Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Android Community

Android Community

HTC myTouch 4G Slide and EVO View 4G added to list of free bootloaders

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 11:55 AM PST

It appears that HTC is staying true to their word completely because they’ve continuously been adding phones and tablets to the ever growing list of supported devices at HTCdev.com for boot loader unlocking. We now have a few more popular devices that made the list, although they’ve been unlocked by the community for a while already.

Both of these devices have unofficially already worked for unlocking at HTCdev.com but now they are officially on the list and fully supported it should make the move a bit easier for those that were worried to take the jump. HTC’s myTouch 4G Slide and the EVO View 4G tablet are now both supported. The View 4G’s WiFi brother is the HTC Flyer and both have been able to be unlocked using the Flyer’s portal for some time. The slide is also the first myTouch phone to make the list — and the original myTouch 4G was so easy to unlock we probably shouldn’t even worry about it.

As always, unlocking your bootloader and rooting your device will still void the warranty — even if you unlock it via the method provided directly from HTC. So if you fancy that warranty this isn’t something I’d pursue although many probably aren’t too concerned in these parts. For those ready to take the leap and unlock that shiny Android head to HTCdev.com and get started today.


Motorola DROID RAZR gets ClockworkMod, opens doors for fun

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 10:59 AM PST

Motorola makes some great hardware and we all know that. Sadly almost all of them with the DROID RAZR included are extremely locked down and don’t give the end user many options for modding or running custom ROM’s. This is nothing new from Motorola and I won’t even get into the fact that they claimed to be changing this policy. Either way we now have another victory and ClockworkMod recovery is now available on the RAZR.

There seems to be a bit of confusion here as we’ve heard reports that this has been around for a while but simply wasn’t widely known — that is possibly because everyone was so focused on the Galaxy Nexus. None of that really matters though because we now have a fully working bootstrap method to get clockworkmod recovery on the DROID RAZR. With backups and restores seemingly working great the next step is ROM’s, tweaks, and more.

Either way we’d like to thank nitroglycerine33 and J.Y.Daddy from XDA for making this available. Obviously Motorola hardware and bootloaders are a iffy subject — and dangerous dark waters so be sure and use some caution if this concerns you and you decide to flash the recovery. All the details and download files are available at the via below. Proceed with caution fellow RAZR owners.

[via XDA]


Try CyanogenMod 9′s custom launcher, 4.0.3 and root required

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 10:24 AM PST

Are you a super modder who imported the Galaxy Nexus on day one, then rooted it and installed your own custom version of Plan 9? Well then, this mod is probably a little bit beneath you. But if you’re slightly less crazy, you’ll definitely want to try out the custom Trebuchet launcher, CyanogenMod’s tweaked version of the Ice Cream Sandwich home screen application. It brings a suite of new options to Ice Cream Sandwich’s standard launcher, the likes of which will delight those addicted to home screen customization for sure. Check out this XDA thread to get started.

Now for the bad news: you need to be running the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich build in order for it to function, version 4.0.3. Only a few Nexus S phones currently run that, since Google suspended the update, though there’s plenty of custom ROMs built from AOSP code that have the latest version. You also need to be rooted, and install the app to the /system folder via either ADB or something like Root Explorer. If all that seems a little much, just wait for the first beta builds of CyanogenMod 9 – odds are that if you’re reading this, you’ve got a phone that’s on their official list.

For Galaxy Nexus and other ICS users who want a little less extreme customization, check out Nova Launcher. It’s also a modified version of Ice Cream Sandwich’s smartphone homescreen, but it’s a lot more friendly as far as versions go. You can install it as a regular non-Market app, or push it to your /system folder for a few more bells and whistles. It even works on tablet ROMs, or at least on the one I’ve tried so far.

[via Phandroid]


Huawei MediaPad (Springboard) images leak showing Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 10:21 AM PST

It seems fair to assume most manufacturers are currently (or at least should be) working on updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for most of their recent devices. This should come as no surprise for the most part and today we are seeing a few leaked images from the Huaewei MediaPad rocking ICS. This should make that budget tablet much more exciting — that is for sure.

The MediaPad has been available from T-Mobile for some time and is being called the Springboard Tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. The possibility of soon getting an alpha ICS build right from Huawei sure sounds nice and I’m sure more than a few owners agree. The image above shows the MediaPad being graced with the frosty and frozen Ice Cream Sandwich we’ve all come to love and expect.

