Posts Tagged reason

The Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

The Kindle Fire HD delivers a tablet experience many folks will love, but is it the right choice for me? Have a read and see what a total Android nerd thinks of Amazon's latest offering.

Amazon’s new Kindle tablets don’t get the attention that other Android tablets get. Android purists tend to scoff at them, thinking that the operating system being used — a true custom fork of Android 4.0 — is entirely too basic, lacking many of the features and customization settings that stock Android or the more traditional OEM builds like Sense or TouchWiz have.

But simple — and consistent — software has a place. Amazon’s removal of some of the more advanced parts of the Android OS are also part of the reason not much talk goes on about the Kindle Fire HD — it tends to just work, and users have few issues they need to sort out. Amazon has perfected the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy of smart devices.

I’ve had both Kindle Fire HD devices here for a while, and have spent a good bit of time playing with the hardware and Amazon’s operating system as shipped. It’s time I put down a few words about them.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 Suffers From Sudden Death Syndrome

The recent Mayan prophecy that the world will end on December 21, 2012 didn’t come true however the end came to some Samsung Galaxy S3 devices. Some users have reported that their S3 units have crashed and failed to reboot for no reason at all. From the information gathered from those that have this problem it seems that it is happening between 150 to 200 days of initial activation of the device.

samsung galaxy s3 sudden death syndrome

The problem was first reported over at the XDA forum where a lot of people have already commented on this issue. There are currently 72 pages so far regarding this topic on the forum. The main culprit behind this initially points out to a hardware issue. Experts suspect that the NAND used by the device gets corrupted and fails at a certain time. This kills of the mainboard of the Galaxy S3 and bricks it.

Samsung is already aware of this issue and have already been replacing the affected units with new motherboards. While this may be good news for those who are affected by this, it might just be a temporary solution as the replacement might also have this problem.

Some of the comments of XDA members made are

“My phone died today. Was chugging along till 2AM yesterday night and then I dozed off with the phone connected to wall charger. Woke up and saw the green light on but the phone was unresponsive. I ‘long pressed’ the on/off button and the phone switched off (no vibration, so it probably died then). I pressed the on/off button again, no response. Removed the battery and tried again. Nope. Tried another charger, no response.”

“It happened to my S3 last week and I’ve never rooted or installed anything other than the official 3UK Samsung firmware, first ICS then JB. Samsung haven’t officially acknowledged that there’s an issue, but both the guy I spoke to in the authorised repair centre and the chap in the Samsung warranty call centre have said they’ve seen this issue a lot lately.”

Samsung has still yet to make an official comment on this problem. The good new though is that they are replacing the mainboards free of charge with no questions asked.

The Galaxy S3 is the current flagship model of the company which was released last May. It sold a record 20 million units worldwide in its first 100 days alone.

via XDA

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Google gives developers localized graphics support in Play Store

Google announced today that it will be adding localized graphic support for developers in the Play Store. Basically, this allows developers to change the pictures users see depending on what part of the world they’re in, so developers can add a lot of Christmas themed stuff to countries that celebrate it but leave it alone in other parts of the world. That’s a pretty handy marketing trick. Google did also announce on its developers blog that 2/3 of revenue comes from countries that are not the US, which gives devs all the more reason to start using tricks like this.

source: Android Developers Blog

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Google gives developers localized graphics support in Play Store

Google announced today that it will be adding localized graphic support for developers in the Play Store. Basically, this allows developers to change the pictures users see depending on what part of the world they’re in, so developers can add a lot of Christmas themed stuff to countries that celebrate it but leave it alone in other parts of the world. That’s a pretty handy marketing trick. Google did also announce on its developers blog that 2/3 of revenue comes from countries that are not the US, which gives devs all the more reason to start using tricks like this.

source: Android Developers Blog

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Republic Wireless Confirms That It Doesn’t Look Too Kindly Upon Customers That Root Devices

 

Republic Wireless may be on its way to being a revolutionary wireless provider, however in order to be a revolutionary wireless provider— it has to ensure that its offers a topnotch service to its customers free of any type of shenanigans or tomfoolery. This means keeping its various devices offered to its customers free of tools like rooting, which may enhance a customer’s service at the expense of Republic Wireless’s  philosophy. With this in mind, there has been a recent rise in customers’ interest in rooting their devices and Republic Wireless decided to take some time and share its position on not just rooting, but any sort of unauthorized device customization:

 

“We’ve seen a flurry of questions and comments recently, and we wanted to provide some answers and a bit of context. The burning question these days is whether or not it’s ok to root your phone. The short answer is no. You agreed to the Terms of Service when you joined republic, and if you don’t follow the Terms, we can terminate your service at any time”.

