Friday, 17 February 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Samsung GT-i9300 appears in UAProf, not the Galaxy S III

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 11:08 AM PST

Now that Samsung has basically confirmed the Galaxy S III will not be revealed at this years Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain we can’t help but wonder when we’ll see more. With a few random leaks and the GT-9300 appearing on Samsung’s download center we now have another leak suggesting something totally different — or that the Galaxy S III could be a disappointment.

Now here is where things get interesting about this UAProf (User Agent Profile) that was pulled right from Samsung’s mobile site. They have the GT-i9300 listed with a 1024 x 600 resolution display. Something more in line with a lower resolution 7″ tablet — not a smartphone. The GT-i9200 was the Galaxy S II, the i9250 was the Galaxy Nexus. You’d only expect the GT-i9300 to be the Galaxy S III.

I have a feeling this is only a placeholder and not the real deal. If the Galaxy S III came with that low of a resolution there would be more than a few angry people. Considering the Galaxy Nexus has a huge 1280 x 800 HD resolution, as does the Galaxy Note. We are expecting the same or more from the SGSIII. Another possibility is this will be some other smartphone and not the Galaxy S III. We’ve also seen leaked pictures of the suspected SGSIII listed as the GT-i9500.

We still expect some details and announcements to come any day now regarding the Galaxy S III. Probably right before or after MWC 2012 to get everyone interested. We’ll update when we find more details.

[via SmartDroid.de]


HTC confirms ICS update for Thunderbolt, Incredible 2, Rezound and more

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 10:21 AM PST

While I wouldn’t call HTC one of the fastest when it comes to updating their Android devices, they do an excellent job at keeping everyone in the public eye informed with announcements. Just like last week, today HTC has posted an update over on Facebook detailing the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for devices specifically in the northern parts of the US.

The announcement last week that many HTC devices would be getting updated to Android 4.0 ICS starting in March was great news and included the HTC Sensation, Sensation XE and XL and a few others. One very important and hugely popular phone missing was the HTC Thunderbolt and we saw tons of unhappy customers over the announcement. Today HTC has detailed the updates in a “North American Edition” and it includes the LTE powered device this time around.

According to the news HTC will be updating the Thunderbolt, Rhyme, Incredible 2, and Rezound to Ice Cream Sandwich. Not to mention the HTC Raider for those in Canada. This basically sums things up and confirms most of their devices over the past year will all see upgrades as long as the hardware isn’t too extremely old. With HTC also announcing “early access previews” or beta builds of ICS in the coming days to a few lucky people we have a feeling the freezer is about to open any day now. Stay tuned for more details and enjoy all the links below for more information.


Angry Birds in Space, all new game coming March 22 [Video]

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 09:56 AM PST

If you’ve been dying for a new Angry Birds because you’ve beat every single level available from the regular, seasons, and everything else in-between we have some excellent news for you. Just when I thought things were about to start slowing down Rovio has just revealed the new Angry Birds Space! That’s right — “One small fling for a bird, one quantum leap for birdkind.”

This news has literally just hit the wires so we are still digging for more information. Rovio hasn’t shared any details on Facebook or Twitter but they’ve released an official video you can see below. Yahoo! broke the news this morning and we are just getting wind of it. We don’t really know what to expect but given the fact they’ve released awesome and impressive games in the past, I suspect they’ll do the same here. I’m hoping for something that makes it a bit different as the usual gameplay is getting old in my opinion.

Angry Birds are about to fling out of this planet and venture into space. I just hope they’ll be able to breathe ok out in the depths of the unknown. The video below doesn’t reveal anything really, but it does share the release date as coming March 22nd. Get ready all you bird flingers!

[via Droid-Life ; via Angry Birds]


HTC Fireball spotted again in WiFi certification

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 08:44 AM PST

We’ve caught a few fleeting glances of the upcoming HTC Fireball in Verizon Wireless’ internal computer systems, but there’s still no official word on the phone from either manufacturer or carrier. It’s definitely out there, though:  Ameblo spotted a filing for the new phone in the Wi-Fi.org certification database. That doesn’t mean much beyond the fact that it comes with WiFi (go figure) and that HTC and Verizon have already settled on plans to sell it. The only other thing we can say for sure is that it’s a 4G LTE phone.

