Monday, 1 October 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Sharp 5-inch 1080p display production gets green light

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 11:27 AM PDT

Many of the most popular smartphones as of late all are coming with larger and higher resolution displays. Today Sharp has just announced their new 5-inch fully HD 1080p smartphone display technology will begin full-scale production, and has the green light to get going. Sharp is looking to power the beautiful screens on multiple devices with these new displays.

Imagine a 1920 x 1080p fully HD 5-inch display on that shiny new smartphone with a mind boggling 448ppi (pixel per inch) Those “retina” smartphones are somewhere in the 320 area, but these new Sharp displays will blow that and everything else out of the water — or out of devices. Just as a comparison the Samsung Galaxy S III 4.8-inch screen rocks a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 306ppi. The new iPhone 5's 4-inch screen has a 1136 x 640 resolution and only 326ppi.

These new displays are set to hit full speed production on a massive scale early this month (October) and should be ready for mass consumer devices soon. The first thing that came to our minds were the recent rumors regarding HTC’s new phablet codenamed the One X5 with a 5-inch 1080p HD display. That smartphone has already leaked once, but they could be waiting on Sharp to get to full production — which now they have.

The new design and improved manufacturing process is what enables them to achieve such an awesome feat, as many others have struggled to do the same. Most likely we won’t be seeing any of these impressive panels in the Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones — as they use their own goods — but the folks from HTC, Huawei, and possibly even Motorola could all rock these in the future. We’re excited to see what comes of this new technology, and surely you all are too.

[via SlashGear]


Samsung Galaxy Note II multitasking takes center stage in new promo video

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 10:43 AM PDT

We’re already pretty excited for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but a new promo video is doing its part to ramp up the anticipation. Samsung has released a whopping 8-minute long promo video for the Korean version of the Galaxy Note II, showing off a bunch of features the new phablet brings to the table. Needless to say, we’re pretty impressed by what we’ve seen.


While the video shows us a lot of stuff we’ve seen before, we do get a glimpse at some features that have remained under wraps until now. One such feature is the Galaxy Note II’s Multi Window mode, which allows users to run two apps simultaneously on the device’s 5.5-inch screen. Samsung has also included a movable app bar on the screen, allowing users to launch more apps on top of the two that are already open. It looks to be an excellent feature, but then again, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the Note II.

The other noteworthy Note II features are present as well, including Air View, Idea Sketch, and Easy Clip. There are more features beyond those three previewed in the video, and all of it is set to a wonderful soundtrack, making for one awesome promo. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, be sure to give it a watch below.

There’s no doubt that this video will get those who were already looking forward to the Galaxy Note II even more excited, and we’re willing to bet that Samsung earns a few new fans with it as well. Keep in mind that the Korean version of the device is on display in this video, but we’re expecting most of that functionality to be present when the Note II arrives in the US. The Samsung Galaxy Note II will be at all major US carriers by the time mid-November rolls around, and suddenly that seems like a very long wait. Check out our story timeline below for more on the Galaxy Note II.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note II
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : August 29, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : GT-N7100
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.5 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x720
  • Screen Type : HD Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.95 Inch
  • Width : 3.17 Inch
  • Depth : 0.37 Inch
  • Weight : 180 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 3100 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Exynos 4412
    CPU Clock Speed : 1600 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 2000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    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
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • A2DP
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Android Authority]


ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Jelly Bean update rolling out today

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 09:36 AM PDT

Last week all those lucky Transformer tablet owners learned that they’d be getting the update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to end the week and over the weekend. Sadly that only turned out true for the Transformer Prime, while the Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T) update was delayed. Today though the update is rolling out in full force.

For unknown reasons ASUS updated their budget friendly TF300 first, then the Transformer Prime to the absolute latest version of Android, which is 4.1 Jelly Bean. After the formal announcement ASUS later confirmed the Infinity would be delayed until this week, but it’s already available now and apparently started hitting users tablets over the weekend.

For those that don’t own this awesome tablet. It now rocks the latest version of Android to go along with that awesome 10-inch 1920 x 1200 truly 1080p HD display, an 8 megapixel rear camera, front HD camera for video chat, and of course can use ASUS’ popular keyboard dock for even more options.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings Google Now voice search, project butter UI enhancements and performance improvements, general stability improvements, and Google’s Chrome browser should also work much better too. We all should know plenty about Jelly Bean, so accept that over-the-air update or head to settings > about tablet > check for updates to pull down the latest firmware right from ASUS. Enjoy that Jelly Bean folks!

