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2 years ago

Sensation XL, ICS wait times after reveal [From the Forums]

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Well.. Certainly an intersting day of you're keeping an eye on ICS and Nexus rumors. That said; the Android Central forums are having some fun with all the news as well so make you stop by and join in.

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

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2 years ago

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet now available for your ordering pleasure

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We have taken a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet in the past, and the forums have been building up in anticipation of its arrival, and that time appears to be now. Lenovo has made the IdeaPad A1, the little brother to the IdeaPad K1, available for order on their site starting at $199 for the 2GB model, and $249 for one with 16GB of storage. Is the $199 price tag enough to make you overlook the fact that it runs Gingerbread, or will you be passing in favor a Honeycomb tablet?

Source: Lenovo; Thanks, Dan!

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2 years ago

Android Developers YouTube channel confirms what you already knew: Ice Cream Sandwich at CTIA

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Given how ridiculously goofy the Internet's gotten today, we suppose one more story won't hurt. The Androiddevelopers YouTube channel has a placeholder live event up, cryptically named "Android ICS Launch." It's timed to go live on Tuesday. That's also when the Google-Samsung event is scheduled for CTIA, but that might just be a coincidence. We're going to check with our super secret anonymous sources later tonight in a dark parking garage, just to make sure.

More: Androiddevelopers on Youtube
Thanks, Barry and Eric!

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2 years ago

Amazon updates Appstore Developer Portal FAQ for Kindle Fire

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Amazon has added their developer FAQ with a section specific for the Kindle Fire, covering requirements and the submission process for those who are getting ready for Novembers big launch.  For the most part, it's a pretty standard read -- an overview of the process, the device specific requirements (they even tell developers how to set up the Android SDK emulator -- 600x1024 px display, 169 LCD density, API 10 and 512MB RAM), and content guidelines.  If you have any plans to develop and submit apps to Amazon for the Fire, you should hit the source link and have a read.

For the rest of us, let's have a look at a couple highlights from the "infamous" Amazon developer agreement's Q&A about the Fire:

Amazon will be reviewing each app in the appstore for compatibility with the Kindle Fire.  This will be done automatically, and if any issues are found during the testing, developers will be contacted with more information.  They say app approval for new apps will "generally take a week", but some apps will take longer.

The have a list of no-nos, which your application can't require (as in, need for correct operation) to run.  This list includes a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD.  In addition, if your app uses Google's mobile services, like cloud to device messaging, they need to be removed "gracefully".  Amazon gives us an example of graceful as "an error message such as "This feature is not currently available on this device".  There's also a notice that Google's in app billing won't be supported, but they're working on their own solution.

There's also two interesting notes about content in addition to their normal guidelines.  No themes or wallpaper apps will be allowed, or any app "that manipulates the user interface of the device", and that the "Kindle Fire does not support apps that require root access".  The former, while a little surprising, makes a lot of sense -- they want Amazon content to be front and center.  The latter is a bit less clear, as there are already apps on the Amazon appstore that require root access.  These may be blocked from the Fire, or it may just be confusing wording.  We'll have to wait and see.

Here's the part where I start bitching about open -- but not this time.  Amazon makes no bones about what they are, which is a for profit business.  They don't claim to be anything else (at least not at the retail level) so I'm good with these decisions.  They can, and should, curate their user's experience any way they see fit, and a lot of people will benefit from it.  Tight control will guarantee a level of consistency that a whole lot of people want.  They should be allowed to have it.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus specs possibly revealed -- but they're really not the important part [updated with more blog-on-blog action]

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Possible specs for the next Nexus phone have been published by BGR this morning for the phone you see above. They are: a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution, a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor at 1.2 GHz. 1GB of RAM. Some 32GB (!) of storage. A 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front shooter. 1080p video recording. NFC, and a 1750 mAh battery. "Pure Google" experience. It's a Nexus phone, after all. On Verizon.

None of that should really surprise you. Hell, a good bit of it we broke in our forums (here and here) months ago. But even that shouldn't surprise you. The specs will always get better (though we're interested to see what's going on with a "mere" 5MP camera; presumably we've got some better optics coming). And we all love new hardware, especially when it's a Nexus device. (And this is all assuming BGR's source is correct, of course.)