Previous listing paired the HTC Fireball with the LG Spectrum (AKA Optimus LTE) for a December launch. Obviously that didn’t happen, and the Spectrum got a release all by itself. There was at least some evidence that both phones would get international data, and considering that global capabilities have been discovered in the HTC Rezound and officially unlocked in the DROID XYBOARDs, that’s still a possibility. However, at present the Spectrum hasn’t shown any indication, and the Fireball may have been a false alarm.

So what does the Fireball look like? Considering that the “ADR6410L” model number falls squarely in between the Thunderbolt and Rezound, I’d say it’s an updated LTE version of the DROID Incredible 2. That might be this shiny white phone spotted last week, running Ice Cream Sandwich in a spy video. Nothing’s set in stone, of course, and the two devices might be entirely unrelated, but at the moment it’s the best we’ve got to go on. Theories welcome in the comment section.

[via Droid-Life]


Skype updates for video calling on Samsung GSII Epic 4G Touch

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 08:11 AM PST

Better late than never, right? the latest update to the Skype app was posted to the Android Market yesterday, bringing a slightly updated calling UI and some basic bug fixes. And one more thing: video calling finally works on the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, one of the many Galaxy S II variants for the US market. The update comes out more than five months after the original launch of the phone back in  September. The addition of the (deep breath) Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch to the list of supported devices for video calling is the only major addition in this version of Skype.

In order for a phone to use Skype’s video chat feature, it has to have a front-facing camera, and that hasn’t been a standard feature for all that long. But in addition, the camera needs to support the same basic APIs that Skype uses – and sometimes custom manufacturer software can interfere with this. Second-generation HTC and Samsung phones were especially bad about Bluetooth compatibility, apparently due to the software used in their custom user interfaces.

You can download the Skype update from the Android Market now. Stock users of the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch may be in for a nice surprise soon – some official literature posted on the carrier’s forum indicates that they’re planning an upgrade to Android 4.0.3. If it comes as soon as it seems to be, the SGSIIE4GT may be the first US version of the Galaxy S II to get Ice Cream Sandwich. Sadly, a software update can’t do anything about that name.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Epic 4G Touch
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Unknown
    Announced Date : August 31, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.5 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Plus
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.1 Inch
  • Width : 2.70 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 129 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1800 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Exynos
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Apple knows no shame: steals ICS camera unlock for iOS

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 07:19 AM PST

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” A certain megalomaniacal CEO is famous for this phrase, though the company that he co-founded seems to have forgotten the often-repeated mantra in the last few years. There seem to be plenty of “great artists” left at Apple: In addition to basically lifting Android’s notification system and slapping it into iOS 4, then copying homescreen folders for iOS 5, it looks like they’re planning on yet another misappropriation for iOS 5.1. BGR caught an early glance at the new lockscreen for the March update, which has an “innovative” feature added: users can either swipe right to unlock the phone, or swipe up to go straight to the camera app.

Yup, it’s a tongue-in-cheek copy of Ice Cream Sandwich’s new unlock screen, which offers the same two functions in right and left swipes, respectively. This wouldn’t be aggravating, or even notable, if it weren’t for the fact that Apple’s suing the pants off of absolutely everyone it can drag into a courtroom over its original slide-to-unlock patent. They’re suing Motorola in Germany and Samsung right here in the good old US of A… for the Ice Cream Sandwich unlock screen. The same exact feature that they’re copying for an OS release four months later. Stay classy, Apple.

It’s not as if Android hasn’t used other mobile OS platforms as an influence. The app switch feature in Ice Cream Sandwich is basically a version of WebOS’ card system originally developed by Palm. And speaking of Palm, the iPhone homescreen grid that Apple has so staunchly refused to change is a carbon copy of PalmOS’s launcher that goes back to the early 90s. It really doesn’t bother us if Apple wants to use good (if less than original) ideas to make their products better – that’s part of the consumer electronics world. But to bust out the lawyers to sue a companies that are improving on your idea, then steal it anyway? That’s just downright hypocrisy.


DROID RAZR MAXX ultimate battery test: 3-day business trip with no charger

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 06:50 AM PST

Battery life is a problem for all mobile electronics, and Android is no exception. If there’s one thing holding the platform back from a hardware perspective, it’s the inability for high-powered Android phones to last through a full day without additional charges. There is one exception: the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX. With its massive 3300mAh battery impressively kept in a housing thinner than 9mm, it’s nothing less than the best combination of power, longevity and high-end components of any phone on the market.

