Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Android Community

Android Community


Galaxy Nexus with Verizon 4G LTE spotted in the wild

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 10:50 AM PDT

We all knew this was coming with the talks of Verizon getting some sort of exclusive on the “Nexus” and passing on the Galaxy S II, but now we have official confirmation of the Galaxy Nexus with Verizon 4G LTE. Shown in the image below, the Galaxy Nexus that was used for the time-lapse and video demos during last nights Ice Cream Sandwich event was in fact the Verizon version. Thanks to Google employee Romain Guy, we now have the photos to show you below.

Clearly shown in the image above is the Galaxy Nexus and the Verizon 4G LTE symbol below the camera. No that is not AT&T because their goofy symbol has flames and isn’t nearly as cool as Verizon’s. We all assumed this would happen, but for those that were a little worried you can rest at ease as this bad boy is coming soon. The next image shows just how thin the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will be. We’ve heard the LTE model will be slightly thicker but shown in the image below it still looks to be super thin and sleek.

If you didn’t watch the Google event live last night you missed the amazing video quality this camera takes. We saw a few time-lapse demos and video samples that were taken using the phone you see above. For all of our latest news and coverage of both devices head to the Galaxy Nexus portal, and the Ice Cream Sandwich portal to get up to speed. The latest leaks from Verizon suggest a November 10th launch date for the Galaxy Nexus 4G (that is what I’m calling it), so we should be hearing more very soon from Samsung and Verizon.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Nexus Prime
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.65 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.33 Inch
  • Width : 2.67 Inch
  • Depth : 0.35 Inch
  • Weight : 135 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1750 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4460
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 900
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Google+]

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ASUS Eee Pad Transformer might be the first tablet to ICS

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 10:30 AM PDT

First off, this isn’t really exactly news because isn’t this what we all expect when we buy Android? That our devices at some point will get updated to the latest and greatest OS as they become available? At least most right? While this story is completely obvious I’m sure many will be extremely happy to hear that the ASUS Transformer will indeed be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. What’s even better is it might also be the first tablet to receive the update, although the Xoom might have something to say about that.

New details have emerged that confirm the highly popular Transformer tablet will be one of, if not the first tablet with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Transformer is one of the best selling Honeycomb tablets to date so I’m sure there are plenty of users giddy with excitement right about now. Although chances are the first tablet with ICS might actually be the Transformer 2 we saw reports on earlier this week.

In case you missed it, ASUS teased us with a video this morning regarding the new Transformer 2 and the image above came right from the video. They look to be prepping the next tablet in their series and it very well could be the first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, and the original would receive an OTA update following that launch. With that teaser video today, we can expect to see some details at the All Things D event going on tonight that ASUS will be attending so stay tuned. I’m hoping for some juicy details and have a feeling they are coming tonight.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Eee Pad Transformer
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : AT&T T-Mobile
    Announced Date : January 20, 2011
    Release Date : April 13, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.67 Inch
  • Width : 6.73 Inch
  • Depth : 0.51 Inch
  • Weight : 680 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 6547 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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HTC Wildfire S hits US Cellular

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 10:16 AM PDT

Today the HTC Wildfire S is finally available on US Cellular. For those wanting a great smartphone in a small package, this is for you. Revealed back in January the Wildfire S is one of HTC’s best entry level smartphones available and has a better build quality than any free or low priced smartphone I’ve seen to date, and today it is now available from US Cellular.

What we have is an awesome little phone with a 3.2″ display and Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a 5 MP camera and the usual great build quality with aluminum casing that we all know and love from HTC. Announced by US Cellular last month users from that carrier can now get this phone completely free — with a new contract of course. Although the T-Mobile version we’ve already enjoyed some hands-on time with the Wildfire S so if you’d like to check it out before making the purchase then click here.

