Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Didn’t Get Google I/O tickets, don’t worry everything will be streamed live

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 11:11 AM PDT

So today Google opened what we can only call the flood gates for Google I/O 2012 registration, and flood gates might even be an understatement. With only 5,500 tickets available starting at 7:01 AM they had over 6000 clicks per second, and things sold out extremely fast. I’ve already seen countless angry tweets, and emails on the fact that no one that wanted to go — actually got tickets. Even some extremely popular Android developers that could actually benefit from the event.

I know it’s sad and upsetting. When I refreshed and saw sold out I almost threw my phone through the computer screen (not really) but it’s safe to say many weren’t happy. Good news though folks. Google was prepared for the "overwhelming" interest and have announced they will be streaming just about every aspect of the show live. From real-time live streams, to every keynote being available 24 hours later and more.

Google’s own Vic Gundotra took to Google+ to announce how fast they sold out, the fact that they had servers crashing at 7:01 AM, and shared the news that they’ll be live streaming everything for those unable to attend. We’ll know more as the time gets closer but to watch Google I/O live in June you’ll want to click right here. That isn’t all either, every keynote session will be uploaded to YouTube within 24 hours of the session ending. So you can get all the details pretty quick.

The last important part is Google will be helping out with, and setting up I/O Extended viewing parties for those wanting to watch the live feeds with like-minded individuals. You can find nearby viewing parties or plan your own at Google IO Extended. If you want to see all the news on Google, Android, Chrome and more from the Mountain View company hit one of those viewing sessions. You can also relax at home, sit in your PJ’s and tune into Android Community as we’ll be there live!

Google Drive cloud storage services tipped for April release

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 10:37 AM PDT

The masters at Google have been hard at work on what we know as Google Drive. The cloud storage service that is still for the most part unknown, that Google has big plans for in the coming months. We know it’s coming soon, but that is about all we know. This cloud storage online file system has been long awaited from Google and now we are hearing rumors of an April release.

According to GigaOM people close to the matter have detailed that we will be seeing Google Drive land sometime in April for the general public. Although I can see it possibly being launched in a beta test first. Google Drive will offer similar options like Box.net and the popular Dropbox only Google has a few advantages that will set them apart from the pack.

For one, billions of people already have a Gmail account so why sign up for the others. Google Drive will offer 1GB of cloud storage for free (Dropbox offers 2GB) and then they’ll have paid options allowing for more storage. For two, Android users already sync everything from contacts, calender, music, apps and more with Google’s cloud, just not Drive as Drive would be a more personal cloud storage option. And finally because Google will be opening API’s to developers to have access and use Drive too. That means other Android apps can have access and use Android’s simple “share” feature and save files or things to users Google Drive storage.

I can’t wait to see what Google has in store, being able to use everything with one account and sign in, and dropping things like Dropbox sure would be convenient. Gmail storage limits have increased steadily over the years. I’m hopeful that Google Drive will do the same and at least match competitors out of the gate if it does indeed launch next month.

[via SlashGear]

SoulCraft breaks out of the Tegra Zone, available for free on Google Play

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 09:50 AM PDT

We love us some NVIDIA Tegra 3 devices here at Android Community, even if they are a little thin on the ground at the moment. One of the best showpieces for the ASUS Transformer Prime has been SoulCraft, a free action RPG that’s limited to the Tegra Zone, where it can show off its high-end graphics. Now developer MobileBits has released the game on the Google Play Store, so anyone with a decently powerful Android device can get in on the action.

The game comes in two flavors: SoulCraft, for standard Android devices, and SoulCraft THD, for high-powered smartphones and tablets. THD should run on most newer hardware, but keep in mind, it was developed specifically for Tegra processors. Both games are free, not because they use advertising or in-app purchases, but because they’re in an open beta test. While the THD version has some downright incredible graphics, the standard version is still pretty impressive.

Gameplay is pretty basic for an action-RPG: get through the levels by beating the crap out of anything that moves, gaining experience for more powers and abilities. You can customize your weapons, armor and magic skills to suit more powerful enemies. Real-world locations like Venice and Rome are infested with demons, which require a righteous kicking from some holy warriors. While the game’s debuting on Android, it will eventually be available for Windows, iOS and Windows Phone. (Nice to see somebody picking Android first, eh?) Check it out now for some old-school fun with a bit on next-gen polish.

