China Says OK For Google To Buy Motorola As Long As Android Stays Free And Open For 5 Years

We just heard about China finally approving Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, but now we learn that in order to get China’s approval, Google had to promise to keep Android open and free for anyone to use for at least the next five years. There’s no reason given for this request but it stands to reason that China wanted to make sure that Motorola wouldn’t be given special treatment over other Android manufacturers. This is interesting since Google has never given any indication of not keeping Android open and free. They’ve actually said just the opposite.

It makes sense, though, for China to want to ensure Android’s continued openness since Chinese manufacturers and carriers often build heavily customized versions of Android on many devices, and this assurance from Google would keep their gears turning for some time.

The Google buyout of Motorola Mobility hasn’t closed yet, but the Chinese condition won’t slow it down. Google assures everyone that their stance has not changed and they will keep things running as they are. A Motorola spokesperson stated “we are pleased that the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions and we expect to close early next week.

There’s no reason to believe Google has any plans to change the way they handle Android. Why fix what isn’t broken?

source: wall street journal
via: the verge

Samsung Mobile Chief Open To Cross-Licensing Deal With Apple

Apple and Samsung are set to meet May 21st for settlement talks, and Samsung’s mobile head JK Shin is sounding optimistic that talks can be fruitful, though he does warn that there’s still a lot they are not seeing eye-to-eye on. At the Seoul airport on the way to the U.S. talks, Shin told reporters the following:

There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options including cross-licensing.

This is definitely a softening of the language used by Shin in March when he promised “no compromise.” It’s hard to believe tomorrow’s talks will end in rainbows and unicorns.

When asked about the 4G chip shortage Samsung is currently experiencing, Shin said it was expected to continue until early in the fourth quarter of this year, meaning some time in October. This could be a big problem as the LTE-capable Galaxy S III is on the horizon in the United States and could be forced to use other vendors’ 4G chips to keep production numbers up.

source: reuters
via: engadget

Some HTC ‘products’ are allowed to enter the U.S. Market after passing U.S. Customs review

A few days ago we reported that the AT&T One X and the Sprint EVO 4G LTE were being held up at the U.S. Customs, and were being investigated for infringement for Apple patent #5,946,647, which involves the messaging application. This resulted in obvious delays and a complete cancellation of the EVO 4G LTE launch on Sprint.

Taipe Times is reporting that some of HTC’s “products” are now allowed to enter the U.S. market after passing the customs review.

“Some of our products have passed the review and have been delivered to our telecoms operators’ clients in the US,” HTC said in a statement submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Which products we don’t know. It’s interesting that they used the word “products” not smartphones. Were there other product categories that were held up? It seems unlikely that the Apple patent involved would hold up anything else, but I guess it’s also possible that the shipment might have included accessories that were “automatically” held up as a result since they were part of the same shipment. Maybe the statement is referring to those “products.”

It’s also possible that other phones were held up as well. For example, the T-Mobile One S wasn’t mentioned in any previous stories, but I would assume it’s subject to the same patent issue. Other older models could have been held up as well.

Also in an odd statement is this:

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Dozens of games to go on sale May 24th through June 1st in the Google Play Store ‘Because We May’

How about a really hot gaming sale to kick of your Memorial Day Weekend? Because We May is celebrating those app stores that give developers the ability to price their accomplishments however they wish. As a result there are 39 titles that will go on sale between May 24 and June 1 in the Google Play Store. It’s not limited to the Play Store as you will also find a bunch other titles for the iOS App Store, Steam, the Mac App Store, and others.

There still could be even more games by the time the 24th rolls around since developers have until the 22nd to jump onboard. So far the list has some really good titles like World of Goo, Shadowgun, Riptide GP, and Osmos. This is a great opportunity to try out some new games. Unfortunately we don’t have the sale prices yet, but hit the break for the complete Google Play Store list along with links for each game.

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China gives the final thumbs-up on Google’s Motorola Mobility acquisition

After months of deliberation, Chinese antitrust and competition authorities have finally given the green light on Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The Chinese approval of Google’s latest venture was one of several that were required in order for the deal to go through. It’s not a secret that China and Google have had some beef in the not too distant past and it was unclear whether Google would ever get China’s blessing on the matter. China was the final obstacle in the series of regulators to authorize the merger, officially sealing the deal.

This should be especially good news for Google stock holders and Android movement activists everywhere. Though there is still some worry about Motorola getting favored above the other manufacturers, the future of Android is a little more secure thanks to the several thousand patents acquired from the merger.

source: WSJ


GameStop to Launch a Bring-Your-Own Device Cellular Service

Here’s a bit of news I bet you had no idea was in the pipeline. It appears as though GameStop is getting ready to enter the cellular arena as GameStop Mobile and will front as an AT&T MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). No, you will not be able to buy new phones from the video game retailer, but you will be able to bring in your own carrier-unlocked device as long as it can work on AT&T’s 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands. I guess at one point in time you could actually see GameStop Mobile’s webpage but it has since been pulled down. Lucky for us Engadget was able to grab a few details surrounding the upcoming service, and according to them the plans will be contract-free and will begin at $5 and go on up to $55 for a monthly plan with unlimited voice, text and just 500MB of data. For those who are interested in a data-only plan, you can choose the 1GB a month deal at the high price of $55 a month.

