Saturday, 31 March 2012

Android Community

Android Community

T-Mobile apologizes for notification bar ads

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 05:59 PM PDT

I get the feeling that a lowly software engineer somewhere in the bowels of T-Mobile’s corporate headquarters is feeling even lower tonight. After a recent update to the often mandatory T-Mobile MyAccount Android app, users started noticing periodic ads appearing in the Android notification bar. T-Mobile customers were, to put it mildly, ticked. The story hit the tech media after threads on T-Mobile’s support forums and Reddit reached into the hundreds. Now T-Mobile seems to have seen the error of its ways, apologizing for the “mistake” and saying that it won’t happen again.

Here’s the full text of T-Mobile’s apology, from TmoNews:

During a recent software update, a message to promote T-Mobile's free VIP Zone was mistakenly sent to certain customers and appeared on the notification bar for some Android devices. After T-Mobile was made aware of this mistake, the company stopped the notifications. T-Mobile apologizes for the inconvenience this may have caused customers.

T-Mobile claims that ads for the T-Mobile VIP Zone were “mistakenly” sent out to customers’ notification bars. To be blunt, that sounds less than likely – sending out an update like that requires some very deliberate calls on Android’s APIs, and the chance of them being sent by accident is almost zero. Even so, T-Mobile should get some major brownie points for both recognizing its customers’ objections and reacting to them quickly. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Notification bar ads are becoming more and more common, and on Android at least, they’re considerably more invasive than banner or pop-up ads thanks to being placed in close proximity to legitimate updates like email, texts and music. They’re a frequent feature of “free” apps that you really shouldn’t download, and at least one Japanese carrier has experimented with the idea itself. We’re glad that T-Mobile realized and recitified its mistake so quickly… and we hope that other carriers learn from the example.

Motorola sends out DROID RAZR software invite – ICS may be incoming

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 05:33 PM PDT

Well would you look at that. Just a few hours after the news broke that Best Buy had leaked possible Ice Cream Sandwich updates for the DROID RAZR, DROID RAZR MAXX and HTC Rezound, Motorola itself is sending out emails to DROID RAZR owners inviting them to test out a new software release. The invitation is for members of the official Motorola Owners’ Forums, and it valid for DROID RAZR MAXX owners as well. The language is a little different than we’re used to seeing for the normal maintenance updates, usually called “soak tests”.

All this lends credence to the earlier leaks – Motorola likes to test out almost all of its software updates on  small subsection of the affected userbase 1-2 weeks before the updates themselves go live. What’s surprising is that the update appears to be coming so soon. A lack of dates on Motorola’s official Ice Cream Sandwich rollout led us to believe that the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX wouldn’t be getting Android 4.0 until after the international RAZR did, sometime in the second quarter. Most of the time a manufacturer will update the unlocked version of a phone, then collaborate with regional wireless carriers to add in their required code and apps.

If you’ve gotten the email in question from the Motorola Owners Forum, jump on it – you may well be one of the very first DROID RAZR owners to get a taste of the official update. The email stipulates that talking about it to the media is strictly verbotten, so we may not hear any more news until the update goes live next week, if that indeed happens. That said, these things have a way of leaking out, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the update hit one of the regular Android forums this weekend… whatever it turns out to be.

[via Droid-Life]

Hyundai A7 Android 4.0 ICS tablet for $110 looks surprisingly decent

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 05:07 PM PDT

We’ve seen more then our share of cheap knockoff Android tablets but this one has fairly decent hardware. Most likely this is similar to those knockoffs and actually doesn’t have any affiliation with Hyundai the car company. What you do get though for a quick $110 is a 7″ 480 x 800 resolution Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. The screen is capacitive touch and has 5-point multitouch. Read on for more details.

Now what exactly does your $110 dollars get you? A 7″ tablet that should run most games and apps quite decent with a 1.5 GHz Cortex-A8 processor, just not from any brands we know. It also comes with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and room for more. The A7 has micro-HDMI out for gaming or watching movies on a big screen, and supports micro-SD for extra storage.

It might not be the prettiest tablet around but the screen is capacitive (as in not a cheap resistive screen you have to pounce on) and it runs the latest and greatest from Google. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet has been available for a little over a month already but has recently landed in-stock again so was worth a quick shout out. Mostly likely this will feel like another cheap Chinese knock-off tablet but for $110 coming with a 1.5 GHz processor and Ice Cream Sandwich it’s worth a quick look.

If you have one feel free to comment below, and if you pick one up we’d love to hear your thoughts. Get it today from the link below with free shipping to the US.