The MediaPad is available in China and other parts of the world but currently only available in the US as the T-Mobile Springboard. We’ve seen a few FCC filings that suggest an AT&T HSPA+ version is en route but that remains to be seen. While Huawei hasn’t released any details or a promise to update to Android 4.0 this should make a few owners happy and give some reassurance.

We reviewed the T-Mobile version and were mildly pleased although the hardware was quite nice, this update should bring that tablet to life. Who agrees?

[via AndroidOS.in]


Android is Pentagon certified, Joint Chiefs discover Angry Birds

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 09:58 AM PST

A few months back the Department of Defense certified its first Android device, the now (and then) discontinued Dell Streak 5. Now it looks like the rest of the armed forces are getting in on the action. The Pentagon has certified Android 2.2 Froyo for use on all Department of Defense projects, and the Dell Venue has been approved for use in military applications. Classified information and proxy access can now be granted to that model of phone. It’s likely that they’ll get them in bulk from Dell.

Though the Department of Defense’s long review process means it’s now three versions behind the latest Android release, this opens up a lot of avenues for development for both internal projects and defense contractors. For a start, you’re probably going to see at least a few Android-based machines and programs come out of DARPA, the DoD’s primary research arm. Maybe a smartphone-powered control app for the Big Dog robot – hey, a guy can dream.

Now that at least one Android OS and device has been approved, it should take less time for the DoD to review later versions. So far only Android and RIM’s Blackberry OS are approved for official armed forces use as far as smartphones go.  I’ll offer some beginner Android advice for all you G-men with shiny new smartphones: set up a PIN lock, buy a roomy MicroSD card, and take it easy on the homescreen widgets. I’d expound on the virtues of rooting and custom ROMs, but somehow I don’t think Uncle Sam would appreciate that…

[via AllThingsD]



Notion Ink delivers Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Adam tablet

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 09:22 AM PST

Would you hark at that: Notion Ink has seen fit to grace its most ardent customers with an alpha version of its Ice Cream Sandwich update. The company posted the Adam tablet ROM on its official blog, along with the source code it’s based on. Now that’s what I call customer service! Any Adam user can download and install the ROM at their pleasure, though of course there’s still a few bugs to squash.

First among them is the complete absence of sound, a pretty common ailment for alpha versions of custom ROMs. For that reason the company is labeling the software “pre-alpha”, though there’s no restrictions on download or use. The camera, 3G and Bluetooth aren’t working either, and the tablet doesn’t properly enter sleep mode. Other essentials are working fine, including WiFi, accelerated graphics, GPS and external storage. A public release will likely help them nail down problems even faster – other manufacturers could learn from the example.

Take a look at their progress here:

[youtube PTwaPj7y_jU]

The company blog post also mentions that they’ve got a few final Adam tablets for sale. The last pieces of stock had been reserved for an Ice Cream Sandwich release, but apparently it’s taking the company a while to get it out. Whether that’s a function of the unique hardware with its PixelQi screen or Notion Ink’s custom software, you’ll soon be able to order new units from the store. There’s still no word on an updated model. I was somewhat disparaging of Notion Ink this year, but I’ve got to say, releasing a public alpha of something so in-demand is a real classy move.

[via Liliputing]


Apple’s Airplay comes to Google TV with Airtight app

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 08:48 AM PST

Even at a site full of die-hard Android users, we’re big enough to admit when a competing platform has a cool feature, and Airplay certainly falls in to that category. The feature allows iPhones and iPads to instantly stream video and audio to compatible devices, sort of like DLNA. Now that functionality has been extended to Google TV, by way of a GTV app known as Airtight. It’s currently priced at 99 cents in the Android Market, though naturally you’ll need Google TV hardware to see it.

Basically, the app fools any nearby Apple devices into thinking that the Google TV hardware is really an Apple TV. This allows any iPhone, iPad or iPod to stream video and audio directly to Google TV, though sadly DRM’d content (any video purchased from iTunes) won’t play. Mirroring, where the same video is played on the device and the TV, is also out for now. Naturally both devices must be connected to a local WiFi network for the transfer to function, and you’l need an update to Android 3.2 before you can use the Market on your Google TV device.

The app was only posted to the Android Market yesterday, so expect a few bugs at this point. For a start, music isn’t supported, though the developer says that he or she is working on it. A paid app that’s basically a public alpha might rub some the wrong way, but it is just a dollar – not much for an impressive technical feat. Other apps by “Yossie” come highly recommended, so expect some timely feature updates soon.

