As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.
But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent. Read more
Microsoft has closed a patent licensing deal with ZTE, one of the top five manufacturers of Android smartphones.
The deal is Microsoft’s first with a leading Chinese company, marking an important milestone in the software giant’s multi-year campaign to squeeze licensing revenues out of smartphone vendors and manufacturers.
“Experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street,” said Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel for Microsoft, “and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.” Read more
The launch of Google+ Sign-In five weeks ago seems likely to lead to a big conversion to mobile apps and favour the Android ecosystem, with Google announcing today that hundreds of websites are now adopting the common authentication method.
Google+ Sign-In saves users having to remember their logins for different services, similar to Facebook Connect, but the VentureBeat Mobile Summit was told it also is serving as a powerful tool to introduce them to app versions of the websites they visit. Read more
Google’s latest addition to its hardware range, the Nexus 10, has landed. This time Google partnered with Samsung to produce an iPad-beating spec sheet and what they tout as the ‘highest resolution display in the world’. Priced at £319 in the UK and $399 in the US, could the Nexus 10 tempt Android holdouts? Read more
At a time when the future of game consoles has never looked less rosy, along comes Ouya, another box for under the TV set with the backing of none of the major publishers.
Unpromising? Certainly. But the price ($99), the design (Yves Behar coolness) and the concept (an open platform for every type of free-to-play game out there) could give the startup a fighting chance of success with consumers. Read more
With the $199 Nexus 7, reviewed in this week’s Personal Technology column, Google risks undercutting and antagonising tablet manufacturers that have backed its Android operating system.
Alongside the Nexus, I have been testing two such tablets just launched by Toshiba that come in at more than double its price. An assessment of whether their extra features are worth the premium is after the jump. Read more
by Dan Thomas, Telecoms Correspondent
Google is taking Chrome mobile for the first time with the introduction of its web browser across the Android phone platform.
The company promises to make surfing the web a seamless experience from desktop to phone by allowing users to sync opened web pages, bookmarks and preferences across devices. Read more