Monday, 29 October 2012

Android Community

Android Community

LG Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Note II included in T-Mobile’s holiday line up

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 11:11 AM PDT

It was just a little while ago that Google finally announced the LG-made Nexus 4, and T-Mobile has wasted no time getting us a list of devices it will be offering this holiday season. The list features a number of different devices covering both Windows Phone 8 and Android, and as you may have already guessed, the Nexus 4 is one of the stars on the list. T-Mobile takes pride in pointing out that it’s one of Google’s “premier launch partners” for the Nexus 4, so if you’re a T-Mobile customer, you can be one of the first to get your hands on the shiny new handset.

Why would you want to do that? Because not only does the Nexus 4 have an impressive list of specs, but it’s also running Android 4.2 out of the box. We’ve talked plenty about Android 4.2 already today, and it’s safe to say that the new version of Jelly Bean is something to get pumped about. From photo spheres to gesture typing, Android 4.2 definitely has a bunch of cool features on offer.

T-Mobile says that the Nexus 4, which features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM under the hood, will be available in select stores and online starting on November 14. It’ll cost you $199.99 on the company’s value plan, which will have you paying $20 a month for 20 months with a two-year agreement and a qualifying voice or data plan. On the flip side, you can get the Nexus 4 for $199.99 on T-Mobile’s classic plan, and again, that requires your signature on a two-year agreement and a qualifying voice or data plan.

T-Mobile also reminded us today that the Samsung Galaxy Note II will be available at its stores and online during the holiday season, setting you back $249.99 on its value plan or $369.99 if you opt for the classic plan. Make no mistake, you’ll have your choice of some excellent Android handsets if you’re shopping at T-Mobile, and the price of the Note II on the company’s value plan certainly isn’t anything to stick your nose up at. Will you be going through T-Mobile to get either the Note II or the Nexus 4 this holiday season?

Google outs more information on Android 4.2 Photo Spheres

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 10:39 AM PDT

So, Google has finally pulled the veil off Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and somewhat surprisingly, it will arrive packing a bunch of new features. One of the coolest of these new features are photo spheres, which allow you to use your device’s camera to snap pictures all around you and bring them together to make one big 360-degree image. We briefly touched on photo spheres in our quick rundown of the new features in Android 4.2, but now Google’s Hugo Barra has dished all sorts of new details about the rather intriguing addition.

Barra is touting this new feature as a way to “create photos that are richer and more immersive than anything that has ever come out of a mobile device,” and frankly, we believe him. The team at Google was inspired by Street View in Google Maps, so if you’ve ever wanted to create Street View-esque images of your own, now’s your chance.

Funny Google should mention Street View, since you can upload these photo spheres you take with your device to Google Maps. Barra says that photo spheres are saved as JPEGs, and that “all of the information required to view them is embedded as open XML metadata in the image itself.” This means that aside from uploading these images to Street View, you can also email them and upload them to Google Plus, letting others view them with no problems.

All in all, the photo spheres feature sounds like a great addition to Android, and it’s just one of the many additions to Android 4.2. The first devices that will be running Android 4.2 are the new Samsung Nexus 10 and the LG Nexus 4, which will be available in just a couple of weeks. Get excited folks, because Android 4.2 is going to be offering a bunch of new stuff when it arrives next month.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean detailed

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 10:15 AM PDT

Google has just announced a handful of new devices including the Samsung Nexus 10 and the LG Nexus 4, and both of them will be running Android 4.2 out of the box. What’s new in Android 4.2? It turns out there’s a lot that’s new with this latest installment of Jelly Bean, so read on to find out what you can expect once you’re using a handset that features the newest version of the Android operating system.

Perhaps one of the coolest additions in Android 4.2 is that of photo spheres, a feature that allows you to use the camera on your device to snap images all around you. Those images come together to form these so-called photo spheres, which can then be viewed on your phone or shared to Google Plus. You can even upload them to Google Maps if you feel so inclined, letting people from around the world view your handiwork.

Android 4.2 also tosses gesture typing into the mix, which allows you to type by swiping your finger from letter to letter on the keyboard. Once you’ve finished swiping to all of the letters in a word, lifting your finger will make the word appear on-screen and even insert a space for you. Through the use of new tools in Android 4.2, your keyboard will actually predict the rest of your sentences, allowing you to simply select suggested words to finish up your messages. Pretty neat if you ask us.

Of course, Android 4.2 also comes with support for multiple user profiles if you’re using a tablet, which is a feature we’ve known about for quite some time. There are plenty of other features to find in Android 4.2, so be sure to check out Google’s full run down of what’s new for more information. Are you excited for the launch of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean?

