4 years ago

Android Theme Review: Frost


I think once you've got the theming fever, the only prescription is more cowbell theming. Returning back to my initial obsession with monochrome and minimalism, I'd like to present another theme by Sonny Sekhon (the creator of Tangerine): Frost.

Frost takes your status bar icons and turns them black. How will black show up on your bar, you might ask? Well, your notification bar is transformed into a brilliant, frosty silver. Same as Tangerine, the battery percent is put inside the battery by default, so you'll always how much time you've got before you need to swap in a spare battery.

The pulldown notification bar is similarly themed, with a transparent background and silvery-white text and icons. The bottom of the bar is a sort of metallic rectangle with a slice cut out of it. Your notifications are also on metallic rectangles too.

The dialer is relatively unchanged, with just some transparency added. The phone icon is now silver, people's frames around their pictures is a slightly darker grey, but otherwise, it's the same app you've come to know and love.

Icons and widgets have been heavily themed, with many of the apps in my drawer sporting some new, silver threads. A number of widgets have been skinned, too, like the analog clock and the Google search widget.

As a matter of fact, everything in Frost is themed or skinned in some form or fashion. Check box buttons, the settings menu, field highlights, and toast notifications are all cold, frosty, and monochromatic. There isn't a part of your ROM that won't have been themed, and it all comes together in one very convincing package or total frosty immersion.

If you're on the hunt for a brightly colored theme (like me!), then look no further than Frost. It's bright, steely, and very eye-catching. And for only $1, it can be yours.

We've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Vizio tablet gets another OTA -- VIA version 1.3 brings Netflix support


The Vizio tablet (check out our review) has received an OTA update (no, it's not Honeycomb) that brings security fixes and Netflix support.  The security fixes weren't detailed, but the current build is now GRH78C, with VIA Plus 1.3, dated Sep. 30. We loaded it up here, and sure enough -- Netflix works really well.  Combined with the recent price drops at places like Sam's Club, this little tablet gets more interesting.

If you haven't seen the update yet, restart your tablet and it should automatically check for the new version.  It takes a few minutes to download, and you'll have to restart again, but once it reboots you'll be able to enjoy streaming from Netflix, with great sound from the Vizio's unique speaker system, right in your hands.

Thanks, fatnasty!

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4 years ago

This is happening: The Stumble Force Android Wings Flugtag


There are a couple reasons why I don't go to Tampa very often. One is a restraining order thanks to a bad night in Ybor City. (Is there any other kind?) The other is there's some serious poop going on down there. Witness: The crazy bastards of "Stumble Force" and their crazy-ass "Android Wings" contraption. Yes, that's a 12-foot-high EVO with a pair of 15-foot wings. And, yes, it's going to take flight over Tampa Bay. Or, should Sir Isaac Newton's streak continue, take flight into Tampa Bay.

If you're not familiar with the Red Bull Flugtag events, picture these things: A large body of water. A ramp. A human-powered flying machine, and sufficiently disturbed humans to pilot them. OK, not so much pilot, but hold on for dear life. Hell, watch the highlights from 2008, the last time the Flugtag was in Tampa. That ain't right. But it sure is fun to watch.

Anyhoo. Stumble Force and the aluminum-and-PVC Android Wings will be doing their thing today. We wish those crazy SOBs the best of luck.

Source: TBO.com; Image: Stumble Force on Facebook;
More: Red Bull Flugtag; Thanks, @cwperdomo1 for the tip!

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4 years ago

GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus hits the FCC


Surprise! There's going to be a GSM version of the next Nexus phone, which also will be coming to Verizon. Go figure, eh? Look, there are still a bunch of questions to be answered surrounding the next Nexus phone -- official name chief among them. But as we've been saying (over and over), even if Verizon has some sort of up-front U.S. exclusivity on the next hottest phone, and it might well be slightly different than the ROW devices, there absolutely will be a GSM version. That's what the rest of the world uses. And that's what just went through the FCC as the GT-i9250. Looking at the radio bands, we've got something that's compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and Canada, among other nations.

So, yeah. A GSM Nexus. No kidding.

Source: FCC; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
More in the Nexus Prime forums

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4 years ago

Editorial: It's OK to take a breath


Way too much hay has been made over Google and Samsung's decision to postpone Tuesday's Nexus/Ice Cream Sandwich event at CTIA in San Diego. It's disappointing, to be sure -- especially to those of us who were going to be there. Samsung and Google events, separately, are something to experience. Put them together, and, well, we can only imagine. But it's also disappointing for everyone else, as the event was to be streamed live, for everyone to see it, and not just those lucky enough to be in the room. That's very openy of Google, ain't it?

