Friday, 6 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Sony Ericsson drops another Xperia phone teaser ahead of CES

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 11:34 AM PST

Lucky number three. Today Sony Ericsson has posted their third teaser image sporting what looks to be the new Sony Ericsson Xperia flagship smartphone they’ll be unveiling at CES. If all of the previous rumors and leaks turn out to be accurate this will be the Xperia Arc HD (aka Nozomi) — but we could also be seeing multiple new devices from Sony at this years show as this new image looks different than the Nozomi.

While this all will be unveiled next week we can sit and wonder right? The earlier images from Sony (linked to below) suggested a possible Windows Phone device, but they’ve previously stated to be going “all in” with Android. The leaked images we’ve recently seen of the Arc HD (Nozomi) could have been prototypes that have since been redesigned — or the image above from Sony themselves is an entirely different device. The Arc HD leaks show the camera and flash both to be centered on the rear of the phone and the image above is clearly different.

We have a feeling Sony Ericsson will have multiple new devices on display at CES and we will be sure to capture them all on video to show our readers. With Sony buying Ericsson’s half and aiming to hit Android hard in 2012 we expect big things from team SONY. The image above comes straight from the Sony Ericsson Facebook page and hints of at least one Xperia device at CES. Stay tuned for more details all coming in early next week.

[via PocketNow]

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Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T press images leak, possibly launching February 14th

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 11:06 AM PST

While we’ve heard a few reports and seen some FCC filings suggesting AT&T was in the final stages of their Galaxy Note launch nothing has been made official other than a few leaked renderings of the device. After yesterdays leak by Anymode (that was quickly denied) we now have full press images showing the AT&T branded Galaxy Note in all its glory.

With all the CES announcements flying around we received the accessory maker known as Anymode’s full list for CES including the official accessories for AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Note — coming “early 2012″ but early this morning they isued this statement.

"The information was not provided by Anymode, AT&T or Samsung , nor did Anymode, AT&T or Samsung approve it … The issuing party apologizes for the publishing of the inaccurate information and any inconvenience it may have caused"

After seeing that response our friends from PocketNow were able to secure the full press images you see above. Obviously Anymode seems to be backtracking here to protect themselves but if we weren’t sure the Galaxy Note was headed to the US on AT&T before — we are pretty sure now. Most likely all of the official details and information will be released at CES this coming week and we’ll be there live to get it all.

If you thought the Galaxy Nexus and its 4.65″ screen was too big, or have been waiting for it to hit AT&T then you might just want to take a second look at the Samsung Galaxy Note. All the details on the Note including our hands-on pictures and video is available below. Stay tuned for all the CES coverage from Android Community.

Note: The image shows 2/14 on the weather widget — this could be a sign we’ll be seeing the Galaxy Note launch for AT&T mid February.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 800x1280
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.78 Inch
  • Width : 3.27 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 178 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 390 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p 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
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Toshiba 7″ tablet images appear as Toshiba preps for CES

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 10:47 AM PST

Toshiba and their tablets aren’t really what I’d call pretty or thin but at this years CES Toshiba aims to change that. The Toshiba AT200 (Excite) we’ve seen plenty of in the past is set to make a big splash this year, coming in as one of the thinnest Android tablets on the street. We are now seeing pictures of a new budget 7″ tablet that could be roaming the CES halls.

While the AT200 isn’t anything new and Toshiba recently launched a 7″ Thive model, the image you see above is something completely different. Thanks to Notebookitalia we now have a few press images of another tablet Toshiba is set to debut. According to the information provided this could be a very budget-aimed tablet with a Qualcomm dual-core processor. With the low priced segment starting to take off we can expect a wide array of sub-$200 tablets hanging out at CES.

Recent reports from Toshiba also suggest they’re preparing a 7″ waterproof OLED-lit tablet that should be as durable as they come and looking at the provided images this new blue wrapped slate could be just that. Both the new waterproof tablet and the AT200 were mentioned specifically in their CES documentation so we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled on the showroom floor for everything they have to offer. Be prepared to witness the onslaught of low-priced Android tablets from this years event.

