Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community


ICS Tip: Long press icon in Google Apps to learn icon name or function

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 02:07 PM PST

This is a neat little trick that Google has decided to share with everyone. I actually didn’t know this but if you’ve been wondering what many of the new icons are in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as they don’t have names or labels — you can just long press the icon and it will tell you the name. According to Google this only works in Google Apps, but the option is there for developers to do the same with their own apps, and some already have.

Trying to do something as simple as copy a web address in Android 4.0 ICS I was a little confused at first although the icons are pretty self explanatory. Shown in the image above just long press the icon and the name quickly pops up for about 2 seconds. This works in all Google Apps, including the market and the browser. According to the tip directly from Google this will work in all Google Apps on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

After messing around and looking over a few apps it appears that this is actually widespread throughout Android 4.0 ICS. Any application that has received some sort of user interface update to Android 4.0 this feature seems to work to some extent. Apps such as Superuser that has been updated with the ICS theme, and even the new beta Dropbox all do this neat little trick. Anything not optimized for Android 4.0 that doesn’t feature on-screen navigation or search buttons wont work.

When things are this simple and easy, we should know about them sooner Google. For now it appears developers have already started making use of this feature, or it gets built into the app once Android 4.0 support has been integrated. Give it a try yourself, it’s actually quite nice.

[via +Android]


Verizon activating 5 new 4G LTE markets tomorrow

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 01:19 PM PST

Verizon has continued to update and roll out their 4G LTE markets at a very rapid rate and tomorrow they’ll be flipping the switch and giving the green light to 5 new markets. Almost every 2-3 weeks they added a couple markets to their ever expanding list last year and it appears they’ll follow the same quick rate of updates in 2012.

Starting tomorrow, January 19th, Verizon will light up their big red networks in the below mentioned cities, but they’ll also be expanding another 3 to cover a larger area and supply a more stable network. The expansions are in Houston TX, Atlanta GA, and Spokane WA. Then the 5 cities that will be the newcomers to their blazing fast speeds are:

— Glen Falls, NY
— Utica, NY
— Brownsville, TX
— McAllen, TX
— Lawton, OK

We’ve covered their 4G LTE rollout on several occasions and if your city finally made the list feel free to run out and get a new 4G LTE phone and give it a try. With these latest updates Verizon should be well above the 200 million subscribers mark for 4G LTE access, making the speed available in more than 195 markets across the great US. We’ve heard reports that a few in Peoria, IL have also seen 4G enabled although that has yet to be announced. Enjoy!

[via SlashGear]


Sony Ericsson MT27i “Pepper” pictures and benchmarks leak

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 12:22 PM PST

Recently some details on an upcoming Sony Ericsson smartphone leaked under the codename MT27i Pepper. We now have not only a few pictures of the Xperia Neo look alike phone, but some NenaMark benchmarks have also revealed all of the specs for this mid-range smartphone from Sony Ericsson.

The image above leaked last week is believed to be the Sony Ericsson Pepper, and now benchmarks today have confirmed the specs that were already being suspected. We have a 3.7″ 854 x 480 resolution display with a single-core 1.0 GHz processor and Mali 400 for graphics. Nothing special here but definitely a great little device for the budget friendly crowd. Here is the benchmark result:

While Pepper is only a codename, we are hearing this device will actually be the successor to the popular Xperia Neo that was released last year. The Pepper will also feature a 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p video. Earlier today Sony’s entire 2012 roadmap was leaked — slating the Pepper for an early April release for around 300 Euros. While nothing has been confirmed at this point, we’ll most likely be seeing this little guy come end of February at Mobile World Congress in Spain.

[via PocketNow]


Motorola XOOM WiFi Android 4.0 ICS update officially rolling out today

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 11:25 AM PST

Motorola themselves have just confirmed on Twitter what we all were expecting and have previously reported. The WiFi Motorola XOOM tablet is finally set to get the latest and greatest from Google — and that is Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. While the Verizon 3G/4G enabled version will have to wait all of you with a WiFi model can get the update right now.