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Pad Infinity 700
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1920x1200
  • Screen Type : Super IPS+ LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : 0.33 Inch
  • Weight : 586 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 7000 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)
Hardware
    CPU : Snapdragon S4 Krait
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 64 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    Location Features:
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

— Thanks to all who sent this in!


Google passes Microsoft to become second most valuable technology company

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 08:56 AM PDT

The stock market world is buzzing with the fact that Google has passed Microsoft’s market cap for the first time ever. This places Google firmly in the second slot for most valuable tech companies. First place goes to Apple, who just hit the ground running with the launch of the iPhone 5. This puts search and mobile OS giant Google in a great position, which of course, benefits the Android platform as a whole.

Google’s market cap is sitting at around $249 billion while Microsoft dipped to $248 billion. Of course, this could swing the other way in time, but it is still a positive step and reminds everyone of just how powerful Google truly is. Microsoft saw a 0.8% dip yesterday, while Google managed to rise about the same amount, which was all that was needed to put them ahead.

A major reason for the sudden surge in Google is increased mobile activations. Android smartphones are growing at a dumbfounding rate. This, along with other key factors, are the major contributors to Google’s rapid growth, especially over the long-term. Going forward, having such a strong mobile platform should prove quite profitable for Google, and should lead to continued growth.

At this time, Google stock is going for around $760 a share, which is quite incredible. As of this writing, Google’s stock is up another 0.73%, while Microsoft is seeing a decline of 0.39%. Google still has a long way off before their market share catches Apple’s $632 billion, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

[via Mashable]


CyanogenMod ditches ROM Manager in favor of its own update system

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 08:28 AM PDT

CyanogenMod, the popular aftermarket community-based firmware distribution platform, traditionally came bundled with ROM Manager to handle its updates. They are ditching this system in favor of their own over-the-air update solution. Change is not always a bad thing, and early reports are saying that this is actually one of the better over-the-air update solutions available.

The reason CyanogenMod is making this change is because they are believers in open source and ROM Manager was anything but. Their new update solution is fully open source, just like CyanogenMod itself. This helps keep their philosophy going on all parts of their service. This new updater is actually an updated version of the one featured in older versions of CyanogenMod, so it should feel relatively familiar to old school users.

One drawback of this new updater is that it does not support push notifications. These require the Google Apps framework, and since that is not supported by CyanogenMod, it is not possible to include them. What it will do is automatically check for updates at user-defined intervals and pull them in when there is an update available. This should still enable users to receive their updates in a timely maner.

Updates are pulled from get.cm, so you know you are getting the official releases. It can be customized to check for new stable builds, new nightlies, or all builds. The update should be available later tonight when the new nightlies go out.

[via Android Police]


AT&T announces changes to their prepaid smartphone rate plans

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 07:59 AM PDT

AT&T, one of the more popular smartphone carriers in the U.S., announced that they are making some major changes to their prepaid data plans for smartphones. These new plans take effect immediately, and they should prove useful for users who don’t like to be locked into a contract.



AT&T’s new Monthly Unlimited Plan includes unlimited talk and text, with 1 GB of data for $65. This plan is designed specifically with smartphone users in mind. They claim this new plan will save them $10 a month when compared to options available before. The original plans are still available if users should so choose, but the new option seems like the better choice.

"As more of our prepaid customers choose smartphones, we wanted to offer them a rate plan that meets their needs while still being an excellent value," said Judy Cavalieri, vice president – Voice and Prepaid Products, AT&T. "We're excited to offer this new option to our growing base of smartphone customers to give them a better smartphone experience while keeping their budget in check."

These plans are available for all AT&T prepaid phones, including their Android models such as the Samsung Galaxy Appeal (i827). If you are looking to get away from having a contract, $65 a month does not seem like a bad choice.


AT&T announces Xperia TL smartphone featuring Sony’s best camera ever

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 07:21 AM PDT

AT&T just announced that they will be the exclusive carrier for Sony’s new Xperia TL mobile phone featuring Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). They also announced that this new device can be upgraded to Android 4.1 (Jellybean). This new phone will also be featured in the latest James Bond film, so you know it has all the gadgets.

The Xperia TL features a 4.6 inch HD Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA® Engine. The screen is capable of a 1080 x 720 resolution. For users of the new phone and Sony TVs, the devices can be connected using wired MHL technology or wirelessly through DLNA. This allows users to see their smartphone on the big-screen as easily as possible.

