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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 will be Jelly Bean

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That's a question many folks have been asking since Jelly Bean was announced at Google I/O 2012 and there really hasn't been a definitive answer to point people to. Now though, we're getting a better look at where the CyanogenMod team will be headed as they've now had some time to sit down, work some stuff out and look at the bigger picture.

As highlighted on the CyanogenMod Google+ page, there was a lot to consider when looking at where to take CyanogenMod. While some stuff will make and easy transition, other things will take a bit more time and as always, ETA's will not be given out. All things noted are subject to change considering the source code for Android 4.1 is not yet available:

  • On Jelly Bean - Unless you have been internet deprived lately, you are aware that Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean (JB) is due out in the coming weeks. Which inevitably leads to the question: How does this affect me CyanogenMod? Now, to preface this, we do not have our hands on the source code, and things in this post may change dependent on analysis of the code first hand and the impacts. That said, we do have a general understanding of the changes and what we can expect, and this post serves to highlight the key changes.
  • CyanogenMod Next - Many have asked whether JB will be CM9.1 or CM10. Keeping with the pattern thus far, every newly named AOSP update results in a bump to the CM major version. This has the added benefit of fitting into the pattern of [insert codename position in the english alphabet] = CM version. Examples being: G is the 7th letter thus CM7, I is the 9th letter thus CM9 and J = 10.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. No matter how you look at it, all recent versions CyanogenMod will continue to be maintained and improved upon for quite some time. Those looking for a Jelly Bean based version however, now have something to look forward to as time goes on. For now though, the obvious focus is to get stable builds of CM9 out there for folks to enjoy and make use.

Source: CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

Ready Steady Bang brings pixelly western shootouts to Android [App Review]

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Ready Steady Bang has made the leap from iOS today, and thankfully left the pricetag behind. 

Ready Steady Bang is a positively charming one-touch western game made by a London design firm called Chambers Judd. The game is a dead-simple test of speed, pitting you in a series of old-timey shootouts with AI-controlled enemies, or against a friend in local multiplayer. 

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: A buttery new home screen launcher

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Following its total re-vamp in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has spent the past six months fine-tuning the stock Android launcher in version 4.1, Jelly Bean. A couple of changes to the way icons and widgets are added and managed, in addition to some serious speed improvements, make for a much more usable launcher in the new version of Android.

Firstly, home screen elements now intelligently move and resize each other to fit into the allocated space on the home screen. For example, if there's a stray icon in the way of a large widget you want to place down, you're no longer required to move or delete it before doing so. Instead, the Jelly Bean launcher lets you bump existing elements out of the way as you drag new stuff onto the screen.  (You'll know if something's about to be moved, as it'll wiggle ever so slightly in its new position.) Similarly, you can also budge icons and widgets around when resizing existing stuff, and when you're moving a large widget into a smaller space, it'll shrink down to fit the available home screen real estate.

Jelly Bean also introduces a neat new gesture for removing unwanted icons and widgets from your home screens -- when you've got them selected by long pressing, you can throw them away by flinging quickly towards the edge of the screen.

The second big launcher change in Jelly Bean is probably the most noticeable -- the improvement in speed, as part of what Google's dubbed "Project Butter". This is the overarching name for all the different techniques that've been employed to improve perceived performance by cutting down on lag and stuttery transition animations, and the impact on the launcher is dramatic to say the least. The 3D app drawer animation, previously prone to lag in ICS, is silky smooth in Jelly Bean. And live wallpapers which slowed things to a crawl on Android 4.0 now glide along effortlessly.

There's a redesigned Google search bar, of course, but this functions just as it does in ICS, launching you into either voice search or Google search. The app behind this has changed too in Jelly Bean, but we'll show off those changes in a future article.

For a complete walkthrough of the new and improved Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launcher on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, check out our hands-on video after the break. And be sure to check out our other Jelly Bean feature showcases if you haven't already.

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4 years ago

Cthulhu has a change of heart, tries to saves the world [App Review]

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The Great Old Ones spend a lot of time trying to devour souls, but in Cthulhu Saves the World for Android, one is trying to do something nice - even heroic - for a change. 

Of course, it's just to regain the terrible powers that have been stripped from him, but that's besides the point. Cthulhu Saves the World originally launched on PC through Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, and quickly followed-up with a mobile port for iOS and Android. 

The gameplay will be more than familiar to anyone that has put any time into old-school RPGs on the original Nintendo. You guide Cthulhu and a party of adventurers through a linear series of quests that usually end up in wacky hyjinx. You'll get 6 - 10 hours of gameplay, with some additional unlockable game modes (including Highlander Mode, which quadruples your XP, but only allows one hero to fight in each encounter) and vanity collectibles. 