The Wildfire S is by no means a powerful device, coming in with a 600 MHz processor, but for the price you pay it will handle almost everything and do it well. From playing games like Angry Birds to browsing the web we found the Wildfire S to be quite enjoyable and many others will too, especially first time smartphone buyers. Again, the Wildfire S is available on US Cellular starting today completely free with a new 2-year contract (and a $100 MIR). Being another solid option running 2.3 Gingerbread I’d recommend you check it out if you’re on US Cellular.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Wildfire S
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : T-Mobile Vodafone
    Announced Date : February 15, 2011
    Release Date : April 27, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 3.20 Inch
  • Resolution : 320x480
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 3.99 Inch
  • Width : 2.34 Inch
  • Depth : 0.49 Inch
  • Weight : 105 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1230 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 360 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : S1
    CPU Clock Speed : 600 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : .512 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via US Cellular]

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Samsung Galaxy Tab Plus pre-orders live at Amazon

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 09:54 AM PDT

It’s time to tab again according to Samsung and Amazon. The recently unveiled Galaxy Tab Plus 7″ is finally available at another big time retailer for pre-order although we still aren’t sure when exactly it will be shipping. Pre-order pages from J&R were spotted earlier this month but were quickly taken down but I have a feeling the Amazon pages might last a bit longer.

Just a few short days ago the 7″ Tab Plus passed through the FCC, a clear indication that it will be hitting the streets here soon — line that up with the new pre-order pages on Amazon and we likely have a launch coming soon. The order page seems to only offer Wi-Fo variants at the moment but we can expect to see connected models soon as we’ve recently spotted one rocking T-Mobile 4G HSPA+.

As we already know, prices will be $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model. Hardware specs include a 7″ display with a modest 1024 x 600 resolution, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, 3.0MP camera with 2MP on the front, then the usual ports and sensors with USB 2.0 and of course Wi-Fi. I still think 8.9 might be the perfect size but for those wanting to get the latest from Samsung hit the pre-order links below.

Galaxy Tab Plus 7″ 16GB – $399
Galaxy Tab Plus 7″ 32GB – $499

[via GalaxyTabLife]

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Dolphin Browser HD updates with bookmark sync

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:56 AM PDT

I’ve always found that one of the most frustrating things about constantly flashing new ROMs is that I have to set up non-Google apps like third party browsers all over again. Today that process gets a little easier in one of Android’s most popular browsers, Dolphin. Dolphin HD7 includes a bookmark sync feature, backing up your bookmarks to Dolphin’s servers, not unlike Chrome or Firefox Sync.

The addition will be a welcome one for anyone who’s ever forgotten to back up their bookmarks to an SD card (cough, cough). The syncing feature, which is labelled “Dolphin Connect,” will also back up most of the browser settings, like gestures and history, though apparently any extensions will still need to be re-downloaded. Unfortunately Dolphin doesn’t hook into your Google account, so users will have to sign up for yet another account before using the service. The new version also offers “webzine” sites, which are RSS-powered specially formatted pages.

If you’ve yet to try Dolphin Browser HD on your smartphone or tablet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The tabbed interface, gesture control and sliding access to bookmarks and extensions makes for a much more versatile app than the standard browser, and it tends to be a lot more stable than desktop converts like Opera or Firefox Mobile. A wide variety of themes and extensions are available on the Android Market, and like the browser itself, they’re free. The latest version hasn’t hit the Market yet, but you can download it from GetJar for some side-loading goodness. Version 7 will hit the Market on Sunday.

[via Lifehacker]

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HTC officially unveils EVO Design 4G with WiMAX

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:21 AM PDT

Not content to let Samsung and Motorola hog the limelight for long, HTC has revealed its latest entry in the EVO line. The HTC EVO Design 4G is a 4-inch Gingerbread phone packing WiMAX and world phone capabilities. The phone runs on a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, which combined with 768MB of RAM should be able to handle the 960 x 540 qHD screen nicely.

The EVO Design 4G earns its name from its unibody aluminum construction, a trait it shares with some of HTC’s slickest handsets like the Sensation. The press release mentions .47 inch (11.9mm) depth, about on par with other 4-inch smartphones, and considerably thinner than most WiMAX handsets. Some sacrifices had to be made – the 5 megapixel rear camera is midrange, and the 1520 mAh battery will likely take a beating when using the faster connection standard. HTC Sense 3.5, Watch DLNA certification and a 3G/4G mobile hotspot are included.

Other features include the basic WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS combination, and the phone includes an 8GB MicroSD card, though internal storage is currently a mystery. The phone will go on sale this Sunday, October 23rd for $99 on a two-year contract, less $50 for the mail-in rebate. The pricing and size makes the HTC EVO Design 4G a suitable replacement for the EVO Shift 4G, so expect that phone to be discounted soon enough.

