06
Jun
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Google has just announced at today's Maps events that Google Maps offline download feature, previously a "labs" option inside the Google Maps for Android app, is going official. According to the Google, the feature is "coming soon." Unfortunately, there was no word on support for offline navigation.

offline

Here's are some (less than great) shots of the interface in action on a tablet:

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From what we can tell, the interface has been improved and it is now much easier to make an offline area selection than it was in the Labs version of the feature.

06
Jun
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Apple has filed a new complaint with the ITC against HTC over the same data-tapping patent that caused a substantial disruption of HTC's supply line into the United States, and resulted in delayed or stifled launches for a number of phones.

After removing the multi-option dialogue that appeared upon pressing a phone number in an email or webpage from its devices, HTC proclaimed it was clear of Apple's patent on data-tapping techniques.

05
Jun
acericoniaa210lead01_thumb1[4]

Acer surprised viewers today with a pair of tablets that were not ushered in even by a humble press release. Engadget reports that the tablets received no formal announcement at Computex either, but that they were only discovered thanks to a wandering eye.

At any rate, the tablets in question are the Iconia Tab A210 and A110 – presumably upgraded versions of the A200 and A100. Each of the tablets has a new design, a Tegra 3 processor, and Ice Cream Sandwich goodness on board.

05
Jun
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Android users who are fans of Sid Meier's classic games Pirates! and Civilization now have something to look forward to – it appears hat GREE and 2K Games have teamed up to bring the beloved sim/strategy games to the mobile world.

The companies' statement indicated that the games would be available as "social titles on select global markets," evidently starting with Japan.

“Creating social mobile games based on the  Sid Meier’s Pirates!

05
Jun
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Google has just published the fully flashable image for the 4.0.4 update to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus (mysid). This allows users who either have been unable to receive the OTA due to using a custom ROM, or simply haven't updated, to flash their devices with a complete OS image, as opposed to using an incremental update file.

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This will erase all of your data, so if you do flash it, be sure to back up your stuff.

05
Jun
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Open Garden is hands down one of the most impressive apps I've seen this year. The app, first introduced at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012 as the startup that would go on to win the conference title of Most Innovative Startup, allows users to create an "open garden" of internet connectivity for multiple devices to share. The startup's official website explains it this way:

The operators sell us fancy handsets, but behave as if broken networks are a fact of life.

05
Jun
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There are many cheap Android phones on the market today. Most of these devices will have a single core processor clocked at around 1GHz, and there won't be an awful lot of RAM to speak of either. This remains true of the HTC One V, but the latest budget phone to come out of the Taiwanese company has one key difference: it's running the latest version of Android.

That's right, you can finally own a budget device that doesn't ship with a version of Android that was released 2 years ago!

04
Jun
xoom

It's been a long time coming, particularly for the pioneer Android tablet, but the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Verizon's 4G Xoom is rolling out today as expected. The update brings the Xoom to the very latest version of Android available - 4.0.4.

An over-the-air rollout has started today, but if you are too impatient to wait for that, you have the option of installing the update manually (this method requires the use of a USB host cable):

04
Jun
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The Google Play Store's "Bouncer," which Google launched back in February to protect Android users from malicious apps, is a service that scans potential Play Store apps by running them in a virtual phone environment, where the app's activities are monitored for any signs of mal-intent.

Taking advantage of that test period, security researchers Charlie Miller and Jon Oberheide have evidently found ways past Bouncer (which they will be presenting at the Summercon conference in New York this week).

03
Jun
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Instapaper, "a simple tool to save web pages for reading later," is wildly popular among iOS users, but has – until now – eluded Android users. Looking to quench users' thirst for the highly desired app, Mobelux has just made Instapaper live in Google's Play Store.

For those who aren't familiar, Instapaper allows users to quickly, easily save reading material they discover online but don't have time to read right away.

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