Thursday, 8 March 2012

Android Community

Android Community

InfoSonic reveals US made budget smartphone, the Verykool s700

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 11:10 AM PST

Budget smartphones are nothing new, especially when they come out of places such as China and other markets by the truckloads. Today however, we have news regarding a US Made smartphones coming from a company based in San Diego, California. Infosonic, a technology manufacturer, has just announced the Verykool s700 smartphone.

The name sure sounds cool though right. The specs are okay, and so is the name but it probably wont be winning any awards with the Android 2.2 FroYo on board. Yup, not even Gingerbread. No details were given on the processor but we do have a 3.5″ display, 2GB of storage. 2 megapixel camera on the back with VGA for the front and the usual micro-USB port.

Not too many details were released yet on the s700 other than micro-SD support and a 1,400 mAh battery on board. We don’t really know what to expect with this cheap budget smartphone but if InfoSonic and Verykool can offer this at an extremely low price, or free on contract, they might actually have something here. I can see this hitting Cricket Wireless soon but no carrier or pricing details are available at this time.

Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 10.50.34 AM Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 10.49.36 AM Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 10.50.48 AM Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 10.51.02 AM

[via Androinica]

Caterpillar launches CAT B10 Smartphone for the rugged

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 10:36 AM PST

The construction company many will probably know or recognize as CAT has just launched their first ever Android smartphone. This IP67-certified rugged device will be aiming directly at some of the other durable devices competing for the hard at work job such as the Samsung Rugby Smart, or the Motorola Defy. Being waterproof, dust proof, drop resistant and more is this the phone for you? Catarpillar thinks so.

Using their skills of the construction world CAT has designed a truly durable and rugged smartphone. Similar to the Casio G’zOne Commando only this looks even more durable. While the phone may be one of the strongest around, the specs however, might need some more muscle next time around. With a single-core 800 MHz processor, 3.2″ display and 5 megapixel camera its more of a mid or low-range phone. At the same time construction workers don’t want to be tied to a charger so this battle can be won both ways regarding specs.

Running on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and still getting a front facing camera you’ll be able to do conferences with the boss “on site” if needed. Hey, it even has an actual physical call and end call button — I haven’t seen one of those in a while. We are hearing it also comes equipped with Asahi Glass. Similar to Cornings Gorilla Glass but different, and should stand up to all types of abuse.

Hit the source link below for more details and photos. We expect to see this device sometime in early May worldwide but no carriers have been announced at this time. We have a feeling Verizon will probably jump in line though, just a thought.

Who would rock this thing? It looks like a brick but that might be exactly what some need.

[via The Verge]

Google Play will probably add audiobooks and periodicals, but not soon

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 10:02 AM PST

More than a few have been somewhat confused by Google’s Android and media rebranding efforts around the Google Play name. But it looks like it’s here to stay, and if an Audiobooks portal spotted by Google Operating System is any indication, they’re looking to expand. Of course audiobooks are a natural extension of both Google Book and Google Music (now Google Play Books and Google Play Music – see how that works?) but they may also be looking into magazines, catalogs, newspapers and other periodicals.

This speculation comes from a previously discovered list of website domains registered to Google, which include “”, “”, “”, ”” and “”. At the time the websites were taken to indicate that the much-rumored Nexus Tablet might be labelled “Google Play”. While that still might be the case, it’s an unofficial confirmation that Google is at least thinking about periodicals as well.

There’s no indication that audiobooks and periodicals are heading to Play immediately, though there are plenty of alternatives already available (and a few independent audiobooks already posted to Google Music). Google may just be preparing for their introduction months or years from now, as each new section would require negotiation and licensing deals with dozens of publishers. If these features were on the horizon in, say, the next couple of weeks, Google probably would have just waited and included it in a slightly later rollout.

