Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Temple Run for Android gets 10m downloads – update adds Twitter integration

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 11:11 AM PDT

Temple Run has been a smashing hit on Android since day one. Finally landing on Android and instantly becoming a classic with millions of downloads. Today Imangi Studios announced they’ve passed the 10 million downloads mark, and have just updated their app for Android with new features and bug fixes.

10 million downloads in less than a month is pretty impressive. Who says Android doesn’t have gamers and isn’t profitable for developers? So today they’ve updated the app to celebrate the 10 million milestone adding a few bug fixes and new features. Most notable is the integration of Twitter. Now players of Temple Run can share results, and brag about their longest run on Twitter with ease – right from inside the game.

Apparently the game also has some spelling mistakes (really) and they went ahead and fixed those this time around. Some users have reported random speed-up’s from runners that caused glitches and freezing, as well as the scoring going weird in game and Imangi has fixed both of those critical flaws as well. The new Temple Run is available now in the Google Play Store and should be even better now. Get to running and let us know if you still experience problems.

P10900382-540x405 temple

Temple Run Link


Verizon adds 7 markets to its LTE network on April 19th

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 10:14 AM PDT

It wasn’t very long ago that the US was considered behind most developed countries in wireless Internet tech. Oh, how the tables have turned. On Thursday April 19th, Verizon will add seven new cities to its 4G network, with expanded coverage in another five. According to its press release, this combined with other recent rollouts means that Verizon’s 4G network will cover two-thirds of the US population – a staggering achievement considering that the service is less than a year and a half old. Verizon’s first LTE device, the HTC Thunderbolt, launched just over a year ago.

The new markets are focused on the south, with Brunswick, LaGrange and Macon, Georgia and Ocala, Florida seeing the network launched. Dodge City, Kansas, Pierre South, Dakota and the Cattaraugus-Allegany counties in New York will also get the LTE switch thrown. Verizon is expanding the breadth of its service area in St. Louis, Missouri and the surrounding area, Wichita, Kansas, southern Illinois and the eastern and southeastern regions of Des Moines, Iowa. Buffalo, New York will also get “enhanced” service, presumably with some speed improvements.

By contrast, AT&T has only 32 cities, most of them major population centers, whereas medium-sized residential cities seem to be Verizon’s focus at the moment. With the other two carriers in the “Big Four” way behind on their LTE rollout, Verizon is well ahead in both coverage and device availability for true 4G – currently they’re offering a dozen Android LTE smartphones, plus two models of Motorola’s DROID XYBOARD and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablets from Samsung. AT&T is aggressively adding both markets and devices, but for the moment Verizon is decidedly in the lead on both counts. Let’s hope they can improve that reliability as well.


T-Mobile’s Carly wears black leather in brand makeover [Video]

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 09:43 AM PDT

You’ve probably seen some reports that T-Mobile is set to make some changes in the second half of 2012 now that their attempts to merge with AT&T have failed. In case you’ve missed it, they will be starting with their highly recognizable and always attractive Carly Foulkes. She’s dropping the cute act in favor of tight black leather (yes please) and a 1000cc Ducati Superbike and we have the full video below.

According to T-Mobile and SVP of communications, Peter DeLuca, they’ll be doing an entire brand makeover in the coming months showing customers what they are missing. Hoping they’ll take a second look at what T-Mobile and company has to offer, with one of the largest faux 4G networks available in the USA. The new tagline will be “No More Mr. Nice Girl” when the cute and innocent Carly drops the Magenta dresses and replaces them with black leather and a “4G fast” 1000cc Superbike Ducati. You’ve heard plenty about it so how about that new video titled “Alter Ego”

T-Mobile has an impressive device coming later this month in the brand new HTC One S, and you can see our review right here. The One S will probably be one of their better offerings this summer and you could even call it their flagship, although we can’t be certain with things like the Galaxy S III still unannounced. T-Mobile is having a party for the One S on the 18th and we are still expecting some sort of April release date possibly around the 25th.

So what do you think of T-Mobile’s plan for a brand makeover. Will dressing the beautiful Carly in black leather get attention? I think it will. Whether that will be enough for people to switch is a different story. They are looking to shake things up in the second half of 2012, and this looks to be a good start.

