Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Android Community

Android Community

Samsung Nexus S Coming To Verizon?

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 11:34 AM PST

The new Google Phone, the Nexus S, will soon become the new standard of Android devices simply because of Google’s involvement with the development process of the device. Now although the fact that it’s an “upgrade” from the Nexus One is debatable, users have shown great interest in the device and what better way to get it to more people than to release it on Verizon as well?

In the Samsung Nexus S contest rules the following bit of information is listed:

“The currently available Nexus S is a GSM device and is not compatible with CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint.”

Now this could mean a lot of things, but hopefully this means that Google has learned from their Nexus One being only available on T-Mobile and may push Samsung to release the device on other networks.

Also, it’s worth noting that @Samfirmware has gone and tweeted the following:

Latest news from Samsung insider its better to wait to buy this Nexus S. February!!!

This could give us a bit of a backbone to this rumor and potentially means that we will see a Samsung Nexus S on Verizon come February 2011.

[Via TalkAndroid]


Nexus S to get Super Clear LCD in Russia Instead of Super AMOLED

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 09:38 AM PST

I’m sure you’re aware of the massive amount of news that blasted through yesterday on the Nexus S and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. While Nexus S appears to be launching with a lovely Super AMOLED in the UK and the USA, Russians are reported to be a little less lucky. In that gigantic country there’ll be instead a Super Clear LCD, a comparable display with just a bit more energy sucking on it’s bill of needs.

This Super Clear LCD might not only be on the Russian version of Nexus S, spreading instead to a slew of Euro countries also. We’ll just have to wait and see. While you wait, why not take a stroll down Gingerbread way with a complete rundown? Or perhaps instead you’d like a tour of the Nexus S and it’s Android competitors?

[Via Samsung Hub]


Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Confirmed by HTC (sort of)

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 09:22 AM PST

When asked by Marc Chacksfield of TechRadar wheather or not they’d be updating (specifically) their HTC Desire HD device to Gingerbread, HTC has stated they’d be updating a number of their devices. Does this mean that the Desire HD will be getting the update, or that because they didn’t name it specifically, it’d be left out? Either way, “a number of devices” is exciting.

In a statement to TechRadar, HTC spoke the following: “We are excited about the OS update coming for Android, and while HTC will definitely have some phones running this OS, we do not have a specific timeframe for new phones or updates at this time. Please stay tuned for more details.” What this DOES mean is that the update will be coming to phones that are more than likely already in your hands.

[Via TechRadar]


Advent Vega Reviewed by SlashGear

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 09:08 AM PST

Could it be possible that this low cost Android tablet is also a NICE low cost Android tablet? Allow Chris Davies to answer that question for you with a full rundown of the Advent Vega – whose sticker price is right aroud£249 ($395) including no less than NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Longer and narrower than an iPad, not quite as sturdy as the Galaxy Tab OR the iPad, but it costs around half the price! Check it out.

Advent Vega unboxing & hands-on:

First, the screen: 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 resolution display with a capacitive touchscreen, not so great on the viewing angles, bareness along the edges with missing set of dedicated home/menu/etc keys. No access to Android Market, no Flash, no native PDF or Office File viewer, wait, is there anything on this device? Sort of. You definitely get what you pay for. Take a look at the full review over on [SlashGear]


Optimus Mach (LG LU3000) Launched in Korea

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 08:55 AM PST

Remember back when you got all pumped up because we told you there was going to be a device faster than a Samsung Galaxy S, able to leap tall iPhones in a single bound? Here it is! It’s the Optimus Mach (LG LU3000), and it’s officially been launched in Korea as we speak! It’s running Android 2.2 Froyo, has a 1GHz TI OMAP3630 processor, able to record 1080p HD video with a 5MP camera, and has a 3.8″ screen.

Additionally, this LU3000 has an HDMI-out port, DNLA for wireless or wired streaming, made for bringing hella HD video to your big screen (seeing a trend?) Made in both black and white, super hot!

[Via Phone Arena]


Add the new Gingerbread keyboard to your Android 2.2 device with these steps

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 06:31 AM PST

One of the cool new features that was added to Android with the official debut of Gingerbread yesterday was the new keyboard. If you want that new keyboard and have an Android 2.2 device that has been rooted, you can install it right now.

What you have to do is follow a few steps to get the deed done. You have to grab a zip file that is flashed to the smartphone just like any other ROM or software. You will then need to reboot and select the Android keyboard option under input method and you are ready to use the new keyboard.

