Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Android Community

Android Community

ASUS delivers earnings report for Q3 2013

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:01 AM PDT

MetroPCS gave their earnings report for Q3 2012 just a little while ago, but now it’s time to hear from ASUS. All in all, it looks like ASUS had a pretty great Q3, reporting a net profit of $229.1 million on revenues of $3.8 billion. Net profits were up a staggering 48% year-over-year, which allowed ASUS to report its highest quarterly profit in the last four years.

That definitely isn’t anything to stick your nose up at, and it seems that the company’s excellent quarter had a lot to do with its tablet business. The company managed to ship 5 million laptops in quarter 3, which is up a healthy 14% sequentially, but that boost can’t hold a candle to increase tablet shipments enjoyed. ASUS shipped 2.3 million tablets in the quarter, and though that’s less than half the number of laptops it shipped in the same period, it also happens to be an increase of nearly 300% sequentially.

More than likely, the Nexus 7 had something to do with that large increase in tablet shipment. We’re thinking that the new Nexus 7 32GB models will help ASUS sell even more tablets going into Q4, and indeed, the company seems to agree. The company is expecting quarter 4 to be better across the board, projecting 5.5 million laptop shipments and 2.6 million tablet shipments for the next quarter.

If ASUS manages to hit that 2.6 million milestone for tablets, it will be 13% increase sequentially, which certainly isn’t bad. It definitely isn’t out of reach for ASUS either, as we’re quickly approaching the holiday shopping season. We’ll be keeping an eye on ASUS as the company closes in on its next fiscal year, because this latest earnings report shows that its one to watch.

[via SlashGear]

MetroPCS releases Q3 earnings information

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 08:57 AM PDT

MetroPCS has released its earning statement for Q3 2012. While the regional carrier did not smash any records in terms of revenue, it looks like they are doing fairly well. That may explain why T-Mobile is so interested in acquiring the smaller carrier. Most importantly, MetroPCS managed to post an impressive $193 million net profit this quarter, which is an increase of $44 million over last quarter.

That being said, things aren’t all great for MetroPCS. The carrier lost over 300,000 subscribers, which is obviously not a good thing when a large portion of your income is generated from subscribers paying a month bill. Still, in spite of that, the company managed to gain $1.26 billion in revenue. In all, MetroPCS is reporting that they have just under nine million customers, one million of which is subscribed to 4G LTE plans.

In the last six months, the carrier has lost just over 500,000 customers. Still, MetroPCS plans to "re-energizes" its subscriber growth, even if it might hurt its bottom line a bit. Year-on-year, MetroPCS revenue did not grow much. In Q3 2011, MetroPCS netted $1.21 billion in revenue.

In terms of profit, MetroPCS has seen some solid growth year-on-year. This could certainly be a good sign going forward, as they have clearly managed to cut costs and make more profit off the money they are bringing in. We will let you know how MetroPCS does in Q4.

N2Acards to add Jelly Bean dual booting to Nook Tablet

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 08:07 AM PDT

If you own a Nook Tablet, we have some good news for you. N2Acards is launching the ability to dual-boot Nook Tablet devices with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. They are offering two options; the ability to purchase cards with Jelly Bean installed or the ability to download it your own cards (also for a charge).

The prices for the dual-boot depends on the size of the card you need. You can grab cards in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties. The prices range from $30 to $90, with the largest card being the most expensive. This makes it really easy to get Jelly Bean running on your Nook Tablet with minimal technical skills required.

The memory cards with Jelly Bean installed are scheduled to ship on November 1st. If you are impatient, and want to install the OS to your own memory card, you can purchase all the necessary files for $20. You will need a Class 4 microSD card in order to get Jelly Bean up and running on your Nook Tablet.

Of course, this is all made possible thanks to Cyanogenmod. Since it is dual booting, it does not void your devices warranty. The dual boot features full access to Google Play, so users can access the 700,000+ applications available there that they would not have available to them before. The cards are available now from N2Acards.

[via Engadget]

Verizon announces $99 LG Spectrum 2 available online now

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 07:49 AM PDT

Verizon and LG have just made the Spectrum 2 official. They announced that the device will be available on the 30th, which just so happens to be today. The phone is available right now on Verizon’s site for $99. The phone is available exclusively online, so don’t plan on running out to your local retailer to grab one, at least not yet.

Verizon and LG are going to release the device to stores in the coming weeks, but if you cannot wait for that, you can order one right now. The $99 price tag includes a $50 mail-in rebate, so you will have to shell out $149 initially to purchase the device. Still, it’s a fairly high-end phone available at a surprisingly low price.

The Spectrum 2 features a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB of RAM. It comes with a 4.7-inch HD display. The phone also features 16GB of internal memory with support for microSD cards up to 32GB. It comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed.

The phone also comes with wireless charging technology, NFC, 4G LTE and Bluetooth 4.0. It actually compares quite favorably to the DROID RAZR HD, but it comes in at $100 cheaper. If you’ve been waiting for a solid Android phone at a budget price, this might be the perfect time to grab a new device.