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4 years ago

Android 'BotNet' is that little extra you get for pirating apps

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It's been a while since we saw an Android security scare, but the word "BotNet" attached to this one makes up for it. It appears that users in Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela have compromised Android phones are have been sending out Viagra spam through Yahoo mail servers. 

Microsoft security researcher Terry Zink discovered the whole mess, and he speculates that users are getting infected by pirating apps from unsavory websites that specialize in such. He fails to mention the millions of Microsoft Windows computers that are infected, doing the same thing, but this shows that Android phones are as powerful as yesterday's laptops. Use some common sense and this won't happen to your computer or your Android phone.

In cases like this it's easy to point the finger at folks too cheap to spend a buck or two and buy an app, but the problem goes deeper. Android is insanely popular across the globe. Some folks in some places just can't get paid apps from Google Play, and have to resort to other means to get them. It's a problem that needs a real solution, and we're sure Google is working on one, but I really can't blame anyone for not wanting to wait. If you're somewhere you can't download paid apps from Google Play, please be careful lest you get more than you bargained for.

Source: Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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4 years ago

TELUS lists the HTC One X as 'coming soon'

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Typically in Canada when a device launches, it launches across multiple carriers due to the fact all major players are now running GSM. In some instances though, there is an exclusive offer made for a period of time and such is the case with the HTC One X and Rogers. Rogers was the first carrier is Canada to launch the device but that exclusivity looks to be dropping off soon as TELUS has now posted the HTC One X under their "coming soon" category. No actual release dates or pricing have been outlined as of yet but surely pricing will be on par with that of Rogers and rumors suggest a release could happen as early as July 6th. We'll let you all know when we see it go live on the TELUS site.

Source: TELUS via: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus to resume shipping next week

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The Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- which is still listed on the Google Play Devices site but was relegated to "Coming soon" status this week because of a federal injunction stemming from an Apple patent lawsuit -- should resume shipping next week, Google told ABC News

The official listing for the "Pure Google" device now says "Soon with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean," and it had been shipping up until late Tuesday, following a federal judge's ruling that a preliminary injunction against the device would not be stayed. While Apple's lawsuit isn't scheduled to go to trial until the spring of 2014, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung was unlikely to win, and that the PI was to stand. Google, for its part, had said it had a fix in the works, so we figured any delay in shipping would be brief, and that appears to be the case.

That also means that we likely will see an update push out over the air to existing devices, though what Google intends to change remains unclear. The lawsuit stemmed from the famed infamous '604 patent (aka the "Siri" patent), which protects searching multiple sources from a single interface, and using heuristics for the results. That's what Siri does, and it's also what Google's search bar does. It's not yet known whether the search bar will be removed (a drastic measure, to be sure), or if Google will change the way it searches and parses results.

Source: ABC News; More: Google Play Devices

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4 years ago

Quad-core, 2GB, LTE Samsung Galaxy S III hitting Korea on July 9

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Looks like Samsung was saving the best Galaxy S III for last -- and for its home territory of South Korea. A post on the Samsung Tomorrow blog reveals that the manufacturer is preparing to launch the S III in Korea with a quad-core Exynos 4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity. Compare that to the European version, which sports quad-core Exynos, but no 4G and only 1GB of RAM, or the North American model, featuring LTE and 2GB of RAM, but a dual-core Snapdragon CPU instead.

The Korean Galaxy S III will launch on the SK Telecom, Korea Telecom and LG U+ carriers, with different radios to suit each network. The trade-off for this extra connectivity and power is that the Korean S III is a little bulkier, weighing 4.88 oz compared to 4.7 for the international model, and measuring 9mm thick versus 8.6mm elsewhere. Other specs remain identical -- same 8MP rear camera, 4.8-inch HD SuperAMOLED screen and TouchWiz'd Android 4.0. There's also 32GB of internal storage.

Given the specific hardware and radios needed for the Korean market, it's unlikely that Samsung will ship these units internationally, and don't expect to be able to use it on any American or European networks if you do import one. If you're in Korea, though, you're in luck -- you'll be able to pick up the mother of all Galaxy S IIIs from July 9.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

Archos unveils its entry-level 'Elements' line, starting with the 97 Carbon

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Archos today announced a new entry-level line of tablets, known as "Elements." The first device in the series is the Archos 97 Carbon, with a 9.7-inch IPS display running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It's got 16GB of internal storage and can take up to a 32GB microSD card, or a flash drive in its full-size USB port. It's also got a 1GHz processor (Archos didn't say what kind) and 1GB of RAM, along with front and rear cameras (again, Archos hasn't given exact specs). But we do know it weighs 21.8 ounces and is 0.45 inches thick. 

In addition to the Carbon 97, Archos says we can expect 7- and 8-inch tablets as well.

