Hey Android Manufacturers, Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be More Than Enough!

Even as an Android fanatic I have to admit that its main competitor, the iPhone, does extremely well. As much as I hate to say it, the iPhone is here to stay and will continue to be a thorn in Android’s side. I have been sitting and wondering though on why so many folks go over to the iOS side or stray from Android. While I am not an expert I believe a lot of it has to do with how these phones are marketed coupled with the amount of Android phones that OEMs are putting on the market. Read more

Quick Rant: Why I Love My Motorola Xoom Wifi Tablet And Don’t Plan On Upgrading Anytime Soon

 

What does a tablet mean to you? To most, it’s something that lets you have productivity on the go— emails, social communication, reading articles and e-books, etc. Of course consumers realize it’s possible to do all that with a notebook computer or netbook. However, it’s no secret that notebooks are losing in popularity because people understand in this day and age, “less is truly more”. You could have a netbook as well, but then some individuals would be graced with keys far too small for big hands like yours truly, a small screen that’s sometimes just slightly bigger than that of a smartphone or the fact netbooks just aren’t powerful enough even to do the bare minimum like check emails, do some online chatting, etc. Manufacturers have realized consumers want something that can bring the best of both worlds and that’s why tablets have been developed now.

While Apple’s iPad is leading the revolution, it’s obvious there are many other successful tablets. There are many of you who own a tablet now and then there are many of you who will be looking to purchase a tablet in the near-future. The great thing about Android tablets is that they are a direct reflection of the Android platform in general. The Android platform allows for a variety of manufacturers to make unique and “customized” versions of the Android devices which are best suited for each user’s tastes. While there are popular options such as the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and of course the record-selling Amazon Kindle Fire, there’s one tablet that has won my heart and will continue to win my heart for the next year or two (or three or four). That tablet is the Motorola Xoom Wifi tablet. Introduced at last year’s CES, the tablet is still literally the model for which other Android tablets are developed and shaped. I will share with you all my thoughts and experience of owning this tablet. Of course many of you will disagree and want to throw in your two cents, but I just want to give you all some insights as to what the device means to me and how it fits in my lifestyle. Read more

Fujitsu Presents New Android Tablet, the Stylistic M350/CA2

Choice is always good, and Japan’s Fujitsu has a new seven-inch Android tablet to add to the selection.  The Stylistic M350/CA2 will run for six hours, and weighs in at 420 grams.  It boasts a Wide Super VGA (WSVGA) display with 1024×600 pixel resolution. Interestingly, users can select between a numeric keypad input, QWERTY input, and hand-written input. Perhaps the hand-written input will need the use of a stylus; hopefully more details on that will emerge. The Stylistic will work perfectly as an e-book reader, a sales terminal, and for retail stores looking to display their catalogs. It will also benefit the business person, since it includes a Bluetooth v2.1 data connection, and a miniHDMI for an image output to projectors. This new tablet will be available in Japan in mid-February. Skip over the break for the full press release.

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Motorola scores a victory over Apple as the German patent battle continues

It was only yesterday we wrote about Apple’s claims against Samsung in Germany and just as one would expect, the saga continues.

This time it’s Motorola’s turn to go up against the Cupertino giants although, just to break the usual trend, it’s Apple’s turn in the dock. The groundwork for this case was actually laid back in November when Motorola won an injunction against the sale of Apple products in Germany.

In an unexpected twist, a German judge has ruled in Motorola’s favour, granting two permanent injunctions. Motorola has really gone for the jugular on this one too, dealing two major blows to Apple’s products in Germany :

Injunction passed preventing the sale of various iOS products

Apple has already removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, as well as all 3G-enabled iPads from its online store.  The iPhone 4s is the only device still available online. All devices are still for sale at retail outlets.

Injunction passed preventing the use of push e-mail services

The Mannheim Regional Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing the use of the iCloud and MobileMe push e-mail services on German devices. Whilst users in Germany will still be able to use e-mail services, there will be no push option.  They will need to set their device to check for new e-mail at pre-defined intervals.

I’m ordinarily the first person in line to poke fun at our Apple owning friends however, on this occasion I have to say I take little pleasure in reading about cases like this.  There are no real winners as these patent wars rage on and Android users have missed out on features over the years due to similar claims.  In cases such as these, Apple may lose on the day but inevitably it’s the consumer who is losing out in the long run.

 

[via fosspatents]

Google Drops Official “Developer Support” for CDMA Galaxy Nexus, Google Releases Statement, Will Still Provide Direct Software Support

While most of us aren’t surprised by this move, I’m certainly not, Google has dropped official support for the CDMA (Verizon) Galaxy Nexus as a developer device. They did the same for the LTE Xoom and Nexus S 4G as well. At first folks thought was in regards to Google Wallet not being officially supported by Verizon however it was for a more in depth reason. It was first discovered by Droid-Life earlier this afternoon and while everyone was in a buzz and crying foul about the change,  what we needed to do was wait.  After many tech blogs reached out for comment, Dan Morril, an Android engineer had this to say:

Hello! This is a quick clarification about support for CDMA devices.

For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers. To function correctly, these .apk files must be signed by the so-called “platform” key. However, when an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don’t use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with.

