Android Police

Editorials

228 articles
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[Updated] Editorial: Full Disclosure - Should Developers Be Required To Disclose That Apps Are Ad-Supported?

Update: Looks like MachineWorks listened -- Duke Nukem 3D is now ad-free.

Earlier today, a somewhat anticipated game went live in the Android Market - Duke Nukem 3D. We covered the release and the news that it was on the way. But reviews of the app on the Market are painting a picture of a less than satisfied customer base, because of a couple key pieces of information that Machineworks Northwest left out of the app description.

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Timeline Graphic: US Android Phone Releases - We're Definitely Moving Faster, But How Fast Is Too Fast?

There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.

I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace.

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Chart: Are There Really Too Many Android Phones? That Depends On How You Look At It

After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.

graph1

*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.

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Editorial: 5 Reasons Why I Think The iPhone 4S Is The Least Competitive iPhone Yet

I’d like to start by stating I am not a rabid Android “fanboy.” In fact, I heavily considered the iPhone 3GS back in the day (er, last year), before deciding to pick up my Nexus One instead. Admittedly, I was a bit bedazzled by the concept of a “Google phone” and, as a confessed mega-geek, I found the bleeding-edge experience Android offered to be more exciting for some reason.

So I chose an Android device.

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Editorial: Is Samsung's Patent Licensing Deal With Microsoft The End Of Royalty-Free Android?

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).

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Editorial: Amazon's Kindle Fire Has Just Made Every Other Android Tablet Manufacturer Look Bad

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.

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Dear Verizon: Your 4G Phones Have Data Connectivity Problems, And It’s Really Pissing Everyone Off

When I switched from AT&T from Verizon and swapped my aging, battered, and bruised Nexus One for a DROID BIONIC, the possibility of buyer’s remorse was not on my mind. I was coming from AT&T - America’s single least reliable network in terms of dropped calls. So, I thought the last thing I’d end up doing was wishing I was back there. And now, at least part of me does.

If you own a Verizon 4G LTE handset, you’ve probably experienced an issue exactly or approximately like this one: You put your phone in your pocket or let it sit overnight, take it out some time later or the next morning, and there’s no data connection.

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[Editorial] Let Android Be Android: One Year Later


Introduction

It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).

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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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