[via AndroidandMe]

Angry Birds hang with NASA astronaut for a Space physics lesson

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 09:35 AM PST

If you haven’t heard the first true sequel to Rovio’s smash hit Angry Birds is coming later this month, you must have been hiding inside a exogorth. To explain the physics behind the new Angry Birds Space, Rovio employed the assistance of someone who ought to know: NASA astronaut Don Pettit, currently living on the International Space Station. With the help of an Angry Birds keychain, a green balloon, a bungie cord and no gravity, he explains some of the features we’re likely to see in Angry Birds Space when it launches on March 22nd.

Most people don’t need a practical example of how the Angry Birds slingshot mechanic works, or how a lack of planetary gravity would affect its trajectory – or more accurately, how it wouldn’t affect the trajectory. But there’s an interesting demonstration of how other bodies will affect the flight of an aggravated avian after it’s launched. Apparently in the new game players will have to contend with gravitational fields from other nearby bodies in order to strike at the pigs. We can also hope for some rocket thrusters or jetpacks, which as every Star Wars geek knows, make everything better.

Check out the video below:

The latest video does seem to suggest that Rovio is very committed to educating players while they bust pigs, as does their partnership with National Geographic. We finally get to check out the actual gameplay at the end of the video, and indeed, gravity fields (along with ice birds and rockets) play a big part in the space-based action. Angry Birds Space hits the Google Play Store on March 22nd, and no, you don’t need a Samsung Galaxy Note for the free download.

[via SlashGear]

HTC Dream gets an official bootloader unlock 3.5 years later

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 08:54 AM PST

HTC has been rolling out additions to its bootloader unlock program at HTCDev for months now, much to the approval of Android modders everywhere. If you’ve got an HTC Android phone or plan to buy one , odds are overwhelming that you can either unlock it now or you’ll be able to soon. Yesterday HTC added a 60th phone to the unlock tool: the HTC Dream, the mass-market version of the Google G1, the very first retail phone to run Android. The HTC Dream was first sold in October of 2008 and discontinued in 2010.

To forestall confusion, let’s point out that the HTC Dream and the Google G1 are technically separate devices: as the original developer phone, the G1 could be unlocked fairly easily with a series of fastboot commands. The Dream, however, was a more consumer-oriented version of the same hardware with technically locked software. That didn’t stop enthusiastic modders from finding a root exploit and unlocking the bootloader anyway, running all sorts of mods and custom ROMs even today. But now it’s official, and the significance of the gesture is not lost: HTC is telling its customers that if they want an open platform for modding, they can have it.

With high-end Android phones now entering their fourth generation and Android tablets on the rise, the G1/Dream has become something of a dinosaur. Even the cheapest of Android phones released in the last few months can run circles around its 528Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM. But it’ll always have a place in our hearts as the one that started it all: a platform that now makes up half of the worldwide smartphone market. Cheers, HTC – Google couldn’t have done it without you.

[via Ubergizmo]

Motorola adds spill-proof coating and free accessories to XYBOARD tablets

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 08:20 AM PST

Here’s a nice surprise: in a refreshing bit of post-launch self improvement, Motorola has announced that its XYBOARD 10.1 and 8.2 Android tablets are being upgraded with a spill-proof coating. The change will only affect the WiFi models (at least as far as we know) which will have the same price as they do now: $399.99 for the 8.2-inch 16GB tablet and a hundred bucks more for the 10.1. If you buy them directly form Motorola’s store you’ll also get a free case and HD dock. As far as we know, neither the spill-proof coating or the freebie accessories are being offered for the DROID XYBOARDs, Verizon’s 4G LTE version.

Just for a refresher course, both the XYBOARD 8.2 and its larger 10.1 brother use a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage on the base model with an optional MicroSD card, and 720p LCD screens. The screens themselves use Gorilla Glass like most of Moto’s high-end offerings – combined with a spill-proof coating, that makes them not-quite-rugged, in the same way that the DROID RAZR is. Cameras are 5 megapixels on the rear and 1.3 megapixels on the front, and both tablets get an infrared port for home theater control, though only the XYBOARD 10.1 comes with a capacitive stylus. Motorola’s customized Honeycomb runs on both tablet,s but the company has promised an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in (sigh) the third quarter of 2012.

