Friday, 25 November 2011

Android Community

Android Community


SwiftKey X Keyboard half off for Black Friday weekend

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 11:04 AM PST

I know everyone has probably been digging through internet and magazine ads, dealing with hoards of people at Walmart or Best Buy, and all those other crazy things people do on Black Friday but what we have is a simple deal you can do right from your phone. The extremely popular (and recently updated) SwiftKey X keyboard for phones and tablets is half off for the weekend. Get it while it’s hot!

SwiftKey has actually been “hot” since it was first launched and has continued to rise as they’ve updated it often and brought great changes. It’s currently an editors choice app on the Android Market right from Google and is still one of the most popular 3rd party keyboards available today. From cool themes to multitouch support this keyboard just keeps getting better and better. For more details you can see the latest version 2.2 right here in our hands-on.

The latest version has support for over 35 languages, improved multi-touch support, split key view (works amazing on tablets) and more so it’s definitely worth the price and even more so now it’s half off for the holiday weekend. Both versions are available in the Android Market and on sale right now. You can get them by clicking here.

[via SwiftKey]

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Handtec confirms Samsung is “flashing” Galaxy Nexus with volume bugfix

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 10:08 AM PST

The ongoing saga with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is finally starting to shape up and make sense regarding the volume bug. Google has confirmed the issue and claimed a bugfix update was already en route and would be delivered shortly. When I said saga I didn’t mean Twilight — I meant this overblown issue with the Galaxy Nexus that turned out to only be a small software issue.

We’ve now learned this indeed was a small software bug that was fixed via changing the radio levels that were causing interference (2G). By controlling the debounce with a few simple tweaks the issue should be fully resolved and wont ever be a problem. In no way was this hardware related and we’ve now learned Samsung is already “flashing” or pushing an update that should resolve the problem.

Earlier this week UK online retailer Handtec stopped all shipments on the flagship device but today they’ve updated everyone on their official blog. Clearly stating that Samsung is in fact “flashing” or updating the Galaxy Nexus with the volume bugfix. They then go on to mention shipping with commence early next week and everyone will receive expedited delivery free of charge for the inconvenience.

Sounds like a good deal to me. We’ve still learned nothing new regarding when Verizon will launch theirs, but an ad was leaked last night showing it will launch at just $199. Pretty nice to hear considering most other Verizon 4G LTE phones have been $299 on contract. Hopefully we’ll know more soon but for now here is our Galaxy Nexus hands-on.

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 :

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Imerj Smartpad concept shows awesome dual-screen multitasking

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 09:49 AM PST

Strange as it may seem, dual screen are not an uncommon occurrence on Android. The Kyocera Echo is the primary example, but T-Mobile’s Doubleplay takes a different approach – and those are just the ones that can use both simultaneously. But a new concept device from startup Imerj Design (don’t blame them, all the good URLs are taken) may be the most exciting one yet.

It’s called the 2-in-1 Smartpad, and it uses a hinged design instead of the more common slider. The hardware itself isn’t all that interesting – we know Android can handle two screens at once with relative ease. It’s the custom interface that Imerj has developed to manage the extra windowed space that’s fascinating. The device can function as a standard slate phone, but apps can be moved around on either screen with a quick slide on the status bar.

See for yourself below:

The device has been in development for months, and naturally there’s no word on pricing or availability yet. But seeing the way that the Smartpad deftly manages multiple apps, a keyboard and inputs is certainly exciting. The Angry Birds game playing concurrently with an Iron Man 2 trailer was particularly impressive – who hasn’t whipped out their phone for some quick gaming or texting while watching TV anyway? It’s reminiscent of Microsoft’s sadly curtailed Courier tablet, though the prospect of double Super AMOLED screens and Gorilla Glass gives me hope that this one’s closer to a real release.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Imerj for any further developments.

[via Reddit]

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Got a Galaxy S II? Get Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit for free

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 09:20 AM PST

I’ll be honest: there’s not a lot of good reasons to open up Samsung’s custom App Store, an included “bloatware” app that’s been showing up on all its devices for months. But there may just be a good reason now: Samsung is giving away copies of EA’s racing game Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, normally $6.99 in the Android Market, for free, nuthin and gratis. According to SammyHub you’ll need a Galaxy S II to take advantage of the deal.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is the latest in a long line of racing games with a twist. You get the normal race and time attack modes, but a Hot Pursuit mode pits street racers against cops on fictional California highways. You can use deployable spike strips, EMP bursts or just slam your opponents into submission to make it to the finish by any means necessary. The console and PC version of the game got rave reviews, though it’s only got 3.5 out of 5 stars on the Android Market.