So I decided to test the DROID RAZR MAXX to its limits. From Monday, February 13th through Wednesday, February 15th, I took a three-day business trip from Dallas-Fort Worth to Las Vegas. I took the RAZR MAXX and left its charger at home, as if I had forgotten it. Over the trip I used it as my only phone. I wanted to see if you could use the phone in an “emergency” situation, as if you had no method of getting power into the phone at all. Here’s a log of my experiences.

In keeping with the theme of a businessman who’s aware that he won’t have any access to a charge for three days, I took the precautions that I thought might get me through. I immediately disabled 4G LTE, and made sure to keep away from superfluous browsing and video. I resolved not to use the DROID RAZR MAXX’s tethering function, since they’d kill the battery and I’d have constant access to WiFi anyway. As the beginning of the trip I set the screen brightness at about 20%.

Monday

9:18 AM CST – After an hour and a half of driving with Google Navigation and music playing through my truck’s Bluetooth stereo, I took the DROID RAZR MAXX off its charger and dock. This was the last time I plugged the phone into anything for the entire trip. I hopped on the airport shuttle and headed to the gate.

10:04 AM CST – After getting through baggage check and security, I settled down at the gate to do a little work pre-flight. When I checked the battery gauge outside the gate, it still read 100%. I periodically checked my email and random websites over an hour. I boarded and began listening to an audiobook, placing the phone in Airplane Mode when directed. I listened to the book for the entire 150-minute flight, stopping only when directed. I fudged a little and didn’t turn the phone completely off for takeoff or landing – don’t turn me in to the FAA.

1:16 PM PST: I landed in Las Vegas and boarded the bus to my hotel. This was an intensive period of use, since I was catching up with my bosses and colleagues, and doing some light recreational web surfing. I made a couple of calls to my contacts at the conference. It took over an hour to get to the hotel and check in, thanks to some confusion on the part of the conference organizers.

2:36 PM PST: I get to my hotel room and immediately check the gauge – still 80%. Over the next three hours I made several calls and checked emails and texts, but refrained from strenuous activity like YouTube. After working for a couple of hours in my room, I called some family that was in Las Vegas at the same time to organize dinner – this took some significant time off the battery. I also downloaded some tools for my office workflow.

8:31 PM PST: I went to a dinner/open social put on by the organizers of the event in the hotel. Relatively light use was called for as I mingled for a little over an hour. Heading back up to my room, I continued working, then started organizing for the events of the following day. I continued listening to my audiobook as I prepared for bed.

10:46 PM PST: As I hit the sack (at almost 1 AM by my body’s internal clock) and checked the gauge. It read 70% – not bad, considering the strain I had put on it. If it kept up this pace it might make it through.

Tuesday

6:45 AM: I woke up early (thanks to the DROID RAZR MAXX’s alarm clock) and got my gear together, then showered and headed down to breakfast. I was just starting on my coffee before I remembered to check the battery: 60%. Not a good start to the day.

7:45 AM: I went through my morning routine of checking emails, Twitter and Google Reader, firing off a few responses and checking my standard web comics. At 7:45 I headed for the conference’s main presentation. Over the next four and a half hours I checked my phone only fleetingly, looking at emails a half-dozen times to keep up with the trail of emails coming from the office. When necessary I checked the wen for references or breaking news.

12:51 PM: Lunch at the hotel. Another furious session of emails, Twitter and relevant surfing. When I paused to write a quick post, the phone read 40% battery remaining – a poor showing, probably because the phone had to search for signal inside the large Las Vegas hotel’s ballrooms. At this point the RAZR MAXX’s indicator light became a crucial battery saving tool: I began pulling the phone out of my pocket and waiting to see if the light was flashing or not, instead of turning the screen on every time.

4:15 PM After a series of presentations, I returned to my room to do more work. The battery gauge still read 40%. Motorola doesn’t include more precise measurements in the basic meter, but using Android’s System app I could see that the charge was actually closer to 45%. I worked for a couple of hours, using the phone minimally. At this point I set the screen brightness to 1%, where it stayed for the rest of the trip. Thankfully, the AMOLED panel was bright enough that it didn’t cause problems.

6:45 PM I started the long walk to an adjacent hotel, where the conference organizers had paid for a show for the attendees. It was about a 20 minute walk, so I checked email and a little Facebook while I went, listening to my audiobook as well. One call from a friend came in and we spoke for about five minutes – the only call of the day, in stark contrast to Monday, when I’d had about 8 or 9. At the show the indicator light was a social benefit as well as a battery saver, since I could check to make sure that I had not updates from my bosses without disturbing those around me.

