Monday, 21 November 2011

Android Community

Android Community


NOOK Tablet gets the teardown treatment, we see every nook and cranny

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 11:25 AM PST

Barnes & Noble just announced and released the new NOOK Tablet and in the usual iFixit fashion we now have a full teardown. Showing us every “nook” and cranny of the device you could ever expect, then we have our hands-on below for you too. check out a few pictures after the break.

The same was also quickly done on the Kindle Fire but this is all about the NOOK although you can see a comparison right here. I’m sure you all know plenty about the NOOK Tablet but this little eReader rocks a 7″ IPS display, a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and thousands and thousands of books or magazines to consume your day at the beach.

While you’re here, enjoy our Nook Tablet hands-on and unboxing, then check out how you can side-load apps right to the new NOOK by reading this info. The new NOOK Tablet has only been available a few short days and it already has root access and the Android market. Hopefully we’ll see a few ICS ROM’s appearing for this 7″ slate soon, I have a feeling it will be very shortly. The NOOK is a great little eReader and as we said above if you’d like to see every nook and cranny during the full teardown hit the source link after the gallery below.

nook tear main AC nook teardown 2 Nook teardown 3 nook teardown main Nook teardown
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 :
Display
  • 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
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    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
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via iFixit]

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Google engineer and security vendors spar over Android malware threat

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:51 AM PST

With all the stories about Android malware as of late, it might be easy for a novice smartphone user to get nervous. Security software vendor McAfee agrees: they’ve sent out a much-publicized report claiming that threats for Android have increased by 37% in just three months, and they’re predicting “75 million unique malware samples” across all mobile platforms by the end of the year. Juniper Networks is claiming a 472% increase since July. Google’s Open Source Program Manager Chris DiBona had a pointed rebuttal to this and other Android malware news on his personal Google+ page, mostly (go figure) in defense of Android’s open source nature.

DiBona’s argument refutes the idea that Android’s open source architecture make it inherently unsafe, or at least more so than competing platforms like iOS. Ge gives a history lesson on open source software and operating systems, noting that, yes, as platforms become more popular the level of malevolent interest and intent also rises. Previously the threats have been found and dealt with, both on iOS and Android, and despite a considerable amount of media attention the current state of mobile security is nothing like the Wild West days of Windows in the late 90s and early 2000s – you’re not going to pick up a Trojan simply by browsing the web.

He goes on to call out reports on the insecurity of Android, specifically from software vendors:

If you read a report from a vendor that trys to sell you something based on protecting android, rim or ios from viruses they are also likely as not to be scammers and charlatans. [sic]

So, where’s the truth here? McAfee has a lot to gain by making Android users afraid, but DiBona isn’t exactly a neutral source either. (It’s important to note that the views expressed in his post are his own, and not technically a representation of Google’s official stance.) Malware for Android is increasing – that’s a fact. It’s also a fact that the vast majority of it eventually requires users to manually install apps outside of the Android Market, purposefully disabling the security measure that’s designed to keep novice users out of trouble. In the instances when malware has been discovered in the Android Market, it’s been promptly removed.

I invite you to form your own conclusion on who’s “right” as far as the validity of threats is concerned. In the meantime, repeat that often-heard security mantra: never install apps or software from a source you don’t fully trust.

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CyanogenMod 9 Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to the Galaxy Tab 10.1

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 08:49 AM PST

One of the earliest and most important parts of Ice Cream Sandwich that Google announced was that it would integrate the code and user interface for phone and tablet versions of Android. We know that ICS tablets are due pretty soon, with Asus committing to a quick update for the upcoming Transformer Prime and Samsung already promising upgrades for its myriad tablets. Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners may not have very long at all to wait: Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik has announced that his extremely popular ROM series CyanogenMod will be coming to the Galaxy Tab when it upgrades to ICS in version 9.

The CyanogenMod team has already begun work on CyanogenMod 9 (version 7 is Gingerbread, version 8 is Honeycomb, and probably won’t be made), with stable versions expected early next year. This is the first we’ve heard of CyanogenMod supporting tablet hardware at all, with the exception of Gingerbread-based oddities for the Nook Color and the like. CM9 will be the very first version of CyanogenMod to support a tablet user interface natively, though some useful tweaks are already part of the code – see out hands-on of CyanogenMod for the HP Touchpad for an example.

The news comes from Kondik’s personal Google+ page, and it appears that either he or someone on the CM9 team already has an extremely early version of the modification running. That’s not just good news for CyanogenMod users, it’s good for Galaxy Tab owners in general. The Cyanogen team is famously slow to release (don’t even think about asking for an ETA) but if they can manage it, earlier and less feature complete versions from other ROM makers should show up very soon indeed.

