Saturday, 24 December 2011

Android Community

Android Community

ASUS Transformer Prime is in stock at Best Buy online now

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 07:07 PM PST

The ASUS Transformer Prime seems to be available for shipping now! Over at Wireless Goodness, a screenshot was taken of their webpage showing the item was available for free delivery. The fine print even stated it “Usually leaves our warehouse in 1 business day”. This would essentially mean a possible December 27th delivery.

The only version of the device available is gray and has a 32GB internal storage. Hurry and order here before this much sought after item sells out! The accessories are currently unavailable, but keep an eye out as they may be soon. With Christmas right around the corner, I wouldn’t be surprised if Best Buy backorders from the overwhelming amount of purchases.

Included in the box, is the ASUS Transformer Prime with 32GB internal storage, its lithium-polymer batter, an AC adapter, power cord, and owner’s manual. It’s too bad a bundle with the keyboard dock isn’t available, as that is what really sets this tablet apart from the rest. The tablet will ship with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and ASUS confirmed an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon. Those of you have haven’t seen it – check out our review of the device here!

[via Wireless Goodness]


Android Community App of the Week: Android 4.0 web browser

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 05:47 PM PST

In my tenure here at Android Community, I haven’t been shy about my love for Dolphin Browser HD. It’s one of those apps that I immediately download on every phone and tablet I review, simply because I’ve grown to depend on its features and expandability. But after a week with the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, I’ve found to my amazement that I just don’t need it any more. The default browser that comes with Android 4.0 incorporates all of the features that made Dolphin a must-have, and it’s faster and more stable to boot.

There are two primary advantages to Dolphin that kept me coming back: built-in fullscreen support and a quick desktop mode (via the add-on Desktop Toggle). Both of these features can be found within the ICS browser’s settings menu, and unlike Honeycomb, fullscreen browsing doesn’t require the somewhat awkward quick controls. Syncing bookmarks from your desktop Chrome browser is easier than any other implementation, including Dolphin, Firefox and Opera Mobile. Maybe that’s cheating somewhat, since Android is Google’s software through and through, but at the end of the day it’s a very welcome addition.

The browser interface has received a major overhaul as well, shrinking Honeycomb’s features down to smartphone size. Instead of a horizontal bar, tabs are kept in a WebOS-style stack, similar to the app switch button in the virtual navigation bar. Switching is fast and intuitive, and quickly closing multiple apps is simple thanks to the swipe motion. To see a desktop version of any site, simply tap the menu button in the address bar and then tap “request desktop site”. You can even save entire pages for viewing later. Browser performance is noticeably speedier than previous Android versions, both in load times and navigation.

Maybe it isn’t fair to highlight an app that’s included in Android, and won’t be accessible to most users for months. But trust me: the Ice Cream Sandwich browser will be worth the wait. It’s still a little light on expandability, which is where third-party browsers will have it beat with extensions, plugins and themes. But even power users can depend upon the built-in ICS browser for just about everything you’d want from the mobile web, a statement that simply isn’t true for Gingerbread. Hopefully  Ice Cream Sandwich will find its way onto more phones soon, and if it doesn’t, it’s worth trying an Android 4.0 ROM if you’ve got the inclination.

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Samsung’s dual SIM kick continues with the Galaxy S II Duos

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 04:54 PM PST

Just yesterday we got our fist look at the Galaxy Y Duos and the Galaxy Y Pro Duos, Samsung’s latest low-cost mobiles designed for users who need an extra SIM card in their phone. Today Sammy Hub reports on the first details of a more up-market version, based on the ever-popular Galaxy S II platform. The I-929 Galaxy S II Duos mirrors the older models in almost every way, though it appears that there’s a little extra junk in the trunk to accommodate dual SIM card slots.

The specs of the Galaxy S II Duos will be familiar to anyone who’s been following GSII variants for the past few months: a 4.5-inch, 800×480 Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 16GB of on-board storage. Gingerbread is still the order of the day, but Samsung will likely upgrade the new phones to Ice Cream Sandwich shortly after the international version. Unfortunately you won’t be getting your hands on this in the United States any time soon: the phone is bound for China Telecom at the beginning of next year.

It’s a real shame too, since dual SIM phones are perfect for international travel, and for just about anywhere with a spotty signal. T-Mobile users still happy to get cheaper data plans but frustrated with a smaller coverage area could slide in a prepaid AT&T SIM for when their signal goes out. The 1800mAh battery should be able to handle the trip. Perhaps we’ll be seeing this model at import shops soon.

