It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
Samsung sent out invites today for Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011, promising to reveal "what's new with Android" at the event in San Diego on October 11th.
Considering Eric Schmidt's indication of an October/November release for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and the fact that the Nexus Prime (Google's flagship ICS phone) is said to be a Samsung device, it's looking like this announcement will almost certainly be related to Android's latest iteration, and perhaps, if we're lucky, the latest Nexus device as well.
Everyone's getting on the peace train, it seems. T-Mobile, in concert with Verizon's filing last week, submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Federal Court for the Northern District of California this morning in regard to the ongoing patent and trademark suit between Samsung and Apple. Its contents? Basically the same thing Verizon's said - that denying Americans their 4G Samsung devices just for some silly little patent infringement will hurt 4G deployment in the US and decrease access to high-speed mobile broadband.
Over at Google's Public Policy Blog (yes, that really exists) today, Senior VP Dennis Woodside issued a statement that the U.S. Department of Justice was taking a "second look" at certain potential antitrust issues in the Google-Motorola deal. What's it mean?
A $12.5 billion acquisition of a major US company that has been independent for over 30 years is always going to invite scrutiny from Uncle Sam, and let's face it, it's probably not a bad sign that the government is batting a second eye at these kinds of purchases.
Ice Cream Sandwich. Those three words are sure to catch the attention of every Android feen within a 10 mile radius. If the mere mention of the upcoming version of Android can cause such a stir amongst the community, just imagine what will happen when we get to see it in action?
Actually, you don't have to imagine -- the first video of Ice Cream Sandwich has just hit the internet.
All I could think after reading the announcement for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet this morning was: "this is what we've been waiting for." Because it is. Amazon gets tablets, believe it or not. And despite the flagging success of the Amazon Appstore, the company has done what no other tablet manufacturer has even come remotely close to: matching access to Apple's curated content library (iTunes + App Store) at a price nearly everyone can afford.
As an Android developer, I don't think I've been this excited for an ADT and Tools releases in a long time. The Android tools team (Tor and Xav) just dropped off the latest ADT and SDK Tools at the Android Tools download site, bringing both up to version 14.
Among a sizeable list of improvements I'm mostly excited about these (and by excited, I mean ecstatic):
If you're having difficulty controlling your desire to get Gingerbread on your HTC Thunderbolt right now, you're not alone. But, if you've been waiting for the official release, you've probably grown very impatient by this point. It appears the wait is nearing an end, as Verizon's support site now contains a page for the Thunderbolt's long-overdue bump to Android 2.3.4. Here are the changes they've listed:
A few weeks ago, a GSM Nexus S update 2.3.6 (GRK39C) with voice search fixes started rolling out, but it was immediately discovered to break Wi-Fi and USB tethering. After many complaints, Google pulled the OTA, and it seems like they've spent the last couple of weeks making sure everything works as expected.
A new update surfaced tonight, also numbered 2.3.6, but this time bearing build GRK39F. While there is no official changelog, based on the fact that an update with the same exact build hit the Nexus One a few days ago and didn't break tethering, I think it's safe to say it fixes at least that issue (Update: thanks to our buddy Omar for an additional confirmation of working tethering).
With Ice Cream Sandwich on the horizon, we at AP thought it would be a good idea to give you a roundup of what Google's been cooking up in Building 44. We actually know a good deal about the future of Android; I'm talking real, solid facts. These are features Android engineers have demoed or talked about, and acquisitions Google has made related to Android technology. We even have pretty clear timelines for most of them.