Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Google Assistant getting accelerated development

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 11:20 AM PDT

Ever since Siri for iOS was first announced we’ve seen countless similar apps arrive on the Google Play Store. Google themselves have even had voice actions long before Siri was even around, only in a much different manor. Since then we’ve heard various reports that Google is working on their own service called Google Assistant — also known as Project Majel — and apparently the development has just been fast-tracked.

Between the natural improvement of services, along with Siri getting upgraded for iOS 6 coming up in the fall Google should probably be releasing something shortly. Apparently the Wall Street Journal has heard this week from an extremely reliable source that Project Majel (Google Assistant) has seen a huge acceleration in development and the team has been fast-tracked. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing plenty about it at Google I/O this month, but it might not be ready for prime-time yet.

We’re also hearing that Google’s intentions and complete goal is to make Google Assistant much more than just an “assistant” like Siri who gives you alerts and checks the weather, but more like a Star Trek supercomputer to help you with all tasks — just like it was codenamed after. Depending on when this development was accelerated we could see a huge showing at Google I/O, or just a small tease. Stay tuned as we’ll be there live and surely dig deeper into Majel if we can.

[via SlashGear]

VideoLAN confirms VLC Media Player coming soon to Android

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 10:53 AM PDT

VLC Media player has been one of the most popular media clients on PC’s for years, and we’ve now learned that it will be officially arriving for Android soon. It’s been in active development for a while, and we even have seen some unofficial betas released too. Today however the folks from VideoLAN themselves have again confirmed it’s coming soon.

The news was quickly revealed by a short and to the point post on Twitter by VideoLAN themselves saying only “Android, Here We Come!” and that was enough to get me excited. This do it all, handle it all media player has been my go-to program for years and I’m extremely happy to see it finally reach my Android devices.

The open source nature of their progress has made multiple unofficial builds become available by developers and you can try one of those now by heading to this XDA thread. I’ve used his beta releases and loved them, and can’t wait for VideoLAN themselves to release their version. The details are still rather light, but hopefully that Tweet means an official release will be coming in the next week or so. We’ll update once we see or hear more from the team at VideoLAN.

[via AusDroid]

Samsung QWERTY Slider spotted in the wild – headed to T-Mobile

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 09:57 AM PDT

It looks like the QWERTY slide-out keyboard hasn’t completely died away yet, just like flip phones sadly haven’t either. Today we are seeing another QWERTY slider headed to the market soon, apparently for those folks on T-Mobile. This new slider comes from Samsung and appears the be rather mid-range at best. More details below.

The device is being leaked as the Samsung SGH-T699, which was previously thought to be a Galaxy Nexus for T-Mobile. Those leaks indicated a 720p HD screen and dual-core processor so it’s still possible this slider will feature both. What we do know is it rocks a front and rear camera, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a spacious 5-row QWERTY keyboard. It also seems quite similar to Verizon’s Stratosphere slider.

According to TmoNews the device runs smooth and has no lag, and runs on the latest Android 4.0.4 ICS. We have no further details, pricing, or information but most likely the folks from T-Mobile and Samsung will out the device shortly. If you still want a mid-range budget friendly smartphone with a keyboard this could be a good option this summer.

nabi 2 kids tablet with Tegra 3 Reviewed by SlashGear

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 06:02 AM PDT

This week the folks at SlashGear have gotten their hands on a brand new oddity in the Android universe – an NVIDIA Tegra 3 7-inch tablet made for kids! This tablet runs Android 4.0.4 with a custom user interface made by the folks at Fuhu, all of it directed at kids – complete with parent controls galore. This device also has a lovely red rubbery bumper which protects the device at all times. Does this look like the magic-maker for your kid at home?

This device is the second of its kind, the nabi 2 replacing the old original nabi with a whole lot of specification boosts and no price increase – it’s all still just $199 in the end! This tablet’s software brings on a look we’ve only ever seen in the first nabi tablet, custom-made for this device and ready to rock for your child or the kid in you – big icons for easy tapping galore.

Other than that, you’ve got a device made specifically for kids – this means the display is great, but not perfect (the viewing angles aren’t all that good), and the software you can work with is limited unless you’ve got the ability to be creative. If you’re a kid, or if you’re getting this tablet for your kid, you’ll be relying on the nabi app store to pick up everything you want and need for this tablet – and it’s not half bad!

You’ll also have this device’s built-in apps which range from Veggie Tales to Riptide GP – every kid’s dream collection! Be sure to have a peek at the full hands-on and review of this device over at SlashGear. There’s nothing quite like a quad-core processor to give your child the power he or she needs to run a monster of a tablet, then seeing them play nothing but the built-in version of Angry Birds all day long! You’ll rest easy knowing that no matter what they say, they can no longer claim that their toy isn’t as good as yours – it’s got the same NVIDIA power inside, after all!