 

 

Republic Wireless takes time to expand on its position against rooting by sharing some reasons for its stance against rooting. The first is the fact that it needs to have the ability to provide quality service to all customers, but this can’t be done if some are operating devices with capabilities beyond their original intended use– which causes a conflict of interest, of sorts. Another reason is the simple fact that when devices are rooted, they can’t provide a topnotch level of customer support, unlike other wireless providers’. The final reason is perhaps the most significant reason as Republic Wireless points out that its service is part of a community effort— not just a service targeted towards one or a few individuals:

 

“Lastly, when you modify your phone or service, you’re missing the point of what we’re trying to do. We’ve worked hard to protect the idea that we all work together and that we can share responsibility here. It means doing the right thing for everyone involved–not just what you want to do”.

 

On the surface, you’d think that Republic Wireless is a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to rooting— but after you see it lay out its points (which all seem to be valid), you can kind of understand where it’s coming from and why it wants to protect its service so badly. Here’s hoping that Republic Wireless does find some sort of compromise at some point in the near future— we all know that a few power users will end up giving root to Republic Wireless phones on way or another.

source: Republic Wireless Community
via: Android Police

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Amazon Instant Video finally lands for ….. Google TV

AMazon Instant Video mainWell it certainly took long enough. Many people with Google TV devices have been complaining about not having this service available to their devices. Rightly so too, anyone that uses it regularly loves it to death. It doesn’t surprise us that much that Amazon isn’t pushing their services to every platform and device though. More so focusing on their own tablets and such. Seriously though, their services need to be out for all of Android to help them generate more money and keep the offset of the Kindle Fire prices going.

So Amazon has finally released Instant Video for Google TV. But, get this, apparently not all Google TV devices. The Logitech Revue is listed on their site as a supported device, but for one reason or another you can’t actually download and install it. Only slightly irritating. We are sure it can be side loaded and work just fine, but we haven’t checked into that as of yet.

AMazon Instant VideoWe aren’t sure why Amazon is holding this service back on more Android devices like tablets and phones. They have their app store on Android, Amazon MP3 and Kindle for books. Heck, Amazon Instant Video is even available for iOS users. Hopefully Amazon gets things together soon for all of you that have been waiting for this to make a debut. We will check back periodically to see if they make an update soon to give the Logitech Revue the access to the service like their site says it should.

Anyone out there with a Google TV device going to grab it and try it out? Let us know how it works out.

Application: Amazon Instant Video
Developer: Amazon Mobile LLC
Cost: FREE

 

Via AndroidPolice

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[New App] Amazon Finally Releases Instant Video App… For Google TV

unnamed (2)Remember Google TV? You know, the Google-developed set top box running an Android variant that never managed to catch on? Well, if you’re one of the small but dedicated users of the most neglected streaming device around, there’s reason to celebrate: Amazon’s Instant Video app, previously “exclusive” to the Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray players, various connected TVs, and just about everything except standard Android devices, is available on Google Play from your Google TV. Except for the Logitech Revue. Because apparently, Amazon hates you.

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On its own merits, the Amazon Instant Video app looks pretty good: quick browsing through Amazon’s library, HD playback, support for free Amazon Prime video, the works.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New App] Amazon Finally Releases Instant Video App… For Google TV was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google gives developers localized graphics support in Play Store

Google announced today that it will be adding localized graphic support for developers in the Play Store. Basically, this allows developers to change the pictures users see depending on what part of the world they’re in, so developers can add a lot of Christmas themed stuff to countries that celebrate it but leave it alone in other parts of the world. That’s a pretty handy marketing trick. Google did also announce on its developers blog that 2/3 of revenue comes from countries that are not the US, which gives devs all the more reason to start using tricks like this.

source: Android Developers Blog

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Adobe Stops Updates For All Touch Apps But Photoshop: ‘Some Of Our Efforts Have Been Successful, Others Have Been Less So’

Adobe-Touch-Apps-Family-Logo_thumb

In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Adobe has just announced (following their disappearance from the Play Store) an end to development for all their touch apps on Android except Photoshop Touch (Ideas is still alive for iOS users), meaning Adobe has essentially killed their Kuler, Ideas, Debut, Proto, and Collage apps for Android.

