According to Reuters, Microsoft has asked Samsung to pay $15 for each Android smartphone it makes. The Redmond-based firm believes that its software patents cover the technology used in Samsung’s Android devices and if history is any indication, Microsoft will get its way. In April of last year, HTC signed an umbrella agreement with Microsoft in which it was allowed access to Microsoft’s patents for an undisclosed fee estimated to be $15 per device. South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper said that it expects Samsung to bounce back with an offer to pay Microsoft $10 for each Android phone it manufactures. Samsung has also recently been locked up in a number of lawsuits with Apple that have seen the Cupertino-based company accuse Samsung of creating “copycat devices” that infringe on Apple patents. More →
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Dell is ready to readdress the luxury notebook market with a new ultra-thin offering to take on Apple’s MacBook Air. Dell launched its sleek Adamo line in March 2009 and its first model was an underpowered, over-designed offering that started at $2,000. Dell would later introduce less expensive Adamo laptops but consumers still wouldn’t bite, and the Adamo line was killed off in early 2011. On Tuesday, Dell will unveil its latest attempt to capture the hearts, minds and credit card numbers of prospective MacBook Air buyers with the slender XPS 15z. The new laptop will sport a price tag that starts at $999, and while Apple’s MacBook Air starts at $999 as well, that sum will only get you an 11-inch Air while Dell’s new notebook will apparently be the thinnest 15-inch laptop on the planet. Hit the break for a teaser video Dell ran earlier this month. More →
Today, at the company’s planned media event, social networking giant Facebook took the wraps off of its new communication service. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, noted that the new system aims to be seamless, informal, immediate, personal, simple, minimal, and short… but not email.
The new service will: provide messaging across all of the different ways people communicate (SMS, email, IM, SMS), a conversation history for reference and archiving, and a social inbox to aggregate all the messages you really care about.
The scenario presented is this: someone sends you an email that is displayed on Facebook as a chat window (the new system is being described as “very IM like”), when you reply to this message an email is sent back to your conversation partner. If you happen to be away from your computer when they reply, you can get a push email notification via the mobile Facebook application or via SMS (the company noted that a new iOS Facebook app will be launching today) and respond from there. The idea is to keep a permanent, running history of conversations with the people you care about while making digital communication feel like an actual, face-to-face conversation. “Your conversations are no longer locked in a phone or a particular email service,” said Facebook engineer Andrew Bozworth. “The days of typing “g2g” and “brb” are over.”
Users of Facebook will be given the opportunity to have a @facebook.com email address that matches the public user-name (facebok.com/public-useranme) that they’ve picked; Facebook employees will use the new fb.com domain purchased from the Farm Bureau. Down the road, the new service will support XMPP, IMAP, and several other open protocols to will allow users to access their Facebook messages however they want.
The company will be rolling out the new service slowly over the first few months; initial testers will be part of an invite system similar to the one used by Gmail early on. More →
There have been rumors floating around the internet about Verizon Wireless offering a second, “tiered” data plan, and that rumor was confirmed today. America’s largest wireless provider will begin offering a $15 monthly data plan to 3G smartphone users that offers 150MB data allowance. The carrier will bill overages at $15 per 150MB and the $30, unlimited data plan will remain unchanged.
Also hot off the rumor wagon, Engadget is reporting that Verizon is testing calling plans with unlimited, any-mobile-to-mobile minutes — a la Sprint — in select markets across Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The plans range from $60 all the way up to $130 — offering between 450 and 2000 minutes — and include unlimited text messaging. The unlimited mobile-to-mobile offerings are available until the end of 2010 at which point, we assume, Verizon will either expand or cancel the plans depending on demand. More →
YouTube has decided to make it markedly easier for you to get your fifteen minutes of fame. How? By upping the time limit of uploaded YouTube clips from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Those of you who dream of posting a video of yourself singing Can’s Mother Sky into a kitchen spoon, go right ahead. YouTube’s just made your dream a reality. Here is the official word from Google:
Well, we’ve spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today.
Thanks Google. More →
We all certainly remember what happens when sites doubt Gizmodo’s “reliable sources” — Steve Jobs’ health, anyone? As such, a particularly interesting rumor emerged this morning that Apple tablet hopefuls might want to take note of. Citing “a source that has always been 100% reliable”, Giz claims to have been informed that Apple is currently working on 13-inch and 15-inch tablet models in addition to the 10-inch model that is all but confirmed by now. The source states that two prototypes reminiscent of big aluminum iPhones currently sit in a factory in Shenzuen, China. He or she also claims that at least one is confirmed to be running OS X. The source could not confirm whether these units were prototypes of what will ultimately be production models, or simply demo units of some kind. While it’s known that next month’s Apple event will have absolutely nothing to do with tablets, it might be a pretty safe bet that some kind of tablet announcement might not be far behind.
