Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Android Community

Android Community


Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Developer tablet runs Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 12:08 PM PST

Qualcomm and their Snapdragon processors are in more Android devices than we can count and they aren’t wasting anytime now that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is out in the wild. We’ve seen development devices from them in the past like the 1.5 GHz MDP phone (Mobile Development Platform) and now they are teasing their new Snapdragon MSM8960 that will be known as the Snapdragon S4 on an Ice Cream Sandwich powered tablet.

This developer platform device is rocking four cameras, a fingerprint scanner and all sorts of crazy ideas all packed into one was first shown off running Gingerbread but now Qualcomm has shared a few photos of this awesome device running the absolute latest — Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. With more than a few cameras on the front and a huge 13 megapixel camera on the rear Qualcomm looks to be testing anything and everything.

Almost every HTC device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and with fast improvements to the platform from Qualcomm you can expect HTC to be working just as hard to bring updates across all of their capable devices. The details are pretty thin here but this Qualcomm S4 chipset should be here inside of 2012 and we’ll probably see it on display at CES come this January. Hopefully they’ll release a video shortly but in the meantime enjoy a few photos thanks to Qualcomm.

snap 1 snap 2 snap 3 snap 4 snap 5 snap 6

[via SlashGear]

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Galaxy Nexus Galore: Hits Costco December 15th, on sale at Newegg, more

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 11:12 AM PST

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus news just keeps flowing in from all angles this week and we have a few to report on. First off, the Verizon 4G LTE enabled Galaxy Nexus is still on track for December 15th, or so we think. Now Costco has helped confirm that rumor and minor detail with an ad spot confirming it will be on sale from December 15th to the 20th for just $289, according to Engadget. That isn’t all the Nexi news either so stay tuned for more details.

Now for those in the states that are still very patiently waiting for the Galaxy Nexus (or impatiently) if you are fed up with the Verizon mind games and torture tests and would like to just enjoy this new flagship Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone already then Newegg has you covered. They’ve imported tons of the GSM model, dropped the import price, and it can be yours for just $699 by clicking here.

Last but not least even Australia will be able to enjoy Android 4.0 ICS and the Galaxy Nexus before us here in the states. Telstra is set to start shipping the Nexus to buyers starting tomorrow and you can buy it now right from their website. Add them to the long list of Canadians and all across Europe and even Japan that have all already launched this device. Verizon needs to get with the game here or everyone might just pick one up from Newegg instead.

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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Motorola DROID Bionic software update gets the green light

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 10:27 AM PST

I have some exciting news for you DROID Bionic users, the huge bugfix update we’ve been reporting about over the past few months is finally here and ready to straighten out that Bionic of yours. Or you could just wait for the Bionic 2 as I’m expecting it early January if Motorola’s current trends tell us anything. Either way the update is here, now, and all the details are below.

All of the details and information regarding what to expect can be seen below in our new Timeline feature but I’ll break it down too. This update is a massive one and should have tons of improvements from stability, performance, battery life, 3G/4G connectivity and even camera performance. The camera was severely lacking and almost worth calling awful, so this update should really help the quality and shutter speed improve.

While we all still wait for CM7 or CM9 on the Bionic this update should get you through until we see Ice Cream Sandwich land for Motorola devices. We knew this update was coming soon because Verizon recently released the full update documents but today Motorola has officially announced it is available now. The update should hit your device automatically and without user interaction but as always you can manually update if you’d rather not wait. Head to settings > about phone and get that update started. Please drop us a few comments if you have any issues or new problems that arise after the update, we’d love to report the findings.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID Bionic
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : August 24, 2011
    Release Date : September 08, 2011
    Also Known As : Targa
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution : 540x960
  • Screen Type : qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.00 Inch
  • Width : 2.60 Inch
  • Depth : 0.40 Inch
  • Weight : 159 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1735 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 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
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 1900
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 Motorola]

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Microsoft tempts bitter Android users with free Windows Phone 7 devices

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 10:15 AM PST

Not everyone is as enamored with Android as we are, and given recent events with a certain big red company that shall remain nameless, it’s hard to blame them. But Microsoft is using some Android owners’ experience with “malware” as an excuse for promoting Windows Phone 7, and it must be said, they’re doing it in a pretty unique way. Tweet out a story of your Android malware woes, attach the hashtag #droidrage, and you might just get a response from Ben Rudolph the Windows Phone evangelist, giving you some shiny new Microsoft hardware.