In a post to the Creative Cloud Team Blog, Adobe explains that while some of their efforts in “exploring how the creative process can be augmented and enhanced on touch devices” have been successful, others “have been less so.” It is for that reason the team is ceasing active development for the apps.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Adobe Stops Updates For All Touch Apps But Photoshop: ‘Some Of Our Efforts Have Been Successful, Others Have Been Less So’ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Whatsapp for iOS is a Free Download For a Limited Period

whatsapp-ios

Applications these days are generally categorized under two categories – free apps and paid apps. And it goes without saying that free apps have more downloads than paid apps for the obvious reason that not all like paying for mobile applications. If you compare the Google Play Store with the iTunes AppStore or the Windows Phone Marketplace, you will find that most apps that are available for free on Android are paid on either iOS or Windows Phones. Maybe this is a good move when we look at the developer’s point of view, as iOS paid apps have more returns compared to Android apps. And one such app is Whatsapp which is free on all the platforms, except on iOS. But the folks at Whatsapp have said enough is enough and decided to give iOS users a little holiday treat by making the app free for a limited period. The app would set you back by $0.99 on a normal day. It is important to note that while Whatsapp on Android is free for first time downloads, it will require users to pay $0.99 post the 1 year trial period.

So why was Whatsapp on iOS a paid app? The reason for this is quite simple. As the cross platform instant messaging app began picking up pace, more and more users felt the need to get this app, which included iPhone users. Whatsapp has an estimated user base of over 20 million. So it would make logical sense that the app was paid on iOS, which would make some form of revenue for the developers. However, one would feel that Whatsapp is more popular on Android and other platforms than on iOS. But with the app being free even on iOS now, we can imagine more and more users downloading the app.

Maybe Whatsapp should have done this long before to maintain uniformity in its policies, but we guess that’s asking for too much especially considering the fact that it isn’t making a lot of revenue with app downloads anyways. So this is a very appreciable deal from Whatsapp, and iPhone owners might not get to see deals like this often. The developers haven’t specified the duration of this limited period promotion, so it is advised to make the most of this till it lasts. This version of Whatsapp too is ad free like on other platforms.

With the holiday season upon us, we’re seeing plenty of developers offer their apps/games for a discounted price. We just saw Sega announce discounts for its range of iOS and Android apps. So expect more developers to follow suit.

Source: iTunes AppStore
Via: The Verge

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iOS 6 Adoption Increased After the Launch of Google Maps

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Apple’s iOS operating system has been a slow progress ever since it was launched with the first generation iPhone back in 2007. Don’t get me wrong, it is right up there among the best mobile operating systems in the market, but some would feel it hasn’t evolved as much as people would have liked. Sure, it still manages to score remarkably well in CPU/browser benchmarks, but a first gen iPhone user would find no substantial difference in the current iPhone, from a strictly software point of view. And with iOS 6, people had one more reason to not opt for the update and that was the absence of Google Maps. Well, Google Maps used to come by default on previous iterations of iOS, but didn’t make its way with iOS 6 as Apple went with its own half cooked Apple Maps. This was considered a bad move even before its flaws were discovered, and this led to many users of iOS 5 not updating to iOS 6 so as to still use Google Maps. But now, with the official Google Maps app available as a third party download on the iTunes AppStore, it is being said that users have begun updating to the new version of iOS in large numbers.

According to Ad Network, MoPub, iOS 6 adoption increased 29% within 5 days of the launch of the Google Maps app on iOS. This tells us a lot about what Maps means to the users and how much of an impact Google Maps makes for iOS in general. The data was collected after analyzing 12,000 iOS applications from a study. This doesn’t surprise us one bit. We all know how badly Apple Maps backfired for Apple and it only makes sense that iOS users are finally showing faith in the platform. In the meantime, it’s still to be seen if Apple has something coming up to enhance the usability of Apple Maps. Google Maps’ popularity was instantly evident as the app saw 10 million downloads within 2 days of its launch. And the statistics given by MoPub reaffirms that. We heard of Apple’s plans to integrate FourSquare with Apple Maps, which could partially improve the usability of Apple’s offering.

The CEO of MoPub, Jim Payne said – “We observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available”.

Source: Tech Crunch
Via: Phone Arena

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USPTO Invalidates Apple’s Pinch To Zoom Patent

pinch-to-zoom

Touchscreen smartphones is all we see around us today which is how far we’ve come in the field of technology. And one of the vital feature of modern day touchscreen mobile phones is pinch to zoom. Well, pinch to zoom is used almost everywhere right from images to text content, the feature is basically a more refined and convenient way to zoom into things/objects displayed on the screen. However, due to some reason Apple was awarded the patent for this particular feature. And quite frankly, it was the first company to bring this feature to the fore with the iPhone back in 2007. As expected, this feature became associated with the iPhone and manufacturers became growingly cautious about implementing this feature on their respective devices, including plenty of Android OEMs. Today, we see pinch-to-zoom basically used in every other smartphone and that includes Windows Phone.

