Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Google Currents goes international – gets huge speed increase and offline reading

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 11:15 AM PDT

The beautiful and free magazine reader Google Currents was just updated today by Google bringing some much needed changes, not to mention international availability and support for over 44 languages. Being released back in December users have been patiently waiting for an update and additional support and today they killed two birds (or more) with one stone and have released a massive update.

Being detailed in full on the Google Mobile Blog, Currents now has even more to offer users than ever before. First off you’ll notice a massive speed and performance increase with daily usage and syncing. They claim 7x the performance than the previous version so things should be very fast. Next they got rid of sync and it automatically does it now, no need to hit that sync button. The last major thing worth noting is worldwide availability in over 44 languages. You’ll no longer need a hacked APK if you’re an international user.

Updated Features:
-Sync speed – Dramatic (7X) performance boost.
-Instant online sync – No need to press “sync”. Just open an edition for latest content.
-Offline reading – Choose favorite editions for offline images.
-International – Currents now available worldwide (in 44 languages).
-Translate – Translate complete editions to your preferred language. (38 languages).
-Trending – Local trending stories provided for US, FR, UK, DE, IT, ES, JP, AU.
-Bug fixes

As you can see from the full changelog listed above we also get offline reading, with images, translation for 38 different languages, and they’ve added a trending topic so you can read the latest and greatest currents. Hit the Google Play Store link below to get the latest Currents or to give it a try. Don’t forget to look up SlashGear and Android Community to keep up with the latest gadget and Android news daily.

Google Currents Play Store Link


Verizon upgrade fee isn’t as bad as it sounds

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 10:44 AM PDT

There is a lot of chatter and angry readers this afternoon regarding the news that Verizon will start charging a $30 upgrade fee for those looking to upgrade their smartphone. While I’m not a fan of the fee and don’t like it one bit myself, it isn’t as bad as it sounds and won’t be going away either. I’ll tell you why below.

Verizon is actually the last carrier to implement this fee. As in they’ve been the good guys for well over a year while all the others were charging similar fee’s. We wont see this reversed like the $2 monthly fee earlier this year either — but it can’t hurt to try. AT&T, T-Mobile and the rest of the US carriers all charge upgrade fee’s, Verizon is actually the second cheapest too.

AT&T and T-Mobile both have been charging $18 for their fee for a long time, and this February AT&T doubled that fee to $36 — making Verizon’s $30 seem not so bad. With AT&T and that other wannabe LTE carrier charging $36 each, and T-Mobile only charging $18, this makes Verizon’s seem ok if you ask me — even if I don’t agree with the fee in the first place. Another thing no one’s mentioned this morning is the EU (early upgrade) fee is being raised from $20 to the same $30 as the new regular fee.

There is some good news here though. Business and prepay customers do not have to pay this fee, and if you are getting a new device but NOT resigning/extending a contract you don’t have to pay this fee either. That does mean you’ll be paying full price for the device though, so there’s a catch on that one. What does and does not apply can all be read in the image posted below for those with more questions.

Thoughts on the upgrade fee? I know you’re mad but everyone else does it too. Does that make it OK?

4G-LTE-Nexus-540x405 verizon-upgrade-fee-543x650


Huawei Ascend G300 coming to Vodafone for just £100

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 09:57 AM PDT

What can you get for a hundred quid? If you’re a Vodafone customer or intend to switch, you can get a pretty respectable Gingerbread phone. The Huawei Ascend G300 will launch on the UK carrier on April 13th for £100, or starting at £15.50 a month when bought in conjunction with a data contract . While nowhere near as powerful as some of the latest high-end phones, it’s got a set of features that puts it squarely in the mid-range for a price that was previously reserved for small and generally weak smartphones.

The Ascend G300 has a 4-inch 480×800 screen, 1Ghz single-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera. The phone runs a customized version of Gingerbread (what, you didn’t expect something newer, did you?) but given Huawei’s recent upgrade history, the G300 has a better chance than most to get Ice Cream Sandwich. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Storage hasn’t been determined, but the phone does have a MicroSD card slot. A 1500mAh battery should last you all day with these specs.