Stay right here at Android Community for the latest with our CES 2012 Portal. More details on all the Toshiba tablets is available from the links below.

tablet_toshiba_7inch_1 tablet_toshiba_7inch_2_cover toshiba-tablet-1

[via Toshiba]

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Hardware mod bypasses Nook Tablet’s locked bootloader

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 10:02 AM PST

This one is not for the faint of heart. After Barnes & Noble released the upgraded Nook Tablet in November, early buyers were surprised and angry to find a locked bootloader and a mere 1GB of user-accessible storage. Now a brave XDA modder has combined some of the latest software tricks with an actual physical modification of the main circuit board (remember those, console gamers?) to make a permanent custom kernel. Forum poster “hkvc” calls his solution NOP Based Security Bypass.

According to XDA’s blog the method involves reverting the Nook Tablet to a previous version of Barnes & Noble software, booting from an SD card (as the origina lNook Color could do natively), then disabling security features on the internal RAMdisk hardware to boot a custom kernel. This requires disassembling the Nook Tablet almost completely, but the upshot is that just about anything should be possible with all the security bypassed. In theory, a mod chip could perform all these actions and allow for custom Android ROMs and other modifications.

The low price and relatively wide-open security of the Nook Color made it a favorite for Android modders, but Barnes & Noble has made enemies in the mod community with its locked-down policy on the Nook Tablet. When an easy way to install third-party apps was discovered, Barnes & Noble patched in in the next software update, making basic software mods almost impossible for casual users. Here’s hoping that this extreme hardware hacking leads to a more accessible avenue for more pedestrian Nook Tablet owners.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : NOOK Tablet
    Manufactuer : Barnes and Noble
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : November 07, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x600
  • Screen Type : VividView IPS
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 8.1 Inch
  • Width : 5 Inch
  • Depth : .48 Inch
  • Weight : 400 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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TiVo update brings Android app for remote control and scheduling

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 09:31 AM PST

Set-top-box control is nothing new to Android, but today the original timeshifting TV add-on gets comfy with Google’s favorite son. A recent update to later TiVo boxes adds functionality via a new Android app, which you can download in the Android Market. The standard remote scheduling and guide views that we’ve seen from DirecTV and others are available, as well as a virtual remote for hardware that supports it. Social features integrate Twitter and Facebook into your couch potato habits.

Setup isn’t as straightforward as it could be: you’ll need an Internet-connected TiVo to start (via Ethernet or WiFi) then you have to dig through the TiVo settings to access your Media Key. Enter the key into the app on your phone or tablet, and you’re ready to go. Once connected you can view your local schedule, set up recording and season passes, and manage the media that’s already on your TiVo. A  built-in remote will send controls through the Internet to your TiVo, just in case your infrared remote is lost in the wasteland between the cushions.

One of the more interesting features is the addition of social commenting. Whenever you’re watching a show you can pop into the TiVo app to automatically post relevant updates Facebook and Twitter. This is especially handy for tablets, which make a pretty perfect surfing-while-watching form factor. Just remember not to spoil the season finale while you’re watching it, or the Internet will hunt you down.

[via Cnet]

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Kogeto iCONIC 360-degree panoramic lens announced for the Galaxy Nexus

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 09:04 AM PST

You know those little plastic lenses all your iPhone-slinging friends associates are using? Prepare for a few similar options on the android side of life. Kogeto, maker of the Kickstarter-turned-product line Dot lens, is expanding its entrepreneurial efforts to the Galaxy Nexus with a panoramic lens titled iCONIC. Like its current Dot for the iphon,e the iCONIC will capture 360 degrees if video, then stitch it back together with a custom app. The attachment will be available sometime in the first half of the year, with an MSRP of $79.

Don’t have a Galaxy Nexus? Don’t worry, Kogeto intends to expand its product line for more phones capable of 1080p video recording. While specific models weren’t mentioned, and every 1080p phone won’t be supported - the company hopes to offer its technology and expertise to other OEMs, who can customize and build new lenses for the Android superphone masses. As a business model goes, it’s intriguing - there would need to be a lot of positive interest from both Android photo buffs and manufacturers.

The market for model-specific Android accessories (beyond the basic case/battery/screen protector area) is about to explode, as we’ve said before. In the years since the iPhone has become the single most popular phone model, Android has surpassed it in both technical capability and total sales. Now that Android phones are reaching the 50% market share point in dozens of markets, expect all the startups based an iPhone-exclusive idea to stand up and take notice.

