Google just got one step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Motorola Mobility with approval from the 27-member European Union. Google still needs approval from the U.S. and China, as well as a few other key jurisdictions, before it can bring Motorola into the fold, but at the moment things are looking rosy for the Big G.
The EU did express some hesitations about the deal, however. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had this to say in a statement to the press:
"This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices.
You're a robot scout in space. Your name is iDaTank. You're relaxing, enjoying a nice day of whatever it is robots do on their One Fine Day off, when suddenly you get a transmission! There's a sequence of unidentified signals out in space! Since you're a robot, you are concerned with such things. So, the adventure begins to track down the source of the signal. And it had been such a fine day...
The guys behind the official Dropbox Android app have an enticing present for everyone to check out. They just released an experimental beta v2.0.9 that includes a brand new automatic Camera Upload feature. There are definitely third party apps out there that offer this same service, but it's nice to see the official version updating with some fresh new features.
Here's what you'll find:
The app can now automatically upload photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or your data plan.
Xoobis brought the cartoon zombie-shooting fun of Zombie Wonderland to Android today, introducing Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time to the Android Market. The game centers around Chuck, a man with the rather unusual job title of Zombie Cleaner. Players are invited to shoot first and mop later, blowing through 25 types of zombies in over 30 missions, taking place in 12 unique locations.
Once you're done shooting up every zombie in sight, however, you must clean up the mess in order to please your clients.
We all love LTE. We also all love not being broke, if we can avoid it. Sometimes our two great loves conflict with each other. MetroPCS wants to try and make this love triangle work with $40 unlimited plans for all LTE devices in its portfolio. There's a catch, though: you're only allowed 100 MB of "multimedia streaming access."
According to MetroPCS, "multimedia streaming access" is defined as "content that is programmed as streaming within a web site." Suffice to say, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and any number of other services that you might want to use would fall into this category.
The Humble Bundle has been around for a couple of years now, but I have never heard of it. They're known for bundling up indie games, letting purchasers set their own price, and dividing up the profits among developers and charities. This is just an absolutely fascinating concept, and the first ever Android bundle has arrived!
Verifying a rumor put out by BGR over a month ago, HTC has announced after a dismal end to 2011 (net profits fell 26% last quarter) that the company will be changing its handset strategy to focus on fewer, "hero" devices in the coming year. The problem of excessive handset iteration is one I've opined on before. It is a problem, and while it's unlikely that HTC's balance sheet woes were even in majority caused by the large number of handsets they released, making fewer models is certainly a way to cut costs and increase the amount of attention that goes into each product.
It would appear that Sprint plans on going full speed ahead in focusing on product development for its 4G LTE lineup this year. David Owens, Sprint's VP of Product Development made clear at CES Wednesday that Sprint "won't be introducing any more WiMax smartphones," adding "April, May, June, July, August, those will be very aggressive times for us." This may be a hint that we could begin seeing LTE devices as early as April, which is great news for customers holding out for a new device (like Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, which is poised to be Sprint's first LTE device).
If you happen to own an HP TouchPad and have been waiting patiently for a proper Android port, you'll be overjoyed to see a sneak peek of what CM9 brings to the table. If you recall our announcements for the CM7 Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 builds, you probably remember an overwhelming indication that neither build was all too stable, and running them was not for the faint of heart. Alpha 3 is a bit better, but still has a laundry list of issues.
If you haven't notice, the Google Search app for Android received an update a little bit ago. This update is for users running Android 2.2 or 2.3 and brings some UI and performance enhancements. Once updated, this is what you'll see:
New color scheme and simplified UI
Faster, more responsive searches
Enhanced suggestions and query editing
Better localized suggestions and search results for more countries
Long press to remove history items
You can also tap that little arrow to the right of a search suggestion to add it to your search term before searching, making the whole process a little faster.