We've heard mixed reports about international availability of the HTC J Butterfly/Droid DNA beyond Japan and the U.S. (respectively). Today, HTC saw fit to announce some new countries. For starters, the device with the retina-melting display will be coming to China as the HTC Butterfly X920e in mid-December. Additionally, a 3G version of the device simply called the Butterfly will be released in international markets.
The Chinese version of the device will launch on China Unicom for ¥4,799 (roughly USD$770) and will come in three colors: brown, red, and white.
Motorola has once again updated its device update page, clarifying the Jelly Bean situation for a number of pieces of hardware. The following notable devices have had their update schedules changed or more precisely laid out:
ATRIX HD: Jelly Bean rollout in Dec. 2012
XOOM LTE: Jelly Bean rollout in Q1 2013
Electrify M: Jelly Bean rollout in Q1 2013
RAZR HD (Canada): Jelly Bean rollout in Q1 2013
ATRIX HD (Canada): Jelly Bean rollout in Q1 2013
RAZR i: Jelly Bean rollout in Q1 2013
There have been changes for other regions, as well, and you can check them out on the software upgrade page, here.
A redacted version of the HTC-Apple patent licensing agreement was published in the public record today as part of the Samsung v. Apple trial, and AllThingsD has a copy. It's 143 pages long (to be fair, only about a fifth of that is the actual settlement), so let me give you the skinny.
First, what has HTC agreed to? Well, it's actually not super complicated to distill down: basically, HTC can use Apple's functional software patents under the license, except those covered under an "anti-cloning" rule and which are part of the "distinct Apple user experience" - unless those features are part of the core Android OS that HTC does not control.
Back in August, Archos announced its then-upcoming GamePad, a tablet which looks to "revolutionize" gaming on Android. Featuring built-in physical game controls and custom button mapping software, the GamePad removes the need for touch controls, giving mobile gaming a more console-like feel, while its 7" display still keeps it portable enough to toss in your bag and take on-the-go. And now, it's finally available.
The GamePad is on sale in Europe for 149.99€, with North American availability coming in early 2013.
It's no secret that Sony has been a long-time supporter of the custom ROM community, but now the company has released a tool that lets owners of bootloader unlocked Xperia devices easily return back to stock firmware from a custom ROM. According to Sony's blog post, this tool has been oft-requested by the community, so it's good to see Sony deliver on that.
As mentioned, use of this tool requires the bootloader to be unlocked on supported Xperia devices, but past that, it seems pretty simple and intuitive to use.
As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.
There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011.
One of the biggest problems with Google+ has been its inability to create a group wherein all peers are equal. You can create a hashtag that everyone can post to but you can't control the membership of, or a Page that a few moderators can share to, but it's difficult to add users to (for non-public posts, Pages can only add users to circles once they add the Page first). Communities finally fixes this problem by creating public or private groups that anyone within can share to.
After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.
Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles.
Remember earlier today when T-Mobile inexplicably cranked up the price of the LG Nexus 4 from $199 to a whopping $399 on-contract? Well, you don't have to worry about folks being gouged like that anymore. No, T-Mobile didn't realize how boneheaded that price was. It has just removed the Nexus 4 from the website entirely.
The device does not show up in the list of Android phones available from T-Mobile, but it does still appear in search results on the site.