Friday, 20 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community

LG announces Resident Evil 4 for Android, keeps it in Korea

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 10:52 AM PST

Survival horror fans, prepare to be excited… and then bitterly disappointed. LG (yup, LG, not developer Capcom) announced today that the excellent Resident Evil 4 is now available on Android. If you live in LG’s home territory of South Korea. And you have an LG phone with access to their proprietary U+ Market. And it uses an LTE radio. And you’ve got about five bucks you’re not particularly fond of. Android gamers, try to contain your joy.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen LG and Capcom buddy up for a major game release: the much-anticipated Street Fighter IV HD is also an LG exlusive, and looks to be so for some time. After promising a Q4 2011 release, LG and/or Capcom bumped the game back to 2012 to help promote the Street Fighter Global Championship 2012 Tournament. Owners of AT&T’s LG Nitro HD or the Optimus LTE international model can pick it up now in the LG Smart World app store. There’s no word on when Street Fighter will make it into the Android Market for non-LG devices.

By the look of the new game running on the Optimus LTE, it’s a port of the iOS version of Resident Evil 4 released back in 2009. Responses to that version weren’t overly positive, but LG’s latest phones should be able to run circles around the iPhone 3S, so here’s hoping that some updated hardware can match the original console releases. C’mon, Capcom, you’ve got customers waiting all over the world here – let’s get with the program and release Street Fighter IV HD and Resident Evil 4 to the masses.

[via The Verge]

Verizon drops HTC ThunderBolt to free on contract

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 10:19 AM PST

The ever-advancing march of technology, or at the very least short phone product cycles, makes fools of us all. Those who scorn early adoption can now laugh derisively at those of us who shelled out three C-notes to buy the HTC ThunderBolt way back in March of 2011, because now you can pick up one of the biggest phones of last year (in more ways than one) for free on a new two-year contract. Verizon’s website updated with the reduced pricing, though it includes an online discount and promotional discount, so you might not be able to find the same deal at retail locations.

All joking aside, there’s a lot to like about the ThunderBolt even now. a 4.3-inch screen and built-in kickstand combination makes for a great little video machine, even if it’s just 800×480 resolution. a 1Ghz single-core processor and 768MB of RAM is more than enough for Android, even now that the official Gingerbread update is out, and the 8MP camera can hold its own against newer HTC models like the Rezound. And of course, the ThunderBolt is Verizon’s first LTE phone, though its older hardware means that you’ll want to switch to 3G often to save battery.

But what should really get your attention is the mod community that’s sprung up around the ThunderBolt. IT was one of Verizon’s best-selling Android phones last year, and that means plenty of ROMs, apps, mods and patches, including official versions of CyanogenMod and MIUI. There’s more than one Ice Cream Sandwich ROM floating around as well. There’s no new on whether the reduced pricing will stick, but with the ThunderBolt upstaged by a handful of Verizon LTE devices already and new stock in the pipeline after Mobile World Congress, it’s entirely possible that this is the end of the line for HTC’s former flagship.

Samsung pokes Apple again in new Galaxy S II ad

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 09:49 AM PST

How to describe Samsung’s latest advertising campaign against Apple… obnoxious? Cheeky? Brutally honest, perhaps? Whatever you call it, the series of commercials is downright entertaining for Android fans of all creed and color, especially those who’ve experienced their iPhone-totting friends trying to hide pangs of regret as they lament their tiny, locked-down iDevice. Samsung’s latest ad, which it’s calling “Samsunged”, pokes fun at the iPhone’s lack of built-in turn by turn navigation.

To be fair, almost every Android phone and tablet has that feature, and has since the original Motorola DROID way back in 2009. Samsung is omitting certain truths withthe implication that turn by turn navigation is unique to the Galaxy S II, even if they don’t outright say it. But then, this series of adds has served more as a put down for rabid Apple fanatics (“Dude, you’re a barista.”) than an actual demonstration of Samsung’s products. It’s also a whole lot of fun for the Android faithful, no matter what your chosen manufacturer is. Though Samsung probably has a few particular reasons to be bitter at the moment.