[via SlashGear]

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Foxconn tipped to build next gen Kindle Fire

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:17 AM PDT

A rumor is floating around today that Foxconn has landed orders for the next Kindle Fire tablet. The next version of the tablet is mostly mystery right now with no word on what will make the tablet different from the original. The next Kindle Fire could possibly be the same tablet we already have with the addition of a 3G modem inside.

The next Fire could also be a tablet with a larger screen to compete more directly with the iPad. The rumor has Foxconn making the next Kindle while Quanta Computer is making the current Kindle Fire. If Foxconn has in fact landed the second generation Kindle Fire contract the company will be making the bulk of the tablets on the market today.

Foxconn already produces the Apple iPad 2 and the Sony Tablet S. with the new Kindle Fire the source of the leak claims Foxconn would be the builder of 80% of the tablets on the market. Foxconn is building iPad 2 tablets as fast as possible along with the iPhone 4S. The company is expected to see some significant Q4 profits thanks to the heavy orders of those Apple devices. Amazon is expected to ship about 5 million Kindle Fire tablets this year.

[via DigiTimes]

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Motorola RAZR to get Android 4.0 OTA in early 2012

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 07:50 AM PDT

We went hands on with the Motorola Droid RAZR smartphone yesterday at the unveil event in NYC. We think the smartphone is pretty cool. As cool as the RAZR is we were more than a little bit bummed that it wouldn’t come out of the box with Android 4.0 ready to go. Motorola has offered up the time frame for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to hit the RAZR though.

The update will come OTA in “early” 2012. That is far from a firm date, but at least we know it is coming and will be an easy install. The smartphone was unveiled in NYC yesterday and all we know for a launch date so far is November. Right out of the box the RAZR will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. A more precise date for the upgrade will be offered later.

We do know the hardware specs for the RAZR thanks to our quality hands on time you can see on video here. The device gets a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.2GHz OMAP 4 processor, and 1GB of RAM. It also has 16GB of storage and supports the Verizon 4G LTE network.

[via SlashGear]

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Galaxy Nexus SIM-free price: $680

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 07:47 AM PDT

While we don’t know exactly when the Galaxy Nexus will be hitting store shelves aside from the nebulous “November“, in at least one territory we have a firm price for the contract-free version. All Nexus phones are unlocked, but in countries that aren’t burdened with the “competitive” wireless market in the US, you can easily buy a phone without a SIM card. IN the UK, the Galaxy Nexus will cost £429, or about $680 USD.

A couple of things to note: that price is before a considerable Value-Added Tax, and it’s the smaller 16GB version. At present, there are no plans to release the larger 32GB model in the UK, which could be an important deciding factor for those who like to take large collections of media on the go. Like the Nexus S before it, the Galaxy Nexus has no MicroSD card slot. The price also reflects the HSPA+ model, as the UK currently has no LTE networks.

While off-contract prices for the US are tentative until one of the carriers makes an announcement, you can expect that the Galaxy Nexus will be in the $600 range for the 16GB model. The on-contract LTE price looks like it will be $299 on Verizon at least, though that may not include a mail-in rebate. Be sure to check out our hands-on coverage of the Galaxy Nexus to tide you over until it comes to our fair shores.

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola DROID RAZR: superphone shootout

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 07:18 AM PDT

We saw a couple of big announcements in the Android world yesterday: Motorola’s new flagship DROID RAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Since Verizon customers at least may soon have to make a hard choice, we’ve put up a direct comparison between the two devices. Which one will reign supreme at the top of the Android heap?

Screen

Both devices feature a Super AMOLED screen, which by our reckoning is just about the best out there ate the moment. Technically the Galaxy Nexus’ screen is larger at 4.65 inches to the DROID RAZR’s 4.3, but as we reported earlier, that extra real-estate will mostly be used by Ice Cream Sandwich’s soft navigation buttons, and since the RAZR has the standard capacitive buttons, I invite you to judge for yourself which is better. What doesn’t need any judgement is the resolution: the Galaxy Nexus features a 1280 x 720 screen, while the DROID RAZR uses a less sharp but still impressive 960 x 540. This is a big deal for resolution junkies, but honestly, many won’t be able to tell the difference – if you’ve never found yourself counting pixels on your phone’s screen before, rest assured that either device will blow you away. The choice here depends on whether you prefer the standard capacitive navigation buttons or Ice Cream Sandwich’s virtual ones.

