Google brings YouTube movie rentals and eBooks to the UK

UK users are waking up to a ton of new content courtesy of Google and, specifically, courtesy of the YouTube rental service previously only available in the U.S. and Canada.

With over 1,000 titles to choose from, the service will offer 48 hour retails ranging from £2.49 to £3.49. It’s of course available via the “Movies” link in the upper right of YouTube, but is also accessible through Google TV, Android tablets and certain smartphones running Honeycomb.

From the Official YouTube blog:

We’ve got some cracking films to keep everyone entertained through the upcoming winter months and beyond. From blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Reservoir Dogs, to new releases such as Hanna, Fast Five, and Red Riding Hood, and even British classics like Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

UK customers can head over to youtube.com/movies to check it out.  Read more

Alien Dalvik 2.0 adds iPad support


Android apps running on your iPad? Alien Dalvik makes it possible.

In case you’re not familiar with Alien Dalvik, it is a port of the Dalvik virtual machine, which is the software in Google’s Android operating system responsible for executing Android apps. According to SlashGear, the Myriad Group (the brains behind the Alien Dalvik project) announced support for Apple’s iPad in Alien Dalvik version 2.0.

As a result, the unimaginable (even unholy) becomes possible: You’ll be able to download, install and run Android software on your Apple-branded tablet. Alien Dalvik wraps each Android app file in its own virtual machine so it kinda feels as if you were running a native iPad app. The Myriad Group explains:

From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik 2.0 is completely transparent and installed without user disruption. Users simply enjoy the same rich Android ecosystem they have become accustomed to via mobile on other key screens, such as playing Angry Birds on HDTV. This all while gaining faster access to a wider range of apps, thus encouraging a higher frequency of downloads and increased ARPU.

We assume performance won’t be comparable to native iOS apps and we’re expecting hiccups and compatibility issues. This begs the question: Why would you want to run Android apps on your iPad?

Apple’s iOS software boss Scott Forstall said at Monday’s iPhone 4S introduction that about 140,000 out of the 500,000 apps available on the App Store have been specifically created with iPad in mind. Android apps also aren’t as pretty or delightful as their iOS counterparts. But the fact that most are either free or ad-supported should mean something so we expect some folks will give Alien Dalvik a try. Stay tuned as the team promised to show off Alien Dalvik 2.0 running third-party Android apps on iPad 2 at CTIA 2011 next week.
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Samsung Nexus Prime leaks on video

With those Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots this morning, and all the Nexus Prime hype, it was only a matter of time before we got our first look at the Google super phone on video (via Gadget.ro). We don’t learn a whole lot from the video, but it’s a nice first glimpse at ICS running on the Prime.

Unfortunately, Samsung and Google have postponed their October 12th media event, pushing the unveiling of the Prime back to an unspecified date. We’ll keep you posted, but until then check out the video above and the latest rumored specs here.
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HTC zooms past Acer and Asus to become Taiwan’s leading tech brand

Quite an accomplishment, but not unexpected given HTC’s popularity on its home turf. According to Taiwan Economic News, Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Bureau of Foreign Trade named handset maker HTC the country’s leading technology brand, surpassing even computer maker Acer.

In just twelve months, the HTC brand gained $2.23 billion in value and is now worth an estimated $3.6 billion. Acer and Asus trail behind HTC with their respective brands valued at $1.94 billion and $1.36 billion. Here’s how their CEO  Peter Chou commented the accolade:

You have to make an investment, spend time, and stay patient. Even if we failed, the process would help to produce positive results for Taiwan. We are not content with our current achievements, but will work harder to better compete globally, especially at this time of increasingly intense global competition.

HTC yesterday issued unaudited quarterly earnings, with revenues and net income up in the third quarter 80 and 68 percent, respectively. The company is shooting for shipments of 13.5 million smartphone units during the second half of this year. HTC is ranked the fourth smartphone maker globally. In the June quarter, they were the leading Android vendor and the second-best smartphone maker in the United States.

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Samsung, Google delay Galaxy Nexus launch out of respect for Steve Jobs

Sad news from the Android camp as both Google and Samsung announce (via Pocket-lint) that the Galaxy Nexus, also known as the Nexus Prime, will not launch at the Mobile Unpacked conference October 12 next Wednesday, as originally expected. The two companies provided no explanation for the delay apart from this official statement:

Samsung and Google decide to postpone the new product announcement at CTIA Fall. We agree that it is just not the right time to announce a new product. New date and venue will be shortly announced.

The CTIA conference runs October 11-13, 2011 at San Diego’s Convention Center. The publication speculates that the delay could be related to avoiding a likely media conflict if Steve Jobs’ funeral were to happen that day. The wording of the official statement, that “it is just not the right time to announce a new product”, supports the thesis.

UPDATE: Ina Fried over at the AllThingsD blog quotes unnamed sources who said Google and Samsung “just felt it was the wrong time to hold a launch event, as the world continues mourning Jobs”. Furthermore:

The decision to postpone things was made late last night at the top levels of both companies, sources said, with Jobs’ death being the reason. There are no delays with the product itself, sources insisted.

Samsung and Google later updated their original press statement, which now reads:

We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing.

Another possibility, albeit much less likely, is an unknown patent issue that might need sorting out. 

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Here are some beautiful screenshots of Ice Cream Sandwich

While we’ve already seen it on video, Mobilissimo has gotten their hands-on a few more screenshots of Ice Cream Sandich. You can see the lock screen above, but if you head down south there are a ton more.

Ice Cream Sandwich is due out on October 12th at the Samsung/Google Unpacked event. Along with Ice Cream Sandwich, the Nexus Prime is also expected to be announced. Head on after the break:

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