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.

22
Sep
rackspace-logo

In a triumphant post to its blog today, Rackspace announced that Rotatable Technologies is now "an ex-patent troll." This new designation for Rotatable Technologies comes after the US Patent and Trademark Office declared its patent (6,326,978) unpatentable. Last year, Rotatable Technologies decided to go after Rackspace over the patent, demanding $75,000. Rackspace chose to fight not just the case but the patent itself.

What is patent 6,326,978? It was a patent covering "a display method for selectively rotating windows on a computer display including a window for a computer display having a frame and a display portion.

22
Sep
nexusae0_Google-Now-Launcher_thumb

Google Now is constantly gaining new abilities that are generally awesome, if a little bit creepy. One such feature, brought to our attention today, is the ability to keep track of flight prices.

This is another automatic feature whereby Google infers your intention and presents useful info on that basis. In this case, if you are eyeing a flight or itinerary through Google Flights (it does not appear that this works with other travel booking sites right now), Google will make a note of that and drop a helpful card into your Google Now screen to let you know when the price of that flight changes.

17
Sep
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Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.

First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.

Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.

16
Sep
ic_launcher_play_store

A couple of months ago, we shared an early look at an impending Play Store update that saw more "materialized" content listings, but the rest of the interface remained largely unchanged. The new, more image-focused interface made thoughtful use of increased white space and introduced some really fun tablet layouts for content listings from movies to books, music, and apps.

This time, we have an early look at the Play Store's upcoming 5.0 release.

15
Sep
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Those willing to venture into chrome://flags can often enjoy experimental treats that haven't made it into default circulation yet. One flag in Chrome, brought to our attention by a tipster, enables "answers in suggest," giving users answers to simple questions right in the omnibar. So if for some reason you're wondering what the capital of Maryland is, or the population of the world, you can get the answer without actually performing a search.

15
Sep
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We recently posted an exclusive look at technical drawings for a Bluetooth keyboard cover destined for HTC's upcoming Nexus 9 (Volantis) tablet. At the time all we had to go on were drawings accompanying the information provided to us (and my own renders), but VR-Zone caught some photos of the keyboard case as it passed through NCC certification.

We can confirm that the model number for the keyboard in these photos (UG0B) matches the model number in the materials provided to us for our initial coverage, so - while the device pictured may still be in testing - we can say with confidence that this is the same keyboard case.

14
Sep
ic_launcher_dogfood

If you follow developer Jack Underwood (or myself) on Google+, you're probably aware that Today Calendar, a calendar replacement that has traditionally put streamlined, pleasing design at the center of its mission, is undergoing a full redesign in anticipation of Android's L release and inspired by Google's new design guidelines.

Until now, testing has been limited to a small community of intrepid early adopters, but today the app has entered a public beta through the Play Store.

14
Sep
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Motorola, in a post to its official blog today, announced that the Moto 360 would be back in stock on its website beginning Tuesday, September 16th. What's more exciting, though, is the promise of pre-order for new products beginning the same day. Yes, that means the new Moto X.

But before you get too excited, only the Moto X Pure Edition (the unbranded, unlocked version), and the AT&T variant will be available for pre-order Tuesday.

13
Sep
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Back at Google I/O we were introduced to Android One, an initiative from Google to give smartphone manufacturers guidance on how to build quality Android experiences using affordable hardware and updates directly from the Google mothership. At the time, Sundar Pichai explained that the program would be launched in India with three hardware partners - Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn "this fall," with other territories coming later.

Google evidently sent out invites for the official Android One launch event at the beginning of the month, and partner Karbonn is already teasing that its device is coming soon.

11
Sep
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Back at the Google I/O keynote this summer, we saw a very interesting demonstration - as Sundar Pichai explained, Google wants to make the experience between Android devices and Chromebooks seamless by allowing Android apps to run natively on Chrome (using App Runtime for Chrome, currently in beta). Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard were demonstrated on stage, and today Google has announced the first batch of Android apps that will run on Chrome right now.

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