Hi there. It's been a while since I last wrote about the smartphone patent wars. I consider that a really, really good thing. I really don't like the patent wars. They're little more than a proxy conflict led by Apple and Microsoft to slow down the emergence of competing OEMs in what has obviously become the next big computing market. It is, however, a proxy war they are undeniably winning. Microsoft has inked royalty deals with nearly every Android OEM of note except the Google-owned Motorola (big surprise there), Apple has a nice little licensing arrangement with HTC, and a $600 million verdict against Samsung with another trial considered to be in Apple's favor to come.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
Patent trolling is far from a divisive issue in the United States. Pretty much everyone but the trolls can agree that patent trolling is damaging to the economy, and generally kind of a dick move. Patent trolling, if you're not familiar with the practice, is quite simple in concept: buy patents, extort licensing fees from alleged infringers, and sue if they refuse to comply. President Obama proposed some "major" changes to US law that will supposedly reduce the effectiveness of such companies.
While it's not exactly ripe with details, the Hulu Plus for Android app's latest update promises increased playback resolution for three popular 1080p handsets: the Galaxy S4, DROID DNA, and HTC One. The assumption you might make, then, is that it's adding 1080p playback.
That's possible, though the amount of 1080p content Hulu currently provides is pretty limited, apparently. And Hulu itself lists a maximum resolution of 720p on its supported devices page.
After months of speculation and rumors, Verizon announced the HTC One for its network with all the pomp and circumstance and extravagance it deserved - just kidding, they tweeted about.
— Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) June 3, 2013
So there it is. The One is coming to Verizon "later this summer." This is HTC's first four-carrier Android device in the US, albeit a little late, but cool nonetheless.
With the announcement of the two leading-edge Android smartphones, the HTC One and Galaxy S4, in new "Nexus User Experience" editions, there really is only one remaining question: are you going to buy one?
The Nexified software experience has been something I've seen internet commenters clamoring for since the day I started writing for Android Police. And yet, somehow I feel pretty confident saying that these phones will fail to gain much traction outside a small, hardcore group of enthusiasts.
This contest is now over.
The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future. Congratulations!
Grand Prize (Note 10.1) - Ricardo Jorge
Runner-ups (ArtFlow license)
Update: Ricardo sent in a photo of his new tablet with a little something he drew:
Interesting in winning a 16GB Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet?
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 63.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
If you've been waiting to get your hands on the white Nexus 4, wait no longer (if you're in the US, that is) - it's on the Play Store right now, and it comes with a free matching white bumper case. Both 8GB and 16GB models are available, with the same pricing as the black version. Black models of the Nexus 4 are also now shipping with free bumper cases for a 'limited time,' so if you were on the fence about an N4, now's probably the time to buy.
The Harman / Kardon BTs are a pair of high-ish end over-ear Bluetooth headphones, and the current street price for them is around $200. They don't offer active noise-cancellation, but they are extremely striking and very obviously a premium product. So, are they worth two-hundred of your big ones?
Wireless, hardware, and battery life
I paired up the HK BTs with a Galaxy S4 and Note II with zero problems. Audio transmission sounded fantastic, and latency was well within the range I've come to expect with Bluetooth headsets.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 was announced alongside its smaller sibling, the Mega 5.8, early last month. Given their enormity and relatively middling specifications, we didn't expect to see the monster handsets come stateside. Now, it seems like at least one of them will, and it's the Mega 6.3.
A recent Bluetooth SIG filing for model SPH-L600 - a designation with basically no known history - contains little information of use, other than confirming this is a Samsung handset with LTE bound for Sprint, as can be deduced from the model prefixes.