[via PocketGamer]

Lenovo prepares business Android app store

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 09:03 AM PDT

While Lenovo has been making strides in the consumer market for the last few years, its heart and soul is in enterprise, where a ThinkPad laptop is the computing equivalent of sensible khakis and a power tie. Their tablets (even the ThinkPad Tablet) haven’t caught on as of yet, but the company is hoping to change that with the Lenovo Enterprise App Shop, an app store for enterprise customers. (Natch.) As opposed to the Google Play Store and its alternatives, the Enterprise App Shop can be launched on a company-by-company basis, with volume licensing discounts and on-site management tools.

While Lenovo will handle the technical details of each company’s individual app shop, administrators can choose which apps employees can access – so if one version of, say, an intra-office IM client is incompatible with their servers, they can block it from the list. Lenovo is acting as a gatekeeper for all the apps offered, and will guarantee their security and functionality on Lenovo tablets. While the Enterprise App Shop will only work on Android 3.1 or higher (currently that’s all of Lenovo’s tablets except the IdeaPad A1) it will presumably be open to older apps as well. The company says the store will launch soon at this address, though the page is plank at the moment.

It’s easy to see why Lenovo would want to create its own app store for business customers. In addition to adding a little differentiation, it gives Android some much-needed polish in the eyes of corporate clients – it’s hard to feel good about an esential peice of business software when you download it from something called the “Play Store”. What little market there is for corporate tablets is still dominated by Apple – we’ll see if Lenovo can shake things up.

[via TechCrunch]

LG Lucid gets official on Verizon: March 29th for $80 after rebate

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 08:10 AM PDT

The previous rumors were true: Verizon is launching the LG Lucid on Thursday, March 29th. The mid-range Android phone will be a surprisingly low $79.99, making it a pretty good deal for a brand-new 4G LTE phone. Of course that price will require a new two-year contract, and (argh!) a mail-in rebate. Disappointingly but not surprisingly, the phone will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread (more than four months after the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich) but Verizon is already promising an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich – without giving a date. They’re getting pretty good at that.

The LG Lucid combines some pretty good features for a sub-$100 phone. The 4-inch display didn’t get a resolution in Verizon’s press release, but it’s almost certainly 800×480, and it’s got the peace of mind of Gorilla Glass. A 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM should keep up even with high-end phones, though Verizon didn’t mention storage, but a previous leak indicated 8GB of on-board space – there’s no word on a MicroSD card slot, but it’s probably there. The rear camera is a modest 5 megapixels with 1080p recording, and the 1700mAh battery stretches the case out to 11.4mm thick. Unlike some LG phones, the Lucid has all four Android navigation buttons.

On the software side of things, you get Polaris Office, a Swype keyboard, and LG’s “I can’t believe it’s not TouchWiz” custom interface, complete with lockscreen shortcuts. As with all of Verizon’s LTE devices, a mobile hotspot feature is included, but you’ll need to pony up some extra money each month to enable it. What say you, Verizon customers – tempted by the low price, or waiting for something with a little more oomph?

BlueStacks App Player for Windows enters beta

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 07:30 AM PDT

One of the more exciting non-hardware innovations to pop on the Android scene last year was BlueStacks, a comprehensive piece of Windows software that allowed Android apps to be downloaded and installed on standard PCs. The program has graduated from alpha and entered its first beta – download it from their website now. (Sorry Mac users – they’re working on it.) The update brings a host of new features, better performance and integration – if you were turned off by a low featureset before, you’ll definetely want to check it out now.

First of all, the compatibility has been greatly enhanced. The vast majority of Android apps should work without a hitch, excluding some of the more demanding 3D games. Yes, you can play Angry Birds Space. And you’ve got a little more flexibility in doing so, now that a Windowed Mode has been added. The syncing feature that allowed you to move apps from your Android phone to BlueStacks has been enhanced, though you still need to use Bluestacks’ Android app to do so. If you don’t have an Android device (or just don’t want the hassle) you can now download apps directly from GetJar.