Google Nexus 10 officially unveiled

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 09:46 AM PDT

Google may have been forced to cancel its Android event in New York City today due to the threat of hurricane Sandy, but that isn’t stopping it from making announcements anyway. Google has officially revealed the Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet, and it seems like most of the rumors and leaks were indeed true. For starters, Google has confirmed that the Nexus 10 will be running Android 4.2 out of the box, so get excited.

It will also come equipped with that long-rumored 10-inch WQXGA display running at an impressive 2560 x 1600 resolution. On the inside, we’ll have a A15 dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and working alongside 2GB of RAM, so expect the Nexus 10 to be a speedy little tablet. The Nexus 10 also makes use of a beefy 9,000mAh lithium-ion battery, which Google says can provide 9 hours of video playback and a whopping 500 hours of standby time.

The Nexus 10 will come in a couple different variants – one with 16GB of internal memory and the other with 32GB. Both will be Wi-Fi only, and both are equipped with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, which Google says can record video in 1080p at 30fps. There will also be a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera to use for video chatting, and all of this is packed into one slim and lightweight package – the Nexus 10 has a thickness of just 8.9mm and weighs 603 grams.

The 16GB Nexus 10 will set you back $399, while the 32GB costs $499. Both will be available on Google Play Stores in the US, UK, Australia, France, Spain, Germany, Canada, and Japan starting on November 13 – just over two weeks from today. Keep it tuned to Android Community, because we’ll have more information of Google’s new Nexus line coming up shortly.

[via Samsung]

Nexus 4 announced, coming November 13

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 09:39 AM PDT

The incoming Hurricane Sandy might have forced Google to cancel its Android event in New York City, but that hasn’t stopped the company from announcing its new products anyway. Google and LG officially announced the Nexus 4, which is Google’s new flagship smartphone and the newest iteration in the Nexus family.

We’re certainly not surprised by the announcement, but we are relieved that it’s finally here. It’s been a rumored device for a while now, but it’s finally official. The Nexus 4 officially comes packing with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and internal storage options of either 8GB or 16GB. The device supports 3G and HSPA+, but sadly there’s no LTE support to be found.

You’ll also find an 8MP rear camera with a 1.3MP front-facing camera. No word if it shoots 1080p video, but we’re guessing that it at least shoots 720p. The Nexus 4′s display is a 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus screen with a 1280×768 resolution, which gives it a pixel density of 320ppi. Protecting the display itself from destruction is Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2. The Nexus 4 will also include wireless charging as well as NFC capabilities, and will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which was also announced today.

The Nexus 4 will be available in the Google Play store starting November 13 for $299 (unlocked) for the 8GB and $349 for the 16GB model in the US. The UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia will also be getting the new phone on November 13, and it will be available in Europe, Central and South America, Asia, CIS, and the Middle East at the end of November. The Nexus 4 will also be available at T-Mobile for $199 after signing a new two-year contract.

Chrono Trigger finally arrives on Android

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 09:21 AM PDT

If you haven’t played the JRPG classic Chrono Trigger yet, then we really don’t know what to say. The game has been available on a number of platforms for some time now, and today that long list gained another entry. Chrono Trigger has officially arrived on Android, so it’s time to bust out those devices and get to saving the world.

For the uninitiated, Chrono Trigger follows a boy named Crono and his friends Marle and Lucca as they travel through time in an attempt to stop the evil creature Lavos from destroying the world as we know it. Along the way, they recruit new allies from the past, present, and future while uncovering a sinister plot. It might sound boring and overdone at first, but Chrono Trigger is widely considered to be one of the RPGs ever made.

Indeed, Chrono Trigger just so happens to be one of our favorite games, so if you’ve yet to check it out, we have to recommend that you give it a shot on Android. The port of the SNES classic will set you back $9.99, which seems a little steep for a mobile game, but many will tell you that Chrono Trigger is worth every penny. If you pick up the Android version, you’ll also be treated to the Dimension Vortex and Lost Sanctum areas, which were added in the Nintendo DS release of the game.

Also, remember that this is published by Square Enix, which isn’t exactly known for its inexpensive mobile offerings. Final Fantasy III will set you back $16 on Android, while Chaos Rings sports a $13 price tag. When you consider the high prices of those other games, Chrono Trigger‘s $9.99 price doesn’t seem too bad. If you’re interested, you can download Chrono Trigger now from the Google Play Store [download link].

Video of LG Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 leaks online

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 09:01 AM PDT

Google may have canceled the Android event today, but with all rumors and leaks coming out, it feels like the event actually happened. Now, a video has come out from Swerdroid featuring a hands on with the LG Nexus 4. The video confirms pretty much everything we already knew about the phone, but it is still nice to see it in motion.

The video confirms that the device is running Android 4.2. You can clearly see just how smooth the phone runs with the latest version of Android installed. The video also demonstrates the new Quick Settings menu, which is easy to access with a button in the notifications settings. It launches quickly, and looks like a feature that will be quite useful in daily life.

