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2 years ago

LG Optimus 3D initial review and hands-on

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Has the whole world gone 3D? Sure looks like it's headed that way. And first out of the gate is LG with the Optimus 3D. We first saw this phone at Mobile World Congress in February, and it'll be coming to AT&T as the LG Thrill sometime this quarter.

We got our hands on an evaluation unit at Google IO, and things are pretty much right where we left off. It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a TI OMAP dual-core processor, with dual-channel memory. LG trumpets it as the most powerful phone around -- more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy S II, they say. Navigating around LG's custom user interface, it feels snappy enough, even for an unfinished device. We're not worried about lag in the least. But it's 3D where this puppy really starts to shine.

So, about that 3D thing. The Optimus 3D has a pair of 5MP stereoscopic cameras on the back (with a flash, too). They work in tandem to record 3D video and take 3D pictures. And of course you need a screen to actually show them, and the Optimus 3D delivers.

It's kind of tough to really demonstrate the 3D effects without actually seeing them. Don't think of it as a holographic experience, where images leap off the screen. Rather, the screen is the focal point, and you get a neat sense of depth within the images. Gimmicky? Maybe a little. Or more than a little. But someone had to be first. And LG has done the right thing by not just giving you a screen on which to watch 3D content, but the means to create 3D content, too. And did we mention you don't need crazy 3D glasses here?

There's a dedicated "3D" button where you might normally find a camera button that takes you to a special menu (in 3D, of course). From there you have quick access to 3D games and apps, a 3D guide, YouTube 3D (you can upload your own 3D videos right to it), a 3D gallery and the 3D camera. Think of it as a three-dimensional quick launcher.

Oh, but there's more. It'll record the 3D video in 720p -- and will do 2D video in 1080p. Yowzers. And it can play back video via the HDMI port, or over DLNA.

Those are the broad strokes, people. But our early impressions are that even if you think 3D is a passing fad, the Optimus 3D is a solid smartphone, in any dimension. We've got more pics and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Galaxy S II overclocked to 1.5GHz, benchmarked, proves our point

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Anyone who's used a Samsung Galaxy S II knows the thing is fast. There's absolutely no disputing that. And when that sweet, sweet Exynos processor is overclocked to 1.5GHz, well, get ready to have your ears pinned back. And with said overclocked actually stable at 1.5GHz, you'll be cruising in the fast lane with ease. Pretty cool, eh?

All that said, we just showed you why benchmarks (and Quadrant, particularly) really isn't indicative of a phone's real performance. But a 1.5GHz overclock is a 1.5GHz overclock. Video of it in action is after the break, and the kernel (and source code) are at the source link.

Download: XDA Developers; Thanks, Scott!
See also: How to manipulate benchmarks (and why we're downplaying their importance)

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2 years ago

Google IO Day 2 Podcast

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Audio-only stream below

Phil and Jerry talk up Day 2 of Google IO -- Chromebooks, new features to the Android Market, and more on the Android onslaught. Listen in!

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2 years ago

Android eats apple, grab the wallpaper!

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Google did have some lighthearted fun poking at Apple during its keynote Tuesday morning (though not nearly as viscous as it was last year). The above image is the same one that was displayed for all to enjoy at Google I/O, and the artist -- Frank Ntukula -- was rather thrilled Google had used his image for their keynote, and we can't say we blame him. Although, Lloyd was rather ticked -- he never got that love.

In any case, we've linked the image in the Android Central forums for you all in case you wanted to make some wallpapers out of it. We'll get some more posted in the wallpaper, ringtones and themes forums later and by all means, share em if you make some from the image as well.

Source: Twitter

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2 years ago

Blurry Droid X2 dummy units have arrived at Costco

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Most recently we caught up with the Motorola Droid X2 in a video where it was shown off and subsequently benchmarked. Here we are now -- a couple of weeks later and the dummy units have started to arrive at Costco locations. Yes, it still looks like a Droid X and no, Verizon hasn't announced it as of yet but dummy units arriving at retail locations is a pretty darn good sign we're close to going all official like here. One more pic, next to it's brother, can be found after the break.

Thanks, Mike D!

