The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only get a new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware.
You know that scene in Miracle on 34th Street where it's proven in a court of law that Santa Claus exists and is present because a snarky lawyer dumped a bunch of mail on the judge's desk? Well, poor old St. Nick would probably have a much harder go of it proving that he is who he says he is in today's modern world, thanks to your newfangled technology that's all but viciously murdered the art of letter-writing.
After Google's release of "experimental" binaries for Sprint's Galaxy Nexus variant, Jean-Baptiste Queru (Chief Android Release Engineer) confirmed that the binaries represented not full AOSP support, but the "taking down [of] many hurdles that were preventing [AOSP support]," citing bugs in the network stack as one of the issues yet to be addressed.
Less than one month later, it would appear that those issues have been sorted, as Google today published the toroplus' factory image for the first time.
Can you patent a shape? That is a question so many media outlets have been asking since Apple's more generic design patents have gotten more legal attention, and unfortunately, it's resulted in a rather severe oversimplification of just what a design patent is, and what it can protect. Yesterday, Wired reported that Apple finally received a long-awaited design patent on the shape of the iPad, a patent which lists none other than Steve Jobs himself as a co-inventor (and, of course, Jonathan Ive).
Sure, Verizon's running those ads that tells you how obvious it is their network is best, but AT&T wants you to know it's not sleeping on the job. Today, the carrier announced that it plans to have LTE coverage for 300 million people by the end of 2014. For those counting, that leaves only about 10 million out in the entire country.
The plan comes as part of a $14bn investment into wireless and wireline services—$8bn of which is going to wireless—that is expected to be carried out over the next three years.
Following the ATRIX HD, the recently announced Electrify M destined for U.S. Cellular is Motorola's newest member of the bootloader unlock program. The Electrify M is basically the RAZR M with minor visual tweaks but, unlike its Verizon sibling, won't come in a separate, more expensive developer-friendly flavor. Instead, like the Photon Q on Sprint and the RAZR i/HD outside of U.S., it's unlockable out of the box.
An unlocked bootloader means Electrify M owners will have full blessing of US Cellular and Motorola to customize software on their devices and flash custom ROMs, in exchange for losing the warranty, of course (in case there is any confusion, Motorola specifies: "Once you get the unlock code, your device is no longer covered by the Motorola warranty; in other words, please don't blame us if things go wrong, even if they appear unrelated to unlocking the bootloader.").
Call it a new found boldness after the Softbank acquisition, or just an attempt to bolster its numbers in the continued fight against AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint is not letting up. Today, the nation's number three carrier announced it's going to buy up some of U.S. Cellular's spectrum and customers in mid-west states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Among the newly Now Network'd markets are Chicago and St.
Ah, Black Friday. The biggest (and most malevolent) shopping day of the year. A day of good deals, hateful people, and... other stuff. If you're willing to brave the all that for a new phone, Sam's Club has you covered this year, with the Galaxy S III going for less than a buck with a new two-year agreement.
From what we gathered by calling a few different Sam's stores, this is good for all four carriers (so long as your local Sam's has them all).
It seems the rumors can't stop flowing out of Redmond. Last month, a representative from a Microsoft subsidiary in Czech Republic claimed that Office would be coming to Android in 2013. While the company distanced itself from those remarks pretty quickly, that may simply be a smokescreen to cover leaks, like the kind the Verge picked up, including a few screenshots of Office running on iOS, and information on the release for our little green buddy.
The Xperia T and TX, the latter of which I quite recently reviewed, are slated to receive an over-the-air update globally in the next week* (*unless you're on AT&T, in which case the ETA is: haha, good luck), and it's packed with features. Features that do things. Here's the breakdown.
First, Wi-Fi Miracast display mirroring, which is actually a stock feature in Android 4.2. And in case you're wondering - no, this is not an update to Android 4.2, you're still stuck in Ice Cream Sandwich-land.