David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

10
May
movies

When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):

movies3

The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being).

10
May
hi-256-3-bea3d5b6f67835c6e24e3abb62cfe48ea332f7e0

We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible.

08
May
IMGA0002
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Make no mistake, the DROID Charge is a cool phone. It looks cool. Its boot screen looks cool. Hell, even the camera has been carefully crafted to look like some sort of crazy piece of future-tech.

In the past week, I've had three separate people ask me what phone it was (something that I never experienced with my Nexus One or the HTC Inspire), and then proceed in some way to compliment its appearance or the vividness of its display.

08
May
hi-256-0-cebb14a080486962e8ce1e8c18391aa11bb390f6

It's been a while since the last ADW Launcher EX update, but it may just have been worth the wait. The author of ADW EX has implemented some major changes and fixes for version 1.3.0. Check out the change log below:

ADWLauncher EX v1.3.0

Changelog:

  • Completely redone the app drawers code from scratch to improve memory usage and scrolling performance, even with transparencies, live wallpapers, etc
  • Scroll snapping on the vertical drawer/4d drawer “a la launcher 2″.

07
May
android-tweak-20110201162950
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.

05
May
SergeyBrin_1508134c

File this under "things that look good on paper." On Tuesday, a federal judge for the Northern District of California issued an order forcing Oracle and Google, in their fight over various Java patents allegedly infringed by Android, to reduce the number of patent claims and defenses thereto to a "triable" number. That number? Three. And Google will be allowed eight "prior art references" to defend against those claims. (Note: A "prior art reference" is a way of showing that a patent was trying to patent something someone else had already invented prior to the filing, a complete defense against patent infringement, invalidating the patent in question)

Oracle's complaint ended up amounting to 132 patent claims against Google's Android mobile operating system - a staggering number for any court.

28
Apr
cap2

While Verizon has temporarily pushed back the release date of the DROID Charge after a 24-hour 4G LTE network outage yesterday, I did manage to get my hands on a review unit this afternoon.

The first thing I noticed was how sleek and futuristic this phone looks - it is just plain cool, in a way that no HTC or Motorola device even comes close to. The boot animation is probably the best on any DROID to date.

27
Apr
death-star-att

There's been a lot of talk about AT&T's crusade against rogue tethering lately, and it all comes back to this AT&T text message sent to some poor iPhone customer(s):

AT&T Free Msg: We’ve noticed you’re continuing to enjoy the tethering feature with your smartphone service. Remember, you need a tethering plan ($45/mo, incl. 4GB) to use this feature, so we’re planning to update your line with the required plan soon.

Yes, the carrier everyone loves to hate is cracking down on unauthorized tethering - and they are automatically switching violators onto AT&T's 4GB data plan with tethering access, at a steep $45 a month.

27
Apr
motorola-atrix-4g-1294335767-725

ATRIX 4G users rejoice - HSUPA will soon be here, and without any sort of hacky flashing requiring root access. The official Motorola update page for the ATRIX 4G's latest OTA, 4.1.83, has appeared on Motorola's website today. Here's the change log "highlights" according to Moto:

Data Speed
Increased speed at which data can travel on the network.

Data Connection
Improvements to prevent interruptions to data connection.

Screen
Improvements to prevent screen from freezing.

27
Apr
Motorola-Xoom-Tablet1

According to a tipster at Droid-life, the Motorola XOOM will be receiving a (relatively minor) system update tomorrow, and no - it doesn't include SD card support (exactly why, we can't even begin to guess). Here's the list of changes and additions:

  • Access and stay connected to Wi-Fi networks with added Proxy support
  • SSL data transfer with websites is now supported
  • WPA Pre-Shared Key pass-phrases are now supported when using the device as a Mobile Hotspot
  • POP 3 HTML emails will display in their entirety
  • Bluetooth is now supported in Google Talk
  • Application storage errors will not appear unless the device has reached maximum storage capacity
  • Safely dock the Motorola XOOM into the docking adapter without interruption
  • Ability to add and use a Bluetooth mouse
  • View and import pictures from digital cameras with Picture Transfer Protocol
  • When using the device in accessibility mode, menus will no longer prompt with sounds

Generally, this update seems to fix a lot of bugs and add support for some more technical items - nothing to get too worked up about.

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