European Commission looking at Motorola Mobility’s potential abuse of patents against Apple

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It looks like Google’s Motorola unit may be in some potentially hot water because of Motorola abusing some of its advantages and power over Apple. According to some objections made the European Commission, Motorola may be abusing some of its extensive patent portfolio, not allowing Apple to have a fair opportunity or chance to at least agree on some sort of licensing terms. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia highlights:

“I think that companies should spend their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they offer – not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice.”

So in other words, the EC believes that Motorola is well… “pulling an Apple” and abusing its patent portfolio so that Apple can’t get any bigger in Europe than it is now. What’s unknown at this point is which exact patents are identified as ones where Motorola is exerting its heavy hand and power, but we’re sure we will see more details of this potentially serious case soon. Naturally this is in the early stages now, but it will be interesting to see how the EC will move forward based off of its investigation and findings.

source: Reuters

Red HTC One shows up on UK retail website

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Around the announcement of the HTC One, we saw a red variant float around as a color option. HTC pretty quickly dismissed it and told everyone it doesn’t exist, but it looks like it’s shown up on a UK website, HandTec, again. While the image is still pretty blurry, it’s still a fairly detailed, clean render, so I definitely think HTC plans on putting this out at some point in the future. Hit the link below to check out the listing for yourself, but don’t try to buy one. It’s shown up as out of stock since the listing was created, unfortunately.

source: HandTec

via: Phandroid

BlueStacks hits 10 million downloads in one year

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BlueStacks, the software that lets you run Android apps on a desktop computer, is celebrating just over a year of availability in beta status with news of hitting the 10 million download mark. Rosen Sharma, CEO of BlueStacks, indicated in a recent interview that the team had made predictions on where they would be in one year and “no one said 10 million.” No one was even close as the most optimistic was just in the few hundred thousand range.

BlueStacks’ senior VP for marketing notes that downloads do not necessarily equal users running the software on a regular basis. However, the number is described as being “spooky high,” which is a good sign that there is interest out there on the part of users trying to access Android apps on non-Android hardware.

One issue the BlueStacks team is working on is trying to update the version of Android the app player uses with a Jelly Bean compatible version in the works. This effort is no doubt helped by the partnerships BlueStacks continues to work on, like the recently announced effort with Lenovo to install BlueStacks on Windows 8 PCs.

source: AllThingsD

HTC slowly improving financially, releases unaudited April revenue

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HTC has announced their unaudited revenue for April 2013. While they did improve from March, bringing in $660 million, up from $540, this April was still quite a dip from April of last year, where HTC had $1.2 billion in revenue. Still, though, it’s easy to see that the HTC One is pulling its weight for HTC, and now that it’s launched in the US (which didn’t happen until late April) I think we can expect revenue to jump up quite a bit next month. HTC’s projected Q2 2013 revenue is $2.73 billion.

source: HTC

Sony finally puts up Xperia Z for sale on US site

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Sony has finally given US customers the chance to get their hands on the unlocked version of the dustproof and waterproof Xperia Z through Sony’s web store. It’ll run you $629.99, but that’s about average for an unlocked phone. Unfortunately, though, there’s no LTE on board like the Xperia ZL, but you will be able to use the phone on AT&T and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks. If you have to hold out for LTE, you may want to wait for T-Mobile’s rumored LTE version. If you’re ready to open your wallet, hit the link below.

source: Sony Store

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 shows up in AnTuTu Benchmarks

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Samsung already announced the 7-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 3, but rumor has it they are working on a 10.1-inch version as well. Further evidence shows it in AnTuTu benchmarks with a model number of GT-P5200. How do we know this is the Galaxy Tab 3? All you have to do is look at the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 model number of GT-5100 and you will come to the same conclusion as us. Ironically though, this probably won’t be the final model number when it’s released since Samsung is probably going to go with a different scheme, as in SM-Txxx.

Samsung releases two more graduation-themed commercials showing off Easy Mode and Eraser Shot

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We had a chance to check out Samsung’s Graduation Pool Party commercial this past weekend, and now we have two more spots. It’s all about the features for Samsung, and these two spots are no exception. Both of these spots are offshoots from the pool party spot. The first one takes place at the pool party and is about Easy Mode, which I think might be the most underrated feature. It allows people who aren’t tech savvy to feel very comfortable with the Galaxy S 4. The second spot deals with Eraser Shot, and takes place during the graduation ceremony, before the pool party. Hit the break for the videos and be sure to check out our Galaxy S 4 guides for tips and tricks as well as our full review.

Google Babel to be called Hangouts and might not have SMS/MMS support

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We have been hearing a lot about Google Babel in recent weeks, which means it will probably be unveiled at Google I/O. The Verge was able to get their hands on a working version of it, and according to them it will be called Hangouts and it will of course have the Holo design. One other interesting tidbit is that it will not have support for SMS/MMS messages, so technically this won’t be a unified messaging system. It might be for Google services, but not as a whole. The last thing that was mentioned was that the icon looks similar to messenger, but it will be green.

