Just like subscribers to any other phone service provider, advanced users of the hybrid 3G/WiFi mobile virtual network Republic Wireless are eager to customize and modify their phones - probably more so, in fact. That's why we posted a rooting guide for the only Republic phone available, the Motorola Defy XT. But in a message to the Republic subscriber base, an employee clarified the company's position on rooting, custom ROMs and other modifications to the Android hardware it provides to its customers.
Chances are, even if you haven't heard of Vudu (though that's a little hard at this point), you might just own some piece of content that can be used with the service. Vudu is a digital movie locker that allows users to rent or buy movies online and have them streamed to their computers, or a number of set top boxes and Blu-Ray players with internet connectivity. This is all pretty standard fare.
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.
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.
It's a good time to be an Android gamer. Sega, perennial underdog of the console world, has decided to put some of its biggest titles on Android on a pretty big sale. Right now you can grab Dreamcast favorite Jet Set Radio for $2 (regular price $5), Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I and Episode II, plus the Tegra-only Episode II THD, for a buck each. All of the Sonic titles are usually $3.99 to $6.99, making this sale a pretty good deal all around.
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.
For $40, the RHA MA350's produce sound that is - I would argue - far more comparable to headphones of the $80-100 range.
At this point, everyone probably knows that gReader is my RSS client of choice on Android. Of course, everyone should also know that I love pretty apps. I'm actually a sucker for a clean, minimalistic layout, and will often choose what looks better over what's actually functional. Maybe I'm just vain.
Whatever the reason, though, when I laid eyes on Press, it was an insta-buy for me – it's just so pretty I couldn't resist.
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.
On the upside, now you have a 3-dot menu button, and the standard action bar back button, too.
One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.