Headlines

3 years ago

Legal filing lends credence to claims of Google showing preferential treatment

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Carriers, manufacturers who play nice get 'non-contractual time to market advantage'

Can't say this surprises us much. Think back to mid-May, when This is my Next's Nilay Patel did a bang-up job explaining that whole Google-Skyhook brouhaha and the alleged strong-arming of carriers and manufacturers to conform to Google's way of thinking (developing, really) when it comes to Android.

Fast forward to now. FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller has been dissecting documents just filed in the Oracle v. Google case (which involves the Java code used in Android), and tucked in there is the bit of a bombshell you see highlighted above. Let's take a look.

"Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete."

Sounds horrible, doesn't it? But that's actually the way Google's been doing things all along. It all goes back to your definition of Android being "open." Or, as our iPhone-loving pal Rene likes to call it, "Openy." Yes, Android is "Open source" in that the code is eventually made public. (At least it was until we got to Android 3.x, which is still locked up tight.) But Android's never really been developed in public view. For that, look to my favorite example, Mozilla. You get nightly builds. Changes to the source code are immediately made public. Same goes for the CyanogenMod project. While it's based off the released Android Open Source project code, from that point out it's a community endeavor.

No, it's the second bullet point that's more damning.

"Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard."

That's really not a surprise either, but it's more evidence that in the land of Android hardware development, it's not exactly a level playing field. (We're also wondering just where Verizon putting Bing on a number of phones fits into aligning to Google's standard.)

This, of course, is all the more important since Google purchased Motorola. While Andy Rubin said that Motorola will remain independent and that it won't become the de facto manufacturer for the Nexus line, documents like this aren't exactly giving us warm, fuzzy feelings.

Source: FOSS Patents

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3 years ago

Citrix GoToMeeting now available for more devices, comes preloaded on the Droid Bionic

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Back when the Motorola Droid 3 launched, one of the pre-loaded applications on the device was Citrix GoToMeeting along with Citrix Receiver. Now, Citrix has released the app to more Android devices in addition to their announcement of it also being pre-loaded on the upcoming Droid Bionic. (Just as it did on the Droid 3.)

These days, more people are leaving the confines of their offices and handling business on the go from their mobile devices. Citrix GoToMeeting allows you to attend those important meetings no matter where you are.

  • Quick session entry: Join meetings in seconds by clicking a link in an email or clicking the GoToMeeting icon and entering the meeting ID.
  • VoIP integrated audio: Quickly connect to audio through the Internet using the built-in mic and speakers.
  • Audio controls: Mute yourself to eliminate background noise while on the go.
  • Zoom in on meeting content: Zoom meeting content up to 200% by pinching the screen.
  • Portrait or landscape view: Flip your Android device to adjust your view of meeting content.
  • See who’s attending: View a list of meeting attendees.

The app is available now in the Android Market as a free download. You'll find the full press release and download link past the break should you need more info.

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3 years ago

Android 101: How to forward or reply all in gmail

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3 years ago

RIM sponsoring 50 meetups nationwide to woo Android devs to BlackBerry Playbook

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What's all this, then? Research in Motion -- aka BlackBerry-maker RIM -- is sponsoring 50 meetups nationwide to help woo Android developers in to making their apps available on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook, as you'll recall, has some sort of witchery that allows Android apps to run sandboxed within the QNX OS.

Going to developers directly is a must for RIM in this case. While everybody crows that the PlayBook runs Android apps, it's not as if it has access to the Android Market and its hundreds of thousands of applications. So each dev will have to be won independently.

Will this work in any real numbers? We'll just have to see.

Source: Meetup; via BerryReview, CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Are you ready for some football? Essential apps for the 2011 season

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Whether you’re a college fan, a pro fan or both, football season is finally just around the corner. That means you’ll be wanting to know what Android apps can accompany you to keep you updated during the season. This list should help you whether you want to manage your fantasy teams or just want live scoring updates from your favorite team. Let’s get started:

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Destroy Gunners F

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Giant mechs have always held a special place in my heart. Be it the Megazord from Power Rangers (only the Mighty Morphin' variety), Xenogears, or even Gundam, giant robots have always been awesome. For us Android lovers, Destroy Gunners F looks to fill the mech-themed void on our platform with an imaginative and well designed game.