However, the USPTO has now given Apple a major setback by mentioning that the pinch-to-zoom patent also known as patent 7,844,915, is invalid. This basically means that all of Apple’s claims of patent infringement with regards to the pinch-to-zoom feature have been falsified. This will be a major reprieve for Samsung as this was included in the recently concluded patent trial where Samsung was ordered to pay Apple a hefty sum of $1.05 billion. USPTO previously deemed Apple’s bounce scrolling patent invalid. Most of the Cupertino giant’s patent infringement claims against Android manufacturers have involved pinch to zoom

It will be interesting to see how Apple and Samsung will react to this new development. Samsung could look to seek a decrease in the damages which it is liable to pay Apple. The re-examination of the patent made the USPTO realize that patents already existed for that. Companies like HTC announced a truce with Apple over many of its lawsuits, but it was Samsung which stood up firm against Apple and refused to budge.

The court recently filed a ruling in favor of Samsung, by declining Apple’s request to ban certain infringing Samsung products. It also gave a setback to Samsung by denying a fresh trial with regards to the alleged foul play by jury foreman Vel Hogan. It seems like Samsung has a lot less to worry about now as Apple is not having a good time in the courtrooms. It has ongoing trials against a few other Samsung devices like the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II among others. So it has to be seen how this will affect the outcome of those trials. Similarly, Samsung has filed patent suits against the iPhone 4S and recently the iPhone 5, so this could potentially be a very lengthy trial. It is now clear that Apple no longer holds patents for pinch to zoom. Not that it stopped manufacturers from using the feature in the past.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Via: Phone Arena

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AT&T Galaxy S II receives Android 4.0.4 update

If for some reason you’re still rocking a Galaxy S II on AT&T (and haven’t already installed a custom ROM), you’ll be excited to know that the carrier is rolling out a minor update to Android 4.0.4. Keep in mind this is for the original Galaxy S II (i777), and not the Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

Considering the device already received an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich during summer, we had thought the device reached the end of its update life cycle. Thankfully, Samsung hasn’t forgotten about its 2011 customers. The update is now available for download exclusively through Samsung’s own desktop-based Kies software. While we still don’t have an official changelog, users will need to be running a recent build in order to flash the upgrade.

Source: Samsung

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Proxy service keeping The Pirate Bay alive in the UK taken offline

the_pirate_bay_logoThe UK-based proxy server provider UK Pirate Party has pulled the plug on its popular proxy for Pirate Bay. No explanation was given but many people think that the main reason was mainly due to the fear of incurring the wrath of Britain’s music industry. Six of the Pirate Party members received a letter from the music industry previously, threatening to escalate the case to the courts. Additionally, Pirate Party also decided not to continue their legal battle fundraiser campaign.

The Pirate Bay website is currently blocked by ISPs in the UK after a group of music labels brought their complaints to the court. The court order was handed earlier this year.

This pushed users of Pirate Bay to access the site via proxy services like the one provided by Pirate Party. As millions of users visits the site every month, Pirate Party quickly became a hot hub in the region.

Britain Phonographic Industry (BPI) complained about the new alternative to the Pirate Party members but the music industry group’s objections were ignored. After knowing that Pirtae Party did not intend to take down their proxy servers, BPI took the legal step of sending its lawyers to the six members of the party last week.

The move seemed to have affected the party’s willingness to stand for their ideals. It is clear that the party members in question will not only be fighting for their ideals anymore, but also for their  personal belongings as they face a potentially protracted legal battle against the music industry.

Initially, Pirate Party showed defiance as they seemed to be determined to take the issue to court to keep their proxy online. However, they surprisingly took down their service on Monday evening. When a user loads the site, a redirection page would say that more information would be released later.

TorrentFreak has been trying to contact the key people in the party since Monday evening, but they all said that they were told not to talk to their solicitors. The party announced that an official statement would be made on Tuesday, but no word has came out from the group since then.

The shutting down of the proxy is most probably due to the looming legal battle between the two groups. However, it is unclear at this point whether Pirate Party will take the issue to court, since its fundraised campaign had also been taken off the air.