Of course, the amount of Android malware that actually makes it onto users’ devices is pretty tiny. Google keeps a weather eye on the Android Market, and most of the platform’s 190 million users never install a non-Market app, the primary vector for software attacks. But then, most of the things that @BenThePCGuy is retweeting are general complaints – sluggish, choppy phones, restarts, and slow updates. Legitimate complaints, to be sure, but not malware by any stretch of its definition.

Still, we’re all tech heads here, and not above a little pandering for free hardware. BenThePCGuy has five free phones of indeterminate make and model to give out, so send him your story if you want to try. After all, Windows Phone 7 has copy and paste now! I’m sure that will make up for its other shortcomings.

Is anyone else chuckling at the thought of Microsoft (you know, the Windows people) pointing out malware threats on competing platforms? Keep that virus scanner running, desktop users.

[via SlashGear]

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Android is the most closed open source OS, say analysts

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 09:37 AM PST

Google gets a lot of praise for bringing open source to the masses with Android, and a lot of flack for some of its more closed-off activities. On a technical level the company complies with the fundamental principles of open source software, but not always in the way that FOSS proponents would like. A perfect example is Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which never saw an open source release until version 4 was already available. These tendencies and more technical details led VisionMobile to rank it the “most closed” open source OS among a field of the most popular examples.

In a series of metrics, Google’s Android scored just 23% “open”, comparing poorly to the likes of Linux, Symbian and Meego. The running wasn’t limited to operating systems – Mozilla’s various open source tools, the Webkit browser framework and the QT user interface toolkit were also included. VisionMobile based their ratings on a variety of factors, such as the licenses used, the strictness by which the community is enforced, and the level of access that developers are given to the development process. For a more technical breakdown, head over to the source link above.

There’s no denying that Google keeps a pretty tight lid on Android, at least until the source code is released. In the case of the G1, original DROID, Nexus One, XOOM, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, only Google’s software engineers and its hardware partners had access to the software until well after a flagship device was released. On the other hand, Google’s aggressive promotion of Android has allowed it to become one of the most widely-used pieces of open source  software in history, giving manufacturers, developers and tinkerers a complete and free ecosystem – eventually. VisionMobile concludes that Google’s promotional machine is a double-edged sword for Android, broadening its horizons while keeping its core interest well within the commercial spectrum.

android open source index open-source-rankings-infographic

[via BGR]

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10 Billion Apps promo, day 8: HD Widgets, FlightTrack and Train Conductor 2 for 10¢

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 08:43 AM PST

Google’s 10 Billion Apps promotion rolls on for another day, delivering cheap premium apps to all the good boys and girls in the Android world. And all the bad ones, too – Google doesn’t judge. The company started reducing a selection of paid apps to just ten cents last Tuesday, and will continue to do so through Thursday of this week. Today’s highlights include HD Widgets, FlightTrack and Train Conductor 2.

There are only six new apps on offer today: Where’s My Water?, HD Widgets, All By Myself (another Little Critter book/app), FlightTrack, Instant Heart Rate Pro, and Train Conductor 2: USA. The rest of the apps have already been offered on previous days: SlideIt Keyboard, Shazam Encore, Sketchbook Mobile, Flick Golf!, Christmas HD and Color & Draw for kids HD. Yesterday’s apps are still at their discounted rates, but not for long. You can buy all of today’s deals in the Android Market.

As Google’s promotion winds down, it’s getting a much higher percentage of repeat apps. That said, 10 cents for any of these apps, most going for $1.99 or more at their normal price, is a huge bargain. By the end of Thursday you will have had the chance to buy over 70 apps for less than $8, a deal that’s hard for anyone to argue with. I only hope ADWLauncher EX gets another go-round.

