Friday, 18 November 2011

Android Community

Android Community

Visual voicemail missing from Ice Cream Sandwich and Galaxy Nexus

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 10:37 AM PST

I know everyone wants a Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right about now, and all the reviews and recent news is only making the wait harder. I feel your pain don’t worry. We made another quick ICS hands-on demo you can see here, but shortly after we noticed that ICS was lacking any sort of visual voicemail option out of the box. If you remember, Google showed it off in Hong Kong when they unveiled the Galaxy Nexus — but now it’s missing.

Don’t get me wrong, Android has multiple options when it comes to visual voicemail. The carriers currently offer their own like T-Mobile, and we have various options and 3rd party apps from the Android Market — not to mention Google Voice. With Voice we’ve been able to transcribe our voicemails for a long time and this is really nothing new. After watching the impressive visual voicemail presentation from the Hong Kong announcement we were excited to give it a try, but had no such luck.

After reaching out to our contacts we now have an explanation regarding this matter. Visual voicemail as a feature is not currently present out of the box with 4.0 ICS but the option is most certainly included. Instead it is an API so developers and carriers alike can both take advantage of the feature. Basically this means the awesome demo we saw during the event is fully open and available for tweaking by the carriers and 3rd party developers. This is the same approach that the iPhone uses and carriers such as AT&T or Verizon build a visual voicemail provider themselves.

As the Galaxy Nexus and upcoming Android 4.0 ICS devices launch on individual carriers we can expect to see a few different options available. And while the Google Voice visual voicemail seen at the announcement event is currently missing, we can assume that it will be coming soon and we’ll see it updated in the market shortly. Although we have no details regarding that.

While you are here you might as well get your daily Galaxy Nexus fix by watching a few of our videos below. I’ve nicely included the Galaxy Nexus hands-on and unboxing, then the ICS 4.0 overview — Enjoy!


Bigtrak XTR joins the Android remote control party

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 09:40 AM PST

If you prefer your remote operated vehicles to be ground-based, get ready for some fun. Manufacturer Zeon Tech has unveiled its newest R/C gadget, the Bigtrak XTR, a plus-sized version of its standard model that includes control and sync via Android or iOS. The big boy toy will be available some time in 2012, unfortunately leaving a parking spot vacant under this year’s Christmas trees.

Looking a lot like a Mass Effect Mako with a bombastic 1980s color scheme, the Bigtrak includes a lot of advanced features for the dedicated tinkerer. If you don’t want to control the rover with your smartphone’s Bluetooth, you can do it with a full PC, or even programmable controls on the toy itself.  A control pad on the bed allows you to program specific actions, and an accessory port allows for expandability via add-on modules. Zeon Tech is currently showing off a webcam add-on for the proprietary port, plus canons and foam missile launchers – the six-year-old inside me just squealed with delight.

Check out the video of the Bigtrak XTR in action below:

There’s no word on pricing, but given that the standard model based on the classic toy is retailing at just over $100, it won’t be cheap. Expect anywhere from $200-$300 when it launches next year. That’s good bit less than the Parrot AR Drone, and though the Bigtrak doesn’t fly, it’s also a heck of a lot harder to crash – an important consideration when you’re spoiling the hell out of some lucky kid.

[via Technabob]


SwiftKey X updates to v2.2 with multi-touch and resizing, we go hands-on

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 09:18 AM PST

The popular third party keyboard for Android SwiftKey X has just received another excellent update today and just like recent updates they’ve brought plenty of improvements and new features — not to mention even more languages support. Available in the market right now is version 2.2 and although we got our first look at the beta last week and tested the new features, today it’s finally available for all and we have the full changelog.

For all the information on this newest version you can see our coverage and hands-on of the Alpha version here, and the beta release last week right here. SwiftKey X may be an editors choice on the Android Market and the fastest selling 3rd party keyboard but that isn’t stopping them from making even more improvements to make this the best typing experience around. Here is a list of what to expect with v2.2 available today.