TorrentFreak suspects that both parties are probably in negotiations how to deal with the issue in a peaceful way.

The current clash between Pirate Party and BPI is not the first between them. According to TorrentFreak, UK Pirate Party changed its robots.txt file several weeks ago to contain instructions for Google not to index the site in searches. Pirate Party did not respond to inquiries from TorrentFreak why it changed its instructions to Google, but it is easy to assume that it was meant to minimize the party with takedown requests from rightsholders.

source: torrentfreak

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Amazon Mobile for Android Updated, Alerts You When Your Packages Ship and Arrive

If for some reason you aren’t running Jelly Bean, meaning you don’t have access to Google Now’s amazing package tracking prowess, then you may want to update your Amazon Mobile app. In the latest update that dropped this afternoon, Amazon has included shipment notifications that will alert you as soon as your package has shipped [...]

Click the post title to continue through and join the conversation!

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Vudu launches movie streaming / downloads to Android tablets, Xbox 360 app supports 1080p

Vudu launches movie streaming  downloads to Android tablets, Xbox 360 app supports 1080p

Coming about a year after its launch on iOS, Walmart-owned Vudu has opened up access to its (UltraViolet-connected) movie library on Android. Interestingly, it’s included a key feature not currently available in the iPad and iPhone Vudu Player app: users can download videos for offline viewing just like they do on PCs, not just streaming over WiFi in the browser. A free app ready for download to “select” Android tablets, there’s no word on when or if it will appear on phones, but we’re told the list of supported devices will continue to grow.

Vudu also notes in the press release (included after the break) that as of last month, its Xbox 360 app has been updated to support 1080p HDX streaming video. Do you really need another reason to give it a shot? If so, try this one on — all new users who activate an UltraViolet account between now and March get 10 free movies. There’s still the pain of creating multiple logins for the virtual locker, but between Vudu and Flixster offers you should be able to snag a bunch of free flicks watchable anywhere on your Android device without spending a cent (or hunting through torrents and the like, your choice).

Continue reading Vudu launches movie streaming / downloads to Android tablets, Xbox 360 app supports 1080p

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Source: Google Play

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[New App] ‘Press’ Is A Beautiful, Simple, And Functional RSS Reader That Syncs With Google Reader

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. Turns out it’s quite functional, too. Win/win. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basically, Press is a very nice looking RSS reader for Android.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New App] ‘Press’ Is A Beautiful, Simple, And Functional RSS Reader That Syncs With Google Reader was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Verizon contradicts itself with ISIS approval and Google Wallet block

It looks like we’ve learned a bit more behind the Google Wallet block on Verizon Wireless today. There’s been a lot of talk lately about this “secure element.” Most of that talk is from Verizon who claims the secure element is the reason they don’t allow Google Wallet on their network. What is that you ask? The secure element is in most new devices using NFC and securely handles credit card information, royalty cards, and everything else for mobile payments.

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As you all know, Google Wallet is the awesome mobile payments and eCommerce app from Google that accepts all major credit cards, and works like a charm. I absolutely love Google Wallet and use it often. However, Verizon doesn’t feel the same way and completely restricts it from their devices. Same goes for AT&T, and T-Mobile. Reason behind this is because they have their own option in the works to compete with Google Wallet. That’s ISIS Mobile Payments, something we’ve covered here plenty.

Last week we reported a statement by Verizon, basically claiming the “secure element” works different than all other mobile payment apps (Paypal, Square, Starbucks) and for that reason they won’t allow Google Wallet on their devices. Sadly that was a bold little white lie. Today we’ve learned Verizon’s own app they’ve partnered with, ISIS Mobile Payments, in fact uses and requires the same secure element.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 9.40.07 AM

The screenshot above is from the Verizon Galaxy S III with the new update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which brought ISIS support to the smartphone. ISIS goes as far as to mention it’s required and a “dedicated component in your phone.” Sadly last week Verizon claimed that was why they wouldn’t allow Google Wallet. A little contradiction if you ask us. When we reported on Verizon’s statements we basically said they had no interest in using Google Wallet. Turns out that was 100% correct because even with all the pieces in place, they’ll still block Google and use their own option instead. A win for Verizon and a loss for the consumer.

There’s a lot to be said here, but in the end in looks like Verizon won’t be getting Google Wallet support anytime soon. If ever. Hopefully ISIS turns into a viable option in the future.