[via T-Mobile]


Samsung delays Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to add quad-core processor

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 09:29 AM PDT

When Samsung showed off the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 at Mobile World Congress, it was met with a resounding yawn. Aside from Ice Cream Sandwich, a MicroSD card slot and a slightly redesigned exterior, it was basically identical to the previous generation. But according to German site NetbookNews, the tablet has been delayed in order to get a more substantial upgrade: a quad-core Exynos processor. That would be a major win for anyone wanting some substantial performance gains over last year’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, and may be enough to warrant a second look from those dazzled by the Tegra and Snapdragon processors on other tablets.

The move mirrors the delay of the more well-received Galaxy Note 10.1, which was also upgraded to a quad-core Exynos chip. Both tablets were shown off at Mobile World Congress in a somewhat pre-production form, and rumor has it that the Galaxy Note 10.1 may be getting some more substantial revisions as well. Samsung is competing with price as well as features – the retail cost for the cheapest Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is expected to be $399, a hundred dollars lower than the original, though you’re bumped down to 8GB of storage for the savings.

There’s no official word from Samsung on the change, though the source claims a tipster inside Samsung South Korea. This news comes after new Samsung tablets under an “Espresso” brand were revealed in a leaked document. Could the vanilla Tegra 2 Galaxy Tabs be re-branded, with the quad-core versions getting the an upgrade? What would this do to Samsung’s pricing scheme? At this point there isn’t enough information to draw serious conclusions, but more low-end options in addition to tablets for speed demons would definitely be to Samsung’s benefit. Also note the rumors of the Galaxy S III, which may also pack a quad-core Samsung processor.

[via SlashGear]


Read It Later is now Pocket: we go hands-on

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 08:52 AM PDT

If you’re a hardcore web user, odds are pretty good that you’ve got some way of managing your content so that articles, images and videos that are interesting, but not pressing, are saved for later. Android has a lot of options for this, but one of the most popular has been Read It Later, a bookmarking and sharing service that’s gained millions of users over the last few years. Today Read It Later becomes Pocket, and with the branding identity change comes a brand new (and free!) app for Android. We took a look around the new Pocket to see how it stacked up to Read It Later.

What I immediately noticed is that Pocket’s new interface embraces Android 4.0, with icons and menu placement that seamlessly blend in with my Galaxy Nexus’ native Ice Cream Sandwich. This is still a rare sight among major Android apps, and even rarer for those publishers who have a significant iOS presence, like Read It Later-Pocket. Setting up a new account for the demonstration and saving my first few items was seamless on Android. I found myself saving directly from the Android browser.

Synced items are a little slow, sometimes requiring a refresh to see immediately. This isn’t a major issue, since most of the time you’ll be saving them and forgetting about them until later. All of the essential Read It Later functions remain intact: by default, the app saves a mobile-friendly version of a webpage or photo to view at a later date. Quickly going into airplane mode didn’t affect it at all – a welcome fact for someone who often loses 3G signal. The formatting itself is admirably clear with a Web View that can be accessed at any time, and if you prefer to save sites in a full desktop view that’s an option.

Sharing and managing from Pocket is also commendably easy. Long-press an item to bring up an ICS-style menu that lets you tag, favorite or delete an item, as well as mark items read or re-share it. You can filter a long list by content (web, photo or video) tag or parent URL. Once an item is marked as read, it disappears from your primary list, but you can still find it via the search function. I really can’t say how refreshing it is to see the interface so well-done on an Android app – Facebook could learn a thing or two here.

Overall the improvements from Read It Later to Pocket are impressive. The only thing that’s a bit of a let-down is the desktop web integration, now located at getpocket.com. The default tile view dynamically changes size, and on my account at least, the thumbnails wouldn’t appear, making the reading experience somewhat less seamless than the Android app. But overall it’s a refreshing change for a service that millions rely on. If you often find yourself switching between devices and missing content, you’ll want to give Pocket a try.

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Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S III is a minor update

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 07:33 AM PDT

Ceramic cases! 2Ghz processors! 1080p screens! These are just a few of the more outlandish rumors we’ve heard about the mythical hardware in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III. With press invitations sent to a May 3rd event, speculation has hit a fever pitch, but at least one news source advises caution. Cnet quotes an anonymous insider saying that Samsung’s update won’t be anywhere near as monumental as some rumors indicate – in fact, it’ll be positively minor. “It’ll be like the iPhone 4S was to the 4,” said the insider, bringing up memories of mild dissatisfaction among eager Apple customers.

