Nokia Biggest Contributor to Android Codebase After Google, Individuals

Earlier this year, Nokia, the biggest phone manufacturer in the world decided to join forces with Microsoft to create their next lineup of smartphones. The decision surprised many as people thought that Nokia would play it safe and develop phones using both Windows Phone 7 and .

Android Contributors

In the process, Nokia made their flagship OS a secondary in the company and Android as a competitor. However, this news might come as a big surprise to many people.

According to research done by Libre Software Research (via Carlodaffara), Nokia is the biggest contributor to Android source code after Google and some other independent committers. In fact Nokia has more commits in the codebase than Motorola, and Intel.

Having a look at the name of the domains, it is very surprising that Nokia is one of the most active contributors. This is a real paradox, the company that states that Android is its main competition helps it!. One of the effects of using libre software licenses for your work is that even your competition can use your code, currently there are Nokia commits in the following repositories:

  • git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/external/dbus
  • git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/external/bluetooth/bluez

The research shows that 90% of the commits to Android codebase was done by Google employees using email addresses ending with google.com or android.com, while users with a nokia.com email address had more than 762 commits.

Apparently Nokia was the one who funded the dbus; a message bus system for applications to talk to each other and bluez; the official Bluetooth protocol stack for Linux which were later on taken up by Google for Android.

This is definitely an irony that Nokia contributes so much to a system it calls it’s competition. However, that is how the Open Source community works, no bias, just code.

Note: The research conducted by Libre Software took 171 GIT repositories into consideration and did not include the Linux Kernel in it’s analysis.

Motorola Defy Android 2.2 FroYo Update Rolling Out Now

It was around a week ago that Motorola and AT&T started rolling out the Android 2.2 update for the Bravo.

Now, T-Mobile has also started rolling out the Froyo update for the Motorola Defy the carrier’s version of the Motorola Bravo. The update is a manual one, and is available via OTA (Over-The-Air).

motorola_defy

Defy owners are recommended to use Wi-Fi to download the OTA, since it weighs in at a whopping 122MB. The new software update (v34.4.9) will bring it support for Flash Player 10.1, performance improvements, an improved web browser, ability to install apps on the memory card and better voice-to-text input.

Along with this, Motorola has also added Profiles feature, a Task Manager, Wi-Fi hotspot support, smart dialing and a new Gallery app, with an updated UI.

The full change-log of the software update can be found here. Motorola will also soon start rolling out the Android 2.2 Froyo update for the Defy owners, in Europe.

In all probability, the Android 2.2 FroYo update for the Defy will be its last major software update.

Motorola Droid Pro Software Update Rolling Out Now

Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out a new software update for their business oriented Droid the Droid Pro.

The new software update (v2.26.60) is brings with it hosts of enhancements and bug fixes. The software update will improve the Bluetooth performance, voice call quality and the general performance and stability of the handset.

Droid_Pro

Here is the official change-log from Motorola :

Enhancements:

  • Improved audio on voice calls.
  • Improved stability and performance.
  • User interface display now refreshes when user switches from GSM/UMTS communication to Global Mode.
  • Device now prepends 011 to Country Code to send SMS messages.
  • Global Mode no longer resets when connecting to a USB charger.
  • Visual Voice Mail now detects airplane mode while Wi-Fi is active.
  • Prompt return to full screen brightness after wake-up.
  • Upgraded Bluetooth firmware.
  • Improved interoperability with Microsoft Internet Application Gateway (IAG) configurations.
  • Device string format for Exchange changed to include device name and version number.
  • Upgrade to Google applications Release 7.

Other Improvements:

  • Improved audio during voice calls.
  • Reduced user interface lock-ups.

Droid Pro users can manually check for the update, by going to Menu->Settings->About Phone and selecting the System Updates option.

Hopefully, Motorola will also release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Droid Pro sometime in the future.