Interestingly, it looks like Vodafone will be the only ones selling the Ascend G300. This is an unusual method of distribution in the UK, where all the carriers use the same HSPA+ bands and unlocked devices are essentially universal. With a phone this cheap, Vodafone may insist on a SIM lock to keep would-be users from other carriers from buying it in their stores. We’ve got a fair but of UK readers here on Android Community; any takers?

[via UnwiredView]


Pebble combines Bluetooth smart watch and e-paper in Kickstarter campaign

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 09:18 AM PDT

Smart watches are finally starting to catch on, but unfortunately, they’re all pretty expensive – not to mention bulky. One Kickstarter project aims to change that with a lowered featureset and Kindle-style e-ink technology, bringing both the size and the price down to something a little more manageable. The Pebble watch is currently in the concept stage, but with a Kickstarter campaign that’s nearing completion, it looks like it’l be hitting stores before the end of the year.

There’s nothing ground-breaking about the Pebble watch – it’s actually a little less complex than would-be competitors like the WIMM One and the I’m Watch. But it’s small, stylish (or at least more stylish than alternatives) and its e-ink display should solve the ever-present problem of battery life (7 days). A Bluetooth connection pairs it with Android or iOS for alerts, including caller ID, email and Gmail, calendar events, Facebook and Twitter messages and weather. Text message alerts are exclusive to Android. There will also be an SDK for pairing with other apps or taking advantage of the watch’s accellerometer and vibration motor, and watch faces and watch-specific apps can be distributed through a separate app store. And for you dedicated watch wearers out there, the Pebble works with interchangeable 22mm watch bands.

The campaign has reached over 80% of its $100,000 goal with 37 days remaining, virtually guaranteeing success at this point. It easy to see why: for a $100 commitment you get the Pebble watch when it releases, at a projected retail price of $150. Increased pledges get access to increased rewards, including color choice,s early access to the SDK and more. I’ve already put in my pledge. The campaign is hoping to deliver final hardware by September of this year.

UPDATE: Goal reached! I’ll be waiting patiently for my Pebble watch.

combo3 email1 trio2

[via SlashGear]


Verizon plans $30 upgrade fee for existing customers

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 08:39 AM PDT

Planning on buying a new Verizon phone after April 22nd? Then plan to spend a little more money: Verizon announced that they’re adding a $30 “upgrade fee” for existing customers who want to get a new phone and renew their two-year contract. The fee will be enacted on all returning customers in two weeks, though you apparently won’t have to pay it… if you pony up for an unsubsidized phone. For several hundred dollars more, on phones that are already considerably more expensive than their counterparts on other networks. Hooray.

Verizon claims that the fee will be put in place to “continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.” Apparently these services, which Verizon has provided for years without the aid of an extraneous fee, simply can’t continue without getting some extra cash out of their users. This comes after a failed attempt to add a $2 “convenience fee” to customers who had the audacity of paying with a debit or credit card.

I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but as a Verizon customer (whose location doesn’t give any other options) this seems like pretty straightforward profiteering. It’s not enough that Verizon and manufacturers price phones in such a way that most people can’t afford a smartphone without egregious subsidies. It’s not enough that after two years of service, that while certainly among the best in the nation is also its most expensive, they have to get another two year contract to get a phone that will be out of date in one. No, they’ve got to tack $30 on to the privilege of continuing to be a Verizon customer, giving services that they already offer as an excuse. This isn’t going to be enough to make me to switch – Verizon’s coverage just cant’ be beaten – but it doesn’t make me a happy user. These nickel-and-dime fees are really getting out of hand.


T-Mobile gives the HTC One S a launch party on April 18th

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 07:59 AM PDT

T-Mobile customers have been waiting for months to get their hands on the HTC One S, and while the carrier has yet to officially set a date for the svelte Android 4.0 smartphone, it looks like it’s getting pretty close. After rumors of a late April launch, T-Mobile has sent out press invitations to a launch party on April 18th, precisely one week from today. That would certainly seem to imply that they’re ready to start up a marketing campaign, if nothing else. There’s no verification on the actual launch date, but sometime the following week seems likely.

