Google has released an update to its social network app on Android today that should please Hangout enthusiasts both young and old. For starters, now you can join Hangouts on Air via your mobile device (like the one we use to broadcast our weekly podcast every Thursday at 8pm EST hint hint). This is fantastic news as Hangouts on Air are among the most useful application of the already-awesome Hangouts feature.
"Wait, didn't the Rezound justget an OTA update to build 4.03.605.1?" is something you may be asking yourself right now. And the answer to that is yes. Yes it did. We assume that build was some sort of soak test, however, as it hasn't actually started rolling out en masse just yet, and Verizon has been completely silent about the whole thing.
But this build is one more. Point one more, to be exact; so...
In something of a surprise, it appears Samsung has already been hard at work on preparing the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III, as evidence by this YouTube video posted by AndroidMX. The build is labeled as i9300XADLG4. It's definitely looking legit, and while the visual changes to the Galaxy S III in Jelly Bean seem minor, there's no doubt that many owners of the device are absolutely chomping at the bit for access to Google Now in its full, un-ported glory.
So you love QWERTYs. We get that. Apparently, so does Sprint and Motorola, because last month they announced the Photon Q, which is probably the most powerful QWERTY slider on the market right now.
Hopefully you haven't already pre-ordered through Sprint, because Wirefly and Let's Talk just dropped the pre-order price by $50. That means you can get this keyboard-packing LTE slider for $150 instead of $200. That's not a bad savings for a phone that hasn't even been released yet.
Sprint has finally announced what we'd heard almost a month ago. The Kyocera Rise, the budget smartphone best known for making my movie references easy, is heading to the Now Network on August 19th. The device will cost $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. So if you want the internal specs of the original Evo in a QWERTY slider from the company that you probably didn't know also makes cutlery, it will run you $70 out the door.
This morning, Verizon announced that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has been infused with LTE, and that the mobile data-fied cheap-slate will be available on August 17th for a rather appealing $350. The Tab 2 may not be our favorite 7" Android tablet anymore (hey, who can blame us?), but when Eric reviewed it back in April, he found it to be a highly capable little device. And that's surprising, because he hates things with stupid names.
While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.
Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
Apple's trial against Samsung, which resumed today, has hit another milestone – Apple rested its case against Samsung today after a somewhat shocking testimony from a financial expert who indicated that the Cupertino manufacturer may have lost up to 2 Million device sales (including both iPhones and iPads) because of Samsung's alleged infringement. This testimony came after last week's revelation that Apple asked Samsung for up to $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet device for patent licensing.