Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Android Community

Android Community


Droid Charge Review at SlashGear

Posted: 04 May 2011 11:35 AM PDT

Our best buddy Vince at our sister site SlashGear is at it again, with a full review of the Droid Charge. Android Community’s Burnsy posted his review of the Charge last week, complete with pictures of his beautiful new baby, but Vince’s opinion is one you don’t want to miss. A quick overview of his review follows below, and you can read the whole thing over at SlashGear.


The Charge is still delayed after Verizon’s 4G outage last week, and it will be Verizon’s second 4G LTE smartphone. The HTC ThunderBolt paved the way for ultra high-speed handsets, which could double as useful mobile hotspots, but sucked the battery down so quickly that the ThunderBolt expired before its time. So the Charge by Samsung needs to deliver on better battery life while still providing the same super-speed. The Charge has the same 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display that stunned us with the Galaxy S II, so it is no Charge carbon copy. So does it deliver?

Hardware

The Droid Charge has much glossy-finish plastic, with most of the phone being 0.46-inches thick and a lip at the bottom, lifting the rear of the phone off the table and helping to avoid scratches. Some might prefer a more uniform design, however.

Samsung's 4.3-inch 800 x 480 Super AMOLED Plus display, steals the show up front, and is protected by a slab of Gorilla Glass. It's bright, color-saturated and beautifully vivid, and while the resolution may suffer in comparison to the iPhone 4 or Motorola ATRIX, the Samsung's sunlight performance and vast viewing angles go a long way to making up for that lapse in pixels, and Samsung's 50-percent extra sub-pixels do a great job of smoothing out text and graphics.

There are the standard four physical buttons – menu, home, back and search – all the way down at the bottom of the chassis. They can be a little hard to press with a thumb while supporting the phone with the same hand. There is a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and the usual proximity/light sensors, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge.

On the right side are volume keys and the microUSB charging port, while on the left is the power/lock button and, under a small flap, a micro HDMI port. We prefer the separate connector to the Galaxy S II's hybrid USB/HDMI port, which requires an adapter cable to use. On the back is an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with an LED flash. Sitting next to the camera is the 4G LTE SIM. Following on from the Thunderbolt, the Charge promises high-speed data connections that, in some cases, can exceed what you'll get from your home internet. The Charge also has the usual WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS, along with the standard digital compass, accelerometer and other sensors. Keeping things running is Samsung's 1GHz single-core Hummingbird processor.

Software and Performance

We are somewhat disappointed that the Charge is running Android 2.2 Froyo, especially since the Galaxy S II will already be running Gingerbread. Samsung's TouchWiz UI runs on top, which could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. The Mobile Hotspot app is extremely useful, assuming you have the relevant tethering plan, allows you to share the DROID Charge's 4G connection with up to five devices over WiFi. Samsung's AllShare DLNA app is also present, for streaming content wirelessly, as well as the HDMI port for direct connections. Other apps are bloatware: Lets Golf 2, Rhapsody and other titles, which unfortunately can't be removed.

Performance is quick, but not dual-core quick. The DROID Charge scored an unimpressive 998 in benchmarking tool Quadrant Advanced, and a sluggish 6337.3ms (lower is better) in browser benchmark SunSpider. Contrast that with the Galaxy S II's 3540 in Quadrant Advanced and 3584.3ms in SunSpider, and you can see that the LTE handset is at a disadvantage. That may become more of a problem as Android gets more demanding.

Camera

The 8-megapixel camera on the Charge takes some great pictures. The camera app is responsive and touch-focus useful, and though the LED flash is of limited use in truly dark scenes, it does the job in low-light situations.

Sample picture:

The Hummingbird processor limits video recording to 720p HD, rather than the 1080p on the Galaxy S II. Still, the end result is very watchable, with accurate colors and little blurring aside from during faster pans. There's the choice of either autofocus or touch-focus during recording, though it's not the quickest to react.

Sample video with the Charge:

Phone and Battery

Verizon's voice network is solid, and the DROID Charge suffers no issues with calls. The 4G is capable of some impressive numbers, showing speeds of up to 17.62 Mbps on the downlink and up to 7.2 Mbps on the uplink.

