At the Android Developer Conference in San Francisco today, Immersion has released the MOTIV SDK -- bringing the ability to completely customize haptic feedback on Android devices to both OEM's and application developers. The MOTIV SDK brings hundreds of pre-designed haptic effects along with code samples that allow developers to quickly and easily give their applications an extra layer of realism through feel. Examples include things like a first person shooter giving different feedback for a pistol than it would a machine gun, to more subtle things like each string vibrating at a different frequency in a guitar app. These enhancements are available for all Android phones running Android 2.1 or higher.
Immersion says that small details like this make for better apps, and I'm thinking they are right. You can try out a demo of the available pre-built haptic feedback schemes on your own device with Immersion's UHL Effect Preview app (download link after the break), and the whole concept seems pretty ingenious. The full press release, as well as a video demo are after the break as well. [Immersion]
Google has added Instant Previews for search results on mobile devices, including Android phones. If you do a search on Google, and click the magnifying glass next to a search result, it will bring up a visual preview of the results that is easily scrollable. This makes it much easier to find something if you know you're looking for a specific type of content or graphic.
For Android, Instant Preview is compatible with devices sporting Android 2.2 and up and is available in 38 different languages.. If you have Froyo and above, just go to Google.com in the browser and do a search. You should be able to see the magnifying glass that will allow the Instant Previews. [Google Mobile Blog]
Back in November we were told the dual-booting Windows 7 / Android tablet would be shipping come Q1 2011 and Viewsonic today has made that happen. Just in case you need a refresher on specs, what you'll be getting yourself into with the ViewPad 10 is:
1.66GHz Intel Atom processor
2GB of memory
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
1.3 megapixel built-in front camera
MicroSD card slot
Android 1.6 and either Windows 7 Home Premium (with a 16GB SSD hard drive) or Windows 7 Professional (with a 32GB SSD hard drive) for respective ESPs of $599 and $679.
Not so sure how well Android 1.6 is going to fare in the days of the Motorola Xoom but if you're looking for the full press release from Viewsonic, you'll find it behind the break. [MarketWire]
For the most part, the days of waiting long periods of time for a device released in the U.S. to make its way to Canada are pretty much over. With that in mind, TELUS today has announced the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate 4G will be arriving within the next 30-days for customers. We won't debate the whole 4G thing this time around but, if you're a TELUS customer looking to make use of that fast internet connection the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate 4G can help you do that. Head on past the break for the full press release, also if you want to check out the T-Mobile version you'll find our hands-on here. [@TELUS]
While we'll have to wait until CTIA to really figure the situation out, HTC has gone ahead and registered two versions of the "HTC EVO View 4G" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The HTC EVO View 4G if you need a reminder, is the rumored device we heard talk of last week and is suggested to be Sprint version of the HTC Flyer. While the registration lacks details about it being a tablet, it does call out "Portable computers" and -- that's close enough in our minds for now but we'll see what happens at CTIA. [USPTO via Good And Evo]
We found consistent and reproducible issues in CSS3 Animations and CSS3 Transitions among other things. We had issues where the browser either hung or crashed. Regular scrolling was slow or below full framerate. We had issues where media playback failed or performed incorrectly. At times it felt like we were using a preproduction device, but we bought our test device from a Verizon Wireless store.
Harsh words. Sencha was quick to note the finer things about the Motorola Xoom browser before dropping their complete analysis bomb on everyone though. The Motorola Xoom led the pack during the SunSpider test due to its use of a more recent WebKit build. After that, well -- the Xoom in their minds bit the dust despite obtaining perfect score on the Acid3 tests as it still failed to render the letters and numbers, as it should have.
So should this turn a user off from buying a Motorola Xoom -- or leave a bad impression of the device overall? Not really. The tests completed by Sencha were done so based on their business background being the development of HTML5 applications. Unless you're intending upon developing HTML5 applications you'll likely not be as concerned as they were with the browser's abilities.
That said, it does add some credibility to those who have stated the Motorola Xoom was rushed out the door. But, hopefully Google and Motorola will continue to work out the kinks, I mean we already have to ship the device back to them anyway. Least they could do is load a new browser. Makes me wonder how Firefox would run on it. Full report is available at the source link should you want the nitty gritty details. [Sencha via Daring Fireball]
If you've rooted your HTC Evo Shift 4G, you now have the option of using ClockworkMod recovery, as well as it's simple front-end Rom Manager. With the release of version 126.96.36.199, ClockworkMod recovery now fully supports all the Shift 4G's partitions, and even backs up your WiMax keys.