Take a gander at the full ad below:

A Samsung representative said that the Next Big Thing campaign would continue until a major culmination during the Superbowl on February 13th 5th. We can’t wait to see what Samsung’s got cooked up for the big game, especially since Apple usually has at least one thirty-second dose of concentrated self-congratulation and hyperbole commercial every year. If you’re on Verizon, you can even watch the dueling ads from your Android smartphone.

[via SlashGear]

LG X3 brings Prada style and a Tegra 3 processor

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 09:15 AM PST

Quad-core phones are going to be all the rage in the next few months, and it looks like LG has no intention of letting HTC have all the fun. PocketNow got a look at the so-called LG X3, a Tegra 3-powered superphone that’s likely to be the manufacturer’s successor to the Optimus LTE. The phone’s style brings to mind the clean lines of the LG Prada phone 3.0, and that’s a very good thing. To round out impressive looks and drool-worthy specs, it’s rumored to be running Ice Cream Sandwich.

Aside from the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 system on a chip, the X3 has a 4.7-inch 720p display (probably using the same IPS technology found on the Nitro HD and Spectrum), 16GB of on-board storage, an 8MP rear and 1.3MP front-facing camera and NFC transaction capabilities. The battery is pegged at 200mAh, a solid 200mAh above the norm, and made all the more impressive since the phone reportedly comes in at less than 9mm thin. Though the X3 runs Ice Cream Sandwich according to the source, it’ll stick with the tried and true capacitive buttons below its large screen.

Naturally all these numbers are unofficial, though the press shot/render looks convincing enough. You can expect to see the X3 under a different retail name (my money’s on “Optimus Maximus”) and it probably won’t be available in any form for several months. The combination of style, size and spec make the X3 one to look forward to – expect to see it or something similar pop up at Mobile World Congress to combat new flagships from HTC and Samsung.

LG joins the dual SIM party with Optimus Net Dual for India

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 08:37 AM PST

Samsung’s been blowing it up lately with dual-SIM versions of their Galaxy phones lately, but LG doesn’t intend to let them get too far ahead. The LG Optimus Net Dual, which appears to be an updates version of the original Optimus S, is officially on sale in India for the equivalent of about $$210. The budget smartphone uses multiple GSM networks at a time and, surprisingly, appears to run Gingerbread. Dual-SIM devices are popular in developing countries, where cell networks can be few and far between and users often buy multiple pre-paid cards for more reliable coverage.

For your rupees you’ll get an 800mHz processor, a 3.2-inch 480×320 screen and a single 3 megapixel camera. While only 163 megabites of on-board memory are available to the user, you can add the standard 32GB with an external MicroSD card. a 1500mAh battery should be more than enough to run the Optimus Net Dual all day with moderate use, and the standard compliment of 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth has your connectivity options covered.

Dual-SIM phones like the Optimus Net Dual, Galaxy S II Duos and Motorola Xt882 are an in-between measure for countries and territories without reliable wireless broadband coverage. While there’s still large swatches of the US where only one GSM network is available, America has relatively stable roaming agreements between compatible carriers, a luxury that isn’t enjoyed elsewhere in the world. Until regional carriers in India, China and elsewhere can expand to cover more people, expect to see more and more dual SIM models of popular phones.


Android watch #472 runs Froyo and makes calls

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 07:43 AM PST

Between the WIMM One, I’m Watch, Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia SmartWatch and the MOTOACTV, you’d think there was some kind of trend going on. Add one more to the pile with niche Chinese OEM Phaeton Nice Electronics and their unnamed Android watch, which ARMDevices got a look at on the CES floor. But wait a minute – this is more than your typical Bluetooth-pairing, agenda-updating fancy pedometer: this device runs a full and mostly unmodified Android 2.2 OS with a cellular connection.

That makes the watch-phone, well, an actual phone, and piques our interest considerably. You’ll find all the standard budget Android bells and whistles shrunken down to fit on a 2-inch screen, including a 469Mhz processor, 800mAh battery (claimed battery life: 1.5 days) and SIM and MicroSD card slots. While the phone only supports EDGE data speeds at the moment, the manufacturer hopes to get it up to 3G by the time it finds some distribution partners. A camera faces forward instead of up so you can sight along your arm for photos. The 320×240 screen is actually pretty high-res for its size (the HTC Wildfire had the same at 3.2 inches) and uses capacitive touch technology.