Having seen the HTC ThunderBolt chew through a full charge in short order, we were more than a little nervous about the DROID Charge's appetite. Happily it seems Samsung has managed to balance performance and power – impressive given the size and brightness of the Super AMOLED Plus display – with us managing 6-8 hours of heavy use before it died. With more casual use, and some tweaking of things like social network updates and other power settings, you could comfortably get through a day. Still, using the Mobile Hotspot app for any length of time chews through the battery in relatively short order.

Wrap-Up

The ThunderBolt opened our eyes to LTE on a smartphone, but its voracious thirst left us unable to recommend it to anybody other than early adopters. The DROID Charge by Samsung, however, is a far more balanced device, with plenty on its own to recommend it. We’re not thrilled with the plastic chassis, but the Super AMOLED Plus display is a joy and the battery life sufficient for a day's use.

As with other single-core smartphones we've reviewed recently, however, our primary concern is longevity. With Verizon asking a hefty $300 for the DROID Charge, with the usual two-year voice and data plans (and tethering if you want the useful mobile hotspot functionality), we'd want to know our new smartphone could handle anything Google or developers might throw at it down the line. The Samsung can certainly keep Froyo running today, but it falls short of the capabilities of a dual-core device and that might undermine what updates it can receive.

That's a concern not limited to the DROID Charge by any means, of course, and the single-core processor does likely assist with battery life. If data performance is your primary concern and you want the biggest, brightest display around, Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus smartphone ticks those boxes and then some.

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WiFi Only Galaxy Tab 7″ hardware differs from 3G model

Posted: 04 May 2011 11:11 AM PDT

This looks like nothing but bad news, according to some pretty unhappy users over at the XDA forums it looks like the WiFi-Only Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7″ model) has been downgraded on more than just a few things. It is much less than just a Galaxy Tab with no 3G radio inside. This has nothing to do with the upcoming 8.9″ or 10″ but it is disturbing news either way. Users are reporting it to have different hardware inside all together, with Samsung never mentioning this that is not cool. Weaker GPU that performs much worse in gaming, video playback taking a huge hit with that as well, even lack of HDMI features and more.

If you look at that 3rd line from the bottom in the picture above you will see PowerVR SGX530 listed as the graphics processor. The original Galaxy Tab and all Galaxy S phones came with the Samsung Hummingbird CPU that had a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Why does this matter, the SGX530 is much, much weaker. You will have slower, and worse gaming performance as well as video playback suffering. YouTube content in HD struggles, but was smooth before. This is all because the weaker GPU. All Galaxy S phones have a lower resolution with a better CPU/GPU so video playback and games rock, but the Galaxy Tab resolution is 1024×600, much larger with a weaker GPU. Some users reported anything in YouTube above 480p struggled.

From what I’m reading at XDA, the extremely powerful and popular Hummingbird platform from Samsung was replaced with the OMAP 3630 Platform with the much slower SGX530 GPU, but the processor speed was bumped up to 1.2 Ghz from 1.0 Ghz so the device feels pretty fast and snappy, but deep down it has been degraded. Samsung also removed GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 has been downgraded to Bluetooth 2.1, it doesn't support HDMI video output anymore either and it runs Android 2.2.

One user bought it along with the HDMI dock only to plug it in and get a error saying it doesn’t support HDMI Output. This is all pretty bad news, not only that but as far as I know Samsung did not mention ANY of this back when they announced the Wifi-Only going on sale. We will report more on this as we hear it, or if Samsung comes out to say anything regarding this issue. Looks like a little bait and switch to me.

[via XDA Forums]

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Nexus T Toshiba Tablet Next Official Google Release?

Posted: 04 May 2011 10:32 AM PDT

Let’s talk about this situation and see if we can’t piece together a few factoids. First, waaay back at the beginning of this year, a mystery tablet started showing up – one made by Toshiba, having a 10.1-inch screen, and sporting what would become Android 3.0 Honeycomb (testers floating around had Froyo, of course.) Have a look at our big reveal post and continue on – does that look like a tablet that Google would officially endorse as the next step in their flagship series? That very much appears to be what may be happening now!