The last we heard, T-Mobile’s internal systems pegged the phone for release on April 25th, the Wednesday following the launch event. With press info sent out, it seems to be a done deal, so start saving your pennies. There’s been no official word on a price either, but given their current lineup, I’d bet on $249 with a two-year contract. T-Mobile’s still using HSPA+ technology for its network, so the the American version of the phone should be almost identical to its European counterpart, which we reviewed last week.

And by the way T-Mobile users, if you’ve been waiting for a next-generation phone with a subsidy, this is it. Never mind the slim aluminum chassis or the 8 megapixel camera. Never mind the Snapdragon S4 processor, which (at least in some tests) beats the Tegra 3 quad-core with a stick. Never mind the 4.3-inch display. No, the real draw is Ice Cream Sandwich, and the One S will be HTC’s first US phone to get the updated software at launch, along with Sense 4.0. It’s about time.

Also, attendees of the launch party will be serenaded by “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.“, which is apparently a pop band and not the unborn progeny of a NASCAR driver. You live and learn.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : One S
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 26, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution : 540x960
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.56 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 120 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1650 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Snapdragon S4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 1700
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Sony Xperia S heads to Canada unlocked on April 17th

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 07:23 AM PDT

While not quite as flashy as some of the other flagship Android phones running around at the moment, the Sony Xperia S is still a drool-worthy device – and those of us in the Americas are drooling all the more because we can’t have it yet. But if you happen to live above the 49th parallel, you won’t have to wait much longer: Sony’s bringing the Xperia S to Canada on April 17th (next Tuesday). There’s a catch, though: you won’t find it on any of Canada’s cell phone providers, not even the previously rumored Rogers. You’ll only be able to pick it up from Sony’s website or an official Sony Store.

According to the official Sony listing, the phone will be “compatible with the Rogers network”, which means that it should work on all the major players in Canada. Don’t expect LTE speeds, though: all the versions of the Xperia S will be HSPA+ only, unlike the modified Xperia Ion on AT&T. Sony doesn’t actually say that the phone is unlocked, but it’s hard to imagine them selling a full-priced phone locked to a single carrier without any kind of subsidy.

Sony also failed to mention a price. Given what the phone is going for unlocked in Europe and importers, something between $600 and $650 seems likely – that’s about the going rate for flagships. Not that the Xperia S doesn’t warrant it – check out our hands-on here to see why. While the screen isn’t the largest at 4.3 inches, its 720p IPS panel makes it the sharpest on the market, and that’s only complimented by a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, impressive 12MP camera, and an interesting if understated design. Sadly the phone is still running Gingerbread, but Sony’s Ice Cream Sandwich beta program has already begun for several other phones – it can’t be too long before it’s available.

[via Talk Android]


Rumor: Google offered Motorola’s hardware division to Huawei

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 06:50 AM PDT

One of the biggest Android stories of 2011 was Google’s acquisition of American handset manufacturer Motorola, now in its final stages. While most business pundits speculated that the purchase was primarily for Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio (the company was one of the first large-scale manufacturers of cell phones and pagers) Android fans held out hope that Moto would become Google’s unofficial hardware supplier, despite the latter’s claim that no preferential treatment would be given. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, it really was all for the patents – Google was apparently so disinterested in Moto’s handset division that they offered to sell it to Chinese manufacturer Huawei.

As disheartening a move as that might be, it makes sense. Google doesn’t make hardware, at least not on a consumer electronics level, and trying to shift their focus away from web services and software would put them in direct competition with some of their biggest mobile partners. Add to that the fact that a lot of Motorola’s non-mobile hardware like cable boxes and short-range communications line up with Huawei’s, since the Chinese company is one of the biggest suppliers of communication infrastructure hardware in the world. While Motorola’s profits are growing, they’re still in the red – and the company is nowhere near the leading position it claimed in the early 2000s. Google asked Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha to step down two months ago.

