Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Android Community

Android Community


HTC begins OTA rollout for Sense security flaw fixes

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 09:20 AM PDT

A few weeks ago news broke about a massive security flaw in nearly all of HTC’s current Android devices, stemming from customizations that the manufacturer made to the core Android files. Shortly after the flaw came to light, HTC vowed to fix the issue, and today some of its high-profile device are receiving their first updates. According to Android Police (Who broke the security story in the first place) the Evo 3D, Evo 4G, Evo View 4G and the new EVO Design 4G are all being updated now.


That’s just a small percentage of HTC’s Android devices, but at the very least one carrier seems determined to apply the fixes as soon as possible. Updates on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will likely follow soon. HTC said that the Thunderbolt in particular would be patched as part of the new Gingerbread update that fixes bugs introduced in the last update, though there’s still no official date for it. We’ll keep you updated.

The HTC security flaw stemmed from the manufacturer’s logging techniques, which keep a record of all the actions taken on the phone for support purposes. Unfortunately, it also left a backdoor for control of Android processes by some or all apps, and may even allow complete remote control and copying through the mobile network. Android security enthusiasts were outraged at the oversight, which affected all phones running HTC’s Sense UI customization. EVO users can manually check for the update now, or wait for the automatic message to appear as the rollout reaches all users.

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Gameloft’s Modern Combat 3 trailer takes the war home

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 09:06 AM PDT

Gameloft’s Modern Combat Series, you know, the one that totally isn’t a popular console game from Activision, is getting its third installment very soon. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation features new gameplay enhancements and graphics, and Gameloft was kind enough to show off a new trailer for the military shoot-em-up on YouTube. From the look of things, console-quality shoots are very nearly a reality on Android.

The graphics and gameplay look about on-par with the original Xbox or PlayStation 2 – an impressive feat on a mobile platform. Touchscreen controls allow players to walk, rumor crouch, and the iron sight mechanic will be familiar to anyone who’s played a shooter in the last five years. A full multi-player mode is included, though 3-on-3 Wifi battles is as complex as it will get in the third version of the game.

Check out the official trailer below:

For the sake of specificity, the video is from the Android version, not iOS – you can tell from Apple’s fanatical aversion to 16:9 screen ratios. There’s no official date set yet, but IGN is reporting that Modern Combat 3 will be available on Thursday, October 27th for less than $10. For those of you craving some HD gaming in the meantime, check out Gameloft’s Halloween sale, where you can pick up Uno, Order and Chaos or Backstab HD for just 99 cents.

[via DroidGamers]

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SpringBoard and Galaxy Tab 10.1 get official release dates on T-Mobile

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 08:36 AM PDT

T-Mobile customers have been waiting patiently for their version of the ubiquitous Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and come November 2nd, they’ll be able to pick them up online or in retail stores. The T-Mobile (Huawei) SpringBoard will go on sale a few days later on November 7th. T-Mobile revealed the dates on its website, but unfortunately hasn’t let the prices out just yet.

According to a leaked T-Mobile roadmap (which has been on the nose for pricing so far), the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be going for $399, while the 7-inch SpringBoard can be yours for an economical $199. TmoNews is reporting that the SpringPad might be going for as low as $179. Both of those prices include a two-year data contract, unfortunately. The good news is that both tablets will be taking advantage of T-Mobile’s “4G” HSPA+ network, meaning that in most T-Mobile areas they’ll be surfing and downloading at a pretty good clip. Both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the SpringBoard use Honeycomb, though the exact version isn’t disclosed.

Both devices feature 16GB of on-board storage, and though the SpringBoard’s exact “HD” resolution isn’t listed, it’s probably at least 720p like the Galaxy Tab 10.1′s 1280 x 800 panel. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is clearly sporting Samsung’s standard TouchWiz interface, the SpringBoard appears to be running stock Honeycomb, though the pre-loaded Netflix app will probably have a few companions when the tablet goes on sale. We’ll be keeping an eye out for an official price on both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the T-Mobile SpringBoard.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : March 22, 2011
    Release Date : June 08, 2011
    Also Known As : Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Google I/O Limited Edition
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.09 Inch
  • Width : 6.81 Inch
  • Depth : 0.34 Inch
  • Weight : 595 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 7000 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 120 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :3.2 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via TechCrunch]

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Android serves up 56% of mobile ads in third quarter

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 07:52 AM PDT

Android can’t be stopped, and the progress is visible form more than just a hardware standpoint. According to Millennium Media by way of GigaOM, a full 56% of ads sent to mobile users were displayed on Android devices, with just 28% of the share going to Apple products and the remaining percentage split between other operating systems. Apple is still the leader in single-manufacturer impressions, with Samsung trailing at 16.5%.