Our good pals at Metalev have a few clues gathered up that point directly at this device being the next in the Nexus series – Nexus T they’re calling it, and with it’s NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, prismatic lithium-ion battery, and 1280 x 800 resolution 16:10 aspect ratio adaptive display, its definitely not out of the question.

What’s a prismatic battery? It’s a big fat battery that has 3 times the life of a standard lithium ion batter in essentially the same package. Besides sounding fantastic, why is this relevant now? Because @googlenexus has a challenge going on with their Twitter followers and the answer to the puzzle on the 2nd of May was PRISMATIC. – this puzzle put together by metalev’s Luke Hutchinson

@googlenexus’ challenge ends right before Google I/O – perhaps some free tablets are in the works for the masses of developers attending?

This tablet has been up for preview at Best Buy for some time now, but without a name and without much branding to go with it. Have a look at the video here and see if you think it’s possible that this is the next in line for Google’s infamous pack of powerful bigtime blasters:

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Droid Charge showing up early at Target?

Posted: 04 May 2011 10:26 AM PDT

If anyone missed it last week the Samsung Droid Charge was delayed last week after Verizon’s speedy 4G LTE Network went down. We are now seeing reports of some lucky users getting the Droid Charge a little early at places like Target. Run and check your local Target if you’d like.

From what I heard someone called Target, they had the Droid Charge so he drove down and got one. What an exciting moment I bet that was. I heard it was a boy so I’m assuming extra excited. Then all that excitement goes away when it wont activate. Lucky for the boy a Target employee does a little trickery and manages to get the Droid Charge to crash in on the Thunderbolts parade, and he was soon shooting lightning bolts of 4G from Target rooftops.

Other than all that rooftop lightning talk, we are seeing other reports of Verizon users getting the Droid Charge from places like Target, Radio Shack, and Best Buy if your lucky. So it looks like things are either back on track, or they will be soon. We have yet to hear anything official from Verizon Wireless as to when they will start selling the device themselves, but the @DroidLanding is still in full effect. Will you try and get one early? Let us know if you do.

[via AndroidCentral]

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Verizon launching the Droid X2, LG Revolution & HTC Trophy May 12th?

Posted: 04 May 2011 09:29 AM PDT

Summer is coming and it looks like Verizon plans to make it a big one as usual, with what seems to be an explosion of some Android powered goodness all at the same time. Can you say dual-core, err i mean 4G LTE. Verizon may be planning just that. It might not be the same day, but there is also talk of the Xperia play hitting two weeks later on May 26th. This sounds a bit like T-Mobiles April 20th launch of the G2x, G-Slate, and Sidekick 4G all on the same day. Maybe Verizon liked that idea.

If any of this is correct, it looks to be a huge day for Android, and Verizon. With a slew of top tier high powered phones to start the summer off right. I’ll give you a small rundown just to be nice. The LG Revolution is a 4.3″ powerhouse from LG that will be a 4G LTE phone, then the Droid X2 everyone knows. It is the Droid X with a dual-core Tegra 2 cpu for all your power needs. Then they are even launching the Win Phone 7 HTC Trophy the same day, but that doesn’t concern us android fans all that much now does it.

That looks to be one crazy day for Verizon, but we welcome them all. Earlier we say this roadmap for release dates, but things change fast so you never know. Like we mentioned above, according to sources the Xperia Play will also be getting launched in May, but wisely that will be going off May 26th after the rest calms down, as it has quite a few people excited by itself I think. With these dates coming up soon it makes me wonder if this is accurate, but we’ll take what we can get.

[via Phandroid]

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7digital for Android, Now With MP3 Downloads

Posted: 04 May 2011 09:04 AM PDT

7digital has launched a new version of its Android App today, which allows you to download music to your device. Previously, you needed to download music on your computer, and then sync your device, but now you can purchase music directly from your Android, as well as accessing any tracks you previously purchased with no need to connect.


