Thursday, 2 December 2010

Android Community

Android Community

NOOKcolor Receives Full Teardown

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 10:19 AM PST

The fine folks over at ZDnet have decided to tear down completely the NOOKcolor, a device which we’ve had quite a bit of experience with (see full list of review and hands-on posts with NOOKcolor at the bottom of this post) They begin by noting the fun aspects of the box – ie the magnets, and get into the fun stuff when they begin by unscrewing the first two Torx T5 screws from underneath the microSD slot cover.

From there, actually, it seems quite simple, as those two screws are really the only non-tab elements holing the back on. Inside they find that most of the space is taken up by the battery, with its internal metal frame serving also as the device’s outer edge, held together with 10 Torx T5 screws. They find that the speaker is actually about 1/3 of the size of the grill feature on the back of the device, that the display is made by LG (LG Display LD070WS1 (SL)(02) with 1024 x 600 resolution at 169 PPI), that the touchscreen controller is a Cypress Semiconductor TMA340, SanDisk provides the internal 8GB of memory with a SDIN4C1-8G chip, and that Texas Instruments appears to have provided the audio. Fun stuff!

[Via ZDNet]


Android 2.3 Gingerbread User Interface Demonstration [in Cantonese]

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 09:49 AM PST

Oh joyous day! Another look at Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the ever-so-slight changes it will entail. In this video demonstrating Google Voice Search in Cantonese, you’ll notice that the system being used on the smartphone is none other than the soon-to-be-released Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This is an official Google video demonstrating Google Voice Search specifically, and it’s unclear whether they meant to “leak” the look at Gingerbread or not.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Also what we’ve got here is a comparison of some features seen in this Gingerbread demonstration to the current most updated system Froyo, courtesy of the folks over at Android Police. A couple buttons more and a bit less gloss, all loveliness and tiny dancer changes galore!

[Via Android Police]


SlashGear Gets their Hands On an Advent Vega

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 09:35 AM PST

Unboxing, hooray! Chris Davies over on SlashGear got one of the coveted Advent Vega tablets in the mail today, lucky lucky, since the place everyone’s more than likely to buy them from, DSG, can’t keep them from flying off the shelves each time they put them up. This device costs a mere $389 aproximately, and comes with a wall-wart AC adapter, USB cable, quick-start guide, and SD card adapter that you can use with an included 4GB microSD.

The tablet itself is what Chris describes as “hefty”, it being longer and thicker, yet narrower than the iPad, with a giant bezel around it’s 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen. It’s larger than a Galaxy Tab in more than one way, yet although both tablets have the same 1024 x 600 panel, the pixel density on the Samsung makes its screen appear just that little bit nicer. On the other hand, maybe more than just a bit, as Chris notes lots of poor viewing angles when turning the screen even small bits off center. Performance, Chris notes, is fabulous. Apps move fast, browser moves fast, lots of stuff with no lag.

Out of the box, Vega runs Android 2.2 Froyo but does have no access to Android Market and you’ll have to do some clicking around and downloading of some custom ROMs and etcetera if you’d like any of Google’s custom apps like Google Maps or Gmail. Looking forward to the full review!

[Via SlashGear]


Motorola Tips 4G Devices Early 2011 Including Two Tablets

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 08:57 AM PST

Sanjay Jha, one of Motorola’s co-CEOs, told the world at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference this week that they definitely will have 4G devices ready and in the marketplace early 2011. Additionally, a 7-inch and a 10-inch tablet are “in the pipeline.” Also he mentions that Motorola is looking to customize their software in order to differentiate their tablets from the rest of the tablets in the tablet wars, marking enterprise and retail as specific areas for improvement.

He also mentioned a “competitive dynamic” that’d be entering into Motorola and Verizon Wireless’ relationship at the first quarter of 2011, but didn’t exactly say what it was (iPhone?) He said that this dynamic would more than likely have a negative impact on the company, and that this new line of smartphones would be aimed at countering that impact. This new line, he says, will be focusing on mid- and high-tier markets. Cool stuff coming through!

[Via SlashGear]


Pocket God hits Android, has issues

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 05:49 AM PST

If you are a fan of game apps, where you can control the environment and build things up along the lines of the old PC standby Sim City, a new game for Android may be of interest to you. The game is called Pocket God and has been on other platforms for a while.