Hardware is sexy. It's tangible. And it's short-lived. Something better is always coming. What we're really interested in seeing next week at CTIA is Ice Cream Sandwich. It's the building blocks for the next generation of Android phones. And tablets. And who knows what else. It's going to (or at least supposed to) bring the tablet and smartphone experiences back into the same stream. And we're expecting it to return Android to the the open-source fold, which it (understandably) got away from with Honeycomb.

Don't get us wrong. We're going to gush all over the next Nexus device like it's ... well, the next Nexus device. But specs are just that. Specs. Ice Cream Sandwich is the big deal here.

Join us next week.

Update: GSM Arena just put up a post basically saying BGR's post is full of it, and their unconfirmed anonymous source is better, and the specs are different and better, and their dad can beat up your dad. Or something like that.

Here's an idea. We're actually going to go to San Diego and find out. And regardless, what we said above is still true. Specs are just specs.

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2 years ago

Google Books finally lands in the UK

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Until now, only our friends across the pond have been able to purchase content from Google Books. That changes today as the service finally arrives in the UK.

The usual plethora of free public domain ebooks are available, as well as as content from some of the largest publishing houses in the UK. 

As with the U.S. version of the service, it's designed to be open with your content available to read on the web reader, Apple devices, e-readers from the likes of Sony and Kobo, and of course your Android devices. With the books stored remotely in the cloud, you can change device and pick up where you left off, much like Amazon's Whispersync. 

Google also claims to have been working with independent retailers, to allow the sale of Google Books through other bookstores in the UK. 

Check out the links below for more about Google Books in the UK, and to download the Google Books app. 

Source: Google

More: Google Books in the UK, Google Books Web Reader

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2 years ago

Phillips and Company launch Blue Marble -- transform your roof into a giant QR code

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PR firm Phillips & Company has unveiled Blue Marble, a new service that will allow you to mark your roof with a giant QR code, snapping an aerial picture, then integrating it into Google Maps or Google Earth.

Hot damn.

Space is not just a destination – it is a platform for applications and services. Our use of satellite imagery in day-to-day applications is proof that our ‘big blue marble’ called Earth is one global market accessible through the Internet, mobile phones and GPS devices. By using QR code technology, we are taking dynamic marketing to literally the next level – low-earth orbit. But the benefits are to any company on Earth that wants to optimize their real estate investment and build a marketing program that can take advantage of today’s mobile revolution.

Says Phillips & Company President Rich Phillips.  And he's probably right, because he knows marketing and trends.  All I know is that this is a very cool idea, and can't wait to see how it gets abused used in fun ways by companies (like Google or Apple) that have a sense of humor.  I'd do it myself, if the cost weren't so prohibitive -- it starts at $8,500, with a recurring $200 support fee.  That's providing you can keep to Blue Marble's schedule, as costs for a special event outside of said schedule is an additional $49,500.  Wowza.  Looks like my giant QR code for Jerry's tasty porch-cooked ribs and chicken will have to wait until I hit the lottery.  Hit the break for the full press release.

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2 years ago

Mobile Nations 8: The Four Cs

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Phil, Kevin, Derek, and Rene discuss Apple's iPhone 4S event, the Nexus Prime, BlackBerry BBX and superphones, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and Amazon webOS rumors, and the hierarchy of tablet needs. This is MobileNations!

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Sensation XL

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HTC's just unveiled the Sensation XL, its new 4.7-inch monster of a smartphone with Beats Audio. We've also had the chance to try out the phone, which comes with a brand new version of HTC Sense -- version 3.5 -- along with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. At 4.7 inches, the Sensation XL is one of the largest Androids we've seen, and with a 1.5 GHz CPU inside it's no slouch either.

We've already seen Beats Audio on the Sensation XE, the red-trimmed refresh of the original Sensation that appeared in mid-September. However, HTC is billing the Sensation XL as the first smartphone built from the ground up with Beats in mind. In addition, the new Sense 3.5 brings faster performance, along with a few neat UI tweaks.

Join us after the jump for all-important hands-on video, along with more photos.

Sensation XL Specs | Sensation XL Forums

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2 years ago

HTC Sensation XL gallery

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