Pricing is only good for distribution partners for now, and starts at $200 each for orders of 500 units. Like many smaller Chinese OEMs, Phaeton Nice Electronics has no plans to start selling the watch directly. As interesting as the idea is, we’ve seen “dumb” watch phones for years, and the execution never quite lives up to our Dick Tracy dreams. For one thing, holding your wrist up to do some mobile computing has never appealed outside of the comic books, and a design like this demands satellite devices like a Bluetooth headset and/or headphones. One the plus side, the company teased an updated model with a faster processor and Ice Cream Sandwich to come.

[via Liliputing]

Minecraft gets more than 700,000 downloads in just 2 months

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 07:17 AM PST

IF you haven’t heard of Minecraft, you don’t spend enough time on the Internet. (Good for you.) For a lot of other, the open-world construction game Minecraft has become an addiction on par with Angry Birds. The game debuted on Android as a Sony Xperia Play exclusive back in August, then a general Android Market release in October. Between then and now, Micecraft Pocket Edition has racked up an incredible 700,000 downloads across the Android and iPhone platforms.

True, there’s games that have an even bigger install base – Angry Birds has over 50 million installs on Android alone. But that game’s free on Android (and pretty cheap on iOS as well) whereas developer Mojang asks for $6.99 for Minecraft, pricing it higher than the vast majority of Android games. And not without due cause: the open-world 3D title packs a lot of gameplay into a small package. That said, it got a big boost back in December when Google included Minecraft in its 10 Billion Apps promotion and sold the game for a paltry ten cents.

What’s next for Minecraft? Pocket Edition is still missing a good chunk of the functionality found in the desktop counterpart, but a planned update on February 8th will include a lot of absent features. Standbys found in later versions, like Survival elements, animals and more block options. Unfortunately you still won’t have access to the game’s extensive crafting system. If you’re still on the fence, you can try the new Demo version in the Android Market without spending a penny – but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

[via Pocket Gamer]

CyanogenMod App Store already in development

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 06:48 AM PST

Just yesterday we reported on CyanogenMod and ClockworkMod Recovery developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta talking up the possibility of a specially-built app store for CyanogenMod, which would happily welcome all the apps that for one reason or another have gotten the boot from the Android Market. Koush showed off just that on his Google+ page, where he posed the original question: you can see an extremely early screenshot of the submission page for the “CyanogenMod App Store” below. The screenshot is hosted on the web site for ClockworkMod Recovery and ClockworkMod Tether, both of which Koush maintains himself.

At present, the developer interface (app submission page) is extremely basic, with little more than a title, description and change log. There isn’t even a field for uploading the APK file, though that’s probably further down the page. Considering the care and attention to detail that Koush and the rest of the CyanogenMod team put into their community-authored projects, I’d expect to see a much more robust version sooner rather than later. There still hasn’t been an official confirmation of the project, and as it expands, it could be abandoned or radically changed. We hope not.

Koush first proposed an open app store as an alternative to the Android Market after his own ClockworkMod Tether app was booted out of the Market at the behest of AT&T. It’s far from the first time that a carrier has axed a perfectly legal and legitimate app to protect their own existing product, like tethering and visual voicemail solutions. Programs that have been considered fair use for years like various classic game emulators (which are legally distinct from game ROMs) have also been kicked out, with little or no recourse for their developers and generally unsatisfactory responses from Google. An app store with the modder and/or power user in mind could certainly be a hit, especially if it ends up being ROM agnostic, as Koush detailed in his original outline.

HTC Edge rumored for a Mobile World Congress unveil on 2-26

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 06:25 AM PST

HTC’s got something big for Barcelona – they better had, considering their relatively shallow showing at CES. Mobile World Congress beckons, and as various news outlets (including this humble publication right here) receive their invitations for press events, rumors are spreading that HTC will reveal the quad-core Edge in is pre-MWC press conference on February 26th. Also on the docket is the HTC Ville, a slim 8mm slate phone that uses a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor.