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Modaco custom ROM fixes Facebook’s Ice Cream Sandwich issues

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 08:15 AM PST

According to Nielsen, Android users spend more time in the Facebook app than just about anywhere else. So it’s no wonder that early Galaxy Nexus users cried foul when Facebook’s contact sync, among other things, wouldn’t work in Ice Cream Sandwich. ROM wunderkind Paul “Modaco” O’Brien has updated his customized version of Ice Cream Sandwich to re-enable the missing feature, along with his already extensive list of tweaks to the basic ICS framework.

Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ users can find Modaco’s ROM at the usual place on Modaco.com. Basic users can download the standard ROM with all the bells and whistles, while subscribers to the popular ROM kitchen can pick and choose features and apps to install or remove. Popular options include the permanent virtual search button, Google’s proprietary apps (Gmail, YouTube, Android Market, etc) and various root-friendly tools. As the first person to post a public superboot for the Galaxy Nexus, Modaco should be pretty good at this by now. Frequent Twitter users should also check out his customized version of TweetDeck, which works properly on the Galaxy Nexus.

Speaking of Twitter, Modaco posted on his feed that he was surprised to find the contact photo sync working after he patched the Facebook application. While the photos will go to your Android contacts, they’re still a little low-res, thanks to the Galaxy Nexus’ 720p screen. And before you ask, no, there’s no new information on the US Verizon version – December 15th is still the best bet.

A big thanks to Paul O’Brien for the screenshots!

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DROID RAZR gets an early Ice Cream Sandwich ROM

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 07:29 AM PST

Independent developers are hard at work on Ice Cream Sandwich for everything from the Nexus One to the HTC Rezound. But after the hue and cry surrounding the DROID RAZR‘s factory-locked bootloader, I thought that Verizon customers would have to wait for an official update before they could taste some sweet Ice Cream Sandwich. At least one dev, “DroidTh3ory“, has stepped outside the walled garden and installed a bootable version of Android 4.0 on the DROID RAZR, by way of a dual-boot hack.

The ROM is in the early development stage, and it’s likely to take a very long time to get to “daily driver” status. The team members are working around locked hardware, which could significantly impact both the quality and the timeliness of the ROM. Plenty of Android enthusiasts will surely try it out when a downloadable version is posted, but you might be wise to wait until the official upgrade, if only so developers an start building custom ROMs with a native RAZR kernel.

Check out his progress below:

Current issues include a largely inaccurate touchscreen, noticeable slowdown and some animation hiccups. The capacitive navigation buttons are working fine, and ICS is aware enough to disable the virtual navigation buttons that can be seen on the Galaxy Nexus. DroidTh3ory plans to release a full list of what works and what doesn’t later, but there’s no word on when a flashable download will be available, if at all.

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 : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1780 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 : OMAP 4430
    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 The Inquirer]

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Google’s official Siri fighter codenamed Majel, Trekkies switch to Android at Warp 9

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 06:50 AM PST

Remember when that Google executive compared iOS’ Siri voice control implementation to the bumbling droids of Star Wars, and Android’s voice input to the Enterprise’s computer on Star Trek? Someone in Mountain View took that analogy quite literally. Android and Me quotes insiders that say Google is preparing a natural language update to Android’s Voice Actions feature, and they’ve codenamed it Majel, after the late great Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.

The actress is best known as the voice of the Enterprise’s computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation onward, and has had small parts in almost every Star Trek series all the way back to the original pilot. In 1969 she married Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and became known as “the First Lady of Star Trek” for her spirited involvement with the series and its fans for almost 40 years. If Google really is basing natural language input around the ideas in TNG, they may have chosen the perfect homage to a geek icon.

Majel Barret as Nurse Chapel, opposite DeForest “Bones” Kelley

While details are scarce, insiders claim that Google’s software engineers are working around the clock to prepare Majel for a release this year. That may or may not happen, but an unveiling in Q1 2012 would be a good fall-back position. Whether or not Google can match Apple’s progress on Siri is a subject for debate; natural language additions to Google’s voice recognition engine have not done well so far. See Iris and Cluzee. But on the other hand, no one has brought the resources and talent to the problem that Google has – not even Apple, who essentially bought the technology whole and plugged it into the iPhone 4S. As for me, I’ll be ecstatic if I can finally command my Android phone like an actual starship: “Computer, navigate to Sears. Engage.”

