Where there's smoke, you'll often find fire, which turned out to be the case when it was rumored Amazon was working on a low-cost tablet, a device that would turn out be the Kindle Fire. Now we're hearing that Amazon wants to try its hand at the smartphone business. It was being reported less than a week ago that Amazon was in the process of collecting patents as part of its upcoming smartphone strategy, and now there's chatter that Amazon is currently testing what it hopes to be a game changing device.
If you're a Sprint customer using a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone, there's plenty of blame to go around for why your universal search feature is now broken, provided you installed the latest security update. You can blame Apple, which holds U.S. patent number 8,086,604 related to "using a plurality of heuristic algorithms" to search multiple locations at once. You can blame U.S. patent law and hate the game, not the player. Samsung and its legal team deserve a bit of scorn for not putting together a better legal defense, and Sprint gets some blame for not making it clear that Galaxy SIII owners were about to lose their 'Quick Search' feature by installing the latest update.
At a time when Apple has been successful in suing competing products right off of store shelves for allegedly copying the look and feel of the iPhone, Amazon fully understands what's at stake as it looks to enter the smartphone market. Oh, haven't you heard? Amazon is indeed looking to make a run at the iPhone with a mobile phone of its own, just as soon as it collects enough patents to fend off Apple's aggressive legal strategy.
The phone formerly known as Dinara just got an official debut from Motorola, and will henceforth be referred to as the Atrix HD. It's a third generation Atrix device destined for AT&T, and it will bring with it a 4.5-inch HD ColorBoost display with a 720x1280 resolution (720p), 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage flanked by a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of additional user-added storage.
Rectangular keyboards reign supreme, but there are a number of alternatives available that purportedly offer better ergonomics. Some of them feature rather minor tweaks, like the curvy Microsoft Natural keyboard, and others are downright funky (we're looking at you, Maltron). Could the same principle be applied to virtual planks on smartphones? Microsoft may be getting ready to answer that question with Windows Phone 8.
In all likelihood, Google's unlocked Galaxy Nexus will be the first smartphone to come with Android 4.1 (otherwise known as "Jelly Bean") pre-installed. We believe this to be true because Google inadvertently tipped its hand in a Google Play listing for the Galaxy Nexus in which a product description touted it as the first "first phone with Android 4.1," a description that has since been removed.
At long last, Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone has crossed the U.S. border, having already shipped to more than two dozen other countries last month. T-Mobile gets first dibs on Samsung's newest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device, with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular planning to offer the smartphone "in-store and online within the next several weeks," Samsung says. Odd wording by Samsung since AT&T is scheduled to offer the Galaxy S III sometime today as well (currently is listed as "Due Today" on AT&T's website).
Remember when Samsung and Dropbox announced some time back that Galaxy S III smartphone owners would enjoy an extra 48GB of online storage courtesy of Dropbox, which amounted to 50GB after factoring in the 2GB of free storage everyone gets? Well, if that's a selling point for you, be careful selecting a wireless carrier, because not all are willing to participate.
A delay at U.S. Customs over a patent dispute (what else?) with Apple caused the HTC One X to arrive in the States a little later than HTC would have liked, but it's here now, and available to purchase on AT&T's website for $200 with a 2-year voice agreement and qualifying monthly data plan. Brick-and-mortar goers will be able to snag the One X starting on June 10, 2012 (this coming Sunday).
It's a mobile world we're living in, and everyone's along for the ride. That includes Microsoft, maker of the Xbox 360 console, which is reportedly going to unlock the capability for developers to stream game content to mobile phones and tablets so that gamers can use them as companion devices, adding a whole new dimension to gaming. Look for an official announcement to come soon.