Monday, 19 March 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Qualcomm releases Adreno graphic drivers for ICS – let the custom ROMs flow

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 11:05 AM PDT

Good news appeared over the weekend for many HTC smartphone owners, especially the ones with slightly older devices running Qualcomm processors. While Qualcomm hasn’t been the friendliest group to modders and the Android Community, they have tried. With all the changes to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich modders have had a hard time building fully operational and smooth ROM’s with Android 4.0 ICS. Over the weekend Qualcomm made this entire process much easier for smartphones running their platform.

The huge changes to Android 4.0 ICS in the source code and things like hardware acceleration while great, has made porting it to older devices near impossible without the proper graphic drivers. Even the best developers were struggling to make smooth and fluid ROM’s without the hardware acceleration. Over on the Qualcomm developer forums the community asked for assistance and Qualcomm delivered. Offering up the drivers for all Qualcomm Adreno 2xx GPU’s. This includes the upcoming S4 and the Adreno 225, the TONS of devices all powered by the 1.2 and 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm S3 and its Adreno drivers and more.

If you were hoping to see an awesome build of Android 4.0 ICS ported to your device, especially from an impressive team like CyanogenMod, this was one of the steps we were all waiting for. This means basically all HTC and Sony Ericsson devices just got a huge boost of help from Qualcomm. Now let those awesome developers do what they do best and soon you’ll all be enjoying even better performance on custom ROM’s.

[via MoDaCo]

Humble Bundle Part 2 hits Android – 5 new games and you decide the price

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 10:38 AM PDT

The Humble Bundle is back for another round of gaming on our favorite devices, Android phones and tablets of course. After their first Humble Bundle for Android did so well they’ve decided a part 2 was in order. For those that don’t know what this is, you basically get to name your price and get awesome games that work on Android, and are cross-platform with Windows, Mac, and Linux too. Check it out below.

The first Humble Bundle brought a few great games to Android, but this time around all 5 are brand new, never before played on an Android device. Now you can pay one low price and enjoy all 5 games on any of the supported platforms. Awesome right? Here’s the details. To buy all these games one at a time you’ll be spending over $50 bones. Buy them with the Humble Bundle Part 2 where you name your price, and split some of it with charities you’ll get all 4 games. If you donate more than the average person (currently around $5.47) you’ll get all 5 games instead of just 4.

What makes this great is not only the cross-platform gaming, but the option to give almost all of the money you pay for the games right to your favorite charity. You can split it up among the developers, charities, and the creators of the Humble Bundle. It’s pay what you want, how much you want, and what goes to who. The new games consist of:

Canabalt — The indie parkour platformer
Zen Bound 2 — A groundbreaking puzzler game
Cogs — The popular 3D puzzle game
Avadon: The Black Fortress — Fantasy RPG

If you spend more than the average person, you’ll also get a fifth game free in Swords & Soldiers. The awesome side-scrolling strategy game with impressive visuals and vivid colors. It’s just that simple! Support developers, help charities, and enjoy some games. Play them from your computer, phone, tablet, PC, or Linux desktop with ease because you can play them all on any of those platforms. For full details and to buy the Humble Bundle hit the source link below.

[via Humble Bundle]

Latest Linux kernel release adds Android code

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 10:03 AM PDT

It’s often forgotten these days, but at its heart Android is a Linux-based operating system (with a healthy dose of C and Java thrown in). Today that association gets a little closer, as the primary Linux kernel version 3.3 is adding some Android-specific code into the primary development branch. Android is technically a “fork” of Linux, but this brings a little of the work that Google and others have done on the Android Open Source project back into the main Linux project directly.

What does this mean for consumers end-users? Not much, really. If anything it’s a formal recognition of Android’s contribution to Linux as a whole. It will make it much easier for Google and other developers to port code and features from the primary branch of Linux over to Android, no matter what version they’re using or what hardware it’s intended for.  Easier programming on Linux-based desktop machines could very well be in the cards, but only as a side effect, since most of the actual apps for Android are developed using Java tools.

