Saturday, 21 January 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Notion Ink Adam II just announced, sports better hardware

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 09:58 PM PST

Well, it didn’t come in December of 2011 as they stated, but Notion Ink has now officially announced their Notion Ink Adam II. They’ve also let us know it will be running a Texas Instruments OMAP 4400 dual-core processor alongside Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It will also boast a PowerVR SGX500 GPU, to help with their new Modular Based Software Architecture.

This new software is a way users will be able to better interact with “every single hardware feature”. We still haven’t seen anything yet on availability, but hopefully they don’t rush things. If you owned the original Adam, you may have had some serious hardware problems – or even bricked your device from one of their updates.

But we all learn from our mistakes, and that’s probably why Notion Ink plans on doing less outsourcing this time around. It had a pretty cool user interface that was ahead of its time during the initial launch. If we see innovation paired with some decent build quality, then maybe the Adam II will have a chance in the incredibly competitive tablet market.

[via Electronista] app now in Android Market

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 08:11 PM PST

It’s true that there’s an app for just about anything, and now apartment hunting is going to be a whole lot easier. Popular apartment searching website – – has launched its new application in the Android Market. For an application like this to really shine, it has to have some key features.

It needs to show apartments available near an exact location, and index listings with as many options as possible. Well, it seems they’ve done a great job in every area. Using GPS you can search for nearby apartments, and listings can be indexed by location, rice, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, and more. Not to mention, photos and videos of apartments are also viewable from within the app!

When you find an apartment that interests you, just favorite it within the app to easily compare it to others later. The iPhone app has already been available for some time, but Android makes up a huge chunk of the smartphone market, so its addition will really help many of us out. Let us know if it ends up helping you out!

[via MarketWatch]

Android Community App of the Week: DSP Manager

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 06:16 PM PST

There’s nothing more annoying than a smartphone with a weak speaker. Whenever I’m reviewing a new Android phone, I always check the external speaker volume, because it’s become an essential buying point for many readers. If you’re stuck with a phone that has a tiny, weak speaker, (like most of Samsung’s phones, unfortunately) you’re not out of luck. DSP Manager is a non-Market app that allows you to set up a custom equalizer setting, and with the right tweaks, raise your speaker volume to almost twice its normal output.

If your one of the hundreds of thousands of users who’ve loaded up CyanogenMod or one of its derivatives on your Android phone, you’ve probably already got DSP Manager: it’s developed by the CyanogenMod team for their series of ROMs. If you don’t, never fear: You can find the APK file on places like this one (or a simple Google search from your phone or tablet). You don’t need root permissions to run the app – just install it via the normal non-Market method, making sure that your Application settings allow it.

Once you install the APK, the interface isn’t exactly gorgeous. But ut works well enough: select your headset, phone speaker or Bluetooth device, then tap “enable” in the Equalizer section. You can choose from the basic music-themed presets, but I prefer to use the custom equalizer. Just tap on the graph, then slide your thumb to set the five EQ points. Raising the bars to the middle of the positive graph gives you about 25-50% of normal volume, while raising it all the way will just about double the output. Your experiences will depend upon your particular phone model, but every phone should see at least some benefit. Keep in mind that the higher you set the equalizer, the more distorted music and effects will become.

There’s other apps in the Android MArket that do the same thing, but for ease of use and customized control, DSP Manager can’t be beat. It makes using my Galaxy Nexus as a calendar and agenda possible, and without the boost I get from the app I’d sleep through half the alarms that I set. For helping make phones more usable - not to mention covering some of the oversights made by hardware manufacturers – DSP Manager is our pick for App of the Week.  If the CyanogenMod App Store comes through, expect it to be one of the first entries.

Screenshot_2012-01-20-20-02-48 Screenshot_2012-01-20-20-03-41 Screenshot_2012-01-20-20-03-49 Screenshot_2012-01-20-20-03-57 Screenshot_2012-01-20-20-04-26

Google CEO claims Android still doesn’t make much money

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 05:32 PM PST

Despite objections from certain multi-national software conglomerates, Google claimed in its latest quarterly report that Android still isn’t making much money – or at least not as much as it could. While Android is reaching towards 50% smartphone market share in nearly every world market, Google CEO Larry Page said that it still has a long way to go. ” We are in the early stages of monetization for a number of our new products, and Android is one of those.”