Processor and RAM

The Galaxy Nexus and the DROID RAZR both use a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor and a full gigabyte of memory, matching up with the latest of high-end Android smartphones. But here the Nexus has a slight edge: the Samsung phone uses the TI OMAP4460 model, while the RAZR uses OMAP4430. The difference is in the graphics processor, and on that score, the Nexus wins out. The difference between the two is subtle, but definitely quantifiable. Also, the 4460 is designed to run at clocks speeds of up to 1.5GHz, so overclockers should have an easy time getting even more speed out of the Galaxy Nexus. Both phones will start at 16GB of internal memory, with some models of the Nexus getting a bump up to 32GB.

Construction

As much as we love Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones, the DROID RAZR is undeniably slick, with its exposed 7.1mm steel frame and Kevlar accents. The Motorola phone will turn heads wherever it goes, whereas the Galaxy Nexus just looks like a Galaxy S II with some curvy design elements. For strength and style the RAZR wins out, but don’t forget that it’s sacrificing a removable battery. Both phones use Gorilla Glass for their large screens, so durability shouldn’t be a problem. Both phones will have HSPA+ or LTE depending upon which market they’re being sold in – the international version of the DROID RAZR will simply be known as the Motorola RAZR.

Camera

Samsung will shout to the heavens that their 5 megapixel CMOS sensor is superior to other 8 megapixel phone cameras like the DROID RAZR’s, but until we can hold both phones in our hands and do some direct comparisons, we’re going to have to give this one to Motorola. We’ve taken a few shots with both phones, and while each is a solid shooter, in an ideal situation I want as many pixels as I can get. Assuming that the DROID RAZR will have access to Ice Cream Sandwich’s enhanced camera software at some point, it should be able to best the Galaxy Nexus.

Battery

Technically speaking, the DROID RAZR has the larger battery of the two, at 1800 mAh to 1750 mAh. But I’m giving this one to the Galaxy Nexus on account of its being a traditional removable battery. The DROID RAZR’s will be non-removable. Motorola can say all they like about extended battery managers in the software (and the other customizations they add aren’t going to help), but at the end of the day, nothing’s going to beat a quick battery swap when you’re on the run.

Software

It hardly seems fair to compare a developer phone to a standard Android handset, but given Motorola’s awful track record when it comes to updates, it should be an important factor in your purchasing decision. The simple fact is that the DROID RAZR won’t be on the Galaxy Nexus’ level of Ice Cream Sandwich for several months at the least, and when it finally is upgraded, you can rely on Motorola to supply their generally undesirable “UI enhancements” and slow down the experience.

Motorola is touting their new MotoCast as a cloud initiative, but in reality, it’s remote file access. While that’s certainly appreciated, it requires you to keep a computer on at home at all times – something that might not be typical in a laptop-dominated market. The fact that much of its functionality is duplicated with real cloud services like Google Music, Google Docs and Dropbox doesn’t help. The rest of Motorola’s customizations aren’t exactly bad, but they do slow down Android, and most of us would prefer a “clean” Android experience on the Nexus.

Even worse, the mod community probably won’t be able to bring Ice Cream Sandwich any sooner, since Motorola and Verizon have made the infuriating decision to lock the bootloader. That means that custom ROMs will likely be stuck with the latest kernel that Motorola provides, and you won’t see Ice Cream Sandwich on the DROID RAZR any sooner than Motorola wants you to. The Galaxy Nexus will have better software from day one, and unless Motorola shows a shocking change in corporate policy, it’s likely to stay that way.

Conclusion

Do you even need to ask? For superior software, an incredible screen resolution, a slight edge in hardware and a removable battery, the Galaxy Nexus wins in a knockout. If hardware was the only consideration the DROID RAZR might have held up on style alone, but the locked bootloader means RAZR owners won’t be getting Ice Cream Sandwich in any capacity for several months at the least. Since the leaked price for the Galaxy Nexus matches the $299 MSRP of the DROID RAZR, there’s just no reason not to go with Google’s official developer phone, at least until we get both of them in for a full review. Now we’ve just got to wait for both of them to become available.