The Archos Carbon 97 will be available sometime this month (Archos didn't say when) for between $229.99 and $249.99 in the U.S., while British prices will start at £219.99 (~$340).

More: Archos

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: Sending photos and videos over Android Beam

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In Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android Beam -- that's the NFC-based device-to-device transfer service -- has been augmented to support sending photo and video content. This is done from within the Gallery app, and can be activated by holding two NFC (Near-Field Communication)-supporting Jelly Bean devices back-to-back while one has an image or video open. Then, when prompted, tap the screen to send, just like earlier Android Beam incarnations. File transfers themselves are handled by Bluetooth, so depending on your device's Bluetooth version support, your transfer speeds may vary. However, it is nice to see the hassle associated with Bluetooth file transfers all but eliminated thanks to NFC and Android Beam.

Android Beam's latest upgrade also means it can support transferring multiple files. Simply long press on a photo or video in the Gallery app, select as many items as you like, then hold the devices back-to-back to send. Like we said, though, the fact that Bluetooth is used for all the heavy lifting means that you probably won't want to send too much stuff over Android Beam if you can help it. In our experience, though, it's worked out pretty well for smaller stuff.

We should note, however, that while the new Android Beam shares a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy S III's S Beam, the two technologies aren't compatible. Samsung's uses Wifi Direct for file transfers after an NFC connection has been established, compared to Android Beam's Bluetooth. So sending photos from a Jelly Bean-equipped Galaxy Nexus to an ICS-running Galaxy S III won't be possible. (And actually, this may present something of a technical headache when the S III eventually gets Jelly Bean.)

In any case, if you want to check out how this all works in more detail, you can find out hands-on video of photo and video transfers over Android Beam after the break.

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4 years ago

Plantronics Voyager Pro HD Bluetooth headset review

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The Plantronics Voyager Pro HD is one of the most sophisticated Bluetooth headsets around. A Bluetooth headset can do much more than just answer calls.

We’ve talked before that Bluetooth headsets, while once simply trendy, are now pretty much a necessity to those who drive to and from work.  Actually, in many states, if you simply drive, you need a headset. 

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S III preorders hitting eager hands today!

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There she be, folks! The Verizon Galaxy S III. We knew that Verizon, the last of the four major U.S. carriers to announce availability for the GSIII, had already shipped devices, and we knew that they'd be hitting doorsteps today. But there's nothing like actually seeing the thing unboxed and fired up, and that's just what's happening in our Galaxy S III forums.

If you're looking to go the traditional, terrestrial route, the Verizon Galaxy S III will be available in stores starting July 10.

More: Verizon Galaxy S III forums

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4 years ago

Droid Incredible 4G LTE available from Verizon Wireless today

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Whether you have been waiting for the Droid Incredible 4G LTE ever since we first went hands on back at CTIA, or the recent teases are what have whet your appetite, it is finally available. Today, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE goes on sale at Verizon Wireless for $149, after $50 mail-in rebate with new two year contract, or $499 off contract. Upgrading to this device will cause you to have to pick one of Verizon's new plans, and you kiss your unlimited data goodbye, but that isn't such a loss for many of us. 

Rocking Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0 on top, and featuring a beautiful 8MP camera, this device is definitely one that you will want to check out for yourself. Will you be heading to your local Verizon store to give this a once over for yourself, and see if it has the potential to be your next device? Let us know in the comments and forums if you are picking one up, and stay tuned for our full review!

Source: Verizon Wireless

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4 years ago

Google Play update rolling out to non-Jelly Bean devices

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If you fire up your Google Play app this morning and things look a little more awesome, don't be alarmed. It's just that you're now rocking the same version as the folks running Jelly Bean ROMs. And that means, along with a spruced-up layout, you also should have access to Magazines (if you didn't already).

You don't have to do anything to get the update -- it'll push out to your phone in due time. So sit back, relax and marvel at how far we've come since the old days of the Android Market.

More: Android Forums; thanks, @armaniblake!

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4 years ago

Nexus Q torn down - think it's worth $299 yet?

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Ever since the Google Nexus Q was announced last week at the Google I/O developer conference, folks have been trying to rationalize (or pan) its $299 price tag. We've been using it for a week now and believe it's justified. But if you're still not convinced, you need to check out iFixit's teardown photos.

We couldn't care less about the reparability of the Q, but it's obvious that some serious design and manufacturing work went into this spherical streaming wonder. IFixit also points out that any number of components could have (and likely were) sourced from outside the United States, taking a little luster off the "Made in the USA" claim, but for a device as complicated as the Q, that never really should have been taken as more than a bit of marketing speak anyway.

Hit the link below for the full gallery. It's definitely worth a gander.

Source: iFixit Nexus Q teardown

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