Destroy Gunners F thrusts you straight into battle, via the Score Attack or Extra Play options. There's no robot customization, no picking your decals, nothing. Pick a gameplay mode and you're put in the game's one robot model, outfitted with a number of weapon and an even larger number of adversaries that're trying to take you down.

Movement is controlled via the virtual joystick on the left side of the screen and firing is actually controlled by moving your finger on the screen. For example, if you want to lock on some missiles, drag the targeting circle over the bad guys, let it lock, and release to fire. The same is true with the other weapons, sans the locking on. Also, be aware you can't move and fire the cannon!

The left and right arrows on the right side of the screen are used to pan the camera around, so you can move the camera without using up vital ammunition. Tapping on the weapon button changes your equipped weapon, so you can always pick the right tool for the job. If it sounds like a bit much, don't worry. Everything flows really well, and being able to strafe so effectively while firing is implemented really well. To top it all off, you've also just a jet (jump) button, but it's placement seemed so awkward to me, I never really used it.

Because Destroy Gunners F only gives you the one robot, you're only really competing for the highest score. Score is affected by enemies destroyed, life remaining, time, etc. If you get bored trying to beat your own scores, Destroy Gunners F is OpenFeint enabled, so you can try and best other people's scores, too. As a matter of fact, there's a marquee at the bottom of the screen giving you someone's "score to beat" in each of the game modes.

Destroy Gunners F definitely has an Armored Core feel to it, for those who played that series back on the Playstation. The graphics are well done, the mech fighting and controls are tight, and the weapons palette is fairly varied, considering you can't customize anything. Best of all, it's free, so if you want to relive your mech-loving days, Destroy Gunners F is definitely worth checking out.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC gives a little insight into its design

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's a nice little promo video from HTC showing a brief glimpse into the way it goes about design. "It just makes sense," ya know?

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible's Gingerbread update pushing out now; we've got manual install instructions

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We're getting pinged left and right today that the Gingerbread update for the HTC Droid Incredible is pushing out in earnest following a brief delay. In addition to Android 2.3.4, you can expect:

  • MMS messages will now send correctly
  • Properly save audio files from MMS messages
  • Successfully play audio from MMS messages
  • Internet connection via Bluetooth now enabled
  • VZ Navigator now operates on Wifi
  • Change songs in the music widget by tapping the forward button
  • Camera now functions with an SD card inserted

If you're not in a waiting mood, we've got great manual installation instructions available in the forums. Hit up the link below.

Droid Incredible Gingerbread manual download instructions

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 3D case review: Otterbox Commuter

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New phone needs a new case. It has been this way since the dawn of the smartphone era, and so it shall be until its end. Your HTC EVO 3D is no exception, and for those interested in maximum protection while still maintaining a relatively slim profile, there's nothing like the Otterbox Commuter for HTC EVO 3D.

 

In typical Commuter fashion, you're looking at two pieces: the flexible, rubbery skin and the hard plastic shell. The rubberized skin fits nice and snug, and the hard shell keeps everything from sliding around.

As far as ports go, the top and bottom bezels on the phone have openings for the microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack, but the left and right bezels are covered up with the rubber skin. The micro-USB port has a removable flap (as it should), but the volume rocker and power button are totally dominated by the rubber skin. The camera shutter button is also protected but the 2D/3D slider is left bare.

As is typical with all EVO 3D cases, the camera lenses are now recessed inside the thickness of the case, so you can lay your phone on its back all you want without worrying about damaging your precious gimmick hardware.

More pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

AT&T announces the Impulse 4G, a 3.8-inch Froyo device for just $29.99

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AT&T this morning announced the Huawei Impulse 4G, a low-end entry into Android and AT&T's "4G" market. Available Sept. 18 for just $29.99 on contract, the Impulse 4G is a 3.8-inch device at the usual 480x800 resolution, running Android 2.2. It's got a 5MP camera on the back with autofocus and flash, and it records video in 720p. Data plans start at $15.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Finally official, the Motorola Droid Bionic arrives Sept. 8 for $299 on contract

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Read our Droid Bionic Review

Have we mentioned the Motorola Droid Bionic will be available Sept. 8? Oh, good. Because it's now finally officially official. Price is official as well: $299 with a two-year contract.