Motorola didn’t say exactly what process it used to coat the tablets, only that it’s a “water repellent nano-coating”. That probably means you’re OK for light rain or a spilled glass, but taking a XYBOARD into the pool would not be a good idea. There’s no word on how the new models would be differentiated from their identically-priced predecessors at retail locations, so if you want the new feature (and some free goodies) you might want to order directly from Motorola’s website.

[via Androinica]

Nook e-readers and tablets may be coming to the UK soon

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 07:54 AM PST

The Barnes & Noble Nook line of e-readers and its more media-friendly Nook Color and Nook Tablet entries have gained a lot of fans here in the US, but in international markets they’re basically a no-show. That may be coming to an end soon: a Nook developer workshop will be held on March 19th in London, reports E-Book Magazine. That’s definitely an indication that Barnes & Noble is interested in the UK market, where its competitor Amazon has had basically free rein for the last few years.

Now, there’s no guarantee here that the Nook line is going anywhere. Developers for Barnes & Noble’s proprietary NOOK Apps store use the same tools and most of the same standards that regular Android developers do, since the Nook Color and Nook Tablet are based on Android 2.2 and 2.3, respectively. There’s no reason for Barnes & Noble not to court international developers, who have as much to gain on Nook hardware as anything else, regardless of where it’s sold.

Barnes & Noble has no retail stores in the United Kingdom, so they’d need to sell their Nook hardware through existing retailers. That also means that they’d need to get agreements with UK book publishers, no small task in a cutthroat business that isn’t amenable to e-books in any case. It also means that they’d be on even footing with Amazon, with no wholly-owned vector for advertising or tie-ins like free WiFi access in stores. Barnes & Noble needs to expand its potential customer base if it wants to continue to grow its business, and that means international expansion is a given. We just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

[via ZDnet]

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6 to be announced tomorrow

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 07:25 AM PST

With most of the tech media frothing over the high-resolution screen on the new iPad, Android fans can’t help but wonder what happened to the mythical Galaxy Tab 11.6. The rumored Samsung tablet has a supposed resolution of 2650×1600, a standard more often seen on 30-inch monitors (and, of course, soundly beating the new iPad by about a million pixels). We were somewhat surprised that the 11.6 didn’t show up at Mobile World Congress, but Pocket-Lint claims that Samsung will reveal it in a press conference on Friday, just two days after the Apple smorgasbord.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this isn’t going to happen. First of all, the source claims that the event will be held at South By SouthWest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas at 4PM Central time. It’s true that Samsung is present at SXSW and does have an announcement planned. But I’ve been to the conference in question in years past, and it’s focused on software and web properties ever since the original music festival was expanded. If you want to announce major new hardware from a major vendor, SXSW isn’t the place to do so. Second, there’s been no invitations sent to the hardware-focused sections of the technology media, whom Samsung would definitely try to woo to a major event that trumps their biggest competitor. Samsung knew about the Apple event just like everyone else: if they were planning a Galaxy Tab 11.6 reveal in Austin, they would have sent out invitations last week.

We definitely think that the Galaxy Tab 11.6 is coming, but not any time in the next few weeks. Samsung has shifted its announcement strategy for flagship devices; with both the Galaxy Nexus and the upcoming Galaxy S III, it’s hosting its own event (not unlike a certain someone) instead of showing them off at trade shows. We’ll be keeping an eye out for any Samsung news, as usual, but don’t hold your breath.

Nvidia takes exception to Apple’s iPad CPU and GPU claims

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 06:59 AM PST

By now you’ve probably heard about “the new iPad”, even if you’ve been studiously avoiding it – more testament to the awesome power of the Apple media machine. One of the more surprising claims to come out of San Francisco was that the iPad’s A6 A5X processor and new GPU could perform four times as well as Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor, illustrated with a highly technical (and typically Apple) glowing blue line. An Nvidia spokesman took exception to this, pointing out that Apple’s claims are far from scientific.