If you put any stock in rumors, HTC will need to bring its A game. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S III just days later in their own event, at the same venue that they showed off the GS II last year. The two giants have been on top of the smartphone world for the better part of the last two years, but HTC has definitely gotten the worst of it lately, with a fourth quarter that fell far below both its own adjusted expectations and analysts’ predictions. Since CES was mostly a retread for Samsung on the mobile side, they’re due for a big announcement as well.

HTC has said that in 2012 they intend to create a smaller but more flexible product line in 2012, and the rendered Edge and Ville models are expected to make up the bulk of their high-end offerings. The Edge, with its 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED screen and Tegra 3 processor, would make a good flagship. The Ville may be a more mainstream workhorse model, replacing the Sensation which filled said role for the European market in 2011. In any case, we can’t wait to see what HTC’s really does bring to the table in February.

HTC Rezound owners can run a Sense-ICS based ROM if rooted

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 09:45 PM PST

Early builds of system software leak more often than expected, and fortunately HTC Rezound owners can now rejoice. Not only had an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) kernel and system.img leaked a few days ago – but developers have already compiled a couple easily flashable ROMs for the public to try out. Not only that, they’ve taken out some of Verizon’s ‘bloatware’ to help it run even smoother.

You’ll have to try them both out to tell us which one you prefer, but they are very similar since they are based on the same leaked RUU 3.10.605.7. The first is RezROM by IIIboredIII and the other is CleanROM by scrosier. To install either, you follow the same steps as flashing any other ROM.

First, place the ROM on the SD Card. Reboot into ClockworkMod and wipe data and do a factory reset. After flashing the ROM, you’ll be booted into fastboot automatically. From there just tap power and install the necessary kernel and boot.img. For now, all that seems to be broken are the animated data arrows – not bad at all for a couple days with the leaked source!

Verizon to offer Voice-over-LTE services by 2013

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 08:43 PM PST

From the moment we surfed the web over Verizon’s 4G LTE blazing speeds, we honestly couldn’t fathom a way to improve the experience. But then again, Verizon had already known their next step after 4G LTE expansion – incorporating Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services. They had planned VoLTE way back in MWC of last year.

The big news is that Verizon has already started testing a couple cities now with the new service, and these two should be ready for primetime early-on in 2013. They have done an excellent job rolling out their 4G LTE into the popular cities, and haven’t seemed to slow down at all. There is no reason to doubt their ability to do the same for VoLTE.

Official words from a Verizon spokeswoman let us know that they’re “continuing to work on VoLTE and the services it brings, and will share any launch or availability plans in due course”. For such a feature, I’m sure they’ll want to communicate their progress as soon as it is available. As every other carrier falls further behind Verizon’s benchmarks – will they ever be able to catch up?

[via Lightreading]

Verizon DROID RAZR in purple/light-pink available January 23rd

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 07:35 PM PST

Just like the Motorola RAZR, they’re going to keep the DROID RAZR in the limelight as long as humanly possible. And to aid with that, Verizon will have a pink version of the device available January 23rd. It has the same specs as the original DROID RAZR, except they felt like excluding MicroSD card storage for 16GB of internal storage.

I haven’t quite decided whether the phone looks purple or pink yet, but for some reason I keep leaning towards pink. The color isn’t quite as defined as Motorola’s iconic V3M model, but close nevertheless. It will still be made of the same kevlar material as the other original, black and white models out now too.

But the big question is, will they offer color options for the upcoming RAZR Maxx? If so then I’d suggest waiting – the 3300mAh battery in the Maxx is quite the upgrade. However, it will likely cost $299 whereas the pink RAZR will only be $199. It will ship with the same Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS that the others did, but be just as eligible for Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future.

[via Engadget]

CyanogenMod developer calls for rooted app store

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 06:08 PM PST

As forgiving as the Android ecosystem is, it’s still not as “open” as some would like – at the insistence of Google (or increasingly, one of its manufacturer or carrier partners) apps can be whisked away from the Android Market. Most of the apps that are routinely deleted are malware, pornography or violate copyright, but plenty are perfectly legitimate tools like emulators or tethering apps. Fed up with the situation,  Koushik “Koush” Dutta of CyanogenMod, ClockworkMod Recovery and ClockworkMod Tether called for suggestions for a “banned” market, a haven for apps and ROMs that have been turned out of the Android Market for one reason or another.

