Daily Deal: New 16GB Toshiba Thrive For $329.99

Have you been jealous of your friends with their iPads? Of course not! However, when you see your buddy with his Xoom and your girlfriend with her Tab 10.1, your heart sinks as you turn green with envy. Well no more, if you are looking for a tablet with ports up the wazoo then look no further. For today only, the 16GB Toshiba Thrive is available through Buy.com’s Ebay page for $329.99 with free shipping, but as with any daily deal – supplies are limited as is the time.

The Thrive has full HDMI and USB support, a full SD card slot, and a replaceable battery – all of these things can justify the bulkiness of the device. The tablet ships with Android 3.1 Honeycomb and has the usual dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Additionally, Toshiba has added a built-in file management system to help you access those files that you can never seem to locate. To take advantage of this deal be sure to visit the source link.

Via: Ebay

More Signs Of Google Music Coming To The Android Market

When visiting music.google.com from your Android device last night, you were presented with the above image. Reports have been circulating that Google is looking to launch their own music store within the coming weeks. When the page above launched, the “Learn More” and “Shop Android Market” links were both unresponsive. However, the first link will now lead you to Google’s introduction page for Music Manager, and the second has since been removed. It seems as if we found something before Google intended it to be found.

When ever I am listening to music on my device, and I am not on Pandora, I am using Google Music. While I can’t store all of my songs, I am fine with having 20,000 accessible anywhere. It will be interesting to see how Google will price various songs and how well they compete against Amazon and Apple.

 Via: TechCrunch, News On Droid

New Winamp Released, Includes Android Pro Bundle and Mac Sync

The Android Winamp app has received quite a significant update today, which is now available in the Android Market. The update includes the new Pro Bundle – a package of premium features, enhancements and customizations. The update also contains a customizable home screen, crossfade, gapless playback, FLAC playback support, browse by folders and more.

Additionally, Winamp now features Mac OSX support, granting users the ability to import their iTunes playlist. The Mac Sync will be able to sync music from your Android device to your Mac, and vice-versa.

While the app itself is free, the Pro Bundle will be available as an in-app purchase for $4.99. Winamp has always been a great program, from Windows to Android, however is this new bundle worth $4.99 – especially with numerous alternatives.   (more…)

Apple Wins “Slide To Unlock” Patent, More Lawsuits Imminent?

Yesterday, the United States Patent & Trademark Office issued a patent grant to Apple for their Slide to Unlock gesture. Since the release of the iPhone this gesture has been seen in almost every phone, found in both Android and WebOS. The USPT Office has described what other companies are now restricted from including in their touch-senstivie operating systems:

“The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device.”

In layman’s terms, companies who use a simple slide to unlock gesture will be violating Apple’s patent. However, is this really Apple’s patent? Well according to the United States Patent Office, yes it is – even though a Dutch court has ruled it invalid. The court ruled that the slide to unlock patent is invalid because of the Neonode N1m, an early Swedish smartphone. In the video below (around the 4:00 mark) you can see the N1m uses an early slide to unlock feature, thus proving that “prior art” existed.   (more…)

The Problem With Mobile Devices, The Price Tag [Opinion]

Standards in the mobile industry have been few and far between in the past. However, cellphone manufactures have recently done away with their different chargers and have adopted the microUSB. While the addition of the microUSB has been much appreciated, there have been other adopted standards that are just unbelievable.

Somewhere, someone thought of the magical price tag of $199.99 as the fair price for a top of the line smartphone, that is with a two-year agreement of course. If you were to buy one of these incredible mobile devices off contract it would run you an upwards of $500 – which is just ridiculous. A majority of these smartphones cost anywhere from $150-$200 to produce, yet these corporations feel inclined to market them with a 100% price increase. You then receive the two-year contract discount, which in the end has you paying much much more. Think about it, every 14-18 months you are spending $199 on a new phone and continue to lock yourself into your (most likely) expensive contract.

Now with the introduction of 4G, service providers are again increasing the price of their plans and smartphones. I plan on pre-ordering the Galaxy Nexus the moment it is available – even with that $299 price tag. However, this mobile phone will cost me more than an Xbox 360, PS3, or even a new HD television – if I was to buy it off contract it would cost me more than some computers.

Just think about it, how much will a 5G phone cost, or better yet a new quad-core one? These prices are absurd, why do we continue to buy into them?

Did The XOOM 2 Just Pass Through The FCC?

A mystery Motorola device just cruised through the FCC and it may have been the XOOM 2. The device is marked with an FCC ID of 56MJ3, which marks it as part of Moto’s flagship tablet line. The documents state the this mystery device will sport a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI out and have a 1200 x 800 display. Additionally, it will be available in 16, 32 and 64GB models and has both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Could this be the Motorola XOOM 2, or perhaps another variant of the original XOOM? However, the specs due resemble the leaked ones we posted a month ago, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Via: Engadget, FCC

Ice Cream Sandwich Enables The Use Of Gamepads And Controllers For Your Device

Romain Guy, an Android engineer, sent out an interesting tweet this afternoon. According to Mr. Guy, Ice Cream Sandwich will let users use USB gamepads to enhance your mobile gaming experience. While some of you may just see this as another accessory you will have to spend money on, this is pretty exciting news for any gamer.

I’ve previously used Xbox controllers on my computer and it delivers a new and exciting experience to computer gaming. While some Android games work just fine on our small devices, others feel cramped and deliver a lackluster experience. Am I the only gamer smiling about this news – are any of you with me?

Via: Twitter

Steve Jobs Really Disliked Android and Google

The much anticipated book about Steve Jobs’ life is set to be released this Monday. The book, which is simply titled “Steve Jobs”, was written by Walter Isaacson and is the only authorized biography about the Cupertino CEO.

According to the AP (who received an early copy), the book provides insight into Jobs’ relationships with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors with the launch of Android.

Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google’s actions amounted to “grand theft.”

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Jobs used an expletive to describe Android and Google Docs, Google’s Internet-based word processing program. In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, California, cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn’t interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says.

“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.” The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.

We all remember the picture of Schmidt and Jobs at a California cafe that Gizmodo captured back in 2010 – perhaps this meeting was not the civil one that we once thought. I personally pre-ordered the book and I am excited to learn about the private life of Mr. Jobs, and of course see what other swipes may have been taken against Android. Will anyone else be picking up a copy?

Via: AP