Saturday, 7 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community

OLPC XO 3.0 tablet running Android priced at $100

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 07:44 PM PST

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) will have an interesting tablet at this year’s CES, and is said to start off at $100. The tablet, named XO 3.0, is 8 inches with a resolution of 1024×768. The actual screen type will vary depending on how it is configured upon purchase; a PixelQi display will run you ~$100 over the original starting price and standard LCD screen.

Although, I highly recommend investing into PixelQi technology. Their displays don’t just save battery life, they are extremely easy to read in sunlight – which has been an ongoing issue in standard LCD screens. However, you should be able to charge the XO 3.0 on the go with a hand crank or solar panel!

It may be tough to actually purchase one of OLPC’s laptops because they will primarily sell them to countries in bulk. But I have a feeling there will be many more tablets with a $100.00 price tag during CES next week, so it will be interesting to see how they all compare. The XO 3.0 could come out the clear winner – but I’m not sure it’s fair to compare OLPC to other manufacturers, as they claim to be doing this for the kids of the world – and not themselves.

[via The Verge]


Android Community App of the Week: MiniSquadron!

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 06:10 PM PST

Recall, if you will, the glorious top-down shooters of yesteryear, like 1942. (If you can’t recall, stop reading this – it’s past your bedtime, kid.) Now shift the perspective by 90 degrees and add a considerable amount of crazy, and you get Gray Fin Studios’ MiniSquadron. It’s a charming, addictive little game, and our App of the Week, considering that we’ll need lots of airport distractions on the way to CES 2012.

The game is deceptively simple: steer your plane with your left thumb and shoot with the right. Each level consists of 12 waves of flying enemies, everything from ducks to flying saucers, in increasingly difficult circumstances. Rudimentary physics rule both your plane and your foes: fly too high and you’ll stall, but get aligned again and you’ll be flying right. Turn upside down sharply, and you’ll perform an automatic Immelmann, ready to go guns blazing at an enemy behind you.

And oh, there are so many guns. Depending upon which plane in your squadron you choose, you get a single, double or triple cannon, homing missiles, cluster bombs, dropping bombs, and (whoop!) lasers. Each of the 50+ unlockable planes gets a unique combination of armor, speed and weapon, and with so many to collect you’ll want to try out a different one on each of the eight levels. Power-ups like speed, health, 1ups, and a gigantic screen-filling beam ocassionally drop into play, but you’ll need to be quick to get them before your enemies do.

The whole game is wrapped in charmingly simple animation, sound effects and tinkly interpretations of classical music. It’s perfect for a quick play in line, and addictive enough to stick with you through the higher levels, which can get quite challenging. The main game is $2.99 on the Android Market, with a sequel, MiniSquadron Special Edition, at the same price. To get a taste of the gameplay, you can try MiniSquadron Lite for free.

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Rockchip plans $100 ICS tablet reveal at CES

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 04:59 PM PST

We’ve seen tablets claiming to be “$100″ before, but this one might actually make good on that promise. Rockchip, an increasingly notable Chinese chip manufacturer, was the first to show off Ice Cream Sandwich running on tablet hardware way back in November. Now TabTimes reports that the company’s hardware will be powering dozens of tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show,  including at least one that’s slated for a rock-bottom MSRP of $100.

“We think we will have between 30 and 40 tablets at Vegas," said Rockchip’s Vice President Chen Feng. “The global environment is right for our Android 4.0 product, and as a company, we are in precisely the right position to play a major role in satisfying a healthy portion of that demand.” A spokeswoman said that at least one 7-inch tablet will be priced somewhere between $95 and $125, with a 10-inch model set for $150-200. Specific OEMs were not mentioned, though she said that prices will vary.

Since Ice Cream Sandwich is the first version of Android to be both built for a tablet interface and open source, a flood of low-cost tablets has been expected for months. Since the source code for Android 3.0 Honeycomb was not available (Google published it along with ICS in November) most Chinese tablets thus far have used 2.2 Froyo or 2.3 Gingerbread, without official access to Google’s proprietary apps or the Android Market.

Ever since the previously $500 HP TouchPad went on sale for just $100, there’s been an increased interest in cheap tablets. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet at $200 and $250 respectively sold millions of units over the holidays, even though they both run customized versions of Gingerbread. With entry-level hardware running a true tablet OS, expect low-cost Ice Cream Sandwich tablets to make a big impact in 2012.

Be sure to check Android Community’s CES 2012 portal for continuing coverage.


Asus says 3G Transformer Prime is coming to Europe, unlock in February

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 04:26 PM PST

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer prime is on top of the tablet game at the moment, despite some big setbacks in the bootloader department. And though the company’s German arm previously stated that there were no plans to bring a mobile broadband version of the tablet to market, another part of the Asus seems to think differently. Tablet Writings reports that the Asus office in charge of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg stated that a 3G Transformer Prime will be available some time in the future.

