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Federal Trade Commission’s Google antitrust probe includes Android as well

Federal-Trade-Commissions-Google-antitrust-probe-includes-Android-as-wellThe FTC is currently reviewing Google’s procedures and policies for antitrust issues. The probe mostly covers search and privacy practices, but recently we learned that it also includes Android for some reason.

While the mobile industry can hardly be called uncompetitive in this very moment, Android went from zero to hero and almost fifty percent of the smartphone market worldwide in just three years, so the FTC is looking into how much power Google has to exert pressure on app developers and device manufacturers to get its way.

Compared to the other mobile operating systems Android is pretty open, free and popular, plus there are a number of handsets that use generic Android without Google Services on it – no Android Market, no Maps, no Gmail, and so on. Moreover, companies are often installing their own software, like Sprint with its ID packs, Verizon using Bing, and manufacturers have their own skins like Sense UI.

The FTC, however, is apparently not satisfied, and is issuing inquiries into third parties whether Google is flexing muscles when it comes to replacing its core services with something foreign to the ecosystem. A case in point has been the lawsuit filed by Skyhook, which accuses El Goog in applying pressure on manufacturers to drop its localization technology from their handsets, and keep Google’s service. “Baseless” has been the only comment by Mountain View regarding the accusation, but it definitely looks like Android is being pressured on many fronts right now – whether this is a concerted campaign, or just that success always attracts the spotlight, remains to be seen.

For all we know, the Justice Department has launched a probe whether the Nortel patent bid by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony and others, has been purposefully won by these cutthroat competitors for the patents to be used against Android’s domination. Google is not sitting still too – it bought more than a thousand patents from IBM, spent record amount of $2.06 million on lobbying in Q2 2011, and is hiring 12 more K street firms to protect its interests with Uncle Sam.

source: WSJ

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Leaked image reveals the names of three devices bound for Sprint

Leaked-image-reveals-the-names-of-three-devices-bound-for-SprintOh, you gotta love those tipsters for all the leaks that they kindly share with the World. Sure, the spicy rumors that they bring to the table are anything but guaranteed to be true, but they can surely spark the imagination of pretty much every smartphone enthusiast out there.

Today, we came across a leak revealing the alleged names of three devices, all of which are said to be destined for Sprint. Starting with the most interesting among the bunch, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch is what Sprint’s version of the almost iconic Galaxy S II smartphone will be known like, according to the rumor. That, of course, lines up well with other insider tips that we’ve stumbled upon, so the leak that we are dealing with today might be onto something after all.

The leaked image revealing the names of the three upcoming devices

The leaked image revealing the names of the three upcoming devices

The second smartphone that we are getting familiar with today is known as the HTC EVO Design 4G, which is the name suggested for the upcoming HTC Kingdom. Now, we are witnessing somewhat of a paradox forming here as the Kingdom might also hit the market as the HTC Hero 4G, yet this monicker has not been officially confirmed either. What is said about the HTC Kingdom is that it will pack a 4-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz Qualcomm chipset, 5-megapixel camera and, of course, a WiMAX radio.

Last but not least, the Motorola Admiral is rumored to be another Sprint-bound cellphone, and by the lack of the 4G designation in its name we are assuming that it will not be sitting anywhere near the carrier’s top-tier smartphones. Sadly, the leak remains silent and does not reveal any further details about the device.

Bear in mind that all there is to back up the alleged names of these three devices is the black and white image you see here, so it would probably be wise if you file this under “rumors” for now. Chances are, however, that if the leak is on the right track, we will be hearing more news about these phones pretty soon.

source: Engadget

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NVIDIA says that there are no compatibility issues between Tegra 2 and LTE

NVIDIA-says-that-there-are-no-compatibility-issues-between-Tegra-2-and-LTERumors have been circulating that the NVIDIA Tegra 2’s inability to work well on Verizon’s 4G LTE network caused the scrapping of the original Motorola DROID Bionic, which is expected to be released later this year as a completely different phone than originally planned. The same reasoning is behind the speculation that the inability of the Tegra 2 CPU to mesh with Verizon’s 4G pipelines caused the LTE update to the Motorola XOOM to happen just now, a little late, as we reported yesterday.

Like an angry parent, upset that his/her kid is the subject of some vindictive rumors that he can’t get along with anyone, NVIDIA stood up for its product and said that the Tegra chip has no compatibility issues with LTE. The chip manufacturer brought up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE tablet as an example of how Tegra and LTE play nicely with each other. According to NVIDIA, there is nothing unique about LTE that would prevent Tegra 2 chips from working on it.