I had hoped that Ice Cream Sandwich would finally give manufacturers a reason to stop covering up the “ugly” aspects of Android with skins in the nebulous name of differentiation. That hasn’t happened. Every major phone manufacturer, including Motorola (even with the Google purchase looming over them) and interestingly excluding Huawei, continues to force their custom interface on top of Android, with varying success. Google can’t be happy about that, but they’re not so displeased as to make Motorola into an example of how things should be done – it appears that outside of the Nexus devices, which themselves are becoming more and more marginalized, Google will continue to allow manufacturers relatively free rein while granting access to the essential Android services like the Google Play Store.

The patent wars from Apple and Microsoft seem to be quieting down as 2012 continues, with only Oracle actually confronting Google head-on in their crusade against Android. Ir’s hard to say if Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio made a difference, or if it was simply fatigue, or in Apple’s case the loss of an obsessively single-minded leader.  In any case, Google holding the keys to an extensive set of essential patents is the equivalent of a big stick in the corporate patent world. Maybe that’s all they wanted with Motorola after all. No one at Google, Motorola or Huawei has commented on the rumor.


Instagram for Android gets 5 million downloads in one week

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 05:54 PM PDT

Guess what: Android users really, really like Instagram. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that lots and lots of people like Instagram, and a lot of them use Android phones and tablets. At least 5 million, to be precise – today the download ticker in the Google Play Store was upgraded to “5-10 million”, meaning that at this precise moment it’s probably at around 5.1 million total downloads.  For an app that came out exactly one week ago, that’s an astounding number… though we’ve got to point out that they’d be doing a lot better if they hadn’t waited a year and a half before releasing a proper Android port.

Not that Instagram needs any instruction from whiny tech bloggers like me. The company was bought by Facebook just yesterday for an astounding one billion dollars. For a mobile app developer with six employees, that’s basically the equivalent of being sent to Valhalla without having to die first. Odds are that the Android app was just the icing on the cake – Instagram claimed more than 10 million total users on iOS before last week, so now they’re at somewhere between 15 and 20 million.

If you haven’t downloaded Instagram yet (hey, not everyone is a fan), you can check out our official review. Long story short: it’s a solid enough app, but needs some serious polish and there are still too many devices that aren’t supported. It’s a good thing that the developers have been releasing regular updates – the third post-release update was sent out on Friday. One has to wonder what all those whiny iPhone users are thinking, now that their little “artistic” community has been bought by the web’s version of McDonald’s and between a quarter and a third of Instagram users are accessing the service on Android.

[via USA Today]


HTC Rhyme update on the way with new dock features

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 05:07 PM PDT

The plum colored HTC Rhyme over on Big Red is set to receive an update soon according to the folks from Verizon. The documents have just been released detailing the upcoming update although it’s not actually available yet. While this isn’t Ice Cream Sandwich or anything major it does bring some improvements and new dock features.

Sadly this isn’t Ice Cream Sandwich like many other HTC devices have been receiving as of late, and it doesn’t really bring anything all that important either. Oddly the update is quite large though. This new version is build 2.20.605.3 and the update comes in around 67.8MB in size. For those that love using that Rhyme dock for playing music, or hands-free calling it does have some new features worth a quick mention.

All the details from the update can be found from the image in the gallery below. Things like changes to the signal bar indicator and strength, bug fixes, and battery improvements — but those are all minor things most updates contain. The big fixes and improvements come to those who use the included dock, and here are the changes:

– Default applications in Dock Mode have been changed to "Phone" and "Calendar".
– In-call volume control has been added to Dock Mode.
– "All Apps" option has been added to Dock Mode.
– Resolved issue of dock volume changing to 20%.