That seems like a strange thing to say about a platform that now stretches across a quarter-billion devices, with 11 billion downloads from the official Android Market. But remember that Android is open source -while Google vets devices for use with the Market, it charges no fees for the software itself. The primary method for Google’s Android monetization is assumed to be advertising – just like Google’s web services, its mobile strategy is cornered on selling ads. Even when Android is heavily modified, as on the Amazon Kindle Fire or inexpensive Chinese smartphones, Google still benefits from web use.

But how much? The company isn’t saying. While Google’s advertising revenue exceeded 10 billion dollars for the fourth quarter of 2011, it’s not required to disclose how much of that is coming from mobile sources. And if Page’s comments are anything to go by, it hopes to start making more than it is at the moment. While Android’ growth on the smartphone side of things may reach a saturation point by the end of 2011, inexpensive tablets are gaining a larger and larger share of the market against Apple’s iPad.

[via The New York Times]

Google Sky Map development ends, app goes open source

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 05:03 PM PST

If you’re a fan of Google’s augmented reality astronomy app Google Sky Map, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Google announced that major development on the app has ended, so there will be no more major official releases from the company. On the plus side, they’ve decided to release the open-source code for Sky Map, so given enough developer interest it should be around for quite some time.

Sky Map started as one of Google’s famous 20% projects, which six of its employees launched by working in their company-sponsored spare time.  The application was one of Android’s first showpiece apps, combining basic astronomical data overlaid on a smartphone camera to easily identify constellations, planets and other heavenly bodies by simply pointing the phone towards the sky. The free app has been downloaded over 10 million times from the Android Market.

Google is working with Carnegie Melon University so that its students can continue direct development. The company didn’t say if direct updated with computer scientist students’ code would make it into the android Market, but it’s a pretty safe bet. If you’ d like to give it a try for yourself, you can download the open-source code here. I fully expect a Star Trek themed version of Sky Map in the next few weeks which will allow me to view the Alpha Quadrant from my smartphone – get to it, devs.

[via AusDroid]

Samsung Galaxy Note takes a third spin around the FCC, headed for AT&T

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 04:32 PM PST

Once more, with feeling. For the third time since its announcement at IFA last year, Samsung’s Galaxy Note has passed through the hallowed halls of the Federal Communications Commission. But this time seems a little more pointed, since the latest model includes radio bands for AT&T’s growing LTE network, which were missing on both previous occasions.  The carrier announced their intention of selling the phone at CES after months of breathless anticipation on this side of the pond.

Though there’s still no news on exactly when the Galaxy Note will be available for purchase, the FCC clearance is a good sign that it will be sooner rather than later. Previous trips were probably initiated by Samsung itself, testing for a variety of carriers including Canadian ones. Of course, European versions of the Note have been compatible with AT&T’s standard HSPA+ radio bands since it was released in Europe, but good things come to those who wait – before too long Americans will have the options of a cheaper phone on subsidy with LTE speeds and (last but not least) the standard four Android navigation buttons hanging out underneath that massive screen.

If you’re not an AT&T customer, there are some other possible options coming down the pipeline. Industry rumors heavily implied that after a period of exclusivity the Galaxy Note will come to Verizon as the “Galaxy Journal”. IN Canada the Telus version looks like it will be available sometime in February, and that likely means that Rogers and Bell will follow suit shortly thereafter.

[via Wireless Goodness]

Acer Iconia A200 Tab available now for $349

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 04:30 PM PST

Coming in at a pretty fair price is Acer’s latest entry into the ever-growing Android tablet market. This is the Acer Iconia Tab A200 and along with it comes some slightly better looks and a thinner design than their first attempt at a tablet. The A500 and A100 looked quite similar but were a little chunky. Acer aims to change that with this new tablet although its nothing compared to the A700 we’ve seen lately.

There isn’t really anything new here and the A200 has a wrap sheet like most other tablets available today. That consists of a 10.1″ display with a 1280 x 800 resolution and is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. This is more of a cousin to their first round of tablets, rather than a second generation — although it is a bit thinner.

This Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet is available today both in-stores and online from Best Buy and will run you a pretty $349 to take home. We’ve heard a few reports of updates and expect a possible upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in February — making this even more appealing to potential buyers. This is one of the more affordable 10″ tablets around — will you be buying one?

Best Buy link

[via Android Central]

Motorola XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1 WiFi models now up for pre-order

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 03:53 PM PST

The Motorola XOOM 2 Xyboard tablets that launched last month on Verizon as the DROID XYBOARD tablets are about to be available soon for those looking for a WiFi only model. The tablets come in both an 8.2-inch and 10.1-inch flavors and are finally up for pre-order and are coming soon.

