This, folks, is Ubuntu on Android. An honest-to-goodness, not janky or VNC'd, full build of the Linux distro powered by an Android smartphone.
We'll let that sink in.
Canonical -- the company behind Ubuntu -- today announced that it's bringing the full Ubuntu experience to multi-core Android phones in the same way that Motorola has attempted to extend its hardware to a more traditional computing experience with Webtop. That is, you'll connect your phone to a keyboard and display, and from there have full control over a proper Ubuntu experience, all powered by the phone. Because your Android smartphone is already running a Linux kernel, the marriage between your phone and Ubuntu is darn near seamless. The Ubuntu build actually shares the kernel from your phone and boots in parallel.
Canonical gave us a walkthrough of the experience, and it really couldn't be more simple. Dock the phone, and Ubuntu Unity fires up. Photos and videos are instantly available in the desktop experience.
But photos and videos are chump change. You've got full Chromium and Thunderbird apps. VLC. The Ubuntu Music Player. If it's on Ubuntu, it can be on your phone.
But the real power is in the ability to launch your Android apps within that desktop experience. Same goes for contacts. Or your network settings. Or your notifications. It's Android within an Ubuntu experience. And it's pretty slick.
As for hardware requirements, you'll need a dual-core smartphone with at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. You'll need 2GB of storage free as well, plus USB host mode and HDMI out (MHL adapters will work, Canonical tells us), plus video acceleration. Older phones need not apply, basically.
It's worth repeating that this is your phone powering Ubuntu -- not the Ubuntu desktop on your phone. We're going to get a close look at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned. For now, we've got Canonical's full press release after the break.
The guys behind the awesome Poweramp app were super pumped by the response to their recent giveaway, and want to show Android Central readers some more love with a Valentine's Day contest. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite love song, and you could win one of two Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speakers!
This speaker is totally portable and connects easily to your phone or computer, delivering big sound in a small package. Charge it up with the provided USB cable (it's a mini, not a micro) and then take it with you wherever you go. You can use it in the car for hands-free calling while paired with your phone or pair with your computer for Skype or iChat calls. The ClarityHD has a built-in mic with advanced noise-canceling technology so you can use it for conference calls without having to lug a big heavy microphone around. The small size and light weight make it easy to take with you in a briefcase or in the glove box of your car, so you can always have it nearby.
I am really impressed with the compact style of the ClarityHD and the big sound that comes out of it. I also really appreciated how easy it was to pair with my devices. If you're interested in entering to win a free Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker in time for Valentine's Day, leave your comment in the forums, telling us your favorite love song! Sorry folks, this contest is open to US Android Central members only and ends Sunday at midnight. Compatibility and general specifications for the Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker can be found after the break, along with a few more pictures.
As one of the first Android phones with a dedicated HDMI-out port, the HTC EVO 4G is the perfect candidate for a multimedia dock. The official HTC HDMI dock is that perfect multimedia dock. It's stylish, simple, and works great -- which is what most of us look for in our electronic accessories.
Inside the box is everything you need to get going. The dock, a 72-inch (that's six feet) HDMI cable, and a quick and easy set of directions and you'll soon be watching video on your television or monitor. And the dock's small size makes it perfect for carrying along with you to share video and pictures from your EVO on any television.
Just plug one end of the cable into the dock, the other into the TV, and go. There's even a microUSB port on the dock so you can charge while watching. The dock itself is weighty, and has four rubber feet to keep it from sliding around while using it. You precious EVO 4G fits tightly, and there's no fear of breaking anything because it fell out of the connector.
The HTC EVO 4G was one of the most popular Android phones ever, with good reason. It was a real game changer, and the current crop of big, bright displays and media-centric devices can all trace their roots back to it. And you know what? It's still great. Hit the break for a few more images.
We all know that using a cell phone while driving is super dangerous, and in more and states than not, laws are in effect that make it illegal to do so. In fact, 40 states have some sort of hands-free law in effect, meaning that if you're going to be talking on the phone while driving a vehicle, you must not have the phone in your hand. Luckily, newer cars come equipped with speakers the ability to connect to your phone and take or make calls using the car speakers. If you don't have that option available to you, you may choose to use a Bluetooth headset or earpiece. This is a more versatile option, as you can use it outside of your car as well.
Choosing a Bluetooth earpiece can be difficult. You want one that will work seamlessly, as well as look good, and the options out there don't always combine those factors in an affordable package. Plus, who wants to have the same earpiece that everyone else has? The creative team behind Earloomz saw this challenge and rose to the occasion, designing a Bluetooth earpiece with style and functionality all wrapped up in one. With hundreds of designs to choose from, you're sure to find one that will suit your personality. Each image is mechanically painted onto the earpiece and finished with a moisture resistant coating, guaranteeing quality and durability.