The app is available in 16 countries on Android now, and features a music store with 14 million tracks. You can search and preview music from your device, and the app has the option to download a lower quality track while using cellular networks, in order to save bandwidth and battery, and then to get the higher quality track when access to WiFi is available. You can change the option in settings if you would rather download the higher quality track over your cell network.

It also allows for last.fm scrobbling, to build a profile of your musical taste. This feature can be enabled or disabled from the Settings screen.

Features:

  • An integrated store allows users to easily purchase and download music to their Android device
  • Optimised mobile delivery – Tracks will download in compressed, lower quality format when using a cellular network. Full MP3 320kbps quality files will be downloaded when a WiFi connection is available
  • The player allows users to access and sync tracks stored both locally on their device and in 7digital's cloud locker
  • Users can browse music by genre and new releases, and search for artist, track or album names. 7digital's top track and album charts are also available
  • Playlists can be created and managed within the application
  • 30 second previews of all tracks are available before purchase.

The app is free, and is available in Android Market, GetJar and the Amazon Appstore, and is compatible with Android 2.1 and higher.

And no new product release is complete without a CEO quote, so here you go:

"This major update to our Android application allows our customers to access and purchase high quality MP3 music, wherever they are, on their mobile or tablet device. 7digital is now available natively on the BlackBerry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Phones and Tablets and now all Android devices can access the 7digital service," comments Ben Drury, 7digital CEO. "With new cloud features, this update is a major step towards our vision of giving our customers access to their entire music collection on all of their devices."

The 16 countries in which the Android app is now available are: UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

And here is the whole press release, in all its Corporate glory, for your reading pleasure:

7digital Brings MP3 Downloads to Android

· MP3 Store and Digital Locker service launches in 16 countries on Android

· New 7digital Music for Android application adds a fully featured download store with access to over 14 million MP3 tracks

· Player mode allows users to access and sync their local and purchased music with Android smartphone and tablet devices

· Optimised delivery of tracks on mobile networks saves bandwidth and battery.

London, UK, 4th May 2011 – 7digital, the leading digital media company, today announced a new version of its Android application, bringing 7digital's download store to the Android platform.
7digital Music for Android allows users to access 7digital's 14 million strong catalog of high quality MP3 tracks and browse, preview, purchase and download music to their device, anytime, anywhere. The new version of the application acts as an all-in-one music player and download store, syncing new and previously purchased tracks from 7digital with a user's Android device.
New features include:
· An integrated store allows users to easily purchase and download music to their Android device

· Optimised mobile delivery – Tracks will download in compressed, lower quality format when using a cellular network. Full MP3 320kbps quality files will be downloaded when a WiFi connection is available

· The player allows users to access and sync tracks stored both locally on their device and in 7digital's cloud locker

· Users can browse music by genre and new releases, and search for artist, track or album names. 7digital's top track and album charts are also available

· Playlists can be created and managed within the application

· 30 second previews of all tracks are available before purchase.

"This major update to our Android application allows our customers to access and purchase high quality MP3 music, wherever they are, on their mobile or tablet device. 7digital is now available natively on the BlackBerry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Phones and Tablets and now all Android devices can access the 7digital service," comments Ben Drury, 7digital CEO.
"With new cloud features, this update is a major step towards our vision of giving our customers access to their entire music collection on all of their devices."
The application is available to Android users in 16 territories, UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Currency and pricing is localised for users in each region.
The 7digital Android application is free to download directly from the Android Market, GetJar and the Amazon Appstore. Further information on 7digital's mobile applications is available at 7digital.com/mobile.
The 7digital Music for Android application is compatible with Android 2.1 and above.
In the U.S., 7digital will participate in its 8th Music Hack Day event in San Francisco May 7 & 8, and will also attend SF MusicTech Conference on May 9. Vickie Nauman, VP of North America, will speak at the NARM Conference on May 12 in Los Angeles on the panel "Music In the Device Trenches – Advice from the Field."
###
About 7digital