[via Focalprice]

Google makes 4 times as much revenue on iOS as on Android? Not so fast

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 04:40 PM PDT

Earlier this week a report from The Guardian stated that Google was making four times as much money off of advertising from iPhone, iPad and iPod ads than it was on the entire Android platform. Android Community elected not to run the story, because frankly, we had doubts about the author’s methods of calculation based on a proposed settlement in the Oracle lawsuit. It appears that we weren’t the only ones: Business Insider reports that a source close to Google has invalidated the claim, saying that the Guardian misunderstood the value and intention of the settlement.

It goes something like this: Google offered to settle the lawsuit with Oracle (now over a year in the making) for $2.8 million US dollars. Charles Arthur of the Guardian reckoned that this figure was a percentage of the total profits of Android, which he gave at .515% – about one two-hundredth of the total. Extrapolating from there, he figured that Android had made Google only $550 million dollars since its introduction in 2008. Getting numbers from Google’s total advertising revenue, he compared it to Google’s ad sales for the iOS platform in the same time period, totaling about $2 billion. (Just for instance, Oracle’s previous assessment that Google makes $10 million a day off of Android would have made it nearly a billion this year alone.)

But Arthur made a mistake that every grade school teacher will call you on: he didn’t show his work. A source “close to Google” told Business Insider that the 2.8 million dollar settlement (which has not been accepted) wasn’t reached by any sort of calculation based on Android profits. Instead it was what Google valued Oracle’s relevant patents at. A little critical thinking goes a long way: with the Android userbase roughly double that of iOS on smartphones and gaining in tablets, not to mention Google’s 30% cut of paid apps in the Android Market/Google Play Store, the original conclusion seems somewhat off base.

Of course, Google isn’t bringing in nearly as much revenue on Android as Applie is on iOS, because it manufactures no hardware and gives its operating system away for free. Google doesn’t mind – it made almost 40 billion in ad revenue last year.

Winter is coming… so download the Westeros Map from A Game of Thrones

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 04:03 PM PDT

If you’re a fantasy junkie and/or an HBO subscriber, odds are pretty good that you’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of the hit series A Game of Thrones. It’s a serial adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and HBO’s second season of the show begins on Sunday night. If you haven’t read the books (or even if you have) you’re probably a little lost when it comes to the expansive geography of the novels. Never fear, viewers: the Westeros Map app from developer Sergey Rekuz is here to help.

Through the course of the five current books in the series (and hopefully the television show, eventually) the author details hundreds and hundreds of locations through the island of Westeros and the eastern continent. The books have handy maps at the beginning, but watchers of HBO’s series have only the opening credits to form a mental picture of where the characters are. Thanks to the Westeros map, you can see all the locations via a lore-friendly interface, and search for them via a handy search function. That’s about it – but that’s about all you need.

As far as guides to the events and characters go, there are several free and paid apps on the Google Play Store, but none of them beats for breadth and completeness, and it looks fine on a mobile browser. (Major spoilers can be found within, by the way.) And of course HBO subscribers can watch previous episodes via the HBO GO app (if your cable provider supports it). Just two days left untill the game starts anew, fans – remember to put the kids to bed.

[via Androininca]

Verizon Rezound, DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX could get ICS updates next week

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 03:24 PM PDT

So far not a single device on Verizon has gotten an Ice Cream Sandwich outside of the developer devices. That may change next week: TechnoBuffalo got a look at what appears to be an internal Best Buy document stating in black and white that Verizon intends to update the Motorola DROID RAZR, the DROID RAZR MAXX and the HTC Rezound to Ice Cream Sandwich next week – the RAZRs on Wednesday April 4th, and the Rezound on Friday April 6th. Consider this a rumor at this point, but it’s better than nothing.

We know that ICS updates are in the cards for all three devices eventually: Motorola commited to updating the DROIR RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX (which are the exact same device from a software perspective) when they were released, and the Rezound was on HTC’s list of phones that would be updated eventually. But frankly, we weren’t expecting either to get updated untill well into summer, especially since Motorola’s stance on the American version of the RAZR hardware is tentative at best.

Best Buy has been known to make guesses on this sort of thing, and a second-hand retailer source is much less than iron clad. Though we’ve already beta versions of the both DROID RAZR’s and the Rezound’s Ice Cream Sandwich update, I still wouldn’t consider these April dates set in stone. I hope they’re real, but given Verizon, Motorola and to a lesser extent HTC’s update history, I’m only cautiously optimistic.

Temple Run for Android update solves crashes – supports Bionic and RAZR

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 03:21 PM PDT

The hugely anticipated iOS game Temple Run launched for Android on Tuesday and instantly was a popular hit. It’s only been three days and they’ve reported well over 1 million downloads on Android. With many new games there are bugs, some devices aren’t supported, and you get the occasional problem or crash. It’s only been out a few days and they’ve already issued their first update.