It didn't help that the postponement message appeared to be somewhat bungled, with word apparently first trickling out from Samsung UK (which being hours ahead in Europe was actually awake), while the U.S. arm was the one that had sent the invitations in the first place, so presumably it would be the one to give us the bad news after breakfast. (And, in the end, it did.) That's inside baseball, though, and shouldn't really matter. When two major companies are coordinating something like this, stuff happens.

And it didn't help that barely hours before, another major Ice Cream Sandwich/Nexus leak hit with video and screen shots of the new phone and new device. First thing many of us saw after waking Friday was a shiny new phone and version of Android. It's Christmas in October, right?

But then we get official word, and the conspiracy theories began. Ice Cream Sandwich isn't ready. The hardware isn't ready. The event presentation isn't ready. Apple filed another pre-emptive lawsuit. Plausible theories, all (especially the latter, we suppose). A statement was later released, saying "We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs's passing."

We should all respect that.

We tend to think of these phones as ours. Our phones, our platforms, our ecosystems. We take them personally. We fight for them. That's not a bad thing. We should care, and maybe even be a little overzealous. But something most of us outside of the companies involved need to remember is that we see the end product -- we don't truly understand the blood, sweat and tears, days and weeks and months and years that go into building these phones. The developers. The engineers. The debuggers. The managers. The PR folks. The countless wives and husbands and children. Trust me, they take these things personally, too. They fight for them. They care. And maybe they're even a little overzealous. That's how they should be.

ZENandTECH helps center your inner geek and de-stress your connected life.

I don't pretend to "know" Google any more than I pretend to "know" Apple. But I do know they're companies made of people. I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in Mountain View earlier this year, and one thing that stood out was just the overall vibe of happiness of the people mulling around, eating lunch, going from building to building and generously tolerating a bunch of nosy journalists in their way for the morning. It's palpable. But another thing I'm pretty sure of is that for all the secrecy and competition, it's also a fairly tight-knit community. Friends. Family. Respected competitors. (Remember that Eric Schmidt was once on Apple's board.)

This week, they -- and to a different extent those of us in the general public -- all lost someone whose effect on our lives, both personal and technological, likely will be measured not in product cycles or releases, but in the way our children and grandchildren live their lives.

Point is this: We want the next Nexus phone. We want Ice Cream Sandwich. And soon enough, we'll have them both. And they'll be spectacular. And they'll be replaced by something else in another year and we'll go though the process again.

If the men and women of Google and Samsung and any other tech industry more directly affected by Apple and Steve Jobs want a little time next week to reflect, regroup and take a breath, let them. They deserve it.

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4 years ago

Postponed Nexus, Galaxy S II on T-Mobile [From the Forums]


It's been a chaotic day with things starting off bright and early this morning but -- we're heading into the weekend. A long weekend for some folks with it being Thanksgiving in Canada and Columbus day for the US. A perfect time to get caught up on all things Android,

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S II benchmarks redux


We recently saw some benchmark numbers for the T-mobile Galaxy S II, and like everything else ever put on the Internet many cried foul.  I hate benchmarks.  They tell me nothing about how a phone acts and feels in real world use; you need to actually use it to determine that.  But since there's a bit of controversy, allow me to interject a few new pictures.


Nothing shut off, still getting mail and everything like I should.  Now stop worrying.

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4 years ago

A little more inside Sprint's 4G Network Vision


Last year Sprint detailed their plans to rollout their Network Vision -- a unfied system to bring all their network capabilities into one seamless network and in that time, they've been working hard to get things rolling. They're now going to be ramping up their efforts and are ahead of schedule. The combined networks now have a goal of full scale consoldation by 2013.

During their 4G Strategy/Network Vision Update event in New York, Dan Hesse, chief executive officer of Sprint also detailed Sprints National roll out of 4G LTE services on its 1900 MHz spectrum. The complete roll out expected is to be serving 250 Million people by 2013 so, for customers this is great news but what does it all mean?

  • 3G Network Improvement:  Sprint expects an improvement in customers’ 3G network experience, including expanded coverage, improved network reliability, better voice quality, and faster 3G data speeds. Based on forecasts of data demand, Sprint is confident its 3G network will meet customers’ growing data demands.
  • LTE deployment expected to reach 250 million people by 2013: Sprint expects to launch CDMA-LTE devices by mid-2012, with approximately 15 devices coming throughout the year—including handsets, tablets and data cards.  Additionally, CDMA-WiMAX devices, such as the award-winning HTC EVO 4G, Samsung Epic 4G and Nexus S 4G, will continue to be sold throughout 2012.

