Google Applies For “snap a landmark, find your location” Patent

Google is adding yet again another possible patent for its up and coming patent portfolio. The “snap a landmark, find your location” application could possibly join other crazy patents like voice actions for your Google TV.  And while it’s possible we could never even see this technology hit devices, it’s still pretty cool to see what Google is trying to do here.  Innovation is the name of the game and there’s no better innovator than the search giant themselves.

Imagine, for some unknown reason you’re unable to use your GPS while traveling. Well, in this instance, all one would have to do is take a snap shot of the nearest landmark around and upload it to Google’s servers for analyses. The o’l Goog would search its millions of images from their geographical database returning your location coordinates and other pertinent information.  This could certainly prove to be an adequate tool for travelers alike.  However, I can’t help but wonder why one’s GPS wouldn’t be working for other than the fact you have no data connection where you’re at.  In that case, if you have no data connection you won’t be able to upload that pic to Google’s servers either, but I digress :)

source: Engadget

Verizon Offering Smartphones For $10 And Another For Free In March Sale

Have an old OG DROID or first generation phone and looking for any excuse to upgrade to a new phone? Verizon is giving you the most compelling reason yet to come on down to Big Red Country. They have having a major sale in which the Motorola DROID X2 and DROID 3, Sammy DROID Charge and the HTC Incredible 2 smartphones can be found for a measley $10 each on contract from now until Monday, March 12th. Oh and Verizon is also offering the HTC Rhyme in its own St. Patty’s Day sale where the phone will be available for gratis on contract.

Naturally, this could be Verizon just pushing these “old” devices into the sunset. Regardless– this is a great deal and I’m sure plenty of folks will jump on the chance to some solid phones for those crazy prices.

source: VZ1 and VZ2

CPU Wars: NVIDIA questions Apple’s claim on the A5X vs the Tegra 3

Whenever Apple announces a new product, immediately the infographic comparisons and/or questions about what Apple said come out. Yesterday, Apple announced the new iPad 3, and we already showed you comparisons against the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, but now NVIDIA is questioning Apple’s claim that their A5X processor is 4 times faster than the NVIDIA Tegra 3 in terms of graphics performance.

Ken Brown, a spokesman for NVIDIA thought it was “certainly flattering” that Apple called them out, but the lack of any data to backup their claim is “sketchy.” He went on to say, “We don’t have the benchmark information. We have to understand what the application was that was used. Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmark.”

Since it’s highly unlikely Apple will provide any benchmarks, you can expect NVIDIA to prove or disprove Apple’s claims by purchasing the new iPad and conducting their own tests.

So what do you guys think? Is Apple right or are they playing their usual games?

source: zdnet

 

Google to Combine Existing Gaming Platforms and Google+ Into One Unified Platform

Google+ Product Manager Punit Soni promised today, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, that Google will combine it’s multiple gaming platforms into a single unified platform, making developers’ lives much easier.

“By next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games. We will be talking about Google games.”

Doing this will give developers a much larger audience to target, making developing for Google more lucrative. Technically, this will entail using technologies such as HTML5 and Google Chrome Native Client, which enables browser games to take advantage of 3D graphics hardware, for easier and higher performing cross-platform compatibility.

Google+ will serve as the social layer supporting and helping games get noticed. With already more than 100 million active monthly users spending more than one hour a day on the site, Google+ will certainly attract gaming companies. Game developers are excited to have a Facebook alternative, but want Google to provide more promotional opportunities for their games. Google is starting to do this already with a new notification system to promote games to your Google+ circles.


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Chrome For Android Beta Updated, Allows Custom ROMs Again

Google upgraded Chrome for Android Beta to version 0.16.4301.233 today, and those of you with custom ROMs can rejoice. A previous update in February broke Chrome for many custom ICS ROMs, but this update apparently fixes that incompatibility. Much better to get an official fix than to have to do a manual workaround.

Though there’s no official changelog yet, Google did post the following on their Google Chrome Releases Blog:

Primarily focused on bug fixes, this update addresses issues in the compatibility check which prevented Chrome from starting up on some versions of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google also listed some known issues, most notably the lack of a way to toggle between mobile and desktop user agents, and YouTube links not prompting for which application to use.

It’s good to see Chrome getting better and better with regular updates, though I do wish it supported Flash for completeness. Download link and QR code after the break.


