Despite Apple taking them to court over the whole "App Store" naming, Amazon has now gone live with their long awaited Android app store. As expected, along for the ride is the release of Angry Birds Rio and as of right now you can get your copy for free as part of the free app of the day promo. After that time is up, you'll be looking at a charge of $.99 for Rio.
As far as launches goes, how Amazon will make out remains to be seen but they are launching with around 3,800 apps in their catalog and a whole new system for buying -- and trying apps out. Test Drive as Amazon calls it enables some apps to be tested right from within your browser and offering full screen previews of what it is you may be potentially purchasing. Other then that, the layout of the Amazon Android app store is pretty easy to navigate and filter down to finer details if and when needed. [Amazon app store]
What do you get when you stick Dieter and myself in front of a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play with a handful of new games? Hands-on video, of course. Actually, tonight at a Verizon gathering at CTIA was my first time using the Xperia Play (Dieter did the initial hands-on back at Mobile World Congress.) And hardware-wise, it's agreeable. And the basic user interface isn't too shabby, and it's snappy enough. But games were a bit slow to load, and they're not as smooth as what we've seen on the likes of Tegra 2 devices.
But the point is, we just played Crash Bandicoot on the Xperia Play, taking us back to good ol' 1997. And who doesn't like that? Check it above, and we've got more video of the touchpads (ie analog sticks) after the break.
We're guessing here but we're pretty sure Sprint didn't get the message when the Samsung Nexus S 4G turned up on their site that they really shouldn't publish such things ahead of time. Of course, it is always great to be prepared but given that pretty much all of their CTIA line-up has been thus far discovered on the Sprint website itself one would think they would try harder to hide these things. Thankfully though, they didn't.
As you all can tell from the shot above both the EVO 3D and HTC EVO View 4G have been spotted on the Sprint site. No other details go along with the images as it's all just sign up pages and what appears to be mailers for email but we'll get the official announcements soon enough. No sense in spoiling that fun right now. [Sprint (1) via Engadget]
T-Mobile officially unveiled the T-Mobile G2X, their version of the LG Optimus 2X. The device packs a dual-core Tegra 2 at 1 GHz, a four-inch capacitive touchscreen, and HSPA+ 4G connectivity. Also on board are an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and 1.3 MP front facing camera -- with T-Mobile's Qik powered video chat baked into the OS.
It's running on Android 2.2, and looks to be chock full of third party extras, ranging from the Tegra Zone to T-Mobile TV. No price was discussed, but we're to expect it "this Spring". Hit the break for the full presser. [Businesswire]
It appears as though Microsoft wasn't the only one filing lawsuits lately. Information now shows that on March 18 Apple laid the groundwork to put a stop to Amazon's usage of the words "App Store" citing trademark infringement and unfair competition as their reasoning. To go along with the filing, Apple has asked the courts to disallow any further use by Amazon of the words "App Store" and is seeking unspecified damages.
“Amazon began improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile software developer program.” In addition to that “Amazon has unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States.”
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet stated “We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers." While Apple had reached out to Amazon before filing, Amazon never came back with a satisfactory response.
Given that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple the rights to the "App Store" mark they do have a lot of legal weight behind them for their case, but -- Microsoft is already appealed the ruling and if Amazon joins this fight as well Apple may very well have to give it up. Time will tell of course, but we don't expect this one to just blow over right away with everyone hugging it out. It's going to be a drawn out battle. [Bloomberg]
Your phone's on you all the time. Might as well put it to good use -- other than playing with Angry Birds. Enter Bodymedia. It's a small arm band that connects to your Android phone or tablet via Bluetooth. And if you have a Sprint ID device -- and that means anyone with an Epic 4G or Galaxy Tab as of this week -- you can keep an eye on your vital signs with a number of attractive widgets. Peep the video above for a look at Bodymedia in action.
HTC's new Desire S was expected to be released on Apr. 18 in Europe, but now it seems that some retailers may be stocking the device a little earlier. On its blog the UK-based Clove Technology says that it'll be receiving Desire S stock "a little earlier than initially expected", during the last week of March.