Better services and more devices -- we like the sounds of that. You can hit the source link if you're looking for the finer details of what to expect from Sprint in the next few years.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II - now available in white from Bell


As if the Samsung Galaxy S II wasn't already beautiful enough, Bell has now released it in white as planned. As Jerry will tell you, he's a sucker for white devices and I'm sure a lot of others out there are as well. If you've been holding off and waiting, you can now pick one up for $150 on a 3-year contract or $600 without any contract.

Source: Bell

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the T-Mobile Galaxy S II


The Fed-Ex man just dropped off something I've been itching to get my hands on -- the T-Mobile Galaxy S II.  For all intents and purposes, it's the same Galaxy S II we've seen across the rest of the world, with a few extras -- a 4.52-inch display, and an HSPA+42 modem.  We have to get down and dirty with it for a bit to know the in's and out's, but there's no way we would make you guys wait for a quick preview of what may be the best smartphone T-Mobile has ever carried.  Hit the break for the details, some video love, and a handful of pictures.

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4 years ago

New Google Music and Google+ apps found in Ice Cream Sandwich build


The fellows at Android Police have their hands on a couple new apps from the Ice Cream Sandwich build that's floating around out there (how 'bout a dump for the community, Mr. Anon?), and with it comes with new Google Music and Google+ apps.  The new music app has a bit of a UI makeover, with more sleek (and less screen real-estate wasting) controls, most noticeable in the "now playing" screen, and a search button has been included since ICS has no dedicated search key.  It appears that everything we know and love about Google Music is there, but in a more refined package.

The Google+ app at first look appears much like the current version in the Android Market, until you look at the Huddle Messenger portion.  Once again, it's been renamed, this time Google is calling it "Chords."  While that may be confusing at first, it's probably less confusing than having the same name as other applications (Facebook, iOS, etc.) that are using the word messenger.  Or it may be something that Google it kicking around, and not even final.  We'll only know for sure when ICS is available for everyone.  For more pictures, as well as a download link for the Google Music app, check out the source links.

Source: Android Police (Music) (Google+)

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4 years ago

HTC Sensation XL promotional videos


HTC has released five new promotional videos showing off various features of the Sensation XL, the new 4.7-inch phone with Beats Audio that was unveiled yesterday at an event in London. We were there. We think "glitzy" is probably the right word to describe it.

The first is an abstract "reveal" video similar to what HTC's done for many other devices, and was shown on-stage at last night's shindig. In addition, there's a thirty-second ad and feature videos showcasing the 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 lens, the 4.7-inch Super LCD display and the all-important Beats support. Hit the jump to find all five videos, or check out the rest of our Sensation XL coverage using the links below.

Hands-on with the Sensation XL | Sensation XL Specs | Sensation XL Forums

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4 years ago

Acer Iconia A100 mini-review


Here's our long overdue look at the Acer Iconia a100, a 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablet. On one hand, it's a blessedly simple device. Take Honeycomb and the usual internals that we've come to know in Honeycomb devices, and scale it down.

Acer steps things up a bit on the hardware side by throwing in a bunch of ports -- you've got microUSB, microHDMI, a docking port, and a proprietary charger. There are dual speakers on one edge, which tends to make the audio output a little more directional than we'd like. There's also a capacitive home button that, in addition to taking you back to the home screen, lights up on notifications. (There's also a light in the power button.) A screen lock toggle switch rounds things out.

On the storage side, you've got around 6GB of internal memory, and the a100 will accept a microSD card for additional storage.

The hardware's nicely done, but the screen's been a bit of a deal-breaker for us, with a pretty horrendous viewing angle. As you'll see in the video after the break, it's as if the screen's being lit from one edge only -- turn it even just a tiny bit, and an entire section loses all color. It's pretty rough.

That major caveat aside, there's definitely a market for these smaller -- and less expensive -- Honeycomb tablets. And the a100 is just the beginning.

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4 years ago

Android 101: Clear your Android Market search history


Tired of seeing the same apps you've already searched for show up over and over when you search the Android Market? You can easily clear your search history and get rid of the usual -- or incriminating -- list of apps.

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson & EA offering 4 free downloads for the Xperia Play


Have an Xperia Play that is in need of some new games? If so, Sony Ericsson & EA Games has you covered. Now you can get four of the hottest Xperia Play game titles for free.

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Dead Space
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
  • Need for Speed SHIFT

Sony Ericsson & EA Games has been working together to make more and more titles available for Xperia Play users and the titles listed above will be available for for free until January 15, 2012. You can jump on past the break for some of the demo video or if you'd rather just get to downloading you can hit the source link for more info.

Source: Get In The Game

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