Apparently the deal is restricted to certain regions, at least at the moment. The game may be available for free on other phones, but a quick look at our Galaxy S II Skyrocket review unit isn’t showing it at the moment. Note that this is a different (and probably better) game that Need For Speed: Shift, which is included on many Android phones by default.

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Aussie judge calls Apple a monopoly in Samsung Galaxy Tab case

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 08:52 AM PST

Australia is a beachhead for Apple’s worldwide crusade against Android in general, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in particular. Apple’s lawyers scored a major victory earlier this year when a sales ban injunction was granted, essentially making Samsung’s tablet illegal to sell in the entire country. Naturally Samsung appealed the case, and at least one of the three appeals judges seems to be sympathetic, labeling Apple’s iPad market share as a monopoly.

Samsung’s lawyers take issue with the ruling granted by the judge in the original case, calling the decision grossly unjust, and accusing her of overlooking the core facts of Apple’s presented patents and business arguments.

If you have a fast moving product which if taken off the market, destroys the opportunities available to the newcomer and preserves the monopoly of the incumbent then you’d have to have a very close look at the strength of the case.

Another of the three judges took issue with Apple’s claims that a similar product would hurt its bottom line. He skeptically asked one of the lawyers if “the whole of Apple’s going to come tumbling down” because the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was allowed to be sold.

The developments are promising for Samsung, though they probably shouldn’t get too excited just yet – the civil case itself doesn’t begin until next year. Apple is unlikely to accept anything but a total sales ban, since they’ve already rejected Samsung’s settlement offer. If Apple manages to win the case, Samsung may simply release the slightly redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N, as they’ve already done in Germany.

[via SlashGear]

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Infinity Blade developer snubs Android over piracy concerns

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 08:28 AM PST

There’s a lot of high-profile games either out or coming soon for Android, but even the staunchest Android evangelist (this guy!) would have trouble denying that the gaming market on iOS is more robust at the moment. The current posterboy for iOS graphics is Chair Entertainment’s Infinity Blade, a hack-and slash action game with some undeniably incredible visuals. When asked when they’d bring the series to the even more popular Android platform, the devs cited fears of piracy as a reason not to create ports.

Mashable asked the two brothers who designed the game why it hasn’t appeared on high-powered Tegra devices yet, and their response was that a “wild west” business environment had left the door wide open for piracy. “We're confident that will be worked out and it will become a viable place for game developers, but that hasn't happened yet.” The developers said they were open to creating Android games in the future, but at the moment it’s not part of their plans.

It’s true that piracy is a problem for Android. Most apps sold in the Android Market don’t have any sort of copy protection (and I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing). But to develop exclusively for iOS out of a fear of piracy is a flawed argument to say the least – piracy is also a problem on iOS, and a quick Google search shows that Infinity Blade is available to any unscrupulous iPhone users who wish to take it without paying. There’s a lot of good reasons not to port a game, like extra development cost for a platform that typically renders fewer direct sales. Piracy isn’t necessarily one of them.

For the record: do not download commercial software without paying for it, on any platform. It’s illegal just about everywhere, and you’ll make Santa cry.

[via Phandroid]

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ZTE’s Vivacity lands on T-Mobile in the UK

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 07:51 AM PST

We got a glimpse at the ZTE “T-Mobile” Vivacity early this month, and lo and behold, it’s arrived on the UK branch of everyone’s favorite magenta-tinted carrier. The mid-range Gingerbread phone is available now from T-Mobile for a £10 monthly charge, or £99 on a contract-free plan. The device loses its manufacturer branding, like many OEM phones on T-Mobile.

For a hundred quid you get a 3.5-inch, 800 x 480 LCD screen on a body that’s unfortunately pretty bland-looking – if you were to look up “basic smartphone” in the Britanica, the Vivacity might just do as its boilerplate photo. (Of course, you’d have to wait for an update to the dead tree version, like some sort of Philistine.) Other than Android 2.3, GPS and a 5 megapixel camera, T-Mobile wasn’t all that forthcoming on official specs, but given the pricing you can probably expect a 800mhz-1ghz processor with 512-768Mb of RAM. The phone has a MicroSD card slot that’s apparently empty.

There’s something interesting about the Vivacity: an interface that seems to have left Gingerbread alone. On the launcher at least, there’s a distinct lack of manufacturer customizations, a la HTC, Samsung and Motorola. That alone may make the Vivacity worth a look if you need a new phone on a budget – a relatively “clean” Android phone is a sadly novel occurrence outside of the Nexus line. It looks like there’s also some T-Mobile branded apps, so you might want to try it at retail before making a decision. The Vivacity should show up at T-Mobile’s online and brick and mortar stores any time now, in black or white colors.