Between a smoother and more polished experience and BlueStacks’ partnership with AMD, things are looking up for the company and the service. With Windows 8 on the horizon, the lure of bringing hundreds of thousands of ready-made apps to a brand new platform is hard to ignore. The new version looks very promising indeed – it’s already showing up pre-installed in at least one Windows tablet, and I’d bet you’ll be seeing more tablets and touch-enabled all-in-one-desktops sporting BlueStacks soon.

Google I/O registration open now – get in while you can

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 07:06 AM PDT

Google’s mega-popular Android and software conference Google I/O is scheduled for June this year in San Francisco, and registration is open right now. If you want to get tickets to Google I/O, run, don’t walk to the registration page, and have your Google+ and Google Wallet accounts ready. Google I/O is always a sellout event, thanks to sneak previews at future Android versions and features, great workshops for developers, and (last but not least) the prospect of free giveaway gadgets.

Prepare for a hole ion your checking account: general admission is a whopping $900, with a reduced rate of “just” $300 for students. The conference will be held from June 27-29 and most events will be held in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. While Google I/O usually isn’t the place for new hardware announcements, it’s a great chance to look at what’s coming for the future of Android itself, along with other Google properties on the web and in the hardware space. Google TV and Chrome developers will want to keep an eye out as well.

While Google likes to keep a lid on its activities pre-show, you can bet there will be discussion on the next version of Android, whether it’s “Jelly Bean” 5.0 or a more incremental update. The high price and low registration means that not many can make the trip, but Android Community will be there with bells on to bring you the latest news. Again, if you intend to go, register right now - the conference may sell out any minute.

Update: as in years past, the overwhelming number of registration requests has apparently crashed the system. Prospective attendees, just keep trying, and cross your fingers.

Second Update: …and registration is closed, less than half an hour later. We hope you got in if you tried, and if not, keep an eye on Android Community in late June for all the breaking news from the conference.

TeleNav unveils web-based HTML 5 navigation for apps and more

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 06:43 AM PDT

The popular third party location-based navigation and provider TeleNav has just unveiled the full details on their new HTML 5 powered and web-based navigation service. No longer will users need to download an app, or leave the app they are in for turn-by-turn navigation and directions. With Scout for Apps by TeleNav developers can add simple voice-guided navigation services directly into any application, or web site.

TeleNav launched Scout.Me for iOS earlier in the year, and detailed their HTML 5 services back in December, but are going to take things to an entirely new level in the coming months. What they’ve designed is the worlds first web-based HTML 5 powered navigation system that can easily be accessed and used by developers of both web sites, and smartphone apps. Using a single line of code a developer for a shopping app for Android can add TeleNav’s renowned turn-by-turn and voice-guided navigation to their application.

Instead of users having to leave their current application and open a navigation app, or Google Maps, or something else to consume battery instead Scout for Apps by TeleNav will be integrated right into the application. Instead of leaving the app you just get a web-based popup for navigation or directions, and it closes once you’re done — leaving the end user in the exact same place and application as before they started.

Not only is that easy, fast, convenient, and will help save battery but this will be completely free for the end users. Developers can now integrate free directions and navigation options into their applications to make them better than the competition, and offer more features. This is ideal for social, travel and shopping apps, or any other app or website that includes points of interest, places or addresses.

If you are a developer and want to add something this awesome to your application or website you’ll want to look into Scout.Me and Scout for Apps by TeleNav. I can’t wait to see this feature get integrated into Android games and applications. We can expect to see it arrive later this year and developers can learn more at developer.telenav.com and get started today.

Coby’s cheap Ice Cream Sandwich tablets now available

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 06:36 AM PDT

It’s a sad but nonetheless true fact that small and sometimes unconsidered manufacturers can often get their act together faster than larger and well-regarded ones. So it is with American low-end electronics maker Coby, which has just made its latest round of Android tablets available for purchase, according to Liliputing. Though most are well below what many Android enthusiasts would consider “base specs”, each and every one of them is running Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box – more than we can say for almost every new android device introduced this year.