Established in 2004, 7digital.com is a leading, globally operating digital media delivery company based in London. Through 7digital's download store (www.7digital.com) and mobile applications consumers can access over 14 million legal high quality MP3 music tracks, as well as audiobooks and videos, at competitive prices across Europe and North America.
Combining 7digital's secure and robust technology platform with the broadest agreements in the digital media industry, the company provides comprehensive digital download services to a wide range of partners around the world. 7digital has worked with record companies, artists, FMCG brands, retailers, consumer electronics companies, fashion brands, advertising agencies and many other organisations to harness the power of digital entertainment – music, video, audiobooks and ebooks – to engage customers.
The 7digital API (Application Programming Interface) allows developers to use and license the 7digital technology platform with over 14 million tracks to create new music websites, applications and devices or to integrate music into existing services.
7digital has provided digital media services to hundreds of international partners including, RIM, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Ubuntu, Shazam, Last.fm, Winamp, Songbird, HMV, Waterstone's, Pernod Ricard, Nestlé, Arcadia Group, Adidas, Procter and Gamble, Universal Music, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music.

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HTC Bliss a Verizon Android Phone made for Women

Posted: 04 May 2011 08:59 AM PDT

An Android smartphone made and designed specifically for women. I know I found it a bit of a surprise when I read it myself, but according to sources it looks like HTC has been fishing around with the idea for quite a while now and they plan to do just that. Bring a HTC Android phone to Verizon that will target women in particular, and I sort of like the idea. From what we have gathered they are targeting women in the 20-30′s range that are part of a group that will be testing the device that is supposed to come to market this year.

Take note that the image above is a mock-up of what it is supposed to look like, not an actual picture or release from HTC. The phone wont just be purple, or pink and have a makeup blocking layer on the screen or anything. They actually have put thought into this idea with apps such as calorie counters, and shopping comparison apps like ShopSavvy. According to thisismynext the greenish color in the photo is supposed to have a “calming effect” on the user, as well as a extra rubbery back for women to have an easier grip on the device. Something I think all users would enjoy.

Obviously this blissful phone would be running Android, and most likely the popular HTC Sense UI, but versions of those are both unknown at this time. We can assume the latest versions if it’s coming out later this year. Sense 3.0 makes sense (no pun intended). The most interesting part about this to me was the fact they plan to have an accessory that attaches to the device with a cable that they are calling a “charm indicator”. Like those little charm things that people had dangling on their old Nokia’s or RAZR back in the day, only this new design will light up and alert the owner of a missed call, or incoming text message, as well as making it easier to pull the phone from tight jeans or a purse as women are always doing. I personally miss the LED notification light from the G1, Nexus One, and Droid on most these new phones, so I like this feature a lot myself also. Just saying!

I would take all this with a grain of salt, for now it is just news. Targeting a specific group for a smartphone makes sense, but sort of doesn’t at the same time. I’d want everyone to buy my phone, both men and women. Last bit of information according to source is that this would be a typical HTC device like the Desire S and Desire Z, and if they mated you would get the Bliss, with no keyboard and a little thinner. Sounds pretty nice for all those android women we love here at AndroidCommunity. Stay tuned for more.

[via thisismynext]

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Samsung Announces May 24th Press Event in NYC

Posted: 04 May 2011 08:15 AM PDT

What could this one be? With two big events so close together, you’ve just got to assume it’s going to be a set of amazing phones jamming down the tube. What other event, you ask? Just yesterday we were told about a May 5th event (which we’ll also be at,) one that we’re banking will be the reveal point of the Samsung Infuse 4G, while this next one on the 24th is bound and determined to be the USA date for everyone’s favorite best-selling Android phone line. Can you guess what we’re guessing?

Here’s what we’re guessing: TouchWiz 4.0, a gigantic Super AMOLED Plus display, .33 inches thick – the Galaxy S II – how about it?! No, you say, that’s already been announced, I already know about that and Samsung couldn’t possibly want to announce it again? Take a rest, guy, this sort of thing happens all the time and so forth. We certainly wouldn’t mind getting another look at the phone that’s going to be blasting the Android world in the face repeatedly forever – it’s that good!