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 :

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Galaxy Nexus owners reporting volume issues

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 08:28 AM PST

Into every life a little rain must fall. For European Galaxy Nexus owners, who are currently the envy of most of the Android world, that rain is coming in the form of some frustrating volume issues. Apparently some HSPA+ phones are randomly switching between volume and sound states, much to the consternation of users. According to a quick poll, about half of users are experiencing the issue, though our own UK editor has not.

It seems that some very specific parameters must be met for the volume issue to crop up. First, you’ve got to be using the 900MHz range of spectrum for your particular carrier. Next you need to be in a relatively weak signal area, causing the Galaxy Nexus’ radio to automatically boost itself. Regions with lots of switching between 2G and 3G networks seem to be hit the hardest. Check the video below for an example:

Of course, the nice thing about owning a Nexus device is that it’s likely to be updated very soon. Google is surely taking the performance of the international model seriously, even though there’s still no official word on a timeframe for the U.S. version. Expect some official word from Google soon, with a fix in the next software update, which probably isn’t too far out.

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 Gizmodo]

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Get Ice Cream Sandwich’s keyboard now, no root needed

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 07:49 AM PST

Yes, we know – the wait for Ice Cream Sandwich to show up for your device and/or in your region is getting frustrating. But you can slake your hunger for Ice Cream now with a taste of its new keyboard, for any Android device. Thanks to XDA member “for.digit“. (funny how no one on XDA is ever called Bob or Sam.) He’s wrapped up the new ICS version of Android’s native keyboard in a free Market app, available to just about anyone.

It’s not quite perfect, thanks to the noticeable lack of the microphone button. And since the active voice dictation was one of the things that really put the ICS keyboard over the top, the Android Market app becomes something of a theme for the standard Gingerbread or Froyo keyboard. Given the deep integration in ICS, a significantly improved version of Voice Dictation would be almost impossible to include, though hooking into the previous versions of voice to text should be easy enough. But hey, it’s got that neat-o ice blue color scheme all the developers are going crazy for these days, right?

If you’re lucky enough to own a Nexus S, Galaxy S II or Optimus 3D, you can actually try out Ice Cream Sandwich right now. If you’re the rooted/custom ROM type, all it takes is a quick flash – just make sure to create a backup. The earliest ICS ROMs are a long way from stable. And of course, you can always pay – or wait – for the Galaxy Nexus in your home country.

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Nexus S and Nexus S 4G get early Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 07:15 AM PST

Those lucky Nexus owners, they get everything sooner. In this case, it’s a relatively stable AOSP version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the previous generation of Google’s developer phone. The ROM is available for eager Android fans right now – the only thing that appears to be missing is a reliable video record function.

The work comes from XDA member “kwiboo”, and he’s been hard at work on the software for the last few days; the two separate ROMs are already on their second version. Functions are mostly complete, though the WiFi drivers need a quick patch. Since Android’s source code doesn’t include Gmail, YouTube, the Android Market and similar Google-branded apps, those packages are being directly loaded from the Galaxy Nexus.

Check out the ROM in action below:

On the example phone at least, Ice Cream Sandwich is running admirably fast. Take particular note of the ICS software buttons – or rather don’t, because they aren’t there. ICS is able to forgo its software buttons if the hardware it’s running on already has hardware-based navigation buttons. The Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs should be coming fast and furious for the next few weeks as more and more modders get a hang of the source code, and the uber-popular CyanogenMod should release its version of ICS early next year.

[via PD]

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Adobe says Flash for ICS will be last supported OS

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 06:04 AM PST

We have already talked about the fact that there was supposed to be no Flash support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Adobe has now announced that it will be offering Flash for ICS after all. There is a catch though; Adobe has noted that ICS will be the last supported Android OS for Flash. That means all future version of Android will have to make it with no Flash.

Flash for Android 4.0 is expected by the end of the year. The company will continue to offer patches and security updates for existing versions of Flash after the Android 4.0 version is offered. This will get all the folks planning to get a Galaxy Nexus that lacks Flash support for content using flash.

Once those Android 5.0 handsets start to hit, Google will need to move to HTML 5 support or work something out on its own for Flash support. Android 5.0 is thought to be called Jelly Bean. That name is unconfirmed at this point.

[via Pocket-lint]

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Bell to get Galaxy Nexus December 8

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 05:47 AM PST

In the States, we had expected to see the Galaxy Nexus before December 8 originally and then a leak from Verizon tipped the December 8 launch date. December 8 will be a shared launch date with Bell Canada too. Bell has announced that its official launch date for the Galaxy Nexus smartphone is December 8.

At this point, we are all familiar with the Galaxy Nexus. We have been playing with some review units for a while now and recently offered up benchmarks for the device. The phone turned in some strong, if not overly impressive stats in our tests. The phone is on par in many aspects with the Galaxy S II. Bell will offer the smartphone with several different contracts.