Google passes 700,000 apps on Google Play

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 06:47 AM PDT

In case you couldn’t tell, Google Play is growing at an exponential rate. Google has just revealed that they have over 700,000 applications available on its application store. This puts them right there with Apple in terms of number of apps available on its service.

Apple announced that it has 700,000 apps a little over a month ago, so presumably, that number has grown a little since then. Still, Google is hot on Apple’s heals, and it is only a matter of time before Google Play becomes the mobile app store with the largest selection of apps. More apps is always a good thing for device owners. After all, who doesn’t love more choices?

Apple and Google are in a constant battle for mobile supremacy. Google just announced a 10-inch tablet clearly targeted at competing with the iPad. Apple, on the other hand, just announced a smaller tablet, which is clearly aimed at competing with the popular 7-inch Android tablets. The two companies are constantly one upping each other, and this is just another example of that.

At this point, it’s race for a million. It’s going to be a close race. Many apps that launch for one platform, launch for the other at the same time. Still, when you consider the head start that Apple had with mobile apps, the number of Android apps available is incredibly impressive, and in the end, no matter who wins the race, device owners win.

[via Bloomberg Businessweek]

Pandora announces version 4.0 for Android

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 06:00 AM PDT

Pandora has just announced a huge update for its popular music streaming Android application. Pandora is officially calling this the biggest update since the initial launch of the application. Pandora says that version 4.0 will offer a better music experience with more listening functionality and a more detailed personal music profile.

The new version of Pandora also adds more diverse social options for sharing your music with friends. Pandora also provided a unified interface for iOS and Android for the first time. The interfaces of the two devices has always been different, but now, they share the same easy to use interface. This will be particularly helpful for Android owners who also own an iOS device, as they won’t have to get used to two different interfaces.

Mobile devices are a huge part of Pandora’s business. In fact, over 75% of its total listening comes from mobile devices. Pandora notes that it is second only to Google in terms of US revenue for mobile advertising. Having an updated and functional mobile applications for Pandora is obviously key, and version 4.0 looks to make sure mobile listeners are happy with the service.

Version 4.0 includes updated core features for a better listening experience. Artist pages have also been updated, making it easier for listeners to find out more information about what they are listening to. This update also added detailed user profiles that serve as a timeline of what they’ve been listening to. Pandora also added a music feed for listeners to follow the latest trends on the service. The updated version for Android has not launched on Google Play yet, and Pandora expects it to be available in the coming weeks.

[via SlashGear]

Google adds Public Alerts to Maps and Search on Android

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 05:33 AM PDT

Google’s Public Alerts feature, which displays important events like storms and earthquakes, has been integrated with Search and Maps for Android. This should help users stay up to date with important information involving emergencies and important events. Of course, it features plenty of information on public enemy number one, Hurricane Sandy.

Google has certain search terms in Maps and Search that will trigger the information. So a search for Hurricane Sandy would cause important information on the superstorm to be displayed in Maps or Search. It shows things like shelters and evacuation routes to help people deal with the issues regarding the storm.

Google was not planning on making the feature official until later in the week. However, with the serious storm currently making its way across the eastern portion of the United States, Google decided to rush the new feature out so people could use it. According to Google, this is just part of a larger and continuous effort to provide emergency information.

Google has a network of partners that is uses to gather its public data. They are using USGS and NOAA, both of which use the Common Alerting Protocol. Google is also planning to add new partnerships in the future.

[via SlashGear]

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean upgrade details in plain english

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 02:19 PM PDT

In case you haven’t heard all of the commotion, Google officially announced Android 4.2 earlier today. We touched on some of the new features right after Google’s announcement, but now that things have calmed down a bit, we can go into further depth. Read on to find out about some of the brand new features found in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but before you do, prepare yourself – some of the new features are pretty awesome.

Photo Sphere and Gesture Typing

Easily two of the coolest features in Android 4.2 are Photo Sphere and gesture typing. We’ve already talked quite a bit about Photo Sphere, but the basic idea is that Android 4.2 lets you use the camera on your device to take awesome-looking 360-degree images. The video that Google’s Hugo Barra posted earlier today makes the process of creating a Photo Sphere look relatively easy, and the best part is that the 360 images are constructed as JPEGs, making sharing with friends and on social networks painless. Have a look at the demo video below to get a better idea of what we’re talking about.

Next we have gesture typing, which is looking to streamline the way we compose messages in a serious way. With gesture typing, you gain the ability to simply swipe your finger from letter to letter on the keyboard, lifting your finger once the word is completed. Once you do that, a space in the text will be inserted for you, meaning that you can go right back to typing the next word. Still not streamlined enough for you? No problem, as Android 4.2 will even attempt to fill in the rest of your sentence for you, suggesting words that might fit. That way, you could potentially type a few words and select the rest of the words in your sentence from a list of suggestions.