So, on the one hand we have sources claiming insider information with some mind-boggling specs, and on the other we’ve got sources claiming a more tepid update. Both are from (mostly) reputable news outlets, both use anonymous sources. Cnet’s source wouldn’t give hardware specifics, but said to look to the HTC One X for a blueprint of what to expect. (It’s debatable whether a jump from the Galaxy S II to something like the One X qualifies as “minor”.) That would agree with the only two solid pieces of hardware information we’ve seen thus far: a Samsung Exynos quad-core processor and a 4.6-inch Super AMOLED HD+ display.

There was one more nugget of info the anonymous tipster revealed: the Galaxy S III will come with an eye-tracking feature. This isn’t used as an iris-based cursor or anything, it’s more of a secondary lock – the phone will operate normally when you’re looking at the screen (determined by the front-facing camera) and disable the touchscreen when you’re looking away. While this is certainly possible and might even be useful, it sounds like a major battery burner. If the eye-tracking feature is included, I hope it’ll be optional.

Whatever the hardware turns out to be, we’ve only got a few more weeks to wait. Samsung teased the tech press with a reveal of “The Next Galaxy” at a London event on May 3rd.

[via SlashGear]


European carriers say Nokia should go Android

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 06:55 AM PDT

If you’ve been following smartphone news from some non-Android sources, you probably know that Nokia’s Lumia 900 has made quite the splash over on AT&T. But apparently it’s not doing so hot across the pond: reports out of European cell carriers say that their retail staff can’t make a case for other Lumia phones like the 710 and the 800. Why? It’s the software, of course – Nokia’s gone full Windows Phone 7 with their smartphone line, something that’s a hard sell for European customers expecting Android.

Reuters spoke with one executive who wished to remain anonymous and came away with this answer:

"No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone… If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell.”

As someone who’s done some extensive testing on the Lumia 900, I can say that it’s a great phone and a fine operating system. The stability and general user interface actually beats Android, at least in my opinion. There are two things that might turn potential customers off: a modified UI that works more like the Zune than the typical “grid” layout that smartphones have been using since the first Treo (not that the UI is bad, it just takes some getting used to), and an overwhelming lack of third-party apps.

Nokia’s always made solid hardware, and we’re sure that carriers weren’t the only one disappointed when they decided to go Windows over Android over a year ago. A few high-spirited attempts have been made to do it for them, but for the time being it looks like the company isn’t interested in other operating systems. More’s the pity, for customers, operators, and most of all for Nokia.

[via DroidDog]


Unlocked Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update ready in the UK

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 06:34 AM PDT

Have you been watching while your pesky contracted United Kingdom fellows have waived their official Ice Cream Sandwich update in your face? Has your full-price, unlocked and SIM-free Galaxy S II been feeling left out of the Android 4.0 party? Then break out the USB cable and start up Kies, because today Samsung is officially sending out the ICS update via their desktop update software. Download Kies (if you haven’t already) make sure your drivers are working properly, and click the “firmware upgrade” button.

Samsung has thus far focused on delivering updates to those phones that have been sold through wireless carriers like Vodafone. The reasoning isn’t clear, but it has put those customers who purchased their phone at a full-priced retailer without a contract in something of a slump. In either case they’re getting updates faster than their American counterparts – we’ve only seen a leaked version of Android 4.0 for AT&T’s Galaxy S II and the Skyrocket LTE variant.

The update itself isn’t mind-blowing, since TouchWiz has remained more or less intact. But there are several new features native to Android 4.0 that you won’t want to miss, including the new multitasking interface, Face Unlock, data limit tracking and – finally – the ability to disable pre-installed apps. Based on our own experiences with Samsung’s version of ICS, the additions are very welcome. Unlocked phones won’t be getting this update over-the-air, but Samsung said that the update has been sent out to all UK customers excluding T-Mobile and Orange subscribers.

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


DROID RAZR Smart Actions ported to DROID Bionic

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 05:57 PM PDT

Not all manufacturer pack-in programs are bad – in fact, Motorola’s Smart Actions from the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX are downright handy if you’re looking to maximize your phone’s longevity. Unfortunately, those two phones (and their international counterparts) are the only ones that get the privilege. But with some modding and a little elbow grease, Twitter user Dan Davis managed to modify the app so that it runs on the DROID Bionic as well.