Now that NVIDIA has cleared this up, perhaps a play date between the little tykes can be worked out. And at the same time, if Motorola would reveal the reason for the ole’ switcheroo with the DROID Bionic, it could stop another vicious rumor from starting.

source: DroidLife

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March of Heroes is Gameloft’s first title with the Unreal engine to hit iOS and Android

March-of-Heroes-is-Gamelofts-first-title-with-the-Unreal-engine-to-hit-iOS-and-AndroidDespite playing the sulky kid until recently in regards to placing its titles on Android Market, Gameloft is undoubtedly one of the best mobile game developers out there. It just revealed a trailer for one of its first games with the Unreal engine graphics technology, and said it will be available for both Android and iOS.

The game is called March of Heroes and is (obviously) a first-person shooter, everyone’s favorite genre. The graphics are breathtaking, we have to admit, so we can’t wait for this title to hit the application stores.

When exactly will March of Heroes be released, and how much it will cost are minor details that Gameloft didn’t consider necessary to tell us. Have a look at Gameloft’s official March of Heroes trailer in the video below.

via GSMArena

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My dual-core is better than your single-core, or is it?

My-dual-core-is-better-than-your-single-core-or-is-itAsk not for a dual-core gadget, ask what dual-core can do for you” is the way we would rephrase Kennedy’s famous saying. Should we feel left in the dust next time someone flaunts their extra CPU core in our face, or can we live a long happy life with a single-core gadget? We’ll try to answer that question now that the first dual-core smartphones and tablets are lined up on the retail shelves, next to The Flash superhero comics.

We won’t bother you with the technical details behind dual-core chipsets, we’ve written a separate article on that, if you want to know more. We’d rather point out that in this very moment you can get as much slick user interface and apps, high-definition video recording, and fast browsing from a WP7 handset, for example, with its two-year old single core 65nm processor, as from the first dual-core phones, whose chipsets are produced with the 45nm ARM Cortex-A9 design.

The typical user wouldn’t even notice that their brand new WP7 phone is sporting 2009 tech, since the platform is optimized for this exact CPU, and because of that, it runs faster and smoother than even some Android overlays powered by two Cortex-A9 cores. Not to mention how oily iOS and adjacent apps move on the iPhone 4, for instance, whose silicon is circa 2010…

Read the rest of the article at PhoneArena.com!

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Another Samsung Galaxy S II ad is uncovered; no Voice Talk promo on this one

Another-Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-ad-is-uncovered-no-Voice-Talk-promo-on-this-oneSamsung keeps churning ads out for the Galaxy S II at such a pace, it might make your head spin. At least this time, the Korean based manufacturer decided to steer clear of controversial topics like texting while driving. In fact, there is no mention of the Voice Talk technology that the last two ads had championed.

This time, we are shown how thin the Samsung Galaxy S II really is. At 8.49mm, the device is thin enough to (Spoiler Alert!) slip under a door. Actually, by the time the ad ends, you are not sure if our hero actually gets his phone-or his girlfriend-back.

The device is expected to launch in the U.K. on May 1st as we reported, and so far, Samsung has kept mum on its plans for this handset regarding the U.S. But with the success the company had with the original Galaxy S Stateside, we would imagine that the unit will eventually make that trip over the ocean. And until then, there probably will be a few more commercials made that not only extol the many features of the Galaxy S II, but also let U.S. cellphone fans see what they are missing out on-at least for now.

source: YouTube via AndroidCentral

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Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY comes with 60 games at launch

Sony-Ericsson-Xperia-PLAY-comes-with-60-games-at-launchThe Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY is everything a PS gamer could have ever wanted in a phone… but wait, what about the games? We only had a couple of titles available for the first PlayStation-certified handset up until recently, but this – Sony Ericsson promises – has already started to change as a total of more than 60 games have been made available within the first week of the launch of the phone. That number doesn’t include only PS releases – other gamepad optimized titles are counted as well. The company also confirmed that Asphalt 6 will come with a price tag of zero, which we would gladly accept.

In addition, Sony Ericsson pledges to a “steady flow” of new titles. The company has partner relations with more than 20 developers including Havok, Unity and Android developers. With a rumored launch of the handset in mere two weeks on Verizon, that’s welcome news. A list of all available titles follows below, but if you still haven’t made up your mind, feel free to take a look at our in-depth look at the gaming capabilities of the Xperia PLAY!

source: Sony Ericsson

Games available within the first week of launch:

* Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior from Digital Legends (pre-installed)

* FIFA 2010 from EA Mobile (pre-installed**)

* Sims 3 from EA Mobile (pre-installed**)

* Star Battalion from Gameloft (pre-installed**)

* Tetris from EA mobile (pre-installed**)

* Asphalt 6 from Gameloft (free to download)

* Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave from Trendy Entertainment