[via Engadget]

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA Nozomi / Arc HD gets benchmarked

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 07:46 AM PST

Sony’s still playing coy with its latest high-end phone reveal before CES, but at least one person has managed to lay hands on it. ITProPortal‘s tipster didn’t stop there: they’ve managed to benchmark the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc HD, also known as the Nozomi. With the latest Qualcomm 1.5Ghz dual-core processor residing inside, it’s got a lot of expectations to live up to. But if this early hands-on is anything to go by, all is not well in the land of XPERIA.

The new processor coupled with a full gigabyte of RAM managed to score just 2219 in a Quadrant benchmark. For reference, that’s about as fast as a 1.0Ghz dual-core phone from mid-2011, and much less than we’d hope for from a brand new flagship device. According to the source, only one of the two processor cores is active, which would account for the relatively poor performance – perhaps Sony just needs to do some last-minute software tweaking to take advantage of that shiny new hardware.

Elsewhere underneath the phone’s metaphorical hood, you get a a whopping 12 megapixel camera (30% denser than the majority of high-end Android phones available today) with an unfortunately sparse 8GB of internal memory to store all those photos. To compound photographer frustration, there’s no MicroSD card slot to be found. Of course, this is all unofficial and could be non-final hardware – the software certainly isn’t finished in any case. We’ll probably see an official unveiling at CES 2012 next week.

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LG PRADA 3.0 coming to the UK in February

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 07:13 AM PST

Clove is on a roll this week! After announcing that it would start carrying the white Galaxy Nexus and an expanded 32GB model starting in February, the slinky new PRADA phone by LG 3.0 has been confirmed for the UK retailer. The Android-powered fashion phone will go on sale in early February at a price of £429.99, including Value Added Tax. That’s about $533/$666 in United States dollars, before and after taxes. The PRADA phone will be unlocked and usable on all United Kingdom wireless carriers.

PRADA and LG announced the phone back in December at a London event, showing off the sexy slate design to tech and fashion press alike. The 4.3-inch 800×480 screen is the largest yet on an official PRADA device, and surprisingly, the internals don’t dissapoint either. A 1Ghz dual-core OMAP processor is paired to a full gigabyte of memory, which should let Android 2.3 run quickly and smoothly on the device. An 8 megapixel 1080p camera and 1.3 megapixel front shooter covers the shutterbugs, while 8GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot covers the media consumers out there. Perhaps the most interesting part of the PRADA phone is its user interface, a heavily customized version of Gingerbread that looks pretty fantastic from a visual perspective.

The PRADA 3.0 is already on sale in LG’s native South Korea, and a wider European release is scheduled for later this year. We haven’t heard anything about the phone coming to North America. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but the protracted process of carrier approval and subsidy means that it’ll probably be months before it makes its way here, if ever. At least there’s an FCC filing to keep up the hopes of western fashionistas.

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LG’s first Google TV shows off a new interface

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 06:56 AM PST

After months of rumors, Google formally announced a new set of partners for Google TV yesterday, with LG right at the top of the list. Now some renders/press shots for the very first model have appeared, and it’s a stunner. The unspecified model will be shown off at CES next week. But what’s more interesting than the TV itself is the interface displayed in the photos. That begs the question: is this a new interface for the new version of Google TV expected early this year, or a customized modification of the base software done internally by LG?

Android observers will understand the danger here. One of the biggest thorns in the side of the Android ecosystem is manufacturer-customized software, which tends to slow down the operating system and make updates take months longer than they should. Thanks to Samsung’s TouchWiz “optimizations”, the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab will never see another official OS update, and TouchWiz is far from the worst of the offenders. All of LG’s high-end Optimus phones run its custom user interface, which leaves a lot to be desired.

Android has succeeded thus far in spite of manufacturers’ software additions, not because of them. The news yesterday gave us hope for Google TV returning to make a fight of it this year, but if the cost of signing up so many new partners is letting each one have their way with Google TV’s software, it might not be worth it. Of course, I could be overreacting - I’ll be sure to ask LG when they debut the new hardware in Las Vegas.