We can also see a button for user profiles in the notifications menu, which indicates that the user profile rumors in Android 4.2 are true, which is a feature many users have been looking for. The video also shows some of the more general UI changes such as the slick-looking new clock. Overall, seeing the new version of the OS running on the LG Nexus 4 is pretty exciting.

Hopefully Google will reschedule the canceled Android event soon, so we can get an official announcement and release date for the new Nexus device. Leaks like this are always fun, but we want the device in our hands as soon as possible. Hopefully, once the storm passes Google will hold its event and let us play with the Nexus 4 and Android 4.2.

[via SlashGear]

Walmart jumps on the 32GB Nexus 7 bandwagon

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 08:17 AM PDT

Earlier today, we received pricing confirmation from Office Depot that the 32GB version of the Nexus 7 would go for $249. Well, Walmart has jumped on the bandwagon, listing the 32GB version as “in stock” on its website. They have also dropped the price of the 16Gb version to $199. While Google has not officially announced the 32GB version or the price drop to $199 for the 16GB, Walmart has both ready to ship.

We thought Office Depot may have jumped the gun on selling the new version of the Nexus 7, but this Walmart listing seems to confirm that the tablet is, in fact, ready for primetime. It seems that even though Google was forced to cancel the event where it was presumed that they would make the tablet official, retailers seem to be given the go ahead to sell the tablet. Presumably, other retailers will follow along with Walmart and Office Depot soon.

Google has actually listed the 8GB and 16GB versions as out of stock. Google Play simply has a form for users to check and see when the tablet will be available again. With retailers listing the tablets for sale, we assume Google will start selling them on Google Play soon as well.

Besides the 32GB Nexus 7, Google was also rumored to announce the Nexus 10, and the Nexus 4 from LG. Google has not announced when the event is rescheduled for, but we assume it will be after the hurricane dies down. We will keep you posted on all things Nexus 7 and Google’s upcoming Android event.

[via SlashGear]

Most US cell carriers announce plans for hurricane and offers tips for preparedness

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 07:19 AM PDT

Hurricane Sandy is barreling down on the east coast, and the predictions keep getting worse. All of the major US carriers have addressed the storm, and they all seem to have plans at the ready for dealing with possible power outages. They have spoken on their plans and even offered some helpful tips for storm preparedness.

T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have all said they are ready to roll, and given tips for getting ready. With the potential of 10-million people being without power during this storm, having cell communication is going to be critical. Verizon, for example, has increased stock of car chargers at all of its stores, since people may not be able to charge their devices in their homes. T-Mobile has stocked up on additional fuel supplies for repair vehicles to fix any outages that occur.

Obviously, storms like this can be unpredictable, but it certainly reassuring to see cell carriers taking the steps required to keep service alive during potential power outages. The carriers even offered some helpful tips for individuals such as keeping your phone charged before power goes out, making a plan for charging if power does go out, utilizing text messages instead of voice calls, and keeping calls short.

I would also add plugging your devices into a surge protector. Brownouts can cause damage to devices plugged directly into a wall. The release from T-Mobile is available here, Verizon’s is here, AT&T’s is available here and Sprint’s is here. Each one details the exact plans for the carriers and helpful tips for preparing for potential outages.

[via TechCrunch]

Nexus 7 tablets sold out on Google Play

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 06:46 AM PDT

Earlier today, we reported that Office Depot was selling the 32GB version of the Nexus 7 tablet. Now, it appears as though Google has stopped selling the original 8 and 16GB versions of the tablet on Google Play. Perhaps Google is getting ready to list the new versions of the tablet on Google Play. Of course, it’s also possible that they just ran out of tablets, but it seems unlikely that Google would run out of both models at the same time.

Presumably, Google planned on pulling the older versions of the tablet down in preparation for the big event that was supposed to go down today. Unfortunately, Google had to cancel the event because of the hurricane that is barreling towards the east coast. Perhaps they will re-list them at one point, but for now, if you want one of the existing Nexus 7 tablets, you will have to check with your local retailers.

If you go to the Nexus 7 page on Google Play, you will be able to enter your email address to be notified when the tablets come back in stock. We’re assuming that the reissue of the tablet will be the new versions with the 32GB tablet, but that remains to be seen. Besides Google running out of them, retailers have also been dropping the price of the 16GB versions of the tablets.

We are not sure what is going to happen with the 8GB version of the tablet. Perhaps Google stopped making them and is legitimately out of them, or perhaps they will return at a deep discount. As always, we will keep you posted on all things Nexus 7.

[via Cnet]

AUO’s new 4.46-inch display has worlds narrowest bezel

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 06:13 AM PDT

AUO has shown off a new screen for mobile devices. This 4.46-inch screen features what AUO claims to be the smallest border on any screen. The displays use proprietary technology that uses low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) technology. AUO’s technology allows them to build a screen with a tiny 1 mm border.