For those that haven’t rooted and unlocked their XOOM and are running some sort of custom ROM the Android 4.0 ICS update is available right now — today — and is waiting for you to update. Users should start receiving the over the air update today and it will continue to roll out for the next two weeks. As always, users can manually go to settings > about tablet > and check for updates to manually pull it down. If you’ve been waiting for some official frozen goodness for your XOOM today is the day.

We’ve seen plenty of updates recently for the XOOM. Earlier this month Motorola started pushing a “project” to testers that we later confirmed was ICS so this update comes as no surprise. Sadly ASUS beat them to the punch and were the first with an official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. So much for being a Google Experience device right guys? For those running custom ROM’s there are more than a few already on ICS, and more will be appearing any day now that the official update is hitting devices.

Give the Android 4.0.3 ICS update a go on your WiFi Motorola XOOM, then chime off in the comments below on what you think or if any issues arise. Full changelog can be seen right here.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : XOOM
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : January 05, 2011
    Release Date : February 24, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 9.80 Inch
  • Width : 6.61 Inch
  • Depth : 0.51 Inch
  • Weight : 730 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 6500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 336 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Motorola]


HTC Velocity 4G LTE heads to Telstra

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 11:11 AM PST

Down under in Australia HTC is set to unleash their newest and fastest 4G LTE equipped smartphone to Telstra. We know it here in the states as the HTC Vivid and previous leaks (even down under) had it titled the HTC Holiday. This 4.5″ screen packing LTE smartphone is headed to Telstra and according to HTC is “coming soon”.

Being called the HTC Velocity 4G we already know plenty about this smartphone. We recently reviewed its twin brother the HTC Vivid and you can see our review below. It features a 4.5″ qHD 960 x 540 resolution display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (Vivid was 1.2 GHz) and HTC Sense UI 3.5 all running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It has a unique and personally quite ugly squared pyramid shaped design and is wrapped in a lightweight aluminum. We do get an 8 megapixel camera on the back and dual LED flash so that is a plus.

Early leaks of the HTC Holiday spotted it running on Telstra’s new 4G LTE network long before the phone hit the US, and now it is finally headed their way. HTC’s own website has the smartphone listed as “coming soon” to Telstra so most likely we’ll be hearing something shortly from both parties. Unless someone else beats them to the party the HTC Velocity 4G LTE will be Telstra and Australia’s first LTE smartphone.

[via HTC]


Sony smartphone 2012 roadmap leaks with names, dates, and pricing

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 10:37 AM PST

What do we have here? Some juicy information about upcoming Sony smartphones it seems — 11 of them. Today from the folks at GSMarena we now have a full 2012 roadmap that has leaked with a list of Sony’s upcoming device expected launch dates, codenames, and pricing. Obviously this is only a roadmap and many things are likely to change but lets check it out and break down the possibilities.

Sony recently bought Ericsson’s 50% of the company and have also said they’ll be going “all in” with Android in 2012. All of the above phones will run on Android and will receive different names on launch as these are internal codenames. First off the Nozomi, which isn’t listed as it was announced at CES as the Sony Xperia S (see our hands-on below). It will be priced at €462 to give you an idea of its caliber and what we see listed. It’s fair to assume with that pricing that some of those higher priced devices will be flagship phones from Sony.

We aren’t sure what all will come to the US or not as this is only an early leak (or rumor) but Sony has been trying to tap into the US market more as of late. The Kumquat and Nypon we’ve heard before but details are still scant. On the other hand the others are all new to us here at Android Community. I’m particularly interested in the Hayabusa. For one their motorcycles are blazing fast, have style, and are unique. And two, because it has a beefy price along the lines of the Xperia S.

The rest seem to be priced differently to hit different levels of the smartphone market. Then we also have that MINT being the most expensive on the list. This could be their next big thing and is slated for a September release. The last thing I want to mention is the Tapioca_DS. Could this be dual-screen? or maybe dual-sim. Either way they have two Tapioca phones listed.

It’s safe to assume we’ll see the top 3 all slated for an April release at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Spain late next month. We’ll be there live to capture all the details so stay tuned.