— Full language localization for major European languages
— Typing support extended to 35 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew
— New multi-touch framework for faster typing
— Prediction/correction boosted by faster, more efficient Fluency engine
— Full support for Android 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich)
— UX enhancements, including better settings menu, alternative character selection and sharing features

Obviously having more language options is a big update for the thousands of users that weren’t supported before the update. One of the biggest parts of this update is multi-touch support, and the option to re-size the keyboard height in portrait and landscape both. They’ve added additional enhanced support for more screen sizes such as the many 7″ tablets available, as well as full Android 4.0 support and 1280 x 720p resolutions like the Galaxy Nexus.

We have plenty of pictures in the gallery below for those considering the purchase but I have a few quick screenshots of the re-sizable keyboard as I’m sure many want to see how that works. The change isn’t huge but for the many different screen sizes and resolution in Android this is actually an awesome feature that will enable any user on any device to get the size that feels right for them.

This is as simple as selecting the option in settings. Some might want a completely customizable option but for now we have small, normal and large but overall its worked well for my 10″ tablet since I wanted it a bit smaller, and my 7″ tab that I felt could use a bigger size.

Aside from all the languages, heatmapping, keystrokes saved and more that you get from SwiftKey X they’ve also improved how fast the text prediction works. Some users might not notice right away but someone like me using SwiftKey since the beginning I can tell a huge difference. We also have multitouch support which works great on both phones and tablets. Being able to toggle the CAPS lock tab or numbers by just holding down, tapping what you want and letting go is just one more reason SwifyKey X makes typing quick, fluid and easy.

Don’t take my word for it. Give the latest and greatest a try by downloading it today in the Android Market. They have a free version too but I’d spring for the works and enjoy everything SwiftKey has to offer.

SwiftKey X Keyboard
SwiftKet X Tablet

swiftkey X logo swiftkey size SwiftKeyTabletX-2.2-key-height SC20111114-151532 SC20111114-150940 SwiftKeyX-2.2-typing-heatmap SwiftKeyTabletX-2.2-spanish-split )

Google Music expands to Google TV

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 08:31 AM PST

You get no points for seeing this one coming. The new music purchasing and streaming options unveiled in the Google Music presentation are already available to all Android users in the US, and now they’re rolling out to Google TV as well. Both the Android Market and Google’s official Music app have been updated, allowing purchasing, streaming and sharing of individual tracks and albums through Google TV. The additional functionality should help Google TV to further compete with Apple TV, even if both are somewhat lacking in the product name department.

According to the official screenshot, the interface for Google Music has an extra coat of polish, allowing it to easily be used from couch-standard distance. All the features of the smartphone and web player are present, including the nifty new “pin” option, which automatically keeps selected songs, albums or playlists synced across all your Android devices. Between the Google Music update and an upgrade to Honeycomb, not to mention the long-awaited addition of Android Market access, Google TV is starting to become the all-in-one media hub it set out to be last year.

Google is promising constant updates both to the Google TV platform and the Google Music app and service. The former could definitely use it: with Logitech bowing out of Google TV altogether, the future of the system relies on Sony, and perhaps next year, LG as well. With Google integrating so many different media sources, here’s hoping it becomes a much more viable option going forward.


Gametel Bluetooth Android controller gets a hands-on

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 08:07 AM PST

Options for traditional game controls for Android have been somewhat limited so far. If you don’t have an XPERIA Play, you can use Bluetooth mods like a Wii Remote. If you’ve got an original DROID or a similar QWERTY phony you can try a Game Gripper. But Gametel’s Android-specific controller looks to be the first self-contained game controller designed for Android, and Tech Radar got their digits on it for a quick hands-on.

The Gametel device connects to Android phones and tablets via standard Bluetooth then controls any game that supports keyboard or external input. (With Ice Cream Sandwich, this might improve and expand considerably.) For smartphones it includes an expandable and adjustable clip, which folds away if you’re using some sort of stand, or a tablet. In looks like it’s got the standard Sper NES layout of a D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, start and select – surely a boon to fans of the many classic console emulators available on Android.