10:23 PM After a couple of drinks at the hotel bar I returned to my room. I did some more work, then listened to my audiobook again as I performed my evening ablutions. When I set the alarm for the morning I checked the phone’s battery: 30%. The phone had been running for thirty-nine hours. While this was indeed some great battery life, things weren’t looking good form y little experiment.

Wednesday

7:00 AM PST: I awoke to the phone’s alarm and a disturbing site: the battery had fallen to 20% in the night, and the gauge finally shifted into the orange mode. When I checked the advanced Settings gauge at breakfast at 8:17, the phone had been running completely on battery for just over two days, and read 22%. To keep the test honest, I checked my email, Twitter and RSS feeds again, as I always do at breakfast. I checked out of the hotel.

10:16 AM PST: During the morning presentations I kept to my checks using just the indicator light, only turning the phone on when absolutely necessary. I still needed to check emails at least twice an hour, and had to do some quick web research on more than one occasion. When heading to the keynote speech in a large, darkened ballroom, the DROID RAZR MAXX was saved a little grief: I carry a small flashlight in my pocket, and thus didn’t use the phone’s LED light as many might have.

12:46 PM PST: While I was checking Android Community at lunch, the first warning from the phone popped up: 15% battery remaining, connect a charger. This was two days and five hours after I’d taken it off the charger in Dallas. The DROID RAZR MAXX’s Smart Actions kicked in automatically, and I allowed it to disable GPS, but not automatic syncing or updates. Over the next few hours I attended the closing presentations, using my phone as little as possible.

5:04 PM PST: I boarded the shuttle to get to the Las Vegas Airport and checked the gauge: 10%, with another five hours to go at least. Though I wanted to begin my audiobook again, I refrained, only using the phone to check my email. Once at the airport I loaded up Flight Track and checked the status of my return flight. I set the alarm to wake me just in case I dozed off while waiting for the plane.

7:30 PM PST: Once I boarded the plane I immediately put the phone in airplane mode, and left it there for the entirety of the flight. Since I was pretty exhausted, I took nap for the duration and left the phone alone, though again I didn’t turn it completely off to keep continuity. The phone still read a 10% charge, and I hadn’t called anyone that day.

12:10 AM CST (Thursday): I landed in Dallas after midnight, then immediately checked the phone. It was still at 10% charge before I re-enabled the cellular data! If I could collect my bags and take the shuttle back to my truck soon enough, I could get through nearly three days of active use without a single charge. Unfortunately it was so late that regular shuttle runs to my parking service had ended, and I had to call them to pick me up at the terminal. When I hung up the phone, the gauge red just 5%, and the battery warning popped up every time I turned on the screen.

12:48PM CST (Thursday): I resisted the urge to check my phone on the shuttle, except for one email. When I got back to my truck, the gauge read 5%, with the advanced settings graph showing closer to 3%. The DROID RAZR MAXX made it! It lasted two days, fifteen hours and thirty minutes on a full charge. I shoved it in my car dock, then gave it some blessed electrical relief so I could navigate home and listen to some music.

This test isn’t completely realistic – I could have charged the phone via USB at any time, as could any business traveler, and chargers are available at most airports and hotels. I also used some knowledge of Android that not everyone might have, especially disabling LTE. But the accomplishment is impressive nonetheless: I used the DROID RAZR MAXX as my only phone for three full days of communication and mobile web access, if sparingly for the last day.

The phone is not without its faults: large as it is, the battery isn’t removable, so there’s no way to extend that massive run time. I’m also not sold on Motorola’s user interface, especially the launcher. That said, without the Smart Actions app and the battery-saving AMOLED screen, the terst probably would have failed. If you’re looking for a smartphone that can go the distance, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is your best bet. If you want a more in-depth look at the hardware, check out Android Community’s DROID RAZR MAXX review.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR MAXX
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : January 13, 2011
    Release Date : January 26, 2011
    Also Known As : RAZR MAXX, DROID RAZR MAXX
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.27 Inch
  • Depth : NA
  • Weight : NA
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 3300 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 380 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 : NA
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    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 :


Acer Iconia Tab A510 clears FCC

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 11:28 PM PST

The Acer Iconia Tab A510, previously only seen to debut in Europe, has been approved by the FCC and could see North American store shelves soon. The device itself won’t skip a beat, as the A510 is amped up with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor running at 1.3GHz. It looks much like the A500, but will outperform it in every way.


