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3 years ago

Gingerbread feature: Near Field Communication

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Another new feature to Gingerbread is Near Field Communications (NFC).  It's a fancy term for wireless communication between things that touch each other.  You've probably seen this with your current credit or bank card, and special terminals at places like gas stations or bank teller machines, and it can be pretty handy.  It's a smartphone technology that's still in its infancy, has little practical use currently, and needs specialized hardware -- currently only the Nexus S supports it.

We expect all that to change soon, and a new series of possibilities -- and security concerns -- will become the norm in the smartphone arena.  For now, unless you're in Portland and visit one of the businesses Google targeted in their Hotpot testing area, there isn't much you can do with it.  But for kicks, get out your bank card or passport and hit the break to see a demo.

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3 years ago

Playstation phone may be 'Xperia Play,' reportedly will hit stores in April 2011

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Here's the latest speculation and rumor control on the not-so-mythical Sony Ericsson Playstation phone:

First up, SE was granted a European trademark on "Xperia Play" on Dec. 1. At the same time, Swedish PR firm Jung Relations has scooped up XperiaPlay.com, XperiaPlay.net and XperiaPlay.org. So there's a pretty good bet that'll end up being a big part of the branding somehow.

Then add on an unsourced rumor from Pocket-Lint, which says the PSP/Xperia/Play/Phone/thingy will be announced at Mobile World Congress in February (no great surprise there) and will hit stores in April in the UK.

Safe bets, all. Does that mean any of it'll actually happen? There's a better than average chance. Stay tuned, folks. This spring is gonna be a doozy. [OHIM, Xperia10.net, Pocketnow, Pocket-Lint]

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3 years ago

Droid X captures great shot of the Lunar Eclipse last night

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Were you one of the many who stayed awake last night to check out the lunar eclipse as it occurred in the early morning hours? Many of us wish we could capture the amazing event on camera, and it appears as though one person was going to go to any extreme to capture a shot. With the use of his Motorola Droid X and a telescope @freshgeardude was able to capture the miraculous shot that is shown above. It's not quite as spectacular as this other moon shot we've seen, but it's still a great example of exactly just what Droid Does! [via @freshgeardude]

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3 years ago

Gingerbread is on the Droid Incredible? But of course!

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Gingerbread on the Droid Incredible? Don't sound so surprised. Now that the source code has been made publicly available, everyone and their mother (hi, Mom!) is compiling a beta build for their favorite device.

For the most part, though, remember that these builds aren't really ready to be your daily driver -- though they're definitely getting better day by day.

That brings us back to the DInc, and this ROM from r2DoesInc. You'll get the basic Gingerbread experience, with a few tweaks. The camera's working, though GPS and video recording aren't. Be sure to check out the full changelog and instructions at the source link for the full rundown. It's a hodgepodge, to be sure, but an impressive one.

Video's after the break as well. [XDA-Developers]

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Viewsonic: GTablet doesn't have hardware flaw, its UI just sucks

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You may have heard some rumbling across the Internet over the weekend about Staples recalling the Viewsonic 10-inch GTablet because of a hardware defect.  Turns out that according to Viewsonic (full press release after the break) the hardware's still top notch, and "is one of the fastest Android tablets on the market today, consistently leading industry benchmarks."  They're right, but to be fair, that's only after it's been hacked nine ways to Sunday. The stock user interface -- known as Tap and Tap -- is plain awful (see our review for the proof), and Viewsonic admits that this, and the fact that Adobe hasn't certified Flash 10.1 for the Tegra 2 chipset just yet, is the reason people were rushing to return the things. 

They also go on to say they will be releasing an update starting Dec 22. The new Tap and Tap, which according to Viewsonic, has been significantly enhanced since the product launch  will now be a choice presented to the end user, along with the standard Android 2.2 user experience.  They also suggest the users can download Flash from websites that distribute Android applications until Jan 2011, when Adobe has certified the software for their product.  If this turns out to be the case, you're forgiven Viewsonic.  Hit the break for Viewsonic's press release.  [via Engadget]

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3 years ago

Sprint acknowledges problems with Samsung Intercept Froyo update

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Are you one of the Samsung Intercept owners who was eagerly awaiting your time for the Android 2.2 update but was quickly disappointed when it made your device a nice paperweight? Well, it appears as though you are not alone, and Sprint has posted that they are aware that this update is making some devices unresponsive. They have not given a cause for the issue, not stated exactly what they plan to do to fix it but they do advise those who experience to call their customer service at 1-888-211-4PCS.

We assume an official fix is in the works. And if you're up for an unofficial fix (though reportedly it's the one Sprint's testing, there's another update.zip out there that reportedly does the deed. [via Sprint Community Forums, BriefMobile]

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3 years ago

Nexus One's Android 2.3 Gingerbread update promised 'in the coming weeks'

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OMG! The Nexus One will get its over-the-air Gingerbread update in a few weeks, according to the GoogleNexus Twitter account. In a few weeks?!?!? That means we should repeatedly hit the software update button starting now, right? RIGHT?!?!

We know, we know. Patience is not your strong suit. But an interesting thing happened as the Android 2.3 code was released last week: Google said the AOSP code can't just be compiled and slapped into a working build for the Nexus One and the Nexus S. Of course, that didn't stop anybody, and we've had builds running since last Friday night -- and some of them are getting pretty darn good. But let's give the boys and girls at Google a little time to get things right (and, perhaps, enjoy their holidays?) before pushing anymore code, m'kay? [Twitter]

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3 years ago

Samsung Captivate case review: Body Glove Snap-on Case

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The Body Glove Snap-On Case is an interesting, multipurpose accessory choice for the Samsung Captivate. It has some great features as well as areas that could use improvement.

The Good: The Snap-On Case feels good in the hand. Its textured material feels better than a lot of the plastic options on the market, as well as provides solid protection for the phone. This is also a lot more than a case as it has an attachable clip and kickstand. The kickstand is built into the clip so no need to worry about looking after two detachable parts. The knob can also be removed if you don't want to sport the extra additions, which makes this case extremely flexible. 

The not as good: It's a snap on case, and because of that it is more difficult to put and keep together than other cases. You need to push the two parts together pretty hard to make them stick. Even after it was together, I wasn't sure it was going to stay connected. It should be noted, however, that the parts have not separated after heavy use.  

Overall, it's a solid case if you're looking for a multipurpose accessory. It feels good once it's put together and is pretty robust once snapped on. If you have a Captivate and are looking for a case with a kickstand and clip, consider the Body Glove Snap-On Case, available from the Android Central Store, for $24.95. See more pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Swype reopens beta program for all!

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You read that right, folks. For those of you waiting to officially get in on the Swype keyboard, you'll wait no longer. The beta program has opened up to anyone able to type in a little user information. That means you can be up and running the official version of Swype in just a couple of minutes -- including the new and improved "micro" version -- without worry of being hassled by the man. Hit up the source link to get your Swype on. [Swype] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

SPB Mobile Shell for Android looking for a few brave beta testers

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It's been 10 long months since we saw SPB Mobile Shell for Android. That's right, the same SPB who used to make Windows Mobile usable. And long after we got a look at it at Mobile World Congress it's ... still not available. But you can now sign up for a private beta, and possible get a look at a whole 'nother UI for Android. Be sure to check out our hands-on from February, and there's all new video after the break. [SPB Mobile Shell for Android]

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