The app will sell for 99 cents and you can download it right now, if you dare. I throw in that last part because the geeks over at Phandorid have noted that the game has some issues running on the two Galaxy S smartphones that they tried it on. The game apparently crashes.

The crashes of the game are not limited to the Galaxy S though; other users of the game on the CLIQ, Desire HD and others seem to have the same issue. However, it is noted that the game runs fine on the EVO 4G smartphone. I would guess it’s some sort of hardware issue with some of the phones causing the problem.


Speck launches new cases for Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 05:38 AM PST

Speck has been making cases for all sorts of smartphones and tablets for a long time that are some of the coolest you will find for various devices. Speck has announced that it has new cases for some of the most popular Android devices around. Speck offers cases for the Galaxy Tab and for the Galaxy S smartphone.

The Speck Candyshell and fitted cases for the Galaxy Tab are both available for $44.95. The fitted cases have a soft fabric covering that is fitted to the hard case. The Candyshell cases have a soft and rubbery interior with a durable plastic shell. Both cases leave all the ports and buttons of the device uncovered and come in multiple colors.

The cases for the Galaxy S smartphones are also offered in multiple colors in the Fitted line. The cases have fabric on the exterior and a soft touch finish. The raised front bezel helps to protect the screen and the cases are $29.95 each.


HTC talks iPad, WinPo 7 and will continue to focus on Android

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 04:01 AM PST

There are a bunch of competitors to Android on the market today, but few are having the sales success of Android devices. The wild success of Android has many phone makers like HTC that generally focus on multiple smartphone OS’ sticking closely to Android. HTC VP Jack Tong talked a bit about HTC and what the future will hold for smartphones and tablets for the company.

According to Tong, the iPad is having more of an impact on PCs than the smartphone market. HTC is watching the tablet market closely to see whether it will jump into the tablet realm. I would think the question of a HTC tablet is a when, not an if at this point. The tablet market is very popular thanks to devices like the iPad and Galaxy Tab.

Tong also said that while Windows Phone 7 is being used by the company and other language versions of the Microsoft OS are due in 2011, HTC will focus on Android devices thanks to the rapid growth of the Google OS. Tong notes HTC is waiting for more market penetration on Windows Phone 7. He also spoke about the tight supply of flagship smartphones from the company he said that shortages in key market should ease a bit in December.

Via Digitimes


Spotify for Android update suits tablets, speeds performance

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 03:50 AM PST

Spotify has pushed out a new version of their Android media player app, complete with high-resolution graphics to suit large-screen devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and performance boosts that reduce time between tracks and other lag. The company now reckons the app will work on “almost any screen resolution, rotation and density, even tablet resolutions.”

Spotify for Android is a free download from the Android Market, though you’ll need a premium account with the service in order to use it. Changelist below.

  • All the graphics have been re-done and are now available in high-definition.
  • The overall design has been re-done.
  • Support for almost any screen resolution, rotation and density, even tablet resolutions.
  • On-the-fly screen rotation support, used on devices with fold-out keyboard.
  • Multiple performance improvements to increase applications speed.
  • Improved error messages with better descriptions.
  • Improved detection of network connection and faster reconnections.
  • Fixed the texts and controllers that were cropped in some places.
  • Fixed the album art view which was often inconsistent with what was playing.
  • Fixed when the widget was not showing the correct content.
  • Fixed an issue with the application not playing the next song in certain cases.
  • New devices supported: HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire Z, Huawei U8300, Motorola Cliq, Motorola Cliq XT, Motorola XT720, Samsung Galaxy 3 (Apollo), Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro, Sony Ericsson X8 and ZTE Blade

Android 2.2 overtakes Eclair as most common active version

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 02:01 AM PST

Google has released its latest batch of Android platform stats, breaking down the OS versions of devices accessing the Android Market within the two weeks ending December 1 2010. According to the figures, Android 2.2 is now present on 43.4-percent of active devices, with Android 2.1 trailing at 39.6-percent.

That flips the balance from the same period one month earlier, where Android 2.1 was the most prevalent version and Froyo lagged behind.