The 3.3 kernel was announced by geek god Linus Torvalds himself, though he made no mention of the Android code being placed back into the main development branch. One of the biggest features that this addition brings is the ability to boot an Android userspace directly from the standard Linux kernel, rather than using one of Google’s customized AOSP versions. If you need to grab the latest 3.3 kernel, head over to the website to download it.

[via Cnet]

Samsung releases Galaxy S II ICS source code

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 08:57 AM PDT

Good news, open source enthusiasts: as they’ve done with pretty much every one of the Android phones and updates, Samsung has posted the open source code for the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Galaxy S II’s operating system. While the update itself is only available in Europe and South Korea, any international version of the i9100 can apply it, and with the open source code ROM builders and other modders will be able to do more advanced ports and advanced ROMs.

Of course, nearly all of Samsung’s official releases include the TouchWiz UI overlay, and it’s in full force on the Android 4.0.3 update for the Galaxy S II. The interface is so ubiquitous that it’s nearly identical to the Gingerbread version from a visual standpoint. That said, the sweet, frozen core of Ice Cream Sandwich is there, so those who prefer their Android with an overlay (but want to cut out some of the bloat) should be able to customize to their heart’s content.

Note that this release isn’t compatible with any of the many Galaxy S II variants available, including pretty much all of the GSII phones released in the United States. Those software packages are customized with region-specific radio files, carrier applications and the like. That said, it shouldn’t take long for a talented dev to adapt the code for local phones, especially the AT&T and T-Mobile versions. This release will also make it easier for custom ROM builders like the CyanogenMod team to get the more fiddly hardware to work correctly on ICS, such as cameras and GPUs.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy S II
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : AT&T
    Announced Date : February 13, 2011
    Release Date : April 28, 2011
    Also Known As :
  • Screen Size : 4.27 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Plus
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.93 Inch
  • Width : 2.6 Inch
  • Depth : .33 Inch
  • Weight : 116 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1650 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 710 hours
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • SMS
  • MMS
    CPU : Exynos
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Phandroid]

Sony V150 quad-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet spotted in benchmarks

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 08:19 AM PDT

Sony’s a bit overdue for a new tablet – while the Tablet P and Tablet S are only technically about six months old, they’re running on hardware that’s over a year out of date. we were wondering when a refreshed version would show up, and thanks to Blog of Mobile… well, we’re still wondering, but now we know it’s coming. The “V150″ device spotted running NenaMark benchmarks isn’t identified as a tablet, but with a screen resolution of 1280×800, it’s either that or yet another 5+-inch mega smartphone, and Sony’s design DNA doesn’t lend itself towards the latter.

A couple of things can be deduced from the early benchmark info: one, the device is using the ever more popular NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core system on a chip, and two, it’s running Android 4.0. The latter of the two is the most exciting, since Sony has been somewhat pokey when it comes to Android updates (not that they’re alone). Other than that there’s very little to go on, though if Sony’s planning a successor to its Tablet S that probably means a 10-inch form factor.

Sony has been somewhat lukewarm on the tablet form factor, taking months for the WiFi Tablet S and the AT&T 3G version of the dual-screen Tablet P to make it to the United States. While Samsung has roughly half a million variants and Asus is coming on strong, the electronics giant seems content to play mostly in the smartphone arena for now. That’s a shame, too: their unique addition of the PlayStation Store gives their tablets an edge for gamers. With a Tegra 3 processor, the V150 (which will almost certainly get either a single letter or lowercase proper name) could become a gaming contender.

