A redacted version of the HTC-Apple patent licensing agreement was published in the public record today as part of the Samsung v. Apple trial, and AllThingsD has a copy. It's 143 pages long (to be fair, only about a fifth of that is the actual settlement), so let me give you the skinny.
First, what has HTC agreed to? Well, it's actually not super complicated to distill down: basically, HTC can use Apple's functional software patents under the license, except those covered under an "anti-cloning" rule and which are part of the "distinct Apple user experience" - unless those features are part of the core Android OS that HTC does not control. Read More
Ok - here's the deal. A Google Search update happened, which means it's teardown time. Normally I post about unreleased, work-in-progress stuff, but Google Now is so context dependent, that it's pretty much impossible for me to tell if something is implemented or not. The one thing I've learned from my months of using Now is that Google Now is in charge, and you're just along for the ride. So, for today's post, we're just going to shoot for "new things that didn't make it onto the 'What's New' list." If you can get them to show up, awesome. Read More
After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.
Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles. Read More
Google Search received a pretty significant update this morning, adding yet more Google Now cards, speed enhancements, and three new voice actions. The now cards include nearby events, "suggestions to help you with your research" (whatever that means), QR code boarding passes (!) from Gmail, location-sensitive search by camera (aka Google Goggles), weather at places Now thinks you're travelling to based on Calendar and Gmail, and monthly summaries of your walking and biking activity. Read More
Alright, yes. We've spent over a month getting upset because Christmas starts just way too dang early these days. It's December now, though. Is it finally okay to get in the holiday spirit a bit? Cool. Because these Spheros—robotic balls that can be remotely controlled by Android and carry an array of sensors and lights—are beautiful. The company behind the bots choreographed these 28 units to the tune of Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24, as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Read More
With the end of another month comes a fresh batch of Android platform distribution numbers. Like clockwork, Google has once again updated their numbers, showing Gingerbread's cold, withered hand still holding almost 51% of the pie (though it's down from 54.2% in October), with Jelly Bean making gains to 6.7%, up 4% from last month.
Predictably, Ice Cream Sandwich is still making some gains, rising about 2% to 27.5% from October, Honeycomb is holding tight at 1.6% with a mere 0.2% change for API level 13, and pre-2.3 releases are still dropping off (though Cupcake and Donut are still holding on for dear life). Read More
Normally I rip apart APKs looking for news-worthy items and unreleased features, but I've covered everything that's currently out, so this teardown session is going to be a little different. During my usual digging for features, I've stumbled across a surprising amount of unused files, movie references, and canceled beta assets. I've always thought it was a shame that no one knows about them, so today we'll be exploring all the crazy leftover files that ship on our phones and tablets. Read More
OK, stay with me here - APIs are important. Case in point, ever notice how whenever one of your favorite apps uses a built-in Google Maps viewer, you suddenly want to open up the real Maps app? (Read: because the web maps viewer is old and ugly and terrible.) Today, that's all about to start changing. With Google Play Services 2.0[.10], Google's introduced a brand-new vector-based embeddable Google Maps view. Read More
If you're itching to ROM up your Nexus 10, now's probably the time to start - CyanogenMod 10 nightlies have officially landed for Google's large Nexus slate, available now at the CM website.
Not much else to say about that - other than hoping it'll solve some of the various issues we've been seeing with Android 4.2, like the Nexus 10's delightful little random reboots. Head to the source link to grab it. Read More
In a sight all too familiar to would-be Nexus owners this morning, the Nexus 4 8GB model has once again been listed as "out of stock" on the Play Store. This comes after Google opened up a second round of Nexus sales, which were basically glorified pre-orders, particularly when it came to the 8GB model, which quickly hit a 5-6 week shipping estimate.
Earlier this week, that estimate stretched all the way to 9-10 weeks, and presumably anything past 10 was the tipping point. Read More