Each Earloomz earpiece comes with 2 earhooks and 4 earbuds as well as a lanyard holder so you always have it handy. Compatible with most mobile phones, set-up is a breeze and took less than a minute when I paired mine. Multipoint technology allows you to stay connected with 2 devices at once, and the earpiece has a range of 33 feet. Headset controls include call/answer, last number redial, and call waiting, all in one button. Keep reading for technical specs of the earpieces, contest details, and information about Earloomz campaign for a national Hands-Free Initiative.
The Netflix app for Android has just hit version 1.7, bringing a handful of improvements for tablet and smartphone users. Today's update allows Netflix customers to share content on Facebook (in Canada, Latin America, the UK and Ireland), which should make it easier for your Netflix-subscribing friends to stay up to date on your latest Doctor Who marathon.
The update also includes a handful of bug fixes and additional features, including software volume controls for tablets, improved audio/video sync and a solution for video flickering problems on certain tablets.
If you've already got Netflix installed, you can grab the new version from the Market app. If not, we've got links and QR codes after the break.
Finding the right case for your phone is like picking a wand in Harry Potter. Try as you might, you can't ever force one on yourself; the right case always seems to choose you. Fortunately for me, I think I've finally found my one true case in the Mobi Products Honeycomb TPU Case for the HTC EVO 3D.
While there's no shortage of anti-dust, rubberized material, no-slip cases out on the market, the Honeycomb TPU Case has one glaring difference: its design. While it comes off as "just another case" from the front, once you flip this bad boy over, you'll be getting nothing but compliments at how cool your case is.
Up top you've got the standard 3.5mm headphone jack opening, but curiously enough, Mobi Products opted to cover the power button completely, leaving their own plastic button cover in place. It doesn't feel bad, but sometimes you lose the truly tactile clicking feeling that only comes from an uncovered button. They give the same treatment to the volume rocker, too.
On the same bezel as the rocker there's an opening for the camera button and 2D/3D slider, as well as openings for the microphones down bottom and the micro-USB charging port on the left.
The case itself is relatively thin, but just tall enough to peer over the camera lenses, which means you can finally leave your phone on its backside without worrying about scratching everything up. Add in the fact it's slick in your hand but grippy when on a surface, and you've definitely got a winner in the "cool look, great price" category of phone cases.
Motorola is preparing to roll out a new software update for the MOTOACTV, it's Android-based fitness tracker. The new firmware, which Moto says will land "around the world" from Mar. 7, will enable owners to track new types of activity including yoga, Pilates, dancing and martial arts.
The manufacturer's also promising the ability to activate the MOTOACTV with a flick of the wrist, and set up Wifi connectivity directly on the device. The most interesting new feature, however, is the competitions feature in the MOTOACTV Training Portal, which will allow you to (virtually) square off against MOTOACTV-owning friends at various activities.
Motorola says it'll unveil more features of this new software update as the release date approaches.
We're kicking off this week's ShopAndroid Daily Giveaway with a closer look at the Qmadix Galaxy Nexus Snap-on Cover, a Rezound Hard Shell, the Seidio Galaxy SII Extended Battery, and the Droid RAZER Case-Mate Tough Case.
Leave a comment stating which one of the featured accessories you'd like to have. We will pick a winner from each daily post Sunday at midnight. Pretty simple, right? Let's get this thing started.
The Qmadix Snap-On Cover is form-fitted to your Samsung or Verizon Galaxy Nexus and features a textured rubberized exterior to allow a firm grip on your device. The case is lightweight, and fairly thin-- keeping your Galaxy Nexus' slim profile as close as possible. The Snap-on cover features cutouts for all of the Galaxy Nexus features, and leaves the screen exposed for full functionality.
Well, look at that. New on the shelves at ShopAndroid.com is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Spare Battery Charging System. It includes a spare 1850 mAh battery, plus a spare battery charger, so you can make sure you've always got a fresh one ready to go. Ours also comes with a microUSB travel charger, so there are no excuses in keeping your phoen ready.
While we're at it, let's give one away to our U.S. Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners. Just leave a comment on this post and we'll pick a winner later this afternoon. Good luck!
The Logitech Revue never quite lived up to its potential as the first set-top box to sport Google TV. That much was made clear by Logitech in late 2011 when it was said to have "cost us dearly." And now the Revue has officially been put out to pasture.
Logitech posted its Q3 2012 (they're on a weird schedule) today and in doing so it repeated that sales figures were negatively impacted by the Revue -- and that it no longer has any units on hand. Here's the official word from Logitech:
A major factor in the 8 percent decline in the Americas sales compared to the prior year was Logitech Revue for GoogleTV. We began shipments of Logitech Revue in Q3 of the prior year and delivered sales of $22M that quarter. Sales of Logitech Revue this year were down by $15M due to the combination of a significant price reduction in Q2 of this fiscal year and our previously announced intention to exit the category. We are now sold out of all new Logitech Revue units.
So that's it, boys and girls. The Logitech Revue is done. Finished. Kaput. It is no more. But that's not entirely true, of course. A good many of us still have Revue units, and they still work relatively well, if a little underpowered, and they're actually running the latest version of the Google TV branch of Android. Treat them well. (Or at least try not to fear them too much.)
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