The A510 has a 1280×800 resolution over a 10.1″ display, 1GB of RAM, and will ship with Android 4.0. This version will be WiFi only, but Acer plans to release another model, the A511, integrating 4G data. Upon purchase, you’ll have the option of buying a 16, 32, or 64GB model. The starting price is said to be 499 Euros ($655.18).

It also sports a massive 9,800 mAh battery for an entire day (or two) of usage. Once this hits the US, there will finally be an Android tablet worthy of competing with the Transformer Prime. With both equipped with a Tegra 3, ICS, and 1GB RAM – it’s going to be a close race. Hopefully we see this tablet in March as previously mentioned.

[via Phandroid]


Google patent depicts future lockscreen features on Android

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 10:15 PM PST

After Apple patented their “Slide To Unlock” lockscreen method, Google has been busy readying their own next-gen unlock features. Surprisingly, it looks to work just like the one used in HTC Sense 3.0. By sliding applications to the respective unlock area, users will be able to instantly access particular apps with ease.


This proposal manages to dodge Apple’s patents, so there’s a good chance we could see it in a later version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or even 5.0 (Jelly Bean). There were actually multiple menu elements proposed within the filing, so it’s hard to say which one they will end up going with – but each implements application access straight from the lockscreen.

Figure 4 looks surprisingly similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note’s lockscreen. All in all, I’m sure Samsung will be thrilled once it can roll out updates to future devices and therefore avoid the wrath of Apple. They’ve been the target of some serious law suits and this should cut them a break.

[via PatentlyApple]


Motorola DROID XYBOARD successfully rooted

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 09:23 PM PST

Its been some time since Verizon launched the Motorola DROID XYBOARD, and those that love to mod their devices have had to conform to using the included stock Honeycomb ROM. That’s all about to change thanks to developer Dan Rosenberg! The bootloader is still locked down, but root access is now available.


Even better, his method only takes one click to root and has been confirmed to work on both the XYBOARD 10.1 and 8.2. A theme, courtesy of bignadad from MyDroidWorld, should also be ready by this weekend. This isn’t a bad start at all, and many other mods are sure to follow. Below is a screenshot of the first theme to hit the XYBOARD:

After using the 10.1 version, it’s easy to tell this tablet can be pushed beyond its current boundaries. Hopefully, we see the bootloader unlocked in the near future. It would be great to know CWM and some custom kernels could be on their way.

[via TalkAndroid]


Android Community Evening Wrap-Up: February 16, 2012

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 08:29 PM PST

Today we had a handful of stories that deserved to be rehashed to make sure those of you that missed them the first time. First up, a rumor surfaced that Android 5.0 ‘Jelly Bean’ could be due in 2nd quarter of this year. The term ‘Jelly Bean’ hasn’t even been confirmed, so take this with a grain of salt. However, sources claim Google is hinting for its hardware partners to consider it for new tablets and notebooks.


Later, Samsung’s official Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) ROM for the Galaxy Note leaked out. Unfortunately, it won’t successfully boot on any version but I9220. This model is localized in China, so the international GSM version as well as AT&T’s won’t be compatible.

A possible Google Drive screenshot and logo may have leaked today, but with no official announcement it’s too early to tell. The screenshot only shows uploaded documents, so it could easily be a tampered screenshot of Google Docs. The logo however, seems completely legit. It’s simplistic, and looks to be made by Google.

Finally, be sure to check out our hands-on and unboxing of the Lenovo IdeaPad A1. We revisited the A1 in hopes to see how it fairs to the Kindle Fire – so check back after the weekend to see a full review.


HTC aiming for Spotify with Beats Audio music streaming

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 06:01 PM PST

HTC is looking to expand their reach and partnership with Beats Audio by taking on music streaming providers such as Spotify and Pandora. According to new details revealed by GigaOM, HTC and Beats Audio co-founder Jimmy Lovine are planning their own Beats-powered music streaming service for HTC smartphones and tablets.

Reports also suggest possible HTC/Beats Audio branded bluetooth speakers and docks that we might be seeing this month at Mobile World Congress. HTC already offers speakers with the HTC Rhyme but according to these tipsters they are also looking to release a more powerful and substantial “wireless boombox” to offer with their devices. We are hearing that HTC has been in talks with Spotify and many other music streaming services in the recent past trying to work out some sort of deal — but have failed miserably and weren’t able to get anything done.

The failed attempts to partner with some other services actually isn’t that bad though. Beats Audio co-founder Jimmy Lovine also happens to be pretty big guy around the music industry and is the head of Geffen A&M, a Universal Music subsidiary. Using his added weight and powers to help seal the deal with record labels and get some official licences out of the way could really help HTC in this situation.

