Friday, 13 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Velocity Micro investigating ICS updates for Cruz tablets

Posted: 13 Jan 2012 10:53 AM PST

Velocity Micro, like so many smaller manufacturers at the moment, is preparing at least two new Ice Cream Sandwich tablets for 2012. The company invited us to check out its latest wares at CES, and while the the Cruz T510 and Cruz T507 weren’t ready for public display, we did manage to get some interesting information out of a VM product manager. The company is currently preparing Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades for its current Android tablets, the first 10 and 7-inch Cruz models.

There wasn’t a promise or assurance of an upgrade – They’re investigating the hardware validity of the five current models, and the lowest ones aren’t likely to make the cut. But based on what we saw of the new versions, they’ve got a good grasp on Android at this point, and should at least be able to upgrade the Cruz T410 and T408. With Ice Cream Sandwich’s source code available and retail models being prepared by the larger Android OEMs, it should be a simple enough task to make an update available.

Velocity Micro is still aiming for the low end, and its more pedestrian hardware is not yet certified by Google – for the moment, they’re using the Amazon Appstore as a substitute for the Android Market. The company is aiming for sub-$200 prices going forward, a popular price point indeed – if they can establish themselves as a manufacturer that provides timely and stable updates, they could easily gain a following among budget-conscious Android enthusiasts who are tired of waiting for official upgrades.

iLuv ArtStation Pro and MobiDock hands-on

Posted: 13 Jan 2012 10:37 AM PST

Android is growing by leaps and bounds, especially in the tablet market. iLuv, among others, has started to take notice, and will be releasing a set of speaker docks for Android phones and tablets later this year to complement its more fruity offerings. We caught up with iLuv on the CES 2012 show floor to check out three of their new models, the ArtStation Pro for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the MobiDock and the MobiAir.

The ArtStation we’ve seen before: it’s a speaker and charging dock designed specifically for the current generation of Samsung Galaxy Tab models. It’ll work with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, 8.0, 7.7, 7.0 Plus, and their various mobile broadband flavors. The dock has a familiar design to users of similar iPad docks: a large support bracket suspends the tablet above an integrated 2.1 speaker system. In a refreshing twist (and in contrast to speakers from Philips and Logitech) the ArtStation includes music playback controls integrated into the base.

The stand is surprisingly high-end for iLuv, with a rotating and jointed arm for displaying the tablet in a different angle or in portrait mode. Sound is good and the jack connects securely to the tablet – and it should. An iLuv representative said that they were one of only three companies officially licensed to make accessories for Samsung’s Galaxy tablets. for that, you’ll pay a premium price: the ArtStation Pro will cost $150 when it debuts in January.

The MobiDock is a smaller, cheaper dock designed to work with most Android tablets and smartphones. It’s got a sliding microUSB port and adjustable stabilizing arms to clamp the device in place while charging. The mechanism is similar to the Philips Fidelio speakers, though not as stiff.  The speakers are smaller and slightly angled, and the MobiDock doesn’t include a remote control. The MobiAir is almost identical to the MobiDock, but uses a Bluetooth A2DP connection instead of a pop-out headphone jack. It includes extra controls for music playback on the top of the unit.

The MobiDock and MobiAir feel a little cheaper, but then, they are cheaper. At $70 for the MobiDock and $90 for the MobiAir, they’re decent deals if you want loud, clear sound on your desktop or nightstand, especially if you have multiple Android devices. iLuv hopes to make them available early in the second quarter.

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Snapdragon GameCommand Hands-on

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 03:23 PM PST

This week at CES we’ve been running around like mad-men trying to get a little hands on time with just about everything. Today we had a few minutes to check out multiple new things from Qualcomm, one in particular is the Snapdragon GameCommand application. Just recently announced by Qualcomm this app will highlight games and apps that can take advantage of all the potential inside Snapdragon powered devices.

Qualcomm and their Snapdragon mobile processor (system on chip) is in a multitude of devices throughout the world and have been building a complete end to end system for processors for years. Qualcomm’s shift in focus with GameCommand is to help game and application developers create and optimize their app to not only run great across all devices — but be highly optimized for Snapdragon in particular.

According to Qualcomm these games and applications don’t have to be exclusive to Snapdragon-powered devices like other similar options in the world of Android (Tegra Zone) but instead will work with all devices — just be even better on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC.

GameCommand is available on the Android Market today so feel free and give it a try. With an alternate “My Games” list to see all your applications, a “featured” tag with top picks or Snapdragon specific features games, and then a “news” feed to bring you the latest and greatest gaming and mobile news.

We have a few new and exciting things coming from Qualcomm later so be sure to stay tuned. More details on the new Snapdragon GameCommand can be found at

Market Link

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Galaxy Nexus GSM Android 4.0.2 OTA update has gone live

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 01:59 PM PST

Google has begun distributing Android 4.0.2 to Galaxy Nexus owners using the GSM version of the handset. The update – which popped up on one of our GSM Nexus devices today – weighs in at a mere 8.8MB, and is described as containing “important bug fixes.”

The exact nature of those bug fixes isn’t explained, however. Our handset automatically downloaded the new firmware OTA and flagged up the update in the notifications bar; if your device hasn’t already spotted v4.0.2, you can prompt a check for new firmware through the settings menu.

Despite the new version, GSM owners of the Galaxy Nexus are still an iteration behind the Verizon Galaxy Nexus LTE, which is currently running Android 4.0.3. We’re hoping this new software addresses some of the minor issues we’ve been having with the GMS Nexus, including the occasional restart and incoming calls going silent within the first minute of answering. Let us know how you get on in the comments.

Android Design preaches ICS best-practice for devs

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 01:34 PM PST

Google has launched Android Design, a site dedicated to Ice Cream Sandwich best-practice in style, UI and behavior. Apparently intended to teach developers some of the justifications behind design decisions made in Android 4.0, and convince them to adopt them when they’re coding for the platform, the new site could help Google achieve some of the consistency in third-party software iOS is renowned for.

Android Design is split into three main sections, opening with Google’s “Creative Vision”, “Design Principles” and “UI Overvice” and then launching into detailed tutorials on Style, Patterns and Building Blocks. Some of the more noticeable aspects of ICS are name-checked, such as the emphasis on photos rather than text, the virtual buttons and pared-down contextual menus, and the ease and consistency of finding your way back out through an app.

There’s also a section on how Google’s iconography, controls and UI style in Android differs from that of iOS and Windows Phone, as a caution to those developers hoping to use relatively universal apps across all three platforms.

“Deviate with purpose” Google says, suggesting that developers are free to change things up but only if there’s particularly good reason for it. With the risk of fragmentation a well-worn theme about Android, this could be Google’s opportunity to herd its coders into a more iOS-like equilibrium.

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[via SlashGear]

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