Multiple User Accounts

Photo Sphere and gesture typing are certainly exciting, but so are multiple user logins. Gone are the days of having only one Google account per device (on tablets at least), as Android 4.2 will allow tablet users to store multiple user accounts on their slate. Each user can have their own background image, home screens, and widgets, and all you need to do to switch between accounts is back out to the lock screen. Definitely a handy feature for households with more than one person using the same tablet.

Wireless Display

Android 4.2 also features wireless display functionality, which we’re thinking is a feature that will definitely get some positive attention. The best part is that you only need a wireless display adapter hooked up to your HDMI TV, and you’re good to go. Once you’ve got the wireless display adapter set up, you’re ready to begin mirroring content to your TV from any device running Android 4.2. It really couldn’t get much simpler, which is why we think it’s going to be such a big hit with Android users.

Google Now

Next up we have Google Now, which is getting some updates with this latest Android release. Now you can track things like hourly weather and shipping information on incoming packages with Google Now. Users will also have the ability to check public transportation routes and arrival times using Google Now too. In the mood for a movie? Use Google Now to get information on the movies playing near you, and then go out and enjoy a night on the town.


Last but not least, we have notifications. In the drop down notifications menu, we now have a button for quick settings, which obviously let you change settings without having to dig through the app menu first. You’ll have more options when it comes to individual notifications too – for instance, in the image below, the user is reminded of their daughter’s piano recital, and has the ability to email everyone they’ve invited to the show right there in the notifications menu.

It seems that Android 4.2 is really trying to hit ease-of-use home, and this is only the beginning. We’ll undoubtedly be finding out more about Android 4.2 in the coming days and weeks, so keep it tuned here to Android Community for more information. Keep in mind too that Android 4.2 will be running on the Samsung Nexus 10 and the LG Nexus 4 right out the box, so you’ve got something extra to look forward to if you’re planning to purchase one of those devices!

Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay featured in latest trailer

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 12:54 PM PDT

We’ve seen a lot of trailers for Angry Birds Star Wars recently, but so far none of them have featured any actual gameplay. Instead of showing us what we’d really like to see, Rovio took famous clips from the movies and inserted its famous birds into them. Some of them were cute, others were silly, but now its time to cut out the funny business and get down to the nitty gritty: it’s time for gameplay, baby!

This latest trailer features some actual gameplay footage, but sadly, the look we get doesn’t last very long. Still, some is usually better than none, and in this case that holds true. It appears that the gameplay in Angry Birds Star Wars isn’t all that different from Angry Birds installments of the past, but there are enough differences to make it stick out from the rest.

For starters, the style is Star Wars-themed (obviously), with the birds dressed up as the heroes from the movies like Luke and Leia, while the pigs have donned their best suits of Stormtrooper armor. We also get to see the pigs driving an AT-AT at one point, which is definitely cool. Power-ups are Star Wars-themed as well, with one of the birds unleashing its lightsaber on the pig-built structures as it soars in for a collision.

In short, if you happen to be a fan of both Star Wars and Angry Birds (we’re assuming there are at least a few of you out there), this should be right up your alley. We look forward to seeing more gameplay in the coming days, but it won’t be long until the full game arrives at last. Angry Birds Star Wars launches on November 8 – are you picking this one up, or will you be skipping it?

Google Nexus 7 32GB and 32GB HSPA+ models announced

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 12:11 PM PDT

Today we’ve had no shortage of announcements from Google. The company already gave us reveals of the LG Nexus 4 and the Samsung Nexus 10, along with more Android 4.2 details than you can shake a stick at, but the big G wasn’t content to just stop there. Google also revealed the long rumored 32GB Nexus 7, complete with Wi-Fi only and HSPA+ models.

Apparently, the 8GB model is going the way of the dinosaurs, with the 16GB model replacing it at the $200 price point. You know what that means – the 32GB Wi-Fi only model will come in with a $249 price tag. You’ll have to shell out a little bit extra for the 32GB HSPA+ model, as that one costs $299, but all things considered, that still doesn’t sound too bad. Even better is the fact that Google will offer the HSPA+ version unlocked, and the company says that the HSPA+ model should work on as many as 200 different carriers.

That certainly isn’t a bad deal, and aside from the increased internal storage and added wireless functionality in the HSPA+ model, you’re getting the exact same equipment. NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chipset is still there, as is the 1GB of RAM. As an added bonus, though, these new Nexus 7s will come loaded with Android 4.2, the benefits of which we’ve already covered.

Our friends over at SlashGear point out that the 32GB Wi-Fi only model will be available at Google Play Stores in the US, UK, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, Spain, and Canada, along with retail stores such as GameStop, Walmart, and Staples. If you fancy the 32GB HSPA+ model over the Wi-Fi only variant, it’ll be available at all of the Google Play Stores listed above with the exception of Japan starting on November 13. Sounds like it might be time to finally take the plunge and get a Nexus 7, no?


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