Apple Targets The Galaxy Nexus, Requests Preliminary Injunction

Well, Apple is at it again! This time, the fruit giant has its sights set on the Galaxy Nexus. On Thursday, the public redacted version was made with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and became available on Friday. Apple’s motion against the Galaxy Nexus relates to four patents:

  1. The “data tapping” patent of which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
  2. A patent related to Siri and unified search
  3. A new slide-to-unlock patent
  4. A word completion patent that provides major speed enhancements to text input

It’s said to be that number 1 is of the most danger to Samsung, based on precedent in the HTC case as well as the fact that Android actually infringes on this at the operating system level (opposed to implemented by OEMs like Sense and TouchWiz). Although some of these new filings will actually hold a strong case against Samsung and Google, hit the break for my spin on the Apple patent circus.

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Check out the new and improved TalkAndroid forums; Androidforum.com

We at TalkAndroid love to, well, talk android, and I’m sure you guys do too. That’s why we’re excited to announce our brand new forums at androidforum.com. It’s easy to remember and there’s always a good conversation. Plus it’s compatible with the Tapatalk Forum App. So maybe you need a tip, a new wallpaper, want to help out others with your vast knowledge of Android, or maybe you just want to vent about something that’s really bugging you.

If you love Android as much as we think you do, then you need hit the link below and join our growing TalkAndroid community. See ya on the other side!!

androidforum.com

 

Size Matters: Who Wants a Phablet?

When mobile phones first became ubiquitous, the best phones were the smaller ones. Every new model got smaller and smaller and would sell better than the bigger, clunkier models. Then, in 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone…a phone that was all touch screen and was meant to be looked at as much as be held to one’s ear. Suddenly, the tiny phones of the past seemed severely inferior, and the shrinking trend halted and began to reverse.

Product Identity
Fast forward a few years and the trend continues. The proliferation of Android devices flooded the market with devices of varying shapes and sizes. From the iPhone-esque 3.2″ HTC Hero, to the beefy 10.1″ Xoom tablets, Android ran the gamut of sizes. When Dell came out with the 5″ Dell Streak, people didn’t know whether it was a large phone or a small tablet. The common belief of why it ultimately failed was exactly that…product identity.

Samsung has done well with its 5.3″ Galaxy Note overseas, and is about to make a splash with it stateside. But shouldn’t it succumb to the same fate as the Dell Streak since it’s nearly the same weird size? I don’t think so, and here’s why:


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Get Your Wallpaper Into The Season With KF Hearts Live Wallpaper For Android (Video)

Like getting all lovey-dovey around this time of year?  Want to make a statement on your smartphone?  Well, this Valentine’s Day we have just what you’re looking for.  KF Hearts Live Wallpaper for Android offers all the gushy and gooey one can swallow as you configure drifting hearts across your desktop that are interactive to the touch.  The developer, Kittehface Software, is offering a donation version of the application which gives you the ability to change quite a number of features.  You can alter the appearance of the hearts, camera speed, background images, add hearts that allow you to input a photo of someone and more.  Ready to give it a go?  Head on over to the Android Market or check out the QR code below as well.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the app in the comments below.  Pics and video after the break.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

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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.
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Netflix UK – Is it worth £5.99 per month of your hard earned cash?


I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of my stateside friends and their ability to access a seemingly endless list of film and television on demand. Being late to the party is an affliction that we British Android lovers often have to suffer (where are you Google Music!), and it’s fair to say that it was met with a great deal of excitement when Netflix UK was announced at CES in January. As an early adopter of Spotify Premium, and a long time user of Picasa web albums, I have been enjoying the ability to access my music and photos over the web and had been longing for a worthy solution for movies.

Lovefilm (part of the Amazon group) launched their instant video streaming service late in 2011 and I jumped right on board for the free trial. Unfortunately I found the whole experience underwhelming – The native android app only allows you to order DVD’s by post, there’s no facility to view content on your phone or tablet. The Xbox app was clean and simple with a pleasant UI, but there was no HD content and the SD picture quality was average at best. These 2 points are deal-breakers for me and I decided to cancel the service after the free trial. I should point out that Lovefilm’s DVD/Blu-ray delivery service is excellent, they certainly get pass marks in this area, however the last time I purchased a DVD the iPhone was still waiting for 3G and MMS.