It’s nice to see the dock wont be cranking volume down to 20% on its own anymore, making it hard to listen to music or hear people while on calls. For the rest of the changes see the Verizon update page linked at the top of the page. The update should start rolling out this week to users. Let us know when you get it, and how it works out.

rhyme-hands-on-1-540x360 rhyme-update-550x712
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Rhyme
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : September 20, 2011
    Release Date : September 29, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 3.70 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : S-LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.69 Inch
  • Width : 2.39 Inch
  • Depth : 0.43 Inch
  • Weight : 135 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1600 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 410 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Qualcomm MSM8655
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 768 MB
    Internal Storage : 4.096 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Android Police]


ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME171 on sale in Taiwan

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 04:51 PM PDT

Remember the Eee Pad MeMO ME 171? You know, ASUS’ 7-inch stylus-equipped device, which was spotted over a year ago and mysteriously popped up again at CES? Well, that little guy is finally on sale in ASUS’ home territory of Taiwan. Netbook News picked one up for the price of 17,500 New Taiwan Dollars, or $585 US, and apparently the 7-inch slate has been given no press fanfare – it’s just sitting in Taiwanese electronics retailers, waiting for unsuspecting consumers to pick one up. What gives? Android fans, take note: this is a different device than the much-anticipated MeMO 370T, which is still in tablet limbo somewhere.

If you need a refresher course, the MeMo ME171 is a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet with an integrated stylus. The screen is the standard 1280×800 with the added benefits of IPS. Inside this little guy is running a 1.2Ghz dual-core Qualcomm processor with 1GB of RAM, with 16GB of storage space and a MicroSD card slot for good measure. The rear camera is a surprising 5 megapixels with a 1.2MP front-facing cam. The version that’s at retail in Taiwan has a SIM card slot, and presumably access to 3G networks. As far as size goes, it’s pretty chunky for a 7-inch device, coming in at 7.8×4.6x.5 inches.

The tablet’s running Android 3.2, but ASUS promises an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich before too long. Like ASUS’ other tablets, the MeMO is mostly stock with some custom apps, in this case catering to the stylus input including MyPainter. Netbook News wasn’t impressed with the tablet, stating that it felt like it was made last year (and given its history, it basically was). The high price – way above the previously quoted $250, though the 3G radio may have something to do with that – was another downer. The MeMO ME171 may or may not come to other markets, but given the extreme lack of enthusiasm on ASUS’ part, I doubt it. Bring on the MeMo 370T and/or Nexus Tablet!

[via The Verge]


EA’s POGO Games favorites now available on Android

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 04:24 PM PDT

EA Games popular online casual gaming site POGO Games has always been something I expected to land on Android eventually, and this week it finally has. No doubt you’ve played some of their online games such as Solitaire, Word Whomp and others on a family members computer. Now four of their classic hit games are available on Android in an all-in-one download.

POGO and EA Games are proud to offer four classic hit casual games for Android in one app, and ad-free too. You’ll get Poppit!, WordWhomp, Sweet Tooth 2, and Turbo 21 for free. After some gaming you can unlock the always fun Solitaire too. EA games hasn’t released too many hit games for Android yet, but things are starting to take shape over there.

Along with offering four games for free, and all in one they’ve also added the usual social network fun and you can share results with friends, sign in and find friends using Facebook, and even compare with others. Basically the same social network options as most games these days. As long as Facebook isn’t the only way to sign in — I’ll be happy. If you’d like more details hit the market links below. You can also join Club Pogo to get access to over 40 games if you’re a die hard fan.

POGO Games Link

pogo pogo2 pogo1

[via DroidGamers]


Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G gets root and custom recovery

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 03:42 PM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G has been lighting up T-Mobile’s airwaves for about three weeks now, during which its owners were sadly bereft of rooting and ROM flashing options. But as usual, the community comes through: XDA user k0nane gifted Blaze owners with root early this morning, and it was hardly any time at all before fellow member shabbypenguin got a method of getting the venerable ClockworkMod recovery up and running. Neither process is as easy as it is on some devices: you’ll be messing with Samsung’s proprietary flashing tool Odin to get everything up and running, which is handy, since it’s aparently pretty easy to wipe your phone in the process.