Samsung Galaxy S “Value Pack” leaked, includes imitation ICS features

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 09:17 AM PST

The last we heard from Samsung, it had nixed the “Value Pack” update it was planning for the original Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab, citing that adding the features to older phones sporting the TouchWiz interface simple wasn’t practical. It appears that at least some work on the update was completed, and the folks at SamMobile got their hands on an early ROM. The package was intended to placate angry customers who were upset that Samsung refused to upgrade the older phones to Ice Cream Sandwich, claiming incompatibility with TouchWiz.

So, what’s in the “I Can Certainly Believe It’s Not ICS” update? A series of UI tweaks meant to implement some of the advancements in Ice Cream Sandwich, while still fitting in with Samsung’s TouchWiz style. This includes a rudimentary face unlock, circular lockscreen in the ICS/Honeycomb style, the same photo editor that’s included in the Galaxy S II,and  some other small UI tweaks and basic improvements for speed and stability, most noticeable when switching from portrait to landscape. You can download the beta ROM (presumably only for the international version) at SamMobile.

While the majority of OG Galaxy S owners will likely be happy for any update at all, die-hard Android fans have already expressed their disgust at the update situation. Samsung’s insistence that the combination of Ice Cream Sandwich and TouchWiz is too much for the Galaxy S RAM/storage didn’t help – lots of them would prefer the company simply offer up a Nexus-style ROM free of OEM skins and apps. The sad fact is that even the Value Pack update is unlikely to see the light of day on any of the US versions of the Galaxy S, all of which would need individual carrier approval first.

[via SammyHub]


Motorola MOTOLUXE, DEFY MINI and white RAZR pre-orders start at Clove

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 08:58 AM PST

IF you love Motorola phones with NAMES IN CAPITAL LETTERS and also happen to live in the UK, you’ll want to pull out your wallet and browse on over to online retailer Clove. They’ve recently put the MOTOLUXE, DEFY MINI and the white version of the RAZR (that’s the DROID RAZR to yankees) up for pre-order. The white RAZR will arrive sometime in February, with the newer phones dropping in early March at the latest.

There’s not much to say about the RAZR that you don’t already know: it’s the same skinny Gingerbread phone you fell in love with in black, now in an icy hue. The same 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM power the phone, with 16GB of on-board storage and an 8 megapixel camera for good measure. The 4.3-inch AMOLED display is nice, even if we wish it were on the 720p bandwagon. £430.80 reserves your white RAZR with a free pair of portable speakers, normally £20.

The MOTOLUXE might be the most interesting of this little trio, thanks to some unique design decisions by Motorola. The mid-range Gingerbread phone is 9.8mm with a 4-inch 854×400 resolution. Just under the screen you’ll see a cavity in the body where a depressed LED notification light grants an interesting effect. An 8 megapixel camera, 800Mhz CPU and 512MB of RAM are paired to an unfortunately small 1400mAh battery. The MOTOLUXE is £258.00 from Clove, sans contract.

On the low end, the DEFY MINI is Motorola’s entry into the diminutive Android phone space. A 3.2-inch 480×320 screen is just enough to run Gingerbread on 512 MB of RAM. Gorilla Glass and a water-resistant frame, a 3 megapixel rear camera and a front-facing camera (not necessarily a given on entry-level Android phones) and a surprisingly large 1650mAh battery are crammed into a body 12.6mm thick. The DEFY MINI’s pre-order price is just £174.99.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1780 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4430
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
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 Phandroid]


Android adoption slows in Q4 2011, thanks to iPhone 4S

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 08:00 AM PST

While Android’s rise to the top of the smartphone world has been nothing short of meteoric, it looks like the gravy train slowed somewhat at the tail end of 2011. Despite high-profile phone releases like the Motorola DROID RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus, not to mention a wider and wider selection of Android devices across all price points, Android adoption by new users slowed considerably according to Nielsen. While 62% of first-time smartphone buyers chose Android in October, by December only 47% did.

What caused this drop in enthusiasm? Without a doubt, it was Apple’s release of the iPhone 4S on October 14th. Though Android presents cutting-edge hardware from various manufacturers basically year-round, Apple fans get only one phone release a year, and 2011′s iPhone 5 4S was off the summer release schedule by several months. Though the 4S hardware is a modest update at best, the addition of a new US carrier, support for HSPA+ (late to the party, as usual) and Siri all made for a considerable showing for late 2011.