Those who got to try it out said what while the experience wasn’t mind-blowing, it’s a definite improvement over flaky touchscreen controls. The company isn’t ready to start shipping just yet, but when they do, the controller will set your back fifty pounds, the UK equivalent of eighty US dollars. That’s pretty stiff, even for a game controller, but if you find yourself playing Android games constantly it might well be worth it.

[via TechRadarUK]


Cotton Candy is a tiny Android desktop computer… on a stick

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 07:33 AM PST

People have been building integrated Linux thin clients that can fit in the palm of your hand for years, but now there’s a more modern approach. Startup company FXI Technologies has applied the same idea to Android, putting a fully functional build of Gingerbread on a flash-drive sized device with easy connection to HDMI displays and input devices. The gadget is at the prototype stage now, but the company hopes to sell it for $200 by this time next year.

Here’s how it works: plug an HDMI cable into one end, and a USB power cable into the other. Turn the unit on, and presto, Gingerbread appears on the monitor and HDTV. You can add a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, external storage comes from an on-board MicroSD card slot, and it connects to local networks via WiFi. The gadget is no slouch when it comes to specs, either: a 1.2Ghz ARM processor and a full gig of RAM put it in the same category as all but the highest-end smartphones available today.

The applications are endless. A cheap machine for Netflix streaming and Android gaming, a retail display that’s easy to set up and change, or a remote desktop client – and that’s just the obvious ideas, You can also load up Cotton Candy on a laptop or desktop for an easy quick-boot environment or windowed Android, if you’re so inclined. Though it’s only running Gingerbread at the moment, FXI should be more than capable of loading up some open-source Ice Cream Sandwich in a year’s time.

[via SlashGear]


Google patents pattern unlock screen, shows new lock screen possibilities

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 06:56 AM PST

Let Apple keep its one-function slide to unlock – Android’s been doing it better since day one. And not just in the basic screen unlock – the pattern lock screen that replaces a PIN or password with a custom 9-dot pattern is a popular way for security-conscious users to quickly and easily access their phone. Now Google has been granted a patent on that particular action, and one more for good measure.

Not only does the patent make sure that pattern unlock won’t find its way into the next version of iOS (cough, notifications, cough) it might show some of the future of Android as well. In addition to the standard unlock, Google submitted art for “Automatic Derivation of Analogous Touch Gestures From A User-Defined Gesture.” According to the submitted diagrams, drawing patterns at a different location, or perhaps just different patterns entirely, would allow the user to perform phone actions while staying locked. For example: right now when the pattern lock is used, it’s impossible to pause or advance a music track without first putting in the pattern. But if the patent goes into practice, you cold draw shifted or moved pattern to pop up a basic music widget and pause the song, then put your phone away, without ever fully unlocking the screen.

We haven’t seen this feature in our numerous hands-on features with the new Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, but considering the care that’s been added to this patent, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if it showed up in the next version of Android. As someone who uses the pattern unlock on every phone I use and test, I can say that it’s an exciting little development. Android Jelly Bean, anyone?

[via 9t05Google]


Samsung Galaxy S gets Android 2.3.5 update in Europe

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 06:19 AM PST

If you are a Samsung Galaxy S user that has felt left out when it comes to Gingerbread, your update is coming. At least that update is coming in Europe. That update should be available now or very shortly for users of the Galaxy S in Europe via KIES. It’s been a whole since we talked about that Galaxy S smartphone, we reviewed it way back in March of this year.

Along with the update come a change log of what the smartphone gets feature wise. The update adds an animation shadow at the end of scroll lists. The messages app gets faster start up for opening SMS or sending them. The battery life and power consumption is improved as well.

Overall performance of the phone is improved and there were bugs fixed in the system app. A hang issue with the OEM screen was patch and the picker app was improved. It also gets enhancements to the camera. If you apply this update, be sure and let us know how it works out.

[via YouMobile]


Motorola Mobility shareholders vote yes to Google merger

Posted: 18 Nov 2011 03:00 AM PST

Back in August Google and Motorola Mobility declared their intentions to merge. The deal will cost Google $12.5 billion once complete and will land the search giant the hardware maker to go its popular OS. The merger deal has hurdles left to clear yet, but it is one-step closer to a done deal now.