The data is the latest in long line of stories that illustrate Android’s continuing worldwide dominance. Android now has the most mobile app downloads of any operating system, and the Android Market has published over half a million separate apps (though only about 320,000 total apps are available at the moment). Android continues to lead the pack in hardware sales, especially in Asia, where more than 50% of smartphones sold run the Android operating system.

The mobile ad data is important to advertisers and app developers, both of whom have to decide where to devote their resources. It’s pretty good news for Google, too, since ad revenue is their primary source of return income after developing and giving away Android for license-free use by OEMs. Though Apple still rules when it comes to manufacturers, Samsung is nipping at its brushed aluminum heels, and HTC had the highest number of devices in the top 20 ad impressions list with six. Android runs on 15 of the top 20 devices for ad impressions.

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Samsung Galaxy Note already on sale in the Netherlands

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 07:25 AM PDT

My Dutch is a little rusty, but according to Tablets Magazine, at least two online retailers in the Netherlands have already begun to sell the Samsung Galaxy Note to eager gadget enthusiasts. Phone Shop and 2Call already have the 5.3-inch device in stock at a wallet-shredding 597 Euros ($832 USD). As far as we can tell, this is the first time that the Galaxy Note has been on-sale to the public.

The release bodes well for the rest of Europe, most of which uses the same GSM standard. If you live in Europe, have an extra 600 Euros and think you can figure out where the language setting is without getting lost, by all means pick up a Galaxy Note right away. The rest of the world is waiting patiently for local releases. The UK, Australia and a few other small markets are currently slated to get the superphone eventually, and though a Galaxy Note sporting AT&T 3G bands showed up at the FCC a few weeks ago, there’s no official word on when, or indeed if, the device is making its way stateside.

That’s a shame. Even with powerhouse phones like Samsung’s own Galaxy Nexus, not to mention the HTC Rezound and Motorola DROID RAZR coming soon, the Note’s uniquely huge 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED display would be a welcome sight. The 1.4GHz phone uses a capacitive stylus and a modified interface and apps to take advantage of it, as shown in Samsung’s latest promotional video.

Check out our hands-on video of the Galaxy Note below:

Samsung Galaxy Note Hands On at IFA

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 800x1280
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.78 Inch
  • Width : 3.27 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 178 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 390 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    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
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Analyst predicts lower Amazon profits after cheap Kindle Fire sales

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:58 AM PDT

We know that the Amazon Kindle Fire costs about $10 more to produce than its $199 selling point, and according to a Needham & Co. analyst, that loss-leading figure is going to hurt Amazon’s third-quarter profits by a considerable margin. Amazon’s earnings are predicted to fall by more than half year-over-year, from 51 cents to 24 cents a share. Amazon is of course mum on the subject, but even if the prediction is only half right, it illustrates how great a risk Amazon is taking on the Android-powered Kindle Fire.

Of course, Amazon is no stranger to risk. This is the company that brought e-readers to the mainstream with a $400 single-purpose device back in 2008. Since then e-books have outsold real books on Amazon.com, and generate billions of dollars a year in profit worldwide. Come November you’ll be able to buy the cheapest Kindle model for less than a hundred dollars. If anyone can reset the bar for multi-purpose, cheap tablets to make a single-device rival to the iPad, it’s Amazon. Even with loss-leading hardware and millions spent in development and marketing, the company’s strategy is a long-haul reset of customer interaction.