HTC currently offers HTC Watch to users that want to stream movies and TV shows so this could be one more additional feature to add to their list. We don’t have any further details, nor do we know if this will be a free service like Google Music, or a paid subscription like Spotify and others. Hopefully we’ll learn more at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. With three new impressive phones coming soon, Playstation Suite certification for gaming, HTC Speak Siri alternative, and now music streaming on the horizon HTC is looking better and better for 2012.

[via SlashGear]


CyanogenMod 9 for the HP TouchPad gets nightly updates

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 05:24 PM PST

Thought you’d seen the last of everyone’s favorite firesale mod platform? Think again. The CyanogenMod team’s Ice Cream Sandwich update for the HP TouchPad has unofficially graduated from major beta releases to nightly updates. Those with the inclination to try the latest and greatest in community-authored open source code can now flash updated ROMs every day, courtesy of the folks at TeamWin. They’re syncing the latest Alpha build with nightly addition to CyanogenMod 9′s code, added to the main branch daily, then posting them on their own. You check the download page here to see the latest files.

Technically these releases are “kangs”, independent branches of the core CyanogenMod code. Even so, CyanogenMod TouchPad developer Erik “Dalingrin” Hardesty  recommends TeamWin’s ROMs for those who want quicker updates, as the official ROMs posted on the main RootzWiki thread can go weeks or months between updates. When the CM9 team updates their official version of the TouchPad ROM, TeamWin will probably synchronize the code and start their own nightly builds all over.

At the moment CM9 on the TouchPad is at Alpha .6 stage, and while impressive, isn’t really ready for “daily driver” status. There are still a few things that aren’t working correctly, including some audio and video. The camera is completely inoperative, and there are still issues with the Android Market. For the time being conservative users should stick with CyanogenMod 7 Gingerbread. A lot of these problems should be fixed soon, though: HP has given the code for its custom Android TouchPad kernel to the CyanogenMod team. That aught to help iron out the wrinkles quickly enough.

[via Liliputing]


HTC One X full specifications leaked before MWC

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 04:38 PM PST

We’ve been drooling over the newly-christened HTC One X (formerly the Endeavor and/or Edge) for months now, due in no small part to its ultra high-end rumored specifications. Paul “Modaco“ O’Brien has got a mostly complete list of specifications from a tipster, including all the nitty gritty details you’ve been wondering about. First of all, the shiniest jewel in the One X’s crown is a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia, which should help the phone rocket to the top of the speed charts if nothing else. The Tegra 3 runs at 1.5Ghz, and is supplimented with a full gigabyte of RAM.

The screen was previously rumored to be of the AMOLED variety, but Modaco claims that it’ll be coming in a Super LCD version instead .That seems a little dubious, since the current US flagship the Rezound uses an AMOLED screen. The panel is a massive 4.7 inches and has a full 720p resolution. 32GB of storage space will have to do – there’s no MicroSD card slot at all. On the plus side, HTC has implemented a standard USB Mass Storage mode, in stark contrast to the Galaxy Nexus’ MTP-only file transfer system. The One X runs Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC’s custom Sense UI, now in its 4.0 form.

Elsewhere you get an 8MP 1080p rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, an 1800mAh battery (which may or may not be removable), an NFC chip and FM radio capability. Standard HSPA+ (international version) is complimented with WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4. The reportedly slim body hasn’t got full dimensions yet, but it will have Nexus One/Galaxy Nexus-style electrical contacts, for easy insertion and charging on a desktop or car dock.

As far as buttons go, the One X will have only the power and volume rocker. Contradicting the leaked photos, HTC will be using virtual navigation buttons, at least according to the leak. Beats Audio and Beats-branded accessories are a given.  We’ll almost certainly see the HTC One X/Endeavor/Edge at Mobile World Congress, where HTC has a pre-show event scheduled for February 26th. Android Community will be there to bring you all the news.


Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Hands-on and unboxing

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 04:31 PM PST

If you’ve been looking for a budget Android tablet and some of the current offerings aren’t quite what you’ve been looking for then I might have just the device for you. The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet. Today we had the opportunity to unbox it and get a quick hands-on for everyone to check out. It might not be the fastest or the best, and it runs on Gingerbread but take a look below to see more.

The IdeaPad A1 has been available for a few months now but we decided to take another look. This tablet is Lenovo’s third Android slate and comes in at the budget-friendly price of just $199. Below you’ll see we unbox and get some hands-on with this Android 2.3 Gingerbread slate for a quick video and you can expect our full thoughts soon.

