Three Android App Websites Seized in the U.S. For Copyright Violations

by Roy Alugbue on
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Looks like the apps of the Android ecosystem has become much more pure, thanks to collaborative effort among various agencies. U.S. law enforcement officials announced yesterday they have identified three Android app websites involved in copyright violations and distributed illegal copies of copyrighted Android cell phone apps. The identified websites— applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com were the target of an international sting that involved the FBI, Justice Department and various Dutch and French law enforcement officials as well and have since been seized by the law enforcement officials.

The elaborate scheme worked in a fairly straightforward way too. Generally speaking, the servers storing the pirated apps in the “alternative online markets” were hosted by other countries. To confirm this, the FBI led an operation where agents downloaded thousands of copies of popular and copyrighted apps, all without permission from developers. It’s expected this may have taken some time as the FBI needed to gather and eventually, confirm the vast amount of evidence given to them. As a result of this, not only were the websites seized, but nine search warrants were also executed in six different districts across the country on Tuesday as part of the operation.

Software developers worldwide can now breathe a sigh of relief as it has one less thing to worry about.

source: PC World

Featured Play Store Review: Alchemy Classic HD [Brain & Puzzle]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Alchemy Classic is far from new to Android, but they recently released an HD version for tablets. Alchemy Classic, developed by Niasoft, is a puzzle game in which you create elements. Imagine the way it was many moons ago when everything began with just four elements: air, fire, water, and earth.  Eventually life evolved to what we know today, but the concept of Alchemy Classic is that every particle, invention, machine, or animal is in some way a product of those original four elements.

I’m a huge fan of puzzle games, but this isn’t an ordinary puzzler because there is one element (no pun intended) that makes it so special. It’s that you actually learn a little something while you’re progressing and evolving through these creations.

» Read the rest

T-Mobile Unveils Truly Unlimited 4G Data Plans

by Roy Alugbue on
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You remember how we told you T-Mobile has secret plans of an unlimited 4G data plan in the works? Well T-Mobile couldn’t contain itself any more and spilled the beans on its truly Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data Plan. The real caveat is starting September 5th, T-Mobile customers will have the option of signing up for unlimited with no data, no caps and no throttling with T-Mobile’s blazing fast 4G HSPA+ network.

The price isn’t too shabby either as the data plan will cost $20 per month when added to a Value voice and text plan or $30 per month when added to a Classic voice and text plan. If you’re confused between the plans, here’s a quick rundown of the difference: a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $69.99. Conversely, a single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $89.99. So all in all, this means you won’t need to worry about streaming all those Arrested Development episodes or music on Spotify.

The new data plan should definitely excite more than a few customers. Once you get past the initial rush and excitement of T-Mobile’s announcement, hit the break to see the details of the new plan.

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HTC Droid Incredible 2 Gets an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM based on the Leaked RUU

by Justin Crouch on
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Looks like another HTC phone is getting some love from the Android development community. We previously saw a leaked ICS build for the HTC Thunderbolt, and now you can get your hands on a Sense-filled version of ICS for the Droid Incredible 2. This comes thanks to XDA user nitsuj17 for posting a ROM that is allegedly based on another leaked RUU (a stock software package HTC uses on their phones) from HTC. The timing of this leak shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise because the Droid Incredible 2 is officially slated to get ICS “by the end of August”.

As I mentioned, the ROM features HTC Sense 3.6 built over Android 4.0 ICS and is mostly stock except for a few tweaks. You can see a full list of the tweaks and alterations after the break.

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Get Em’ While You Can: Motorola Xoom 3G 32GB for $199 or AT&T Galaxy S III for $499

by Justin Crouch on
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Great news for those of you looking for a deal. The Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi + 3G is being featured on “Daily Steals” for only $199! I know you’re thinking, “Justin, why would I buy an old tablet for $199 when I can get the Nexus 7 for the same price?” I’m glad you asked and I have two reasons. First, this bad boy has a larger screen so you get 10-inches of HD beauty, and second is for the 3G connectivity, with a Verizon Wireless 3G enable device you can walk into any Verizon store and get hooked up with prepaid service. I know it’s not LTE but hey, it’s better than nothing and at least it keeps you connected.

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Samsung Galaxy S III Coming to MetroPCS This Fall

by Justin Crouch on
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We have good news for those of you who subscribe to MetroPCS because the Samsung Galaxy S III is slated to arrive on the nation’s fifth largest carrier sometime this fall. This version of the Galaxy S III leaves nothing to be desired and will be equally as powerful as the multiple variants available today. The only difference being the “MetroPCS” logo on the back of the device. One last key point I should mention is the device will have a few MetroPCS apps loaded onto it, but nothing too intrusive. In terms of pricing, the carrier has not released any information but we believe it will be somewhere around $549

So how many of you are on MetroPCS? If you are, will you jump in and pay the full price to get your hands on it? Let us know!

source: PCMag

Jawbone Jambox To Get Custom Makeover With Over 100 Different Color Combinations

by Sean Stewart on
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 The Jawbone Jambox is undoubtedly a sweet piece of hardware and the upgradeable software contained within is no slouch either. Now America’s best-selling wireless speaker will offer 117 different color combinations for you to choose from, which is a far cry from the four choices currently available.

The option to customize the speaker is currently only available for those with early access codes, but it will go live on August 28th for everyone else. However, you can sign up to request early access. The other refreshing news is the fact that the customizable speaker will retail for the same $199.99 as the standard four colors currently available. Very nice.

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Three New Google Wallet Videos Released

by Ed Caggiani on
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With Google continuing to improve and push Google Wallet, more people are probably thinking about trying it out. But when it comes to your money, I’m sure you have a lot of questions before you trust this new-fangled black magic. Don’t worry… Google has you covered. They just released not one, not two, but THREE new Google Wallet videos to help you understand just how it all works.

So if you’re thinking about experimenting with something new but want some more info, hit the break to get your Wallet education.

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Gift Card Redemption Showing Up In Google Play Store For Some

by Ed Caggiani on
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If you have Google Play Store version 3.8.16 (or .17) installed, check your overflow menu. You might see a new entry labeled “Redeem” which shows just how close we are to seeing Google Play Gift Cards go live. Not every device that has the latest Play Store is seeing this yet (no joy on my Evo 4G LTE) but our editor got lucky on his Galaxy Nexus (seen in the screenshot above). We should start seeing this pop up on more devices soon.

Gift Cards should be a huge boon to the Play Store, and we’re ecstatic that they’re finally coming. More people will spend in the Play Store, making devs happy, and we’ll all benefit from more and better apps. Nothing is better than a happy developer.

So who’s seeing the redeem option?

Jelly Bean update for international Samsung Galaxy S III coming next week

by Jeff Causey on
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It seems like only yesterday that the top of the line Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone was released. A timing problem existed with the release as the Galaxy S III came out close to the same time Google released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This meant the devices were initially delivered with Ice Cream Sandwich. Since then, Samsung has put their nose to the grindstone to work on resolving this issue.

Sources indicate a firmware update that will provide Jelly Bean to owners of the international version of the Galaxy S III is in the final stages of testing. These same sources report the update will start rolling out next week after Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked event scheduled for August 29th in Berlin. The update will roll out to several countries, including the U.K. However, no word yet on when users in the U.S. and Canada may receive the update. In addition to the updates provided by Jelly Bean, like a new notification shade and Google Now, Samsung is incorporating numerous TouchWiz improvements as revealed in a previously leaked build.

source: Android Central