[via UnwiredView]

CyanogenMod 7.2 (Gingerbread) release candidate available

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 07:51 AM PDT

With all the hubbub about Ice Cream Sandwich, it’s hard to remember that CyanogenMod has two active builds going at the moment. The older (shall we say “rich in dev cycles?”) CyanogenMod 7 is still going strong, and has currently released version 7.2 of its Gingerbread-based code. The first release candidate is available in the usual GitHub locations for flashers and ROM developers, and should make its way to all officially supported devices within the next few weeks.

Like previous releases CM7.2 is based on the open source code of Android 2.3.7, the same version that CyanogenMod has been using for the better part of a year. A healthy dose of new devices have been added for the latest Gingerbread release, with the Samsung Galaxy Ace, LG Optimus Black, Optimus 3D, Motorola Atrix and Huawei u8150 joining in among others. The usual round of speed enhancements and bug fixes have made their way to the build, with new translations, media player enhancements and WiFi fixes being common. A few features have been backported from CyanpogenMod 9, including rotation and transition effects.

As a release candidate, the standard round of warnings and cautions apply: don’t depend on this for your daily driver without some serious testing, expect bugs and make a backup of your current install. But since anyone considering installing a CyanogenMod release candidate bid adieu to their warranty many moons ago, I say go nuts. For those devices that have an official CM7 release but no CM9 support (which at this point is the majority of CyanogenMod’s catalog) it’s an appreciable addition. Kangs for other phones should start showing up in a couple of days.

[via Android Police]

Samsung exec claims Galaxy S III will have quad-core Exynos processor

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 07:07 AM PDT

More Galaxy S III rumors – today must end with a “y”, then. In its latest batch of corporate teasing, Samsung has found a surreptitious way to whet our appetites for the new flagship phone long before they even announce when they’re announcing it. The Korea Times quotes an unnamed Samsung executive, who said that the company is looking to lower its dependence on silicon giant Qualcomm and go with an in-house solution. That will come in the the form of a quad-core Exynos system-on-a-chip, though the exact model, speed and capability are all up in the air at the moment. That’s all you get; check back in another week for a tiny nugget of new information.

It’s no secret that Samsung does an outstanding amount of business with US-based chipmaker Qualcomm: the vast majority of their smartphones and a few tablets to boot use varrying tiers of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon architecture. Samsung’s own efforts in that area have been relatively low-scale at this point, but those products that do use the current generation of chips (like the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus) tend to stomp on comparable models. If Samsung can ramp up production to meet the inevitably high demand for the Galaxy S III, they’ll probably have a legitimate competitor to both the Tegra 3 and Snapdragon S4 Krait platforms. The Exynos 4412 chip, with four cores running at a maximim of 1.5Ghz, seems the most likely candidate.

The executive didn’t have any more hardware details on the GSIII to spill, sadly leaving us almost as unenlightened as we were previously. No less than three different “leaks” of the new superphone sprang up last week, and since none of them match any of the others, two or (more likely) all three are more faked versions of the real hardware. Samsung has already stated that they’ll be holding an event just for the Galaxy S II successor sometime before the end of Q2, but other than that and this unconfirmed Exynos report, there’s very little confirmed information oat all.

[via SlashGear]

Motorola DROID Fighter spotted, looks awfully familiar

Posted: 19 Mar 2012 06:46 AM PDT

The mysterious DROID Fighter has popped up on a few internal Verizon documents for the last few weeks, but until now we had no idea what it was – no specs, no date, not even a manufacturer. All of a sudden we’ve got a bevvy of information all at once, and what it boils down to is a slightly upgraded version of the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX with possible Ice Cream Sandwich implications. The photo below was spotted by PhoneHK, with the phone on the left being the new DROID Fighter and the one on the right being the Motorola RAZR. See if you can spot the family resemblance.

You’ll immediately notice that the purported Fighter has an even larger screen, given by the source as 4.6 inches. This is achieved with a slightly larger body (though not that much larger – the RAZR has a pretty big bezel) and the absence of physical navigation keys, Galaxy Nexus-style. That implies that the Fighter may be running Ice Cream Sandwich at launch. Aside from a vaguely “high definition screen” (probably 720p) and a MAXX-matching 3300mAh battery, there’s no other hard details.

