over the Rocky Mountains.

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4 years ago

RIM's new CEO on Android hardware: 'they are all the same'


To say it's been an interesting year for Research in Motion and BlackBerry would certainly be an understatement. It was about 10 months ago that we first learned that RIM's tablet would be capable of running full-fledged Android applications, and suddenly we had to start caring about what was coming out of Waterloo.

This week RIM has undergone probably its most important change since realizing SurePress wasn't a sure thing -- co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down as co-CEOs, and chief operating officer Thorsten Heins has taken their place in the head office. There have been calls for RIM to adopt Android. There have been calls fro RIM to adopt Windows Phone. Really, everybody seems to know what's best for RIM.

Our pals at CrackBerry got some one-on-one time with Heins this week, and we're learning a little more about his position on Android -- mainly that he's unimpressed with the hardware on which it's running. "They are all the same," he says.

Here's what Heins told CrackBerry's Kevin Michaluk:

Kevin: I keep reading these articles that BlackBerry should build on Android, but I just don't understand them.
Thorsten: Just take a look where the Android OEMs are. I leave this to you. Take a look at their recent announcements and what you will immediately see is there is just no room for differentiation because they are all the same.

We've seen a lot of Android devices over the past year. Some good, some not. A lot of black slabs, to be sure. But also a dual-screen phone. Two phones with 3D screens. BlackBerry-esque phones with tiny screens and quint little keyboards. Thinner, lighter, faster, with web browsers that actually work and games you're not ashamed to play in public. Android hardware manufacturers might be guilty of too many models, but you certainly can't say they haven't experimented, even if it led to failure.

Before Heins bemoans the "sameness" of Android hardware, perhaps another look at RIM's own stable is in order.  

Check out Kevin's entire interview with Thorensten Heins at!

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4 years ago

Android Central 85: The Droid RAZR MAXX, LG Spectrum, Google privacy changes


Audio-only stream below

We're back once again with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World! Up this week is the LG Spectrum, Droid RAZR MAXX, Jerry finally gets a Galaxy Nexus, and we talk about Google's privacy policy changes. (Note: There's no video this week. It'll return next week.) 

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4 years ago

Vlingo responds to privacy issues raised about its Android app


The popular Android app Vlingo has come under a bit of fire the past several days, as it seems the application is sending a bit more data than they explain in their privacy agreement.  The folks over at Android Pit found some things that raised a few eyebrows, so we reached out to Vlingo to see what was what, and if we need to worry.  We spent some time talking to product engineers, and our conclusion is that everything's on the up-and-up, but there were some issues with the way their privacy agreement was written or presented to the user and a software bug or two at work.  

Things get a little muddy, partially because there's more than one Android version.  One is available in the Market for any device to download, and there's a more customized version offered by OEM's like Samsung on the Galaxy Note.  Different versions with different licenses and agreements simply led to the wrong version of the privacy agreement being presented to the user.  The developers and staff at Vlingo recognize that there's an issue, and were completely transparent about the entire thing.

They also came across a bug that allowed the service to run even if the user initially canceled the request, and another that sends location data when none is requested.  Again, Vlingo was up front about the issue and answered any questions we asked.  They even have set up an opt-out process for folks who don't want to use the product with these issues, and they will delete all user data from anyone who requests it.

Yes, it's bad when software bugs force an application to send the wrong data.  It's also bad when users aren't presented with the correct use policies -- even though most would never read them.  But these types of things happen, and the real test is how the company reacts when presented with issues of this sort.  And Vlingo aced it.  They were courteous, and seemed genuinely concerned about the issues, without trying to back pedal or lay the blame at someone else's feet.  This kind of transparency with the community is exactly what we deserve and expect.  Hit the break for the official statement, in its entirety.

More info about the privacy concerns: Android Pit

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4 years ago

Pulse News - Updated with bug fixes for tablets, dark mode


If you're a user of Pulse News you'll want to the Android Market and grab the latest update. Getting bumped up to v2.7.4, this releases addresses some issues with dark mode and more importantly takes care of a few bugs for tablet users. It's not a huge update but it's an update either way and we like updates -- especially when they improve the end-user experience. Whether you're looking to give Pulse News a try for the first time or just looking to get updated, you'll find the link past the break.

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