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White Galaxy Nexus press photos appear

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 06:30 AM PST

Just in time to make your holidays… no, wait, that doesn’t work any more. In any case, the white version of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus that ws announced at UK retailers yesterday now has some pretty pictures to go with it. The new hue will be available for sale in early February at Clove and other phone sellers in its standard unlocked configuration, at the same ~499 GBP total price that the original is currently sold at. There are no current plans for carrier-subsidized versions, though that’s certainly possible in the future.

Other than a spiffy new coat of paint, there isn’t any difference between the white Galaxy Nexus and the original grey one: the same 4.65-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen, the same curved, button-free design, the same 16GB capacity, and of course unlocked Ice Cream Sandwich for your operating system pleasure. The white version still lacks a MicroSD card slot, which will concern some, since that limits the phone to its internal memory.

On that note, a double-capacity 32GB model will be coming out just after the new white version, at least in the UK. (In the United States, Verizon only offers a 32GB model of the CDMA Galaxy Nexus.) That’s a big boon to those who want to carry every photo, song and video they’ve ever owned in their pocket. At present, there’s no information on when or if the white and/or 32GB Galaxy Nexus models will make their way to other worldwide markets, but it’s a pretty strong possibility. So, does the new color scheme tip the scales for any of our UK readers?

white_galaxy_nexus_official_1 white_galaxy_nexus_official_2 white_galaxy_nexus_official_0-580x494
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : December 15, 2011
    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
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 SlashGear]

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HTC profit dips for first time in two years under pressure from iPhone

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 02:49 AM PST

HTC had some bad news in its latest financials for Q4 reporting that its quarterly profits had dipped for the first time in 2-years. HTC reported its Q3 financials in October 2011, and posted up profits of $625 million. HTC is expected to be launching some new Tegra quad-core devices soon after CES, perhaps these devices will be able to help HTC turn around.

HTC Q4 2011 net income dropped 26% to $364 million compared to the same quarter of 2010. Analysts are expecting that profits for HTC will continue to fall even further this quarter; HTC cut its outlook for revenue last quarter. Part of the blame for the declining profits is that HTCs smartphones are being overlooked in the high-end by consumers.

Consumers are instead opting for the slick line of Samsung Galaxy devices or the iPhone. Another reason for the falling profits is a softening global economy according to Bloomberg. Shipments of HTC devices dropped to 10 million units in Q4 2011, and that number is expected to fall to 8.5 million units this quarter.

[via Bloomberg]

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ZiiLabs unveils their 100-core ZMS-40 processor for Android 4.0

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 07:46 PM PST

It seems just yesterday we were captivated by the dual-core processors within Android smartphones, yet this bit of news makes them less appealing. What’s better than 2 cores? Not 4, but 100! ZiiLabs has managed to incorporate 96 “StemCell Media Processing” cores to work alongside the four ARM Cortex A9 cores.


I myself have no idea what to expect from real world use of the technology, but processing and acceleration benchmarks are probably outstanding. The ARM Cortex A9 CPU’s are clocked at 1.5GHz, and they are said to drastically reduce power consumption thus improving battery life for extended use. The chip was made with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in mind, so maybe we’ll end up seeing it within some devices next week at CES.

We should see some great performance from the ZMS-40, and ZiiLabs claims we should see “twice the peak media performance”. It even supports 2560×1600 (WQXGA) display resolution, so tablets will not only perform better, but viewable clearer too. For full specifications on the ZMS-40, check out the press release here.

[via Engadget]

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What to expect from CES 2012

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 05:58 PM PST

The biggest tech show of the year is almost upon us. It’s known as Geek Mecha, Nerdvana and (for those who get the somewhat rare experience of working through it) a bloody nuisance. CES 2012 promises to be at lease as big for Android this year as it was last year, and if you’re in the market for a new device or just get a kick out of following the news, prepare to wear out your F5 key starting next week. But what shall we find when we get to Las Vegas? Here are our best guesses.

Quad core is the new dual core

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime got the ball rolling, but it’s far from the only Tegra 3 device we’ve gotten wind of. Expect both high-end smartphones and tablets to get a dual-core makeover on the floor of CES, with HTC leading the way. Its Edge and Ville smartphones are rumored to come out in March or April, so there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing them or some other variant at the show. Acer and Lenovo are both expected to reveal Tegra 3 tablets, and Samsung is preparing the latest generation of its home-built Exynos processor. This good news isn’t just for the high end: dual-core processors should start trickling down into the mid range for products released this summer and afterwards.