As far as the webpage goes, we will include the link below so you can see what it looks like, but at this point in time you will notice it requires a password to go any further. I guess we will just have to wait for the official details as they emerge. Stay tuned…

source: GameStop Mobile
via: Engadget


Full Firmware Of Samsung Galaxy S III Now Available, Brings Us One Step Closer To Custom ROMs For The Smartphone

As soon as a leak happens, it turns to an eventual pour. Such is the case with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone. Following the excitement of S Voice being available for all, the gang at XDA forums went one step further and got a hold of the device’s full stock firmware. What this means ladies and gentlemen is we won’t have to wait long to see custom ROMs for the smartphone after the initial release. In addition, it’s been confirmed developers have wasted no time and are already hard at work trying to take advantage of the device’s new features– so hopefully we could see some of Samsung’s features ported to other devices.

The firmware is pretty hefty— 786MB to be exact— but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re interested in partaking in any tinkering, please do visit the XDA Forums at the source link below.

It’s a glorious moment in the land of Android, isn’t it?

source: Phandroid

Motorola Won’t Update Its Devices To Android 4.0 If It’s Too Much Of A Hassle And Won’t Improve The Device

We mentioned recently that Motorola updated its timeline for when some of its premium devices would get ICS— even though you know, it was first found in December 2011. If you own a smartphone or tablet such as the DROID RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Atrix 4G or XYBOARD series of tablets, then you have a lot to look forward to– starting next month. On the other hand, devices like the DROID 3 and DROID X2 were left out of the exclusive Android 4.0 club, despite being released within the past 12-15 months as well. Motorola certainly ruffled more than a few feathers as many owners of those devices were furious. MOTO took some time and elaborated on why devices such as those won’t be getting the coveted update:

“You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device.

Happy upgrading”!

To sum everything up: if it’s too much of a hassle going into the R&D as well as the cost of updating a device, MOTO won’t even bother trying to update– especially if it knows ICS won’t improve the device. Definitely a bummer I know folks, especially as the DROID 3 and DROID X2 had a poorly timed release, but is more than capable of handling the update. While you all won’t be tasting MOTO-infused ICS, all is not lost for those owners. There’s always the act of rooting and flashing a custom ROM which can definitely suffice and even prolong the life of your smartphone. Here’s hoping MOTO doesn’t leave a sour taste in the mouth for owners of devices not receiving the update.

source: Inside Motorola Blog

Verizon To Turn Rezound, DROID 4 and DROID RAZR Into Global Handsets

We’ve already heard about Verizon converting certain 4G LTE devices, namely the LG Spectrum and DROID 4, to become global phones by enabling international radios embedded into these devices. The folks at Droid Life have sources that tell them there may be more devices with this hidden capability.

Check out the info sheet above for the HTC Rezound, which was previously rumored to have hidden global radios. It clearly shows a “global feature” that enables an additional 185 countries. The source also states that the DROID RAZR will be getting a new info sheet with this feature added, and according to the tipster, this is coming soon. Sounds like a cool bonus if you own or plan to own one of these handsets.

source: droid life



S-Voice Pulled from the Galaxy S III, Download the App Now!

After the big Galaxy S  III announcement we knew it would only be a short amount of time before the cool software features were pulled from the phone for use across other Android devices. One of the more noteworthy GSIII features is the S-Voice app, basically Samsung’s version of Siri. Thanks to XDA member Ascarface23, we now have a working S-Voice apk that has been tested to work on various Android 4.0.4 roms across various devices. I was able to successfully install the app on my Galaxy Nexus running the latest AOKP rom and it has also been reported to work on CM9 as well. If you want to check out this great GSIII feature for yourself, grab the download below and follow the installation instructions for best results.

Download: voicetalk.apk

How to install: You can either install it through the Android package installer like any other 3rd party app but reports suggest it is better to install it as a system app. To install as a system app do the following:

  1. Make a nandroid backup! (just to be safe)
  2. Download the apk on your SD card
  3. Using a file manager, copy/paste into system/app
  4. Longpress the apk file from Within system/app, select “permissions” and change to r-w, r, r

UPDATE: If you are experiencing force closes or other issues after installing as a system app, try this route: After the app is installed, use a file explorer and navigate to system/app and press on the voicetalk.apk to reinstall again over top of the original install. Readers have reported that this helps with ongoing issues. (Thanks RubinRybnik!)

Side note: I should mention one thing from my brief experience with the app. Don’t try to change the wake up command because that will usually result in a force close situation and you will have to reinstall and start over. I would just leave it at “hi Galaxy” and just be happy that it works. :-)

source: XDA