We’ve written about the Burner iOS app from Ad Hoc Labs in the past on our sister site 9to5Mac– an app that received a lot of attention for its ability to provide temporary numbers for receiving SMS and calls on the iPhone. Today the developers are announcing a major update to the app that introduces a number of new features such a referral program and custom voicemail messages alongside the launch of the Android version of Burner. While temporary burner numbers aren’t free, Ad Hoc Labs is also dropping the $1.99 price tag and making Burner available as a free download starting today.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, police in South Korea searched offices belonging to Samsung yesterday in a raid connected with an ongoing case related to whether or not Samsung was involved in the leaking of trade secrets. Police originally charged six employees from LG Display related to the theft of OLED technology from Samsung. Reports from last year claimed Samsung employees were fired in connection with leaking the technology, and today an LG spokesperson confirmed the latest investigation is related to its OLED TV panel technology:
“The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves,” Son Young Jun, a Seoul-based LG Display spokesman, said by phone today. LG said in July the information its employees were charged with leaking or stealing at the time was widely known in the industry and wasn’t considered to contain trade secrets.
Police in the South Korea wouldn’t comment on yesterday’s raid, but LG reportedly said “it didn’t report Samsung to police in connection with the current investigation.” Read more
Last week, Facebook announced two new products to expand their reach in the mobile market: Facebook Home, a downloadable Facebook-intergrated skin for Android phones and the HTC Facebook First, the first official hardware by the company. The First is scheduled to be released April 12th for $99 exclusively through AT&T. Naturally, the First comes pre-loaded with Facebook Home.
Facebook Home is a downloadable launcher for Android phones only, and a few of its key features such as Chat Heads are getting much praise by reviewers. On the other hand, the First is being criticized for its lack-luster hardware such as the mediocre 5MP camera and lack of a dedicated shutter button.
If you want to read all about Facebook’s new duo of software and hardware, below is a round-up of some of the reviews from around the web…
The HTC First is compelling for two reasons. For Facebook fans, it’s now easier to maintain social connections with friends and family. For the tech-savvy crowd who has little interest in the service, the phone is a stock Android 4.1 device that comes with AT&T LTE, which is still something of a rarity. Including this opt-out was a smart move on Facebook’s part, because it’s difficult to recommend that consumers sign two-year contracts on an unproven product that depends so heavily on their engagement with Facebook. Worst case, it’s a decent mid-range phone for $99 on contract (or $450 without any commitment).
Facebook Home isn’t perfect, nor will it convince many non-Facebookers to start Liking and commenting with reckless abandon. But it’s aesthetically pleasing, and surprisingly polished for a 1.0 product.
If you don’t know by now, since early February Microsoft has been running its “Scroogled” smear campaign spending 7 figures on a series of print and online ads attacking various Google services. The ads originally focused on Gmail and how Google displays ads based on the content of user’s emails, but Microsoft’s latest Scroogled ad (above) takes on another Google app– Google Play.
The ad is currently featured on the front page of Microsoft’s Scroogled website and features a warning that Google passes off personal information about users to app makers without consent from users:
When you buy an Android app from the Google app store, they give the app maker your full name, email address and the neighborhood where you live. This occurs without clear warning every single time you buy an app. If you can’t trust Google’s app store, how can you trust them for anything?
We expect Google will be issuing a response to Microsoft’s claims shortly. Another Scroogled ad claiming Google Play sends personal data to app makers below: Read more
An updated Google Play with an image-centric design will be rolling out to all Android devices running Froyo (2.2) and up over the next few weeks, the Official Android blog confirmed. The redesign focuses on connecting ‘similarly themed’ content so apps, songs, and movies of the same genre are grouped rather than scattered everywhere.
Perhaps it’s too soon to state this with any certainty — surely this update has been in the works for some time now — but we may already be seeing the influence of Facebook Home on app design, at least as it pertains to the use of larger imagery and simplified interface. Something to keep an eye on at the very least.