High end tablets…

As stated above, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung are all chomping at the bit to update their high-end tablet products. Acer’s Iconia Tab A700 and Lenovo’s IdeaPad K2 tablets both seem to have 1920×1200 resolutions prepared, and Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is rumored to have an astounding 2560×1600 resolution – as much as most 30-inch monitors. Combine all this with thinner frames, more RAM and in many cases LTE wireless connections, and the current generation of tablets looks like a Model T by comparison. Asus isn’t resting on its laurels: the long overdue Padfone device may show up in its booth.

…and low-end tablets

Basically, just lots and lots of tablets. Android tablet use is finally growing in leaps and bounds, but the biggest market is small, low-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nook Color/Tablet, both of which have sold millions of units.  Android’s strength versus the iPad is in its ability to scale down, not up, and the new magic price for 7-inch tablets is $199. With Ice Cream Sandwich’s source code available, even manufacturers without Google’s blessing can produce a cheap machine with a true tablet interfce. Expect to see a lot of early hardware at CES running ICS, with a release date aiming for summer or fall. Google might even be working on its own low-cost tablet, but don’t expect to see that before Google IO in June.

LTE is here to stay

Three out of four of the major US carriers now have true 4G LTE rollout plans, with Verizon and AT&T leading the way. Now that the infrastructure is present and growing, manufacturers are eager to meet the needs of carriers, who are eager to get customers hooked on data that leaves the old 3G and HSPA+ standards in the dust. With the Motorola DROID RAZR, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus, LTE no longer means a phone with the ergonomics of a brick and 4 hours of battery life. With more worldwide markets introducing LTE connections, expect every major phone manufacturer to strut out Android LTE units for just about everybody.

Google TV is back, baby 

We actually just learned this a few hours ago, but Google has signed up a bevvy of new hardware partners for Google TV, including Samsung, Vizio and LG.  LG will definitely be showing of new televisions with the Android-based system built in, and Vizio will be displaying units behind closed doors. The others may have surprises in store, but nothing’s set in stone. With a new ARM-based architecture, there’s a high probability of Google introducing some new partner systems itself. Google TV has had a rocky start, but it looks like Google isn’t ready to give up the fight any time soon.

Accessories galore

Fortune 100 gadget makers and service companies aren’t the only ones at CES. Makers of cases, cables, docks, dongles, extenders and everything else populate their own booths or tables, and with Android dominating the worldwide smartphone market, everyone wants a piece of the action. We’re already seeing increased interest in iPhone-style docks and cases for specific popular models like the Nook and Galaxy Tabs, so expect more model-specific accessories than have ever been available for Android devices before. Mobile startups a la Square should finally begin releasing their products for Android and iOS simultaneously. The Kindle Fire should feature heavily in this area.

Android everywhere

Android runs on phones. It runs on tablets and televisions. Increasingly, it runs on watches, goggles and maybe even glasses. The open-source nature of Android makes it a downright perfect starting point for almost any piece of consumer electronics, increasingly widening its scope with every passing product cycle. A free, complete OS with no restrictions and hundreds of thousands of skilled developers is hard to turn down, so why try? Expect to see anything and everything that needs web, apps, connectivity and expandability to run Android, even if it isn’t obvious. Client computers, TiVo-style set-top boxes, car stereos and navigation systems, even Internet-connected appliances – you name it, and it’s likely that somebody will be powering it with Android. We honestly can’t predict what kind of crazy stuff will appear, and we can’t wait to find out what it is.

Android Community’s CES 2012 coverage starts on Sunday, January 8th, and runs all through next week. Check the CES portal to see all the latest information.

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LG, Samsung and Vizio will all release Google TV hardware this year

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 04:33 PM PST

We’ve been saying that Google TV needs a lot more partners if it’s going to make it and boy howdy, Google’s come through. In a post on the official Google TV blog, they’ve announced a series of new hardware partners including some very familiar names, like LG, Samsung and Vizio, all of whom will release Google TV powered devices sometime in 2012. Chipset makers Marvell and MediaTek were also announced, as well as the sole returning Google TV manufacturer, Sony.