The office also stated that the hotly anticipated bootloader unlock will be released in February – previously, Asus hadn’t given a timeframe. The Android mod community was up in arms after discovering that the high-powered flagship tablet had a locked bootloader, making custom kernels, recoveries and ROMs difficult if not impossible. Listening to the outcry, Asus agreed to provide and unlock method on the condition that it would void users’ warranties. The long-promised Ice Cream Sandwich update to the tablet is scheduled for January 12th, so Asus won’t have to re-engineer a bootloader solution.

3G Android tablets aren’t selling well, at least in comparison to their WiFi-only counterparts. A lot of that has to do with the fact that many people don’t want to pay for yet another data connection, and in the United States, they don’t want to be stuck in another two-year contract. The iPad is offered on pay-as-you go plans, as it has been at launch, but Android tablets don’t get the same privileges, despite often being as expensive or more so.

Asus’ worldiwde and North American offices have said nothing to indicate that a 3G version of the Transformer is forthcoming, so this could simply be an error on the part of the Benelux office. We look forward to finding out.


Samsung up, HTC down in fourth quarter

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 03:59 PM PST

Samsung is on top of the world right now, and standing on HTC’s shoulders to the get there. In the last quarter of 2012, Sammy turned in a record profit of $4.5 billion dollars, a 75% increase over the same time period the previous year. By comparison, HTC’s total income dropped by a whopping 26%. Both companies have more than just Android smartphones and tablets filling out their consumer electronics lineups, but the #1 and #2 Android manufacturers, it’s a statistic worth knowing.

Samsung has become the clear leader in consumer electronics as a whole over the last year, with just over 40.5 billion dollars in total sales in the last three months. That gives them an operating profit of slightly less than 10%, an enviable statistic for any company, and downright amazing for the hardware sector. Strong sales in the smartphone sector helped power Samsung through, even as its business-to-business sales of memory chips suffered. In total phones (not just Android) Samsung sold more than 300 million units – about one for every man, woman and child in the United states.

By contrast, HTC’s predicted flat quarter turned out to be anything but. Profit slumped by 2.5% amid the large net income drop, the first time that the smartphone maker has lost profit in two years. HTC is well behind Samsung in the global smartphone market (the smaller Taiwanese company doesn’t make “dumb” phones) but has been basically neck-and-neck with Samsung in the US, at times ever surpassing its regional market share for Android devices. HTC cited increased competition and a slumped world economy as the reasons for the downturn.


“Organ Trail” spoofs a classic with 8-bit zombies

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 03:10 PM PST

Classic literature has been under assault for the last few years thansk to a little book call ed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Now another classic (if not quite so storied as Austen) is being attacked by the horde, with Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. You get no points for guessing what it’s spoofing. The zany Oregon Trail knock-off is coming to mobile platforms, including Android, after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Instead of beginning in a small town in Missouri, the player must navigate from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh, avoiding roving bands of zombies and keeping your group together. Survival requires effective supply management, smart navigation choices, and of course, the ability to knock out the 10-ring with a double-barreled shotgun at 20 yards or more.

Organ Trail started as a humble Flash game on the website of developer The Men Who Wear Many Hats. While copying the low-resolution look of the original Oregon Trail, the web game takes inspirations from lots of latter-day zombie pop culture, like Left 4 Dead, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. You can still play it in your browser here (and thanks to Android’s Flash support, you can play it on your phone or tablet with a little work). The mobile version will be coming soon, though the developer didn’t say when.

[via The Huffington Post]


Intel subsidiary brings windowed apps to Android

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 02:34 PM PST

Android, and basically all major mobile OS platforms, don’t use a visible windowing system Like OSX, Linux and, uh, Windows. Most of the time that’s because there just isn’t enough space on a smartphone or tablet screen for more than one application at a time. Wind River, a branch on Intel, has found a way around that restriction, and may make true user window management on Android a reality soon.

The company has developed a user interface modification that allows multiple apps to be shown on the screen simultaneously, in a manner not dissimilar to desktop operating systems. In fact it’s even got the minimize and maximize buttons that’s become a staple of desktop UI design. Obviously there isn’t much utility for smartphones, even with the incredible resolutions we’re getting as of late – the physical space of the screen just wouldn’t support this kind of multitasking. But tablets are another matter, especially considering that 1920×1200 and even higher resolution screens are rumored for the near future.

Wind River is developing the UI software to sell to manufacturers, in the hopes that they’ll incorporate it into their own customized versions of Android. The demonstration above looks like it’s running on a Cupcake or Donut build, so it’s obviously a long way from making it to modern Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich machines. Still, I wouldn’t mind giving it a try, especially since there’s still no way to run videos in the background on Android.

[via Ars Technica]


Fujitsu Arrows ES IS12F — world’s thinnest smartphone available Jan. 7th

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 02:10 PM PST

If you thought the DROID RAZR was thin then you’ll want to take a gander at the new Fujitsu ARROWS ES IS12F smartphone. The RAZR at the thinnest point comes in around 7.1mm but Fujitsu has taken things a step further and this beast measures a paper-thin 6.7mm thick. This phone was first spotted at the FCC back in November, but is now set to hit a few Japanese markets on January 7th.