And Amazon’s strategy isn’t just about low price. The Kindle Fire and its descendants (like the 10-inch model we keep hearing about) is going to be Amazon’s new digital face, a hardware-based interface for all of their digital and retail goods. The heavily-customized Gingerbread OS is all about bringing Amazon books, movies, apps and store products to the forefront, hoping that customers will shell out and make up the difference in purchases. When you consider that two Kindle books or three movie rentals can make up for the loss-lead immediately, it’s easy to see why Amazon is eager to get tablets in people’s hands for as little as possible. Is it working? Ask the 250,000+ people who have pre-ordered the Kindle Fire.

Interested? Check out our hands-on footage of the Amazon Kindle Fire.

[via SlashGear]

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Kindle Fire
    Manufactuer : Amazon
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 28, 2011
    Release Date : November 15, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x600
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.48 Inch
  • Width : 4.72 Inch
  • Depth : 0.45 Inch
  • Weight : 413 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : 8.192 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Escort Live SmartCord turns your Android smartphone into a speed trap fighter

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:54 AM PDT

Many people that do a lot of driving use a radar detector to keep them from getting tickets. Two of the most common brands of radar detectors on the market come from Escort and Beltronics. A new power cord is available for people that already own these radar detectors that will connect the device to the cloud to find threats in real time.

The power cord is called the SmartCord Live and will ship soon for $79.95 with a year’s subscription to the cloud threat network. The cord has Bluetooth inside and connects to the Android smartphone via an app. When someone driving in your area encounters a laser threat for instance, the threat is sent to the network and other drivers are warned.

When you approach an area where a threat has been detected you will get a notification warning of the treat. The app uses arrows and a signal strength indicator to show you where the threat was detected. If the threat is gone when you get there, the network will be updated. This is a very cool way to automatically warn other drivers of a potential speed trap. Check out the video to see how the system works.

[via SlashGear]

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Samsung Galaxy Note gets its first commercial

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:31 AM PDT

We still haven’t received any new information on the gargantuan Galaxy Note coming to the United States since that AT&T FCC filing, but here’s some nice sterile marketing to tide you over. Samsung has released its first TV spot for the new phone, asking consumers the same question the tech press has been pondering since the unveiling at IFA in Berlin: is it a phone or a tablet? We’ll let you be the judge.

The commercial takes particular care to point out the Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display and stylus-based interface. The Note includes a capacitive stylus with a built-in bay – you know, like the Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs you were using five years ago. Some rudimentary drawing and gesture-based cut and paste action takes up the more interesting part of the video. Other specs not highlighted but still very, very relevant are the 1280 x 800 resolution, 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and a full gigabyte of RAM.

Though we know that the Samsung Galaxy Note is coming to the UK sometime this year, prospects here in the land of no Value Added Tax are more murky. The FCC filing implied an upcoming AT&T release, but a filing is not a guarantee – many devices make their way through the FCC’s stuffy halls without ever coming to the American market. With Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus in-bound on Verizon in November and AT&T and T-Mobile versions due sometime after, it may be that the company doesn’t want to steal the thunder of Google’s flagship phone. Come on, Samsung, don’t make us beg.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 800x1280
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.78 Inch
  • Width : 3.27 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 178 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 390 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    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
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Android tablet users to get free articles from top mags

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:05 AM PDT

Zinio has announced that its new Zinio Explore offering is now available. The Explore service will allow Android tablet users to get access to free magazine articles from some of the top magazines in the world. The goal is naturally to get you to buy the magazines that the stories come from, but if all you want is some free reading material the app will do that too.

Zinio Explore is offered alongside the “Shop” and “Eead” sections of the existing app. There is supposed to be a wide variety of stories that the users can read at no charge. The stories the Explore section offers are updated daily at the same time the new issues of magazines and publications hit newsstands.

The new feature is offered in the latest update to the Zinio application for Android users. The last Zinio update we talked about was in July when the app was offered for Android smartphone users for the first time.

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Garmin launches its first fitness app for Android

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 04:26 AM PDT

Garmin has announced today that it has its very first fitness app for Android users is on the Android Market right now. The app is called Garmin Fit and it is used to turn the Android smartphone into a training device for athletes. The app offers all sorts of metrics about your workouts that you can save and upload to your computer for tracking over time using Garmin Connect.

