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
nexusae0_image_thumb

Yesterday, we shared detailed mockups of what we believe to be a UI in testing that will likely come alongside a new release of Android. This UI basically seems to be a replacement for the existing Google Experience Launcher - and it is differenty. As we all know, change tends to spark controversy, and this story sparked like a Fox body Mustang riding on rims down the highway at 60MPH full of illegal fireworks and cheap power strips.

09
May
larry-ellison-is-not-afraid-to-date-his-employees

After a lengthy appeal, the Oracle v. Google trial on various Java APIs is headed back to the district court for a new trial. The federal appeals court in this case sided with Oracle, agreeing that the structure, sequence, and organization of the 37 Java APIs in question constituted copyrightable material.

While I still disagree with this on a fundamental level (I'd argue Oracle is merely using copyright as a false shield - it really wants to protect functionality, not form, which copyright does not protect), the 9th Circuit's Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's decision falls in line with the court's reputation as being one of the strongest on intellectual property protection.

07
May
Heartbleed.svg

Both Sprint and T-Mobile announced OTA updates for two long-forgotten handsets today stuck on Android 4.1.1 - the Samsung Nexus S and the HTC One S, respectively (that is, the Sprint Nexus S and the T-Mobile One S).

RIMG_1400_1600x1200

Both updates are described merely as containing security enhancements, but given that Android 4.1.1 is the only known OS version potentially vulnerable to the now-infamous heartbleed exploit, it's fairly easy to determine what this is all about (HTC's site actually confirms as much).

07
May
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Yelp's Android app was updated to version 5.9 this afternoon, adding an apparently much-requested feature: messaging support. The Yelp app did not previously allow users to send one another messages, but this has now been remedied. Hooray! I guess.

Screenshot_2014-05-07-13-57-38 Screenshot_2014-05-07-13-57-55

Otherwise, there's nothing going on here - probably a few bug fixes, maybe some performance tweaks. Oh, and a Mitch Hedberg quote, a la Yelp's typically enjoyable changelogs: "I order the club sandwich all the time.

07
May
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Google Wallet received a relatively minor update today, too (along with Camera), making a few subtle changes to the UI and a couple of feature tweaks. Most notable, perhaps, is that the explore offers feature has been removed altogether (offers live in Maps now, apparently). The other feature change is an addition, not a subtraction, with Wallet now allowing you to receive notification for package shipment statuses on items ordered using Wallet.

07
May
unnamed

Google's Camera app received a minor update today, adding back the ability to snap photos while recording video. The feature was not present in the original release of the Google Camera app.

Otherwise, we're not seeing many changes in today's up to version 2.1.042, though with something like a camera app many of the appreciable changes are often under the hood, not user-facing. Let us know if you see anything, though!

07
May
Huawei Consumer Business Group Ascend P7

While Huawei's presence here in the United States has remained limited, the company's handset shipments in Asia and other parts of the world make it a serious mobile contender in the grand scheme. Today, Huawei announced its latest attempt to usurp its competitors at the high end of the market: the Ascend P7.

The P7 looks largely reminiscent of the P6, which is to say it looks largely reminiscent of an iPhone 4.

06
May
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If you have an Amazon.com Rewards Visa card, now might be the time to go shopping - they're currently offering 20% off purchases of a large list of "select" electronics, with a maximum total discount of $50. There is no maximum number of items you may use the discount on, but you can only use it on a single Amazon order - then it's gone. The promo code is TCH20ARC.

06
May
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While Word Lens does remain one of our favorite pieces of software, there's no denying the company's product has a serious feature gap: support for Chinese and Japanese characters. Enter Waygo.

Waygo is basically World Lens for Chinese and Japanese (no Korean yet, unfortunately), and the free app allows you up to 10 translations per day at no charge. If you want the full version, the upgrade will cost you $7 for a lifetime license.

06
May
dongles

We've generally liked Dropcam's products, and the company's commitment to strong Android integration has certainly helped. Today, Dropcam announced a new product in the company's lineup, and for once, it's not a camera. Meet Dropcam Tabs - the company's take on motion sensors.

tabs

Dropcam Tabs are small adhesive dongles that can be attached to doors, windows, or really any object whose movement you want to track. Dropcam's software allows you to configure the Tab based on what it's attached to, too (door, window, or object proximity alert).

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