Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.
Earlier this week at a Google+ event, the company announced several important additions to Hangouts for Android. The updated version 2.0 comes with SMS support as well as location sharing, the ability to display animated GIF files, as well as the previously discovered in a teardown statuses and moods. AndroidPolice covered the rumor on October 7th following my initial Google+ report on October 4th.
The coveted update may take a while to reach you, considering it hasn't even started officially rolling yet.
About a month ago, we found some enticing goodies in Hangouts' 1.2 update. Specifically, we found evidence of activity statuses - rich status messages that would allow you to set a status with accompanying iconography for things like biking, driving, laptop, tablet, and phone. Some of these, (like biking and driving) we predicted, may be set automatically by Hangouts. The teardown also revealed the possibility of moods, using the bouncy yellow fellow found on Google+.
Just a quick note to anyone waiting for full OS factory images and drivers for existing Nexus devices (outside of the Galaxy Nexus, which bit the dust with KitKat) - as is customary, they will follow over-the-air updates released according to Google's favorite timeline: "in the coming weeks."
The Nexus 5 factory images will be out later today, but don't sit there hitting F5 expecting factory images for the Nexus 4, 7 (new and old), or 10 to pop up any time soon.
The news out of Google is coming rapid-fire with the Nexus 5 going on sale, KitKat becoming a reality, and now the rollout of Google Play Services 4.0. The updated framework comes with a host of improvements to Google+ Sign-In, Wallet Instant Buy, Location Based Services, Maps, and comes with a brand new Mobile Ads SDK.
One of the most popular features announced during Google I/O 2013 was a massively improved set of tools for Location Services, which included geofencing and substantially improved location discovery.
Ladies and gentlemen, today is the day you've all been patiently (I kid, I kid - I mean, have you seen /r/Android lately?) waiting for.
Update 11am PT: Like clockwork, the Nexus 5 and KitKat are live!
After speaking with no less than five different sources with knowledge of the matter, I am ready to confirm that the LG-made Nexus 5 should be unveiled later on today, along with Android 4.4 KitKat, additional details of which were leaked last night by former WSJ reporter Amir Efrati.
A few of our readers spotted the Chromecast icon hanging out in yesterday's tablet-focused update to Pandora, and sure enough, it looks like the flip was switched this morning. You can now use Pandora to stream your stations directly from Chromecast the same way that you can with Google Play Music. Our guess is that Google needed to enable support via its media provider app list.
There's no need to update the app again if you grabbed yesterday's update, though you may need to force close it if it's been running in the background.
In a move that's sure to please Glass explorers, Google's added a "Glassware" tab to the online MyGlass interface. The Glassware "Boutique" is something many expected to come with the XE10 update, after Google began accepting submissions for review. The update came without a peep about the boutique, but we found plenty of ways new Glassware could hook its claws into your Glass once approved.
While no new apps have been added to the Glassware section at the time of writing, it would seem Google's getting ready to provide easy access to approved apps.
Last night, Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie shared a post asking fellow Google+ users for some advice. Abadie had been given a traffic ticket "for wearing Google Glass while driving" and wondered if the cop was wrong, or if driving with Glass is already illegal in California.
Accompanying the post, Abadie shared a photo of the ticket itself.
It’s easy to be angry that the cop would choose to list wearing Google Glass while driving as an infraction, but it’s also important to note that the ticket in question lists a speeding infraction as well.
In case you hadn't heard, there's a new version of Google Glass coming, and all current Glass Explorers are invited for a free upgrade. In addition to presumably boosted specs and support for prescription lenses, the new model will have an audio-out port for an included and optional mono earbud. Google posted the following photos of the hardware in action on the Glass Google+ page.
Don't worry, Glass fans: the bone conduction audio from the original model of Glass will still be included, according to a response from the account administrator.