Monday, 6 February 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Change DPI and Market settings easily with build.prop Editor

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 10:33 AM PST

If you’re a dedicated Android modder, you’re probably aware of the myriad tweaks you can apply via the build.prop file, located in the /system folder. It’s a popular method of changing your phone or tablet’s screen density (as in our Galaxy Nexus Tablet experiment) or fooling the Android Market into thinking you’ve got a different phone than the one you have. But Android’s built-in text editor leaves something to be desired, and the only alternative to a root-enabled file browser has been the tedious ADB method of backing up and swapping in modified build.prop files.

Until now, that is: generous XDA member  “nathanpc” (Nathan Campos) built an app specifically for rooted users to quickly and easily alter their build properties file. The build.prop editor is now in its 1.0 release, and while it’s a simple little app, it makes a common advanced process blessedly easier. Just install the app, grant it root permissions via the Superuser pop-up, and you can instantly modify any entry in the build.prop file to your liking. Both the property name (which in most cases, you won’t want to change) and the property key can be modified for each entry, and new properties can be added. Reboot to apply your changes.

Modder beware: messing with your build.prop file in the wrong way can give your Android phone or tablet some serious headaches. While the Editor generously includes a backup and restore function, it’s probably best to make your own backup as well before making any serious changes. With that warning out of the way, head on over to the Android Market to read Nathan’s warnings too, then download the app for free.

Android 4.0.5 for Galaxy Nexus gets teased by SFR

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 10:11 AM PST

After the update to Android 4.0.4 was just leaked for both the Galaxy Nexus and even the Nexus S this past week, we are now hearing rumors regarding the Android 4.0.5 update for both devices. According to a new roadmap leaked by France’s SFR we are now seeing a full list of when they expect updates to hit — and for what devices.

From looking over the list shown above. It appears the update to Android 4.0.5 will possibly be landing in March for both the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S. The other interesting note here is the fact they’ve also listed the HTC Sensation, Galaxy S II and others all seeing updates to a version of Ice Cream Sandwich around the same time frame.

With Android 4.0.5 we don’t expect any major changes other than Google fixes issues and improving the performance of their new Ice Cream Sandwich. For the others, they’ll finally be receiving official Android 4.0 updates to get them on the latest frozen treat rather than Gingerbread. We’ve seen leaks from HTC in the recent past, and expect updates to start rolling out for their popular devices soon. Could we see them by March? Who knows but I’m sure they are looking to hurry. Most likely Android 4.0.5 will be landing on the GSM Galaxy Nexus first, since the Verizon model just started seeing 4.0.4 this weekend.

[via Android Police]

Verizon and RedBox combine forces for Netflix competitor

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 09:25 AM PST

Rumors of more robust Verizon video service have been flying for a while now, but it just became official. Big Red announced a partnership with popular vending machine rental company RedBox, with the aim of creating a “New Consumer Choice For Video Entertainment”. Details are thin on the ground, but the new service will be subscription-based (as opposed to RedBox’s current pay-per-play model) and is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year. Language in the press release hints at an online video service complimented by access to RedBox’s kiosks scattered at locations around the United States.

Verizon has had a deep longing for content-based revenue for the better part of a decade, and watching the likes of Apple, Google and Netflix load up on mobile content hasn’t helped them with their envy. RedBox is extremely popular in the US as an alternative to NetFlix, especially in areas where poor or non-existent broadband make streaming video impractical. While Netflix has had a few hiccups in the last year thanks to poor business decisions and a fluctuating library, RedBox continues to dominate the retail rental space. Teaming up with a well-known brand is a good move on Verizon’s part.

The partnership will almost certainly mean that Verizon customers will have exclusive access to RedBox’s digital content, at least on the mobile side of things. That indicates Android and iOS apps, and considering how far out they’re throwing this thing, the apps will probably launch with the service. Pricing is a no-show, but expect it to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus in the $10-15 a month area. If the two companies can wrangle enough content to turn heads and somehow leverage RedBox’s retail presence, it could be a winner.

HTC Ville leaks again in new spy photos

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 08:55 AM PST

HTC just can’t keep a lid on its new workhorse model, code-named the HTC Ville. The phone  leaked in render form months ago, then in a surreptitious spy video showed the slinky phone running Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ville has once again popped up before its debut, this time in a series of blurrycam photos from Japanese site Ameblo. They don’t show anything we haven’t seen before, but the photos confirm the design, including its impressive thinness, a first among HTC’s usually chunky smartphones.

The Ville is expected to be HTC’s mid-range entry for 2012, matching the relative market location of the Sensation in 2012. Leaked specs include a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, and a 4.3-inch QHD screen with an AMOLED panel. Details on other phone specifications are scarce, but the device is said to be a mere 8.9mm thin – a record for HTC, and admirable even in today’s crowded market. Naturally the phone runs Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC’s Sense 4.0, though you’d be hard pressed to spot the differences from these photos alone.