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Google Music Store will have “Google in it” says Rubin

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 05:29 AM PDT

We have been hearing rumors for a while now that Google was hard at work on its own MP3 music store. Google does have its music streaming cloud service that lets the user upload tunes they already have to the cloud. We also know that Google had worked to get a music store open in the past, but that ultimately failed to happen.

Google is reportedly now close to opening is own music store again. Android chief Andy Rubin has said at the AsiaD conference, “I think we are close.” Rubin also noted that the music store would be more than just a place selling 99 cent music tracks. He noted it “would have Google in it.” He didn't elaborate on exactly what that means.

As AllThingsD points out, so far reports have claimed that only EMI is close to a deal with Google. Google will need all the major music publishers on board to really make a go of a music store. If Rubin says close he is either optimistic or other labels have signed on that we don’t know about. Rubin was also surprisingly candid about why the negotiations broke down last spring with record labels. According to Rubin, the problem is that the media industry saw Google as a search company and couldn’t figure out what Google was up to.

[via AllThingsD]

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Rubin says 6M Android tablets are now on the market

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 04:54 AM PDT

Andy Rubin, the head of Android at Google, has offered up a detail on the Android tablet market that sheds some light on just how well the tablets are doing. According to Rubin right now there are 6 million tablets in the wild. Last week we had heard from developer estimates that there were only 3.4 million Honeycomb tablets in the wild. If the dev estimates were accurate, that would mean that a bit over half of the Android tablets out there are Honeycomb.

However, it’s not clear if the developer estimate was anywhere near accurate. It’s also not clear if the number of tablets Rubin offers includes only Honeycomb devices or earlier tablets that ran the smartphone version of the OS like the original Galaxy Tab. Google is gearing up to get even more Android tablets on the market.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be the big motivator for Android tablet adoption or at least Google hopes so. The newest 4.0 version of Android will be for tablets and smartphones in one build combining the ecosystem. Will you be buying an Android 4.0 tablet?

[via SlashGear]

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2 flaunted on video

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 04:22 AM PDT

We have already heard speculation that the Eee Pad Transformer 2 tablet could be landing on November 7. We still don't have a solid launch date for the new Android tablet. The device has now landed on a video giving us a bit of tease on the new tablet, and it looks pretty darn good. You have to catch little glimpses of the tablet in the video since there are no long looks.

You can glean some factoids from the video though like the tablet camera now gets an LED flash. The keyboard also appears to have a different design than the original Transformer, but it does still pack in USB connectivity. The big change that is spied on the video is a thinner overall design than the original. Asus has also moved away from a plastic chassis and gone to a metal chassis in the Transformer 2.

Asus has already confirmed the price of the tablet at $499 and has hinted that the tablet might pack in Android 4.0. We will hold judgment until we hear what the Transformer 2 has on the inside. However, at a glance it looks like a nice upgrade from the original.

asus_next_transformer_teaser_1 asus_next_transformer_teaser_2 asus_next_transformer_teaser_3 asus_next_transformer_teaser_4 asus_next_transformer_teaser_5-580x317

[via SlashGear]

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Ballmer says you need to be a computer scientist to use Android

Posted: 19 Oct 2011 04:06 AM PDT

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is at it again with wild comments about the competitors of Windows Phone reports Telegraph.co.uk. Ballmer was blasting Android at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco recently claiming that the OS was difficult to use. Ballmer went so far as to say that you needed to be a computer scientist just to use Android.

Ballmer said, “You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone…It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones.”

While Ballmer blasts Android for usability, he is more forgiving on the iPhone and Apple in general calling the company “a good competitor” and especially praising the new Siri assistant feature on the iPhone 4S. Despite heaping a bit of praise on Apple, Ballmer still maintains that the Windows Phones are better than both Android and iPhone offerings.

He claims that Windows Phone is much better than the competition at putting the user’s information front and center. According to Ballmer with Windows Phone, you don't have to go through icons and pages to find the information users want.

“Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically…. but when you grab a Windows phone and use it… your information is front and centre… and you don't have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah.”

"A Windows phone gets things done."

[via SlashGear]

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus official hands-on [Video]

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 10:27 PM PDT

Whew, the wait is over and the next superphone from Google is finally here and it indeed is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So far all I can say is WOW! For full specs of the Galaxy Nexus click here. The event is finally starting to wrap up in Hong Kong but don’t worry, we have hands-on pictures and video with the new Galaxy Nexus so check it all out after the break.

Hopefully you all watched live as Google and Samsung unveiled the new device, and if you did you’re probably drooling from the mouth as am I. Now I’m sure a few will still want to see a list of specifications so just to be nice I have the full list for everyone to check out. This thing has an amazing 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution and will look incredible, then a blazing fast 1.2 GHz dual-core processor to speed things along. Check out the list:

-Android 4.0 Ice Cream
-4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Screen with a 1280 x 720p resolution
-1.2GHz dual-core processor
-Redesigned UI in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
-Improved multi-tasking, notifications, Wi-Fi hotspot, NF support, full web browsing
-Android 4.0 features Software Navigation buttons
-People App with Google+ and social network integration
-Redesigned camera with panorama mode, 1080p video, zero-shutter lag, new faces and background replacement features
-Face Unlock: Facial recognition to unlock your phone
-Android Beam uses NFC to easily share all content with other Android users by tapping the phones together
-Pure Google Experience Device
-8.94mm thick, 4.29mm bezel
-LTE and HSPA+ connectivity for a wide carrier launch
-Available in USA, Europe, and Asia beginning in November on multiple carriers

I’ve covered tons of the new changes of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and you can see more details on that here, and if you watched the event live you saw it all too. I’ll skip all those little things as we’ve known the specs and information for a while now, and instead get right into the good stuff — hands-on pictures and video.

Google really has reinvented the wheel here with Ice Cream Sandwich. Everything is extremely polished, simple, user friendly and just gorgeous. From the new application launcher tray, widget selector, People app with HD tiles of all the important people in your phone and more. They’ve really stepped it up a notch and iOS5 should be afraid, very afraid. As far as size is concerned, with no dedicated capacitive buttons the larger screen fills that space and doesn’t make the device actually larger. What we have is an average sized smartphone that will feel very similar in size and nothing out of the ordinary, yet have that brilliant 4.65″ display.

While this is still Android and something we completely understand. Everything is newer, prettier, re-sizable and HD. Everything is HD from pictures of friends and contacts, tiles and more, nothing looks average and the entire device is as crisp and clear as possible. Google is moving away from the long-press to do things on a touchscreen and will make as many things as possible be done via swipe gestures instead. While many things will remain the same, plenty has changed.

Galaxy Nexus hands-on:

We could go on for a long time regarding all the latest changes but instead we’ll just let you check out all the videos and photos and see for yourself.

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Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Nexus Prime
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.65 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.33 Inch
  • Width : 2.67 Inch
  • Depth : 0.35 Inch
  • Weight : 135 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1750 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4460
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 900
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

)


Ice Cream Sandwich new features not mentioned during webcast

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 09:49 PM PDT

So we all know the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are now official, but there are probably a few things that the Google and Samsung event didn’t cover. I’m sure many of you watched the event live from YouTube.com/Android and if you didn’t the links above have all our coverage. We’ve spotted a few awesome features not covered during the event and all the details can be found after the break.

Thanks to Dan Morrill over on Google+ we have an awesome list of some amazing new features for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that were not mentioned by Google or Samsung during the event tonight. First we now can hide applications that we wont use — yes I mean all those pointless bloatware applications. In 4.0 ICS Android has introduced a feature called “disable apps”. We will have an option natively on any ICS device to completely disable and hide applications we don’t need or want. They wont be removed, but will be hidden, and will not use any resources. The application can be hidden or shown, once hidden will be gone from the application tray. So basically out of sight and out of mind, but still on the phone in case you ever need it.