Dell Streak Pro: 10 inch Android Tablet, Launching June 2011

Dell hasn’t had much luck with its Android offerings. The Dell Streak, a smartphone-tablet hybrid wasn’t really selling much, and was widely considered to be a flop. Dell announced the Dell Streak 7 tablet at CES 2011. It will be launching soon in the US and is already available in the UK.

We reported on the rumored 10 inch Android tablet that Dell was working on, around 3 weeks ago. Today, Dell’s tablet roadmap for 2011 has leaked out. It gives us details about Dell’s tablet strategy as well as the tablet launches it has planned for the year.

Dell will be launching three tablets in 2011. The Dell Streak Pro will be a Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet with a 10 inch WXGA display (1280 x 800 pixels). It will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra T25 processor and will come with mics for video chat. It will also have an “enterprise application stack” and the Dell Stage 1.5 UI on top of Honeycomb. It will be launched in June 2011.

Dell Streak Pro

The other two tablets – Dell Latitude ST and Latitude XT-3 – will run Windows 7. The Latitude ST has a 10 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and a 1.5 GHz Intel Oak Trail CPU with 2 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD support. The Latitude XT-3 will have a 13 inch display with the Intel Huron River processor and 4 GB RAM. The Latitude ST will be launched in October while the Latitude XT-3 is slated for a July launch.

Samsung Fights Back Against Apple; Files 10 Patent Infringement Claims

Apple sued Samsung just about a week ago, filing a patent infringement lawsuit alleging that the Galaxy range of devices by Samsung were copied from the Apple iPhone and iPad. It was a very bold move by Apple, considering that Samsung is a major component supplier for Apple products.

Today, as expected, Samsung has fired back at Apple, filing 10 different patent infringement claims against Apple over the iPhone and the iPad. The lawsuits were filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany and are related to “power reduction during data transmission, 3G technology for reducing errors during data transmission, and wireless data communication technology.”

“On April 21, Samsung Electronics filed a lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court, Korea against Apple Inc. citing five patent infringements. Separately, Samsung filed a suit in a court in Tokyo, Japan citing two patent infringements, and in Manheim, Germany citing three patent infringements.

Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business.” the official statement said.

Samsung’s Galaxy S has been the most popular Android phone of the year, and the closest competitor of the iPhone. Samsung also plans to launch the Galaxy S 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 soon, which will compete with the iPhone 4/5 (which will be launching late this year) and the iPad 2.

US Army Chooses Android Over iPhone For Its Soldiers

US Army has been thinking about handing a smartphone to all its soldiers for a while now, but the age old dilemma of Android vs iPhone delayed things. However, things seems to be moving ahead as the Army has decided to go with Android technology instead of the iPhone.

The platform used by Army will not be the default Android OS that an average consumer uses, rather, it will be tweaked in specifications and features and would be called Joint Battle Command Platform. Army is designing and customizing the software internally, but all the details have not been finalized yet. As with any smartphone, third-party developers will be able to develop apps for this platform just like they do for consumer-oriented phones. On the other hand, Army is also working to internally build a number of mission critical apps including a mapping program and a messaging tool.

Analysts think that Apple’s relatively closed architecture and smaller choice of hardware, prompted the Army officials to go with Android. With a launch target of fiscal year 2013, Army hopes it will be able to equip every soldier with a smartphone, hence, nurturing a stronger communication network within the institution.

The system is expected to be established enough by October this year, so that it can be tested rigorously.

[Via CrunchGear]

Samsung Galaxy Ace Android 2.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

Samsung is quite popular for poor software support of their Android smartphones. The company only committed to releasing the Android OS updates for the Galaxy S handsets, and never mentioned anything about other Galaxy branded handsets.

The company did release the Android 2.2 FroYo update for the Galaxy 3, but has kept mum on the Galaxy S L and the Galaxy Ace Android 2.3 Gingerbread update.