Now for $199 it isn’t the best tablet on the block, but it also isn’t the most expensive either. The Lenovo A1 comes with a single-core 1.0 GHz processor and only 512MB of RAM. Making it one of the lower powered tablets available. It does however come with a 7″ 1024 x 600 resolution display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 5 megapixel camera on the rear and 16GB of internal storage. Lenovo has also conveniently added a micro-sd slot for extra storage — something many tablet makers currently aren’t offering.

We will be looking over this tablet for the weekend, testing the OS, battery life, and overall performance given the specs and will be sure to have a full review for those interested. Now obviously with others like the Kindle Fire with a dual-core processor in the same price range this puts the A1 in a unique spot. With lower specs it doesn’t have the performance to offer, but it does run on a pretty stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread build. Not to mention full Android Market support unlike many other budget tablets.

While my initial impressions with both the screen quality and sensitivity aren’t good, I’ll keep more details for the full review that will be coming soon. Check out the hands-on video below if this 7″ Gingerbread tablet interests you, and let us know what you think of the specs/price in the comment section below.

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Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : A1
    Manufactuer : Lenovo
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x600
  • Screen Type : NA
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.68 Inch
  • Width : 4.92 Inch
  • Depth : 0.47 Inch
  • Weight : 400 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 3550 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 3622
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 3 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
  • SD
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


HTC Flyer on sale for $200 at Buy.com

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 03:02 PM PST

If there’s one thing Android enthusiasts love, it’s a good deal. Oh, and an unlocked bootloader. And timely software updates. But mostly good deals. To that end, we draw your attention to Buy.com, where HTC’s Flyer tablet is on sale for just $199.99, plus free shipping. It’s a refurbished 16GB model, but the Flyer beats out a lot of tablets at that price point. You don’t get HTC’s add-on stylus, but on the plus side, the update to Honeycomb is out… so the tablet’s only one major Android release behind at this point.

The Flyer was unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2011, almost exactly a year ago, then released in May. Initially it was set to compete with Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab, having the same form factor, screen size and resolution. Where the Flyer beats the tab is its 1.5Ghz (single-core) processor, 1GB of ROM, WiFi and Bluetooth. (The only version of the Flyer initially sold via a carrier in the US was the Evo View 4g, and is not on sale at the moment). The tablet’s solid aluminum body and speedy interface gained it a small but dedicated following, despite its initially high price of $500.

Since then, the Flyer has received an official Android 3.0 Honeycomb update and been given the unlock treatment via HTC’s bootloader unlock tool. Thanks to the latter, there’s already Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs based on open source Android code ready for download. If you want a “reader-sized” 7-inch tablet with more oomph than you usually get at this price point, the Flyer is still a good choice, especially if you’re a fan of HTC’s hardware and software designs.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Flyer [WiFi Only]
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 15, 2011
    Release Date : May 14, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7.00 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x600
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.69 Inch
  • Width : 4.80 Inch
  • Depth : 0.52 Inch
  • Weight : 420 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 4000 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 1470 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : Snapdragon
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • A2DP
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Android and Me]


Possible Google Drive screenshot and logo leaked

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 02:26 PM PST

Last week we started to hear resurgent rumors that Google’s remote storage service, labelled “Google Drive” and integrating across Android, web and desktop platforms. Today GeekWire got their hands on what’s being presented as the wen interface for Google Drive. Submitted anonymously and blurred out to avoid identification, the screenshot looks basically identical to the web version of Google Docs, but with files and folders instead of documents. It looks pretty legitimate, though we’d remind readers that this sort of thing would be very easy to fake.

In addition to the screenshot, a purported logo has popped up in a small explanatory image. It depicts a rudimentary illustration of cloud file storage, with a Google-style red, blue and yellow triangular logo on a laptop. Again, all of this seems to fit in with Google’s current interface and aesthetic, but could also be faked. There’s still no official news from Google on a remote or cloud storage service, but that hasn’t kept analysts and fans (like us!) from speculating on its creation.

If you’ll indulge us: there’s no real reason for Google not to introduce a cloud storage service, aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be profitable (and that’s never stopped them before). They already provide “dumb” storage for Google Docs and Google Music, and gigabytes worth of email storage for every Gmail user. Adding more flexible storage to make a true Dropbox, iCloud and Box.net competitor would be easier for Google than almost any company – with their infrastructure, they could give away practically unlimited storage and corner the market in a matter of months. The fact that they’ve already got successful web, browser and mobile integration via Android doesn’t hurt either.