On the other hand, what about those tiny and amazing Samsung Galaxy Tab upgrades we saw back at CTIA 2011? Have a look at our hands-on with the 8.9 version here and have a peek at a working display model ala Germany right over here. Wouldn’t that be a surprise to behold? We’d like to beholding them right now, I can tell you that.

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Entourage Pocket eDGe hits Woot for $150

Posted: 04 May 2011 07:38 AM PDT

Entourage didn’t exactly set the education market alight with their dual-display E Ink and LCDPocket eDGe clamshell tablet, but sales mediocrity does have an interesting affect on pricing. Woot is currently offering the eDGe for $149.99, a far cry from the $399 it launched at late last year.

Your money gets you a 1.2GHz Marvell processor, 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, 6-inch E Ink epaper display, 3GB of internal storage, WiFi b/g and Bluetooth. OS is Android 1.6, though there are apparently Froyo builds floating around if you’re feeling brave.

As with all Woot deals, there’s limited stock and after today it’s gone, so if you’re interested it’s probably best to buy sooner rather than later. Anybody keen?

enTourage_PocketeDGe_WiFi_Dualbook84cDetail CE00151A_Specs08 CE00151A_specs01 )


HTC Desire HD and Incredible S Android 2.3 Gingerbread going OTA now

Posted: 04 May 2011 04:46 AM PDT

HTC has confirmed it is pushing out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Desire HD and HTC Incredible S. The OTA update will be flagged up with a message on the smartphones themselves, and bring the handsets up to speed with newer HTC devices like the HTC Desire S.

Of course you’ll still have HTC Sense and all the usual apps, but we’re expecting a little extra speed and stability thanks to the joys of Gingerbread. HTC advises backing up your phone before you upgrade, though it’s not clear if the update will actually wipe your phone in the process.

We’re checking our Desire HD now and will report back when we find out more. Let us know how you get on in the comments!

Update – HTC Desire HD Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) update

Your phone will receive a notification of FOTA update when it is made available. Simply press OK to accept the update via a data connection such as Wi-Fi or GPRS/3G. After installing the update, you can confirm a successful update by confirming the Build number (From the Home Screen go to MENU> Settings> About Phone> Software Information> Software number). The new Build number after the update will be 2.36.405.5. Update: Android 2.3 upgrade. Note:Please back up your data first before upgrading your phone. We recommend using a free Wi-Fi hotspot or an unlimited data plan to apply this update. If not, standard data connection charges may apply. For any questions, please contact us at http://www.htc.com/www/CA_Hotline.aspx

Update – HTC Incredible S Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) update

Your phone will receive a notification of FOTA update when it is made available. Simply press OK to accept the update via a data connection such as Wi-Fi or GPRS/3G. After installing the update, you can confirm a successful update by confirming the Build number (From the Home Screen go to MENU> Settings> About Phone> Software Information> Software number). The new Build number after the update will be 2.12.405.7. Update: Android 2.3 upgrade. Note:Please back up your data first before upgrading your phone. We recommend using a free Wi-Fi hotspot or an unlimited data plan to apply this update. If not, standard data connection charges may apply. For any questions, please contact us at http://www.htc.com/www/CA_Hotline.aspx

[via Mobile Bulgaria]

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Galaxy S II gets root-friendly insecure boot ROM

Posted: 04 May 2011 03:41 AM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy S II has only been on the market for a short while – and units are still in high demand – but we’ve already seen one of the first hacks of the smartphone. MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien has come up with a custom GSII insecure boot image that allows for adb shell root and adb remount.

The ROM itself doesn’t actually root the Galaxy S II, but it will allow owners to push the su binary and Superuser APK required for root. It also disables the flash-recovery script, replacing it with a call to /data/local/custom-scripting.sh.

It’s not the first root – one method was released at the tail end of April – but we’re definitely excited to see more modders turn their attention to the Galaxy S II. While the phone itself impressed us in our review, we also saw plenty of potential as a platform for custom ROMs.

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Vodafone HTC Sensation pre-orders open ahead of May 19 release

Posted: 04 May 2011 02:25 AM PDT

Vodafone UK have begun taking pre-orders for the HTC Sensation, ahead of what’s expected to be a May 19 release date for the dual-core Android smartphone. Announced last month, the Sensation will be priced from free with a new, two-year agreement of £35 ($58) per month or above.