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Sony Walkman Z-1000 Android-powered MP3 player lands at FCC

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 05:01 AM PST

Sony launched the interesting looking Android-powered NW-Z1000 MP3 player in Japan a while back and the device looks really nice. It has a big 4.3-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolutions and a lot more. The Walkman branded player is a nice alternative to the iPod touch for Japanese music fans. That Z-1000 is now set to launch in the States reports WirelessGoodness with the device spied crossing the FCC test bench.

Other than that large screen the Z1000 also has Bluetooth and WiFi inside along with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. It also has 512MB of RAM and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. There are a few things we aren’t sure of for the American versions of the Z1000.

There is no word on an official launch date or pricing for the device in the US. In Japan the Z1000 comes with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage. The prices range from $365 to $561 when converted. I hope that the new Walkman sells for under that price range when it lands.

[via SlashGear]

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viaForensics claims Google Wallet has security issues

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 03:59 AM PST

Google Wallet famously won’t work on the slick Galaxy Nexus, which may bother some folks when that phone finally lands in the US. However, if you are the security-conscious sort that may not be a big deal to you in the wake of a recent report by a security firm called viaForensics that is claiming that the Google Wallet app isn’t secure enough. American Banker reports that viaForensics found that app stores enough data on the phone itself that a well-crafted email from a nefarious sort could fool many users into giving up more credit card details.

ViaForensics reports that the Google Wallet app doesn’t store the entire credit card number, but it stores data on purchases, the last four digits of the credit card number, and transaction history on the phone. The company thinks that malware would be able to get to the data store on the phone. Google responded by saying that viaForensics used a rooted smartphone in its testing and that the app is secure.

However, we have seen malware in the past that could bypass Android security; the malware was called Droid Dream. ViaForensics says that the data stored on the phone also offers details on card balances and payment due dates. The company says that the data it stores should not be stored unencrypted on the handset.

[via SlashGear]

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Android 4.0 hitting Archos G9 tablets in Q1 2012

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 09:41 PM PST

Both Archos G9 tablets should see Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in Q1 of next year. A successful update to ICS will not only make Archos look like an even more reliable manufacturer, but also show its customers they want their products to be the best they can be. Android 4.0 will bring a wealth of UI changes and help the G9 series compete with other tablets after the holidays.


Those of you looking to pick up one of the “turbo” editions, you will find them on sale just before Christmas for ~$469. These are already available in Europe, and sport a 1.2GHz TI OMAP dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. The 10.1 version will have a 1280×800 resolution and 16GB of storage. It’s rather surprising Archos would charge so much for these particular devices, because the specs are almost already outdated. They are even close to Apple’s iPad 2 pricetag.

To take a look at its build and dimensions, go ahead and check out our hands-on from SlashGear. Its a very solid device, and though it won’t receive Android 4.0 until Q1- the included Android 3.2 is still a rock solid OS. Although, I advice waiting for the turbo version if you’re set on purchasing an Archos, they’re bound to perform better in every way.

[via The Verge]

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Any Verizon 4G phone marked down $100, but there’s a catch…

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 09:03 PM PST

This may be some excellent news for those of you looking to pick up a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (or any other Verizon 4G phone for that matter). Verizon has been contacting some of its customers with a $100 instant rebate to any of their 4G phones if their customer was previously the owner of a 3G-only smartphone. Though they’ve been contacting select customers – all Verizon subscribers that fall into this situation are eligible.


The source comes directly from Verizon via Reddit user Prevo. They state that “The discount will apply if you are upgrading to a 4G phone and currently do not have one”. Now those of you interested in signing up for a new line of service with Verizon may not fall into this category; however, carriers are known for sweetening the deal to lure you into a new 2 year contract. So if you’re like me, on Thursday when you roll into your local Verizon retailer, you’ll mention this deal and see if they will honor it for new customers as well.