Motorola Mobility shareholders have now approved the merger deal at the $12.5 billion offer. Motorola held a special meeting of stockholders that voted to accept the merger or not. Motorola reports that 99% of those voting at the meeting approved of the merger. There were enough shareholders on hand to account for about 74% of outstanding Motorola Mobility shares.

Google and Motorola still need to clear other regulatory issues before the merger is final. The two firms are aiming at the end of 2011 or early in 2012 to have the merger complete. At this point Motorola notes that early in 2012 is more likely for completion. The time frame could grow as well if other regulatory issues arise and other closing conditions can't be met.

[via SlashGear]


ICS video: active voice dictation, facial tracking and more

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 06:33 PM PST

We know that you’re just clamoring to get your own hands on the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, but in the meantime, you can console yourself with some detailed walkthroughs of the new features. The latest video we’ve got is a look at the new active dictation feature, which allows users a continual stream of voice-to-text input without waiting for the data to go back and forth. The accuracy and speed is, frankly amazing.

The feature works a lot like the Voice Input you’re already used to using in Gingerbread or Honeycomb: just tap the microphone icon on an input area or the keyboard. Then just start talking, and the text will appear almost immediately. Dictation continues in real time, though you’ll need to add your own punctuation. When you’re done, simply stop talking. There is a time limit, but it’s a lot more than you’re likely to use at any one time.

Check it out below:

We’ve also got a good look at the new forward-facing camera system in Ice Cream Sandwich. Beside the fact that it’s remarkably clear even in low light (that’s more of a testament to the Galaxy Nexus than the software), it’s also got a new facial tracking feature, keeping your mug in focus even while you’re moving around. It should work with video conferencing apps as well.We’ve also got another example of the unfortunately tricky WiFi implementation in ICS.

We’ll be adding more looks at cool features as we find the min the next few days, leading up to our Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich review.


Firefox alpha adds Flash support and really bad timing

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 05:55 PM PST

Flash developers and enthusiasts are still reeling after Adobe dropped support for the mobile version. But the convergence of Flash users and Firefox fans (including yours truly) should get a little joy out of the fact that Mozilla is going forward with its Flash support. So far the Android version of Firefox doesn’t work with Flash, but you can head over to Mozilla’s web page and download the latest “Aurora” alpha to give the just-added feature a try.

Naturally the implementation is a little buggy, and it doesn’t help that Firefox Mobile isn’t a speed demon in the best of conditions. But it works, sort of, and if you live in Firefox and rely on that one extension or Sync’s bookmarks, you’re one step closer to a single browser solution. Flash is expected to be available for the full (Android Market) version of Firefox sometime in 2012.

Android fans and Flash devs were livid when Adobe announced that they would end support as part of a restructuring. The last major update for the Android version is in the Market now, though Adobe has stated that they’ll continue with periodic bug and stability updates. Adobe will begin shifting its mobile focus to HTML5 tools and AIR, while the desktop version of Flash is still – for the moment – in active development.


Android gets more IT developer interest than iOS and Windows Phone 7

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 05:14 PM PST

Even the most ardent of iOS evangelists can’t argue with Android’s worldwide success, to the tune of a full 50% sales market share as of last quarter. It looks like developers, specifically in the IT area, are taking notice. When IBM gave a survey to IT pros on which platform they were more interested in, Android won by a landslide, beating out both Apple and Microsoft in their relevant areas.

That’s very interesting, given that it’s also undeniable that there’s more money to be made in direct sales on iOS (at the moment, at least). Android is beating out iOS by a solid 20%, though responders were able to answer for more than one platform in the survey. 70% of responders said they were interested in developing for Android, while 49% were interested in iOS. Just 35% were interested in Windows Phone 7, though to be honest, even that’s a little surprising given its market share at the moment.

IBM is an interesting one to make the conclusions it does in the survey, namely that “Developers looking to increase their mobile skills would be smart to look to Android.” Remember that IBM is no longer producing consumer-level hardware – Lenovo now owns the ThinkPad brand, and they’ve produced several Android tablets under their IdeaPad brand. The IBM study just serves to highlight what you, dear reader, already know: Android is crushing it in the app world as well as hardware.