Only LG is confirmed to release new TVs powered by Google TV, as previously rumored. Samsung, Sony and Vizio will be releasing “Google TV-powered devices” which could be all-in-one televisions, set-top boxes or a mixture of both. LG and Vizio will show their latest wares at CES 2012 next week, while Samsung and Sony’s plans are more nebulous. We know what Marvell is up to: they’re providing at least some of the hardware for the new Google TV products, switch from Intel x86-based systems to an ARM design more familiar to Android manufacturers and developers.

Google TV has had a hard time over the last year, losing its primary hardware partner in Logitech and catching a lot of grief over a protracted and bungled Android 3.2 update. But if Google has this many companies lining up to take part, the odds are excellent that they’ve got something up their sleeve. Perhaps Eric Schmidt wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie when he claimed that the majority of TVs will be running Google TV by this summer. We await presentations at CES with great expectations.

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LG Spectrum leaks: a Nitro HD for Verizon LTE

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 04:11 PM PST

With all the PR flying back and forth before CES, this was bound to happen. It looks like Droid Life has got its hands on the press release for the LG Spectrum before the intended announcement, which now appears to be Verizon’s branded version of the LG Optimus LTE. In the United States, that means it’s basically identical to AT&T’s LG Nitro HD (try and keep up, folks) with the same 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 720p screen and IPS display technology.

The similarities stack up the further down the specification list you go. An 8 megapixel camera, 4GB of storage space (with a 16GB MicroSD card thrown in for good measure) a gig of RAM and LG’s customized version of Gingerbread all point in the same direction. To help combat the battery-draining effects of LTE, the Spectrum gets a large 1830mAh battery, with an eye-popping 3000mAh battery available for purchase separately. Bluetooth 3.0, 1080p video recording and Gorilla Glass add to the bells and whistles.

On the software side of things, popular keyboard replacement Swype is included by default. Based on the leaked press photos, it’s not clear whether or not the Spectrum uses the default Google search like the Nitro HD… or a cobbled-together Bing search, like the Verizon LG Revolution. Shudder.  There’s no price listed, but given Verizon’s patterns as of late, expect this one to retail for $299 on contract when it debuts January 19th.

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Samsung Galaxy Note hitting AT&T early 2012, Anymode spills the details

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 03:20 PM PST

Ever since we first laid our eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Note we were impressed. Users from around the world and especially the US have been importing the 5.3″ AMOLED HD packing smartphone for their own personal use. Accessory vender Anymode has apparently partnered with AT&T and will be their OEM for accessories on the AT&T US version Galaxy Note — coming “early 2012″ according to their CES press release.

The Galaxy Note has been available in some parts of the world but hasn’t crossed the ocean to land in the US. While recently we’ve seen some news regarding the Note and even a press image leaked complete with the AT&T logo up top — we still haven’t heard anything official from either party.

The 5.3″ Super AMOLED HD phone/tablet hybrid comes complete with a dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera, S-pen (stylus) and a huge 2,500 mAh battery. Along with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and tons of Note specific apps by Samsung. We’ve seen it recently in the FCC with AT&T bands so this wasn’t a huge surprise, not to mention the leak mentioned above — but this information from Anymode seems to confirm it. According to them AT&T will have the Galaxy Note in early 2012 here in the USA. I’m hoping for the LTE edition myself.

We’ll probably hear and see more at CES so stay tuned. We will be there taking all the photos and video one can handle.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 800x1280
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.78 Inch
  • Width : 3.27 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 178 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 390 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p 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
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

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Corning Gorilla Glass 2 coming to CES, smartphones later this year

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 02:43 PM PST

If you haven’t heard of Corning or their Gorilla Glass then let me explain. Their product is essential to almost all smartphones and tablets as of late and are on a majority of all Android devices (not the Galaxy Nexus though) and their glass protects that precious screen of yours. We all know Gorilla Glass is tough but things are about to get even tougher with Gorilla Glass 2.

We haven’t heard much about Gorilla Glass 2 yet but there is plenty to improve over the original. While it is extremely strong and scratch resistant you still hear friends and family members alike suggesting smartphone buyers get a screen protector right away — basically as soon as they unbox the new phone. I’ve personally not used screen protectors over the past few months myself.