The download manager that was introduced with Android 2.3 Gingerbread has received an overhaul too, it features a new and simple user interface that is easier to understand. Downloads can quickly be viewed, cleared, or deleted right from the new download manager in ICS. Then he also mentioned a few things we did see from the Google event, such as all the settings menu’s being completely different and the revamped camera interface and controls. Google has put forth tons of effort in these areas and users will love the new changes and look. Dan then mentions all sorts of changes to the security and encryption. Honeycomb added full-device encryption, but ICS brings it to phones. There is also a slew of changes, enhancements and new audio effects that will all be available from the all new audio API.

I’m sure we will hear plenty more regarding Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and all the new features over the next few days so don’t forget to check in often and see whats new at Android Community. Again all the latest news can be found on our Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich portals.

[via Google+]

)


Ice Cream Sandwich UI enhancements – a new spin on Android

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 09:41 PM PDT

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was just unveiled to the world tonight, and already it’s showing some amazing promise in the user interface department. Nearly every element of the OS has been overhauled, and new features can be found at every turn. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from your next Android phone.

Lockscreen and Notification bar

Functionally, there’s not a lot different about the Ice Cream Sandwich home screen. It’s got the familiar circle unlock from Honeycomb, but a new link will take you to the camera app, whereas Gingerbread just gave you the option of unlocking or silencing the phone. No word on how users can silence the phone while unlocked. The notification bar looks similar, but it includes the ability to swipe away notifications individually, instead of an all or nothing approach with a “clear” button. The notification bar can now be lowered directly from the lockscreen, allowing you to immediately jump into an app from its notification.In what is certainly the coolest new feature of the lockscreen, a forward-facing camera can be set to recognize a single users face, allowing for an almost instant and effortless unlock.

Homescreen 

The Ice Cream Sandwich homescreen borrows a lot of elements from the Honeycomb equivalent, and not just in its look and feel. Tablet users will recognize the running apps list (available anywhere in the OS), but now you can swipe any app away to instantly close it, just like a card on WebOS. In a welcome addition, widgets can now be resized at will, a feature that MotoBlur and third party launchers have had for some time. The quick links on the bottom of the homescreen can now be defined by the user, including app folders, which get some new smoother creation and addition animations.

Camera

Google is making a big effort to improve both the camera itself and the video capture feature in the new OS. New additions include continuous focus, selective focus, instant sharing to any supported app, and an image editor built-in to the standard Android gallery. The image editor is a lot like Instagram, and should be a welcome addition for compulsive shutterbugs. Live Effects can transform videos on the fly, making for some fun but ultimately frivolous results. The software is also much faster, allowing for an “instant” shutter, according to Google. In a feature that’s been way too long coming, users can take screenshots without any modifications by holding the Power and Volume Down buttons at once. A new panoramic assist mode helps you capture and upload panoramas.

Browser

The standard browser is getting a few crucial new features, allowing it to truly compete with third-party browsers for the first time. In addition to speed and stability improvements, the browser can now switch its user agent from Android to desktop on the fly, allowing easy access to full websites that default to a mobile view. Pages can now be saved for offline reading, and the Android browser will automatically sync its bookmarks with your Google Chrome install, assuming that you use the same Google log in and password. For heavy data users, a new data manager allows you to see and curtail your usage – you cna even set up a hard cutoff to keep you from getting overage charges.

Android Beam and NFC

Near-field communications are getting a major overhaul in Ice Cream Sandwich. The “Android Beam” feature will allow an ICS user to instantly share whatever they’re doing with a compatible phone simply by touching the backs to one another. Web pages, photos and apps work already, letting users see Android Market links for the latter. The APIs for Beam are available to developers, so expect to see some creative use out of these features in the near future.

That’s just the most dramatic of Google’s improvements – expect a more in-depth look as developers get a hold of the SDK, and when the Galaxy Nexus hits stores sometime in November. For a full rundown of the new features, check out Google’s developer page.

Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on demo

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Nexus Prime
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.65 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.33 Inch
  • Width : 2.67 Inch
  • Depth : 0.35 Inch
  • Weight : 135 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1750 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4460
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 900
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

)


Meet the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 08:29 PM PDT

It’s finally official the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich have fully been unveiled. The Android 4.0 SDK is available starting today and has a slew of amazing new features and options for users and developers alike. Only a few minutes after the event and we already have an entire page to show you everything you need to know. Head on to Google.com/nexus and enjoy the show.