Koush formed the idea after AT&T got Google to pull ClockworkMod Tether from the Android Market, almost certainly to protect the integrity of its own paid smartphone tethering plans. He spoke with CyanogenMod team leader Steve Kondik about building an aftermarket app store into CyanogenMod, not unlike the Cydia app store which has become a de facto jailbroken app store for the iPhone. There are already several alternate app stores for Android, and most of the apps removed from the Android Market can be found somewhere, but a central repository for users and developers sounds like a pretty good idea to us.

And we’re not alone. Koush’s Google+ post has garnered over 500 comments and 1500 shares from excited Android fans, almost all of them overwhelmingly positive. His idea includes an app store built in to CyanogenMod (which currently requires a separate flashable ZIP file to gain access to the Android Market), and access to the store would be granted to non-CyanogenMod ROMs as well. The developer said he had approached Amazon about including their own Appstore in CyanogenMod, but was “brushed off”.

While it’s easy enough to find a “banned” app for those with the know-how, a central place for all of the mod-friendly apps that aren’t acceptable to to Google or its partners would be a handy thing to have. While Koush and Kondik have not yet committed to building such a store (and make no mistake, it would be a huge undertaking) android Community looks forward to further developments in this area.


Reckless Racing 2 coming to Xperia Play on February 2nd

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:10 PM PST

If you haven’t had enough of Polarbit’s slipping, sliding classic Reckless Racing, prepare for another installment in just a couple of weeks. The developer has confirmed that Reckless Racing 2 will be making its way to the Android Market on February 2nd, but for the foreseeable future, only Sony Ericsson Xperia Play owners can join in the fun. The sequel will include new cars and tracks, plus enhanced visuals and character customization.

If you haven’t heard of the original Reckless Racing, it was one of the first high-profile games to make the journey from iOS onto the Android Market. Putting a new spin on old-school top-down racers, Reckless Racing combined loose physics, impressive graphics and a hillbilly attitude to be one of the first commercial gaming hits on the platform. Since the initial release way back in October 2010, Lite and HD versions have been made available, as well as the chase-oriented quasi-sequel Reckless Getaway.

There’s no word on when Reckless Racing 2 will make its way to the general Android population, but if the Xperia Play exclusive follows other Android titles it should be available within the next two to four months. The original is still priced at $1.99, so the sequel should be somewhere in that range. Enjoy your racing, Xperia Play owners – we’ll be waiting patiently.

[via DroidGamers]

Verizon offering “Smartphone App Pack” With NFL Premium and more for $12.99

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 04:54 PM PST

Verizon has just kicked off a new promotion for their subscribers offering what they are calling the “Smartphone App Pack”. It sounds like a pretty decent deal at first but now that I’ve taken a closer look I’m not too impressed. For those that don’t want to use the free options like Google Maps Navigator, and Google Voice for voicemail Verizon is offering their own services together with NFL Premium for one low price.

According to the folks at Droid-Life the app pack isn’t the best deal for most but those that actually need the services the bundle is pretty decent. Verizon’s own VZ Navigator and Visual Voicemail alone are usually $12.99 a month but the new map pack includes both of those services as well as NFL Premium access to the NFL Mobile app, Ringtones, and Verizon video all for the same price.

This basically means you can get navigation, visual voicemail, and NFL Red Zone video streaming and more all for one low price. Verizon is currently offering NFL Mobile to all customers but it doesn’t include the premium features — those are regularly $9.99 a month. If you’ve recently bought a 4G LTE smartphone NFL Mobile Premium was included free of charge making this not really a deal at all for LTE customers. Basically if you don’t want to use the free services from Google and feel like giving Big Red more money, give it a try.

Sound like a deal to you guys?
verizonlogo verizon-app-pack

Verizon rolling out Voice over LTE in 2013

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 04:39 PM PST

New reports have recently appeared regarding Verizon and their VoLTE services. What this offers is voice over their 4G LTE networks, something that currently isn’t available. Verizon’s ever expanding 4G LTE network is for data only and all voice calls are placed on their extremely wide 3G cellular networks.