Ken Brown noted that Apple provided its graphics performance claims with essentially zero context. “We don't have the benchmark information,” said Brown. “We have to understand what the application was that was used. Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmark.” Nvidia will be doing its own testing when the iPad is released, at which point it will have some hard data – whether or not they choose to publicize it will probably depend upon the results.

Even a casual observation of Apple’s presentation can reveal a few holes. One, they’re claiming “graphics performance”, not overall performance, where the quad-core Tegra 3 may have a distinct advantage. While it’s true that the iPhone 4S (which shares almost all of its internal hardware with the new iPad) is generally better than high-end Android phones and tablets for graphics, Tegra 3 is the exception – and Nvidia doesn’t intend to take the latest slight sitting down.

[via ZDNet]

HTC One X gets root and superboot before release, courtesy of Modaco

Posted: 08 Mar 2012 06:30 AM PST

The early life of an Android smartphone tends to go something like this: speculation, then rumor, then pre-production leak, then marketing leak, then date and price leak, official announcement, release, and finally (usually about five minutes after the first dev gets a hold of it) root. With highly anticipated phones like the HTC One X, this can happen even faster, and indeed that seems to be the case. Noted ROM developer and general modder Paul “Modaco” O’Brien has already released a superboot package for the HTC One X.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “superboot”, it’s basically a desktop script file that automatically goes through all the tedious little steps involved in pushing the necessary root files to your phone over a USB connection. In this case, all you have to do is connect your HTC One X (when you get it, that is) in bootloader mode, run the script on your Windows, Mac or Linux desktop, and bam, you’ve got root permissions. The superboot method is much easier than a full manual root, but not quite as easy as the popular “one click” methods.

Since the HTC One X runs on Android 4.0 with an ICS kernel, it should be a piece of cake to get custom recoveries and ROMs up and running. The bootloader is still technically locked, making more advanced mods difficult, but HTC’s recent developer-friendly stance means that an official unlock method should be implemented quite soon after release. Speaking of which: the One X is expected in the UK and probably Europe in April, with an American debut on AT&T (with a less powerful dual-core processor) some time this summer.

Motorola MOTOACTV update to hit Friday

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 10:33 PM PST

Back in October of last year, Motorola unveiled the MOTOACTV; a wristwatch-like device that helps you measure how effective you workout to particular songs. It syncs with your smartphone for access to missed calls, text messages, and even email. Motorola had planned on rolling out the update today, but decided against it and is now shooting for a Friday release. This isn’t a small update that aims to fix a few bugs here and there; instead, it is supposed to offer access to 40 new activities.

Such includes dancing, martial arts, and yoga. Other features we should see from the update include local WiFi setup and waking of the device through a flick of your wrist. It seems to me this wouldn’t be too helpful while jogging, but if your hands remain stationary during a workout it could help a good bit. We still have no idea on an exact time for the rollout on Friday, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

The Motorola MOTOACTV costs a pretty penny, starting at $250 for the 8GB version and $300 for the 16GB. This much needed update will help its owners defend its hefty pricetag. For the same price it will be possible to purchase a 7″ ASUS MeMO 370T sporting an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, so it seems as though the MOTOACTV should instead be somewhere in the $100-150 price range.

[via TalkAndroid]

LEGO charging dock for Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 09:43 PM PST

Lets say you don’t approve of the accessories out on store shelves for your device. What is one to do? Well, you could always design some out of LEGOs like XDA developer Tibow. He managed to create a rather nice looking LEGO dock that holds the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in a landscape orientation. The only thing missing when compared to other docks, is it doesn’t initiate “dock mode” when plugged in.

He’s taken many pictures of his creation, and even described how he put it together so others could replicate the project. The first photo was a little blurry because it was taken with an iPhone 3GS; however, he updated his post with higher quality pictures. This dock, unlike a few others we’ve seen, takes advantage of charging the Galaxy Nexus through the side pins. The LEGO dock charges the device at a USB rate, which is slower than charging via an AC outlet.