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Sharp and frog work together on Feel UX Android user interface

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 04:20 AM PDT

Many of the Android smartphones on the market today have a custom user interface over the top to allow the maker to tweak how the operating system looks and feels to suit its needs. The upside to these user interfaces is that they do often make Android easier to navigate for some users and arguably make the operating system better looking. The downside is that these user interfaces are also the reason updates for Android are delayed.

Sharp has teamed up with a design agency called frog to design its own custom user interface for its Aquos Android smart phone line called Feel UX. The user interface will offer personalized lock screens and will allow users to browse through photos and widgets without unlocking the smartphone. Feel UX will also bring a real-time weather display and gender neutral color and visuals.

Sharp also promises that the Feel UX user interface will offer a streamlined and curated home screen, allowing users to easily manage their apps, widgets, and shortcuts. The user interface will debut in Japan on Sharp smartphones later this summer. There is no indication of when we might see smartphones running the new user interface in the US or Europe.

[via The Next Web]

ZTE launches its first single-chip LTE smartphone called Grand X LTE

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:47 AM PDT

One of the biggest things for smartphone users today is long battery life. One of the things that can help extend the battery life on the smartphone no matter what size the battery, is to reduce the number of chips inside the device that are slurping power. ZTE has announced a new smart phone that is its first single-chip LTE solution called the Grand X LTE (T82).

Using a single-chip inside the device means that additional chips are eliminated improving power savings and extending the runtime on the devices 1900 mAh internal battery. The mobile phone uses the latest MSM8960 QUALCOMM chip based on 0.28 nm technology. The operating system is Android 4.0, and the machine has a 1.5 GHz dual core processor.

The rear camera is an eight-megapixel unit supporting full HD video recording, and the front camera supports 720p video calls. The smartphone was unveiled at CommunicAsia 2012 and is set to launch in Q3 of 2012 at an undisclosed price.

[via SlashGear]

Dark Nebula tilt puzzle game arrives for Android

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 03:26 PM PDT

If you’re a fan of those tilt puzzle games more widely known as labyrinth games you’ll surely want to check this out. The popular Dark Nebula – Episode One has just arrived in the Google Play Store for Android phones and tablets and is still one of my classic favorites. It was released on iOS at least 3 years ago and was always a good time waster, and now Android users can enjoy it too.

Dark Nebula is like Labyrinth only much better. The graphics and physics are awesome, the levels get increasingly more difficult, and you can waste hours of time enjoying this fun game. I used to play it back on my ol iPod Touch before it was replaced with my Nexus One. Why the developers took a good 3 years to release this on Android beats me, but I’m glad it’s finally available.

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The game has an action-arcade style that is exciting, fun, and totally worth the small $0.99 asking price. Being called Episode One you can bet they’ll be releasing additional versions soon. iOS has Episode 2 already, and Episode 3 is supposed to be coming at some point. This first version for Android has 11 visually and graphically stunning levels and we can expect the rest to follow shortly. I’m a huge fan of this game and sadly it works on every device I’ve own (a lot of them) except for the Galaxy Nexus. Get it from the link below today and enjoy it. Let us know how you like this impressive yet older mobile game.

Dark Nebula Play Store Link

[via Droid Gamers]

Google buys wireless efficiency patents – hopefully headed to Android

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 02:42 PM PDT

Google’s been on a bit of a buying spree as of late. From Motorola to QuickOffice, and even Meebo. Today however we are talking about patents, wireless efficiency ones at that. Google has just grabbed some important patents that we could see integrated into a host of things from Android and more.

According to SlashGear Google just snatched up tons of wireless efficiency beam-forming patents from Magnolia Broadband. Some of these patents cover network capacity maximization, battery frugality technology and more. Their beam-forming Mobile Transmit Diversity (MTD) is for sale and on many chipsets, and will remain on sale, Google will just own the patents and rights.

"This patent portfolio is derived from over a decade of research, development, and testing," Magnolia said in a statement about the deal today, "and covers methods for increasing spectrum utilization (network capacity), expanding coverage, improving uplink transmission speeds at the cell edge, and improving device battery life." Their technology could potentially increase data coverage for users, as well as substantially save on battery life by being more efficient.

Their technology and patents can increase cell towers range and response without consuming additional power (and lowering battery life,) and even allow service in some areas that were previously out of coverage. They also claim huge increases in performance from high-speed data like 3G and 4G LTE at the same time. If I could get much faster speeds without suffering battery loss, I’d be one happy Panda. Hopefully we see this technology and efficiency integrated into all of their Android offerings, and possibly even in Google Glass. More details from the link below.

