Oracle Google Android Verdict

How Google’s big court win just made history

By on May 27, 2016 at 7:30 AM.

How Google’s big court win just made history

A jury found that Google’s use of the Java programming language in Android is legal, in a patent battle that lasted some six years. Oracle, which owns Java, argued that Google stole code to build a mobile operating system that ended up being the most popular smartphone OS in the world. Google prevailed over Oracle in 2012, but a year later a court found that software APIs can be copyrighted, which meant Oracle could revive its legal battle against Android.

Google didn’t just save Android with this win, avoiding a huge financial hit in the process – a win for Oracle could have forced Google to cough up as much as $9 billion. The victory is also important for future patent battles that cover copyrightable software. More →

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Raspberry Pi 3 Android AOSP

$35 Raspberry Pi 3 might soon run Google’s Android

By on May 26, 2016 at 6:50 AM.

$35 Raspberry Pi 3 might soon run Google’s Android

Running Android on $35 Raspberry Pi 3 computers might soon happen, and not because a clever developer managed to come up with an Android build for the ultra-affordable computer. It’s Google that’s actively looking into turning Raspberry Pi computers into devices that can run Android. More →

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Android Updates: Verizon, Sprint

Google knows that Android’s update system sucks

By on May 25, 2016 at 10:10 PM.

Google knows that Android’s update system sucks

It has been long acknowledged in the tech industry that Android’s system of updates, which relies on phone manufacturers and carriers to roll out updates, sucks. Much as Google has long claimed that fragmentation isn’t a problem, having devices running tens of different versions is a giant headache for developers, and a boon for hackers.

As always, the first step on the road to recovery is acceptance, and according to Bloomberg, Google is getting there.

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YouTube Downloader Online

New free app and site makes watching online videos like regular TV channels

New free app and site makes watching online videos like regular TV channels

By on May 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

One of the many reasons cord cutting has grown so popular in recent years is the abundance of video content available online. It would take 1,000 lifetimes to watch all of the videos out there, and the amount of content continues to grow exponentially. But despite all of the great content that’s freely available, cord cutters continue to subscribe to pay services like Netflix and Hulu. One reason is obviously to gain access to their content, but there’s also another problem with sites like YouTube: It is becoming increasingly difficult to find good content.

A newly launched app and website is looking to tackle that problem by offering a curated viewing experience that delivers curated streams of continuous videos that are structured like traditional TV channels. More →

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Smartphone Market Share Q1 2016

Whatever you do, don’t buy these smartphones

By on May 23, 2016 at 6:00 PM.

Whatever you do, don’t buy these smartphones

There is nothing in consumer tech right now that’s as hot as the smartphone market, even as it nears saturation in many regions, and the real beauty of it is that there are so many options. Every company out there wants a piece of the action and they’re all looking for ways to differentiate their products, so there really is something for everyone. It’s not easy to make a choice that can truly be considered wrong since different people have different needs and wants, but there is one line of smartphones that people probably shouldn’t bother with unless they having a burning desire to dump hundreds of dollars into a dead platform.

As noted by market research firm Gartner, Windows Phone’s share of the global smartphone market actually fell below 1% this past quarter for the first time ever, market yet another stop on Microsoft’s one-way trip to smartphone irrelevance. As such, the worst mistake you can make when buying a new phone is to buy a Windows Phone, unless you’re fine with burning cash on a platform that’s on its way out.

Actually, there is one smartphone platform that somehow has an even lower share of the global market — BlackBerry OS — but it’s so low that it’s not even worth discussing anymore. More →

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Android N Wallpaper Preview

The best thing about Android N might be these stunning wallpapers

By on May 19, 2016 at 8:30 PM.

The best thing about Android N might be these stunning wallpapers

Android N won’t be released to the general public for a few months, but you don’t have to wait to get your hands on its new wallpapers. Official Android backdrops tend to be pretty good, but Google has outdone itself with the latest batch.

I know what you’re thinking: a couple new pictures, big deal! But you look at your wallpaper a couple hundred times a day, and pretty girls will judge you on your lock screen in bars (at least, I like to think so). Google’s four new Android N wallpapers, found by Android Police, are certainly worthy to grace your screen.

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Google Now Assistant Third Party Apps

A tiny detail in Google’s new Assistant will make apps a lot smarter

By on May 19, 2016 at 5:05 PM.

A tiny detail in Google’s new Assistant will make apps a lot smarter

Google is slowly building Her. In case you haven’t seen the 2013 sci-fi movie, it’s a disturbing love story about a regular guy falling for a voice-based operating system. And while Google is far from announcing a computer OS that’s able to respond via voice to all your queries and help out with day to day chores in intuitive ways in human-like fashion, it’s certainly laying the foundation for such a future.

One of the most important announcements coming out of Google I/O 2016 is the Google Assistant, an evolution of Google Now that’s going to offer even more advanced voice- and chat-based features. But Google is going a step beyond simply making Google Now an even more useful smartphone tool, by adding some of the Assistant’s smart features into other apps.

The company introduced new tools in developer sessions that will not only change the way we interact with our apps – by giving them Assistant-like powers – but also help save battery life, and streamline the performance of a phone. More →

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Android Pay ATM

You can now use your phone to get cash from ATMs

By on May 19, 2016 at 4:40 PM.

You can now use your phone to get cash from ATMs

There’s still a lot of places that can’t take mobile payments, but everyone likes cash. So it’s a big deal that starting today, select Bank of American ATMs will let you tap your Android phone to withdraw cash.

The program, named Cardless ATM, is rolling out to Bank of America ATMs in San Fransisco and Silicon Valley today, for a total of 2,400 ATMS. 5,000 machines nationwide should be enabled with the feature by the end of the year.  More →

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Android App Google Play Chrome OS

Google is bringing Android apps and the Google Play store to Chrome OS

By on May 19, 2016 at 2:54 PM.

Google is bringing Android apps and the Google Play store to Chrome OS

The keynote for Google I/O 2016 was jam-packed with exciting announcements and unexpected reveals, but even with two hours at their disposal, the executives and developers at Google still weren’t able to share everything.

One huge announcement that didn’t make the cut: Google Play and Android apps are coming to Chrome OS later this year.

More →

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Nokia Android Smartphones Tablets

Nokia is back, and this time it’s making the Android phones we’ve always wanted

By on May 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM.

Nokia is back, and this time it’s making the Android phones we’ve always wanted

It took eons, but Nokia is finally making the Android phones we always hoped it would make. To get here, Nokia had to lose its grip on the mobile business, choose Windows Mobile as its only smartphone OS, and then sell its entire mobile division to Microsoft. But the American software giant was unable to make anything good come out of its Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone brands, turning the acquisition into a failure of epic proportions.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is selling its feature phone business to Foxconn. And Nokia is licensing its name, which it’s buying back from Microsoft, to a company that will work with the same Foxconn subsidiary to make feature phones, Android smartphones and Android tablets in the near future.

The point is, Nokia is finally making Android phones, even if it won’t actually build them More →

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