Both tablets launched on Verizon under the DROID branding and are actually quite awesome. We’ve reviewed both the 10 and 8.2″ models here and those are linked to below. Coming with dual-core procesors, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and super thin they are definetaly a step up from the original Xoom. Sadly they were priced way to high in my honest opinion and should hopefully do better being priced lower and WiFi only.

With the recent announcement by ASUS at CES of their quad-core Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich powered MeMO 7″ tablet for just $249 I don’t see Motorola selling many of these tablets. The 8.2″ starts at $399 for the WiFi model and $499 for the 10.1″ flavor. Making them under-powered and overpriced compared to the competition — as they only have dual-core processors on board. While Motorola has announced they’ll all be upgraded to Android 4.0 ICS in due time, I still find these prices a little too high and a tough sell.

Thoughts? Who will be picking up one of these lightweight and portable tablets from Motorola?

[via Motorola]

Counter-Strike Portable strafes onto Android

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 03:40 PM PST

A lot of you reading this have spent entirely too much time playing Counter-Strike, in its various computer and console iterations. That’s not OK. When you’re online, you should be spending your time reading the stories on your favorite Android blog (this one) and keeping hard-working bloggers under a roof. But if you wish to extend your infamy by wasting time in entirely the wrong digital avenue, you can now do it in the total absence of roofs, thanks to some even harder-working developers over at XDA. They’ve released an Android version of the perennial tactical shooter, and it’s already surprisingly complete.

If you are somehow ignorant of Counter-Strike, it’s one of the most popular first-person shooter games in the world. Based on the engine in the original Half-Life PC game, it first appeared as a free download way back in 1999. The game is deceptively simple: join either the counter-terrorist or terrorist squad, equip your soldier, then fight it out in deathmatch or other modes. Players that perform well and/or survive to the next round keep their equipment and get more cash for upgrades. Players that die… don’t. Thanks to its accurate weapon portrayals, speed and immense player community, Counter-Strike has remained incredibly popular even as more modern games have outpaced it in graphics.

The Android version is a modification based on Counter-Strike 1.6 and running on the Unity 3D game engine. Two download versions exist at present: version 5o for Android 2.0+ ARM 6 devices, and 6i for phones and tablets with ARM 7 processors running Android 2.3 or above. According to the developers, there are more than 600 players online at the moment. Naturally the game is still in the beta phase, but the developers are welcoming bug reports and other feedback.

[via Droid Gamers]

Sony ST25i “Kumquat” Xperia device spotted in the wild

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 03:08 PM PST

What you see here is a smartphone from Sony Ericsson that until now was unknown. Recent roadmap leaks put the odd codename “Kumquat” on our maps but now we are actually seeing pictures of the phone. Looking strikingly similar to the recently announced Xperia S the Kumquat will be coming in slightly smaller than its larger siblings and will have a 3.5″ screen. More details below.

The recently leaked roadmap (linked to below) is to be believed then this would be one of the upcoming new devices although nothing has been confirmed. The obvious smaller screen on the image shown above is a clear indicator that not only is this not the Xperia S, but it also has a lower resolution screen by the large icons. According to Xperia Blog the leaked device above will be 3.5″ and have an 854 x 480 resolution.

The Sony ST25i will also sport a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor and have a 5 megapixel camera around back. Looking at the sheer size of the phone in the leaked photo you can see it’s not much larger than Xperia ray we reviewed late last year. This should come in as another mid-range phone for Sony Ericsson, something we’ve seen plenty from them already. Which apparently isn’t holding them over too well given their recent reports of huge Q4 losses of over 318 million.

Either way with this leak, and others we’ve seen over the past week most of these devices will be on display at MWC 2012 in Barcelona and we will get all the details live in Spain.

[via Pocket Now]

LG Connect 4G LTE for Verizon hits FCC

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 02:34 PM PST

If the recent FCC filing uncovered confirms anything it looks like Verizon is slated to get another mid-priced 4G LTE handset heading to their shelves. We’ve seen plenty of the 4″ LG Connect 4G headed to MetroPCS as an LTE device, but the new filing also suggests it will be hitting Verizon too — along with the LG Spectrum.

The LG Spectrum is Verizon’s newest 4G LTE smartphone with a huge 4.5″ display and dual-core processor and with the Connect 4G they’ll have an even better priced phone available. The Connect 4G offers a 4.0″ NOVA display (not HD), and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 5 megapixel camera. Making this more of a mid-range device for the budget crowd.