[via SlashGear]

Android 4.0 ICS rolling out to DROID RAZR beta members, update coming soon

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 01:14 PM PDT

We have more good news today for all those owners of the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX. After the entire mix up last week about its rumored Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update today we can now confirm the ICS upgrade is rolling out to testers in Motorola’s Feedback Network. If all goes well we could see this update available for everyone within the next week.

Motorola last week stated the update was “coming soon” in a slew of text messages sent out to RAZR owners, and now the folks from Droid-Life are reporting the update is in final beta testing. Motorola’s latest Android 4.0 ICS build version 6.16.211 has arrived for feedback members RAZR phones, and has even been made available to download if you dare give it a try.

The DROID RAZR is an extremely popular device, and now that Motorola has the RAZR HD on the way with ICS many users are getting impatient while waiting for the update. This latest leak and beta update arriving for beta testing confirms that Motorola is getting close and an update is headed our way soon. If everything goes smooth and Verizon gives the update the OK we could be seeing the official Android 4.0 ICS OTA arrive this weekend or early next week. We don’t have too many details about this latest build, but most likely its close to final and extremely stable. More details at the source.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1780 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • SMS
  • MMS
    CPU : OMAP 4430
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 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
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Droid-Life]

Samsung makes the Galaxy S III “SAFE” for Enterprise

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 01:00 PM PDT

Samsung today has unveiled a new smartphone as well as a rating for their devices being called SAFE, which stands for “Samsung approved for enterprise.” This new SAFE rating has immediately been attached to their brand new Galaxy S III, reassuring users that Samsung is the best route — especially for enterprise users.

Data will no longer be a security issue for those using SAFE, which Samsung details as a system that will "defragment the Android OS across multiple versions from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich at US carriers" according to the Korean company. With support for AES-256 bit encryption, VPN and Mobile Device Management functionality, and many more things coming soon. SAFE devices will have enhanced support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and mobile virtualization tech that should make users rest easy.

The increasingly popular “BYOD” (not beer, but bring your own device) model that is becoming the standard in the work environment these days can rely on Samsung and their new SAFE devices. Samsung describes SAFE as a "quality assurance program" developed alongside multiple enterprise software and services providers. They’ve also outlined a new SAFE2SWITCH program where you can trade in a rival or older device for a new SAFE certified Galaxy S III. This is good news for the corporate world. Well done Samsung!

[via SlashGear]

LG Optimus L5 ICS smartphone hits Europe this month

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 12:34 PM PDT

LG’s brand new style-focused L series is getting ready to launch worldwide and in Europe this month and today they’ve announced more details on the mid-ranged L5 model. First announced back in February this 4.0-inch Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device will be headed to Europe in June, and then continue with the worldwide release in July.

The Optimus L7 went on sale in May, and now it’s the smaller more affordable L5′s turn. Like mentioned above it will kick things off in Europe, then hit UK, Germany and France this month, followed by markets in CIS, Middle East and Asia before Central America and South America. In Asia and South America the L5 will feature dual-SIM slots too.

The L5 features a 4.0-inch IPS display with a standard 480 x 800 resolution, a measly 800 MHz single-core processor, 4GB of internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera on the rear. It runs on the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 1,500 mAh battery under the hood. Mid-range might be a bit optimistic given the specs, but the phone should arrive for an affordable price for those interested. LG didn’t actually talk pricing so we’ll update once we hear more.

[via SlashGear]

Motorola Slider leaks – could be rumored Photon Q LTE

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 12:05 PM PDT

A brand new device from the folks at Motorola has leaked this weekend. This device for now doesn’t have many details to go along with it, but the picture shows us enough to certainly be interested. This Motorola QWERTY slider running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich headed for the Now Network could be the next Motorola Photon.

Previous reports suggested Motorola is working on a successor to the original Photon and will call it the PHOTON Q 4G LTE. We originally thought the “Q” could stand for quad-core, but now it could also be for the QWERTY keyboard shown above — or both. That name sure is ugly but the phone looks pretty nice if you ask me. I’m not a fan of hardware keyboards these days, but to have a physical keyboard and on-screen navigation keys both could be a good combination.

The leak shows Motorola’s recent design changes that we’ve also seen in the RAZR HD. Running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and having only on-screen navigation keys as Google intended. Having a full 5 row QWERTY keyboard means the device is quite wide, most likely confirming a 4.3 or possible 4.5-inch display. The leakster from AC Forums suggests a qHD display but no details were confirmed other that what we see.

At this point I don’t really see a need for a hardware keyboard, but the original Moto DROID was an awesome phone. I’m sure there’s still a few users that want a keyboard however, so we’ll be sure to keep our eyes out for more details on this rumored device. What do you guys think? Leave the hardware keyboards to the past?

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