It makes sense: the Bionic came out only a little before the RAZR, and despite its chunkier profile it uses a lot of the same hardware and the same version of Android. Davis says that it’s only been tested on an official build of the Bionic’s software, so the modified Smart Actions app may require some of Motorola’s software infrastructure to work properly. On the plus side, it looks like it doesn’t need root. Just download the app from this shortlink and install it from your SD card, just like any other non-Market app.

Smart Actions is a lot like an official version of the popular battery saver apps available on the Google Play Store. In its default state it turns off a few power-draining basics like WiFi, screen brightness and auto-syncing when the battery hits a certain percentage. But it’s a surprisingly customizable piece of software: you can set up rules based on time usage, location and connection as to which services get shut down and when. If you’re still running a stock DROID Bionic (and thanks to Motorola’s locked bootloader that’s a definite possibility) give it a try.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID Bionic
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : August 24, 2011
    Release Date : September 08, 2011
    Also Known As : Targa
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution : 540x960
  • Screen Type : qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.00 Inch
  • Width : 2.60 Inch
  • Depth : 0.40 Inch
  • Weight : 159 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1735 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
  • CDMA
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via DroidMatters]


Google offers free data to Android users in India

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 05:13 PM PDT

Smartphones are great. Smartphone data plans? Not so great, especially in parts of the world where the mobile infrastructure is somewhat lacking. But it looks like Google’s doing something about that in India: they’re partnering with Reliance Communications to give free mobile data access with the purchase of a new Android phone or tablet. The good news is that anyone who buys a new phone from any Android manufacturer will be eligible. The bad news is that it’s just one non-recurring gigabyte on the 3G network.

Now 1GB will last longer than many of us think, especially for new smartphone owners. But the goal for Google and Reliance is not to be charitable, it’s to get Indian users excited about Android. Reliance’s 13 3G zones will be participating, including Delhi, West Bengal, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Kolkata, Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. There will also be a considerable marketing push from the two companies on Indian television and major web sites.

According to an earlier report from Convergence Catalyst, Android is set to double its market share in India this year. The subcontinent is one of the only major territories where Nokia has hung on to its share of the smartphone market, winning 46.6% last year to Android’s 28.2%. (If you’re wondering, iOS had 2.4% of India, BlackBerry had 13.3%, and Samsung’s proprietary Bada OS had a surprisingly strong 8.3%.)  If Google wants to jump-start Android, free cellular data seems like a good way to do it.

[via Tech2]


Motorola benchmark shows Snapdragon S4 processor

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 04:31 PM PDT

If you’ve bought a Motorola phone in the last two years, odds are overwhelming that it runs either a Texas Instruments or NVIDIA Tegra processor. But that may be changing soon: Blog of Mobile reports that the American manufacturer has a previously unknown phone coming in the near future, and surprisingly it’s running the increasingly popular Snapdragon S4 processor. Aside from the benchmark there’s very little to go on, but the radio bands indicate that the phone is headed for AT&T, and the screen resolution is an impressive 720p. It sounds like it could be an LTE variant of the DROID RAZR HD.

It’s not unusual for a manufacturer to mix it up with regard to suppliers – Samsung uses no less than four different vendors, including themselves. But since the launch of the original DROID Motorola has been faithful to Texas Instruments’ OMAP series of SOCs, except for a few excursions into Tegra 2 territory. This could indicate a design shift within the company, which would be a welcome thing from our perspective. The news is also a boon to AT&T customers, who haven’t had a high-end Motorola phone to look forward to since the ATRIX 2.

If Moto is enamored with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4, it isn’t the only one. Our own tests of HTC’s One S show some frankly amazing results in the benchmarks, and they come without a serious hit to battery life – something that Motorola’s been very focused on as of late with the DROID RAZR MAXX. Unlike the Tegra 3, Qualcomm’s chips also work with LTE. We still don’t even know the name of this mystery device, but there is at least one comforting fact: it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich.