The Nielsen numbers don’t reflect total sales or marketshare, where Android soundly beats iOS in every market. In places like the UK and most of Asia, Android still outsells all iPhone models nearly two to one. Both platforms continue to grow in both total numbers and smartphone marketshare as RIM’s Blackkberry and Windows Phone shrink. That said, with Android and iOS’ combined smartphone share reaching towards 85%, one wonders where the saturation point is – soon enough, it’ll be a true duopoly. Then both operating systems will have no one but each other to take users from.

[via TechCrunch]


How much does Android earn Google? Oracle says $10M a day

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 07:29 AM PST

Take this one with a grain of salt, folks: in a recent submission to the court in conjunction with its ongoing lawsuit, Oracle estimated that revenue from Android activations made every day net Google a whopping $10 million across an entire year. Estimating that the figure stays solid over 2012 (and keep in mind, it’s almost certain to increase) that would mean that Google makes approximately 3.7 billion dollars on Android advertising alone. Oracle did not say how it reached this conclusion, but Free and Open Source Software advocate Florian Muller guesses that they’re assuming $14 of ad revenue per Android user, per year.

Without hard data, it’s touch to know whether Oracle has any sort of basis for this claim – even if Google were to release the source and target of all of its massive advertising income, restricting it to Android users (and specifically those Android users who activate a phone or tablet through Google) would be almost impossible. And considering that Google is the most profitable and active web advertising company in the world, how could you say that Google would make significantly less without Android? If iOS or Window Phone 7 were the dominant mobile platform, Google would still be making an incredible amount of cash. Keep in mind that it’s in Oracle’s best interests to paint Android as a cash cow – they’re presenting the legal opinion that it violates their Java intellectual property. Oracle previously claimed 1.16 billion dollars in damages from Google.

Oracle claims that Android generates plenty of direct revenue as well, thanks to sales in the Android Market. It also makes loyal users of satellite services like Gmail and Google Plus, which in turn make Google more money on both the desktop and mobile side of the web. None of these points are invalid; Google is a publicly traded company whose end goal is to make profit. They’ve chosen to do so by providing services and selling ads, instead of directly creating and inflating hardware. None of the allegations presented in Oracle’s latest statement are illegal – they’re simply trying to demonstrate how much money Google is making off of “their” intellectual property. If ORacle can push the case into a full-on trial and come out victorious, the $10,000,000 a day figure will likely weigh heavily on any settlements or damages.

[via BGR]


40 apps, one buck: AppZilla offers a ton of productivity on the cheap

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 06:59 AM PST

And you thought Google’s 10 Billion Apps promotion was a steal. Popular iPhone productivity suite AppZilla is now available from the Android Market, ready to give you an extra couple of populated pages in your app drawer of a single, solitary greenback. The collection of basic apps has been lauded on iOS for its utility and value, and now Android users can get the same budget-concious collection for themselves.

The complete list of included utilities is as follows: 50,000 Famous Quotes Reference, Police Scanner, Area Code Lookup, Auto Camera, Game Buzzer, Battery Life Monitor, Big Button, Checklist, Crystal Ball, Surface Level, Sleep Sounds Generator, Coin Flip, Journal, Currency Converter, Dictionary, Group Email, Group SMS, Random Facts, Holiday Reference, LED Flashlight, Bubble Level, Concert Lighter, Horoscope, Random Jokes, GPS Locator, Moon Phase Calculator, Password Generator, Plumb Bob, Price Calculator, Reverse Dictionary, Random Number Generator, Rhymes Dictionary, Sale Price Calculator, Spell Check, System Info, Thesaurus, Tic Tac Toe, Language Translator and Unit Converter. Sure, most of these you can find for free on the Android Market (and some are even built into custom ROMs) but getting them all in one place and at one time is surely worth the dollar asking price.