It’s too bad the pins don’t charge at a faster rate, as heavy use could potentially drain the Galaxy Nexus battery faster than it can charge – especially when using the portable hotspot feature. This could be a reason we don’t see the feature implemented by other accessories from Verizon. One commenter suggested an NFC tag paired with Tasker could boot up dock mode, so maybe we’ll see Tibow update his dock in the future.

IMG_20120218_172922 IMG_20120218_172933 IMG_20120218_173243 IMG_20120218_173209 photo

[via XDA Developers]

Google Chrome Beta for Android receives an update

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 07:29 PM PST

Google Chrome Beta’s last update was back on February 24th, and this particular revision has primarily focused of bug fixes. Chrome should now properly run on any version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), so many of the custom ROMs out there could possibly be supported. There are still the same three known issues since the previous update: No way to toggle between mobile/desktop UA, YouTube links don’t prompt specific application use, and proxy settings are still not supported.

If you run into any new issues while navigating from page to page using Chrome Beta, you can let Google know of a bug by submitting it to them directly. Chrome has proven to be an extremely fast, lightweight mobile browser. It’s still hard to tell when it will leave its Beta, but it’s well past the stage needed to operate for daily use.

Hopefully we see it on Android 2.0+ devices in the future, but as of now there is no evidence proving it will even be considered. Android 4.0 only covers 1.9% of devices, so why would Google limit the amount of Chrome Beta users? The more people that get to try it out, the more people that are able to suggest future bug fixes. What do you all think – should Google open Chrome to devices running Android 2.0+?

[via Google Play Store]

Android Community Evening Wrap-Up: March 7, 2012

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 06:57 PM PST

Today wasn’t as big in Android news due to a certain event, but we still have a significant round-up ready for tonight. Earlier on this morning, we stumbled across a Sense 4.0 port to the Samsung Nexus S. It’s rather uncommon to see Sense ported to any other device that didn’t originally ship with it – so seeing it on the Nexus S will be refreshing to fans of the slick UI.

Previously known as the LG Cayman, the LG Lucid should hit Verizon Wireless March 29th. It has slightly lower specs than the LG Spectrum, so expect a lower price to match. Like LG’s other recently released devices it will be 4G LTE capable, and will launch with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). We had thought the Spectrum would serve as the LG Revolution’s replacement, but the Lucid fits that role much better.

SetCPU, the popular overclocking application available to root users, has recently been updated to support Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Version 2.3 works well with both smartphones and tablets alike, so head on over to the Google Play Store to pick it up for $1.99. And if you’re wondering why the Android Market is missing, it’s not. The entire application was replaced by the Play Store. Those of you updating to Google’s new Play applications may want to hold off if using select Motorola devices. The update seems to be breaking Market functionality.

Verizon has a new sale promotion that cuts the Motorola DROID 3, X2, Samsung Charge, and HTC Incredible 2 to $9.99. This offer only stands from now until Monday, March 12th. The only device of the four sporting 4G LTE is the Charge – so choose wisely. And finally, be sure to check out a comparison made by Samsung of the recently announced Galaxy Note 10.1 to the new iPad. They’ve even made a comparison chart for easy viewing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus headed to Canada on March 16th

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 05:53 PM PST

Ah, the Great White North. Where they appreciate simple living, courtesy, syrup made from trees and whiskey made from syrup, gravy on french fries, and quality seven-inch Android tablets. (I only know three people from Canada, so I may be wrong on some of those points.) In any case, Canadians can enjoy the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus starting on Friday of next week, in all its Honeycomb and TouchWiz glory. The asking price will be $349.99 CAD for the 16GB WiFi version, the same retail price that it’s going for in the US.

Check out our review of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus if you need a refresher course. Long story short: while we were expecting just a shrunken-down version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1/8.9, the 7.0 Plus dazzled with an upgraded 1.2Ghz Exynos dual-core processor. The little tablet beat all dual-core models in the benchmark test, while keeping an impressive battery life. The 1024×600 LCD screen is a bit of a let-down (especially if you’ve played with the Galaxy Tab 7.7′s 720p Super AMOLED) but works well enough for Honeycomb. The MicroSD slot and IR port are just icing on the cake. Samsung has committed to an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, but hasn’t said exactly when that’ll happen.

