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Android 2.3.4 Update For The US Cellular HTC Merge Is Now Ready. Goodbye, Froyo - Hello, Gingerbread

HTC Merge users on US Cellular, your day has come. Forget about Froyo, aka Android 2.2, and zoom straight to the latest version of Android available for non-Nexus phones - 2.3.4 "Gingerbread" (HTC version 3.10.573.1 to be exact - the image below taken from the update guide is outdated).

image

The update will need to be applied on a computer using HTC Sync and will wipe your device clean of emails, contacts, calendars, apps, bookmarks, and any other personalization - it'll basically be back to stock.

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Editorial: Was Google's Purchase Of Motorola More About Damage Control Than Patent Woes?

If you head over to FOSSPatents this morning, you'll find a rather lengthy article about Google's acquisition of Motorola that ends with the following conclusion:

Google bought MMI to prevent the worst for Google's strategy, not to make things better for everyone else.

In a way, the $12.5 billion price represents protection money. But not in the way most people seem to think.

FOSSPatents

This statement is obviously contrary to the heaps of coverage the Motorola-Google deal received from  major news outlets, blogs, and Android enthusiasts.

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Editorial: Why On-Screen Virtual Buttons In Android Ice Cream Sandwich Will Be Great

Ice Cream Sandwich will be the first phone version of Android to support virtual buttons. It seems like a lot of people don’t "get" the whole idea behind them. If used correctly, virtual buttons will be way better than the painted on Back/Home/Menu/Search we have now. So I figured I would lay out the benefits for everyone and hopefully start a nice discussion.

For starters, virtual buttons are much better UI

  • They can change orientation with the phone so they are always in the same place.
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Beginning Next Year, Android Will Be Optimized For Intel Chips

Head Android honcho Andy Rubin made a cameo earlier today at Intel's Developer Forum to announce something we've all know was coming for a while now: Android support for Intel chips -- namely, the low-powered Atom processor.

Beginning next year, all versions of Android will come ready to run on Intel silicon from the core of the system up, and to show the progress that has already been made on that front, an Android-powered tablet and phone running on an Intel Medifield chip was displayed.

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Weather And Business Apps The Top Grossing Categories On Android, Games Come In At Number Seven

Each month, Research2Guidance puts out a report on Android Market paid apps, which includes how they stack up against each other. The current state of the Market is somewhat of a surprise, as weather and business apps hold the top two grossing spots, with productivity, media & video, and books & reference rounding out the top five. However, one of the most downloaded categories on the Market - games - doesn't show up on the list until number seven, suggesting users would rather download a free game, rather than pay for one.

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Android Market Carrier Billing Comes To More Networks In South Korea, The UK, And Germany

Google has made good on its promise to expand carrier billing for the Android Market internationally today, introducing the feature to customers on various carriers in three countries. This is great news for consumers, and even better news for developers.

South Korean users on SK Telecom and KT Corporation, UK users on Vodafone UK, and German users on Vodafone DE will all be receiving access to direct carrier billing in the coming weeks.

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[Updated] Android's Next Iteration May Be Called 'Jelly Bean,' Include 'Game-Changing Stuff' That Was Left Out Of Ice Cream Sandwich

From the beginning, Android users have been trying to guess what's in store for the OS, even down to what the next version will be called. While many have speculated on what Ice Cream Sandwich's successor will be named, This is my Next reported today that a "trusted source" revealed that the next version of Android will in fact be called Jelly Bean.

As usual we have no idea what version number this will be, but the source also divulged that "game-changing" features will be integrated into Jelly Bean, some of which were initially meant for Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Sony Ericsson: No Decision Has Been Made To Bring Ice Cream Sandwich To Xperia Devices

Earlier today we reported, with great skepticism, that Sony Ericsson would be bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to all of its Xperia devices. It looks like our doubts were dead on, as SE told Slashgear that "no such decision has been made."

When it comes to future platforms of the Android OS, we will make them available to consumers in a timely manner as long as they improve the user experience and are viable from a hardware point of view.

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[Updated] Sony Ericsson Promises 2011 XPERIA Line Will Get Ice Cream Sandwich, We Try To Act Skeptical

Update: We knew it was too good to be true, and Sony Ericsson has released an official statement on the matter. Let's just say that Xperia devices may not be seeing ICS after all.

It seems Sony-Ericsson's PR arm has found its way straight to the heart of Android fanboys: by promising major OS updates. There really is no better feeling for an Android phone owner than knowing that, at some point, their phone will be getting the bump to the latest version of the Android operating system - and not left to die on the streets of software obsolescence.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Set To Launch In October Or November, Says Eric Schmidt

At Google I/O this year, the newest version of Android was officially announced. Codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, it aims to bring Honeycomb features to phones, Gingerbread features to tablets, and everything in between. The official announcement left us without a firm release date -- only that it would be released in Q4 of this year.

At the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today, though, Eric Schmidt let a bit more info slip:

We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone’s really excited about.

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