All this, and developer Fossil Software says in the Market description that they’re planning on adding more apps in the future. Considering that the mini-apps in AppZilla are already pretty solid, not to mention much prettier than the typical Android fare, it’s a value proposition that’s hard to argue with. Oh, and just in case you were worried: AppZilla launches as its own contained virtual folder of apps on Android, so you won’t have to scroll through 40 new entries in the launcher of your choice.

[via Android Authority]


HP TouchPad CM9 Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ready to download

Posted: 18 Jan 2012 06:36 AM PST

The CyanogenMod team showed off a near-complete version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the HP TouchPad earlier this week, and now you can try it out on your own hardware. CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 is ready to download and install via RootzWiki (currently experiencing uptime issues), though at this point it’s far from finished. While the basics are in place, including Android 4.0′s much-improved tablet interface, a host of early bugs will discourage all but the most dedicated of modders.

What bugs? At this point video support is extremely limited – anything other than low-resolution YouTube videos are unplayable. That includes services like Netflix and HBO GO. The camera and microphone are currently non-functional, and issues with the Android market are keeping the virtual DPI settings in the ROM artificially low – i.e., everything looks bigger than it should. These problems mirror some of the issues had with early Gingerbread builds for the HP TouchPad. The CyanogenMod team is working diligently to sort them out, and in that, you can help them by flashing the ROM and reporting your progress back in the main RootzWiki thread.

You can flash the new ROM by using the standard ClockworkMod recovery method – if you’re already using the Gingerbread alpha, you’ve almost certainly got the custom recovery installed already. Just copy the ZIP file into a location on the TouchPad’s internal storage, then flash it in the usual way. As always, make a Nandroid backup before trying out anything new – TouchPads are becoming increasingly rare, and you’d hate to brick your sad, lonely piece of tech history, wouldn’t you.

[via android central]


Motorola DROID running Android 4.0, we love dinosaurs too

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 08:42 PM PST

Sure devices like the HTC Hero and Verizon’s very first Motorola DROID are quite outdated, but should they be forgotten? Apparently, some developers think not. The OG Droid has recently received an update to its previous Andorid 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) ROM release that seems to have fixed quite a bit of bugs. From the video the UI doesn’t lag as much either.


Actually, it’s extremely fast toggling in and out of applications. It may not be as polished as the Gingerbread ROM’s you were previously running, but this is just what the early adopters out there have been waiting for. However, camera and accelerated video decoding are still not working – and XDA Developer kabaldan says to not expect a fix any time soon.

I by no means suggest you run this as your ‘daily’, but if you have a nandroid you can quickly roll back to then it wouldn’t hurt to give it a test. Are there any phones you would love to see Android 4.0 on soon? Or is your current OS just fine.

[via Phandroid]


Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) ROM available for Motorola XOOM

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 08:10 PM PST

From the time Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was announced, developers have been itching to mod the new code to work with their own devices. It seems a stable version is now available on the Motorola XOOM. This is currently only for the WiFi version, but some claim to have it working on their 3G/4G versions.


There are plenty of screenshots available from razorbladex401, the XDA developer behind the entire project. When making such an upgrade, it would be foolish to forget about making a android backup. The ROM seems stable, but there will undoubtedly be a few kinks that will need to be worked out.

There’s a particularly great feeling of updating to the latest version of Android’s OS. It may be because it upgrades so quickly, but mostly because you know you’re one of the few to take advantage of all the new features. I’m not sure if Google Wallet is still offering a free $10 for signing up on an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device, but those of you taking the plunge to ICS on your own XOOM should definitely let us know.

ics3 ics2 ics1

[XDA Thread: Here]
[via Android Authority]


LG Optimus Pad LTE specs now available

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 07:21 PM PST

We’d seen some spyshots of the LG Optimus Pad LTE leak a while back, but now things are becoming more official. The tablet will be sporting an 8.9″ IPS True HD display with a resolution of 1280×768. And for tablets, the 8MP rear camera will definitely set a new standard if the lens used is of decent quality. It will weigh out at 497g and at its thickest point it’s only 9.34mm. Not the thinnest tablet – but still fairly decent.


it won’t be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), but will instead ship with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). Running a Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor – you’ll be able to run the latest and greatest of applications with ease. Not only that, but the Optimus Pad LTE will tout a 6,800mAh battery to help last long enough to do just about anything you need.

