We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint.
We've already seen the RAZR M land on the nation's largest carrier. Now, Verizon is adding the other two RAZRs we knew were coming. The DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, apart from single-handedly breathing new life into my caps lock key, will be arriving on October 18th. The former will run you $199 on a new two-year contract. If you're looking for some extra battery life from your kevlar-coated phone, the MAXX version will sport a hefty $299 price tag.
If you had your doubts before, they should be all but settled. The rumored LG Nexus phone that we saw the other day has changed hands and re-appeared in high-quality photos on Onliner. Of course, these aren't actually designed for release to the media, as the device still has "Not for sale" emblazoned over the back, indicating that this is a prototype and not a consumer-ready model. However, there is no shortage of brightly lit angles and, for some reason, the phone held up next to a stuffed parrot.
Google Maps was already pretty great, with comprehensive Street View coverage in countries around the world, but it just got a little bit better thanks to the 'biggest Street View update ever', which is rolling out today.
Street View coverage has now been increased in no fewer than 11 countries, including the U.S., Britain, and Canada, with over 250,000 miles of roads being updated and added.
The number of special collections, which allow you to see tourist attractions in countries all over the world on Street View, has also been doubled, with new locations added in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico, and more.
Are you dying to get your hands on the latest version of CyanogenMod, but don't want to cope with the bugs that come with nightly builds? The M-Series is just what the doctor ordered, with stable builds of upcoming releases coming every month.
Monthly builds of CM started this time last month, so it's no surprise to see CyanogenMod 10 M2 hitting servers today. As promised, device support is growing, with 7 more devices on the list for M2 than M1.
Following up on last year's slide-to-unlock patent grab (which itself built on a patent granted in 2010), Apple has been granted another, yet more expansive slide-to-unlock patent, one which ditches the previous patents' emphasis on "predefined paths" in favor of more ambiguous language covering the movement of an unlock image to "an unlock region" on a device's display.
While US Patent 8,286,103 is largely similar to Apple's previous two slide-to-unlock, its language is considerably broader.
It seems like you can't go a day anymore without something new being added to Google+. Today, the mobile app is seeing an update that brings some much-requested features, including the ability to manage Pages from mobile. The method is a little wonky. Unlike on the web version, you can't just hop over to a page you're managing. You have to manually log out then log back in, at which point you will be asked what profile or page you want to control.
When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.
Folks, I can't believe it myself, but this day has finally come - Google seems to have finally sorted out all its backend and frontend issues with Google contact sync. Jelly Bean's 720x720 hi-res contact support was surely a nice addition, but ended up almost completely useless in our earlier tests: Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush.
As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved.
If you didn't see our initial post on Maluuba, a rather nifty voice assistant app, check it out. The service has now gone global, though English remains the only supported language, with the beta release of Maluuba International.
As with the normal version of Maluuba, you can get directions, find restaurants, movie showtimes, create alarms, and more. The app itself has a pretty neat UI, too (even if it is a total Windows not-Metro ripoff).