Getting it all set up is pretty easy -- first you'll need to root your Shift 4G, then hit the Android Market and install Rom Manager. When you open the Rom Manager app, you will be prompted to update/install the latest ClockworkMod recovery for your device. That's it, you're now set up and ready to run a backup and flash custom ROMs and hacks to your Shift 4G, and have an easy restore path using the backup you've made. All without tethering your phone to a computer. [Android Central forums]
For all you crazy kids out there who like to do that rooting and ROMing thing, listen up -- CyanogenMod 7 RC2 has been released. If you're rocking a Sprint EVO, that means proper Wimax access. notification profiles (huzzah!), Android 2.3.3 and a host of other treats. Snag it in ROM Manager, or from CM's site. [CyanogenMod] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Good news for our Android-loving gay male readers. Grindr, a popular location-based social networking application designed specifically for gay men, is now available in the Android Market.
Grindr is a unique app that utilizes GPS information to enable guys to interact with and meet other guys in the area. Users can view profiles and photos, share stats, chat using Grindr's built-in instant messaging feature, and if all goes well -- meet in person. Privacy controls allow users to share as much or as little information as they're comfortable with.
Grindr introduced its application to iOS users in March 2009. The Los Angeles-based company now has an impressive 1.5 million members, spanning 180 countries worldwide. On a daily basis, 300,000 members login and spend an average of 1.3 hours using the app. Grindr has also said they're adding new members at a rate of 3,000 members each day. By adding support for both Android and Blackberry (beta) users, Grindr hopes to accelerate this growth even further.
Grindr is free for download in the market. There's also a premium version that removes ads, increases the number of favorites a user can have, displays message notifications when the app is running in the background, expands the number of guys users can see in the area, and enables a feature that allows users to swipe back and forth to browse through profiles. The premium version runs $4.97 a month after a free 7-day introductory trial.
Grindr is also said to be developing a version for straight men and women also.
Check out all the details at Grindr's blog, and grab the download links after the break. [Grindr]
Here's how we see it: We could run around in circles some more trying to guess when the HTC ThunderBolt will finally be released, or we could just show you some new video of the damn thing.
Your call, really. If you want more video of the ThunderBolt -- and who among us doesn't? -- Android Central Forums member ibejack96 has come through with more from of his hands-on with the upcoming device. Ease on past the break to see the new footage.
Looks like Lloyd has been busy this week. He's our Android Highlander in training for sure. Check out the forum links below if you want to grab the image for your device wallpaper and well, since you'll already be there -- be sure to hit some of the other threads as well or lend a hand with some of the questions being asked. Have questions of your own? No worries, ask away and we'll do our best to get you all fixed up.
A few days ago we reported that Google is looking into optimizing Google Voice to run on the Motorola Xoom, and Honeycomb in particular, but that just wasn't good enough for Android Central forums member Elysian893. The fact that it wouldn't work was enough to get them thinking, and look for a way to fix the issue. With the use of their Droid and Titanium backup they installed Google Voice on the Droid, backed up the application and settings and then restored it on the Xoom.
Upon first launch it force closed, once permissions were granted for it to access the Google account, it launched perfectly. While you can't quite use the Xoom to make calls, you can still use it for SMS, or use it to call through another device. If you are interested in getting Google Voice running on your Xoom, be sure to check it out. Takes a couple steps, but it gets the job done. [Android Central Forums]
If you are still holding strong with your Motorola Droid, you will be pleased to know that our friend Peter Alfonso is as well, and he has not stopped on development. Recently Google pushed the Gingerbread 2.3.3 source to the AOSP, and while it took a little while, he jumped right into it, making an even better then last time port for the OG Droid users. Along with the ROM is a custom compiled 600MHz kernel which is said to eliminate the lag that was seen in the last ROM. If you have been waiting for an update, this is definitely one you will want to check out. For more information and links, be sure to head to Pete's site. [PeterAlfonso.com]
While I always tend to take all these user numbers with a grain of salt, the latest ComScore results are rather interesting and certainly worth noting. For the first time, Android has surpassed Research In Motion as well as Apple within the ComScore ranking period of the past three-months ending in January 2011. As noted by ComScore:
65.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period. Google Android captured the #1 ranking among smartphone platforms for the first time in January with 31.2 percent market share. RIM ranked second with 30.4 percent market share, followed by Apple with 24.7 percent. Microsoft (8.0 percent) and Palm (3.2 percent) rounded out the top five.
While interesting to see, it's not really surprising in anyway. Android continues to grow and as more manufacturers step up to make use of Google platform a slow down in market growth doesn't appear to be in sight. While I personally shed a tear for BlackBerry, Research In Motion is in a transition period and will be for quite some time. This is an Android and Apple time now, with Microsoft working their way back into relevancy. [ComScore]
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