I’m sure Google will unveil lots of new stuff next week with Android 4.3, but it appears that Gmail will get the Holo design and location based reminders is coming to Google Now. These are much needed additions, and I am looking forward to what else Google has up their sleeve.

source: TheVerge

Barnes and Noble Nook HD and HD+ tablets on sale this week only

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Barnes and Noble surprised people earlier this week when they brought Google Play access to their Nook HD and HD+ tablets, allowing users to download thousands of apps they never had access to before. As if that wasn’t enough to convince potential buyers, Barnes and Noble has lowered the price of all Nook HD and HD+ models for this week only. The sale will be running from today until Next Sunday, May 12th (Mother’s Day) and probably won’t happen again for a while.

The HD model which normally sells for $199 is now on sale for $149, a savings of $50. This 7″ tablet has 8GB of memory, a 1440 x 900 resolution display, 1GB of RAM and a 1.3GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor. The HD+ model is on sale for $179, down $90 from its original $269 price tag. This model has a 10-inch 1920 x 1280 resolution display, 16 GB of memory, 1GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor.

Both tablets are loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and ship for free from the source link. If you aren’t into online shopping head into any Barnes and Noble store for the same deal.

Source: Barnes and Noble

Sales on HTC One great, but not on par with Samsung Galaxy S 4

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The Samsung Galaxy S III went essentially unchallenged last year as the top Android phone on the market— but this year, the Galaxy S 4 certainly has some competition.  Consumers have taken quite an interest in the aluminum-clad HTC One, but how is it stacking up against Galaxy S 4 sales? While the HTC One has been selling very well (which is good news for the Taiwanese based manufacturer), the Galaxy S 4 has somehow been selling even better, despite a two week head-start for the HTC One and the lack of a limited distribution that the Galaxy S 4 had, allowing the Galaxy S 4 still stands on top.  

CyanogenMod 10.1 available for T-Mobile Galaxy S4 with other variants soon to come

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For those of you who purchased the Samsung Galaxy S 4 through T-Mobile, today is a good day to tinker. CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik just released the first build of CyanogenMod 10.1 for the T-Mobile variant of Samsung’s excellent flagship device. Considering Kondik’s recent departure from Samsung, this is a relief to those who purchased the phone hoping to use it to its full potential. Additionally, Kondik also promises builds for all other variants of the S 4 very soon. While this is the first build for the S 4, Kondik says that it is stable enough to be a daily driver, so if you have an S 4 and you’re on T-Mobile hit the source to download this awesome ROM.

 

Source: Steve Kondik’s Google+

Paranoid Android’s new Halo notification system hits testing stage with builds available for Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus (GSM), and Oppo Find 5

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Not long after unveiling their newest project Halo, the Paranoid Android team has released alpha builds featuring the new feature for a handful of devices. Owners of the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus (GSM users only) and the Oppo Find 5 can all head to Paranoid Android’s Google+ page to download builds for their devices.

For those who haven’t followed the progress of this project, Halo is Paranoid Android’s solution to multi-tasking in Android. Inspired by Facebook’s recent Chat Heads feature, Halo places a small notification bubble on top of whatever application you are running. Tapping the Halo opens a small applet where you can respond accordingly. While this is in its earliest stages, the developers promise this is only the beginning. This is an alpha build  so if you are brave enough to try it, be warned that there will be bugs. Hit the break for a video of this feature in action.

Pictures of buttonless LG phone leak, possibly Optimus G2 or Nexus 5

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Evleaks shared images yesterday of what may be a future LG device, possibly the Optimus G2.  With a curved glass front, no buttons, and a unique earpiece, this one is sure to be a game-changer.  Although the phone shares some similarities with the Nexus 4, there is no suggestion that this is in fact a Nexus device.

For now there really isn’t any more information on the device, but we’ll let you guys know when there is an update of any sort.  If you’ve got any ideas of what phone this may be, shout it out in the comments!

Sources: Evleaks FB and Evleaks Twitter

SNL has some fun at the expense of Google Glass

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Pretty much everyone thinks Google Glass is weird. It’s a really, really new kind of technology, and it kind of makes you look like a robot, so that’s understandable. Needless to say, it wasn’t going to take long before Glass started popping up in current events and pop culture jokes, and who better to kick that off than Saturday Night Live? Last night, a “tech correspondent” on the Weekend Update was showing off Google Glass. Trust me, it’s worth a look. Check out the video below.

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for April 29 – May 5, 2013

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We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. We finally published our review of the Galaxy S 4, and although the bootloader is locked on many variants, a solution is eminent. Probably the biggest story that didn’t get that much attention was the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 was approved by the U.S. Department of Defense based on Samsung’s security suite called KNOX. This is only going to strengthen Samsung’s mobile market share dominance. Google Glass news was a plenty, and we saw what appears to be a real leak of the Motorola XFON. Lastly, will Paranoid Android be the ROM of choice with their new Halo notifications? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.

Guides

Best Android camera apps [April 2013]

How to use S Translator and the Optical Reader on the Samsung Galaxy S 4

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Review: The smartest smartphone ever

Live Pixels [Live Wallpaper]

Dinamotxt [Communication]