[via SlashGear]


ASUS Padfone gets European date and pricing

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 03:38 PM PDT

Oh Padfone, how long we’ve waited for you. But those of you in Europe won’t have to wait too much longer. After ASUS announced that the much-anticipated smartphone/tablet/netbook would be selling in Taiwan this month, Notebook Italia reports that Italy (and presumably other European territories) will get the Padfone in late May. They also spoke to the Euro price of the device: €699 for the phone and tablet combo. The keyboard dock, similar to the docks for the Transformer tablets, will be an additional €149.

In US currency that’s about $920 plus another two hundreds for the dock. Prices are consistent with the Taiwanese version of the phone. ASUS says that an LTE-enabled version will be headed for Europe in September – the current model is 3G only. There’s been no word of the Padfone coming to the US at all, and doing so would almost certainly necessitate the cooperation of one or more cellular carriers. On the plus side, the exchange rate and subsidies could bring down the cost of the phone and accessories significantly.

The Transformer Pad 300 and Transformer Pad 700 Infinity also got some European details: the former will be available in mid-May for  €399, with a 3G model going for €499. The latter will be coming in June for €599 for the 64GB model, with an LTE version coming sometime in the future. Remember that the Transformer Pad 300 was already rumored for a late April release in the States, so maybe we’ll get a shot at the Transformer Pad 700 Infinity (and it’s 1920×1200 display) a month or two after that.

[via Gotta Be Mobile]


Samsung Galaxy S III may get multiple launch venues and colors

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 03:07 PM PDT

What, you thought that official invitation to see “The Next Galaxy” would be the end of the speculation? Hardly. BGR quotes an anonymous source (for what it’s worth) saying that the Samsung Galaxy S III will be getting multiple launch events in London, New York City, Seoul and Dubai. The source says that the main event will be in London to commemorate the Galaxy S III as the official smartphone of the 2012 Summer Olympics, something we’d heard before. The source also claims that it’ll come in a blue/black color scheme as well as white, with 16GB and 64GB models.

Other “leaked” specs vary in their believability. A Quad-core Exynos processor seems likely (especially after Meizu’s similar announcement) as does a 4G LTE connection. A 1080p screen, on the other hand, is just downright unbelievable. While certainly technically possible, that kind of density on a screen smaller than 10 inches is so much overkill that it borders on the insane. An international rollout – hopefully including the United States and its bickering carriers – is planned.

Of course this is all chasing after the wind. While the device that’ll be shown on May 3rd at Samsung’s press event will almost certainly be the much-rumored Galaxy S III, there’s very little verified information to be had even at this late stage. The two specifications that do seem very likely are a quad-core Exynos processor and a 4.6-inch Super AMOLED HD+ screen (720p, not 1080p), because they’ve come from Samsung themselves and a source that’s associated with them professionally. Put your money down, folks – on May 3rd, all bets are off.


600 Movies coming to Android and YouTube from MGM

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 02:59 PM PDT

Google just released another tidbit of awesome news today for everyone that loves movies and Android. That is everyone right? New details on the official YouTube Blog have just confirmed that Google has partnered with Metro Goldwyn Mayer, better known as MGM, and will be bringing 600 of their classic and famous movies to Android and YouTube.

The folks at MGM are responsible for some of the most classic and iconic movies around. With titles such as The Terminator, Rain Man, Robocop, and even West Side Story for you softies. All of these and more are available starting today on the Google Play Store, as well as YouTube for rental. Google states that most are available today and they’ll be adding more to the lineup over the next few weeks.

Earlier this month Google signed a similar deal with Paramount pictures, bringing around 500 of their popular titles and movies to Android. Now that we have MGM on board too that is over 1100 quality movie options all available this month. Google has been pushing hard for this type of content for Android and soon I’ll be canceling that boring old Netflix account if Google keeps this up.

So get out those smartphones or Android tablets and enjoy The Terminator next time you fly or take a trip, or are waiting for the bus.

[via SlashGear]


Google Drive details leak: launching next week with 5GB free

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 01:49 PM PDT

Rumors have been circulating for a while now regarding Google’s plans for a cloud storage option. What will be known as Google Drive has finally been detailed again today and sources can almost confirm it will indeed launch next week, be available on Android and multiple other platforms, and users will get 5GB for free out of the gate. More details after the break.