This will put the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola DROID RAZR both at $199.99 – a great deal indeed. And seeing as how the DROID Bionic was already reduced, this promotion will let you nab one for only $99.99. I’m not sure how long this deal will last, but I certainly presume throughout the holiday season. Many OG DROID users are finally out of a contract, and Verizon is surely eager to keep them on their network.

[via Reddit]

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Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 Hands-on and Unboxing

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 08:55 PM PST

This week (or last week, depending on your location), you’re able to purchase not one, but two new Motorola tablets, each of them carrying the coveted “DROID” moniker in front of the word XYBOARD – what we’ve got here is the 10.1-inch version, the closest we’ll get to a direct descendent of the original Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola XOOM. This tablet runs with Verizon’s 4G LTE network for speed, a Texas Instruments OMAP4 1.2GHz dual-core processor under the hood, and has a lovely new form factor with soft black plastic and metallic-looking hard silver plastic. On the front there’s one sheet of reinforced Gorilla Glass glass over this device’s 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution LCD display.

This tablet is not the best at any one thing, it’s thinness trumped ever so slightly by the Galaxy Tab 10.1, it’s processor clobbered by the ASUS Transformer Prime, and its camera nowhere near the excellence of the HTC Jetstream. Of course the Prime wins all of these categories when it comes down to it, but the point is that the DROID XYBOARD only very clearly defeats the Motorola tablet it replaces: the XOOM. Verizon will likely get rid of their remaining XOOM stock and pack up the XYBOARDS as their hero DROID tablet, in doing so once again making the iPad look really, really nice.

If you have this tablet on its own, on the other hand, you’ll have a pretty alright time using it. While I’ve recently had sort of a falling out with tablets because of their lack of applicability to the average person’s everyday life, here a clear use rings out: professional industrial-grade computing. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has white plastic on the back and the original Galaxy Tab (still carried by Verizon, believe it or not) looks like a toy, the XYBOARD looks like the designers behind the bench wanted future users to feel like they were really working with a device that had quality hardware inside and out.

Just like there are people out there that refuse to own a Mac because they don’t like to look fruity with a bright light logo at the back of their laptop, so too are there folks out there that want a tablet that doesn’t scream “I BOUGHT THIS TO LOOK GOOD.” This device instead keeps a classy low profile for the professional world. This device is also comfortable to hold and has a miniHDMI port (unlike most Verizon-carried tablets) so you can show off your work in class with a simple connection. For the iPad 2 to do such a thing, you need a special converter cord. You also have a SIM card slot for your tiniest of LTE cards — unfortunately though, unlike the original XOOM, you’ve got no space to put a microSD card. Truly a bummer and a half.

You do get a microUSB port though for easy transfer of all your good data and such to and from your desktop computer (and for charging), and there’s a headphone jack as all good modern devices aught to have. The display is reasonably bright, and certainly an improvement over the XOOM, but is, again, trumped by the Transformer Prime here as that tablet has such a bright display that your retinas will explode when you see it. Here we’ve got a perfectly bright display that’ll work for all indoor conditions.

There’s a pen stylus that comes with this tablet, it working quite well and pretty darn precise from what I’ve seen thus far. You’ve got to put an AAA battery in the tool to make it work, and you’re given a leather/pleather holding case that can attach to your tablet in a slightly awkward manner if you want it to. Better yet, use this to attach the pen to your pants pocket instead – you’ll look less like a dork. This pen appears to work on most applications as the tablet essentially picks up the stylus the same as your finger.

We’ll be putting this monster through all the hurdles and tubes over the next few days in order that you get a good glimpse of what it means to own it. We’ve also got the 8.2-inch version getting reviewed by Cory, this rounding off your Motorola tablet experience for this upcoming season. And don’t forget the 4G LTE speeds, too. Let it be known in the comments section below if there’s anything you need to ask about this tablet!