[via Android Central]

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Dreamcast favorite ChuChu Rocket comes to Android

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 07:12 AM PST

Ah, the Sega Dreamcast. A little grey box with a lot of memories. One of the very first titles to appear on Sega’s underdog gaming system was ChuChu Rocket, a puzzle game from the makers of Sonic the Hedgehog. iOS gamers have been playing it for over a year, but Sega‘s done the right thing and brought ChuChu Rocket to the Android Market.

If you’ve never heard of ChuChu Rocket – an unfortunately common occurrence among western gamers – it’s a puzzle game in which the player must guide a torrent of squeaking mice through a minefield of cats and other hazards, by re-directing their motion. In terms that current mobile gamers would understand, it’s kind of like the tower defense genre, except that the goal is to get everyone to the end safely. The original game was one of the very first to take advantage of Internet multiplayer on a console, and has since been ported to the Game Boy Advance.

The Android version looks almost identical to the original, but thanks to high-density screens the graphics actually surpass it. The original 500 levels of ChuChu Rocket are faithfully recreated, though unfortunately the multiplayer element seems to be missing. ChuChu Rocket is only Sega’s second Android game, behind the new RPG Fallen Realms earlier this month. We live in hope of a Sonic Generations or Super Monkey Ball port, but for now, you can pick up ChuChu Rocket for just 99 cents in the Android Market.

[via Joystiq]

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Original Asus Eee Pad Transformer gets an early ICS port

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 06:53 AM PST

The fancy new Transformer Prime gets all the attention at the moment, and rightly so. But if you’re hanging on to your original Asus Eee Pad Transformer, or picking up a cheap one in a sweet Black Friday deal, you might want to have a look at this. The Transformer is joining the swelling ranks of phones and tablets with an early version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, made possible by the recently released open-source code.

This build of Android is very early indeed, currently lacking audio and being generally slow and buggy. But most of the other important hardware works, including WiFi and Bluetooth, making a full demonstration possible. YouTube user BumbleDroid shares credit for the work between himself, the CyanogenMod and AndroidRoot.mobi teams and a few other developers.

Watch it in action below:

Asus has promised an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the original Transformer, in addition the the quick update for the forthcoming Transformer Prime. Nvidia even showed the new software running on the Tegra 3 hardware in a video last week. But we all know it can take a while for manufacturers to get the lead out, and community-built ROMs have their own advantages. The build should be significantly improved in the coming weeks.

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Sharp AQUOS SH-01D smartphone heads to Japan, US later

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 05:07 AM PST

Android loving smartphone shoppers can get hands on the new Sharp AQUOS SH-01D smartphone before you know it. The smartphone will come to NTT Docomo first in Japan on December 2 according to the carrier. The phone has some really nice features with one of the more uncommon being that the smartphone is waterproof.

It uses a nice 4.5-inch parallax barrier screen that does glasses-free 3D and sports a resolution of 720 x 1280. The screen uses the Sharp AQUOS engine for superior color and image quality. Under the hood, the smartphone has a dual-core 1GHz OMAP4430 processor. The rear camera is a 12MP unit and the front camera has 310,000 pixels. It supports microSD cards for storage up to 32GB. The Os is Android 2.3.

The smartphone measures 9.7mm thick and weighs 138g. The talk time on 3G networks is 450 minutes and on GSM networks, it is 290 minutes. The phone is good on standby for up to 420 hours. The smartphone will come in blue, white, or black colors. It also has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and many other features. The phone has also recently made its way across the FCC headed to the US.

[via SlashGear]

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Ad tips Samsung Galaxy Nexus Price at $199.99

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 03:02 AM PST

If you have been waiting to get your hands on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE in the US on contract with Verizon you have probably been waiting to know how much the phone will cost. The price of the smartphone on a new 2-year contract and with a data plan has now been tipped via an ad spied running online.

According to the ad, the smartphone will sell for $199.99 on contract. That is cheaper than some might have expected since it’s not uncommon for some Android devices to sell for more than that traditional $199.99 price tag. The ad doesn’t confirm the official launch date of the smartphone. That launch is expected to happen next month.

If you want to know more about the Galaxy Nexus, SlashGear reviewed the smartphone not long ago. The phone was offered unlocked in the UK already and had an issue with volume. The fix for that issue has been confirmed and when it launches here it should be fixed.

[via SlashGear]

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