Samsung_Galaxy_Ace

However, it looks like the Galaxy Ace will get the Gingerbread love from Samsung. The folks over at SamFirmware have managed to get their hands on a leaked Gingerbread firmware for the Ace.

Users who flashed this firmware on their handset did report some performance and stability issues. The leaked ROM has quite a few bugs as well. Other than this, the ROM features some updated items and the new goodies brought about by the Android OS update.

This leak does confirm that the Galaxy Ace will get the Gingerbread update from Samsung. Hopefully, Sammy will also release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread RM for the Galaxy S L. Nevertheless, it’s still nice to see Samsung releasing Android OS updates for a mid-range phone.

Interested Galaxy Ace owners can head over to SamFirmware.com and download the leaked Gingerbread firmware for their handset.

T-Mobile Offers $100 Discount To G-Slate Via Telesales

T-Mobile G-Slate is the LG’s first tablet device which was announced at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. It runs on the latest Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. T-Mobile G-Slate is the re-branded version of the LG Optimus Pad. This device has been recently released in the US and it is exclusively available on the airwaves of T-Mobile. If you are planning to buy this tablet, then we will share a secret code, which will help you to get a $100 discount on T-Mobile G-Slate via Telesales. Until then, check out the complete specs below.

lg g slate

T-Mobile G-Slate features a 8.9 inch touchscreen display, 1 GHz Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with 2D recording in full HD (1080p) and 3D video recording in HD (720p), 32GB internal memory, GPS, up to 273 hours stand-by time, up to 9 hours video playback and much more.

To get a $100 discount, you will just need to call T-Mobile Telesales at 1-866-464-8662 and select option 3. After that, order the T-Mobile G-Slate and mention the code “GSLATE100″. This device is priced at $599 on contract, but you will get this device for just $499. This offer is valid till April 27th, so go ahead and order your T-Mobile G-Slate.

[ via. TMO News ]

Android Patent Infringement on Linux Costs Google $5 Million

Google has faced a tough challenge in the form of numerous patent infringement claims coming from  Bedrock Computer Technologies, a company that is inactive as a company now. The case has been ruled in favor of Bedrock and Google will have to pay $5 million for infringement on a particular technology that is patented to Bedrock Computer Technologies.
google-logo
The ruling of the case is questionable for developers in the Linux and the Android ecosystem. Zdnet writes,

Bedrock (a company that is no longer active) sued Google over a relatively obscure patent it held on the use of linked lists with automatically expiring records.

The ruling judge charged Google with the statement,

Google failed to invalidate the patent even though a more defendant-friendly standard — the one also advocated by Microsoft [in recent suits] was used than the one preferred by the US government and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC)

Google has created an exclusive club with Android that lets people use most of its services seamlessly. The tight integration of Google services with Android is definitely one of the reasons Google is advocating this platform.

Situations like these happen when tech giants make money by using and modifying Open Source code in their products. It becomes extremely important to review these codes for any possible patent infringement and watch out for scavengers like these.

Motorola Droid X^2 First Press Shots Emerge

We have already seen the leaked pics and videos of the upcoming Motorola Droid X^2 in the wild. But now, the first press shots of this powerful smartphone has been emerged. Motorola Droid X^2 is the successor of the Motorola’s popular Droid X smartphone. Earlier the phone was called as Droid X2, but the branding reveals that, the phone will be called as Droid X^2 (X-squared). This handset looks quite similar to the original Droid X. Check out the leaked press shots below.

motorola droid x2

The complete specs of this handset is still unknown, since this handset is not announced yet. But, this device is expected to come with the same 4.3 inch touchscreen display. Other rumored specs include a 1.2 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, Android OS, 8 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording, 3.5 mm headset jack, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, HDMI port, 768 MB RAM and more.

Apart from the specs, this handset does not have a physical camera button. We are still not sure, if this handset will come with the Android Froyo or Gingerbread Operating System. This handset is expected to be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates.

[ Image Credit ]