Your money – and commitment – gets you a 4.3-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the latest version of HTC Sense with a clever lock-screen that integrates various widgets and app shortcuts. There’s also Qualcomm’s new dual-core 1.2GHz processor keeping things running, and 1080p HD video capture.

The Sensation is expected to launch in the US later in 2011 as the T-Mobile Sensation 4G, but for the moment Vodafone have exclusivity on the handset in Europe. No word on how long that will last for. More details on the HTC Sensation in our hands-on report.

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HTC ChaCha launch tipped by HTC Facebook events

Posted: 04 May 2011 01:12 AM PDT

HTC only confirmed a Q2 2011 release window for the HTC ChaCha, one of its two “Facebook phones” announced at MWC 2011 a few months back; however, it seems the company’s own Facebook pages have tipped more accurate dates. HTC Germany has announced a series of Facebook-centric events in Dortmund (Germany), Wien (Austria) and Zürich (Switzerland) kicking off June 18.

The Austrian event follows on July 2, while the Swiss event will take place on July 18. We’ve seen HTC hold similar public launch events before; the HTC Sensation gave them cause to stage a party in London last month for the new flagship.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the ChaCha – and perhaps its Facebook friend the HTC Salsa – won’t arrive in other markets first. HTC’s European range often goes on sale in the UK initially, so it’s possible the Android smartphone may show up there prior to mid-June.

[via the::unwired]

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Google I/O Official App – Go Get it Now!

Posted: 03 May 2011 03:25 PM PDT

Are you going to Google I/O next week? Well then, you need the official Android app for the conference. Even if you’re not attending, and want to follow the happenings, it is a good app to have. Google I/O, in case you were not aware for some strange reason, is Google’s sold-out developer conference being held on May 10th and 11th, and is jam packed with sessions and speakers.


The app allows you to look at the schedule, see detailed session and speaker info, and see the conference map.

You can also star sessions and Sandbox companies so that you can organize your schedule and refer back to the companies you’re interested in.

The app has a Bulletin section that gives you official updates during the conference so you can keep up with all the news, and also a realtime stream that shows tweets about the conference.

The app also lets you create and manage notes using Catch, and has a search feature so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

Remember, Android Community will be covering Google I/O live, so be sure to set up camp here next week as we feature all the breaking news from the conference.
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Asus Transformer preorders cancelled by Target – or were they?

Posted: 03 May 2011 02:38 PM PDT

We’ve been getting word from Target customers that due to severe product shortages, the Bulls Eye is canceling their Asus Transformer pre-orders. Customers following up by phone with Customer Service, however, are learning a different story – that the Transformer is actually just out of stock and that their orders aren’t canceled. Checking on Target’s Website, we found the Transformer listed as being out of stock. But whether it’s just out of stock or Target is giving up sending it out, many customers are frustrated and just plain angry.

Thank you for shopping at Target.com. Unfortunately, the following item is not currently available from any of our sources.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer 10.1″ Android Tablet (TF101-A1) with 16GB Hard Drive, 1GB Memory – Black/Brown

We have canceled this item from your order.

Earlier today we reported, Asus announcing they can only make about 10,000 units per month and that most were heading to Europe. A short production schedule is likely due to parts being in short supply. And that translates into retailer stocks being pretty low. And now, it’s apparent they’re running out.

Conspiracy theorists might think to link to Amazon where they may see the tablet ready to ship out the door – but take note! Amazon is supplied by Target, especially in this case you’ve got to know that the tablet wouldn’t come to your door any faster than if you’d ordered the same thing from a Target store. That is, unless you get some super sweet one day shipping deal out of Amazon. That’s always a possibility. As it stands now though, right around $600 is the best you’re going to be able to do.

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Notion Ink Tablet gets Gingerbread update, does anyone care anymore?