[via BGR]


Samsung Glide, Doubletime and other AT&T devices get priced

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 04:49 PM PST

AT&T has announced a wide range of Android phones over the past month and they will all finally be available come November 20th. First announced back in October on Monday AT&T shared the details and told the world they will all be available online and in-stores come Sunday, November 20th. Those include the Samsung Captivate Glide, the Samsung Doubletime, Pantech Pocket and the AT&T Avail. Today they’ve just announced pricing and we have the details below.

The Samsung Captivate Glide (pictured above) is the best of the bunch and packs a 4″ AMOLED display and the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, an 8 megapixel camera on the rear and a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Expect a review from Android Community any day now on that keyboard packing smartphone. It’s the best of the group and will run $149 with a new contract.

Then the Samsung Doubletime dual-screen device is probably the weakest link here with a measly 600 Mhz processor. It folds open for the text loving type people and will run you a budget friendly $49 on-contract but I think free would be a better idea for this white and pink odd device. See our hands-on here. The widescreen Pantech Pocket will also be $49 with a new 2-year contract and it’s a little more attractive than the Doubletime but still nothing to write home about.

So, November 20th all these new Android devices will be readily available from your friendly neighbors at AT&T. They have the teen oriented Doubletime all the way up to the dual-core powered Glide for Dad. Be sure to stay tuned for reviews on all these devices coming soon.

[via PocketNow]


Android 4.0 ICS Tip: Connecting to WiFi

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 04:33 PM PST

The entire process of connecting to a Wi-Fi network may sound extremely easy, but for some it isn’t as easy as you’d think. Not only that but Google has changed this for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and after messing around with the Galaxy Nexus we’ve noticed a few differences worth noting. I have friends that are part of the younger crowd that should very well know how to use Wi-Fi but for some reason don’t, so this should help more than just those looking at getting the Galaxy Nexus or an ICS device.

Enabling and using Wi-Fi is as easy as turning it on and connecting to the preferred network of your choice. My friend mentioned above would just toggle Wi-Fi and never actually connected to any networks as she didn’t understand. You must connect to the wireless network you’d like to use — and then enjoy those fast internet speeds that are far more capable than your carriers. To get set up on Wi-Fi it’s as easy as going to settings > wireless & networks and then checking on Wi-Fi, then below you have the “Wi-Fi Settings” tab that you must click that will show you all of the available networks in range. Select what you want, add a password if needed and you’re set.

With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich we don’t have a Wi-Fi Settings option (as seen above) so where do we go to choose the network we’d like to connect to? With ICS when you enter settings and turn on Wi-Fi nothing will happen, you’ll just sit there. With no settings tab some might be confused on where you must go to connect with your network.

This may be a no brainer to some but for many this will be confusing. I found the 2.3 Gingerbread settings tab was much more user intuitive because with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich you have no such option. In order to see and select the network of choice with ICS you simply touch the “Wi-Fi” title (not the slider to turn it on/off) and that takes you to the wireless settings menu we are used to — from there you can easily and quickly choose the network of choice.

There is no drop-down menu, no settings area to search for networks, nothing. You have to tap the Wi-Fi area to get where you need to be. Again this may seem like a very minor point that any average user will be able to figure out right away, but I just find this new system slightly unintuitive. The same steps will be required for doing similar tasks with the likes of Bluetooth and anything else of that nature. While we love Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich I was just a bit surprised to see this was the system moving forward. Most should have zero issues but hopefully this quick little tip will help a few in need.

In the mean time where is that Verizon 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus? I want one now!

gnex wifi 2 gnex wifi 3 gnex wifi BT gnex wifi )

ICS tablet interface shows up in Android Market screenshots

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 04:17 PM PST

By now you’ve probably been inundated with screenshots and hands-on photos of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus. (This is a good time to mention that we have screenshots and hands-on photos of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus.) But one thing that’s currently missing is a good look at Ice Cream Sandwich’s tablet interface. Well, it looks like Google just couldn’t wait for an ICS update and started playing around on their own – screenshots of the tablet interface can be found on the Android Market listing for Google Music.