There are a couple of considerations to be made: one, while the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is running a full tablet OS – it’s almost twice as expensive as the “target” price for 7-inchers as set by the Kindle Fire. Two, Samsung has already announced a successor to the 7.0 Plus (which itself is a direct successor to the original Galaxy Tab) in the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0-inch version, which is almost the same hardware running Ice Cream Sandwich at launch. Considering the delay between American and Canadian releases of the 7.0 Plus, it could be some time before the upgraded model makes its way North – it isn’t available anywhere just yet.

[via Unwired View]

Readability app headed to Android on Monday

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 05:08 PM PST

In the latest round of iOS hits making the pilgrimage to Android (and taking a lot less time than that other one) Readability has announced that it will be available on the Google Play Store on Monday, March 12th. The free app is a certified hit on the iPhone and iPod touch, thanks to its ability to reformat web content into a more, well, readable presentation. It’s not the only app that does it, nor is it the first, but it’s been a long time coming and should be a boon to iOS converts.

Readability extracts the written content of a news or blog post (like this one right here) and presents it without photos or ads, with black text on a white background. This is somewhat controversial in the web publishing community, since most news sites (again, like this one) get most if not all of their revenue from advertising. But on Android it’s something of a moot point: there’s already ways for both basic and advanced users to block ads in both the browser and separate apps. Readability still includes a web view on each page.

There are plenty of apps that beat Readability to Android, not the least of which is Google’s own Currents. There are a few like the well-received ReadIt that are almost feature-perfect translations. Since Readability is already free it will almost certainly remain so on Android, though the developer asks for a $4.99 donation via an in-app menu. That’ll probably mean a “donation version” will be available when it lands next Monday.

PSA: The Android Market isn’t missing, just look for “Play Store” instead

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 04:44 PM PST

I’ve been getting tons of comments, tips, and emails over the past 24 hours from various users and readers saying things like “My Android Market has gone missing and I can’t download apps.” Or the Android Market is no longer on my phone, what the crap Motorola. This is a public service announcement for all those that missed the news (newbies) that Google has actually replaced the Android Market with what they are calling Google Play. You still have the Android Market and all the hundreds of thousands of apps, just under a new name.

Not everyone has time to keep up with the latest and greatest Android news, or know everything about all the updates to their smartphone and the Android ecosystem. Apparently more than a few people somehow agreed to the new Google Play update and after using it once, didn’t realize that its moved and has a new name. I’m sure many readers are probably laughing right now, but not every roots their phone, installs custom kernels, and knows the inner workings of these awesome little mobile devices.

For those that are new, not the most technologically advanced or what we’d call “tech-savvy” the icon in the picture above is what you should be looking for. The Android Market was previously just titled “Market” and the new “Play Store” is probably just a few rows or slight ways down the list from where the old used to be.

I find it funny that these type of things need to be talked about, but then again I’ve had to explain why you need a password on WiFi to my parents like 15 times — so it could be worse. So for anyone that is new to Android or seem to have lost the Android Market over the past day or so just look for the Play Store and you’ll be back to browsing apps, downloading games, or buying Adele songs and more in no time flat. Enjoy!

Samsung strikes back – compares Galaxy Note 10.1 vs new iPad

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 04:03 PM PST

The all new iPad was just announced only a few short hours ago, and while CEO Tim Cook was on stage he was quick to take a few stabs at Android and Samsung regarding tablets and the user experience. Now after the final specs have been confirmed Samsung is already fighting back. They have released their own little “content creation” and comparison chart showing just how much better they think their Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet is over the Apple iPad 3rd Gen.

