Soft navigation keys are desirable in post-4.0 Android device... at least for some users. Some people love 'em (and curse the likes of Samsung and HTC every time a new flagship with hardware keys comes out) and some don't. For those who don't, Good Mood Droid (whom we've featured before) has created GMD Hide Soft Keys root. It's a root-only application that gets rid of the navigation bar in all areas of the device.
Hi there. It's been a while since I last wrote about the smartphone patent wars. I consider that a really, really good thing. I really don't like the patent wars. They're little more than a proxy conflict led by Apple and Microsoft to slow down the emergence of competing OEMs in what has obviously become the next big computing market. It is, however, a proxy war they are undeniably winning. Microsoft has inked royalty deals with nearly every Android OEM of note except the Google-owned Motorola (big surprise there), Apple has a nice little licensing arrangement with HTC, and a $600 million verdict against Samsung with another trial considered to be in Apple's favor to come.
Google is pushing a new monthly update to Glass owners with some pretty incredible improvements to photo captures along with a few other not as exciting things. The update follows version XE5 from May 8th and, as you might have guessed, is numbered XE6.
Here is the full changelog provided to us by the Glass team:
Google Glass update version XE6:
Better photos through Glass
Voice annotate your photos and videos when sharing
Falcon Pro is the latest app to take advantage of Google's new Play Store beta program, and the developer is testing out some much anticipated features. The UI is flatter and more clean, a new theme is on-board, and there is finally multi-account support. Rejoice, brothers and sisters. Your prayers (complaints) have been answered.
Last year, we took a look at Arkon's Dash and Bicycle mounts and came away impressed with all of them. However, the company spent the last year in the lab figuring out a way to make the mounts better, as well as add support for much larger devices like tablets. The result is the new Slim-Grip Ultra mounts, which come with a variety of options: a dash mount, quick-release strap mount (for bicycles/motorcycles), and a nifty cup holder mount – all of which are better than their predecessors in almost every way.
Patent trolling is far from a divisive issue in the United States. Pretty much everyone but the trolls can agree that patent trolling is damaging to the economy, and generally kind of a dick move. Patent trolling, if you're not familiar with the practice, is quite simple in concept: buy patents, extort licensing fees from alleged infringers, and sue if they refuse to comply. President Obama proposed some "major" changes to US law that will supposedly reduce the effectiveness of such companies.
Stylus inputs for smartphones and tablets have become largely obsolete, with the exception of devices packing an integrated digitizer and active stylus, like Samsung's Note series and a few others. But some of us love our styli, as millions of cheap, plastic passive pens lining iPad accessory bargain bins across the country demonstrate. NVIDIA is hoping to boost the capability of passive stylus input on Tegra 4 hardware with its DirectStylus solution, a way for a standard capacitive touchscreen to more accurately emulate pen and paper.
If you are in search of a tablet that's not too big and not to small, today is your lucky day. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is on sale through eBay at the reasonable price of $349.99. That's about $30 less than what it's going for on Amazon. You also get $25 in Google Play credit free with purchase.
The Note 8.0 is Samsung's mid-range Android 4.1 tablet. It lacks the higher resolution of some more expensive tablets (1280x800) and only has 16GB of storage.
Who's excited for Redbox Instant Streaming? ...Anyone? Though the digital streaming arm of the popular DVD rental service is noticeably behind, well, everyone, customers who've paid their money can now stream movies directly to their Google TV units, thanks to the new app. Redbox Instant is available for download now. By the way, don't be misled by that "by Verizon" tag on the app title - you don't need to be a Verizon Wireless or Verizon FiOS subscriber to use the app.
What? You don't have a Sphero? Well, you're going to need one to play this amusing free game. Sphero is a neat little ball-shaped robot that rolls around in response to things going on inside your phone. In this case it rolls around your floor killing augmented reality zombies with fireballs. That's got pretty much all the makings of something awesome.
So you point your device's camera at the Sphero, and the undead will attack.