A 3-year contract will offer the phone for $159.95 in Canada. The price jumps massively if you want to shave a year off that contract to $599.95. A one-year contract is $624.95 for the smartphone and a no contract price is set at $649.95.

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Snapdragon MSM8960 processor spied in benchmarks inside Asus Padfone

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 04:08 AM PST

Someone who has an early version of the new Asus Padfone has decided to benchmark the Android device on GLBenchamrk and the results are in the database. The interesting part is that the info in the database points to a Qualcomm chip inside that hasn’t been released yet. This gives us our first idea of how well the platform will perform.

The Padfone in question appears to be running the new Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 S4 processor. The MSM8960 S4 is the quad-core Snapdragon part that will combat the Tegra 3 chipset from NVIDIA. The S4 is expected to run from 1.5GHz to 2.5GHz. I’d be the 1.5GHz is what we will see in smartphone guise.

The performance for the smartphone with the S4 processor inside is very good. This Padfone should provide a nice little upgrade to the original that will be welcome when crammed inside that tablet accessory. There is no word on when the new device will launch, but it should be one of the first with the new S4 inside.

[via SlashGear]

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Nook Tablet rooted for Android Market support

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 03:03 AM PST

If you were thinking about getting the Nook Tablet, but were put off by the fact that it lacked Android Market access by default the fix is in. The Nook Tablet has been rooted to give the little 7-inch tablet unofficial access to the Android Market. Before this hack, the apps had to be sideloaded so a direct access hack to the Market is welcome.

The root is a bit more complex than some Android hacks we have seen in the past where you only need to make a click to do the deed. The hack requires that the owner of the tablet install the Android Software Developer Kit and the Java developer kit. After that is installed, the user has to enable adb on the Nook Tablet then copy and mod the Android Market app itself.

Those steps will add access to a bunch more apps to the tablet, but a few more steps offers access to even more. To get all the apps the user needs to mod the filtering system a bit to allow all compatible apps to be shown. Check out the video to see a rooted Nook Tablet in action. We went hand son with the Nook Tablet not long ago, check it out here.

[via SlashGear]

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Android Community Weekly: November 20, 2011

Posted: 20 Nov 2011 08:59 PM PST

It’s been great here in the tech world this past week, with Google Music now open to the public, some amazing Black Friday sales starting to emerge, and finally some more Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in our lives. Monday, Notion Ink hinted that on November 17, Android 4.0 source code would likely hit the net. Fortunately, they were wrong again – as Google leaked it to the public later that same day!


I’m sure you’ve seen our great hands-on and unboxing of the Galaxy Nexus, but don’t forget to check out some of our more specific videos! One of them including a 1080p video sample and some photo samples. Most interesting about the Galaxy Nexus (and Android 4.0 for that matter), is that once the video capture application is launched and running, you can just tap the screen to save precise video frames straight to the phone! Yet another video worth taking a look at is how voice dictation works on the Galaxy Nexus. Yes, I know we’ve all seen it already in the official release of Android 4.0, but such an amazing feature deserves to be watched twice. Google finally patented its pattern unlock screen Friday, but what about its new facial unlock feature? It seems that will prove to be just as unique.

Nowadays, more than 50% of smartphones sold worldwide run Android OS. I’m sure this number will rise steadily as amazing deals are just around the corner. T-Mobile just launched its “Magenta Saturday Sale” offering any one of their smartphones (and even a few tablets) for only $49 as a downpayment. Even better, Sam’s Club will be offering the Galaxy S II, PHOTON 4G, and DROID Charge for less than a dollar on Black Friday! If you’re on a budget and need to upgrade that old smartphone, then keep your eyes peeled for deals like these.

Be sure to check out our official HTC Rezound review, as it is quite the powerhouse. Though not as popular in the media as the Motorola DROID RAZR, it is just as speedy. The HTC Rezound looks to be replacing the HTC Thunderbolt, and is also capable of 4G LTE speeds. Verizon’s 4G LTE market went live in 14 new locations Thursday, so be sure to check if it now reaches your area! Also, AT&T started expanding its fairly new 4G LTE technology to 6 new markets today; hopefully other carriers don’t get left too far behind!

Also reviewed this week was the Samsung Captivate Glide on AT&T. No, it can not access AT&T’s 4G LTE markets, but nevertheless – this QWERTY slider has some great specs. Finally, Google Music has been released to the public! Users can now enjoy the ability to purchase songs straight from the Android Market. Even better, installation of Google Music allows you to stream up to 20,000 songs from your own library! This includes the ability to “offline” your favorites whenever you want.

With Black Friday approaching so quickly, be sure to check back with Android Community as often as you can; we’ll be positing any great deals that leak or are sent in so you can get them while they last!

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