You can’t really call this a mid-range phone but it’s one of the lower spec’d devices of the recently launched LTE phones for big red, and sits nicely under the larger brother released yesterday. With the new Spectrum costing just $199 with a new contract we suspect the Connect 4G will probably launch around the $149 price range. Making this one of the better price/performance 4G LTE smartphones around. While the design may slighter differ from the MetroPCS cousin hit the links below for more details on the Connect 4G LTE by LG.

[via wirelessgoodness]

ICS Nova Launcher adds custom folder icons and infinite scrolling

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 01:43 PM PST

Nova launcher has just received an awesome update today. While updates aren’t really needed to this already impressive home launcher we’ll gladly welcome additional improvements and options. Nova Launcher brings even more tweaks and settings to your Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich home screen.

For those unaware, this is an Ice Cream Sandwich-based launcher that has tons of tweaks and options giving those that want to change their Android without root. One feature that was highly requested for Nova and many other launchers has finally arrived — infinite scrolling. You can now endlessly flip through homescreens at will instead of having to head the other direction.

Naturally they’ve also added some bug fixes, performance and scrolling tweaks and improvements along with the update. The other main feature with this new update is custom folder icons. The new folders in ICS are an awesome improvement but they can look very out of place on a themed device or those wanting to change things up. Now you can completely change the folder and add any icon you’d like (as seen below).

Nova launcher is currently not available on the Android Market but all the details, changelogs and download links can be found over at this XDA thread. For those already running Nova just go to Nova settings > check for updates and enjoy!

nova-launcher-update nova

[via Droid-Life]

Paperlinks business-friendly QR code service hits Android

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 01:16 PM PST

Paperlinks, the popular business-friendly QC code scanner and generator has just landed on the Android Market. Starting today users can download this free app and have complete access to multiple types of QR code services. Another unique offering with Paperlinks is the inclusion of NFC support for Android.

With the new app for Android users can quickly and effectively create and scan QR codes. From there they offer a full history of created and scanned codes, and you can even share information using the NFC capabilities of Android. One of the main features of Paperlinks is the option to customize the QR codes and even add company logo’s and other designs into the code.


• Instant Scan – no touching, tapping or clicking. Unlike other QR reader apps, you just open Paperlinks and scan!
• Fast – go from app to content in a split second.
• History – Access to a complete list of all previous scans.
• Full Paperlinks integration with QR codes generated through

Looking through the Android market their new app doesn’t seem to be compatible with a wide array of devices yet but it was just launched today. It appears to only install on NFC equipped devices. Using Paperlinks as a simple QR scanner is also extremely quick and easy as it launches faster than any other app I’ve used thus far.

You can download the new Paperlinks app today from the market link below. Give it a test, then head to their official site to create your own free and custom QR codes.

Market Link

Apple attacks Samsung over Galaxy Nexus slide-to-unlock feature

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 12:00 PM PST

Oh this looks like fun. Apple is at it again this month and we have just learned they are taking another stab at Samsung in court over their new Samsung Galaxy Nexus and its slide-to-unlock feature. While the filing clearly is going after Samsung this is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feature — more aimed at Google than Samsung, only they get the trouble.

This is another one of those intellectual property (IP) lawsuits where Apple claims specifically the slide-to-unlock is infringing on their property and genius ideas. Just like multitouch things like pinch-to-zoom seem like a natural and only realistic way of completing the task — making these types of lawsuits seem goofy to me. We know Apple recently filed for this patent and it may not be finalized yet (link below) but it isn’t stopping them from getting the guns out a little premature.

The problem here is this is a core feature inside Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, not something specific to Samsung. All future handsets and ICS devices have this exact unlock system although it is not the only way we can unlock our devices. If Apple wins in court we may all have to settle for using out beard infested faces with the Android 4.0 “Face Unlock” feature or resort to some other method. The fact that Apple’s slide-to-unlock only works in one particular direction and way may differ from Android’s any direction will do system and save it from their lawyers, but only time will tell.

I’m going to hold back my thoughts on how I feel regarding this, and instead just let our readers sound off in the comment section below. What do you guys think? Is slide-to-unlock a feature that makes total sense on a touch-only device, and something that shouldn’t be allowed to be patented? Or does Apple have a good case? Keep it clean folks!

[via AllThingsD]

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