The directions are on Droid-Life and should work with all rooted 2.2 devices. If you have been looking for a compelling reason to root your device, this may be it.


New guide outlines packaging Tablet & Phone UI in a single APK

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 06:00 AM PST

With Honeycomb making headlines, it’s about time that Android developers start considering large-screen devices with their software offerings. Funky Android dev Al Sutton has put together a useful guide showing how you can create tablet and phone UIs in a single .APK.

That obviously makes distribution more straightforward, since there’s only one version of your app to worry about, and Sutton covers everything from telling the Android OS that your app is all-singing, all-dancing, to usability issues about screen orientations and sizes. It’s certainly worth a read if you’re a developer.


Students living in Campus Apartments buildings can pay rent from Android smartphones

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 04:59 AM PST

If you are college student that lives in an apartment owned by the Campus Apartments company you can get a cool new app for your Android device and the iPhone that lets you pay your rent right from your phone. The app is called SmartClick mobile and is a free download.

The app lets you pay rent and submit service requests from one place. You can also access the payment service from any device with a web browser. Using the app students can also schedule automated monthly rent payments using a credit card.

That app sounds pretty cool and will make remembering to pay rent easy for the student more focused on finding a good party or cramming for a test than paying bills. You can download the app right now on the Android Market.


KBB app for Android downloaded 50K times in less than a month

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 04:18 AM PST

Shopping for cars can be both fun and tiring at the same time. The fun part of car shopping is the purchase of a car that is exactly what you want. The bad part of buying a car is actually finding the vehicle that you want to purchase. Many people use Kelley Blue Book to find out what a car is worth and to shop for cars and information when they are in the car market. KBB has announced the app for Android users has been downloaded 50,000 times since it launched on November 15.

The new app for Android users promises car buying and selling information to help the user make good decisions. The app has been updated with some winter-themed Easter eggs with snow and sledding kids for the winter 2010 launch. The app can also be placed onto the Android home screen to track the value of the user’s car.

Other features include KBB values for new cars include the MSRP, invoice, and fair purchase price. The app also gives certified pre-owned prices and video reviews of new cars and more. You can get the app on the Android Market right now.


Google Maps for Mobile 5.0 incoming: 3D dynamic mapping, caching, more

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 12:37 AM PST

Andy Rubin didn’t spend much time talking about Motorola’s Honeycomb tablet; instead he used the slate to preview the incoming update for Google Maps for Mobile 5.0. The new version adds dynamic map building with building outlines for 100 cities at launch, new multitouch gestures including two-finger tilt & rotate, and offline caching for common routes and searches.

Only certain Android devices will support all the features of Google Maps for Mobile 5.0, which is due out in the next few days. The Nexus One, apparently, lacks the multitouch support for rotating the views; the full list of supported handsets is below.

  • Galaxy S
  • Droid
  • Droid X
  • Droid 2
  • Droid Incredible
  • Evo
  • Nexus S
  • G2
google_maps_for_mobile_5-3 google_maps_for_mobile_5-2 google_maps_for_mobile_5-1 )

Motorola Android Honeycomb tablet gets brief preview

Posted: 07 Dec 2010 12:20 AM PST

Motorola’s Android tablet prototype has been shown off at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference this week, with Google’s Andy Rubin pulling out the slate while on-stage. Full specifications for the tablet are unknown, but we do know it’s running a dual-core NVIDIA chip – likely Tegra 2 – with Android Honeycomb doing OS duties.

Honeycomb, Rubin confirmed, is due in 2011 with native tablet support, though he didn’t say exactly when it could be expected. Screen size for the Motorola slate is also unconfirmed; the company has been tipped to be making both 7- and 10-inch models.


Android Community Daily Wrap Up: December 6th 2010

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 07:28 PM PST

Today has been the day we have been waiting for a long, long time – Gingerbread has finally been announced along with the Samsung Nexus S. We have had extensive coverage of the upcoming operating system all day, but that is not all that has made its way onto Android Community this Monday. Check after a break for all of the news covered for Monday December 6th, 2010.