A tablet wouldn’t be complete without an HDMI out – so LG was sure to include it. Hopefully the HDMI out works as well as the Droid XYBOARD 10.1, which was absolutely flawless. All owners will have 32GB of onboard storage, and a MicroSD slot is available to support another 32GB. We’re not completely sure when we’ll see this tab on shelves, but it’s bound to be soon.

[via Android Central]


Seidio releases 3800mAh extended battery for VZW Galaxy Nexus

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 06:00 PM PST

Warning: The Seidio Innocell 3800mAh Super Extended Life Battery for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will not stop bullets. It cannot be used to jump your car battery. It does not double as a maritime anchor. You might be tempted to try any or all of these things once you slide its massive bulk into your Galaxy Nexus and insert the custom battery cover. Do not. It won’t end well. What the Innocell battery will do is give you some truly massive runtime, more than doubling the capacity of the standard 1850mAh battery included in the CDMA Nexus.

We’ve seen Seidio’s custom batteries before, not to mention their highly regarded Android cases. By all accounts, they’re a solid company with reliable batteries to offer – even if they’ve got all the style sense of a brick. Based on their supplied photo of the extended battery, it almost doubles the thickness, making the Galaxy Nexus a considerably huge phone when combined with its already large screen size. But you can’t put a price on all-day battery life – well, Seidio can. It’s $69.95.

Other considerations for prospective buyers include an off-color black battery cover, with Seidio’s own soft-touch plastic. Somewhat alarmingly, the replacement battery doesn’t include an NFC chip, which is integrated into both Samsung’s default battery and the extended 2100mAh version currently on sale from Verizon. Since the poor battery life was one of our only complaints in our Verizon Galaxy Nexus review, it might be worth the setbacks if you often find yourself between charges, but I’d personally rather use Samsung’s external battery charger and a few spares.

BACY38SSGNL-BK-2 BACY38SSGNL-BK-3 BACY38SSGNL-BK-6
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 Droid-Life]


Samsung teases possible Galaxy S III in CES presentation

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 05:32 PM PST

We were present at Samsung’s CES press conference last Monday, but even we didn’t spot the little gem that All About Samsung did: a previously unseen device shown off in a WiFi camera promotion. Is this the much-rumored Galaxy S III, or just a fanciful mock-up made for the CES presentation? You be the judge. Or rather, I will, since I’m writing this here article.

The device on display seems “real” in the physical sense, but the image it’s producing is almost certainly fake. Looking closely at a freeze frame betrays a bezel that’s uneven (not to mention ludicrously thin) and the basic Android/TouchWiz interface standbys like a signal meter are not present. In all likelihood we’re looking at a dummy unit with a placeholder screen and graphics overlaid digitally, with an actor just playing along.

All that said, the Galaxy S III is absolutely coming, and probably sooner rather than later. If Samsung’s leap from the original Galaxy S to the S II is any indication, we can expect a thinner profile, updated software and a larger screen – though it can’t get too much larger without being essentially a smaller version of the Galaxy Note. Previous rumors pegged it to have a 1.8Ghz dual-core processor, a 4.6-inch 720p Super AMOLED display (matching the Galaxy Nexus) a 12MP camera and an unbelievable 2GB of RAM.

It’s certainly possible that the device in the video (around the 6:40 mark) is the GSIII, but with so little official information available, a glimpse is all we’re getting for now. Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S III formally at Mobile World Congress in February, the same venue that the Galaxy S II got last year.


Call of Duty Elite busts onto Android Market

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 04:58 PM PST

Call of Duty fanatics have been hard at “work” racking up kills in Modern Warfare 3 for a couple of months now, and Activision’s promised Android tie-in is now available in the Android Market. The Call of Duty ELITE app ties into the Activision service of the same name, allowing players to remotely access statistics and player loadouts. It’s not a stand-alone game – for that, you’d be better off trying the Modern Combat series of “inspired” Android shooters.

