While it's not the "rounded rectangle" iPad patent of fame, the iPhone 3G design patent is easily the second most-famous Apple design patent of record. It's called D618677, and it was a key issue in Samsung v. Apple "round one" - and by "key issue," I mean "reason for most of the remaining half billion dollars in damages." According to the USPTO, that iPhone design patent is now invalid on multiple counts of obviousness in light of prior art (in a technical, not literal, sense - two very different things).
Samsung was deemed to infringe this patent by a jury, and while it may well have were the patent valid, the USPTO is saying the point is moot - the patent itself is not eligible for protection. Read More
Is the 2-year smartphone contract dead yet? Not technically, but it probably won't hang on much longer. Sprint is the latest carrier to announce it's done with the contract approach to selling phones. This comes just days after Verizon made the same announcement. T-Mobile, of course, has been doing this for several years. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: Card Crawl Mixes Solitaire And Monster Fighting For A Charming And Strategic Indie Experience
Card Crawl is the best indie card game I've seen in a while, combining elements of roguelikes and card-battling games such as Magic: The Gathering with, well, Solitaire. Read More
We're getting very close to the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. See? We even have a name now. The third developer preview just came out and it contains fixes, UI tweaks, and so on. None of that will do you any good right now, but the new wallpapers it ships with will work just fine on your current device. You can grab all nine new images below. Read More
Between the Chrome extension, the Chrome app, Gmail, Inbox, and Google+, there are plenty of ways you can sign in to Hangouts while you're at a computer. But maybe you need one more. Today Google has launched hangouts.google.com. You're welcome.
Hangouts' dedicated website provides a single obvious way to access your contacts list and start chatting, as the URL is one you could probably guess. The site lets you open up multiple conversations at once just as you've been doing in Gmail since the dawn of time. You can also start group conversations, place a voice call, or fire up the webcam. Read More
The news late last week for Google's modular smartphone initiative was not good. After promising a real world test of Project Ara would take place in 2015, Google finally had to pull back and cancel those plans. A series of tweets today at least provides some clues as to what's next for Ara. There are three tweets which conveniently answer the questions—when, where, and why? Read More
Webmaker is Mozilla's effort to make it easy for new smartphone users to make content for the web. Instead of creating something using WordPress or Blogger, people can throw materials together using a more simplistic interface. Webmaker has been available on the web since 2012, but now you can download an Android version directly from Google Play. Read More
When you think of OLED displays on phones, you probably think of Samsung's Super AMOLED. However, LG is a larger display manufacturer overall. Most of its phones and retail panels are LCD, and the few forays into OLED haven't been awesome. However, with the decision to pump a few billion dollars into research, LG Display could quickly catch up. Read More
Looking for a starter tablet? You know, something to give a kid or someone not so into tech that they would scoff at something not running regular Android? Then consider the Fire HD 6. Amazon is currently offering it for $30 off, bringing the price to a compelling $70. Sure, the 1280 by 800 6-inch display won't turn heads, but the build quality is solid enough where it won't feel like a comparatively priced off-brand knock off.
Maybe you're looking to stick a tablet in the hands of a really little person, someone not ready for a big kid tablet. Read More
There's a new developer preview for Android M—oh wait, I mean Marshmallow, and that means lots of new features and tweaks to explore. Among the most obvious changes is a new boot animation that greets you upon starting up the device. Read More