R3 Media Network


Android 2.3 Gingerbread
PlayStation Buttons Found in 2.3 SDK
Android 2.3 User Guide Available Now
Nexus S Review and Rundown by TechCrunch
Nexus S $529 unlocked confirms Best Buy
Nexus One Owners: Have You Received Gingerbread Yet? [Update: Not for a Few Weeks]
Android 2.3 SDK Officially Released
Nexus One Gingerbread OTA Update Due in a Few Weeks
Nexus S vs. Nexus One and other current Android Devices

Other News:
ZDNet outlines the top Android phones
Google eBookstore launches with new eBook Reader for Android
Samsung W899 is twin Super AMOLED touchscreen clamshell
Sony Ericsson Planning on Releasing Froyo for the X10?
HTC Desire 2.29.405.2 Update Available Now
Motorola DROID X Gets Updated, version 2.3.340 brings in Madden '11
Samsung Creates 1GB and 2GB RAM for mobile phones and tablets
Fring Updated, Bringing in 'Dynamic Video Quality'
MetroPCS will launch LTE Android Device in early 2011
Sweet FRG83D Update for DROID A855 from Verizon


Sweet FRG83D Update for DROID A855 from Verizon

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 06:19 PM PST

Oh man I know you love updates, why not download one today? Courtesy of Verizon you’ll receive your very own updated Twitter with new authentication support, updated Amazon widget, updated News & Weather widget, and a brand freaking new added Gmail user interface. What more could you want? Oh you want improvements to Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync? Well there’s that too, including handing of server-side inactivity timeouts of 34 minutes or greater, continuation of syncing of emails after a policy refresh, and support for Exchange 2010 connections. Such a bunch of freshness!

To grab yourself a brand new update, head on over to Droid Upgrade on Verizon for a few easy clicks and bam! You’ll have it. Also I’d like to take a moment to show my love for the fact that every time I see a DROID poster or advertisement, I’m able to look down at the bottom and see this: “DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.” I think that’s fun. You can never escape George Lucas.



Nexus S vs. Nexus One and other current Android Devices

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 04:06 PM PST

The Nexus S has been officially revealed and if you’re sitting with a Nexus One or Samsung Galaxy S device, you are probably wondering if it’s worth the upgrade. Well we have you covered with some comparing and contrasting of the devices (along with other Android devices) to help you make the decision.

First off the Samsung Nexus S will be available exclusively on T-Mobile, if you’re an owner of a Nexus One you’ve probably grown to accept this and it may not be a major factor in the decision making process. However, if you’re a Samsung Galaxy S or any other Android phone owner this may be a factor in your final decision.

The Nexus One has been a very favorable device, although its sales were less than impressive it still is one of the most powerful and productive phones on the market. However, with the Nexus S hitting the scene the new official “Google Phone” title has been taken and along with it, much of our focus on the Nexus One will shift to the Nexus S.

The internals of the devices are pretty similar both featuring a 1GHz processor. The Nexus S features a 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor while the Nexus One features a 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon. The difference is there and somewhat noticeable but not exactly a deal breaker here.

When it comes to storage the Nexus S is limited. Shipping with 16GB internal memory and no microSD card slot you’re options are slim when it comes to expansion. The Nexus One has a microSD card slot for additional memory, something that we are wondering why it was left out in the Samsung Nexus S.

The rear-facing camera on the Nexus S is a 5.0 megapixel camera with flash, compared to the Nexus One which is also a 5.0 megapixel camera with flash. However, the Nexus S does have an additional camera on the front for video chat.

Other than that the devices are incredibly similar, the Nexus S just took what the Nexus One did right and does them all in a better, and faster way – making this the optimal Android handset on T-Mobile US.

Have another device? Check out our full comparisons to the Samsung Vibrant, Samsung Epic 4G, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Fascinate, and unlocked Galaxy S devices over at SlashGear!


Android 2.3 Gingerbread Features and List of What’s New

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 02:08 PM PST

Hooray because today’s the day. Google’s released not only the Nexus S with Samsung, but Gingerbread as well. This version of the Android mobile OS offers speed! Not only that though, as you’re soon to find out, there’s wild additions too! Nothing so big your eyeballs will explode, but close! There’s a new keyboard, a new text selection tool, gyroscope support, power management improvements, VoIP/SIP calling, improved copy and paste, support for NFC technology, and more!

New Keyboard
First of all, the thing that everyone uses every freaking day of the year, the Keyboard. This new keyboard has its keys reshaped for faster input and editing, bringing up word suggestions also depending on what letters you’re typing. Switching to voice mode allows you not to replace selections, multi-touch key-chording allowing you to type numbers and symbols with keyboard shortcut combos instead of flipping back and forth like you’ve got to now. Included deep inside the keyboard class “android.view.KeyEvent” is support for the following buttons – A,B,C, L1, L2, R1, R2, select, start, X, Y, and Z – aka PlayStation controls.