According to Light Reading, not only is Verizon set to rollout VoLTE late this year and into 2013, but they are currently running trials in two major cities. VoLTE will enable the simultaneous usage of voice and data, instead of just one or the other. No doubt you’ve seen the AT&T commercials knocking Verizon for not allowing both at the same time for true multi-tasking. With VoLTE users will have blazing fast data speeds, but also have full voice at the same time. No more missing emails while on a phone call.

It’s worth noting that Verizon 4G LTE phones such as the Thunderbolt have been using both simultaneously since it was launched. Getting data from LTE and voice over 3G. With VoLTE Verizon will be able to offer simultaneous voice and data both specifically with their 4G LTE networks — alleviating some of the pressure on the 3G networks. For now we don’t have any firm details but it appears Verizon is working hard currently testing VoLTE and will possibly be rolling this out in late 2012 and early 2013.

[via vzbuzz]

ThinkSound ms01 Monitor Series Earbuds Review

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 04:34 PM PST

Here at Android Community, we go through a lot of earbuds. Almost every phone we receive for review has its own companion pair (we’re practically swimming in Samsung buds) but all of them have one thing in common: they’re kinda cheap. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your sound with easily portable earbuds, ThinkSound’s series of high-end options have been popular for a while now. The company sent us a pair to review, and after using them at CES, we were downright floored by the quality.

The first thing you’ll notice when opening the ms01′s eco-friendly packaging is their unique styling. Yup, that’s real wood that those buds are made out of, which the company claims makes for a more rich and acoustically correct experience. The metal frame extends to 8mm speakers housed in comfy foam tips, and you get four sizes to choose from. Also included in the package are a pair of ear clips for active wear (which are, unfortunately, almost useless), a snappy cord organizer and a canvas carrying bag to keep it all together in.

The ms01 earbuds are marketed as a “studio monitor”, and aren’t meant for sweating it out in the gym. They also don’t include in-line controls or a microphone – for the latter, you can try some of the other models in the ThinkSound store. The cord is reinforced with Kevlar, and if that isn’t enough protection, they come with a one-year warranty. The headphones aren’t really intended for mobile phones, but we’ll forgive that, and you’re about to find out why.

UPDATE: Apparently all of ThinkSound’s current models are rated for a good bit of sweat resistance. Thanks to ThinkSound CEO Aaron Foster for his timely response in the comments section. 

What these buds do best is sound: they’re nothing short of the richest and most accurate-sounding earbuds I’ve ever had, short of custom-fit models at three or four times the price. The 18-20khz range makes mids and highs absolutely clear, and while bass is a little lacking, the sound is rock-steady all the way through even the highest volumes. And that’s pretty high, thanks to what ThinkSound is calling passive noise isolation, AKA “a fit that’s good enough to block out a good chunk of external sound”.

I was skeptical of this claim… until my CES roomie knocked on our hotel door three times without me hearing. With four sets of tips you’re sure to find one that makes a good fit in your ear canal. It’s not going to block out busy road noise or a screaming baby on a plane, but with even light music playing you should be gloriously free of distraction.

At $99.99 MSRP I probably wouldn’t have bought the ms01 earbuds for myself… until I tried them out. If you want great sound with no frills and unique styling, they’re well worth the entry price, and they’ve replaced my trusty old Sennheiser over-the-ear headphones for everyday listening. There are a few issues, like the aforementioned earclips and L/R icons that are almost invisible on the shiny metal bands. But overall the ms01 earbuds are the best lightweight, high-fidelity pair you’re going to find for a hundred bucks. Investigate the ts02+mic and ts01 Sport models if you want a microphone and sweat resistance, respectively.

IMG_3359 IMG_3372 IMG_3380 IMG_3411 IMG_3412 IMG_3417

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 just $399 at Staples tomorrow [Deal]

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 04:09 PM PST

Who wants a new Galaxy Tab 10.1? We are hearing this is only for Canadian retail stores but it appears the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is about to get a decent little $100 dollars off deal from Staples. If you live up in the ice cold parts of Canada and have been eying a good deal tomorrow you can get the Galaxy Tab for a great price.