[via TechCrunch]


Samsung’s Galaxy S III may show up at Mobile World Congress in February

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 08:34 AM PST

Now that the Galaxy Nexus is well and truly released in most markets, it’s time to start looking towards the next pie in the sky superdevice to make Android fans drool. For many that device is the often-rumored and rarely seen Samsung Galaxy S III, the inevitable follow-up to some of the most widespread Android devices out there. According to ETNews, the manufacturer will be bringing its A game to Mobile World Congress in February, leading with the first Galaxy S III models.

The last details we heard on the mythical device pegged it as a bigger, faster version 0f the Galaxy S II, with a Nexus-matching 4.6-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen and a blazing 1.8Ghz dual-core processor. 2GB of RAM, double even the most powerful of current mobile devices, is paired with a 12MP camera, at least according to some alleged internal slides. With the possible exception of the RAM, this all seems like a natural update to the Galaxy line, though of course things may have changed since the details were supposedly leaked. There was a hubbub last Friday concerning some possible press shots, but those turned out to be some enthusiastic renderings for a contest.

The Galaxy S II was revealed at the same time last year at the 2011 Mobile World Congress, and considering Samsung’s breathless release table, that’s practically an eternity ago. With HTC and others poised to begin releasing quad-core phones soon, Samsung could use an updated flagship to keep buzz alive after the Galaxy Note. Quad-core Samsung Exynos chips are still a ways away, and may or may not be ready for the new hardware. The GSIII could be running Ice Cream Sandwich by then, if the speed of the current GSII update is any indication.

Android Community will be reporting for duty at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We’ll keep you posted on any and all relevant announcements.

[via The Next Web]


JXD tablet S7100 just begs for an Apple, Sony and Microsoft lawsuit all at once

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 07:54 AM PST

There’s a lot of litigation flying through the air over various Android devices, but if Hong Kong-based manufacturer JXD comes anywhere near the US, there’ll be a lot more. Its latest device manages to ape the iPhone and PSP, and manages to infringe on intellectual property from Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and probably a few independent Android developers for good measure. The website for the JXD S7100 doesn’t so much “think different” as “think people won’t notice a hodgepodge of triple-A consumer electronics have been ripped off all at once”.

The device clearly has the Android gamer in mind, though by the looks of it JXD is encouraging some almost certainly illegal emulation to boot. Advertising ”Apple games, Android games, Sony games, Nintendo games, Arcade games, Sega games”, they follow through with standards like Angry Birds, Mario Kart 64 and others, as well as some baffling Microsoft Office apps. If a no-name Hong Kong OEM has managed to develop Office for Android, they need to be marketing a whole lot more than some PSP knockoff.

The 7-inch tablet manages to include WiFi, a front-facing camera and an HDMI-out function into its oversized iPhone body, and with a Cortex A9 processor it might just be able to run a stolen misappropriated N64 emulator at a few frames per second. There appears to be at least a little bit of custom software on the device, in the form of a proprietary ”game center” app. The S7100 doesn’t appear to be for sale directly from the manufacturer, but you’ll probably be seeing them in your local slightly shady electronics retailer soon – just don’t buy one within 100 yards of a patent lawyer, or his injunction senses will start tingling.

[via Kotaku]


Archos 35 Android-powered landline phone goes through the FCC

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 07:22 AM PST

While mobile phones are advancing in leaps and bounds (due in no small part to Android), the biggest thing to happen to landline phones in the last few decades is losing the curly phone cords. Archos aims to change that with the model 35 smart home phone, which has been available in Europe for the last few months. The Android-powered landline phone recently made its way through the FCC.

For the equivalent of $160, you get a 3.5-inch “wireless” phone with a 3.5-inch, 272 x 480 screen and a 1Ghz processor. 8GB of storage isn’t the best out there, but it’ll hold a few million of your most important contacts, and Froyo is more than enough to handle PIM functions. The phone comes with a spiffy stand/charger. A front-facing camera and WiFi connection make it suitable for video calling, and access to apps (possibly not the Android Market) makes it at least somewhat expandable.

Others have tried to re-imagine the landline phone, with mixed results. There just doesn’t seem to be much interest in high-end landline hardware, especially with how expensive cell phones are. But Archos has been carefully cultivating a reputation of filling all niche markets outside the smartphone realm, from tiny video players to huge tablets, and doing so in a budget-friendly fashion. Here’s hoping we see the Archos 35 on American shelves soon.