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Droid 3 Soak Test E-Mails Being Sent Out

Motorola is planning a soak test for a future update for its Droid 3 devices on Verizon’s network, as an e-mail sent out to Motorola Feedback Network (MFN) members explains. For those that aren’t sure what a soak test is, it’s simply a form of software testing that ensures that, in normal use (or as close a simulation of) as well as under heavy load, the software remains stable and functional. Unfortunately it won’t be Ice Cream Sandwich, since that’s been dropped from Verizon’s list of phones receiving the Android 4.0 update. Members of the MFN received the following e-mail:

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid 3, please excuse and ignore this email.

Click this link to take a short enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners’ Forums to be included. The registration window is can close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks — please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don’t hear from us right away.

Thanks Justin for sending this in!

Motorola MOTOACTV Update Postponed Until Friday

Motorola’s huge update for the MOTOACTV fitness device, originally scheduled for March 7th (yesterday) has been postponed until tomorrow. Although not entirely great news, it’s only a 24 hour wait, and I’m sure it’s to ensure that the update is rolled out without issues. The update is planning to bring over 40 new activities to the device, including yoga, pilates, dancing, and martial arts. The update will also bring some new convenient functionality tweaks, including activating the screen by a flick of your wrist, and WiFi setup straight from the device itself (opposed to currently having to do so from your phone). If you own a MOTOACTV, keep your eyes posted tomorrow for an incredible update for your device.

source: pocketnow

Droid 2 Software Update on the Horizon

The Motorola Droid 2 will be getting a software update, and this time it’s not the Droid 2 Global. Last week, we saw an OTA update for the Droid 2 Global. Now it’s the Droid 2‘s turn, and it’s possible that the update will be similar to what the Droid 2 Global received. We’ll have to wait for the official announcement to be sure.

The following email went out to the Motorola Feedback Network members:

Hi,

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola Droid 2 on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. (Please note that this test is not for Droid R2D2.) If you are not currently using a Droid 2, please excuse and ignore this email.

Click this link to take a short enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners’ Forums to be included. The registration window is short so please respond as quickly as possible.

This is a confidential test under the terms of the Motorola Feedback Network. Do not post any details or information about this on any public sites.

Thanks — please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don’t hear from us right away.

Matt
Motorola Owners’ Forums
Motorola Feedback Network

One thing we do know is that the Droid 2 won’t be seeing Ice Cream Sandwich, since it was absent from Verizon’s list of devices to be upgraded. Check back to Talk Android for more information on this update.

Thank you, William!

Samsung compares the Galaxy Note 10.1 to the new iPad but forgot about the specs

As I’m sure you’re aware, the new iPad was announced today with a brand new Retina display and quad-core processor. We’ve already shown you a comparison of the new iPad and the Transformer Pad Infinity, but now Samsung has jumped in and produced a graphical comparison pitting the new iPad against the recently announced Galaxy Note 10.1.

As you can see in the graphic below, Apple loses in every category. However Samsung failed to get into any major specs, which would give the nod to Apple. Instead, Samsung concentrated on the S Pen functionality and multitasking, along with some other items like the IR port, microSD storage, and the ability to connect a USB Mouse.

There’s no question that Samsung is banking on S Pen devices moving forward. The Galaxy Note has shown some success, and now they are looking to make some noise with the Galaxy Note 10.1. I guess the real question is if the S Pen will continue to be a niche market for Samsung or if it will catch on and go mainstream? I’m far from an Apple fanboy, and I can tell you that I won’t be buying the new iPad, but I’m not sure the Galaxy Note 10.1 will sway people from buying it. I’d Love to hear everyone’s comments on this one.

FCC Passes Huawei Prism (U8651T), Headed For T-Mobile

 

T-Mobile is apparently gearing up to launch another mid-range device on the network as FCC filings reveal Huawei’s new “Prism”, model number U8651T.  The device has passed certification and closely resembles the Huawei Sonic we saw last year which launched on Magenta.  Nothing special to note here folks as the device appears to house simple yet doable standards.  Expect a 3.5-inch display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and 512 MB of RAM.  Should make for a decent little guy on the network we’re guessing.  Stay tuned as we dig for more specs like whether or not the device will be capable of hitting T-Mobile’s 42 Mbps. Until then, feel free to speculate in the comments below.

source: FCC