Microsoft has just notched yet another one under its belt. After announcing a patent deal with LG just last week, Microsoft is not content with signing deals invovling 70 percent of all Android smartphones in the US having licensing deals. Microsoft went full speed ahead and signed yet another agreement with a manufacturer, this time setting up an agreement with Pantech. The perceived reasoning is Pantech perhaps wants to avoid any sign of legal trouble with Microsoft by agreeing to sign a licensing deal and settling things upfront with the Redmond giant. The terms of the new agreement have not yet surfaced, so look for further information to trickle out sooner than later.
For those of you Galaxy Nexus owners who missed out on the first round of Verizon’s discounted extended battery sale, well they’re at it again. Now that they have replenished stock, you can still purchase the larger extended battery for 50% off and it will only run you 25 bucks. Head to the source link below to get your extend on (didn’t sound right), and some readers are even claiming to have gotten the deal honored at their local Big Red store. Do it.
All those fancy features in your 4G LTE phone are amazing. A dual-core, soon to be quad-core processor, with 8+ MP cameras, huge HD displays with the added speed of 4G LTE in a tiny frame is something sought after in today’s phone market. However, having these state of the art parts in our handheld device comes with a high price; dismal battery life. Well it appears that some folks are starting to catch on that this is an issue and they are making strides to combat this. Motorola for instance is releasing the RAZR MAXX, the first smartphone to boast a 21-hr talk time with a 3300mAh battery.
We know that Research In Motion is in serious trouble, and the only way out might just be a sale. BGR is reporting that RIM is mulling over selling part or all of the company, which can’t be a surprise to anyone. What is surprising is that supposedly the front runner is Samsung.
Why would Samsung want RIM? The theory is that BlackBerry Messenger would give them further differentiation from the other Android manufacturers, and of course there is the enterprise features. Samsung has already implemented a few enterprise solutions and why on earth would they want BlackBerry Messenger? Unless that part of the business is sold dirt cheap, I can’t imagine Samsung buying RIM for that purpose. Supposedly RIM is looking for upwards of $12 billion to $15 billion. I’m pretty sure BlackBerry Messenger is not worth that kind of money.
I’m not sure what will ultimately happen to RIM, but I’ve said it in the past that I believe the best option would be Microsoft. Microsoft wants market share and a purchase of RIM would give them a boost of roughly 15% market share. BlackBerry enterprise solutions will work well with Microsoft. It’s simply the perfect fit.
To me, this news is just “window dressing” to show other potential buyers there’s interest. RIM’s ultimate goal is to increase the bidding. The question is if anyone really wants to start bidding?
The DROID Bionic, the phone to rule all phones, came out with some pretty big bugs. Some of the bigger bugs included the 3G/4G signal issue, and even the whine that some users were complaining of. Well it was roughly 3 months after the fact that the phone received its first major bug fix and since then the folks at Motorola and Verizon have been cranking out the bug fixes.The mysterious update that came out a week after the major bug fix appears to have been a test build somehow released to the public and the new build going out to testers today only adds a few more changes on top of 5.9.901. This update that brings the software version to 5.9.902 includes the fixes in that mysterious 5.9.901 update and adds the following:
Those of you hoping for a 3G variant of the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet are in for some bad news. Despite earlier reports and rumors of a 3G variant of the device, ASUS has gone ahead and dispelled any such thought of such a device and even adds “no such product exists on its current roadmap”. However, the company does expect to launch 3G versions for other high-end products in the Transformer family in the future. So there you have it folks— don’t hold your breath on any 3G Transformer Prime tablet… for now.
[via Focus Taiwan]
The National Security Agency (NSA) just announced their security enhanced version of Android, dubbed SE Android. Stephen Smalley of the NSA recently explained what SE Android does at the 2011 Linux Security Summit. Basically it brings Mandatory Access Control to Android’s Linux kernel and it works to protect against malicious exploits. Every file and folder that Android has access to can be locked down with encryption.
To build SE Android, you need to download and compile the latest code from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and put SE Android on top of it. It’s intended for emulators and the Nexus S, but there won’t be much support. You need to be familiar with Android from source and Linux/Unix-based systems.
With the DROID RAZR MAXX on its way, it was only inevitable for the original DROID RAZR to see a drop in price. How about a $100 drop in price? That’s right kids, Verizon Wireless is set to offer the DROID RAZR for a mere $199.99 on contract. The price is definitely attractive, but what’s the catch? Well, there’s no microSD card included with this variation of the phone while the original does include a 16GB microSD card. But hey, who needs an extra 16GB included anyways, right?
Look for the RAZR MAXX to now takeover that $299.99 price point.
It’s going to be a long time before everyone forgets the stunt Carrier IQ pulled by secretly loading its tracking software on mobile devices and kicking it back to carriers. It still baffles me how a company like this can easily be turned upside down by the voice of one developer. It’s a constant reminder to me that on the web, we all have a voice. In further Carrier IQ news, HTC has jumped on board and pledges to remove the software from all of its CDMA handsets as we’ve seen with the HTC Evo 3D, one of the devices reported as definitely housing the software. The monitoring software will slowly but surely be removed from all of the company’s devices as per a statement by HTC:
“HTC can confirm that we’re working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January”
So there you have it. After this month, there should no longer be any personal user-information periodically being sent back to any specific carrier without the knowledge or consent of the subscriber. According to their site, Carrier IQ offers a number of “tiers” of monitoring and tracking when it comes to how the device functions on a specific network and not so much “personal user” interaction. However, in the manner of which the company went about preloading the software on handsets, bigger guns like Senator Al Franken was already engaging FBI directors on its usage (see video below). Let us know what you think in the comments section. And don’t forget, if you’re not sure whether or not your device has Carrier IQ’s software on it, you can use the Carrier IQ Detector app from Look Out labs here.
[via The Verge]
There’s no denying how widespread and accepted the Samsung Galaxy S II has been in the mobile market shooting into 2012 and it looks like our friends over in the UK are going to benefit from the hefty “HD” version of the monster handset which is supposed to hit the mobile market some time this year. The Samsung Galaxy S II HD, rocking a 1280 x 780 display along with some other new tidbits under the hood appears to be all set for a UK launch in the near future. As if a Super AMOLED Plus display wasn’t enough, the new addition’s HD display will be more than welcomed by the mobile community. It’s no wonder Samsung has managed to stay afloat in the mobile industry. thanks to the company’s constant innovation and breakthrough products. Keep ‘em coming Sammy. In addition to the HD display, there’s further rumors of a bigger screen (4.65-inches), an NFC chip on board and a bigger battery (1850 mAh’s). Stay tuned to Talk Android as we dig a little deeper on pricing and a release date for the device as well as Samsung’s new and upcoming, highly anticipated, Galaxy S III device. Happy salivating.