You can see that ICS on a tablet-sized screen looks a lot like Honeycomb – no real surprise there, as it’s sharing a lot of the same digital DNA. The only really obvious way to tell that the Music app is even running on Ice Cream Sandwich is the new navigation buttons (matching the Galaxy Nexus) and the color scheme around the notification area. For another look at ICS running in tablet mode, check out the official promotional image from Google.

One of the most important additions to the Android base in Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) is that the same software can run on phones and tablets while scaling to match the size of the applicable screen. So far ICS hasn’t shown up on any tablets in the wild, though the Asus Transformer Prime will most likely be the first to get an official update. You might be seeing homemade ICS ROMS spring up for popular Honeycomb tablets like the XOOM and Galaxy Tab 10.1 soon, as independent ROM developers dig deeper into the Ice Cream Sandwich open source code released last week.

[via Droid Life]


Huawei Honor ships to Asia in December, other markets to follow

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 03:26 PM PST

Chinese manufacturer Huawei’s got big plans for the smartphone sector, and a lot of them hinge on the Honor. And why not: it’s a 4-inch Gingerbread phone with a zippy 1.4Ghz processor, and the last time we saw it, it was going for the equivalent of $300 without a contract. That’s about half the price of similar unlocked phones. In a press release, Huawei said that the phone will be launching next month in Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China, with other markets following after.

In addition to Gingerbread, Huawei is including their differentiation skin, the “Huawei Android Platform 5.1″. Multiple colors will be available, including Glossy Black, Textured Black, Elegant White, Vibrant Yellow, Cherry Blossom Pink and Burgundy, though the company notes that not all colors may be available in all markets. Huawei is marketing this under their own name, unlike a lot of their products that eventually make it to the United States and other markets, like the “T-Mobile” Springboard.

Huawei is making some impressive in-roads into the smartphone market. According to the latest Gartner numbers, Huawei is in 9th place for total (smartphone and featurephone) shipments worldwide at 10.6 million phones shipped last quarter alone. With the smartphone market growing in leaps and bounds, Huawei is resting its hopes on Android, and they’re expanding their efforts to include more mid-range phones, and extending to the high end. Customers and competitors would do well to keep an eye on their progress.


Ice Cream Sandwich tablet spotted and teased thanks to Google

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 03:19 PM PST

After all the hype this morning regarding the Samsung Galaxy Nexus finally launching with the brand new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich we are now seeing what appears to be our first actual glimpse of Ice Cream Sandwich on a tablet, even if it’s just a render. Thanks to Google we now have our first look of what to expect. The Android Honeycomb buttons have been replaced with the same ICS software buttons seen on the Galaxy Nexus not to mention that pretty cyan color for the notifications. It does look pretty if I don’t say so myself.

While just a render I don’t think I’ve seen anything official like this just yet. It appears to be either a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or maybe a newer thinner Galaxy Tab if you ask me. With Samsung and Google working so closely on the Galaxy Nexus its possible we might see the same thing with a tablet, but with no leaks thus far that is a little doubtful.

Either way I’m extremely excited to see what Google has in store and I’m equally excited to see ICS running on a tablet in the very near future. In case you missed any of our coverage today we’ve already had plenty of hands-on time with both the Galaxy Nexus and 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — just click those links and enjoy.

As an added bonus here is our hands-on videos of the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich for your viewing pleasure.

ICS Tablet ICS Tablet 1 marquee_ics )

Nook Tablet makes daddy proud, allows easy non-approved app installs

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 03:00 PM PST

The original Nook Color has a special place in many a geek’s heart as one of the first truly mainstream Android tablets, and not just because it was designed for mainstream use. The original had an easy-to-exploit MicroSD mounting system that made gaining access to the Android software easy for modders everywhere. It looks like Barnes & Noble didn’t mind the bogarting of its proprietary software at all, because installing non-approved apps is even easier on the new Nook Tablet: just download an APK file from the web and you’re good to go.