I’m currently 2 weeks into my 1 month free Netflix trial and the early signs are positive. In order to summarize my findings, I’ve broken my review into 4 key points:
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The Psychology of Fanboyism

Hypocrisy is one of the only things we absolutely despise in other people yet staunchly defend in ourselves. That’s the very definition of the word. Of course we can rationalize our own hypocritical behavior because we understand why we’re behaving a certain way.

What does this have to do with fanboyism? Let me tell you about how I became an Android enthusiast (ok, fanboy) and you’ll understand.

Tinkerability
Ever since I chose to use IBM compatible PC’s as a youngster, I’ve had an almost irrational feeling of negativity toward Apple as a company. Even back then I understood that the more open PC architecture was more in line with my way of thinking. I wanted to be able to open up my own computer and tinker with it, and the PC platform allowed for that. Apple, on the other hand, owned everything from the hardware to the software to the level of “tinkerability” with its more closed, proprietary system.

This closed system allowed Apple to develop a more highly polished end product since they didn’t have to worry about being compatible with anything other than themselves. From this walled garden arose a symbol of solid usability, security, and style. For many, that’s more than enough. For me, it was too rigid and limited. Tinkerability factor close to zero.


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Talk Android decompiles ICS FaceLock.apk – Majel are you in there?

So if you haven’t realized from my posts by now, I like to experiment with Android from time to time and today was one of those more special days. While poking around FaceLock.apk, which I decompiled with apktool, I opened this. The screenshot above portrays a file “arrays.xml,” which contains what looks like phrases to be presented on the lock screen when a user’s face is not recognized. As those of you fortunate enough to run ICS know, currently an unrecognized face only returns “Sorry, don’t recognize you” or in some cases “Couldn’t find a face.”  Aside from a different spelling of “recognize,” the list above also offers a substantially more varied output. So what is the meaning of this? I supposed it could be simply leftovers, never scrapped before release, or, letting my optimistic imagination run just a little bit, perhaps this is some preliminary work towards a future update; Majel maybe? It’s a stretch, but the varied and pretty casual responses seem more AI like to me. In any case, an interesting little something indeed.

 

Real Steel HD Hits Android, Awesome Robot Boxing For Those On The Go (Video)

While flying back from CES a few weeks ago I was able to catch a flick on the flight back to my home state of PA.  I was about to doze off on the plane when I opened one eye quick to check out the in-flight entertainment.  It was Real Steel with Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo.  The movie takes place in the near distant future where human boxing has been completely replaced with the more popular robot boxing.  A pretty cool high tech remote controlled boxing robot was at the command and disposal of Wolverine himself.  Awesome if you ask me.  I’m a dork for movies like that, what can I say?  So when I saw Jump Games made it available for my favorite operating system in the whole world, I jumped right on it and had to write a post about it to share with the rest of our Android fans.

Gizmodo says, “game looks fun as hell.”
iPhoneappreview says, “Real Steel is a solid winner.”

The future, robots, fighting and more!  What else is there to say?  So go download it already!  Just kidding, here’s a little premise on the game itself first.  Real Steel for Android allows you to enter the underworld of fighting high-tech machines weighing in at 2,000 lbs and battling it to the death all on your smartphone or tablet.  It’s a new age Street Fighter in your pocket!  The game offers two different play modes, “Tournament” and “Free Sparring”.  Tournament mode allows you challenge a whole roster of bots while Free Sparring Mode gives you quick fights against the bot of your choice.  Your goal is to unlock all the cool robots you can by putting a beat down and whoopin on Midas.  The game will run you a buck but it’s well worth the game play.  Ready for the challenge?  Hit the break to check out a few screen shots of the game in action and then hit up the quick demo video from the Android Market.  Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.  QR code and download links after the break.  
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Does RIM Have What It Takes To Catch Up To Android, iOS and Windows Phone?

As many know by now, the mighty duo of CEO’s at RIM, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down only to promote one from within.  Taking over as single and only CEO of Research in Motion is Thorsten Heins, a four year COO who worked closely under Jim and Mike.  In recent news, he’s been given the cold stare thanks to making such statements as “I don’t think there is some drastic change needed,” and  “We are evolving. We’re evolving our strategy, we’re evolving our tactics, our processes.”  As one standing from the outside looking in, I’d argue in favor of a drastic change, personally.  But hey, RIM’s the competition so I’m not pressing the issue.  However, the question does arise, should Google’s Android be afraid?  As much as I would love to shout from the roof top “hell no!“, I”ll try to keep it professional here.  
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