The line consists of six individual machines. The primary differences between them are screen size, aspect ratio and resolution:

  • Coby MID7042 – 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display
  • Coby MID8042 – 8 inch, 800 x 600 pixel display
  • Coby MID9042 – 9 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display
  • Coby MID9742 – 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display
  • Coby MID1042 – 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display
  • Coby MID10245 – 10 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display

All of them are powered by an identical 1Ghz single-core Cortex 8 CPU and 1GB of RAM, with touch panels reassuringly featuring capacitive technology. Each gets a MicroSD slot, HDMI and USB ports, and front-facing cameras. The 7 and 8-inch models have just 4GB of storage space, while the larger tablets are upgraded to 8GB. None of them have access to Google Apps or the Google Play Store (at least initially). They’ll use the GetJar store instead.

Prices range from $179 for the cheapest model to $279 for the most expensive. At present only the MID7042 and MID1042 are listed as “for sale” on Coby’s website, but the models in between should start showing up at online and brick & mortar retailers soon enough. Coby’s tablets generally aren’t all that well regarded, but at least they’ve got the right idea when it comes to software – try finding an ICS tablet for less than $200 without modding. Well fine, try and find one at Walgreens, then.

Temple Run for Android hands-on [Video]

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 10:27 PM PDT

It’s finally here folks, as in right this minute available for Android. It’s time to get out those phones and start running, swiping and jumping in the latest gaming sensation for Android. Temple Run was stated to be finally and officially released for Android today, and a few minutes past midnight it’s here and available for all. The game runs great and I’m addicted (as if I wasn’t already) but oh well. Who needs sleep anyways right?

If you haven’t heard yet, Temple Run is the hit sensation for iOS that has been downloaded over 36 million times and has taken the gaming world by storm on mobile devices. With the wide array of Android phones and tablets they took a few months to get everything right, and now it’s finally here and available to all. This simple yet extremely addicting game will consume hours of your day, and I don’t recommend letting your children play it or they’ll want your phone every waking minute.

We’ll be sure to do a full review in due time but for now enjoy a quick hands-on video of Temple Run for Android.

With multiple swipes you control the tomb raider that has stolen a cursed idol from the Temples and have to run from and escape the evil monkeys trying to get it back that are nipping at your heels. This top down 3D scroller-type game is actually loads and loads of fun. It sounds a bit boring but once you start playing you’ll quickly see how addicting it can truly be.

Initial impressions are quite good. I did have a force close trying to go back to the main menu that crashed the game, but this is version 1.0 and we expect they’ll keep it up to date and add more devices to the compatibility list as soon as possible. I’m showing almost all mid-range phones having support from the original Galaxy S to the Nexus One and more. Every tablet I’ve ever owned is supported, all screen sizes so it appears to be a go for most. There was an occasional slowdown but again this is the initial release, and hopefully they’ll iron everything out over the next few weeks.

Finally it is here! Get Temple Run for Android right this minute at the link below and have fun. We’ve warned you twice — it is extremely addicting. Happy running!

Temple Run Google Play Link

Baldur’s Gate may journey to Android soon

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 06:22 PM PDT

If you’ve played an American RPG on your PC or console in the last fifteen years, odds are pretty good that it was Baldur’s Gate or one of its sequels. The original game came from BioWare, of Mass Effect fame, and went on to define its genre for much of the 2000s. Indie publisher Beamdog recently told an inquisitive player that they were considering bringing the RPG series to Android, after recently announcing Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition for the iPad.

For the uninitiated, Baldur’s Gate was an attempt to bring the Forgotten Realms tabletop role-playing game (based on Dungeons and Dragons) to the world of video games. Instead of turn-based combat, it relies on a real-time combat system that can be paused at any time. The overhead isometric viewpoint is designed to allow for fantasy settings and elements while keeping the traditional token-based perspective of tabletop gaming. Incidentally, it would also be pretty awesome for a tablet. Think of it as a more structured, paced version of Diablo.

This is a long way from a confirmation, but an Android version seems like a natural progression for the small developer. The interface probably wouldn’t lend itself towards play on a smartphone (not without some serious work, anyway) but some of the larger Android phones might be able to handle it. The iPad app is scheduled for release this summer, so at the very earliest it would be late fall before Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition might make it to Android. A good way to bring it a little faster might be contacting the developer and distributor (overhaul@beamdog.com) and telling them how much you want it.