[via Liliputing]


Samsung may release ICS update for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab after complaints

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 07:01 AM PST

Samsung made a splash the other day when it announced that it had no plans to update the various original Galaxy S models and the Galaxy Tab to Ice Cream Sandwich. Users of the popular devices were less than pleased, especially when the company noted that one of the primary reasons that their phones wouldn’t be updated was the presence of the TouchWiz interface overlay. According to a MSN South Korean, the manufacturer is reevaluating its position on the matter after being inundated with complaints from angry Galaxy owners.

Samsung says that it will reconsider its options for Ice Cream Sandwich in regard to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. It’s still claiming that getting the considerably larger ICS software onto the older devices will be difficult, the company will be investigating the viability of an official update. That might just precipitate a vanilla Android update, shod of TouchWiz – HTC pulled a similar move when they updated the HTC Desire to Gingerbread, going without SenseUI to fit it on the smartphone’s memory. That update also came after some significant customer outcry.

It should be noted that this isn’t in any way a confirmation of an update. But it is promising, especially considering that Samsung could ignore the complaints of its more technically inclined customers without too much brand damage. Most Android smartphone users are of a mind that if the only way to get an affordable smartphone is to sign up for a two year contract, then manufacturers and carriers have some responsibility to support their devices for at least two years. That brings in another depressing hurdle: in the United States at least, all four major carriers will have to approve and administer an update for their phones, which they may be less than motivated to do.

[via The Verge]


Google direct Android tablet coming in next six months

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 05:09 AM PST

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has given an interview to an Italian newspaper that covered a bunch of different topics reports Fox News. The most interesting to us is that Schmidt has promised that Google is at work on a new Android tablet that will be of “the highest quality.” This would presumably be something along the lines of the Nexus smartphones.

The Nexus smartphones are the ultimate blend of hardware and software to show off what a fully integrated device can do with Android. Schmidt offered no hard details on the Google tablet in the interview. All he said was that the tablet was in the works, and that it would be coming in the next six months.

I think we could assume it will have Android 4.0 and the best hardware available at the time of launch. I wonder if it would also carry the Nexus name. It would be interesting to see what Google thinks the ideal Android tablet should pack under the hood.

[via SlashGear]


Oracle patent claim against Android tossed out

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 02:05 AM PST

We have talked about the legal battle between Oracle and Google over alleged code in Android that was taken from Java. Apparently the USPTO has looked into the 21 claims that oracle was making against Google in the case over infringement on patent 6,192,476. Of all the claims in the case, the only one asserted against Google in the suit was claim 14 reports 9to5Google.

The USPTO rejected 17 of those 21 claims and Oracle has until February 20 to appeal the decision. Oracle had been looking for the case to start in late January. Whether or not the firm will push forward with the suit at this point is unknown. Oracle was prepared to provide an expert’s report on the damages it had sustained due to the alleged Java infringement.

Google has reportedly issued a statement that says it doesn’t want to delay the case any longer that necessary. However, the search giant had previously stated that it had scheduling issues and that the case couldn’t start until July of 2012.

[via 9to5Google]


Amazon Kindle Fire gets an Ice Cream Sandwich alpha port

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 06:07 PM PST

More than a few of you are probably running brand new Kindle Fire tablets through the ringer right now, as it’s been one of the most popular electronics gifts of the season. But the default Amazon interface isn’t really anything to write home about – the Gingerbread-based version of Android is primarily designed to access Amazon’s content, with a few apps and web browsing on the side. If you’re handy with a bootloader, you can try out an early version of Ice Cream Sandwich on your shiny new 7-inch tablet, courtesy of “bl1nkk” and company at XDA-Developers.

Before you break out your USB cable, remember that this is a pre-alpha build. That means that performance will be well below what you see in tablets that run Honeycomb at retail, and a lot of features including the horizontal launcher, proper partition mounting and a few others aren’t fully baked. But for the Kindle Fire owner with decent technical skills and no fear, it’s hard to argue with a $199 Android 4.0 tablet. If you want to try out a more stable version, CyanogenMod 7/Gingerbread (as opposed to CyanogenMod 9) is available for the Fire.

In order to apply the ICS ROM you’ll need to use a tool called the Team Win Recovery Project. It’s an alternative recovery like the familiar ClockworkMod, but the more popular one apparently hasn’t made it to the highly customized Amazon tablet just yet. Once you’ve got your recovery ready, just flash the ROM file from XDA, as well as the ICS version of the Google Apps ZIP (Gmail, Android Market, etc) and the root files, if you wish. Remember to always back up, and don’t cry to Uncle Harold if your tinkering messes up your new toy.

[via The Verge]


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