Nexus 4 Returns to the US – Google Play Reviews Now Post Real Names

There’s a salvo of mobile news surfacing every day as mobile devices become the ubiquitous devices that characterize our connected age, spawning an industry ripe with law suits, rivalries and innovation. Here’s a roundup of the hottest happenings in the mobile scene today.

Google Nexus Rolls Out in the US; Play Reviews Will Now Post Real Identities

In an email, Google announced that Nexus 4 will be available in the US starting today at noon. There was an influx of preorders on November 13 that caused the Play store to fall behind, and the latest Android JellyBean device sold out in less than an hour.  The Nexus 4 will be delivered starting the 15th, but we may see delays up to three weeks due to “overwhelming demand.”

Meanwhile, Google will now display Google+ names and profile pictures of people writing reviews on Play store products. This feature cannot be turned off, encouraging an air of accountability for product reviews.  People have mixed opinions about whether this is a good or a bad thing, but as Google+ becomes an increasingly integrated aspect of the broader Google experience, we’re likely to see a stronger push to ensure there’s real people behind the consumer-driven actions that can make or break an app’s standing in the Play marketplace.

Alcatel-Lucent Sues Apple and LG; iPhone 5 Places Apple Back on Top of the Smartphone Race

Litigation has become second nature for the major players in the mobile space. Telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent sues Apple and LG over video compression, a technology that can rationalize videos to streamline their distribution to Internet, satellites, and other forms of communications media. Alcatel-Lucent insists on “reasonable royalty” for the said technology from the two companies.

According to an estimate by a financial expert in court for the trial, Apple and LG may owe Alcatel-Lucent $195.9 million and $9.1 million, respectively.

But there’s reason for Apple to rejoice, too. The company is back on top of the smartphone race, thanks to the iPhone 5. They currently own 48.1 percent of the US mobile market, which deposes Android’s 46.7 percent.  The last time Apple held the top spot was during the iPhone 4S release, which was eventually toppled because of the barrage of Android devices that were released from different mobile manufacturers, namely Samsung.

Windows Phone Working on Apollo Plus Update

Windows Phone 8 had a number of shortcomings, but Microsoft’s willing to redress the balance with an update dubbed Apollo Plus.  According to sources that spilled the beans to The Verge, Apollo Plus is only meant to address existing issues and add updates that were supposed to have been there had they not “ran out of time,” like they said in their Notification Center. The particulars of the new update will be laid down at the Mobile World Congress on February 2013.

Among the features that Windows Phone will add, they mentioned VPN support. This will enable corporate users to link up with work systems. They also cited WiFi connection fixes, audio improvements, and offering of over-the-air updates instead of having to plug devices into PC.