Posted: 03 May 2011 12:58 PM PDT

Notion Ink has added a new chapter to their two year old odyssey of building their Adam Android tablet from scratch. Notion has confirmed an update providing Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a new browser, and even a new eBook reader client. As you well know, Notion has been blogging the process step by step, giving users an inside peek on how tablets are created. For awhile, we thought they’d disappeared. Then last month, they announced updates to their tablet were forth coming. But since Adam was launched, Notion has run into customer service and shipping issues which has caused many who were eagerly awaiting release to seek other options. So the question is … does anyone really care?

Notion says that updating to Gingerbread moves them towards the goal of acclimating the Kernel and all apps closer to a merge to Honeycomb, which will require converting to eMMC OS. In addition to Gingerbread and the new eBook reader, usability issues resolved, a new multi-tasking environment added, and even simple video and music players.

CEO Rohan Shravan said that the delays before had been due to licensing issues pertaining to the book reader. Issues that appear to have been cleared up. The update is again promised here, but remains to be seen in the fleshy text. Shravan also goes on to say that the process has been a journey requiring “determination,” “the ability to learn fast,” “understand” their critics, and “keep moving forward.”

But could it be it too little to late?

[via NotionInk]

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Android Community App of the Week: Reddita

Posted: 03 May 2011 12:41 PM PDT

Hello all and welcome to the Android Community App of the Week! This week we’ve got a rather simple, uncluttered, excellently constructed app that allows you to explore your daily Reddit batch of stories, images, videos, and etcetera in an Android 3.0 Honeycomb-specific environment! That’s right, it’s a freaking Android tablet app! These are still rare at the moment I write this post, so you must excuse my excitement over what may seem like so small a thing in the distant future. This is Reddita, and you can choose to download it one of two ways – ads or non ads, free or $1.65 – let’s have a look at a demo, you can download the thang, then you can pass judgement in the pure Reddit fashion.

What you’re looking at here is Reddit transmitted to your Honeycomb tablet in just about as simple a package as you could imagine while remaining totally intuitive, usable, and enjoyable to the max. You’re essentially able to do anything you could do normally whilst browsing Reddit on your desktop, but now it’s got a bit of Honeycomb flavor to it. Scroll to the top of a menu and experience the slight haze of color. See the menus conveniently hidden left and right with subtle cues.

And the cost is excellent. It’s right there alongside the price people pay for premium ad-free apps that are otherwise free with ads, and it costs less than a bag of chips. You’ll still want a bag of chips incase you get hungry while you’re sitting there though because the app allows you to browse until infinity freezes over. It’s all white so the content can shine through – this means the developer knows both how to present a massive amount of unrelated content and has a kind regard for the choices the designers of Reddit.com have made.

Well played! I recommend it highly! Grab it from the Android Marketplace here!

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Samsung Galaxy SII Gorilla Glass Confirmed

Posted: 03 May 2011 11:48 AM PDT

It’s been confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S II has been designed with Gorilla Glass, that super bendable, and hard to scratch, thin layer of glass which makes a screen extremely durable to every day abuse. The Galaxy S also had Gorilla Glass, so it isn’t really all that big of news. But since the Galaxy S II is super thin, there was some question as to if Gorilla Glass was part of the design or not. Now we know.

Gorilla Glass is very hard to scratch or break. It’s ultra thin, easy to clean design allows for what Corning calls “a deep layer of high compressive stress,” and acts as a kind of clear armor for your phone. It’s durability is accomplished through a chemical strengthening process called “ion-exchange.” It resists local cracking and chipping which will weaken normal glass when in either direct or indirect contact.

With it’s ultra thin design, and highly durable Super AMOLED plus screen, the Samsung Galaxy S II also adds lightening fast performance. Under the hood, it enjoys a dual-core 1.2 Ghz. processor and 1Gb RAM. Running on HSPA+, the Galaxy S II has performance benchmarks that are off the charts. (Check out our test by Chris Davies from SlashGear. Thin, strong and fast, a deadly trifecta that should make Galaxy S II fans drool!

samsung_galaxy_s_ii_sg_review_8-540x421 gorilla-glass-top Galaxy-S-Screen-scratch-540x302

[via Samsung Hub]

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