The Desire S will be the first of HTC's Gingerbread phones to launch. Like the Wildfire S, which will arrive sometime during the second quarter, it runs HTC Sense 2.1 on top of Android 2.3. Clove is currently listing the Desire S for pre-order with a price of £406.80 (~$650). [Clove Technology Blog]
I need to work out more any. And after finally checking out Endomondo, I'm more determined than ever to just waste away. That's not the app's fault. It's pretty darn cool, actually, mixing an exercise monitoring app with social networking. And by social networking, we mean your friends can send you messages while you're on your route. And by send you a message, we mean "We can see you're walking! You want to look like that your whole life?"
Or, maybe your friends are the encouraging type. Consider yourselves lucky. Anyhoo, we caught up with Endomondo at CTIA in Orlando, where they offered to take us on quick 10K stroll of the city. We'll get right on that.
Microsoft just fired another shot at Android, this time aiming at Barnes & Noble and various other companies associated in the manufacturing of the Nook Color such as Foxconn and Inventec. The lawsuit filed against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec states Microsoft owns several patents that according to Microsoft, are violated within the Android OS and as such they want profits off those patents or they'll take you to court.
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing. “HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program. We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market,” he added.
The issue at hand here for Microsoft stems from a patent claiming Android uses "natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the Web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books." -- Broad scope really but that is how patents work for better or worse.
As noted in the information, Microsoft claims they attempted to reach a valid agreement for the past year but Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec have refused to accept the licensing conditions and as such, Microsoft will invoke their rights to sue. What do you all think, some bitterness there or is Microsoft just protecting what is rightfully theirs? Sound off in the comments, folks. [Microsoft]
Only two things to do in Orlando -- theme parks and conventions. And some of us have already done the Disney thing this month, so it's time to cover some smartphones, shall we? It's the CTIA Wireless show from the Orange County Convention Center. And we've got a pretty good idea of what we'll see, from a smattering of Sprint stuff to a new Samsung tablet -- and that's barely scratching the surface.
TouchType has released a closed beta of its highly anticipated SwiftKey Tablet keyboard. The larger inspired keyboard is optimised for Android tablet devices running Honeycomb. The creative minds behind SwiftKey, developer TouchType, has made the beta available exclusively to their SwiftKey VIP forum members. Anyone who wants to give the beta a "feel" or "touch," can register here. Once registered, newly appointed VIP members can download the tablet beta here. Make the jump to see the beta in action. Oh, and since SwiftKey is so awesome, we think you should vote for them in the CTIA Emerging Technology Awards.
What can we say? Things like this happen, and all you can do is remember the names involved and stay far away from their "work" until they disappear. We certainly will. Hopefully nobody bricked any phones toying with this one. [@clockworkmod]
Sprint has announced the latest Froyo update for the Sprint Epic 4G will begin rolling out today, and Samsung follows through with some source code. Nothing here for the average Joe, but your independent developers will be all over this and true custom Froyo ROMs for the Epic will show up and make all your geeky dreams come true. Look in the Epic 4G hacking forums to keep up to date on all of them.
If you're one of those developers, want to become one, or are just curious hit the source link and search "EC05" for the download. Now the wait for Gingerbread begins. [Samsung Open Source Release Center via @Paul627G]
Many of us have been frustrated, to say the least, that there's no toggle switch to turn off the LTE radio in the HTC ThunderBolt like there is in, say, the Sprint EVO 4G or Epic 4G. You could open up the battery cover and pull the 4G SIM card, but that's ... what's the word ... work.
No matter. User cdunn05 over at the ThunderBolt Forums worked up the instructions to manually turn the LTE radio off while still leaving the 3G radio on using the following steps. It looks scarier than it is, and the best part is that it survives a reset. We've got full instructions in the ThunderBolt forums. [How to turn off ThunderBolt LTE] Thanks, cdunn05!
Future Shop wasted no time after Motorola's official press release announcing the Motorola XOOM launch in Canada, setting up a pre-order page. Right now, if you head on over the Future Shop website the Motorola XOOM is placed front and center. Listed at $599.99 with an expected ship date of April 8, Motorola's timing for a Canadian release appears to be a planned out distraction for those waiting for either an iPad 2 that launches on March 25 and the BlackBerry PlayBook that should be getting a release date any day now. Wanna pre-order some Honeycomb goodness? Hit the source link for more details. [Future Shop]
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