The app can track metrics for your workout like speed, distance traveled, route traveled, and calories burned. On Android, devices that are ANT+ enabled the app will interface with fitness sensors. The Garmin ANT+ sensor is for the iPhone only. If you have a bunch of music on your Android device, the Garmin Fit app will let you access those tunes without closing the Fit app.

Once you are done walking or running the app will ask you to name the activity and enter more details about the weather and such. The activity can then be sent to Garmin Connect for free. You can download the Garmin Fit app right now for 99 cents.

[via SlashGear]

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LG DoublePlay launching November 2nd on T-Mobile

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 09:26 PM PDT

Have you got a hankering for a unique dual-screen form factor and a T-Mobile account? Then you might want to mark November 2nd on your calendar. TmoNews got a hold of a T-Mobile inventory screenshot that says that’s the day the LG DoublePlay (AKA the Flip II) will be released on the carrier.

If you’re not familiar with the DoublePlay, it’s a Gingerbread phone with a slide-out keyboard dominated by a tiny secondary screen. The phone itself is mid-range by today’s standards, with a 3.5-inch main screen at 480 x 320, 1GHz processor and a 5MP-720p camera. In addition to basic app shortcuts, LG’s custom APIs will allow apps to take advantage of the lower screen for custom apps. Like most of the new phones on T-Mobile, it takes advantage of the carrier’s HSPA+ “4G” network.

There’s still no official word from T-Mobile about pricing or availability, but the new leak lines up with a previous leak that places the “Flip II” on the same date with a 149.99 price. Naturally, that’s with a two-year contract. The phone is unique to say the least, and one of the really cool things about Android’s open source nature is that it allows for these little oddities that might not make it to market otherwise.

[via Phandroid]

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Aussie retailers skirt Apple injunction to sell Galaxy Tab 10.1

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 08:29 PM PDT

Apple won a major victory in its “thermonuclear war” with Android in Australia, where the civil court upheld a sales injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab based on Apple’s practical and design patents. But the courts are no obstacle for the determined, and a collection of crafty online retailers are still selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 down under. Like Prohibition smugglers they get their stock from outside the continent and sell the tablets as import items, exploiting a loophole in Australian law.

Naturally Apple isn’t happy. The American company has forwarded copies of the injunction to eTail Solutions and and MobiCity, two of the online shops currently selling the contraband tablets. Other retailers currently offering the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to underserved Aussies include import specialist Expansys, Techrific, dMavo and eBay, though not all of these have been contacted by Apple. According to an eTail Solutions manager, to stop the sales Apple would have to also win an injunction against Samsung where the tablets are being imported from, in this case, Hong Kong.

Retailers are still prohibited from purchasing the tablets directly from Samsung, but Samsung is trying to overrule the courts’ ruling with an appeal. If that fails there isn’t a whole lot Samsung can do, since Apple has flat-out denied any sort of appeal. Similar cases between Apple and Samsung are being waged all over the world, with troubling developments here in the United States as the circuit judge in charge of the case declared Samsung in violation of some of Apple’s technical patents.

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Motorola commits to Ice Cream Sandwich and unlocked bootloaders

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:58 PM PDT

Motorola got no end of grief when it made the decision to lock the bootloader on its latest flagship device, the DROID RAZR. Though we later learned that international versions of the phone would be user-unlockable, their current and past reliance on custom software and locked bootloaders has been a sore spot with the Android mod community for years. Moto has decided to come clean with a forward-facing new start, instructing curious users to two separate sites for unlocking and upgrading.

For Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades to current devices (like the DROID BIONIC and XOOM) as well as future software upgrades, head over to the Motorola Android Software Upgrade News page on the official Motorola forum. For news and instructions on bootloader unlocking, check out MOTODEV, a long-standing arm of Motorola’s software department. These two locations will have updates and instructions for all the devices that apply, presumably all the Android devices the company makes for U.S. carriers.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Motorola is serving the carriers first and foremost, and in Verizon’s case that means that they won’t be providing unlocked bootloaders any time in the near future. Prospective DROID RAZR owners can take heart in the fact that an unlock for the international RAZR will probably be reversed-engineered for US owners. In the meantime, the two sites are a good place to start in your modding endeavors – not to mention in making Motorola aware of your frustration.