According to The Next Web Google will be announcing the Drive service shortly and it will be available next week on Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. We are hearing possibly next Tuesday, although that still seems to be unconfirmed. Now we still don’t know exactly how they plan to implement Google Drive (where’s the Play part,) but users will get 5GB for free and can pay to add more. This trumps the current leader, Dropbox and their 2GB free — although Dropbox has partnered with HTC and gives those users an additional 25GB for free.

While many users currently already have and love Dropbox Google will surely use their leverage of Android, Gmail, and other Google services to their advantage here. Users wont have to sign up for an additional service as they can just add Drive onto their current Google accounts. While we wait for an official announcement and details from Google feel free to let us know what you think. Will you swap out Dropbox for Google Drive, or use both for even more cloud storage?


LG Viper 4G LTE hands-on

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 12:41 PM PDT

Today we got the privilege to check out the brand new LG Viper 4G LTE, available starting April 22nd for the Now Network. This is the first 4G LTE capable device in the USA that is not operating on Verizon or AT&T’s LTE networks. Instead it’s replacing WiMAX for the Now Network although their nationwide LTE hasn’t rolled out yet. Check out our hands-on, impressions, and pictures after the break.

While you’ll still be waiting for 4G LTE speeds for a little while the phone does come in a great little package, and will get the usual 3G connectivity until LTE hits your city. The Viper isn’t a powerhouse by any means but is definitely a nice mid-range phone coming with good specs, and an even better price tag. The Viper will be available April 22nd for only $99 with a 2-year contract and a $50 mail in rebate.

Build quality is decent. The overall design has an aluminum bezel with a brushed aluminum design on the rear battery cover — although it’s plastic. It gives the phone a quality and top-notch look while remaining lightweight and sturdy. LG’s outfitted the Viper with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm S3 processor, 1GB of RAM and a 4GB micro-SD card for storage. The rear comes with a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video recording, and you’ll also get a VGA camera around front for video chat. Running on Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread we have a basically stock version of Android, with a few small changes from LG or the carrier.

As you can see from the video above, overall performance was as to be expected with a 4.0″ display and a dual-core processor. The user interface was smooth and stable although it wasn’t completely stock Android. LG has promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in an update shortly, but no details on that are available at this time. The phone operates and feels quite nice for my first impressions but an HD screen would have been nice instead of the standard 480 x 800 resolution.

Without WiMAX or LTE the 3G speeds were slower than the competition, barely getting over 1 MB/s downloads here in Las Vegas. 4G LTE can’t come soon enough for this device and the Now Network and hopefully they get the ball rolling soon. Stay tuned for a full review and leave any questions you may have in the comment section below.

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Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Viper 4G LTE
    Manufactuer : LG
    Carrier : Unknown
    Announced Date : April 06, 2012
    Release Date : April 22, 2012
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.0 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.6 Inch
  • Width : 2.6 Inch
  • Depth : 0.47 Inch
  • Weight : 141 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1700 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : S3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 4GB 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
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Braven Six Series Bluetooth speakers daisy-chain with glee

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 12:20 PM PDT

There’s a brand new brand of speakers out there, and they’re both working with Bluetooth and are able to daisy-chain for ultimate awesomeness. The brand Braven you might not have heard of before, but it’s former name Spar might ring a few bells. They’ve taken everything they know about the speaker business and have created a mobile speaker line here that’s both colorful and powerful, working with bluetooth for every-device integration.

This first offering from Braven is called the Braven Six Series is able to connect to your smartphone or tablet with bluetooth and then, if you have multiple speakers, are able to daisy-chain with USB. There are three models, each of them able to fill the room with high-fidelity audio with different features on each model to spike your interests. There’s a rugged speaker in the line with bumpers around it for sporting and outdoor settings as well as two models made with aircraft-grade aluminum for a striking experience both visually and in its ability to play a fabulous set of sounds.

The Braven 625s model has a shock-absorbing exterior with aluminum grills all around so you can take it on the go. This device comes with a waterproof bag, a USB flashlight, and up to 16 hours of continuous play. The Braven 600 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and comes in Ash Grey and Moab Red, coming with 14 hours of playtime. The Braven 650 brings industry-leading apt and AAC audio encoding for “near lossless” audio and an amazing 20-hours of playtime.

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The prices for these devices are the following: Braven 600 for $149.99, 625s for $179.99, and 650 for $189.99. Each of these models will be available soon, shipping from braven.com at the end of June 2012 – grab em!


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