The smaller size and lower power of the Ville contrast with the HTC Edge, expected to have a 4.7-inch screen, Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and a 720p screen. The Ville’s relatively mid-market status gives credence to the idea that we’ll see it first on T-Mobile in the US, probably replacing the Amaze 4G. While there’s certainly something going on at HTC’s pre-MWC event on February 26th, there’s no telling what it might be – though the quick removal of a previous version of the Ville video indicate that the company would prefer you don’t know about this phone just yet. See you in Barcelona.

image-11155995078-11775949363 image-11156010012-11775983373 image-11156010012-11775983375 o0457064011775983374

[via Android-Life]

Samsung schedules March 22nd event in France

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 08:14 AM PST

Samsung’s announced a new event! Quick, let’s dig through the Galaxy S III rumor mill and see what they’ll debut! Hold your horses, Samsung faithful – there’s reason to believe that the latest Samsung event isn’t the one the company hinted at when delaying the newest flagship. Two things point to a smaller announcement: one, it’s in March, just three weeks after Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And two, it takes place in France, and apparently in French as well. Meaning no disrespect to our French readers, that indicates a regional announcement, probably a modified existing model like the Galaxy S Advance or a partnership with a local carrier. The lingua franca (so to speak) for the tech world is English, and announcements tend to come as such wherever they are: see Google and Samsung’s Hong Kong announcement of the Galaxy Nexus.

The announcement was revealed via invite to a handful of french publications, including FrAndroid. While the fan site didn’t reveal a location or exact time, it’ll take place on March 22nd. This date also points to something other than the Galaxy S III, since one of the major reasons that Samsung chose to exclude the GSIII from its Mobile World Congress showing is thought to be that they want to wait to give the device better footing against the iPhone 5. For the last three years Apple hasn’t announced a new iPhone earlier than summer.

That said, what do we expect to find at this announcement? The current flagships are allready released throughout France and the rest of Europe, and it isn’t Samsung’s style to hold a press event for anything less than a showstopper. If I had to guess (and please bear in mind that it’s only a guess) I’d say that the company will probably reveal the rumored 11.6-inch Galaxy Tab at Mobile World Congress, then use the French event to announce partnerships with local carriers for existing phones and tablets. In any case, we’ll be keeping a close eye on it to see if Samsung has any post-MWC surprises.

[via UnwiredView]

Android most popular among first-time buyers in Q4, says NPD

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 07:41 AM PST

Despite a strong 4th quarter showing for Apple thanks to the launch of the iPhone 4S, Android continues to kick digital butt all over the world. Contradicting earlier numbers, analytics firm NPD reports that Android is even more popular among first-time smartphone buyers. Among US buyers from October through December, 57% chose Android, 34% chose iOS and just under 10% chose something else. Android led the overall race as well, with 48% of sales as opposed to Apple’s 43%. Android’s total US market share, as reported by a handful of firms, remains in the 46-48% range.

It’s not hard to see why Android continues to win in the US. A wide variety of form factors and price points give first-time buyers more than a single design and single screen size to choose from. While the iPhone is now available of three out of four of the big US carriers, Android is available basically anywhere, from top-tier providers with headline devices to small regional carriers with budget smartphones. The fact that mid-range Android phones tend to be a lot cheaper than their Apple counterpart doesn’t hurt, either.

The takeaway message here is that Android continues to grow, even in the US, where many thought it to be over-saturated. Both Android and iOS are still stealing market share from Windows Mobile/Windows Phone and BlackBerry, whose percentages have dropped in every quarter of the last year. With their combined share in the United States reaching 90%, soon enough Apple and Google will have no one left to pummel but each other. Is it any wonder that Cupertino is spending hundreds of millions to keep Android OEMs wrapped up in legal red tape?


Samsung Galaxy S III rumored to be a mere 7mm thin

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 06:57 AM PST

Today ends in the letter “y”, and you know what that means: more Galaxy S III rumors! The latest scuttlebutt amongst unnamed “industry insiders” points to a 7mm profile on Samsung’s flagship device, besting even the Motorola DROID RAZR for skinny dimensions. The rumor comes from ETnews, who also reports that the unnamed sources expect the phone to launch in May, probably as an international model. The only solid news concerning a Galaxy S II successor coming from Samsung is that it won’t be showing up at Mobile World Congress, as the company is saving the good stuff for its own event at an unspecified date.