Oh no they didn’t. We hope T-Mobile locations around the US are currently in the process of riot-proofing their facilities — you read that title right folks, no Android update in May. Ok, so we’re exaggerating a teeny tiny bit… After all, the update roll out has only been pushed back by a week. At the same time, G1 users have been dying to get their hands on an official release of Android 1.5 for what seems like a decade by now. Well Android fans, while you continue to wait for T-Mobile to get the 1.5 OTA update out the door, why not sit back and enjoy some hot Donut action. We hear it should be rolled out to American G1 handsets by 2013.
Owners of the Android dev phone can now head over to HTC’s website and update their G1 to the official 1.5 version of Android. This early release for dev phones will provide developers with a few weeks of on-device testing of their software before the highly anticipated update is rolled out to the general public in May. All tools, instructions and necessary radio, system and recovery images are available directly from HTC via the read link below. Dev phone owners out there who take the plunge and update their handset, hit us up in the comments with your first impressions of this latest Android offering. As for the rest of you, don’t worry — the wait is almost over.
Just because it's open source doesn't mean it's open; Google blocks Cupcake users from Android Market
Seeing as Google built the Android platform with the concept of “open” at the forefront of its collective mind, we find the following a bit contrary. It appears as though G1 owners who have taken advantage of haykuro’s handywork and installed the ported version of Android OS 1.5 have now been locked out of the Android Market. In other words, no apps for you. Initially, Google’s app store was working fine for the savvy few who had grown tired of waiting for Google to finally issue the update Android users have been waiting for since last year. As more people caught on and began installing the cooked up Cupcake build, it looks like the Android team has decided to cut off Market access in an attempt to deter people from getting their Cupcake on. Here’s the theory, as stated by xda-developers forum member AndroidAutobot:
Someone said somethin about a Magic being detected in the states and someone having a negative reaction to that being that it hasn’t officially been released in the states. May be some measure Google is taking to prevent Magic use in the states prior to its official release (on the assumption that G builds are somehow registering as Magics w/ the Market). this seems like the most logical theory to me at this point. Which means we’ll all eventually be able to use the G builds again… once the magic has been released in the states if this theory is correct.
Though nothing has been confirmed at this point, it certainly makes sense. The discussion goes on but if you’re a fan of the Android Market is looks like you’ve got a choice to make before upgrading with haykuro’s Cupcake: sit tight for a while longer while Google finishes up development on 1.5 and finally pushes it out, or forgo Android Market access and start enjoying stereo Bluetooth, virtual keyboards, an improved browser and plenty more.
UPDATE: A clarification from the tipster posted in the comments section below (looks like you can still have your Cupcake and eat it, too — for the time being):
I want to clarify that this is currently only affecting one of the two haykuro cupcake builds. The “G” aka “google-sourced” line. There is a second “H” aka “HTC-sourced” line that is currently unaffected by this Market change. So if you get the “H” build, you’ll still have market access. For Now.
The long awaited Android “cupcake” upgrade for the Android OS looks to be one step closer to release. An early-look version of the Android 1.5 SDK has been released to developers which includes a preview of soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders and speech recognition. This early version of the SDK also includes both Android 1.1 and Android 1.5, allowing developers to code for multiple OS versions within one SDK. The current release is only a preview version of course, with the final Android 1.5 SDK expected to be distributed at the end of the month. Exciting news, Android fans, though it would be slightly more exciting if we had more than one Android handset available right now…
This one’s for all of the BlackBerry-toting MySpace users out there. RIM hit us up last night to let us know MySpace for BlackBerry has been upgraded to v1.5, featuring three major enhancements. Just like the upcoming Facebook 1.5 we showed the world, we can’t help but think that these “enhancements” should have been there in the first place. Oh well, here’s what’s new:
- Friend Updates: Users can now view their MySpace Friend Updates from within the application and click on a thumbnail of a photo in the Friend Updates to be taken to a full screen version.
- Enhanced updates and messaging: Instantaneous mobile notifications and messaging (no lag time between receiving a message online and on mobile). Users can also save a composed message/bulletin as a draft, delete and open a saved draft message to edit/send the message, and view or hide sent items.
- Enhanced band profiles: Bands can add tour dates and more profile bits to their profiles, like Upcoming Shows (displays more details on the show such as venue, date, address and cost)
- Support for French, German, Italian and Spanish languages.
MySpace for BlackBerry 1.5 can be grabbed either OTA or via PC at blackberry.com/myspace.