Software and games

Slacker revamps logo, apps, and Web site

SAN FRANCISCO--At an invite-only press event in San Francisco, popular streaming music service Slacker Radio last night unveiled a completely revamped brand. The company's name remains, but Slacker's look and feel have been significantly simplified.

Of course, with the rebrand, Slacker's Web site and product designs have been updated with cleaner, more modern looks as well. Gone are the dark tones, textures, and gradients that crowded Slacker's interfaces in the past. Now, Slacker's multiplatform face is made up of brighter colors, clean lines, and lots of white space, which bring it more in line with … Read more

Opera embraces WebKit in browser brain transplant

Opera Software, an independent voice in the browser market since the 1990s, will dramatically change its strategy this year by adopting the WebKit browser engine used by Safari and Chrome.

The Norwegian company announced the move today and said it will show off the first fruits of the work with a WebKit-based version of its Android browser at the Mobile World Congress show in less than two weeks. But the company will move to WebKit for its desktop browser, too.

A browser engine processes the Web page instructions written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS then renders the results on screens. … Read more

Government competition brings best of British mobile innovation to MWC

Along with the latest smartphone releases from Nokia, LG and more, this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, will play host to 20 of Britain's most innovative mobile companies thanks to the Smart U.K. competition.

The competition -- organized in association with U.K. government body U.K. Trade and Investment (UKTI) -- saw over 60 British-based companies enter, which was narrowed down to 20 by an expert judging panel. All 20 will be given entry to Mobile World Congress by UKTI -- although they'll have to pay for their own flights and accommodation -- … Read more

Viewdle could lead to multi-user profiles for Android tablets

When I read the news this morning that Motorola had acquired facial and gesture recognition company Viewdle, the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Here comes multi-user profiles for Android."

Why? Because it's the next logical step for the platform, and one that could help differentiate it from Apple. That, and it's something for which I'm really hoping. Assuming I read the tea leaves properly, future versions of Android will introduce the capability to unlock a device with your face that leads to individual profile settings. … Read more

HTC: Rumors of Beats removal 'categorically false'

As I told you last week, HTC is hoping to put its slumping Android fortunes, by mounting a comeback. And just as it is in sports, a lot of people (myself included) love to play Monday-morning quarterback and toss out suggestions.

Sometimes these suggestions quickly turn into rumors and half-truths that need official clarification, which is the exactly the case with recent whispers that HTC would drop Beats Audio technology from its future Android devices in an effort to cut costs.

While HTC had to sell back part of its stake in Beats Electronics and it has stopped bundling Beats headphonesRead more

Spotify unleashes new Android app

Spotify has unveiled its latest Android app, which now includes a faster, streamlined interface and higher sound quality than before.

The app has full support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and features a new tile-based, "slide-out" navigation with support for high-resolution art.

As far as playback features are concerned, the app includes crossfade and gapless playback, support for "Extreme" 320kbps files, and Last.fm scrobbling.

The app promises a deeper experience than before with enhanced support for friends playlists and profile pages, a "related artists" view, a playback queue, and folder support for better organization of playlists.… Read more

Motorola clarifies Ice Cream Sandwich update schedule

At some point within the next four to six weeks, Motorola plans to deploy Android 4.0 to the Droid Razr, Droid Razr Maxx, and Xoom 3G/4G LTE.

According to the company's recently updated owner's forum, the three models will see Ice Cream Sandwich by the second quarter of this year. Also, in the second half of the year, Motorola now expects to issue the update to the Droid Bionic, Droid 4, and Xyboard tablets.

It's not all good news, however, as Motorola indicated that the Droid X2 and Droid 3 will remain on Android 2.… Read more

T-Mobile to scoop Android 4.0 update to HTC Sensation 4G

After a number of delays and just a bit of finger-pointing, T-Mobile finally is set to deliver Android 4.0 to the HTC Sensation 4G.

As one of the carrier's premier smartphones of 2011, the HTC handset should only get better when it picks up Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) on May 16. The details of the update are listed on T-Mobile's support page along with guidelines for performing the update. … Read more

What Android might bring us from CTIA

Next week as wireless fans descend on New Orleans for the annual CTIA Wireless show, we'll get one more peek at how the mobile landscape will unfold over the coming months. Previously held in March, but moved to May for 2012, the three-day event takes a North American focus while including the wireless movers and shakers from around the world.

At previous shows, carriers have pulled back the curtain on high-profile Android smartphones and tablets. In 2010, for example, Sprint announced the HTC Evo 4G and last year we got the slimmed-down Galaxy Tab 10.1. So considering the rapid clip of mobile development, it stands to reason that this year will be no exception, right? … Read more

Samsung Canada bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to nine Galaxy devices

All eyes are on Samsung this week as it unveils what has arguably become the company's most anticipated Android smartphone to date.

First, however, Sammy has a bit of software business to tend to. Indeed, Samsung Canada today announced that it is making Android 4.0 available to a number of smartphones and tablets in the Galaxy series.

Starting today and rolling out over the remainder of the quarter, Ice Cream Sandwich will deploy to notable devices north of the border, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Galaxy Note. Though the exact dates for the … Read more