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Google Teams Up With MasterCard and Citigroup To Bring NFC Payments To US

The smartphone is slowly becoming the "all-in-one" gadget, however one big gap that still exists is the inability to easily make purchases directly through the device instead of using cash or credit cards. According to the WSJ  and "people familiar with the matter", Google is working with MasterCard and Citigroup to fill this void by using the still nascent NFC (near field  communication) technology to develop a new mobile payment service.

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Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi Root Now Available (Sans Bricking Feature)

In typically blisteringly-quick fashion, the hackers at XDA have managed to root a Wi-Fi XOOM in no time at all - good news, considering that the root method for the regular XOOM was bricking the Wi-Fi models. It's worth noting that unlocking the XOOM's bootloader (which is required for root) wipes the device.

The current method does require some ADB commands, but certainly nothing tricky. Still, for those who are hesitant, it's likely that an automated method won't be far behind.

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HTC DROID Incredible May Be Getting Gingerbread (Android 2.3) In June

Droid-life just dropped an exciting informational tidbit for Incredible owners to mull over: the device may be getting the Gingerbread bump some at the end of the second quarter. The upgrade to 2.3 will entail all of the optimizations made to the Android OS since Froyo's release almost a year ago, and hopefully will provide Incredible owners with the newest version of HTC's Sense UI.

The tip came via an email from an HTC rep in response to a customer's help ticket:

Dear Thomas,

I will be happy to assist with your software update inquiry.

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Official Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) ROM Leaked For Samsung Galaxy S I9000

You might want to take a seat for this one: an early Gingerbread build has leaked for the Samsung Galaxy S I9000, and is now available for download. The file first landed in the hands of one Tricky103, and shortly thereafter was downloaded from Samsung's internal database and uploaded to a public mirror courtesy of iammodo.

Installation instructions are virtually non-existent in the post, so you should probably know your way around modding already before attempting this (update) turns out installation instructions aren't there because it's super simple: just use the three button combo to flash the new ROM.

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[Weekend Poll] Now That The Amazon App Store Is Here, What Are Your Thoughts?

This is the newest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see AT&T Is Buying T-Mobile USA; As The Dust Settles, What Are Your Thoughts?

We saw it coming from a mile away (and knew all the details), and now it's finally happened: the Amazon Appstore officially launched on Tuesday, March 22. So far, with the exception of a minor hiccup, it looks like the launch has been fairly smooth.

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Amazon Is On A Roll: Today's Free Premium Android Appstore App - SwiftKey Keyboard

Without taking a break from yesterday's free Shazam Encore deal, Amazon is continuing its daily giveaway of awesome premium Android apps with another one of our favorites - SwiftKey Keyboard.

SwiftKey normally costs $1.99 in the Android Market ($1.79 in the Amazon Appstore), but for the next 24 hours, U.S. residents will be able to download it to their Digital Lockers for free, thereby claiming it forever. Even if you are not a fan of SwiftKey just yet, there is no reason to pass on this deal if you can get it - just do it now, then think and decide later.

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Sony Ericsson To Update Xperia X10 To Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) - But Not For Everybody

They may have publicly stated that the Xperia X10 wouldn't be receiving further Android updates just a few months ago, but it looks like Sony Ericsson has had a change of heart: they now say the phone will receive an update to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) sometime in late Q2 or early Q3. You can apparently thank the Xperia PLAY, arc, and neo, as the company says similarities in development of these devices has made it easier to bring the update to the X10.

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Google Delays Public Release Of Honeycomb Source, But Don't Panic - There Is A Good Reason, And Tablet Manufacturers Can Cut In Line

There has been quite an uproar as of late over Google's handling of the source code for Honeycomb, their most recent version of Android. The company announced this week that it would be delaying the release of the Honeycomb source in order to iron out some issues, specifically ones involving running it on small-screen devices (i.e. phones). Andy Rubin gave an explanation as to why these issues exist:

Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization...We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones.

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Verizon, Sprint Rule Android Market Share Among US Carriers. AT&T? Downright Embarassing

According to the latest from ad network Chitika, Android market share is far more lopsided than you probably imagine. That Verizon is the largest is perhaps not surprising, given the data we've seen time and time again. What is surprising is just how much of a lead they have: the company accounts for a whopping 51.4% of the market. Sprint comes in at second with 25.3%, while T-Mobile pulls up third with 16.8%.

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Rumor: Motorola Is Developing Its Own Mobile OS, Android "Shooting Itself In The Foot"

motorola_android_mergeIn what can only be described as a truly "WTF" moment, an inside source has informed Information Week that Motorola is in the process of developing its own web-based mobile OS. The question everyone is undoubtedly wants to ask is "why?"

The insider cites Motorola's frustration with Google's support of manufacturers, Android's fragmentation problems, and the difficulty of product differentiation in an Android-saturated smartphone market. These things together, says the tipster, have led Moto to believe Google is "shooting itself in the foot." The source of this rumor cites the fact that Motorola has quietly been picking up numerous former Apple and Adobe employees to work on the project over the past few months.

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