The copy and paste function has been improved to include pressing and holding to select words, stay in selection mode, and copy text for later pasting. Along with this is:

Word Selection
Improvements to word selecting include the aforementioned press-hold, a function iPhone users are already used to using. Once pressed and held, a free-selection mode begins, a place where you can adjust the area you’re selecting by expanding bounding boxes.

Power Management
Improved next is your ability to manage your power usage. Inside your application settings, you’re able to see your battery in how it’s being used by various apps. See how much that Matrix screensaver really is sucking up all your juice! Hopefully soon those task killers will be rendered outdated.

Application Control (Task Killer Killer)
Along these same lines is a shortcut to “Manage Applications” which you can reach in your options menu. From here, you can indeed view all of your applications, how much power they’re using, and you’ve got the ability to stop any app instantly.

NFC Near Field Communication
This is the future of commerce as far as credit cards go. Use this to touch or swipe NFC tag embedded posters, advertisements, other weird junk, to be directed to a website (and more than likely other such actions). In the future, this functionality will work to send and receive money via your handheld device. Excellence.

Internet Calling
SIP Internet Calling addresses can be added to your contacts list and you can make internet calls via Quick Contact or Dialer. Hooray! Of course you’ll need a SIP account for this to work and these features will be turned off or on depending on what your manufacturer or carrier wants.

Downloads Management
A new download manager is in place to work from your browser, email, or other apps. This could be rather helpful I must say so myself.

Multiple cameras can now be accessed from your one new camera app, just by clicking the “select camera” button.

UI Improvements
Simple changes in the user interface of this Gingerbread system make the whole situation faster, easier, and more power-efficient. One example is the changing of the background to BLACK in the areas that it’ll always be covered up such as the notification bar, menus, and etc. Changes in these menus are also in place to simplify.

Click here to view the embedded video.


Concurrent Garbage Collector
Dalivik VM brings you a lovely new way to collect your garbage during gameplay for apps, this bringing along a whole lot smoother and more responsive playing of game-based apps.

Video Drivers
Third-party video drivers are introduced to improve OpenGL ES operations and to increase your whole 3D graphics performance experience.

Event Distribution
Touch and keyboard events are now handled faster and much more efficiently reducing the amount of CPU used during event distribution. Responsiveness is therefor improved in all apps, especially those with 3D graphics and those that are CPU-intensive.

Event Handling
Along those same lines, apps using native code are now allowed the ability to receive and process input and sensor events right into their native code, improving both responsiveness and efficiency. All supported sensor types can now be received by apps, enabling and disabling of specific sensors is allowed, as is managing of event delivery rate and queing. Native libraries exposed by Gingerbread let apps handle the same kinds of input events as currently available through the framework.

Gyroscrope, rotation vector, gravity, barometer sensors, and linear acceleration
All new sensor types Android 2.3 has added API support for. Open API is added for Native Audio, Khronos OpenSL ES. Gingerbread gives you an interface to its Khronos EGL library allowing apps to manage graphics context as well as manage and create OpenGL ES textures and surfaces from native code.

Native Access to Activity Lifecycle, Windows Management
Native apps are now able to declare a new type of Activity class by the name of NativeActivity, its lifecycle callbacks implemented right direct into the native code. This NativeActivity and its native code run inside the system like other Activities, they running in apps system process and executing on apps main UI thread, receiving the same lifecycle callbacks as the rest of the Activities. Also Native APIs are revealed for managing windows.

Native Access to Storage, Assets
A native Asset Manager API is now accessible by apps, getting rid of the need to go through JNI for retrieving application assets. Streaming decompression is included along this path. Limit to compression no longer exists as far as how much .apk assets can be read, and apps have access to a native Storage Manager API that works directly with OBB files (although Dev tools for managing and creating OBB files wont be available until early 2011.)

Robust Native Development Environment
Android NDK (r5 or higher) gives you now a complete set of tools and toolchains and libraries for helping you develop apps inside Android 2.3.

Internet Telephony
SIP-based internet telephony features can now be added to apps, Android 2.3 including a full SIP protocol stack and integrated call management service allowing apps easy set-up of incoming and outgoing voice calls (no managing sessions, audio recording, playback, or transport-level communication needed directly).

Near Field Communication capability allows developers access to the new world. Proximity-based info and services for all, using NFC API to respond to NFC tags by touching things like posters, stickers, and other devices. Any number of actions can follow.

Mixable Audio Effects
New audio API allows developers creation of rich audio environments with equalization, bass, headphone virtualization, and reverb. Mixing of multiple effects in local tracks or globally.