P1170543 P1170557 P1170535 P1170538 P1170546 P1170565 P1170539 P1170537 P1170560 P1170532 P1170562 P1170549 P1170542 P1170550
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID XYBOARD 10.1
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : November 03, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : XOOM 2
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10 Inch
  • Width : 6.83 Inch
  • Depth : 0.35 Inch
  • Weight : 599 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.2.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Pantech P4100 LTE tablet hits FCC and bound toward AT&T

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 07:59 PM PST

Pantech recently had released the Breakout to Verizon earlier this year, and headed toward AT&T seems to be a tablet to run on their newly found 4G LTE network. The P4100 is only the model number of the device, but in due time we’ll find out its proper name. AT&T hasn’t advertised the P4100 officially, and if you hadn’t carefully been paying attention to the news then you wouldn’t know it existed.


All we’ve seen of the P4100 so far are a couple of NenaMark benchmark tests. The device scored ~42.6 FPS, with a 1024×720 pixel density and 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Adreno 220 CPU. It also sports a 7″ display, but as of now – that’s all we’ve got. However, we do know it will probably ship with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) onboard; yet, there’s always that chance we may see it with Android 4.0.

AT&T’s LTE network has proved to be right on par with Verizon’s, so this tablet will at least have that on its side. It will accompany the HTC Jetstream as the only other 4G LTE tablet on AT&T’s lineup, so it will be nice to have another 4G option. It will most likely not hit until 2012, but Pantech could go ahead and rush it out before Christmas if the hardware is ready.

[via Wireless Goodness]

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CyanogenMod drops support for Samsung Vibrant citing 911 issues

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 06:05 PM PST

Here’s an odd one: the CyanogenMod team, makers of the most widely-used custom ROM out there, have completely dropped support for the T-Mobile Galaxy S Vibrant. It’s not a hardware issue, as CyanogenMod supports much older and weaker phones. No, the problem comes from Samsung’s proprietary radio software, which is apparently keeping the custom version of Android from dialing 911.

The issue is particularly vexing since Samsung is usually quite good about releasing open-source code for its devices. And indeed, the Vibrant’s code is available, but the specific bit of code required for full access to the wireless radio is not. Samsung has a pretty good relationship with the modder community, especially after hiring Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik. I’ve got to believe that Mr. Kondik tried to get the relevant data from his employers, to no avail.

The CM team has dropped support for devices before when they hit a way that would make satisfactory development impossible. It’s likely that more modders will take CyanogenMod’s open source code and port it back to the Vibrant, but I wouldn’t recommend using it. You might never need to dial 911 from your cell phone, but going without the functionality is just asking for trouble. The Vibrant’s stock firmware was updated to Gingerbread, so it might be best to stick with that until you get a new phone, as the ROM developers suggest.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Vibrant
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : T-Mobile
    Announced Date : June 28, 2010
    Release Date : July 21, 2010
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.00 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.82 Inch
  • Width : 2.54 Inch
  • Depth : 0.39 Inch
  • Weight : 118 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 450 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Cortex A8 Hummingbird
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p 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
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Android Life]

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I can’t believe it’s not PlayStation: Chinese Android PMP rips off the PSP

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 05:15 PM PST

Android gaming is looking up, especially if you’ve been keeping up on Google’s 10 Billion Apps promotion. But it’s still pretty hard to find an Android device with a quality gaming-focused form factor, with the notable exception of the XPERIA Play. If you’re comfortable with handing over money to a fly-by-night Chinese company with… “inspired” design choices, you may be able to get your hands on this here PlayStation Portable look-alike, filled to the brim with gaming goodies.

The Yinlips (what?) YDPG18 Android Smart Game Player isn’t just a pretty face. The hardware is paired with a collection of classic gaming emulators, probably some of Yongzh’s popular implementations. The 5-inch device has some surprisingly strong hardware for a knockoff, in the form of a 1.2Ghz processor, 512 MB of RAM, an 800 x 480 5-inch screen and dual cameras. WiFi-only connectivity puts this one straight into the PMP category, With an equivalent price of just $110, expect this device to start showing up in eBay auctions and seedy Craigslist listings near you. Parents, for the love of Santa, do not get this if your kid asks for a PlayStation Vita.

If you’re more interested in official Sony merchandise, it might be best to wait for the PS Vita’s release next year, or just pick up an XPERIA Play on the cheap. If you’re looking for some high-speed data, you can wait for a possible Verizon LTE version, and all current models should be getting Ice Cream Sandwich at some point. If you do go ahead and hunt one down, caveat emptor.