Check out our DROID RAZR and Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on videos below:

Motorola DROID RAZR hands-on:

Ice Cream Sandwich Hands-on

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : Inch
  • Width : Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
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 passes iOS for most mobile app downloads

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 05:58 PM PDT

Apple’s leads in the individual mobile sectors are dropping one by one – it’s no wonder the lawyers are working double overtime. The latest hurdle that Android has passed is the number of app downloads. In the second quarter of this year, Android accounted for 44% of all mobile app downloads, whereas Apple had only 31%.

The numbers aren’t exactly shocking. Android has been leading Apple in total device sales for months, and is now beating the Cupertino giant in almost every world market. Though Android users still download fewer apps per capita than iPhone, iPod or iPad users, the sheer number of them has led to a greater piece of the overall pie. The total number of global downloads across all devices expected by the end of the year is a staggering 29 billion.

The iOS App Store still has a lead on the Android Market by about 200,000 apps, largely because apps tend to disappear from the Android Market at a faster rate. Though the current total is less than 350,000, the number of overall published apps is cumulatively more than half a million. The Android Market is expected to surpass the App Store by the middle of 2012. Even Apple’s deathgrip on the tablet market is slipping, with Android tablets making up a full quarter of sales in the last three months.

Those Cupertino lawyers had better start working faster.

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Amazon Wireless sells the HTC EVO Design 4G for just $30

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 04:58 PM PDT

I tell you what, I know where I’m buying my next phone. After a massive Verizon sale earlier this month, the Wireless store at Amazon is selling the brand-new HTC EVO Design 4G for just thirty bones – a savings of $70 on the retail version. Of course, to get this rock-bottom price you’ll have to sign up for a new two-year service agreement. The phone’s already back-ordered, so you might want to get an order in soon.

The HTC EVO Design 4G is an updated version of the EVO Shift 4G, and a worthy one at that. IT utilizes HTC’s newfangled unibody metal construction, and with a 4-inch qHD screen it looks good from either side. A 1.2GHz processor and 769MB of RAM should handle Gingerbread nicely, and the 1520 mAh battery should be alright as long as you don’t hit the WiMAX too hard. 4GB of on-board storage is bolstered by a generous 8GB MicroSD card, and assuming you can find a 4G signal, you can share it with up to 8 devices via the mobile hotspot app.

We got a good look at the EVO Design 4G earlier today. Have a gander at our hands-on video to see the device in action. Early reports are that it’s a solid alternative for the $100 price tag, so at just $29.99, it’s a real bargain. Head on over to the Amazon link above to get one for yourself, or wait for the Android Community review later this week.

[via Phandroid]

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Motorola RAZR headed to AT&T, clears the FCC

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 04:35 PM PDT

We are seeing a few interesting things turn up from the FCC today, first some sort of Motorola tablet passed through, and now we are seeing a Motorola RAZR headed for AT&T. The Motorola DROID RAZR was announced last week headed for Verizon with 4G LTE and we’ve also heard a few non US carriers will also get a version of the RAZR as soon as November 1st. Today what appears to be the same RAZR smartphone has just hit the FCC packing AT&T radios, that means the Verizon “DROID” wont be present in this bad boys name.

Today a GSM version of the RAZR went through the FCC with GSM 800/1900 bands as well as WCDMA bands II and V, which are what are used by AT&T here in the US. This phone is so thin it might just slide away from Verizon exclusivity and come to other carriers soon. We’ve seen many similar devices from Motorola land on more than one carrier, so this could just be another slightly tweaked version for AT&T although I have a feeling they’ll want to keep the iconic RAZR name going.

While we don’t know for sure this will be a RAZR, it will at least be something very similar if not the same thing. The FCC ID is a bit different but the battery isn’t. With the model number SNN5899A it has the same battery used by the Droid RAZR. We’ve recently learned the RAZR’s bootloader is only locked because Verizon made them do it, and other carrier version will not be locked down. If the Motorola RAZR hits AT&T with the same awesome design and build quality yet is fully unlocked, that would be awesome and I’m sure many will be happy to hear it.