This Fujitsu phone might be ultra-thin but it sure isn’t all that pretty. The specs are decent but nothing special to put it ahead of the pack. It does have that sleek and sexy design going for it although the button placement is a little ugly if you ask me — not to mention the huge upper bezel. Being slapped with the “with Google” on bottom it looks to be as close to stock Android as possible.

The specs include: Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1.4 GHz single-core processor, and sadly only 512MB of RAM. Some of the important things are the 4.0″ AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera, NFC capabilities and even a TV tuner for the Japan crowds. It also rocks Gorilla Glass and is said to be waterproof too.

If any of this sounds good you’ll want to look for it starting tomorrow over in Japan. Most likely we wont be seeing this device land in the US or Canada anytime soon but feel free to order and import one yourself if you must. It will only cost you a pretty $750 and some change — get one here.

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[via Verge]


Cannon Legend: First person tower defense game lands on Android

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 01:37 PM PST

I’m always looking for new and fun Android games to occupy some time and this looks to be a good one. This is a new tower defense style game that actually takes the aim of first person shooter. Pretty unique idea if you ask me. The graphics might not be the best I’ve seen but gameplay sure looks impressive and quite fun. Check out the video after the break.

The game is called Cannon Legend, and is available now from the Android Market. Giving us an exciting new twist on tower defense it has plenty to offer and should be loads of fun. It’s set in a fantasy-like theme and you sit first person and blast the waves of enemies like most defense games. Here is what you can expect:

- Fully Animated 3d Characters
- 3 Unique Worlds – Each world has it's own theme. You will have a totally different experience in each world.
- 4 Unique Magic Stones – You will get a magic stone when you defeat a powful boss. Each Magic Stone has it's own magic power. You can equip it on your cannon and refine your power to a high degree.
- Talent System – More than ten properties you can upgrade to make your cannon more powful.
- Great Replay Value – Unlock survival mode for each campaign mission accomplished.

The unique gameplay along with the “talent system” that basically allows you to level-up and upgrade your cannon weaponry will keep this game exciting for more than just a few minutes. While I love first person shooters controlling them on mobile devices isn’t the easiest of tasks. This looks be blend the two into a fun and worthwhile game. Best part about it — it’s completely free. Hit the market link and give it a try today.

Cannon Legend Market Link

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[via DroidGamers]


Xbox Live may be headed to Android

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 01:10 PM PST

For the million and millions of Xbox gamers that have been hoping our Android devices would get the same pleasure that Windows Phone has — that time could possibly be on the way. While iOS has an xbox type application the entire Microsoft Xbox Live mobile gaming system isn’t available anywhere other than WP7. A recent job posting from Microsoft might have revealed their plans.

As reported by liveside, over on Microsoft Careers is a new job posting looking for 2 years experience with software development. Preferably mobile development and it even mentions "Experience of Windows Phone, iOS, or Android development is a big plus".

It doesn’t really surprise me that Micro$oft would want to bring their features to Android — after all it is the number one mobile OS and is growing every day. They are already making bank from all the patent and lawsuits they’ve settled, might as well get some from the Xbox side of things too. As much as I’m not a fan of Microsoft as of late this would be a great move and I’d love to have Xbox Live mobile gaming on my Android phones and tablets.

It appears that Microsoft is planning to bring Xbox Live experiences to other platforms, including location based gaming, social networking, and avatars — much like we currently see on Xbox Live. Why they’d bring one of Windows Phone 7′s best and exclusive features to other platforms beats me, but we’ll take it. Part of the job description mentions team members will “have the luxury to work with all sorts of mobile devices to create the official Xbox LIVE mobile experiences.” So It seems they’ll be going after all major platforms.

Hopefully we’ll hear more on this from Microsoft but in the meantime does anyone want to apply?

[via Businessinsider]


ASUS Transformer Prime in stock at Best Buy

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 11:57 AM PST

We’ve wrote about the Transformer Prime being in stock a few times recently but they seem to sell out faster than our fingers can type. ASUS and their hotly anticipated quad-core tablet has been selling out everywhere and with good reason. Thanks to a few tips from our readers we can now confirm it being in stock and available at

The online store over at Best Buy currently has the 32GB Grey model in-stock and are taking orders. A few of our readers have already snatched one up and shipping confirmations are going out. For those that have been dying to get in on this quad-core Tegra 3 action here is your chance.

Our review of the Prime was highly favorable and all the Tegra 3 games make it even better. With ASUS recently updating the world that they’ll be unlocking the bootloader users should be excited to buy this tablet. ASUS has confirmed that they’ll be pushing the update for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the Prime starting January 12th — just a few days away. I’d be ordering one now if I were you, and it should be delivered right in time to receive that awesome update to the latest and greatest from Google.

Who’s buying one? Be sure and let us know in the comments when you get an expected delivery date for those interested.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Prime
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : November 09, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Transformer 2
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS+
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : .33 Inch
  • Weight : 586 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 6579 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
    Android OS:
  • 3.2.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 64 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Best Buy] — Thanks John!


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