The key the announcement is the camera, as the Xperia TL features a 13-megapixel camera that should impress even the biggest photo junkies. It has a quick-launch feature that allows users to capture the moment as quickly as possible. AT&T claims that the device can go from standby mode to taking a picture in just 1.5 seconds. The main camera can record video in quality up to 1080p and the front facing camera is capable of grabbing video at up to 720p.

This device features NFC (near field communication) so users can connect with other NFC devices. Users can use this to share photos and music across an array NFC capable devices. Sony will include an Xperia SmartTag in the box with the Xperia TL to make getting NFC up and running as quick as possible. AT&T has not confirmed price or release date at this time, and we be sure to report as soon as we hear something.


Maluuba’s ‘Siri for Android’ is now available in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, U.K., and Australia

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 06:44 AM PDT

Samsung-backed Maluuba recently launched on the Google Play Store in U.S. and Canada and now it is making its way to Australia, the U.K., and Ireland. Maluuba is best described as Siri for Android. It features natural voice recognition and many other features that put it right on par with Apple’s offering.

Maluuba accepts voice input from users and is able to initiate and search many third-party services such as Wolfram Alpha, Yelp, Eventful, West World Media, Rotten Tomatoes, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Weather Underground and Wikipedia. It also performs several key system-level functions such as appointments, alarms, and location-based reminders. For Google Calendar users, this app should fit right in, as it integrates heavily with it.

The most notable difference between Maluuba and Siri is that Maluuba does not talk back to users when they input something. All results and requests for the user to follow-up are done through the apps user interface. Some users may prefer this, some may prefer more audio feedback; it’s simply a matter of preference.

Users in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, U.K., and Australia can grab the free application from the Google Play Store. Maluuba has already expanded its data set with data needed to function properly in the new locations, so it should be ready to go for users in all five areas.

maluuba maluuba7 maluuba6 maluuba5 maluuba4 maluuba3 maluuba2

[Via TechCrunch]


Sony Tablet S receives Android update in the United States

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 06:01 AM PDT

Sony recently announced that they are bringing along a new update for the Tablet S. This new update brings some features that should make users quite happy. The operating system is now Android 4.0.3.



This update features a new mode that Sony calls Small Apps. This allows users to overlay certain applications on top of other ones. Users can overlay a small browser, IR remote, calculator, voice recorder and timer on top of their other apps. Widgets can also be registered and used as small apps.

Users can now set their tablet to Guest Mode, which allows them to share their tablets with friends and family. In Guest Mode, users can grant and restrict access to certain apps, which provides a higher level of control over what friends and family can do with the device. Users can even change the icon layout and wallpapers for different guests.

Sony’s latest update includes a new macro feature for the Remote Control App with six programable macro keys. There are also new media player applications, new social features, widgets, better copy and paste, and a new Watch Now app, which lets users find new things to watch on TV.

[Via Slashgear]


Android Community Weekly: September 28th, 2012

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 06:21 PM PDT

Another great week here at Android Community has wrapped up. There were a lot new app releases, as well as a plethora of news from Google. On the other side of the fence, Apple is still getting a ton of grief for its new Maps app and even apologized for how awful their mapping service is. All we have to say is that it’s great to be an Android user right about now.

Barnes & Noble announced a couple of new additions to their NOOK lineup, the NOOK HD and the NOOK HD+ tablets, which look to take on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. The company also announced a new movie and TV show service called NOOK Video. On the Samsung front, they plan to officially launch their Galaxy Note II phablet on October 24. We’ll be there to provide you all the details.

Speaking of the Galaxy Note II, AT&T announced that the device would be coming to their network, along with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and two other Samsung Galaxy devices. Texas Instruments, makers of the OMAP4 mobile processor, has announced it will slowly be stepping out of the smartphone and tablet market, and instead focus on embedded systems for automobiles and other broader markets.

Roughly a week after the iPhone 5 launch, Apple has still been getting all sorts of backlash for their new Maps app. In what some are calling a bold and classy move by the company, CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology to all users of the new Maps service. He then pointed users to alternative mapping solutions like Bing, Waze, and MotionX. Samsung and other Android device manufacturers also were the face of some bad news during the week. It was reported that a hack would allow some devices to be automatically factory wiped when visiting a website that contained malicious code.

It was also a big week for Google. Their Android app store, Google Play, reached 25 billion downloads and they celebrated with huge sales on apps and games all week long. Some new apps also made it into the Google Play store this week, including an iOS favorite called Jetpack Joyride and Rovio‘s sequel to Angry Birds called Bad Piggies. Google themselves released their own app called Field Trip, which acts as a virtual tour guide of sorts and provides you with pertinent information and facts about landmarks and places that you come across in a new city.


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