Google's Chrome browser for Android got itself a nice little update today that brings a couple of new features, as well as an improved overall experience:
If you're the kind of fan that absolutely must have a Star Wars version of everything in your life, then grab your officially licensed Ahsoka Tano phone case and head for the Play Store. Zen Studios, makers of the well-received Zen Pinball HD, have released their Star Wars-themed pinball app, creatively titled Star Wars Pinball. It's a reasonable $1.99, but unfortunately restricted to Android 4.0 devices and above, and thus tragically off-limits to the Special Edition R2-DROID2.
Around a year and a half ago, Google removed access to paid apps from the Taiwanese Play Store after a complaint was issued claiming that the company violated a local law demanding a seven day return window. A surprisingly short court battle ensued and 8 months later Mountain View walked away with a $34k fine (you read that right), and a losing appeal. The company opted, at that point, to simply remain out of the Taiwanese market.
Earlier this month, The Now Network pushed an update to its version of the Samsung Galaxy S III with a few small fixes in it. That update was build L710VPMA6. Today, the company is sending another update to the Galaxy S III that is essentially the same update, plus one addition: 3rd party software licensing. This one's build L710VPMB1, will hit your device regardless of whether or nor you installed the previous update.
Its smaller 8-inch cousin is getting all the attention at Mobile World Congress (for better or worse), but the plus-sized Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 still has a few fans. At least one of them works at regional carrier US Cellular, because the device is now their second 4G LTE tablet, behind the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is available now from US Cellular's website and retail stores for $499.99; it requires a 2GB data plan, but not a long-term contract.
Google's no stranger to using web technologies to do cool, innovative things. In fact, some would say that over the last few years the company has pushed (or broken) the barriers of what a web browser is, and can be – just look at ChromeOS, for example. It's an entire OS based on the idea that you can live your digital life inside of a web browser. The thought itself is bold, but the execution could be game-changing as the OS grows and becomes more polished.
The Xperia E, Sony's low-end Jelly Bean-powered smartphone which was announced back in December may have another trick up its sleeve yet. The manufacturer is offering owners of the device the chance to test out Mozilla's fledgling Firefox OS on the device via a downloadable ROM. Meant for "advanced developers," the ROM comes with a few warnings from Sony, chiefly that you should know what you're doing before you get started.
Pushover, a "simple push notification service" that essentially allows web services, scripts, and a lot more to send notifications to your mobile device, got an update recently to version 1.6 (and soon after, 1.6.1), which brought on a couple more nifty features.
Namely, the update brings support for DashClock, the popular clock/information widget that has gained immense support in its first few weeks of existence. Now DashClock can show you how many Pushover notifications are waiting for you.
Passbook is one of the few features on iOS that I feel a bit envious of (even if it doesn't do payments like Google Wallet). Apparently Samsung had similar thoughts when it was announced, because the company unveiled a brand-new in-house platform this morning called Samsung Wallet that does basically the exact same thing.
Samsung didn't provide a launch time frame for the service, but we're guessing this was just a taste of the new software features we'll be seeing in the Galaxy S IV announcement on March 14th.
We've got some good news for the open source development community today: HTC has released the kernel source files for the One SV, in 16 different varieties to account for slight differences between carriers and countries.
Although this may not be of immediate interest to consumers, as developers get their hands on the source, it should result in faster and more stable ROMs for the device in the future.
If you want to download the kernel source, which is around 100MB in size, to check it out for yourself, you can download it from the HTC Dev Center.