How might Samsung achieve this feat? With smaller and more efficient components, particularly the main circuit board housing the SoC and most of the other primary parts. These crucial components are reportedly 20-30% slimmer than current models (and the 8.5mm Galaxy S II is no slouch). The sources claim that the camera module, still 8 megapixels, will be identical to the Galaxy S II. This means that the mythical device would have a “bump” on the camera end, not unlike Motorola’s DROID X and RAZR models. How might this impact Samsung’s standard Galaxy design, which uses a bulge at the bottom of the phone to house the radio and speaker? Who can say. Other predicted inclusions include a 2-megapixel front camera and LTE standard. The 8MP rear camera contradicts earlier rumors pointing towards a 12-megapixel sensor.

While a 7mm smartphone is impressive no matter who’s making it, it wouldn’t be the thinnest in the world by a long shot. Both Fujitsu with its Arrows Android phone and NEC with its MEDIAS device have hit 6.7mm thin, though neither are the hardware powerhouse that the Galaxy S III is expected to be. Other rumors of varying credibility for the GSIII include a waterproof coating, a 2Ghz Exynos processor and/or 2GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch 720p display (which seems much more likely). Samsung’s playing this one incredibly close to the vest – all we’ve seen of any device that even might be the Galaxy S III has been model numbers.

HTC posts somber 2011 results, low predictions for 2012

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 06:30 AM PST

The last half of 2011 wasn’t kind to top-tier smartphone manufacturer HTC. After predicting a flat final quarter and negative growth for the first part of 2012, the company failed to meet even those lowered expectations. Now they’ve published their 2011 financial results in full, and to say the least, it doesn’t look good. Year-over-year, the company dropped 2.5% in revenue even while making and selling more devices, with a negative growth of 52.55%. As one of the “Big Three” Android OEMs, this is disturbing news for HTC while Samsung continues to extend its lead worldwide.

“We dropped the ball,” said CFO Wintson Yung, referring both to the disappointing results and what the company considers to be a stagnant year for its own design and development teams. The executive took time to single out HTC’s first wave of LTE devices as particularly disheartening. The company’s outlook for this quarter – now about half over – isn’t any better, as they expect to drop total revenue by another 36% year-over-year. If international megacorps used sports vernacular, HTC would be calling this a “rebuilding year”.

Their strategy for that rebuild is centered around hero devices, less individual phones and tablets with more development and PR attention devoted to each. While neither has been officially unveiled, we’re fairly certain that the first two will be the HTC Ville and HTC Edge, a mid-range and high-end Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, respectively. The Ville was leaked on camera last week, along with its Sense UI 4.0 interface. Expect to see both devices, along with a somewhat humbled HTC promotional blitz, at Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks.

[via SlashGear]

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus update to Android 4.0.4 leaks, get it here

Posted: 05 Feb 2012 10:05 PM PST

Good news folks, not only did the Giants win the Super Bowl but the Verizon Galaxy Nexus (LTE model) has received a little over the air update to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich this weekend. The update isn’t officially rolling out yet, but has hit multiple devices and we have all the details, download links, and changes that we’ve seen thus far. Check it out below.

As a small reminder this is for the Verizon 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus only for the moment and will not work for the GSM international version. We were all hoping for Android 4.0.3 but this actually brings us to Android 4.0.4 instead. The build is IMM30B and brings with it plenty of changes from what I’m seeing although the update is only 29.2 MB in size.

At the very least they’ve updated the bootloader and the all important radios. This means they’ve made some changes and tweaks to the radio in the device. We are seeing much better service, especially with 4G LTE out of the gate. I now get a solid 3 bars of 4G LTE everywhere in my house, before I was lucky to get one. While we continue to look over the update if you’d like to see what all has been changed check out the unofficial change-log.

Now lets get to the good stuff. For those that don’t want to wait for the update to start rolling out to all users, you can get it now and give it a go. All the details are provided in the XDA links below but I’ll also toss in the ClockWorkMod instructions as that is what was easiest for me.

XDA Thread

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.4 — Download link

ClockWorkMod Instructions:

*Update will break root, but can easily be restored

– Download file from the link above
– Be running stock Android 4.0.2 (ICL53F) (stock radios and all)
– Rename to if you’d like (not needed for CWM)
– Reboot into CWM Recovery
– Choose “install zip from SD card”
– Find file, flash, reboot, enjoy that 4.0.4 flavored Ice Cream Sandwich

You can root using the original methods or just do what I did — try OTA RootKeeper from the Android Market. It backs up the root, and restores after the OTA. (Worked perfect here)

For those using stock recovery the standard process did not work for me, if you have better luck feel free to share the details in the comments below. Enjoy!

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : GALAXY Nexus 4G [Verizon]
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : December 14, 2011
    Release Date : December 15, 2011
    Also Known As : Nexus Prime
  • Screen Size : 4.65 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.33 Inch
  • Width : 2.67 Inch
  • Depth : 0.37 Inch
  • Weight : 150 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1850 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 150 hours
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.264 / AVC
  • SMS
  • MMS
    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
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 900
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

No comments:

Post a Comment