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.

20
Dec
ZTEAVID

If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).

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Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.

20
Dec
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Samsung devices and sharing go together like Australian car racing and fistfights - you rarely see one without the other, in quantity (whether you like it or not). It makes sense, then, that Samsung wants to share its passion for sharing with developers. And today, it's making that a little easier, with the initial release of the AllShare Framework SDK.

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What does AllShare do? That's a pretty good question I can't give a complete answer to.

19
Dec
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ESPN's ScoreCenter app received a total overhaul of an update today, hitting version 3.0, and adopting a brand-new UI in the process. The new app basically follows Android's Holo guidelines (not that strict adherence is necessary for a great app), and looks much more in line with the modern Android aesthetic.

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ScoreCenter, if you're not familiar, is an app that allows you track scores in various sports for your favorite teams, along with serving as a light-duty sports news feed.

19
Dec
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Update: AT&T has published the changelog for the update (link to complete info):

The software update improves the AT&T branded application launch process, an EAS/Office 365 security pop-up fix,  and an update to all Google branded applications.

Hey, do you still have an original AT&T Galaxy S II? Really? You should probably work on an upgrade. However, on the off chance you haven't already custom-ROM'd the ever-living-Cyanogen out of it, Samsung's rolling out an update for it, as we've heard at XDA, and had confirmed by Samsung's own support website.

19
Dec
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Hot on the heels of last week's announcement that it would be acquiring the music streaming company AudioGalaxy, Dropbox today was confirmed to have snapped up yet another cloud startup: photo locker service Snapjoy.

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As you may have noticed, Dropbox is really into the idea of you storing all your photos with them. That's why they offer you some free megabytes if you turn on the Instant Upload option on the smartphone app - clever, clever.

19
Dec
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Telecom equipment manufacturer Arris Group has just announced that it will acquire the Home division of Motorola from Google, for a total of $2.35 billion in cash and stock. The sale of the division had been predicted from basically the day Google announced its purchase of Moto, and in recent weeks was all but confirmed.

As part of the deal, Google will gain a 15.7% share of Arris Group. The Motorola Home division encompasses products like set top boxes, broadband modems, landline phones, and (apparently) baby monitors.

19
Dec
pinch-me

It seems Apple isn't making many friends over at the patent examiner's office lately - yet another high-profile patent used by the company in litigation has been deemed wholly invalid on a preliminary basis.

The patent in question is often called the "pinch-to-zoom" patent, because that's basically what it patents - a pinch gesture to zoom in on content on a display. This patent had been used successfully by Apple during the first Samsung lawsuit, with numerous (all but two) Samsung devices found to infringe it.

19
Dec
IMG_5197

The MA350

The MA350 is an earbud produced by RHA, subsidiary of the UK firm Reid Heath Ltd., based in Glasgow. RHA currently manufacture only two models earbud, both of which use the same audio guts - one of them just has inline controls. The MA350's are the model without them. They retail for $40 (buy here). A small carrying pouch and three sets of eartips are included.

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The Sound

For $40, the RHA MA350's produce sound that is - I would argue - far more comparable to headphones of the $80-100 range.

19
Dec
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Last Updated: December 22nd, 2012

The Yelp app for Android has been updated to version 3.7, and brings some much-needed action bar love to everyone's favorite restaurant and other place-finding service... thing. Except they sort of botched it a little bit - with a big, fat ugly gray bar at the bottom of the map and result list UI that decreases the amount of visible content. Lovely.

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On the upside, now you have a 3-dot menu button, and the standard action bar back button, too.

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