19
Dec
unnamed

Hot on the heels of last week's announcement that it would be acquiring the music streaming company AudioGalaxy, Dropbox today was confirmed to have snapped up yet another cloud startup: photo locker service Snapjoy.

snap

As you may have noticed, Dropbox is really into the idea of you storing all your photos with them. That's why they offer you some free megabytes if you turn on the Instant Upload option on the smartphone app - clever, clever.

19
Dec
nexusae0_1_thumb11

Just like subscribers to any other phone service provider, advanced users of the hybrid 3G/WiFi mobile virtual network Republic Wireless are eager to customize and modify their phones - probably more so, in fact. That's why we posted a rooting guide for the only Republic phone available, the Motorola Defy XT.  But in a message to the Republic subscriber base, an employee clarified the company's position on rooting, custom ROMs and other modifications to the Android hardware it provides to its customers.

19
Dec
vudutiny

Chances are, even if you haven't heard of Vudu (though that's a little hard at this point), you might just own some piece of content that can be used with the service. Vudu is a digital movie locker that allows users to rent or buy movies online and have them streamed to their computers, or a number of set top boxes and Blu-Ray players with internet connectivity. This is all pretty standard fare.

19
Dec
motorola-logo-big

Telecom equipment manufacturer Arris Group has just announced that it will acquire the Home division of Motorola from Google, for a total of $2.35 billion in cash and stock. The sale of the division had been predicted from basically the day Google announced its purchase of Moto, and in recent weeks was all but confirmed.

As part of the deal, Google will gain a 15.7% share of Arris Group. The Motorola Home division encompasses products like set top boxes, broadband modems, landline phones, and (apparently) baby monitors.

19
Dec
pinch-me

It seems Apple isn't making many friends over at the patent examiner's office lately - yet another high-profile patent used by the company in litigation has been deemed wholly invalid on a preliminary basis.

The patent in question is often called the "pinch-to-zoom" patent, because that's basically what it patents - a pinch gesture to zoom in on content on a display. This patent had been used successfully by Apple during the first Samsung lawsuit, with numerous (all but two) Samsung devices found to infringe it.

19
Dec
2012-12-19_17h29_28

If you needed any clearer indication that Samsung basically owns the Android world while HTC and Motorola are in trouble, maybe this will help. According to Millenial Media, a mobile advertising firm, ad impressions on its platform from Samsung handsets shot up from 23% to 46% in the last year. Meanwhile, HTC plummeted from 32% to 16%, while Moto dropped from 22% to 11%. This is a massive change.

2012-12-19_17h38_23

Now, before we go getting bent out of shape over this, let's clarify a couple things.

19
Dec
press

At this point, everyone probably knows that gReader is my RSS client of choice on Android. Of course, everyone should also know that I love pretty apps. I'm actually a sucker for a clean, minimalistic layout, and will often choose what looks better over what's actually functional. Maybe I'm just vain.

Whatever the reason, though, when I laid eyes on Press, it was an insta-buy for me – it's just so pretty I couldn't resist.

19
Dec
unnamed
Last Updated: December 22nd, 2012

The Yelp app for Android has been updated to version 3.7, and brings some much-needed action bar love to everyone's favorite restaurant and other place-finding service... thing. Except they sort of botched it a little bit - with a big, fat ugly gray bar at the bottom of the map and result list UI that decreases the amount of visible content. Lovely.

Screenshot_2012-12-19-12-00-40 Screenshot_2012-12-19-12-00-47 Screenshot_2012-12-19-12-00-54

On the upside, now you have a 3-dot menu button, and the standard action bar back button, too.

19
Dec
2012-12-19_13h45_54

One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.

19
Dec
htc-one-x

The rollout of Android 4.1 to the One XL has begun in various Asian countries this morning, with confirmations specifically for the CID (carrier ID) associated with Singapore and Taiwan. The full firmware for the update is also available in RUU form over on XDA (direct link). Note that applying the update will only work if you have the correct CID - this won't work on any old One XL.

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