[Thanks Si!]


Advent Vega Tegra 2 tablet back in stock [Update: Sold out again]

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 01:08 AM PST

PC World is back in-stock with Advent’s Vega tablet, though it’s unclear how long availability of the in-demand Android slate will last. Having sold out on two occasions already, the £249 ($398) Tegra 2 tablet is showing as available for home delivery – but not in-store reservation – online.

Meanwhile an official case is also confirmed as on the way for the Vega, though we don’t yet know if it’s a basic sleeve or something more ambitious like the iPad’s folio which props the tablet up for easier typing. More details on the Vega in our hands-on.

Update: Looks like all the stock has gone again.

[via SlashGear]


Verizon’s 4G LTE Network Initial Impressions

Posted: 01 Dec 2010 03:17 PM PST

One of the biggest players in the upcoming 4G wars is Verizon. Although their entrance into the 4G market is a bit late, behind T-Mobile and Sprint, it’s certainly not disappointing. We have got our hands on the LG VL600 LTE Modem and have put the LTE network through some speed tests as well did an unboxing of the device.

According to our initial experience, the LG VL600 provided the fastest mobile broadband experience we have seen in the US. Now this could be because the network is hardly saturated but we’re still very optimistic with Verizon’s LTE offerings and cannot wait until we see this technology built into devices.

As far as the LG VL600 goes, it looks like any other USB modem complete with both 3G and 4G radios for use when you’re not in one of the 38 4G cities the network will be available on December 5th. The LG modem only works on PC’s, but Mac support will be coming soon, and setup is extremely easy, only taking us a few seconds until we were online. You can check out our speed tests and unboxing of the modem below:

Going on sale December 5th, the two modems will carry a price tag of $99.99 each with a two-year contract. Data pricing will be $50 for a 5GB capped plan and $80 for a 10GB plan, overages come in at $10/GB.

[Via SlashGear]


Business Insider Ranks Google TV and Nexus One Among Top 15 Biggest Tech Flops of 2010

Posted: 01 Dec 2010 02:50 PM PST

Business Insider is famous for their top 10/15 lists and today released their list of top 15 biggest tech flops of 2010. Joining Palm and iTunes Ping, Google TV and the Nexus one both made the list at positions 15 and 8.

Now we are all big fans of the Nexus One. It’s a very powerful device and that combined with its continued updates to new operating systems (something Galaxy S users are envious of) made it one of the top Android devices of early 2010. However, it’s being ranked as a top tech flop because of Google’s method of getting the device to users and its less than impressive sales.

“Google made a bid to shake up the mobile phone industry by selling its Nexus One phone directly to consumers. While the phone was nice, the sales were not. Google killed the project after a few months.”

Ranked number 8 on Business Insider’s list is Google TV. We have all heard the less than impressive reviews of the device where it has been called “clunky and unnecessary” but it’s a new device, it can only get better in time, right?

“The early reviews of Google TV aren’t good. It appears to be complicated and unnecessary. Maybe next year Google gets it right?”

What do you think of the Nexus One and Google TV? Do they deserve their positions on Business Insider’s list? Let us know in the comment section below!

[Via Business Insider]


Official Google Reader App Comes to Android

Posted: 01 Dec 2010 12:51 PM PST

We all love Google Reader, providing an easy glimpse at our favorite articles around the net it’s a great tool for quick information at a glance. However, we have been waiting for Google Reader to come to our mobile devices for quite some time now. No need to wait any longer as Google has just released its official Google Reader for Android app.

The app is very much like the desktop counterpart featuring unread counts, friends, sharing, liking, and staring and brings more features such as:

  • Multiple accounts
  • Synced preferences
  • Full subscription features
  • Search

On Google’s Reader blog they highlight some features that may be looked over by the average user. These include:

  • Volume-key navigation: if you enable this in the settings, you can navigate by using your phone's volume keys for next and previous
  • Long-press on a folder or subscription to bring up a contextual menu that lets you rename, unsubscribe or change folders
  • If you hit the menu key on an individual item, you can use the "send" feature which integrates with other apps on your phone to send the item using any 3rd party app

The application is available now via the Android Market.

QR Code:

[Download Link]

[Via Google Reader Blog]


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