[via DroidGamers]

AT&T’s ICS update for the original Galaxy S II leaks

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 05:58 PM PDT

Earlier today we brought owners of the LTE-enabled Galaxy S II Skyrocket news of their Ice Cream Sandwich leak, and now the original Galaxy S II gets in on the party. Yes, Samsung fans, there is a Santa Clause… he was just a little late this year. The leaked update should work for all AT&T models of the Galaxy S II, and it’s pretty similar to the international GSII update released a couple of weeks ago. This is the stock version, unrooted (at the moment) and almost certainly isn’t the final version of this update. Thanks to RootzWiki for posting the leak.

The Galaxy S II ICS update brings most of the desired features of Android 4.0… except for the spiffy new interface. Nope, Samsung’s keeping a tight grip on its TouchWiz skin, though it does get a few light enhancements for the new release. All the standard goodness is still there underneath, though: a new WebOS-style Recent Apps menu, faster and smoother animations, homescreen enhancements including auto-folders, and the ability to disable carrier and manufacturer apps. (That might come in handy, considering some recent events.)

RootzWiki is providing the update via an anonymous benefactor. You’ll need the Odin download and a properly configured Windows machine with the USB driver – if you don’t have it yet, just click the source link, both files are there. The update is Android 4.0.3, the most recent version that’s available from Google’s open source archives. Remember that this is all very much unsupervised, so if you’re already rooted and running a custom recovery, do a Nandroid backup – you’re likely to lose all of your customizations thus far. If you’re nervous, you might want to just stick it out – AT&T swears that Ice Cream Sandwich is coming via and OTA update soon.

Ustream app updates to version 2.0

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 05:10 PM PDT

With more than a little excitement, streaming website Ustream announced today that their Android app had been downloaded 2.5 million times. Interesting, since it’s been out for almost exactly 2.5 years. Anyhoo, to celebrate the conjunction of two completely unrelated statistics, they’ve updated their app with some significant new functionality, including a complete user interface overhaul.

Version 2.0 builds on the tablet interface introduced last year and adds in an ICS color scheme and Korean language support. You can finally rotate your screen for smartphones, and finding the video you want is somewhat easier. Most significantly, there’s a new Quick Broadcast widget. Just tap the widget on your Android home screen and you’re instantly broadcasting to the entire world. Just make sure you’ve got your screen lock enabled – butt-dialing is bad enough.

The new app works for both smartphones and tablets. Standard Ustream users will be greeted with some in-app advertising, but subscribers won’t have to deal with it (after logging in, of course). If you get fed up with the advertising during a marathon broadcast session, there’s good news: you can upgrade to an ad-free subscription right inside the app via Google Wallet. Happy streaming, Internet denizens.

[via Cnet]

Google Play Store bug scares Samsung owners with Russian email app

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 04:31 PM PDT

There’s been a considerable amount of confusion today surrounding Samsung smartphones, the Google Play Store, and a previously benign app specializing in email for Russians. A bunch of Galaxy-series phones have inexplicably had “МТС Мобильная Почта” (Mobile Mail) from QJSC Mobile Telesystems installed on their phones via a Google Play update without ever seeing it before. What’s even more concerning is that the app can’t be uninstalled, and there’s no explanation for affected users.

If you’re reading this and immediately thinking someone’s hacked your phone… well, you’re kind of right. Here’s how this happened: every Android app has a unique identifier under which it’s installed. For example, Angry Birds Space is installed under the system name com.rovio.angrybirdsspace-1.apk. The identifier for Samsung’ s proprietary mail app is com.seven.27. For whatever reason, the Russian email app chose the exact same identifier when uploading to the Google Play Store. The Google Play Store noticed this “new” app installed on thousands of phones, and pushed the “update” to the Samsung phones running the proprietary mail app.

Some of the folks at XDA have been taking a good look at the app itself, and concluded that it’s harmless. Relax: your bank account numbers are not zipping across the Internet to some shady shack in Siberia. That still doesn’t explain why the developer chose that particular install name in the first place. Did they know that they’d be getting installed on thousands of Samsung phones automatically? Was it an extremely specific goof, with someone copying the name of an essential Samsung app without realizing it? Neither Google nor Samsung have commented thus far.

