Android for Good donates old phones to developing world projects

Google usually hands out free devices to the developers that attend its workshops, but at Google I/O next month it'll be asking them for phones, not giving them away. The search company is starting "Android for Good", collecting unlocked and working Android handsets from those that no longer need them, and then donating them to projects all over the world. Those projects include various data tracking and monitoring initiatives, which use the Android phones to input and crunch data:
"A small team collected Android devices from Googlers around the world and organized their donation to groups including Grameem’s AppLab Community Knowledge Worker Initiative in Uganda, Save the Elephants in Kenya, V-Day in the Democratic Republic of Congo,VillageReach in Mozambique, VetAid in Tanzania & Kenya, and UNHCR in Central Africa." Zi Wang, Google
If you're headed to Google I/O 2011 and have a spare device - that's unlocked and fully-functional - then you can drop it off at the Android for Good booth on the third floor of Moscone Center. Google is also apparently looking into how it could extend the scheme to cover people not in the US and not attending a developer event.

Samsung counter-sues Apple in latest patent spat

Samsung has filed ten suits against Apple alleging patent infringement, in a response to the Cupertino company's legal blast earlier this week. Apple had alleged that Samsung willfully copied the look and feel of iOS devices like the iPhone in the design of its Galaxy range of tablets and smartphones, as well as the TouchWiz UI. Samsung is yet to detail the patents it alleges Apple has infringed, but has said that five of the suits are filed in Korea, two in Japan and a further three in Germany. "Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property" the company says, "and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business." The irony, of course, is that Samsung produces many of the components Apple relies on for its iOS range.

Amazon Kindle gets Honeycomb tablet update

Android has released an updated version of its Kindle for Android app, now reworked to suit the bigger screen sizes of Honeycomb slates like the Motorola XOOM and T-Mobile G-Slate. The new app has a bookshelf-style UI for picking which ebook you want to read, and a new layout for newspapers and magazines. There's also the usual Whispersync of notes, annotations, highlights, and how far you've read through the book. That means you can pick up reading where you left off on another Kindle-running device. Amazon Kindle for Android is a free download from the Android Market. [gallery] Press Release:
Kindle for Android Now Tailored for Tablet Computers Over 900,000 “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle Books available on the most popular platforms and devices, now including tablets running Android Honeycomb SEATTLE, April 21, 2011 – (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Today Amazon announced an update to Kindle for Android that brings new features and adds support for tablet computers running Android’s Honeycomb, including the Motorola Xoom. The latest version of Kindle for Android includes an integrated immersive shopping experience tailored for tablets, a new layout for newspapers and magazines designed for the unique interface of Honeycomb, and dozens of other new enhancements that take advantage of the larger screens. Like all Kindle apps, Kindle for Android includes Amazon's Whispersync technology, which saves and synchronizes a customer's books and bookmarks across their Kindle, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based phones and tablets. Customers can learn more about Kindle for Android at www.amazon.com/kindleforandroid and download the app from the Amazon Appstore for Android or Android Market. “We’ve taken all the features customers love about Kindle for Android, and created a beautiful new user interface and a seamless shopping experience tailored to the look and feel of Honeycomb tablets,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle. “As always, Kindle customers ‘Buy Once, Read Everywhere,’ so Kindle for Android is the perfect companion for the millions of customers who own a Kindle and a way for customers around the world to download and enjoy books on their Android phone or tablet even if they don’t yet own a Kindle.” New features of Kindle for Android include: · Seamless integrated shopping experience tailored for tablets gives you quick access to personalized recommendations, customer reviews, and more · Refined newspaper and magazine layout including full color images · Ability to pause, resume download at any time · Enhanced word look-up capability (for Android-based phones and tablets) with built-in dictionary with over 250,000 entries and definitions. The Kindle Store offers the largest selection of books people want to read, including 110 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. Millions of older, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read. Kindle for Android offers customers many features that are unique to the Kindle and Kindle App experience, including: “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” – sync and read your books, last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights across Kindle devices and the most popular devices and platforms Worry-Free Archive – Amazon automatically backs up your books and highlights online in your Kindle library where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly anytime on any Kindle device or app Unparalleled shopping experience – Get all of the features you love about shopping on Amazon.com, including customer reviews, personalized recommendations, and instant 1-click buying using your Amazon account information For over two years, Amazon has been building and introducing a wide selection of free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices that let customers read and sync their reading library, bookmarks, notes, and highlights with the device or platform of their choice. Learn more about Kindle apps at www.amazon.com/kindleapps. Customers can download Kindle for Android from the Amazon Appstore for Android or Android Market.

Verizon Droid Charge and @droidlanding get even more official

It looks like Verizon and the DROID army aren't wasting any time with this @DroidLanding campaign. 2 days ago they made the first tweet in 3 months, and today they are at it again. All systems are a go, they finished updating and have officially launched. With a teaser site and video both to go along with this. I see them pushing the Droid Charge pretty hard the next few weeks. See below for more information

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Rooted already

Ever since Sony announced that they would be having unlocked bootloaders I'm sure you have all been happily waiting for the new and exciting phones they have coming out to hit the shelves. The Xperia Play, and the Arc look sweet. Today I have some news for you, looks like the Xperia Arc has already been rooted.

Polarbit releases another top notch game for Android Called Toki Tori

I'm not sure about you guys, or how much you game on Android (angry birds doesn't count as "gaming") since everyone plays that, but I play a fair share of games on my Android phone. One thing I do know is that if Polarbit is releasing the game, it will have great graphics and most likely be well worth the price. All the past Polarbit games have stunning 3D Visuals and they don't cut any corners. They have just released the fun and cute new game for Android called Toki Tori.

Casio Commando G’zOne Phone coming to Verizon April 28th

The Casio Commando is a rugged smartphone that is coming to Verizon starting April 28th. They are touting it as something strong and durable like the Motorola Defy, only better, and with Android 2.2. This phone should be able to handle all the drops, spills and dirt that most of you outdoorsy type do. I would mention a time frame to possibly get Android 2.3 but Casio has no track record for us to speak on.

Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman Phone with Android

Sony today has quietly, and without much of any press, or Walkman lovers of any sort knowing, have announced the Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman Phone. Oh and did I mention that it runs Android. Although it is sadly only Android 2.1 Eclair. I can see this phone being perfect for some people, but having last generation hardware, and software I just don't understand why, but for those Walkman lovers you can get it soon.