[via Droid-Life]

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Samsung Will Post a Fix to The Exynos Chip Security Issue “As Quickly As Possible”

exynos

Samsung is having a great time in the market with nothing to complain about, when it comes to device sales at least. But the past few days have been nothing short of embarrassing for the company, with reports claiming that devices running on a few Exynos chipsets (4210 and 4412) are vulnerable to privacy attacks. This was confirmed by developers and it was believed that the fix would be rolled out soon. This is basically the reason why the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note was delayed.

And it seems like the company understands the enormity of the condition and has come out with a word acknowledging the said bug. A spokesperson from Samsung spoke to Android Central and gave clarification on the issue and promised a fix as soon as possible. Samsung, in a way tried to downplay the whole thing and rightly so as the exploit requires a certain malicious application so as to access private data. So as long as the users are vary of what apps they’re downloading, there should be absolutely no problem. Considering that Samsung’s new flagships run on the said chipset, we would have been surprised if it didn’t come out with a word or two. Developers have already come up with a fix for this bug though.

We can’t say for sure if this little glitch will affect the sales of the device in general with the holiday season approaching. But a person in sync with the recent turn of events, would certainly think twice. It is rather unfortunate that the exploit had to be surfaced now, given this is a key time of the year for any manufacturer. Regardless, there’s a fix on its way very soon, so I guess all will be forgotten once it is dealt with. As of now though, Samsung’s competitors will certainly be silently smirking. Samsung failed to mention as to when exactly the fix would make its way, but we’re hoping it should be here within a month.

Here’s the statement given by a spokesperson for Samsung –

“Samsung is aware of the potential security issue related to the Exynos processor and plans to provide a software update to address it as quickly as possible.

The issue may arise only when a malicious application is operated on the affected devices; however, this does not affect most devices operating credible and authenticated applications.

Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices.

With this news, we can almost sense Microsoft smirking at Google and Samsung collectively, especially after the Windows Phone #DroidRage campaign backfired for Microsoft. It is commendable that Samsung has acknowledged the issue instead of beating around the bush and silently posting an update.

Via: Android Central

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Motorola patent claim ruled ‘invalid’ by ITC judge in lawsuit against Apple

While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.

Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.

So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.

Source: Bloomberg

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Motorola patent claim ruled ‘invalid’ by ITC judge in lawsuit against Apple

While Motorola and Apple have had their fair share of courtroom drama in the past, today may finally see some of it put to rest. The two have been engaged in a heated legal battle over the past couple of years, with the most recent of which centered around a touch-related UI intellectual property.

Today, Judge Pender of the International Trade Commission ruled that, while Apple did infringe on said patent, there would be no legal ramifications because Motorola’s claim is ‘invalid.’ The reason behind the decision stems from the fact that Motorola holds another, older touch patent very similar to the one in question, yet it was not included in the original filing.

So, it appears the Apple legal team will be celebrating a successful year in the courtroom over Christmas. Although, its entirely possible to prolong the ordeal if Motorola chooses to appeal the ruling over the coming weeks.

Source: Bloomberg

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Twitter Surpasses 200M Monthly ‘Active’ users

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The most popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter, has now more than 200 million active users monthly, a 42% increase in the size when compared to March’2012 statistics. (Apparently, to celebrate six years of service, the company had released the press-statement in March that it now boasts more than 140 million ‘active’ users.)

Twitter boasted 100 million active monthly users in September 2011, with the number of daily active users amounting to 50 million. In the next six months, the site increased the number of active users by another 40 million, making it 140 in March’ 2012. That’s 40% growth in just a 7 month time-span- which is very impressive. However, fast-forward another 7-9 months, and you have pretty much the same scenario. Twitter now has over 200 million active users monthly, another 60 million added to the existing fan-base- a net increase of 42%. At the end of the every year, the company continues to double its user-base.

According to information shared by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, earlier this year, the site was stormed by 340 million tweets per day. However, the increase of another 60 million is expected to take that tally to 400 million tweets per day.  According to stats, over 60% of the 200 million ‘active’ users use smartphone apps to access the popular social media platform.

It is believed that the sharp increase in the number of active users can be accredited to events like US presidential election and Olympics. According to reports, France and USA have seen huge growth in numbers, mainly due to their own presidential elections. With the growing presence of social-media, people love expressing their thoughts through Twitter. The 140 word limit has also forced people to be creative in their writing, besides being thoughtful and insightful. That’s the reason why people love ‘tweeting’ rather than posting status updates. Besides, Twitter allows you to read tweets of people without logging in, which is not possible with Facebook.

Twitter actually has over 500 million registered users worldwide, which means that over 50% of the people do not tweet or even log-in to their accounts, monthly. However, it’s still one of the ten most visited sites on the internet.

