HTC Sense 4.0 details emerge before Mobile World Congress

Like it or not, custom manufacturer skins are here to stay. That said some are better than others, and HTC's Sense UI has emerged as one of the more mature and usable options, even garnering its fair share of fans. HTC is expected to reveal the fourth version of Sense with new hardware at Mobile World Congress next month, but PocketNow allegedly got a look at the changes before prime time. They came away impressed, and noted some radical - and in many cases welcome - changes.

Rogers’ LG Optimus Pad is now free on contract

Free phones, even free smartphones, are nothing new in contract-laden world of wireless providers. But a free tablet? Now that's downright novel. Canadian cellular carrier Rogers just slashed the price down to nuthin, nil and nada for the LG Optimus Pad, the Honeycomb tablet first made available on Rogers in May of last year. If you buy the tablet ouutright it'll still cost you $549.99 CAD, or $499.99/$449.99 for a month-to-month or one-year contract, respectively.

Motorola XYBOARD WiFi tablets available for purchase

If you're anything like the writers and editors here at Android Community, you're in no hurry to be saddled with yet another monthly contract - even for the luxury of an LTE-enabled tablet. That was one of the the things that made the quite solid Motorola DROID XYBOARD tablets on Verizon much less desirable than they might otherwise have been. After a few weeks of pre-orders, Motorola has made both the XYBOARD 10.1 and XYBOARD 8.2 available for purchase on their website in WiFi-only forms. They're absent the DROID branding, which is an exclusive marketing tool for Verizon's partner hardware.

HTC pledges to follow a ‘Hero Device’ strategy for 2012

It always confuses me when manufacturers release half-baked devices to the public. A great combination of working hardware/software will not only helps sustain a companies good name, but also generate repeat customers. HTC followed a similar ideology years back, and is returning in 2012 with their "Hero Device" gameplan.

Google Music Manager update brings full library and puchased music downloads

Yes! Finally Google has updated their new Music Manager for Google Music to allow users to download right from their cloud. Originally you could upload all your music but that was it. Now instead of downloading them one at a time we can retrieve the entire library right out of the air and download it to your device or computer -- including purchased tracks from the Android Market.

Google tells devs how to kick the Android menu button to the curb in ICS

Ice Cream Sandwich removes the ubiquitous Android Menu bottom from its comfy place below the screen and casts it adrift on the sea of interface, where it floats around the screen like Tom Hanks and a volleyball. This change has given grief to a lot of developers (not to mention users): Is the Menu section hiding out in the navigation bar? Slumming it up top near search buttons and titles? Fret not, devs: the latest post to the Android Developer Blog gives some guidance on exactly how to handle the new system.
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