Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

30
Aug
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A court in Tokyo returned a favorable ruling for Samsung Friday, finding that Samsung's mobile devices were not in violation of an Apple patent related to inter-device media transfer.

This news comes one week after Samsung lost in what was (and continues to be) one of the most compelling trials tech has seen in a long time, with a San Jose jury ruling that Sammy owed Apple over $1 billion in damages over various trade dress and patent claims levied by Apple.

30
Aug
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BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit-browsing clients available for Android, has just received a major update to version 2.1. Among other things, the update brings a new "Welcome Guide" for new users, access to subreddit sidebars, subscription functionality, support for spoiler alerts, a dark theme for the app's "large" widget, and a few minor fixes.

Of course the real story in this update is the app's UI overhaul. BaconReader has finally crossed over to a new design, which ostensibly follows the highly-exalted Android Design Guidelines.

30
Aug
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Skype, providers of one of the most popular IM and video calling clients available, deployed an update for the service's Android app today, bringing it up to version 2.9.0.315 and packing a few minor, yet very much needed fixes and enhancements.

Among the changes in 2.9.0.315 are more reliable connection with Bluetooth headsets, support for a wider range of headsets, and several key bug fixes. Here's the full change log:

What's in this version:

Bluetooth improvements
• More reliable connection with headsets
• More headsets supported
Bug fixes
• No more random signing out
• Fixed green video on HTC devices
• Restored video quality on Nvidia-powered devices

While this is a relatively small update, it brings improvements that should give users a more pleasant experience with the app overall, and will definitely help functionality for those using HTC or NVIDIA-powered devices.

30
Aug
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Home Box Office Inc. brought updates to their HBO GO and HBO MAX apps today, adding various bug fixes, performance enhancements, and support for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

For those who aren't familiar, HBO GO (which just got support for tablets running Android 4.0.4 and below last month), provides a mobile streaming service for those with eligible HBO subscriptions through participating television providers. Likewise, MAX GO provides mobile streaming for eligible Cinemax customers.

30
Aug
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You likely noticed our coverage regarding the arrival of official CyanogenMod (experimental) nightly builds for, among other devices,  HTC's EVO 4G LTE. As someone who's lived with the EVO LTE for several months now, this was big news.

Normally, we steer clear of covering the majority of custom ROMs, as development for many Android devices runs at a fast and furious pace, and coverage can quickly become dated. The improvements CyanogenMod 10 offers, though, especially over Sense on the EVO LTE, are certainly worth coverage.

30
Aug
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Huawei's list of announcements for this year's IFA conference is busting at the seams with a whopping four phones and two tablets, all with different screen sizes, specs, and prices, all slated for a 2012 introduction to the German market, with launch in other markets to follow, though we aren't privy to specific dates for other regions.

Phones

Ascend D1 Quad XL

The lovingly named Ascend D1 Quad XL is by all accounts the leader of Huawei's new smartphone pack, packing a 4.5" with an extremely impressive 330ppi density (and unknown resolution), a 1.2GHz K3V2 ARM quad-core processor built by Huawei, a 2600mAh battery, 8MP camera with 1.3MP front shooter, and a microSD slot for an extra boost of internal memory.

30
Aug
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It looks like Chinese manufacturer ZTE may have beaten Motorola to the Intel-powered phone announcement punch, today unveiling the ZTE Grand X IN. You may remember that Motorola is planning an announcement involving Intel for September 18th.

The Grand X IN looks to be a mid-range device, carrying a 4.3" qHD TFT display (that's 540x960 resolution), an 8MP rear camera with a VGA shooter around front, 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD), NFC, and of course an Intel Atom Z2460 processor with just one core clocked at 1.6GHz.

30
Aug
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One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.

30
Aug
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Amazon, in a press release posted this morning, announced that its "#1 best-selling product," the Kindle Fire, is now sold out. The release boasts the Fire's millions of sales, noting that it managed to eat up an impressive 22% of tablet sales in the US, and added to the overall success of Amazon's digital product sales.

What makes this announcement interesting is that Amazon has a press conference scheduled for September 6th, meaning we're likely to see the latest member of the Kindle family unveiled very soon.

29
Aug
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PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 4.0.0.1. The update carries a much-needed interface redesign, bringing the web payment solution's mobile client more into line with Android's design language. Using a warm, espresso-and-orange color scheme with a few well-placed textures and conservative gradients, the app's new interface looks infinitely better than its previous iteration.

The update isn't just about looks though – it also carries some functional improvements.

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