There’s a little hitch in the process, since downloaded apps don’t appear next to their official companions in the Nook Tablet launcher. But if you open search and begin typing, you’ll see the new apps appear, and you can launch them from there. I don’t have a Nook Tablet handy, but I assume that if you download and install a launcher app like Launcher Pro or ADW, you could almost immediate turn it into a standard Android interface. Some more in-depth hacks, like access to Google services and the Android Market, should be coming very shortly.

It’s interesting that Barnes & Noble is making it so easy to modify the Nook Tablet’s software. They’re certainly aware that the Nook Color was very popular as a modding platform, and far from trying to discourage a hole in their walled garden of conte3nt, they’re embracing the Nook’s reputation as a cheap, hackable tablet. Perhaps the Nook Tablet is less relevant now that chap Android tablets are available in abundance, but the unofficial nod to the Android community is noted and appreciated. OK, ROM makers, get cracking on a Nook flavor of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : NOOK Tablet
    Manufactuer : Barnes and Noble
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : November 07, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x600
  • Screen Type : VividView IPS
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 8.1 Inch
  • Width : 5 Inch
  • Depth : .48 Inch
  • Weight : 400 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    CPU : OMAP4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Engadget]


Transformer Prime pre-orders go live in Germany

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 02:29 PM PST

The tablet market is looking up for ze Germans. Just a day or so after the Apple-busting Samsung Galaxy 10.1V went on sale, German citizens can now order the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime.  Technically the tablet isn’t even a pre-order, it’s labelled as”out of stock”, though the seller is Asus so we’re not looking at any third-party shenanigans.

599 Euros is a pretty steep price when you’ll be able to get the same device for $599 in the US, a converted difference of about $200. Officially the Transformer Prime won’t be available until December, a vague date that Asus hasn’t amended with regional specifics. Considering that there’s no new information on availability on the merchant page, I’d advise would-be importers to hold off for the moment and wait for some more solid info.

The Transformer Prime is the first tablet to feature Nvidia’s blazing 1.4Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and boy, does it show. Even so it’s a svelte 8.3mm while managing to cram in a 12-hour (quoted) battery life and either 32 or 64GB of on-board storage. Add the updated keyboard dock (which sadly won’t work with the original Transformer) and you can extend the battery to a full 18 hours while typing away. The Transformer Prime will launch with Honeycomb, but Asus has promised a quick upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, possibly making the Prime the very first tablet to support thew new software officially.

[via Droid-Life]


Android Market now showing Google Music, no update needed

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 02:05 PM PST

Google Music support and purchases was just announced at the “These Go to Eleven” event by Google yesterday. As I’m sure many of you already are well aware of. Many of us scrambled to test the new goodies and updated to the Google Music v4.0 app but that is just the music player. We can now search, preview, and buy music right from our Android phone but I’m sure many are wondering how since it’s still not available in the market. Apparently it is rolling out in stages because a few of us have full access, while most don’t.

In the image above you can clearly see on the far left that “Music” is now an option on the market homepage. We have full and complete access to the entire Google Music library as Google’s intended. I have more devices than I’d like to count here and only one has the new Music tab, the rest still don’t. It appears that no Market update is needed. I have the same and latest official v3.3.11 from Google on multiple devices. The new Google Music appears to be completely server side and no update to a newer Android Market version will be needed.

Usually we’ve have some sort of APK that you could download with the new Market and enjoy the changes but it appears that this is completely on Google’s servers and will be rolled out to devices over the next few days as they mentioned during the event. So sorry, you’ll just have to wait until your device(s) have access. I only get it on one of mine so we’ll see when the rest finally get access.

Apparently Google will be pushing this over the next few days, they didn’t want to give everyone access at the same time because it would be a flurry of purchases and downloads and most likely cause some serious slowdown or lag. For now you can access that part of the market by being directed through the Google + app to buy and enjoy music offered by Google. Otherwise you’ll sadly have to wait until your device receives the option in the market. Don’t worry as it should arrive any day now. — Thanks Simms

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