Starting tomorrow, January 20th, Staples will be offering $100 off the 16GB WiFi Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and it can be yours for only $399. This is about the same price we’ve been seeing re-certified models go for — making this a pretty great deal for those that didn’t get one during Christmas or Black Friday.

We may have seen some sales and good prices here in the US but since launching in Canada the rate has been $499 for a large portion of the time. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is still one of, if not the best Android tablet available today (Prime and ICS aside). It rocks at 10.1″ display, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 16GB of internal storage. I still use my Galaxy Tab daily and would highly recommend those waiting for a good price to snatch this up, as it wont last long. Head to the nearest Staples starting tomorrow and pick one up for just $399. Let us know how it goes by sounding off in the comments below.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Tab 10.1
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier :
    Announced Date : March 22, 2011
    Release Date : June 08, 2011
    Also Known As : Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Google I/O Limited Edition
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.09 Inch
  • Width : 6.81 Inch
  • Depth : 0.34 Inch
  • Weight : 595 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 7000 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 120 hours
    Android OS:
  • 3.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution :3.2 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Unwired View]

DroidTropes app browses TVTropes, devours free time

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 03:18 PM PST

The most important addition to the Android Market in a while is easily Wikipedia’s official Android app, developer Teragadgets has something a little more lighthearted for Android users. DroidTropes is exactly what is sounds like: an Android app made specifically for pop culture knowledge vault The app is a free download and works with Android versions 2.1 and later.

Haven’t heard of TV Tropes? Think of it as a sort of Wikipedia for all those who obsessively catalog television, movies, video games, books, comics… well, any sort of media. While you might think that that’s covered pretty well by the big W, TVTropes is a much more casual environment with a unique organization scheme. Titles are broken up around “tropes”, or more accurately, cliches. Every time a villain leaves the hero in an intricate deathtrap without waiting to see if he actually dies, every time a car chase includes two men carrying a pane of glass into the path of a getaway vehicle, every time George Lucas add something ridiculous to the original Star Wars trilogy, it’s ruthlessly cataloged and index by the TVTropes faithful.

The app itself seems solid enough, though it hasn’t seen an update in over nine months and tablet support is a little iffy. Search for a show or individual trope, browse recently changed articles, or just load up a random page from the start screen. Have a care, though: has been known to murder free time like the Joker with a crowbar. Once you read up on your favorite show, movie or character, you’ll find yourself exploring the linked pages click by click (or in the app’s case, tap by tap) until you realize that you’ve wasted valuable entertainment hours reading about entertainment. Consider yourself warned.

[via Reddit]

Google’s fourth quarter: 250 million Android devices, 11 billion app downloads

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 02:34 PM PST

If the reports that Apple was “catching up” with Android yesterday made anyone contemplative (and contemplate that it was a narrow focus on new smartphone buyers), Google’s earnings call today should be enough to put any and all doubts to rest. Amid the regular pomp and circumstance of corporate back-patting, Google CEO Larry Page noted that over 250 million Android devices have been activated worldwide, with more than 11 billion (that’s billion with a B) apps have been downloaded from the Android Market. That’s a heck of a way to start off the new year.

The last time we’d heard either figure was back in 2011: Android passed the 200 million device mark in November,  and Google celebrated 10 billion app downloads in December with a 10-day sale. That’s a growth of 50 million Android phones and tablets, 25% of the former total, in just over two months. Total app downloads have grown by 10% in less than one. Both Android sales and usage are at what creative mathematicians like to call the hockey stick point of the graph, and there’s no indication that it’s slowing down, particularly in worldwide markets.

Google doesn’t discuss direct revenue in relation to Android (though Oracle’s been mighty forthcoming lately) but the company’s total earnings passed 10 billion dollars for the first time ever. The vast majority of the 10.6 billion figure comes from advertising, with $410 million from outside sources. It’s not all rose-colored, though – while Google’s income and profits are both growing, Q4 2011 was the slowest growth all year, mirroring hardships from just about every company in the technology sector.

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