The last time we saw the DROID Fighter’s name it was slated for an April 12th date, though whether that’s a testing schedule, announcement or release date isn’t currently known. None of this has been confirmed, of course, but with Moto’s heavy use of Verizon’s DROID line and the other hints we’ve seen, the hardware at least looks to be real. There’s no telling how yet another RAZR variant will affect Verizon’s lineup, even without the iconic name tagging along with it – it’s been less than two months since the last one, after all. If Motorola releases a tweaked version of the MAXX with ICe Cream Sandwich six months or more before the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX are slated to get the upgrade, current owners won’t be happy.

[via Droid-Life]

Android Community Weekly: March 18th, 2012

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 08:55 PM PDT

For a week without a major trade show or press event, there was an awful lot of news coming out of the Android world in the last few days. Most of that revolved around various updates to Ice Cream Sandwich for current models and (of course) the ever-elusive Samsung Galaxy S III. There are plenty of other items of note, most importantly our very own ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime giveaway. Check it out to see how you can win one of our two units, or head on over to our sister site SlashGear for two more chances.

On Monday the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S II began rolling out in South Korea and certain European countries. More territories will be added in the coming days and weeks, though no US carriers have announced a timeframe for their unique models. If you use an international model, you can manually update your phone here. Updates for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Galaxy Note should follow soon.  HTC’s Vivid (AKA Raider, Velocity Holiday) got a briefly leaked ICS update of its own on AT&T. While the early software was pulled almost immediately, we managed to track it down and get a video hands-onFifteen other HTC phones, including the Thunderbolt, Sensation 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Amaze 4G and Rezound, will also be update3d eventually.

As far as new devices go, Archos made an impression by teasing its 10th-generation tablets with a Transformer-style surprise. Check out the G10 teaser video here. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper that’s available now, the G9 tablets are coming to market with ICs pre-installed. Sony showed off its low-end Xperia sola phone with NFC capability, and Samsung is bringing its latest PMP the Galaxy S WiFi 3.6 to the United States. We said goodbye to the Android version of T-Mobile’s long-standing Sidekick series, but it won’t be gone forever.

For pure Google news, the Big G began selling tickets to its highly anticipated Google I/O event, a developer-friendly annual get-together that shows off the latest and greatest in Android software. They also updated the Google Play Store and Google Earth apps with some new features. In less official news, the much-delayed (and maligned) release of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus S is expected soon. Finally, the “Nexus Tablet” or “Google Tablet” may be replacing ASUS’ quad-core MeMO 370T, and is rumored to be a “done deal”.

Big news for users of the popular CyanogenMod family of ROMs: the final version of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will introduce a more secure and flexible root system that isn’t enabled by default. The CyanogenMod team also released a handy flow chart showing which phones they intend to officially support. Long story short: if your phone has 512MB or less of RAM and isn’t getting an official software update, odds are you won’t be getting the official version of CM9. Sports fans had a busy week on the app scene, as EA released NBA Jam and FIFA ’12 in the Google Play Store and the NCAA posted its own official March Madness app. You can find it, and other useful apps, in our wrap-up post.

Finally, the Galaxy S III rumor mill continues to churn. First we’ve got what appears to be genuine camera samples, followed by a trio of supposed leaks. The first shows a phone very (very, very) similar to the Galaxy S II, with some questionable font and window work in the render. Next comes what looks like a presentation slide, claiming that the phone is due for a May 22 unveiling. This one has the familiar home button we’ve seen on previous Galaxy models. Finally there’s a reported spy shot which shows a stock Ice Cream Sandwich launcher. None of these leaks look anything alike, naturally.

That’s all for the week of the Ides of March, folks. Stay in school, don’t do drugs, and always make a Nandroid backup.

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