The resemblance to Google Docs is interesting. It’s possible that Google Drive could replace the cloud document service, essentially creating an all-in-one service that combines high density storage with document editing and sharing. Then again, it could just be Google’s software engineers reusing elements that work well – or, again, this could be a major fake. With all the talk of Android@Home and Google’s push towards media integration, expect to hear more and more about Google Drive leading up to Google IO in June.

[via 9to5 Google]


Archos G9 tablets with ICS pre-orders go live

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 02:18 PM PST

For those keeping track of the Archos line of tablets the latest edition G9 series are about to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We saw an early preview build back in December from Archos and were told to expect an update to the Archos 101 G9 and 80 G9 early 2012 — as soon as the first week of February. While the update hasn’t started rolling out yet a few online retailers are currently taking pre-orders for the Archos G9 with ICS.

We are expecting the official update to begin shortly but no actual date has been given by Archos as of late. However online gadget retailer Dynamism is now offering the slates up for pre-order with an expected ship date of March. We don’t know much about the online retailer and most likely you can get one anywhere as they are available now and just wait for the official update to land.

For those unfamiliar with Archos, while they don’t have the best build quality in the business they do offer a great tablet for a low price. The Archos 101 G9 features a 10″ 1280 x 800 resolution display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage all for $329. Once they get updated with Ice Cream Sandwich they’ll be one of the best priced Android 4.0 tablet available — given the specs.

We are waiting to hear an official word from Archos regarding the rollout to Ice Cream Sandwich but for now feel free to pre-order one from the links above. If you have an Archos 101 G9 have you received Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich yet?

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : 101 G9
    Manufactuer : Archos
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : June 23, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : NA
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.86 Inch
  • Width : 6.59 Inch
  • Depth : 0.50 Inch
  • Weight : 649 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : ARM dual-core CORTEX A9 OMAP
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : NA
    Internal Storage : 16GB GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : NA
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Laptoping]


Baseball Superstars 2012 HD available now, Free on Android

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 01:33 PM PST

All you Baseball fans will be happy to know the popular game developers Gamevil have just released the latest edition of their extremely popular Baseball Superstars series. Available today in full HD is Superstars 2012. Following their recent release of Zenonia 4 is this awesome Baseball game that has seen over 30 million downloads throughout the multiple versions. Check out the details, screenshots, and what’s new below.

The cartoon characters might be cheesy to some but this game is extremely fun and addicting to many. With Superstars 2011 getting millions of downloads (while being $0.99) the new HD 2012 edition should be even better and is completely free. What can you expect of the latest fro Gamevil? Crystal clear HD graphics with support for all the latest high-res screens on Android phones and tablets both. Highly improved smart controls, options, and the AI is better than ever.

With PvP you can play against others using a network connection. Collect superstars and even customize your entire team. You can choose jersey, players, stadium, colors, logo and more. Gamevil has also added new gameplay, batter, and pitcher modes to enhance players and dominate that “Superstar” status. Enjoy the screenshots and video below then hit the Android Market link and get Baseball Superstars 2012 HD today — completely free.

Market Link

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[via Droidgamers]


ASUS Transformer TF300T leaks again in benchmarks, confirms Tegra 3

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 12:59 PM PST

Earlier this month we received our first glance at this upcoming and unknown tablet from ASUS being called the Transformer TF300T. While we still don’t have many details the slate has leaked again in a NenaMark2 benchmark revealing some specs and information. We now can confirm it will indeed be powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor.

With the Transformer Prime just being released, and called the TF201 we were instantly surprised and started wondering about the name here. Was this a higher model, or even a replacement? The new benchmark results that were just leaked make this sound almost identical to the Transformer Prime. It shows a 10″ tablet with a 1280 x 800 (752 to be exact) resolution, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the quad-core Tegra 3 processor. All exactly like the Prime only this model has a plastic backing similar to the original Transformer and the upcoming Prime 700 series.

That is all we have to go on from the leaked benchmarks so while they don’t reveal much, we do know this will not be a cheap budget tablet. I have a feeling this will either be a cheaper option below the Prime and could even be called the Transformer 2. Or this will be their 3G/4G LTE capable tablet but it’s too early to tell. Hopefully ASUS will be showing this off later this month at Mobile World Congress, and if so we’ll have all the details.

[via PocketDroid]


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