In any case, this little fiasco has illustrated a couple of weak points in Android’ infrastructure. One, the Google Play Store can get a little overzealous with its automatic update procedures, and has a definite security hole when it comes to app file names. And two, it demonstrates just how essential an necessary it is for users to be able to uninstall or otherwise disable native apps. If you’re one of the few people running the official version of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy S II, you can simply disable the app. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could do that, eh Samsung?

[via The Verge]

Humble Bundle for Android 2 now includes Snuggle Truck

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 03:45 PM PDT

Last week we brought you news of the Humble Bundle for Android 2, the second collection of DRM-free, pay-what-you-want games that benefit some worthy causes. The second Humble Bundle included four games and a fifth if you donated more than the average. As with the original Humble Bundle for Android, they’ve added a fifth game: Snuggle Truck, a 2d platforming/driving hybid. In Snuggle Truck you drive your beaten-down pickup through a platforming level, keeping as many stuffed animals safely within the bed as possible. Yeah, we don’t get it either.

The bundle still includes the original four games, Canabalt, Zen Bound 2, Cogs and Avadon: The Black Fortress. You can pay whatever you like, but if you pay more than the average (currently $6.41) you get Swords & Soldiers too. And don’t be the jerk who pays a penny – your funds are split between Child’s Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the developers and the Humble Bundle organizers. You get games, then kids, tech-friendly activists and game devs get money – what’s not to like?

And it’s not just Android games – your payments gets you downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux, whenever you want. You can connect your purchase to Steam so that the games are integrated into your Steam Library. You can pay via PayPal, Amazon or (yes!) Google Checkout, but unfortunately, there’s no way for the Humble Bundle to integrate into the Google Play Store just yet. Oh, and you also get a free download of  all the available soundtracks and the original game that inspired Snuggle Truck… which we’ll leave unsaid here. Head over to the Humble Bundle website to find out more.

Google Play Store is now in your Google Toolbar

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 02:42 PM PDT

Google is hitting it hard with their new Play Store name for the Android Market and their other digital content. In case you haven’t noticed this afternoon Google has updated the Google Toolbar on your browser and have added a convenient link that takes you directly to the Google Play Store. Pretty neat right?

You can be searching on Google, chatting with friends on G+ or checking Gmail and instantly jump to the Android Market web store, now known as the Google Play Store. In case you didn’t know you can browse apps, movies, and books right from your computer and instantly buy them. Google’s cloud service will push the new app, purchase, or download right to the device you select over the air. That feature is nothing new but now making it one step closer and even easier to access is a good move.

Just hit the new “Play” link at the top of the page on your Google Toolbar and you’ll be browsing Google Play content in no time flat. For now it has a nice little red “New” icon next to it so everyone notices, but I’d love for that to get replaced with a little notification number for how many apps need updating. If my Google Toolbar would pop up a little notification on that Play link telling me when and how many apps have available updates — that would be awesome. Who’s with me?

Anyways this isn’t extremely crazy or new like Angry Birds: Mars or anything, but cool nonetheless. If you are still wondering what the “Play Store” is, or your Android Market has gone missing from your smartphone feel free to click this link for all the details.

HTCSense.com sync service shutting down – backup your data now

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 02:27 PM PDT

The sky is falling! Mayans predicted it! It’s the end of the world as we know it! Well, nothing so dramatic – but if you rely on HTC’s Sense service to back up your phone’s data, it might as well be. The HTCSense.com website is receiving a major overhaul soon, and aparently it’s big enough that they need to scrap just about everything they’ve built up so far. That means that on April 30th, all the personal data that HTC has saved for backups and emergencies will be wiped clean.

Don’t worry, Sense users – your data will still be sitting on your phone, nice and safe. And though HTC hasn’t detailed what it intends to do with the website and the service after the deadline, odds are pretty good that they’ve got some kind of replacement waiting in the wings. But if you want a little extra peace of mind for your synced data, you can download all of it in a personalized ZIP package. Just log in at HTCSense.com, click on the Account overview section, then click “Download”.

What inspired this shift? Probably some new features in HTC’s SenseUI 4 update. April will be the first month that the HTC One family (X, S and V) will be widely available, and the Sense 4.0 update isn’t going out to older phones – they get version 3.6. Whether it’s just the software equivalent of switching to the Dewey system or something more exciting has yet to be seen. In any case, backup your data just to be on the safe side.