Tony Wang, General Manager of Twitter, expressed his emphatic feelings by tweeting: “There are now more than 200M monthly active @twitter users. You are the pulse of the planet. We’re grateful for your ongoing support!”

Do you love to ‘tweet’? Do you think Twitter can outdo Facebook in the coming years? Share your thoughts!

Source

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SnapKeys SI launches for Android in private beta

SnapKeys SI has launched for Android as of today. SnapKeys SI, for those unfamiliar is a keyboard replacement. More specifically, a keyboard replacement that is said to be social, simple, fast and intelligent. And as you will likely see in the image and video included in this post — SnapKeys SI is a keyboard replacement with a rather unique look.

what-is

Touching on that look, the folks at SnapKeys note that because the keyboard has only four keys and a few letters it becomes a simple and intuitive way to enter text. For right now we are going to have to take their word. As of right now, the SnapKeys SI app has launched and is available only as a private beta.

The keyboard shows four vowels; A, O, I and E along with eight other letters that you use most often. You will begin your typing by hitting one of the boxes that contains the letter you need. And if for some reason you need a letter that is not shown, you tap in the middle, between the boxes. The space bar is on the right-hand side and the back space key is over on the left side.

Of course, as one would assume given the limited keys displayed, SnapKeys SI will predict your words as you type. Word suggestions appear on the right-hand side with the word you are typing appearing in blue. Special characters can be accessed by pressing and holding the space or back space keys. And similar to other predictive solutions, SnapKeys SI will learn your typing style over time.

With that, those looking to give SnapKeys SI a look will need to head on over to the SnapKeys website, click the blue Download Beta button and fill out the short form. From that point, it looks like you will be added to the beta list

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Sprint shuts down ‘Upgrade Now’ program … for now

Sprint Upgrade Now program

Sprint today confirmed to Android Central that its Upgrade Now program, which would let you pay a little extra to get upgrade pricing a little early, is "currently now unavailable." The internal memo adds "until further notice," which seems a bit ominous until you read the line that notes it's "temporarily discontinued." Sprint's e-mail to us also says to "check back later to see if the program has been reinstated," giving us another reason to believe this is just temporary.

Thanks, anon!

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Samsung drops injunction requests against in Europe

As the final rulings are reached in Apple’s case against Samsung in the US, the latter company is rethinking its litigation strategy in Europe. Today Samsung released a statement saying they would withdraw injunction requests against Apple in Europe. Samsung cites “protecting consumer choice” as a driving force behind the decision.

The real reason might go a bit deeper than simply “protecting consumer choice,” but Samsung is framing their decision so as to say “we’re taking the high road.” Perhaps it signals a shift in Samsung’s mentality towards reaching an out-of-court agreement (the company did, after all, say it was open to negotiating a settlement with Apple). Perhaps the Korean company is feeling the blows of one too many unfavorable court decisions.

The injunctions in question were based on Samsung’s standards-essential patents, which have proven tricky to litigate in the past. Currently, such patents are to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Groups including Apple and the European Commission have questioned in the past if Samsung has been abusing such patents.

A recent decision in a dispute between Motorola and Microsoft set a precedent to forego injunctions for standards-based patents in favor of FRAND-based fees. The complication in seeking an injunction on such patents arrises from their use of certain openly available standards, such as a video codec or wireless format. It was determined that given the availability of such technology to all, it could not be proven that infringement had caused irreparable harm.

[via The Verge]

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Court Rejects Apple’s Plea to Ban Infringing Samsung Smartphones in the U.S

judge-courtroom

Samsung and Apple, despite their professional partnership have an intense rivalry going on in the mobile world which arrived at the courtrooms as Apple alleged the Koreans of infringing on several of their patents. While the court agreed and sided with Apple that many of the products were in fact infringed upon, Judge Koh has now rejected Apple’s plea to ban the sales of these Samsung smartphones in the U.S. The reason for this judgment is fairly simple. Firstly most of these devices aren’t even on sale in the U.S, so it would make no sense to ban these devices in the country. Also, Apple was known to be licensing some of its patents to rival companies involved in a legal tussle with them, albeit for a fairly unreasonable price. So perhaps the court expects the two giants of the industry to call a truce. This is only a partial relief for Samsung, as this ruling doesn’t include devices like the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Nexus which were named by Apple in the second trial between the two companies. So until that happens, I don’t think Samsung will be taking it easy.