[via GSM Arena]


Tetris owner calls Angry Birds a fad, keeps a straight face

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:56 PM PST

Quick: name the number one game on Android right now. Did you guess Asteroids? Pac-Man? Perhaps Pong? Nope, it’s Angry Birds, as even a casual gamer and any holiday shopper could tell you, now that its branded merchandise adorns the shelves of nearly every retailer in the US. Speaking to Industry Gamers, Henk Rogers took offense to this fact, calling out Rovio’s aviary opus. “Angry Birds is cute and everybody plays it for a while but they get burned out and move on and they will play another game.” Rogers aught to know: he’s the manager for The Tetris Company, which he owns in partnership with the game’s original creator Alexey Pajitnov.

Rogers compares gaming classic Tetris to a sport, apparently without irony. “I think once people have played it more than 20 or 25 years you can say it’s here to stay, it’s a sport, it’s no longer a fad.” Ignoring for a moment the idea that pressing buttons in seriously being compared to athletic competition (and no, Starcraft players, putting an “e” in front of it doesn’t make it any less annoying), the interview definitely smells like sour grapes. Considering that Angry Birds has been downloaded and played by more than fifty million Android users in the last year alone, to say nothing of its even more popular iOS versions, I’d say it’s a certifiable pop culture phenomenon – not unlike Tetris in 1987.

Now all that being said, Angry Birds is a fad, at least at this point. Oh, it’s made its creators millions and millions of dollars, certainly, and Rovio is even considering an initial public offering soon. But without another hit in the same vein, the company will collapse under its own weight, like so many before it that had a short-lived hit. Rovio is being smart, licensing their aggravated fowl to everyone who wants it, and releasing regular updates to bring addicts in for another 30 levels. But even if it is a fad, saying so from a high horse and trading off the same idea for more than 25 years is more than little facetious. The last time a major release of Tetris met with any critical acclaim was the Nintendo DS version almost six years ago – and that was published by Nintendo itself. We’ll pay more attention to The Tetris Company’s backseat driving when they break back in to the top 20 on the Android Market charts.

[via Droid Gamers]


Asus projects as many as 6 million tablet sales in 2012

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 03:08 PM PST

The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is king of the hill for Android tablets at the moment, despite an embarrassing objection from an entirely different kind of robot. Now Asus CEO Jonney Shih, who revealed the tablet himself at a conference months ago, says the company expects to sell at least three and as many as six million tablets next year. Taiwan Economic News reports the quote, noting that a considerable number of Transformer Prime units are experiencing WiFi difficulties, though Asus has already begun a replacement program for affected customers.

The original Eee Pad Transformer was one of the most popular of the initial Android Honeycomb tablets, due in no small part to its relatively low $399 starting price and attacheable keyboard. Though the Transformer Prime is $100 more expensive (and rightly so, with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and a truly stunning all-metal frame) the company continues to sell the original, setting up two tiers for tablet competition. The first Transformer has sold 1.8 million units worldwide.

Android tablets are still nowhere near as popular as the iPad, but the gap has been closed considerably. Thanks to low-cost tablets like the Nook Color and Nook Tablet, which aren’t just cheap but reliable as well, Android’s market share in the tablet world is beginning to see the same accelerated growth that began its current boom in the smartphone market. Fourth-quarter sales could be as much as 40%. With 7-inch tablets hitting hard from the low end, and quad-core tablets bringing the fight to the iPad on the high end, 2012 looks promising indeed for the platform. And we still have 1080p screens and open source Ice Cream Sandwich tablets to look forward to, not to mention Asus’ very own Padfone, due early next year.

[via SlashGear]


Sony plans Ice Cream Sandwich update for Tablet S and Tablet P

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 02:31 PM PST

Sony has already confirmed its plans to bring Android 4.0 to each and every Xperia phone released in 2011, and now its only two entries into the tablet market are getting a similar treatment. The manufacturer confirms that Ice Cream Sandwich will see its way to the 9.4-inch Tablet S and the dual-screen Tablet P. The announcement came via press release today.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication of when the update might be coming. In the press release information is dangled cruelly above the gadget news hounds’ head, with the following language: “Details including timing will be announced in due course.” That’s a rather disappointing stance, since Sony Ericsson nailed down its schedule for Xperia ICS updates earlier this week. The current schedule is for all 2011 Sony phones to be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich between March and May of next year.

And speaking of disappointment, there’s still no word on when we might be seeing the dual-screen Tablet P in the United States. The device is still marked as “coming soon” on Sony’s US store, with no indication of when its status might change, despite the fact that it’s been available in the UK for over a month. Sony even extols the SDK that takes advantage of the two 5-inch screens in the clamshell form factor in the press release, with still no news on when it might grace America with its presence.

[via Phandroid]


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