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.

06
Dec
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If you've been waiting for the Top Gear Stunt School Revolution game to finally ditch its Amazon Appstore-only status, good news: it has. You can grab the game based on some of the wacky and oft ill-conceived and even more ill-executed challenges from the popular British TV show on the Play Store as of today. There's a free version, which doesn't have all the stunts unlocked, and a $0.99 Pro version that does (it also gives you more play points).

06
Dec
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A redacted version of the HTC-Apple patent licensing agreement was published in the public record today as part of the Samsung v. Apple trial, and AllThingsD has a copy. It's 143 pages long (to be fair, only about a fifth of that is the actual settlement), so let me give you the skinny.

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First, what has HTC agreed to? Well, it's actually not super complicated to distill down: basically, HTC can use Apple's functional software patents under the license, except those covered under an "anti-cloning" rule and which are part of the "distinct Apple user experience" - unless those features are part of the core Android OS that HTC does not control.

06
Dec
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If you've been lusting after Samsung's S-Memo functionality (found on numerous Samsung devices like the Note II, LG has something similar too), but for any piece of Android hardware, a new app called Ink Over Apps is definitely worth looking into. Its functionality is pretty limited at this point, but what it does, it does well. And what it does is let you draw on your screen and then save a screenshot of what you've drawn.

05
Dec
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Is rooting phones a hassle for you? Do you want to root somebody else's phone (whether they're willing or not), but don't want to deal with that whole pesky "getting permission" part? (Or dealing with teaching them how to go about doing it?)

A new app over at XDA by wchill may have you covered. I say "may" because it's still in a very early beta stage, but the response so far from the community has been pretty positive.

05
Dec
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I know, I know - there are tons of VNC viewer apps on the Play Store. Some of the good ones are even free. But if you use RealVNC, and you (or your workplace) demand an encrypted connection for remote access, this is the only app we're aware of that will allow you to connect from your Android device. RealVNC is highly popular, so we thought we'd point out this deal, which saves you five bucks over the ten it would otherwise run you.

05
Dec
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If you're looking for yet another song-matching app (really, a SoundHound / Shazam alternative), Rhapsody's got something you might be interested in - a new app called Songmatch.

Songmatch, thankfully, does not require a Rhapsody subscription, and is completely free. You can match songs against Rhapsody's library of 16 million tracks, get artist info, track listings, and more.

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That may sound pretty basic at first glance, but it gets better if you're a Rhapsody subscriber.

05
Dec
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In addition to Google Search, the Google Translate, Authenticator, and Voice apps - along with five others - have been updated today as well, though these revisions aren't quite as exciting as new Google Now cards.

First, the Translate app received a bump to 2.5.3, adding text recognition via the camera translate function for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Handwriting recognition has been added for a number of new languages, as well, including: Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, and Welsh.

05
Dec
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Google Search received a pretty significant update this morning, adding yet more Google Now cards, speed enhancements, and three new voice actions. The now cards include nearby events, "suggestions to help you with your research" (whatever that means), QR code boarding passes (!) from Gmail, location-sensitive search by camera (aka Google Goggles), weather at places Now thinks you're travelling to based on Calendar and Gmail, and monthly summaries of your walking and biking activity.

05
Dec
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For the last few weeks, I’ve had the fortuitous opportunity to spend some time with the Microsoft Surface RT. I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about that experience.

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Productivity (Office vs. Drive)

Drive / document editing and creation at large on Android sucks. Office on the Surface RT blows it away. Not even close. Office RT still has its quirks, but Microsoft continues to show that it dominates the spreadsheet and document ecosystem for a reason: it’s had nearly 30 years of experience perfecting it.

04
Dec
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If you're a Verizon Wireless customer, and you're not looking to spend over $100 or so on an Android smartphone, your options aren't exactly limited at this point. If you want one that's relatively current, though, the RAZR M and Incredible 4G are basically your choices, one of which we actually really liked.

Both of those phones, though, by modern Android smartphone standards, are relatively small, with 4-4.3" qHD displays.

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