[via Engadget]

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Sony Xperia PLAY 4G LTE in the works

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 05:00 PM PST

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY wasn’t nearly as popular as many thought it would be, but now there are a few rumors and details going around showing we might be seeing a newer, faster 4G LTE version hit the streets from Verizon. The original wasn’t the famed device we expected and had pretty mediocre specs to go with those mediocre sales.

When I first saw this I immediately thought it was a terrible idea and I’m still not convinced either, but figured I’d share the details with our readers. Now if the PLAY 4G LTE comes with a bigger screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a dual or quad-core then I’d be extremely excited but that just isn’t the case here — that we know of at least.

Apparently Verizon is starting some training for a new Xperia PLAY 4G. This could be a typo as the original isn’t 4G but they wouldn’t be doing training on such an old device. I’m hopeful for a new PLAY with some boosted specs to go along with that 4G LTE connection and maybe we’ll be finding out soon. The Xperia PLAY has more than 200 specially optimized games so a sequel to the original PlayStation phone could actually be a pretty good idea right about now.

Would you buy a newer and faster Xperia PLAY? Let us know below!

[via Droid-Life]

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A handy list of active Ice Cream Sandwich ports

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 04:46 PM PST

While you’re reading this, hundreds of people are hard at work on getting Ice Cream Sandwich onto current Android hardware, long before manufacturers and carriers will be sending out official updates. We’ve covered some of the earliest and most interesting ICS projects on this very site, but there’s just too many to cover every single one. Luckily, we don’t have to: a friendly member of the XDA-Developers forum has put together a list of all the active Ice Cream Sandwich ports on the prolific modder site.

Pretty much every major device released in the last 18 months, and many many more, are represented. The ports themselves are at various stages of completion – naturally the options for the Nexus One, Nexus S, OG DROID and the like will be the most feature-complete, while newer and less popular phones and tablets will get the short end. Note that the list only extends to XDA, and if your device isn’t on there it may be getting love somewhere else, like RootzWiki. Some of the builds are straight from Ice Cream Sandwich’s source code, while others are based on CyanogenMod 9.

As always, be wary when trying out new ROMs. That’s doubly true with a brand new operating system, which still requires a lot of kinks and bugs to be worked out. Keep a Nandroid backup of your “daily driver” account, kiss your warranty goodbye, and have fun. If you’re a Nexus S user, be sure to check out our hands-on look at a very early version of CyanogenMod 9.

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Million Droid March: protestors to dress in Android costumes for anti-SOPA march

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 03:51 PM PST

We don’t cover policy much here on Android Community, but if you’re not aware of the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” bill going through the US House of Representatives, you should be. It used the old MacGuffin of piracy to grant ridiculous powers to the US government, allowing federal agencies to essentially cut of any targeted website without a warrant or due process. Understandably this has created a firestorm of public outcry, and now SumOfUs.org will be utilizing the most terrifying weapon in their arsenal of civil disobedience: Android costumes.

A group of protesters is planning to picket the US Chamber of Commerce offices in Washington DC, in response to the independent lobbying organization’s official support for SOPA. They’ll then march to Google’s Washington DC offices on New York Avenue, hand-delivering a petition from GoogleQuittheChamber.org. The petition asks that Google officially leave the US Chamber of Commerce, a move that the company has been considering since November. The site’s motto encourages Google to follow through with these plans, reminding the search giant of its own guiding principle: “The Chamber's policies are evil, Google– Don't be evil.” Various other Chamber policies, which SumOfUs.org considers to be anti-environmental and anti-LGBT, are also being protested.

The petition is nearing 200,000 signatures, and will be delivered in an over-sized Gmail envelope. Regardless of your political stance, you’ve got to admire the protestors’ moxie, not to mention their spot-on targeting of their audience. Whether or not Google will actually leave the Chamber of Commerce has yet to be seen – the threat may have simply been a bargaining tactic, used to illustrate exactly how much Google opposes SOPA. The march will begin at 11:00 AM on December 14th outside the Chamber of Commerce.

Photo credit:Agam720 at Android Forums

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