Headlines

3 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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3 years ago

Microsoft sues Motorola over Android

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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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3 years ago

HTC Merge benchmarks

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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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3 years ago

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

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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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3 years ago

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

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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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3 years ago

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

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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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3 years ago

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

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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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3 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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3 years ago

Watch penguins with Street View -- now on seven continents

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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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3 years ago

Android reaches new high in purchase intentions

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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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