* Galaxy on Fire 2 from Fishlabs

* Assassins Creed from Gameloft

* Need for Speed SHIFT from EA Mobile

* Worms from EA Mobile

* Nova 2 from Gameloft

* Modern Combat Black Pegasus from Gameloft

* Guns n Glory from Handygames

* Reckless Racing from Polarbit

* Real Football 2011from Gameloft

* Gun Bros from Glu Mobile

* Racer Luma from Arcade/Unity

* Cordy from SilverTree Media

* Aporkalypse from Handygames

* Brothers in Arms Global Front from Gameloft

* Guerrilla Bob from Angry Mob Games/Unity

* Let’s Golf 2 from Gameloft

* Zenonia 2 from Gamevil

* Cyberlords from Handygames

* Guitar Hero™ Warriors of Rock Mobile from Glu Mobile

* Age of Zombies from Halfbrick Studios

* Spectral Souls from HyperDevBox Japan

* Splinter Cell Conviction from Gameloft

* Air Attack from Art in Games/Unity

* Armageddon Squadron from Polarbit

* Uno from Gameloft

* InfeCCt from Handygames

* Spiderman total Mayhem from Gameloft

* Millionaire City from Digital Chocolate

* Avatar from Gameloft

* Raging Thunder 2from Polarbit

* Homerun Battle 3D from Com2us Games

* Aftermath XHD from Jakyl

* I Must Run from GameLion

* Baseball Superstars 2011from Gamevil

* Ground Effect Pro from Jakyl

* ZeNonia from Gamevil

* Super KO Boxing 2 from Glu Mobile

* Farm Story from Team Lava

* Wave Blazer from Polarbit

* Soccer Superstars from Gamevil

* Battle Bears from Skyvu

* Tower Blocks New York from Digital Chocolate

* Super Dynamite Fishing from Handygames

* Iron Sight from Polarbit

* Toonwarz from Polarbit

* Restaurant Story from Team Lava

* Escape from AMA

* Raving Babies from AMA

* Bakery Story from Team Lava

* Denki Blocks! Deluxe from Jakyl

* Rollercoaster Rush from Digital Chocolate

PlayStation original games:

* Crash Bandicoot® from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

* Cool Boarders 2 from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

* Destruction Derby from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

* Jumping Jack Flash from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

* MediEvil™ from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

* Syphon Filter™ from Sony Computer Entertainment

* In France Syphon Filter™ will be pre-installed on Xperia PLAY.

** Pre-install may vary by territory

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Angry Birds Rio Review

Angry-Birds-Rio-ReviewIntroduction

When we first heard of Angry Birds maker Rovio partnering with Hollywood, we thought that the end-result could be something pretty amazing. And now it’s here – Angry Birds Rio, named after the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie Rio, its storyline centers around the Marvelous City. But this time it’s not the evil pigs that attacked the Brazilian city, but rather a quest to unleash the anger of the familiar birdies on a number of cages holding their enslaved brother-birds and even… monkeys! The end comes with a cinematic twist facing your feathered heroes against the villain boss. To get to this climactic end you have to go through two chapters of catapulting madness, so let’s take a look at what you should expect out of Rio.

Read the full story at PhoneArena.com!

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HTC ChaCha Hands-on

HTC-ChaCha-Hands-onThe HTC ChaCha is a young and hip phone for all the socially connected cool kids in town with a dedicated Facebook button, which lets them easily share content on the go. Add in the full portrait QWERTY keyboard and Facebook’s own Zuckerberg words about multiple upcoming devices having social at its core, we were thrilled to get our eyes on the ChaCha.

Design-wise the HTC ChaCha is a candybar styled phone with a distinct curvature beginning under the screen. This makes the bottom part with the keyboard to stand at a slight angle when compared to the upper part with the screen. It looks somewhat like the chin on the HTC Salsa or the European version of the original HTC Hero, but it is a bigger one. While this is not something major, it seems to help get a better viewing angle when typing…

Read the whole hands-on at PhoneArena.com!

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Gingerbread already ported to a few HTC phones, including the basic Wildfire

Even though Google divorced HTC for its “pure Android” Nexus line of phones, and turned over to the current hardware juggernaut Samsung, HTC’s phones are still at the forefront of taking a bite out of the Gingerbread craze. HTC EVO 4G, HTC Droid Eris, HTC Hero and even the humble HTC Wildfire have all been spotted running Gingerbread in different stages of porting, and with various non-working components, thanks to the Android 2.3 SDK released the other day.

Not the real deal, but good proof of concept that Android 2.3 is about as resource-hungry as Froyo, and can run even on lowly chipsets. The rumors that it will require at least a 1GHz CPU have been quite off-target, it seems. When the real deal gets extracted from the Google Nexus S after release, we should be seeing Gingerbread ROMs popping up all over the place for various devices, and we can also bet a Cyanogen mod will come in no time, so all of us with older rooted devices should be able to take a bite.

via IntoMobile

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