Now obviously coming from Samsung they’ve dialed up their strong points and put them out first for the world to see, but in terms of content creation they sure do have tons to offer with the Galaxy Note. Content consumption this might looks slightly different as Android is still catching up with tablet apps, but in terms of creation this is a pretty good assessment.

Above you’ll see the chart provided by Samsung. Quickly pointing out that not only is their tablet (and all their recent tablets) actually thinner and lighter than the new iPad, but it specifically covers everything else as well. Apple’s new iPad may have a faster processor and a new iPhoto app to go with it but on the Galaxy Note 10.1 you can use absolute precision while editing and tweaking pictures with the use of the included S-Pen (stylus). Then they are quick to mention the Note 10.1 screen handles 10x the pressure sensitivity and accuracy over the competing iDevice.

Samsung also attacks the multi-tasking aspect of things. Obviously Android is great when it comes to multi-tasking, especially Android 4.0 ICS, but the Galaxy Note being able to have two windows open surely helps users to browse on one side while they create or take notes on the other.

We enjoyed the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet during our visit to Spain for MWC 2012 and you can see all of our coverage of the 10″ slate from Samsung talked about above from our timeline of links below. Which device would you purchase?

Verizon sale cuts DROID 3, X2, Charge and Incredible 2 to just $9.99

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 03:39 PM PST

You like Android phones. (Presumably, anyway – why else would you be here?) You like saving money. If you also like Verizon and don’t mind missing out on the latest bells and whistles, you can score a pretty sweet deal on some of last year’s DROID series phones. Between now and Monday, March 12th, you can get the Motorola DROID 3, Motorola DROID X2, HTC Droid Incredible 2 or the Samsung DROID Charge for just ten bucks, with a new two-year contract. There’s also a DROID X2 phone and accessory pack with a car charger, holster and screen protector for “just” $49.99.

There’s a little something for everybody here, though with just four phones picky users will have a very narrow scope. If you want LTE, the Samsung DROID Charge is your only choice. It was Sammy’s first Verizon 4G LTE phone, and has since been overshadowed by the Galaxy Nexus. For QWERTY tappers, the DROID 3 is the only option, and if you’ve got to have a big screen in a slinky body, the DROID X2 is a good choice. But we think the best phone out of the four is the HTC DROID Incredible 2, due to its solid construction, good battery life, relatively mature Sense UI and (last but definitely not least) an unlockable bootloader. If you live in a non-LTE area (or can live without it) it’s the best pick for the modders out there.

In truth, none of them are bad choices (just remember to turn off LTE on the Charge to save battery). If you want something new for basically free, head over to the link and sign your next two years away. Notably these deals do not apply to existing customers – you have to either switch from another carrier or add a new line. What say you, Android faithful: Any takers?

SetCPU overclock app updates to 2.3 for Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 07 Mar 2012 03:08 PM PST

CPU speed isn’t everything, but to a certain segment of the Android community, it’s the only thing that matters. Not unlike the gaming PC world, getting your phone to run as fast as possible is a source of pride among hardcore geeks. SetCPU has become one of the most-used methods forvrclocking a rooted phone, and now it’s got an Ice Cream Sandwich-flavored update. The new app is available on the Android Market  Google Play Store for $1.99 – and no, you don’t need to re-buy it if you already have.

The biggest forward-facing change is an updated interface that fits right in with Google’s Nova theme. The slider has been altered significantly with an easier-to-read numerical wheel, and the new app plays nice with the design principles surrounding the Android Action Bar and the menu button. There’s also some terminology changes – the “scaling” feature is now a “governor”, et cetera. The ever-present minor bug fixes have also been added. Previous versions of Android should also benefit from these changes.

Of course you have to be rooted in order to manually raise or lower your CPU speed, and some overclocks are only possible with the aid of special community-created kernels. Getting a 60% boost in clock speed takes some serious doing. Even so, it’s possible to underclock your phone (for better battery life) even on totally stock software, so long as it’s rooted. The typical range of profiles, voltage settings and other tweaks is still present. Get after it, speed freaks.

[via Android Police]

No comments:

Post a Comment