While Google's been working feverishly to build out its Play Store, bringing it to other countries and expanding its offerings, the company's music store has been lacking one crucial feature that its competitors have: library matching. Where Amazon and iTunes can scan your current collection and add the songs to your online storage, Google has, until recently, required users to upload every individual track manually. A long and tedious process. In mid-November, the scan and match feature came out for Europe, and today it arrives for US residents.
Sure, Samsung is stealing the spotlight recently with its Galaxy Camera, but did you know that other companies are working on Android cameras? Companies that have been making picture-taking devices for longer than most of us have been alive, even! Take Polaroid's IM1836, for example. This thing has leaked before in a couple different variations, and today were getting a glimpse at a unit that might be a little closer to final production.
Did you think that just because it was winter and all the major phone announcements had died down that Samsung was done releasing things? NOPE. Today, the Korean manufacturer released info on the brand new Galaxy Grand. Where "brand new" means "looks so much like the Note II that Samsung is probably suing itself for trade dress infringement." The phone will carry a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5" 800x480 display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on board storage (expandable with a microSD card slot), a 2,100 mAh battery, and it ships with Jelly Bean (4.1.2)
Full specs in list form, for those who prefer it that way:
1.2GHz dual-core processor
5" 800x480 TFT LCD display
8GB storage (expandable to 64GB via microSD
2,100 mAh battery
Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean
Single- or dual-SIM models
On the spec sheet, it looks like a mid-range phone at best.
I'd like to start this piece Peter Jackson style: with a longer-than-necessary flashback to provide background on this story. Back in the 90s, kids were all about two things: basketball and fighting games. We loved Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Space Jam and Shaquille O'Neal. Or so the legends go. As a result, in 1994, some genius marketer aimed to put the two together to create Shaq Fu. It did not fare well.
And the nightlies come in the niiiight! Or, in this case, in the middle of the afternoon. Today, the fine folks over on the CyanogenMod team have seen fit to release CM10.1 nightlies for several Nexus devices including both CDMA variants—the Verizon version named 'toro' and Sprint's 'toroplus'—as well as the brand new 3G Nexus 7 hardware. ROMs for all three of the variants are available for download on get.cm.
I suppose you have to give Sony credit for at least keeping its customers informed. Today, the manufacturer announced an update to its plans for bringing its phones up to Jelly Bean. If you're rocking the Xperia T, Xperia TX, or Xperia V, you should see Android 4.1 "during February and March." Of course, this will depend on what market you're in or which variant you own.
Following those flagships, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will start to receive their upgrades starting around the end of March.
Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price).
Forget all those people streaming their movies from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. You like to have a proper collection of video files. You want to own them and watch them wherever you want. RockPlayer, the all-purpose media player app for Android, has been a crowd favorite for just this purpose for a while, even if it's been lacking a bit of luster. Well, today that changes with a huge update to the interface that makes it both prettier and far more functional.
Of course sharing this tidbit is going to make me that guy*, but if the word "meme" to you means "a picture with text written on it" then chances are you owe at least some thanks to the Cheezburger Network. This site (and later, series of sites)has been built around the business of collecting viral internet images for the lulz. Now, several realms from this digital domain—including but not limited to Memebase, FAILblog, and ROFLRazzi and a couple dozen others—are available via the new Cheezburger mobile app.