The root process needs Odin to flash a special Android kernel and the standard BusyBox app. The ClockworkMod recovery (version 5.5.04, if you’re wondering) uses the same tool to flash. In both cases you’ll need to do a little prep work, so if you’re planning on flashing your Galaxy S Blaze 4G, make sure and read the pages linked above very carefully. Once you’ve done the deed, you’ll be ready for root apps and all manner of custom ROMs… once they’re made, anyway.

The Galaxy S Blaze 4G is blessed with an overabundance of processing power in addition to an annoyingly long name. Its 1.5ghz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM are more than a match for most high-end smartphones, even if the screen and styling leaves a little something to be desired. That being the case, it shouldn’t be too long before someone gets around to creating an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the phone based off of one of the other Samsung ROMs, and they should certainly be able to do so before Samsung and T-Mobile get around to it. We live in hope.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : T-Mobile
    Announced Date : February 22, 2012
    Release Date : March 21, 2012
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.79 Inch
  • Width : 2.48 Inch
  • Depth : .44 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1750 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Qualcomm S3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 8GB GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via AndroidSpin]


Samsung Galaxy S III in the wild – but under disguise

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 03:21 PM PDT

We’ve heard multiple reports and rumors about the supposed specs of the Samsung Galaxy S III for months on end now. With multiple “leaks” and images also hitting the web we’ve still never seen anything too convincing. It’s been said to have already reached some carriers for testing in Korea, but that is about all we know. What we do know though, is Samsung has done a great job keeping things a mystery with the Galaxy S III.

Earlier this week we were just talking about this here at AC. How nothing concrete had been leaked regarding actual specs, hardware, or any pictures yet. Obviously some of what we’ve seen (linked to below) could end up being the real deal but they’ve all looked pretty fake so far. Samsung has done a great job hiding everything regarding the Galaxy S III and some new reports from Redmond Pie mentions how and why. It looks like Samsung is taking another approach that Apple has, and is disguising their flagship device to mislead the average eye or leakster.

We’ve heard 4.65″ screens to 4.8″, dual-core 2.0 GHz processors and 1.5 GHz quad-cores and more, but nothing is actually known. According to what we are now hearing. The device is actually being tested by multiple carriers around the world, but has an excellent disguise. Coming with a huge and hideous case around it, being described as a “lunch box” like disguise.

Apparently the device has been in carriers possession for testing for around 8 weeks now. A full two months. If that is the case then we should be seeing or hearing more very soon — as long as things are going well of course. If rumors are to be believed this aluminum housed phone should rock an amazing 4.8″ Super AMOLED HD screen, be super thin, powered by a blazing fast quad-core processor, and have an awesome 8 or 12 megapixel camera around back. All sealed up with 4G LTE and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

I for one am extremely excited to see what Samsung has in store for us, and pretty sure I’m not alone either. With competition between Apple and now HTC starting to really heat up, this entire disguise idea makes total sense. Thoughts?


ASUS Transformer Pad 300 gets a pre-order in France

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 02:57 PM PDT

Do you love the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but want something a little down-market? Do you live in or around France? The head on over to the Tablette Store and say, “Je veux le bleu, s’il vous plaît.” The ASUS Transformer Pad 300 (minus the “Eee” branding, finally) has just gone up for pre-order. The 32GB version is set at  €499, or about $650. ASUS mentioned a cheaper 16GB alternative when it debuted the 10-inch tablet at Mobile World Congress, but there’s no sign of it today – though the retailer says that the tablet will be available on May 15th. Presumably the price is for the tablet alone, though the keyboard dock is pictured.

The Transformer Pad 300 is an updated version of the original Transformer, complete with docking keyboard and Tegra 3 processor. This one’s clocked lower than the one of the Transformer Prime at 1Ghz. You still get Ice Cream Sandwich and a 1280×800 LCD screen, but the tablet’s construction has switched to a sturdy plastic to avoid the WiFi and signal issues of the Transformer Prime. You can have it in any color you like – so long as you like red, blue or white.