Players can use the ELITE app to check out their multiplayer statistics, including the ever-popular kill-to-death ratio. Perhaps more useful is the loadout editor: using the app, you can change what weapons and gear your virtual solider uses for the next time you enter the online arena. So, if you overhear your friend talking about how good he’s getting with his fancy new shotgun, it might be a good idea to swap out yours for a mid-range rifle before you face each other on the opposite side of a map.

You’ll need to subscribe to the Call of Duty: ELITE service before using the app, and have players in a t least a few recent multiplayer battles. At $49.99 a year for console players (the PC version isn’t out yet) it’s an expensive proposition, so the service and the app is only for the most dedicated of cowadooty Call of Duty players. Initial reviews in the Android Market are not positive, citing a poor UI and buggy experience. Here’s hoping that these can be improved for Activision’s customers.

[via Joystiq]


Intel claims better Android performance on Medfield chips

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 04:03 PM PST

Intel made a splash at CES when its partner Lenovo showed off the Racer-A/K800, the first Android-powered smartphone to use Intel’s chip design. Though the chip giant is late and in many ways behind in the smartphone game at the moment, they don’t intend to be an also-ran. Mike Bell, formerly of Palm and currently Intel’s vice president of Ultra Mobility, claimed in an interview with EE Times that the Medfield system-on-a-chip would make huge advancements in both power and efficiency on Android.

“We have adopted Android as our platform of choice… we’re just building the best hardware in the world to make Android shine.” Bell claims that Medfield is demonstrably faster than competing chips while remaining at least as power efficient, a stance that will certainly raise enthusiast eyebrows if true. Previously Intel had aimed to make chips as fast as possible without regard for power savings, but Bell said that the 32 nanometer standard allows OEMs to have the best of both worlds.

Speed is important, but so is idleness, at least in the Android world. Bell said that the standby power draw for Medfield is “well within shouting distance of best-in class”, and that in web benchmarks Intel’s hardware “smokes the competition”. Based on our hands-on experience with Lenovo’s pre-production hardware, we’d say that those claims are certainly valid. The company is publishing a set of tools that will allow apps to be coded specifically for Intel hardware, but it says that existing applications should run fine when downloaded onto an Intel-inside smartphone.

Bell also played up Intel’s growing relationship with Google. “Intel architecture is now a first-class citizen, as far as Google is concerned,” said Bell, a statement that seems somewhat at odds with Google TV’s quick shift to ARM-based hardware. Intel claims that there will be no time lag between Google’s release of a standard ARM-based version of future Android software and an Intel-optimized one.

Intel plans to start its march into the Android world in China, with partners Lenovo and Motorola. The company hopes to expand to mare markets and OEMs late this year and in 2013.


Verizon drops DROID RAZR price to $199 sans SD card

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 02:59 PM PST

Good things come to those who wait. If you waited a few months before buying a Motorola DROID RAZR on Verizon, that good thing is a shiny $100 discount. The 16GB version of the DROID RAZR is now $199.99 on Verizon’s website, and should be the same at most corporate stores (though retail and online partners might be a little behind the curve). The 32GB version is now $299.99. The price drop is a little misleading – both models have 16BG of internal memory, but the more expensive one also comes with a 16GB card, which the cheaper version lacks.

What inspired this uncharacteristic generosity? Probably the upcoming DROID RAZR MAXX, a slightly thicker version of the RAZR with a massive 3300mAh battery, almost doubling the original’s battery life. That model will probably take the standard $300 introductory price that Motorola has been using for its new LTE models. Other than an expanded battery and a larger frame, the two phones are identical – the battery is still not removable, for instance, and it almost certainly won’t get rid of the locked bootloader blues.

Since 16GB MicroSD cards can be had for $30-40 at most retailers, the lower price seems like a no-brainer for anyone interested in Moto’s new flagship. This brings up an interesting question: why wasn’t the discount offered at launch, since early adopters will feel a little miffed now that an expanded model and a cheaper alternative have been shown barely two months after the RAZR’s launch? The obvious (and admittedly cynical) answer is that Verizon wanted a little more cash up front. Tisk, tisk.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1780 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4430
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
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 Phandroid]


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