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2 years ago

Android design team talk about Honeycomb, good app design guidelines

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Matias Duarte and the rest of the Android UI designers got together to spend an hour or so to talk about how they went about changing elements for Honeycomb's "Holo" UI, and how developers should go about designing apps to keep things looking fresh and like they all belong together.  It's the little things that make a big difference, like setting up your action bar elements in a sane order, and sticking things that look out of place in the secondary menu.  Things are getting pretty geeky, with code snippets being tossed around, but for you and I, this all means apps that look as good as they run.  This is why they gave all the developers a nice tablet, and are taking the time to give direction -- the folks at Google want nice looking apps as much as we do.

There was a lot of talk about the action bar, and how to use it effectively.  Everything from how and where the icons should go, and a whole new api to go along with it.  Finally, using the Google I/O app as an example (which has been open sourced just for this occasion), the crew showed us all how to translate tabs, the action bar and fragments so that an app only has to be written once to look (and work) well on both tablets and phones. I can't wait to see what Android developers come up with after this one.

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2 years ago

Full-length Chrome keynote video now available on YouTube

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YouTub link for mobile viewing

Did you miss the Google IO day 2 Chrome keynote this morning? Google has posted the full length video on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. Maybe you want to see the Chrome Web Store going worldwide, or perhaps you're dying to see Angry Birds in the browser; there were many exciting announcements this morning, including Chromebooks' release dates and price.

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2 years ago

First look at Honeycomb on Google TV

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We're sitting in on the Google TV session this afternoon at Google IO and just got our first look at Android 3.1 Honeycomb on the platform. Announced during the Day 1 keynote on Tuesday, Honeycomb on Google TV will bring full Android compatibility at the 12-foot level. That means full Android access on your TV, including Android applications and the full Android Market.

In addition, Google TV will gain full ADB support -- meaning devs can debug, and hackers can hack. There's an SDK add-on in the works (no word on when we'll see it just yet), and there will be additional television-specific functionality.

Much of the talk consisted of how devs will need to handle the resolution and pixel density on something as large as a television. The main difference between Google TV and Android on a phone, at least from a UI perspective, is that you hold a phone a foot or so away from your peepers, while a TV is across the room, thus the "12-foot view."

Honeycomb will also be able to handle the inevitable screen clipping that can occur when switching from HD to standard-def content.

Other news out of the session:

  • For the obvious reasons, users won't be rotating their screens. Devs need to remember this.
  • Apps will need to optimized for navigation via the D-pad, and not touch.
  • Right now, devs can run apps in the Honeycomb emulator.
  • A Google TV emulator is coming soon.
  • ADB access is coming later this summer, but devs can get early access through the Fishtank Program.
  • The Android Market has a nice 12-foot view. (Pic via Jason Howell)
  • NDK apps are not supported on Google TV.
  • Neither are apps that use the camera, microphone or other sensors.
  • Source code for the Google TV remote app is being released under the Apache 2 license.

Developing ...

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2 years ago

IO Bootcamp - Beginner's Guide to Android session videos and more now live

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No doubt, there is a bunch of Android developers out there who would not have been able to attend this years Google IO. Luckily, the BootCamp sessions are now starting to appear on YouTube and as such are accessible to anyone and everyone who may be interested in taking them all in. Whether you're a new developer or old hat -- you'll want to go ahead and take them all in. The information is coming from the experts within Google, and you won't find any better place to get that kind of insight. Check em out via the Google Developers YouTube page.

Source: @googleio

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2 years ago

Android Market now allows content filtering

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Most of the Android news hit us yesterday during IO's day 1 keynote, but today we have a lot of Market improvements to rejoice about. Google expanded app sizes to 4GB from 50MB, which should improve the selection of quality games available. They also made a lot of improvements to the Web Market in terms of app discovery.

A few of these enhancements will be hitting phone as well, including the improved 'Related Apps' category. Some of us have already received the new Market update, which also includes content filtering, which shold make parents very happy. You can access this feature at Market -> Menu -> Settings, where you'll see 'Content filtering' up top. You can filter content by allowing the user to access apps rated:

  • Everyone
  • Low maturity
  • Medium maturity
  • High maturity
  • Show all apps

This is certainly an area that needed to be addressed as parents didn't want their children to be able to access the entire Market. Thanks, Richard!

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