If you’d like to stir through the FCC filing you can see all you’d like by clicking here. Hopefully after Motorola announces an official launch date for Verizon they’ll give us some more information regarding what is next for them and AT&T. Stay tuned for more details and before you go check out our DROID RAZR hands-on here, and in the video below.

DROID RAZR hands-on

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : Inch
  • Width : Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
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 Wireless Goodness]

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Samsung Stratosphere Review

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 04:26 PM PDT

To date there are only eight 4G smartphones available from Verizon, and with the notable exception of the Samsung Stratosphere, all of them are slate-style phones. If you want a keyboard with your LTE, then this is it. The QWERTY slider is very, very similar to the Samsung Epic 4G, with the distinction that it comes on Verizon and features Gingerbread. So, how does it stack up against other 4G phones and QWERTY slider from Verizon? Let’s find out.

Hardware

The Epic 4G was technically part of the first generation Samsung Galaxy S line, and it appears that the Stratosphere is following in its footsteps. Though no mention is made of the “S” branding on the phone or the packaging, you can spot a quick logo flash by on the rather long bootup. That being the case, you know what to expect here: 1GHz processor, 4-inch, 800 x 480 Super AMOLED screen, and a good if not great construction. Inside the box you get a data cable, USB charging adapter, the 1800 mAh battery, and that’s it. The device’s 4GB of internal memory is bolstered by the included 4GB MicroSD card next to the LTE Micro-SIM.

The screen is the same one you’ve seen on Galaxy S models on all carriers. It’s bright and vivid, if not especially sharp by late 2011 standards, but the Super AMOLED panel makes up for its pedestrian 800 x 480 resolution. The sliding mechanism works well enough, even if it’s not quite as snappy as the one found on the DROID 3.

The Stratosphere is relatively light in the hand for a chunky 14mm phone. Despite cramming a full keyboard and a big battery in with a decent-sized screen and a sliding mechanism, it isn’t much heavier than my daily driver DROID X, and considerably lighter than a DROID 3 in the same form factor. The lack of weight leaves it feeling a little empty, but the extra bulk makes it comfortable to hold in landscape or portrait mode.

The prime differentiator for the phone is the sliding keyboard, and unfortunately, it falls a little flat. There’s a lot of space in between the individual keys, making it very difficult to hit the specific key you’re looking for at times. I often hit the key above or below the one I was intending, a problem I haven’t had on similar phones from HTC and Motorola. Eliminating the number row Treo-style might have helped considering the vertical height issue. At least hardware navigation buttons are included, making getting around Android with a deployed keyboard easy. But on most occasions, I stuck with the included Swype virtual keyboard and saved the hassle.

Software

TouchWiz and Gingerbread are familiar bedfellows. If you’ve tried your hand at a Samsung phone in the last two years you know what to expect. The lockscreen, homescreen and skin are pleasant even if they tend to ape the iPhone a bit too much (just don’t tell Samsung I said that!). Little touches like a link to the task manager on the home button’s app switcher are nice, and I found myself using the power controls built-in to the notification bar a lot.

The interface is snappy on its 1GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. I never had issues opening apps, but the browser tends to get bogged down easily – at one point it refused to open more than four windows after some Flash-heavy surfing. The browsing itself is pretty solid; even on my 3G connection I had snappy response, and plugin support was just fine.

There seems to be a disturbing trend among Verizon phones of enabling Wifi by default, then pushing users into connecting to an open hotspot for any app that uses data. The Wifi switch has even been removed from the power widget to make it less obvious that it’s on. I can understand why they’re doing it now that almost all customers are capped, but it’s sneaky and it drains the battery faster by default. Remember to switch Wifi off on your new phone if you don’t intend to use it.

There’s a lot of bloatware included on the phone, even by Verizon’s standards. Before ever opening the Market I had Kindle, Blockbuster, City ID, Let’s Golf, NFL Mobile, Need For Speed, QuickOffice, Slacker, and five V-Cast apps. It looks like they’re not messing with the inner workings of the software, which is nice, but prospective owners will be glad to know that a root method has already been found.