Today Corning has just announced they’ll be unveiling their new Gorilla Glass 2 at this years CES. We will be there live next week to capture all the goodness and hopefully get some hands-on time. You can expect the new generation of tough glass to be thinner, stronger, and even more scratch proof. Hopefully they have something amazing to show us. We are hearing they’ll have an 82″ multi-touch LED on display covered in the new glass so that should be fun. You can find the full press release at the via below.

Stay tuned for all the news from CES and Corning starting next week — right here at Android Community!

[via Corning]

Bonus video

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Google’s latest Nexus commercial shows the beauty of Panorama mode

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 01:45 PM PST

Google is at it again and have just released their latest commercial of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I for one am glad to see Google finally going big with these types of videos to demonstrate some of the awesome capabilities Android has to offer. Their latest Nexus ad shows the impressive panoramic mode with the camera in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Panoramic photos are always fun to do, especially if you are in NYC or Vegas and with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Google has made it easier than ever. I remember trying to align the pictures with my old Sony Ericsson to get a good panoramic picture but those days are long gone. The simple and elegant video demonstration below shows just how awesome it really is — not to mention gives you a look at the equally beautiful Galaxy Nexus.

Not only does the camera and ICS have this, but they’ve also incorporated a stock time-lapse feature into the camera that is equally impressive and works amazingly well. Just go into the camera, choose video, hit menu and find the time-lapse feature to get started.

I’ll be sure and take a few awesome panoramic pictures with my Galaxy Nexus during CES next week and share a few with our readers. Stay tuned for all the news you can handle over the next week.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : December 15, 2011
    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
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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Swiftkey X updated with slew of bug fixes — now even better

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 01:05 PM PST

Here at Android Community we love 3rd party keyboards and Swiftkey X is right at the top of our list. We’ve constantly recommended this as one of the best apps for Android phones and tablets. Today they’ve pushed their latest update to improve upon the recently released v2.2 and they’ve added tons of improvements and bug fixes — Especially for the Droid Bionic.

Updating version 2.2 that features improved learning techniques, support for over 35 languages, improved multitouch support for faster and more accurate typing and more. The update today should address many of the force close issues the latest release suffered from, improve support for voice input on the DROID Bionic. memory handling has been improved and is more efficient as well.

While they didn’t announce any new features or important updates small things like memory handling should help speed up the typing experience and make things much more fluid for daily usage. XKDPI icons and key-press popup fixes were also included. As usual you can head to the Android Market on your device and via the link today to get the latest and greatest from Swiftkey X. See our awesome reviews and hands-on of Swiftkey below.

Market Link

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 kernel source released ahead of device

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 12:40 PM PST

This seems a bit odd. It appears that Samsung has now released the kernel source code for their highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with the first Super AMOLED Plus HD display. First announced and debuted back at IFA in September we haven’t seen or heard anything about this impressive slate from Samsung since, especially in the US. Does this mean we could be seeing it launched and officially announced at CES 2012 next week?

After everyone gazed at this tablet at IFA it was quickly removed from the showroom floor and has been for the most part been out of sight and out of mind. We’ve been keeping track here at Android Community and it has recently been up for pre-order at a few sites so hopefully it does in fact launch next week — or get unveiled again heading to some US stores and carriers.

For those that might have forgotten it features a 7.7″ 1280 x 800 display rocking a first for tablets — Samsungs Super AMOLED Plus HD display. It also comes equipped with a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a pair of cameras as usual. Announced with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and a Samsung 1.4 GHz chip we could see an Ice Cream Sandwich version rocking a Qualcomm or even an NVIDIA Tegra 3 as a lot can change in the few months its been missing.

The kernel source code is important for developers and modders to do what is necessary for tweaking, overclocking and all those other things we thoroughly enjoy about Android. The links to the code is available below for those interested. The entire story of this slate gone missing is in the timeline below too.

Galaxy Tab 7.7 WiFi
Galaxy Tab 7.7 3G/4G

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Tab 7.7
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7.70 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Plus
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.74 Inch
  • Width : 5.24 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 335 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 5100 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.2.x
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 65.536 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :3 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    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 Police]

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