The version going on sale in France is WiFi-only, and thus will have NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 instead of a Snapdragon 4 found on forthcoming LTE versions (France doesn’t have any LTE-capable networks, to my knowledge). Consider this one suspect for the moment – retailers have been known to speculate on release dates to get pre-orders. ASUS hasn’t given any indication of when the 300 (or its more high-end brother the Transformer Pad 700) will be coming out, but the summer seems like a safe bet. ASUS tends to have fairly close worldwide releases, so other countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas should be seeing it around the same time.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Pad 300
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : 0.39 Inch
  • Weight : 635 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Liliputing]


Netflix for Android updated with improved UI and volume controls

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 01:11 PM PDT

For all you TV and movie watchers Netflix for Android has just received another update today. We aren’t seeing much regarding changes to the phone interface but the tablet UI has improved a little, especially with volume controls. I guess the first attempt for on-screen volume adjustment wasn’t sitting well with the folks from Netflix.

As you can see from the image above, they have updated the general look and feel of the on-screen volume control for tablets. With a tap on the screen you have full access to all the forward and rewind capabilities as before, but just like the update back in February you now can control the volume with a quick and easy slide.

Now a large bubble appears that makes increasing or decreasing the volume extremely simple, and the chat box appears for controlling subtitles and more. Overall the change is pretty minor, but apparently Netflix felt the previous implementation wasn’t good enough. We are hearing a few tips that stability has improved for some Motorola devices that were having issues with streaming. Netflix also claims to have increased stability and fixed a few lingering bugs. Get it now and enjoy!

Netflix link


AT&T HTC One X shows its dual-core power in benchmarks

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 12:32 PM PDT

In case you haven’t been following along with the HTC One series of smartphones. They have two different models of the new top-tier phone. The HTC One X features a 4.7-inch display and some impressive specs. The difference here is the international model available now (and reviewed here) has the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core, while the AT&T model benchmarked today has a Qualcomm 1.5 GHz dual-core instead. We’ve tested both platforms already but check out these latest results below.

We compared both platforms in our own benchmark battle although they were different devices with different screen sizes. Today’s results shows the exact same phone, the One X being ran with the dual-core instead. What we are seeing is pretty stellar results, and that two cores seem to be handling things just fine. If you thought quad-cores were going to be the best of the best, you might want to think again.

During our own testing linked to above, we found that the dual-core Qualcomm and the quad-core NVIDIA processors traded wins throughout multiple benchmarks on Android. With neither being a clear winner and them both having similar strengths across the board. The video provided shows that the absence of those additional two cores doesn’t seem to matter much, and that Qualcomm is looking really good right about now.

Once the AT&T One X is released we’ll be sure to do our own Android Community breakdown and compare both device head-to-head for a better comparison. Stay tuned for more details.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : One X [AT&T]
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : AT&T
    Announced Date : February 26, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.7 Inch
  • Resolution : 720x1280
  • Screen Type : S-LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.31 Inch
  • Width : 2.75 Inch
  • Depth : 0.36 Inch
  • Weight : 131 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1800 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : S4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 850
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Wireless Goodness]


HTC One S hits T-Mobile April 25th

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 11:54 AM PDT

HTC’s new One series is getting a lot of attention as of late, and with good reason. Currently the new phones are available across Europe but we are still waiting for them to land here in the states. AT&T has the One X coming soon, and some new leaks have all but confirmed the HTC One S will be available from T-Mobile on April 25th.

Spotted by the folks from TmoNews are some new documents floating around at T-Mobile showing April 25th for the official release date. We saw a few similar dates leaked previously but now that multiple leaks have been spotted this is about as official as it gets. Until T-Mobile says it themselves of course.

If you’re excited about the One S, or would like to know more make sure you check out our extensive HTC One S Review. Comign with a 4.3-inch display, an impressive and powerful next-gen 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and that awesome camera this will be the phone to get this summer from T-Mobile — that or the Galaxy S III of course. Hit all the links below for all the One S news you can handle.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : One S
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 26, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution : 540x960
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.56 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 120 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1650 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Snapdragon S4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 1700
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


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