Phone and Signal

The phone’s reception is solid and call quality is acceptable, if a little bit under what I’m used to hearing. Even at my relatively isolated home, long conversations weren’t a problem. What was a problem was a tendency to drop data for long stretches of time. After booting or coming out of airplane mode, it was often five minutes or more before I could connect to data services, despite having a full five bars of coverage. This was very frustrating, as I watched my normal Verizon phone and MiFi connect without issue at the same time.

Speeds were within acceptable ranges for local 3G, and 4G testing proved to be within line for other LTE phones if you’re lucky enough to be in a coverage area. Even when connected I sometimes had strange issues getting a particular site or sometimes the Android Market to load. There’s clearly a few kinks that still need to be worked out of the Stratosphere’s software.

Camera

The Stratosphere’s 5 megapixel camera isn’t going to wow you, and neither is its 480p video recording. This is clearly a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube-quality photo experience – bring along a decent point-and-shoot if you’re wanting some quality shots. The front-facing camera is a nice inclusion, even at VGA quality, and at $150, it’s good enough.

Battery Life

This is where the Stratosphere shines. A relatively large 1800 mAh battery seems to run forever on this midrange phone, assuming you stay off of 4G. I managed to get a day and a half of battery life out of it, even though I watched a 90-minute movie in Amazon’s flash player and spent a little time taking advantage of the mobile hotspot feature. It’s not often I get to say this, but unless you’re streaming for five or six hours at a time, I don’t see how any normal user could deplete the battery in a single day.

The long-lasting battery alone makes the Stratosphere worth a second look, since it’s an unfortunate rarity among Android phones. For those of you who plan to take advantage of Verizon’s LTE network, you’ll be needing every ounce of juice you can get, and on that score, the Stratosphere delivers.

Wrap Up

Provided that you’re on Verizon, you want a 4G phone and you absolutely cannot live without a physical keyboard, congratulations: this is your phone. It’s literally your only choice in that market, and unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be that way for a while. That said, the software experience is just OK, and the keyboard is definitely one of the lower sliders we’ve seen on Verizon. The Galaxy S makes a decent base for a mid-range phone, but there are better ones out there – just not on LTE.

That said, the battery life is great on the Stratosphere, and it can’t be beat at $150. The phone keeps going when much more expensive alternatives are already begging for a hit of AC current, and considering the battery woes that plague a lot of Android phones, that’s no small matter.

If you need a keyboard and don’t care about 4G, go for the Motorola DROID 3. If you need 4G and don’t care about a keyboard, the LG Revolution, Samsung DROID CHARGE and HTC Thunderbolt are the same price with an even larger screen. If money is no object, for God’s sake, wait for the DROID RAZR or the Galaxy Nexus next month. But if you absolutely need the combination of 4G LTE and a disappointingly lackluster keyboard, go for it.

Check out our hands-on video below to help make up your mind:

IMG_0459 IMG_0472 IMG_0475 IMG_0477 IMG_0483 IMG_0496 IMG_0506 IMG_0512 IMG_0516 IMG_0518 SC20111021-133116 SC20111021-133128 SC20111024-155926 SC20111024-155933 SC20111024-160048 SC20111024-160148 SC20111024-160206 SC20111024-160211 SC20111024-160231 SC20111024-160331 IMG_0413 IMG_0423 IMG_0424 IMG_0428 IMG_0429 IMG_0442
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Stratosphere
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 10, 2011
    Release Date : October 13, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.96 Inch
  • Width : 2.54 Inch
  • Depth : 0.55 Inch
  • Weight : 164 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1800 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 212 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Hummingbird
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : 4.096 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 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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Galaxy Nexus ICS boot animation live wallpaper, get it here [Download]

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 03:19 PM PDT

Who is ready for another awesome live wallpaper? Yes, you read the title right and that sweet boot animation from the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich can now be used as a live wallpaper. This is one of the many awesome reasons why I love Android. Thanks to the quick developer mazook98 from XDA Developers, we now have a fully working and beautiful looking LWP built from the 4.0 boot animation, check out my hands-on video and then grab the download below.