Temple Run for Android officially available tomorrow, March 27th

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 02:20 PM PDT

Well folks, after the weeks and weeks of waiting, countless fakes appearing online and tons of anticipation the day is almost here. Temple Run for Android will finally and officially be available for phones and tablets starting tomorrow, March 27th in the Google Play Store, formerly known as the Android Market. As soon as I see it available I’ll be sure and shout.

The game has seen a huge amount of success on iOS, being one of the top paid apps and downloaded millions of times, over 36 million actually. The craze is as bad as Angry Birds fanatics, or worse. We originally mentioned it was coming to Android back in January and saw hundreds of comments and excited Android users but after a few rumors of February release dates earlier this month we learned the truth. Imangi Studio’s themselves announced it will be available tomorrow, the 27th and I can confirm that everything is still a go and it will launch tomorrow as planned.

Temple Run for Android will be free according to the developers but most likely will include ads, but for a game this popular I’m sure most wont mind. We are hearing it will work for most Android smartphones even older devices such as the original Samsung Galaxy S, and other older single-core phones so most users should be able to enjoy this supremely addicting game.

No word yet on exactly when it will be available. Could be tonight at 12:01, or be pushed to the Play Store sometime tomorrow during the day. We’ve reached out to Imangi and if we hear a time we’ll update with all the details and a link once it goes live.

So I must ask, Who’s excited? Sound off in the comment section below!

Update: March 27th at 6:00 AM EST in the US, for those wondering.

HTC Wind dual-SIM ICS phone heads to China

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 01:50 PM PDT

An unannounced smartphone from HTC is starting to make the rounds in the Chinese markets being called the HTC Wind. The device doesn’t rock the new “One” naming scheme from HTC but does feature most of the top specs HTC outlined a device must meet to be titled a “One” device. What makes it special is it also has dual-SIM slots, something that is increasingly popular in China.

The HTC Wind appears to be a pretty decent mid-range phone. Coming with a 4″ Super LCD display, Beats Audio, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense UI 4.0, something that we thought was reserved for the “One” phones since all their previous devices are getting upgraded to version 3.6 currently. That is where the good news stops because the rest is mid-range at best.

The Wind comes with a 1.0 GHz single-core processor and only 512MB of RAM but should run Ice Cream Sandwich quite well according to HTC. The specs are pretty close to the HTC One V, but the front looks a bit like the new One S we saw at MWC. It will also come with 4GB of RAM and a 1,650 mAh battery under the hood.

For now this device will probably never leave the Chinese markets, but it’s new and appears to be one more of multiple HTC devices as of late. We thought they were going to slow it down for 2012 and produce less devices, but so far we’ve seen quite a bit still. It looks nice, but don’t expect to see it stateside.

HTC-T328w-dual-SIM-Android-40-ICS-2 HTC-T328w-dual-SIM-Android-40-ICS-3 HTC-T328w-dual-SIM-Android-40-ICS-4

[via Unwired View]

Motorola phone appears in China – could be the DROID Blade

Posted: 26 Mar 2012 11:47 AM PDT

What we have here is a new Motorola phone that for now is a complete mystery. We’ve seen multiple Motorola phones head to Chinese markets only so chances are this could be a China exclusive. From what we are gathering this could be the rumored Motorola DROID Fighter from previous reports, although Fighter leaks had a more RAZR styling, or a new phone possible called the DROID Blade.

The design and curves are similar to the RAZR although the top has a redesigned style – possible for a DROID X3. According to some comments by PhoneHK the phone will be called the Motorola Blade. That surely goes right along with Motorola’s recent naming scheme with the RAZR, so it makes sense. With the larger bezel and chin below we are assuming this has soft keys, but there is no way to tell if it will come with Gingerbread or Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at this point.

The phone goes back to the large hump on back leading us to think it has a 13 megapixel camera like other Motorola leaks from China in the past, but it does also appear to be slightly thicker than the RAZR so this could also come with a large MAXX-style battery. The Kevlar coating on the rear that we are starting to get used to appears to go from edge-to-edge here instead of being wrapped in an aluminum bezel like the DROID RAZR. This could be a brand new phone coming soon, a device solely for the Chinese markets, or something else. We’ll continue digging for information and update once we hear or see more.

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[via Droid-Life]

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