This has without a doubt been one of the strangest roads to launch for a smartphone in recent memory. The Droid Bionic was initially announced in January at CES (see our hands-on) but was scrapped for revamped hardware, which has been leaked just about every which way since.

Now you're basically getting an LTE version of the Droid X2, with a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1GB of RAM, Android 2.3.4, Motorola's Webtop features, Gorilla Glass, and a 1735 mAh battery, which should help add a little life to the LTE device. Verizon's also staking the Droid Bionic's claim as the thinnest LTE smartphone at 11mm, but that's not as svelte as the new Galaxy S II on Sprint.

Anyhoo, we'll just have to see whether the wait -- and the price -- make it worth it. Full press release is after the break.

More: Droid Bionic forums

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3 years ago

HTC enables bootloader unlock for EVO 3D in Europe and Canada

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HTC has added two additional flavors of EVO 3D to its bootloader unlocking site, following in the footsteps of the Sprint version, which become unlockable last month. If you own an unbranded European EVO 3D, or a Rogers-branded device in Canada, then you can begin your quest by using the web tool over on the HTCDev site.

Unlocking your bootloader will allow you to monkey around with custom firmware and the like, though you'll void your warranty by doing so, even if you use the official HTC unlocking tools. Still interested? Hit the link below to begin.

Source: HTCDev

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3 years ago

Sony UK hosting live tablet Q&A on Facebook today

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With the worldwide launch date of its Honeycomb-powered Tablet S and Tablet P fast approaching, Sony UK is giving potential customers the chance to ask a few questions in a live Q&A session with Marketing Manager and "tablet expert" Omar Gurnah. The action starts at 7.30PM BST (2.30PM EDT) over on Sony UK's Facebook page, which you'll find down in the source link.

The wedge-shaped Tablet S will make its debut in the UK and US on September 16, priced £399 or $499 depending on your locale. The dual-screened Tablet P is due to follow sometime in November.

Source: Sony UK on Facebook

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3 years ago

Nexus Prime on Sprint, Galaxy Tab power gremlins [From the Forums]

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With the long weekend now over, it's time to get rolling again in full effect, and that's exactly what we've done. Both here, on the blogs and in the forums -- if you can't get enough Android goodness here on the blogs, make sure you jump into the Android Central forums and hop on a soap-box.

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

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3 years ago

Evernote updated to include better Skitch support, offline search and more

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Now that Skitch is a part of Evernote, we were wondering when we'd see some integration happening between the two apps and as luck would have it, Evernote already had a plan in effect. Available now in the Android Market is a freshly updated version of Evernote that includes better support for Skitch and deeply integrates the two applications. So what's new? Let's have a look:

  • Draw and Annotate with Skitch - When you create a note or edit an existing one, you’ll see Skitch’s heart logo in the toolbar. If you have Skitch installed (you really should if you don’t), then you’ll be taken into Skitch. In Skitch, you can draw and doodle, then send your sketch into Evernote by tapping the elephant icon in the top right.
  • Search when you’re offline - You can now search within your Evernote account when you don’t have a network connection. In the past, you were able to access certain notes offline, but searching for notes wasn’t possible. Now, Premium users can take entire notebooks offline and search within them. Free users can search within notes that they viewed or created on their Android device.
  • Slideshow View for images - Open a note, then tap on an image, photo or something you marked up in Skitch. This will open our new dedicated image viewing mode: Slideshow View. The image will take up the whole screen on a black background. Swipe left and right to view all the other images in that note. If your note contains an image and nothing else, then it will automatically open in Slideshow View.

The deeper integration with Skitch really shines when it comes to needing to annotate an already existing image. It's as easy as opening up that image, annotating it with Skitch and then saving it once again. That image will be saved with all the new annotations in place. Pretty awesome! Larger screened devices and tablets make use of this feature quite nicely, if you're looking to give it a shot -- the download link can be found past the break.

Source: Evernote Blog

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