The result is that these files don’t work properly, and pure AOSP builds running on these devices can’t place calls, access mobile data, and so on. Because we aim to make sure that we are as clear as possible about the degree of support that devices have, we updated the docs over at source.android.com to reflect this reality.
We will still make available as many as possible of the closed-source binaries for these devices, and Nexus devices will continue to have unlockable bootloaders. And, of course, GSM/HSPA+ devices are still supported, as are any other devices we’re able to support. We’ve simply updated the documentation to be clearer about the current extent of CDMA support.
We are of course always working to improve support, and we’ll keep everyone updated as we make improvements. Thanks as always for your interest in AOSP!
– Dan

Apple Slaps Samsung With Revised Lawsuit In Australia, Comes With 278 Claims

Well you have to give it to Apple. If anything, they are relentless. Rather than admit defeat in regards to their recent lawsuit in Australia against Samsung being overturned they’ve come at the Korean company a second time. This time, Apple is expanding its lawsuit to inclue 278 claims that spans across 22 patents and covers 10 new products.

This news was reported by The Australian and according to them, Apple has widened its claims in New South Wales Federal Court today. Samsung’s lead barrister confirmed that Apple expanded its patent lawsuit “enormously” from the three patents regarding features that were packed in the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Also the barrister, Neil Young, states that Samsung was only given a day’s notice of Apple’s legal bid against Samsung being amended to include over 200 claims against smartphones and tablets that haven’t even been seen in the country. Given the short notice Samsung won’t even be able file a defense against Apple until mid-May.  Read more

Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time Shuffles Onto Android [Video]

Just in time for the premiere of the second season of The Walking Dead, Xoobis releases the popular iOS game Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time for Android. We’ve been waiting for this one! The survival/tower defense/action zombie game blends these genres into a unique style, enhanced by cartoony 3D graphics. The goal, unsurprisingly, is to rid the town of zombies using all sorts of weapons and tactics.

From the description in the Android Market:

  • Travel back in time with Chuck, and fight through the hordes of undead in this action packed adventure!
  • Pick your anti-zombie arsenal carefully, as there are dozens of wacky weapons to use against the shuffler’s onslaught!
  • 31 Missions, 12 different places to fight, 25 different types of zombies, big and small, to make your life very complicated – fast!
  • Use your cleaning tools to keep your clients happy. Shoot first, then mop the undead’s guts off the floor, or you will pay for the damage!
  • Amazing layered orchestral soundtracks, along with tons of sound effects and elaborate voice-overs, the game delivers an earful in the sounds department!
The best part: It’s FREE! It does include in-app purchases and some relatively non-intrusive ads, but rest assured there is plenty here to distract you and keep you occupied.

Check out the trailer and download links after the break.

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Augmented Reality Meets the XAPPR, Coming Soon To Android

Augmented Reality (also known as AR) has turned quite a few heads recently. It involves using your smart device like a “looking glass” to manipulate the world around you.  The technology has been integrated into several apps from the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Competition, and is making its way into many exciting new applications that we could use every day.  For example, there is an app in the works that allows kids to interact with a toy before they buy it.

Now, Augmented Reality has a new shoot-em-up spin for your Android, iPhone or Windows Phone device.  The XAPPR gun, brought to you by MetalCompass, attaches to your phone and transforms it into a virtual killing machine.  More specifically, it allows you to turn and shoot in real life as the image on your cell phone is following your moves.  You can preorder it before its June release on the company’s website for $30, plus $15 shipping in the US.  The XAPPR takes old school Duck Hunt to a whole new level.  It doesn’t get much better than turning your cell phone into a gun, right?

There are several games that have already been developed to be compatible with the XAPPR, like AR Invaders, ATK, AR Wars and Spray’Em.  Apps like ATK are multiplayer and enable you to play against other XAPPR toting comrades, in a cellphone version of laser tag.  However, only AR Invaders is currently available in the Android Market.  The high tech gun is made to work with other apps, so we just have to wait for the developers to jump on board and make more fun games for Android users.

Source: The XAPPR Gun

$99 Dollar 7-Inch ZTE Optik Is Official And Sprint Bound For February 5th

Since the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire, it would seem as though everyone is trying to get a low cost, good quality and economically friendly tablet to the masses.  Sprint and ZTE feel the same and aim to launch their new dollar friendly device starting Feb 5th.  We know what you’re thinking though, a $99 dollar tablet?  Must have sub par specs and a resistive screen or something running Android 1.5, right?.  Nope, Sprint and ZTE are going for the wow factor right out of the gate.  In addition to its appealing price tag the device has some pretty hefty specs for its size and class.  You’ll find a 7-inch capacitive display, Android Honeycomb 3.2 out of the box, a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU from Qualcomm nonetheless, 1GB of RAM and 16 whopping Gig’s of on-board storage.

The only “down side” if you want to call it a down side, would be the fact that it will not be shipping with any connectivity to 4G technologies.  Yep, no WiMax or LTE, 3G only, but that’s what WiFi is for, right?  Heck, I’m just shocked there’s some type of wireless connectivity at all for that price point.  Beggars can’t be choosers. You can snag a data plan on Sprint’s network starting at 1GB for $19.99/mo.  If you want to avoid a contract altogether, you can do so by purchasing the device right out for $349.99.  Not too shabby Sprint.  Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.

 via: Sprint