Being downloaded over 1 million times in 3 days is pretty good considering it doesn’t show at the top of the list when you search for “Temple Run” on the Google Play Store. You have to scroll down a ways for some reason. I’ve been telling people to search for “Imangi Studios” instead to find it easily. When the game launched it had a few bugs to say the least. I was having crashes every 3 or 4 tries on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and we saw tons of reports stating they had similar issues.

If you were excited to finally enjoy Temple Run on Android only to find out your phone wasn’t supported, or it crashed too much to be enjoyable then you should give it another try. Temple Run was just updated in the Google Play Store with multiple bug fixes, game crashes, and they’ve probably added more devices to the supported list – including the DROID Bionic and RAZR that for some reason weren’t included on launch day.

Get it? Got It? Good! Download it from the Google Play Store by clicking here

HTC Droid Incredible 4G hits Verizon systems

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 02:59 PM PDT

We’ve heard numerous reports and seen the name DROID Incredible 4G tossed around a few times this past couple of months but today things are starting to take focus. After a leaked device looked like a new Droid Incredible, then a few leaks suggesting a 4G LTE model was headed for Verizon today’s info shows the phone entering Verizon’s inventory system.

As you can see from the image above, that leaked back in February looking strikingly similar to the HTC Droid Incredible 2 the phone is indeed real. According to rumored specs it features a 4.3″ 720p HD display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Sense UI 3.6 (or 4.0) and comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. We aren’t sure if this will be comparable to the new HTC One S, or a slightly lower version for Verizon’s mid-range.

New images leaked to Android Central shows the “HTC DROID Incredible 4G” model number ARD6410 arriving in Verizon’s MAP system (minimum advertised price.) Meaning they could be in the final stages of preparation before announcing and launching the phone. With the HTC One S and One X hitting the UK and China this weekend hopefully Verizon will announce something soon to keep people interested.

Motorola Lapdock on sale today only – just $79 for DROID Bionic

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 12:50 PM PDT

Who wants to turn their Android-powered smartphone into a little netbook for the ultimate multimedia experience? While the thought of Motorola’s Lapdock hasn’t taken off in the market like they expected, it is an awesome add-on for anyone looking for additional options. Today 1SaleADay has the DROID Bionic specific lapdock on sale for just $79.99 — a pretty great deal if you ask me.

It might not be the best laptop around but it is thin, sleek, lightweight, has an 11.6″ screen and will turn that Bionic into a pretty powerful desktop-mode device. The Motorola Lapdock also has an additional battery inside that will not only last for 8-10 hours, but charges your Bionic while it’s docked too. We cover it in depth during our Bionic review linked to below.

The deal is for today only, and ends in 8 hours so you better hurry and decide if you’d like one. This is for a brand new unit, not refurbished so it’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Head to from the link below and get yours today.

A quick note, this is NOT the new universal Lapdock 100 or 500, this is the older dock that will only work with the DROID Bionic. I’m sure you could modify it for others but out of the box only the Bionic can enjoy this accessory.

[via 1SaleADay] — Thanks DJ

T-Mobile delays HTC Sensation 4G ICS upgrade

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 11:56 AM PDT

We have some good and bad news this week for owners of the HTC Sensation 4G here on T-Mobile‘s HSPA+ network. While we’ve heard plenty of good news from both HTC, and T-Mobile regarding updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the device, today we’ve learned that T-Mobile had to delay the Sensation’s update.

Just yesterday T-Mobile posted the update details and instructions to their forum, then later last night over on Facebook either T-Mobile or a sales rep posted some pretty detailed information regarding the update process, and that it had been sent back to HTC for some fixes. What this means it it could possibly be another 4-6 weeks before we see ICS for the HTC Sensation 4G officially. With HTC rolling out updates to multiple AT&T phones that were cleared and pushed out, this shows they are ready to continue with the rest of the devices as long as they don’t have similar issues.

I did mention good news above, so what is the good news? Popular developers CyanogenMod have opened up their sources and are officially building nightly ROM’s of CM9 Android 4.0.4 ICS for the Sensation, and users should get that if they’d like some stock Android or don’t want to wait for HTC and T-Mobile. This means users can compile Android 4.0 ICS for the Sensation with CM9 if they’d like, or get many of the custom ROM’s available from RootzWiki or XDA.

Until we hear more from T-Mobile, or see another leak users will have to wait another month or so for something to officially roll out to the Sensation 4G. In the meantime try some CM9 and let us know what you think. I’d start here for ROM’s.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Sensation 4G
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : T-Mobile
    Announced Date : April 12, 2011
    Release Date : May 19, 2011
    Also Known As :
  • Screen Size : 4.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 540x960
  • Screen Type : qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.96 Inch
  • Width : 2.57 Inch
  • Depth : 0.44 Inch
  • Weight : 148 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1520 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 350 hours
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
  • SMS
  • MMS
    CPU : Snapdragon
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 768 MB
    Internal Storage : 4 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p 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 AndroidandMe]

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