Support for New Media Formats
Built in support for VP8 video compression as well as WebM open container format. Also AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding is included for apps to capture higher quality audio than just narrowband.

Access to Multiple Cameras
New Camera API makes use of as many cameras as are available on the device they’re working for, querying the platform for info on each camera, opening the camera that’s needed. Simple, necessary.

Take a look at all of our Gingerbread and Nexus S coverage today:
PlayStation Buttons Found in 2.3 SDK
Android 2.3 User Guide Available Now
Nexus S Review and Rundown by TechCrunch
Nexus S $529 unlocked confirms Best Buy
Nexus One Owners: Have You Received Gingerbread Yet? [Update: Not for a Few Weeks]
Android 2.3 SDK Officially Released
Nexus One Gingerbread OTA Update Due in a Few Weeks
Google Nexus S official
and into the future by heading over to the following tags: Android 2.3, Android Gingerbread, and Samsung Nexus S.

[Via Android Developers]


PlayStation Buttons Found in 2.3 SDK

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 01:48 PM PST

We now know that one of the focuses of Android 2.3 Gingerbread is, in fact, improved gaming. Whether it be smoother graphics performance or support for additional dedicated gaming buttons (hello, PlayStation Phone), Gingerbread will allow us to game better than ever on a mobile device. Now as people have been tearing apart the SDK they have seem to have found support for PlayStation buttons.

If you’re the curious type, you can head over to the Android Developers site and check out the “android.view.KeyEvent” and can see the following input keys: A, B, C, L1, L2, Mode, R1, R2, Select, Start, ThumbL, ThumbR, X, Y, and Z.

Only time will tell just how impressive gaming is on Android 2.3 Gingerbread but with a PlayStation phone on its way, we couldn’t expect anything less that impressive.


MetroPCS will launch LTE Android Device in early 2011

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 01:31 PM PST

MetroPCS is on track to release their first 4G LTE smartphone in early 2011. According to Fierce Wireless, the new smartphone will be an Android equipped device (likely 2.3) and could be released as soon as February.

There has been no official word on which manufacturer will be making this device for MetroPCS, but it’s likely a Samsung handset. 4G is definitely the new frontier in mobile devices and with Android 2.3 we can definitely expect some very impressive and fast phones both hardware and software wise in 2011.

[Via UnwiredView]


Fring Updated, Bringing in ‘Dynamic Video Quality’

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 12:42 PM PST

Fring, the ever popular video chat/IM client, has been updated to today. The update brings in a new featured called Dynamic Video Quality. DVQ will automatically adjust the video call quality to match your internet bandwidth at all times in real time.

So ultimately the quality of your video call will match your bandwidth, so if your bandwidth ever increases or decreases, Fring will match the quality seamlessly.

You can check a demo of DVQ below and can pickup the latest Fring from the Android Market.

Click here to view the embedded video.

[Download Link]


Samsung Creates 1GB and 2GB RAM for mobile phones and tablets

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 12:20 PM PST

Samsung, being one of the top consumer electronics companies in the world is always set to impress with its hardware in devices. Continuing the trend, they have announced plans to include the industry first monolithic four gigabit LPDDR2 RAM module that will come in an 8 gigabit chip that will give you 1GB of RAM, and a 16 gigabit chip that will give you 2GB of RAM, all designed just for mobile phones and tablets.

The 8Gb (1GB) chip will stack two 4Gb chips which ultimately makes the solution 20 percent thinner and consumes 25 percent less power when compared to the current 8Gb solution with four 2Gb chips.

These chips will all be based on 30nm fabrication process which will result in the 4Gb chip able to transfer data up to 1,066 megabits per second, which is more than double the current industry standard.

[Via Samsung]


Motorola DROID X Gets Updated, version 2.3.340 brings in Madden ’11

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 12:09 PM PST

Today is sure the day of updates, and although they may not be to 2.3 (that’s coming later) we are sure seeing quite a bit of general updates being released. Following the trend, the Motorola DROID X has just been updated to 2.3.340 bringing in some new enhancements and improvements.

One of the biggest features of this update is that Madden 2011, which appears to be a DROID X exclusive, will be coming preloaded. However, it seems that it might not be the full version of the game and only a trial, but for those who have been waiting, even a little bit is enough for now.

Also included is improved Android 2.2 stability, Enhanced Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Visual Voice Mail, and other bugs and issues have been fixed. For the rest of the changes you can check out the support page here.

Note:Although the update is listed as 2.3.340, it is not Android 2.3 and just a system version.


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