It may surprise you to learn that I’m a big tech nerd. I love my devices and I like to upgrade when I can. Back in October, I picked up an iPad (first gen), admittedly knowing it was probably poor timing. While it was the best on the market at the time, I figured that in 4-6 months time some new ones would hit the market. I used it for a while but wasn’t really impressed with it. Aside from some nice apps, it was pretty heavy, and generic as far as UI goes. I couldn’t find a great use for it. When the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced in May I knew that it was my next tablet. I went out and bought it last week and was excited to see how it would measure up compared to my personal hype.

There is a lot to like about this device: two cameras, Honeycomb, some super sweet accessories that are coming out for it, and more. My favorite part about it is the size and weight.

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As an observer, I find all these machinations around patents fascinating to watch: how the tech companies are buying patents from other companies to use as negotiating chips; how Apple is apparently suing everyone Android-related apart from Google themselves; and how Google are fighting back by buying Motorola Mobility (and their array of mobile patents).

In the last few days we’ve also seen allegations that Apple tampered with evidence in their case against the Samsung Galaxy Tab (albeit just one image in a whole case, as @Leonick91 pointed out on Twitter), and HTC suing Apple for infringing on their patents. Like I said, fascinating to watch.

However, as a consumer, I’m finding it all a bit tiresome. I just want companies to be able to make awesome products for me, without having to worry about whether their black rectangles look a bit too much like another company’s black rectangles.

What do you think? Vote in the poll (you can pick more than one option) and add your comments below!

It’s been almost five years since we launched Envato, the company behind this site and many others, and in that time we’ve built eight digital marketplaces for everything from WordPress Themes to Background Music. With our fifth birthday coming up this weekend, we’re excited to announce the beta launch of our ninth marketplace: PhotoDune for royalty free stock photos. (more…)

Remember the time when crossword puzzles and sudoku mornings meant newspapers? In fact, remember newspapers? The mobile phone market, especially with the advent of the tablets – has been eating away from the printed paper’s market and mind share for a couple of years now, and the trend seems to be getting stronger. So you get all your news and entertainment on your mobile devices now. But how about those cute little puzzles that have been your companions for many a morning. How about the experience of striking off those clues on the crossword clues or penning down number after number in the sudoku grids?

Like most good things, these puzzles have also made their way to the smartphones and are in many ways better than their printed counterparts. When was the last time you kept score of your timing on the kakuro sprints? Let’s look at a few notable tree savers that give you just one more reason to get your Android out in the morning.

Credit to MiniSQUL for the crossword photo.

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In somewhat shocking news this week, Google announced that they would acquire Motorola Mobility. The company that bet it all on Android, making it the sole operating system on all of their smartphones, is now officially joining the Google family. There are many interpretations as to why Google and Motorola have agreed to this deal, but the primary motivation seems to be to protect and energize the Android operating system.

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I hate banks and not just because they messed up much of the world’s economies. I hate banks because they smell weird, have boring leaflets to read in the queue, and send me thinly-veiled threatening letters every few weeks. That’s why I use mobile banking applications. Apps tell me my bank balance without skimming my debit card, let me transfer money without leaving my bed and don’t offer me cheap pens that waste in an instant.

PayPal, being basically the ‘Internet’s bank’ in all but name, have an Android application that I use regularly. Almost all of my income flows through PayPal and much of the stuff I buy is bought online using it. Over the few weeks I’ve been using the application I’ve found it to be a great addition to my online account with PayPal. Much like mobile banking I can check where I stand financially in an instant and can transfer my income to my bank account the minute it’s received instead of forgetting like I used to and wonder why it’s taking so long!

It’s far from being the perfect application however; and if any PayPal developers are reading this, I’ve a few suggestions.

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When it comes to Twitter clients, Android users are really spoilt for choice; there is a wealth on the Market that are worth looking at. You can, of course, go with the default Twitter for Android application, however this is a little lacking in features and you may want try out one of the many third-party offerings available, such as Seesmic, TweetDeck or Tweetcaster. But the burning question is, which one is the best?

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As a foodie, I was really excited by the idea of Foodspotting: take a photo of your meal whenever you’re out to dinner, and share it with the world; then, browse photos of dishes other people have tagged to see what looks good around you. There are plenty of websites and apps that aggregate reviews of restaurants’ decor, service, atmosphere, and general food quality, and mini-reviews of the menu items themselves should complement this nicely.

Unfortunately, the Android app has a few flaws that keep it from living up to its potential. Read on to find out what they are, and whether that’s a big deal.

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Thanks to the advent of digital cameras, the experience of shooting and sharing photos has become so effortless and inexpensive. Mobile phone cameras make the entire process of capturing important life moments further more convenient. However, at the end of the day we end up with a whole bunch of images and sharing them all becomes a painful task.

Email attachments are way too clumsy. Facebook and Twitter are way too open. The solution lies somewhere in the middle. That’s where LiveShare comes in. LiveShare makes it quick and easy for groups to share photos live either privately or publicly. Ready to take it for a spin?

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So Microsoft and Apple ganged up on Android and bought some mobile patents out from under their nose, and Google said that wasn’t cool and they were under attack, but Microsoft said they offered Google the chance to share the patents with them and Google turned them down, only, wait, that was for another set of patents, while in the meantime Apple are preventing Samsung from selling Android tablets because they might infringe on their patents, and…

Oh gosh. Let me start over.

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