I’ve posted tons of Live Wallpapers here at Android Community and you can see those at the LWP Portal. I usually always try to find something unique and different and this definitely qualifies. Sadly like most of my features wallpapers this one will NOT work on tablets. Well, it will, but isn’t designed for the larger screen and I doubt anyone will find it enjoyable. For now this live wallpaper works best for smartphones and I recommend you give it a try. The graphics truly look great, even on my qHD 960 x 540 resolution phone and on a smaller screen it looks even better. Here’s a quick hands-on video below. Recorded using Screencast for Android (sorry for audio quality).

Galaxy Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich boot live wallpaper

The developer understands not all devices are created equal and has provided a few different screen size options in the application, then for those older devices that aren’t as powerful you can even lower the frames per second from the stock 30 fps anywhere from 1-60. Again, this is the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich boot animation turned into a live wallpaper and it looks stellar on my phone and so far battery isn’t taking much of a hit, but with something like this you’ll just have to try it out. All the details are available at the xda forum post.

Galaxy Nexus Live Wallpaper Download: Click Here

Give it a try and let us know what you think by giving us a shout below in the comment section.

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Motorola will bring Ice Cream Sandwich devices to market 6 weeks after Google [Update]

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 02:01 PM PDT

Well, according to Motorola’s official Twitter account we will be seeing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices from the company just 6 weeks after Google launches and releases it. Maybe they’ve had a little extra prep time now that Google aims to take control of Motorola Mobility, we don’t know but either way this is good news.

The tweet doesn’t reveal much, and quite often these comments on Twitter by big companies quickly get updated when someone makes a mistake (not saying this is or isn’t). We are just glad to hear this fast of a turn around might actually be possible from Motorola. Here is what the official tweet had to say:

When asked if the Atrix would receive 4.0 ICS the answer above is what was given, that is a good sign although we’ve recently heard the new DROID RAZR wont get 4.0 until early 2012 but that is a little longer than 6 weeks — just saying. We could be looking a bit deep with this comment and even though it was a reply to a device update they mention “releasing” devices with Ice Cream Sandwich soon, not updating. Most likely they are referring to a few tablets we’ve recently seen at the FCC but with a comment so bleak it’s really anyone’s guess.

Update: Motorola has now sent out another message on twitter now that a few users have started to ask questions regarding the above tweet. They seem to have confirmed that the Bionic, RAZR and Xoom will all get 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich within 6 weeks of Google releasing it. We aren’t really sure if they mean they’ll actually update these devices 6 weeks after ICS launches, or if they’ll just announce dates for when the updates will actually be available. 6 weeks from the end of November is early 2012, so we should be seeing some updates or at least hearing some news by then. Thanks Motorola!

What do you guys think? And if you’re asking yourself what is Ice Cream Sandwich (I’ve got the question a few times) check out our Ice Cream Sandwich coverage and the hands-on video below.

Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on

Bonus video: Galaxy Nexus with 4.0 ICS hands-on

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Motorola Xoom 2 roaming around the FCC

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 01:44 PM PDT

It appears the Motorola Xoom 2 might have been hanging out at the FCC this weekend. What seems to be a mystery tablet from Motorola was spotted sporting specs similar to recently leaked Xoom 2 devices, but we still aren’t sure what we are seeing and have been digging around trying to figure out more on this mystery device.

What we do know, is we have a Motorola tablet most likely part of the Xoom family but that is all she felt like sharing. In September we saw two new Xoom tablets, a 7″ and a 10″ variant and then recently a few reports of an 8.2″ model has also been revealed. The slate is tagged with a FCC ID of 56MJ3 that makes it line up with other Motorola tablets, and the FCC filing claims a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI out and the usual 1280 x 800 resolution so things are sounding pretty accurate about now right?

This could also just be the FCC filing for the recently spotted Xoom Family edition that is very similar to the original but it wasn’t listed as having a faster 1.2 GHz dual-core processor so most likely we are seeing more evidence of the new slates coming soon. The last details we heard was that the new Xoom 2 in the 7″ form factor was coming this November, with a super thin 10″ version hitting the shelves in early December. Sadly I wish the filing would say Ice Cream Sandwich but I’m just dreaming here. Hopefully we see more of these tablets soon and if we do, you’ll be the first to know.

[via Engadget]

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