Kicking things off at CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando (well, after the opening keynote, that is) is Samsung's press event. It's no secret that we're about to have an 8.9-inch tablet dropped in our laps, but knowing Samsung, they'll have something up their sleeves.
So join us after the break for the liveblog. Event kicks off at 11 a.m. EST.
Amazon has launched their long-awaited Appstore, which will provide another avenue for users to download Android apps from. There's one problem though: AT&T users cannot yet access it due to the carrier's restriction on 3rd party app downloads.
Amazon has listed that they are working with AT&T on a solution that will allow users to download the app, but as of right now, it is restricted.
Until then though, we still have our Sideload Wonder Machine, which still allows the installation of 3rd party apps on carriers *cough* AT&T, who restrict users from choosing to download 3rd party apps. [Amazon.com/appstore]
Our first impressions are that while this latest RC doesn't quite match the Gingerbread browser in terms of raw speed, it's definitely a solid improvement on Mozilla's earlier betas. Firefox requires a device running Android 2.0 or better, 512MB of RAM and 17MB of internal or SD storage space. Join us after the jump for the market link and QR code.
Springpad has updated their Android client, adding in new ways to share your notes and memos, as well as new widget options. Springpad is a popular cross platform service, that stores and sorts your notes and reminders in the cloud, making them easily to access from any Android or iOS device, or your computer desktop. What makes Springpad unique is the way it gathers other pertinent information from the web about the item your saving.
New in the latest version is what Springpad is calling "Save for later" from other apps. Anything you can long press you'll be able to save to Springpad, and their service will fill in details like directions, prices, deals and the like, and attach them to your item. Of course it handles simple note-taking as well, and does so like a champ. Add in a quick note style widget, and a to-do list widget, and it all works really well. Sounds like it may be very useful, and well worth a look. Springpad is free on the Android Market for phones running Android 1.6 or higher. The download link, press release and some more screenshots are after the break.
If there was one point of contention within the Android platform that is shared among users and developers it has got to be push notifications. Whether you are a developer or an end user, push notifications on Android are often times problematic, simply do not work as intended or are often attributed as a cause for battery life due to the nature in how they work.
Luckily for developers and users, Urban Airship has unveiled their Embedded Push platform that aims to assist in making push notifications better for everyone. Urban Airship’s Embedded Push operates entirely outside of Google’s C2DM native offerings. As such, this allows Urban Airship to offer developers additional push notification features not offered by Google and gives end users and developers a better overall experience.
Jump on past the break if you're interested in learning more about Urban Airship’s Embedded Push platform. You'll find their press release and further examples of how, exactly developers and users can benefit from their system.
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.