Besides the tiny border, the display also has a 720p resolution. AUO also claims that the minuscule 1 mm border actually makes content on the screen appear larger. AUO is also bragging on its other display technologies, including AMOLED, IGZO, and AHVA.

One of the newer technologies is AHVA, which stands for Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle. As you can probably guess, this allows users to see the screen from wider angle without a loss in quality. So far, AUO has developed AHVA panels ranging in size from three-inches to 15.6-inches. The screens have been used in devices such as digital cameras, smartphones, e-readers, car displays, tablets, and ultrabooks. AUO currently has a 4.97-inch AHVA screen in mass production.

AUO is certainly busy with other technologies. AUO has a 4.65-inch AMOLED panel that has a resolution of up to 317 ppi. AUO also talked about a 10-inch panel aimed at tablets using IGZO technology. That screen has a 2560 x 1600 resolution.

[via SlashGear]

32GB Nexus 7 price confirmed at Office Depot

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 05:42 AM PDT

The 32GB Nexus 7 has been in the news quite frequently this month, and we thought that was going to come to an end today with one last official story from Google. However, Google was forced to cancel the event because of the impending hurricane, so we are left to hear more rumors about the 32GB version of the tablet. Thanks, to Office Depot, we now have an official price of $249.99.

Over the weekend, Office Depot put the 32GB version on display with a $249.99 price tag on it. The photo from Office Depot also showed the 16GB version of the Nexus 7 for $199.99. There has been plenty of rumors regarding pricing on the 16GB version, and this certainly seems to confirm that.

Many buyers are reporting that some Office Depot locations have stock of the 32GB tablet on hand. Your results may differ, but some people have been able to walk into an Office Depot and walk out with a 32GB Nexus 7 over the weekend. It appears as though no hurricane is going to stop Office Depot from selling those 32GB tablets.

A rumor that has come up time and time again is that the 32GB version would also have cellular data. Based on this photo, it doesn’t look like that’s the case. It doesn’t explicitly say it doesn’t have cellular data, but chances are great that if it did, that would be printed somewhere visible. At this point, it would appear that 32GB version is still just Wi-Fi enabled. Perhaps Google was going to announce a separate cellular model at today’s event, but we will have to wait and see for that.

[via SlashGear]

Android Community Weekly: October 28th, 2012

Posted: 28 Oct 2012 12:12 PM PDT

Another week has gone by, and it went by quickly, but that doesn’t mean that nothing crazy happened. It was a big week for Android news; more rumors of the next Nexus device made their way around, and Google’s major Android event scheduled for tomorrow was suddenly cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Read on for more of this past week’s best Android news.

Early last week, there was a huge leak of all the devices and updates that Google was expected to announce at its Android event, like the Nexus 4 and Android 4.2. An LG spokesperson confirmed the existence of a LG Nexus phone. Samsung was reported to be ending its LCD relationship with Apple, but the Korean company has since denied the claim. LG’s next upcoming Optimus device, the L9, was announced for T-Mobile coming October 31, and we also reviewed the company’s flagship Optimus device, the Optimus G.

On the Amazon front, the company’s web services experienced an outage, which meant that popular websites like Reddit and Pinterest went down. The company also announced that its Kindle Fire HD tablet has been their best-selling product in the company’s history, and issued an OTA update to celebrate.

The Galaxy Note II was announced for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon starting at $299 after a new two-year contract. However, T-Mobile is asking for $369 for the device. We also even reviewed Samsung’s Note II, so if you’re looking for a large phablet device, check out our review to find out more information about it. Speaking of Samsung, the company and LG are rumored to release 1080p smartphones as early as next year.

Thanks to Apple’s iPad mini announcement, Google’s Nexus 7 got a lot of attention, and it’s sales aren’t slowing down, but the iPad mini is still a threat, so we talked about some of the things that the Nexus 7 needs to do in order to stay ahead of the iPad mini. That same day, Zynga ended up laying off 5% of its workforce and even completely shut down it’s Boston studio. A reboot of Roller Coaster Tycoon was announced for early 2013, and it’s coming to select Android devices. The popular keyboard app, SwiftKey, announced a Swype competitor called Flow.

The FCC this week confirmed that a 3G Nexus 7 model is on the way, and the manual to a larger Nexus 10 rumored tablet leaked later in the week. Plus, the tablet showed up in a short video, only raising our anticipation level even more. We even got a peek at some of the Nexus 10′s specs in a leak, including Android 4.2 and an Exynos 5250 1.7 GHz dual-core CPU.

Finally, Apple posted a statement on their website saying that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad, Rockstar Games announced GTA: Vice City for Android, Google added natural geography to Google Maps, Xbox Smartglass launches for Android devices, and the Nexus 4 leaks again with possible 8GB and 16GB models.

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