Google has finally unveiled all the details and the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich SDK is available starting right now. For all the details and a awesome video check out android.com and even better the brand new Google.com/nexus page. We also have added the awesome video below for your viewing pleasure.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich video

Google has made an awesome site that will show you almost all you need to know about Android, the Nexus, and ICS right at the link provided above. Here are a few photos just to tease you all but I highly suggest you check it out right now.

From Android Beam, the new Face Unlock feature, voice typing that has been much improved, a new Google+ application and more. They have all the bases covered and the site is pretty awesome. Again, that is Google.com/Nexus and more 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich details are available at developer.android.com

nexus PAGE 4.0 android beam
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Nexus Prime
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.65 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.33 Inch
  • Width : 2.67 Inch
  • Depth : 0.35 Inch
  • Weight : 135 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1750 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4460
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 900
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

)


Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich SDK is available today

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 08:15 PM PDT

Consumers might not be getting their hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus until November, but developers can prepare for the new Ice Cream Sandwich right now. Google has posted the software development kit on the Android website for anyone and everyone to begin using. For non-developers, this means that as soon as you get a Galaxy Nexus or another Ice Cream Sandwich phone, apps that take advantage of the new OS features should be available.

Google showed off some of these feature in its Hong Kong event, and boy are they plentiful. As far as API calls go, phones sporting NFC chips can share almost anything automatically with the Android Beam feature. Developers can integrate Beam into their own apps. The new contacts view, “People,” will pull together information from any social network that supports it. And the new notification system will allow users to instantly access apps from the homescreen or dismiss the notifications with a swipe.

We spotted some exciting new sensor capabilities in the 4.0 SDK release: temperature and humidity sensors. These should be a godsend for weather apps, which will no longer need to rely on remote thermometers or barometers to display local weather info. The unified code of Ice Cream Sandwich should make developing cross-compatible apps for tablets and smartphones easier than ever.

The download is available now from the Android Developers website.

)


Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich confirmed with details

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 06:49 PM PDT

We’ve known the name for months and months as Ice Cream Sandwich but until recently many were still guessing on the version number and what we’d see with Ice Cream Sandwich. The full details are coming in just a few minutes when the official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Galaxy Nexus event gets under way. Watch it live at YouTube.com/Android. We now have confirmation on a few extra special details such as facial recognition unlock, NFC sharing and more all coming to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Obviously we already know plenty about the next iteration of Android with the various tips and leaks and you can see all of our coverage at the Ice Cream Sandwich Portal. New details have emerged today confirming most of the details, and sharing a few new ones. Obviously we have the new user interface, a highly improved multi-tasking system just like Honeycomb and more. A few of the new things are Face Unlock, Android Beam, and a new Google application called People.

First off Multitasking has been given a complete overhaul just as Honeycomb received. Featuring large and easy to see icons showing what the task is actually doing, not just an icon like other OS options. You can slide through them just like Honeycomb and slide to clear. Yes we can flick to clear multitasking applications right from here — simple, easy and natural.

The new Google “People” app will let you connect with friends and family on social networks such as Google+ and others, and allow you to see all of there status updates in one place and browse all their pictures in HD quality. Then the new Face Unlock will use a special facial recognition software to unlock your phone, and we have Android Beam. It will use NFC to allow users to simple and quickly share things like web pages, applications, pictures, maps, games, and YouTube videos all via NFC by simply tapping the phones together. Show your buddy a video by tapping his phone and Android Beam will send him the YouTube video — neat huh.

The camera, calender, on-screen keyboard, gmail and more all have been redesigned. Keyboard now have an improved copy/paste, and even a real-time spell check. Yes we have real-time spell check with Ice Cream Sandwich. The entire voice-to-text has been redesigned and more. We are still digging through the entire event and I’m sure everyone is watching along so stay tuned for hands-on.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was just made official, being unveiled tonight and will be the first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but we all knew that already. Samsung has worked closely with Google and this will be a “Google Experience Device” with all the applications we know and love, as well as the new ones such as Face Unlock, Android Beam, People and more.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich video

ICSAndroid3 ICS 4.0 Nexus 1 Nexus 2 roboto beam )


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