The judge also ruled out Samsung’s claims of misconduct by jury foreman Vel Hogan. Judge Koh made it very clear that the court would not want to discuss it further and gave no scope for even an evidential hearing, meaning these claims by Samsung are as good as duds for now. Most of this is highly technical, but in simple terms, Samsung accused Vel Hogan of being biased against it as one of its subsidiaries (Seagate) sued him some time ago. The court had even asked Vel Hogan if he was qualified to be part of the trial and provide unbiased judgments (not knowing about his history), to which he agreed. He failed to mention to the court that he was involved in a lawsuit with Seagate but came up with a response on the issue later claiming that his history with the company wouldn’t influence his actions in the courtroom. Seagate has a bundle of owners and Samsung is the largest single investor in the company with about 9.6% of its stock. So we can make out that Samsung and Mr. Vel Hogan have kind of had a history in the past. But with most of these claims being squashed now, Samsung has no real case against Hogan.

Apple will be looking to appeal Judge Koh’s decision to not ban the infringing Samsung droids in the U.S, while Samsung clearly has no scope for appealing the Vel Hogan issue. This is a minor setback for both the companies, so there’s no clear beneficiary of this ruling yet. It will be interesting to see what the Jury has to say about Apple’s claims of newer Samsung flagships like the Galaxy S III and the Note II infringing on Apple’s patents. It is being speculated that despite the two companies being far off from an out of court settlement, we could well see them coming to an agreement within a year or so. Let’s hope that happens, so that companies can focus on innovation in their products rather than prove who’s better and who’s not.

Source: FOSS Patents[C1]
Via: Android Police

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Daily news roundup: December 18, 2012

Android Central Android Central

Android Central Android Central

Mondays are always heavy news days, and you'd have to be crazy to somehow keep track of everything throughout the day. It's for this reason that we do daily news roundups so you can catch up on all that happened. Take a look through all of the stories, you'll likely find something you missed that's a worth-while read.

Hardware news to revisit:

Apps and software:

Industry things:

From Android Central and the editors:

See everyone back here on Tuesday!

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New Android-controlled toilet gives you another reason to bring your smartphone to the bathroom

Android started with phones, then went to tablets, TV’s, and even appliances. Why not toilets? A new toilet made by Tokyo-based Lixil will hit the market this February. Apparently you can get the app for Android called My Satis, which lets you flush, raise the toilet seat, and activate a bidet jet stream. If you like to listen to tunes while doing your business, you can even choose what songs to play through the toilet’s speakers. Finally, for those of you that like to control everything, the app will keep track of your history so the next time you’re at a dinner party, you can tell Aunt Agnus when the last time you, well you know. Don’t expect these toilets to be cheap as they will be priced at ¥199,500 to ¥389,550m which translates to roughly $2,385 to $4,657. I wonder if they would send me a review unit?

Hit the source link to check out a quick video as well.

source: japantrends

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New Android-controlled toilet gives you another reason to bring your smartphone to the bathroom

Android started with phones, then went to tablets, TV’s, and even appliances. Why not toilets? A new toilet made by Tokyo-based Lixil will hit the market this February. Apparently you can get the app for Android called My Satis, which lets you flush, raise the toilet seat, and activate a bidet jet stream. If you like to listen to tunes while doing your business, you can even choose what songs to play through the toilet’s speakers. Finally, for those of you that like to control everything, the app will keep track of your history so the next time you’re at a dinner party, you can tell Aunt Agnus when the last time you, well you know. Don’t expect these toilets to be cheap as they will be priced at ¥199,500 to ¥389,550m which translates to roughly $2,385 to $4,657. I wonder if they would send me a review unit?

Hit the source link to check out a quick video as well.

source: japantrends

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New Android-controlled toilet gives you another reason to bring your smartphone to the bathroom

Android started with phones, then went to tablets, TV’s, and even appliances. Why not toilets? A new toilet made by Tokyo-based Lixil will hit the market this February. Apparently you can get the app for Android called My Satis, which lets you flush, raise the toilet seat, and activate a bidet jet stream. If you like to listen to tunes while doing your business, you can even choose what songs to play through the toilet’s speakers. Finally, for those of you that like to control everything, the app will keep track of your history so the next time you’re at a dinner party, you can tell Aunt Agnus when the last time you, well you know. Don’t expect these toilets to be cheap as they will be priced at ¥199,500 to ¥389,550m which translates to roughly $2,385 to $4,657. I wonder if they would send me a review unit?

Hit the source link to check out a quick video as well.

source: japantrends

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