A final notice everyone -- if you have some projects sitting around in App Inventor, and would like to keep them, either for some crazy time-capsule experiment or in the hopes of migrating them to MIT's App Inventor project, you've only got a handful of days left. Come December 31, Google will be taking the whole kit and caboodle offline, and projects that haven't been downloaded are lost forever.
Getting them is easy, just log into appinventorbeta.com and hit the "Download All Projects" button as shown above. Keep them safe, and when MIT gets things back up and running in 2012, you're ready to go. For more information about MIT's implementation, have a look at their Learning Center.
Are you an HTC Sensation owner looking to get a taste of some Ice Cream Sandwich? RCTeam over at XDA Developers released a Sense based ICS ROM, giving us a glimpse of what we can expect from Sense ICS builds. Featuring some UI changes, it appears as though the Sense dock some of us have grown to love is no longer there, it has been replaced with a more standard looking dock. The lockscreen now features the ability to launch into folders instead of just single applications, as well as face unlock and more.
Looking for something new to play around with on your Sensation? Be sure to hit the source link and let us know how it works out for you!
Toward the end of March or early April, the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray will be the first to get Ice Cream Sandwich. The Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will start getting updates in late April/early May.
That's still some months away, of course, but kudos to Sony Ericsson for being so transparent about the process.
Chinese smartphone and tablet manufacturer just hit us up to tease some new kit in 2012, promising we'll see "our smartest, fastest and most high-performing smartphone yet, taking a leap into the future of mobile communications." The announcement will come on the eve of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Huawei has yet to really break into the U.S. market, though it does manufacture the uninspiring T-Mobile Springboard tablet. And while MWC isn't a U.S.-centric show, it is a high-profile show. And with Android Central in attendance yet again, you can bet we'll have plenty of American eyes pointed that way.
Microsoft has won a partial victory in their dispute with Motorola over patents, but it's far from the outcome they would have liked. The International Trade Commission has ruled that some Motorola products infringe on one of Microsoft’s patents. The same judge found no infringement of the six other Microsoft patents. This is just like the outcome of the Apple v. HTC mess that was decided just yesterday, and while on the surface it looks bad for Moto, in reality it invalidates 6 of Microsoft's patent claims. Claims that others, such as Samsung, are currently licensing for their products to avoid. This initial ruling is still subject to the final determination by the ITC, expected to happen before April 20, 2012.
In their press release, which you'll find after the break, Motorola makes it clear that they still plan to pursue their claims against Microsoft:
Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility’s substantial patent portfolio and Motorola Mobility has active patent infringement litigation and proceedings against Microsoft in a number of jurisdictions, including the ITC. Motorola Mobility remains confident in its position and will continue to move forward with its complaints.
Like all the other legal battles, in the end it's just a matter of money changing hands. Starting with more from your hand as devices get more expensive.
By now you've heard a lot of scuttlebutt about the Ice Cream Sandwich battery bug, and how it's affected the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus. Or not. Either way, we've heard it, too. Since we happen to have several of each phones possibly affected, I decided to do a little independent research of my own. Tested were:
1 Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile) with the official 4.0.3 update
1 Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile) with Android 4.0.3_r1 built from source
If you're rocking and rolling one of these phones, devs now have some source to build new kick-ass goodies. Be on the lookout for them, and show them some love when it happens -- this sort of thing can be pretty rough on the nerves to do! If you're one of those developers and itching to get at it, hit the link to HTC-Dev and grab what you need.
We love updates. That is, we love updates when we know what they are and what they do. Such is not the case with the Motorola Droid Bionic, which is in the midst of getting an update to system version 5.9.901. Verizon's yet to post a changelog, and the OS version is still Android 2.3.4. Though AC reader Jim does note that there appears to be a new "Emergency Alerts" app, which might or might not be a part of that emergency alert system Verizon accidentally cookied off early a few weeks ago.
We've hit up Big Red in hopes of unraveling this one, and we've got more pics after the break. In the meantime, hit the forum link below to see what everyone else is seeing.
The idea of tougher, water-resistant electronics is nothing new, but this year we’ve seen rugged smartphones becoming increasingly more mainstream. Motorola has had a go at this type of product with its DEFY line, while Casio gave us the ridiculous G’zOne Commando, a phone you could probably drive a tank over. The Xperia Active sees Sony Ericsson enter this arena with a water-resistant, aluminum-framed device, aiming to strike a balance between ruggedness, aesthetics and pocketability.
We’ve been getting to grips with the Xperia Active over the past couple of weeks, so read on to find out what we thought ...
A well-built and good-looking device with speedy internals and a bright, clear screen. Water resistance works as advertised. Lots of bundled accessories.
Will be too small and too bulky for many. Paltry internal storage and tiny SD card.
It's not the phone for everyone, but the Xperia Active is well-suited to the particular niche it's aiming for. It's a thoughtfully-designed smartphone that will appeal to anyone after something a little tougher, or smaller, than what's offered by mainstream devices.
That's an international list, of course. For those of us in the United States, we'll probably be waiting on announcements from the individual carriers. Par for the course, but no less frustrating. Samsung says the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will be the first to be updated, starting in the first three months of 2012.
You've probably noticed, we don't spend much time on traditional unboxing videos around these parts, even when a phone kicks ass at the level of the Galaxy Nexus. There's only so many times you can look at a USB cable and cheap set of earbuds before things start to go a bit fuzzy, so we leave that to your imagination. But things would be different if we were ninjas.
How different? Make sure you have Adobe Flash installed (sorry iPad, U NO CAN PLAY) and hit the link to see. Just don't plan on doing anything else for at least an hour.
Update: Cincinatti Bell's given us an official update on the update, saying that we might not see things push this week, but instead through January. Also, as is the case with Nexus phones, expect the update from Google itself. Here's the full statement:
Cincinnati Bell’s Samsung Nexus S is among the handsets that will be receiving the Google Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 update. The updates will follow Google’s OTA schedule which will be pushed out through January 2012. Please keep in mind the update requires Android 2.3.6 to work properly and will NOT work if the device hasn’t been updated from Android 2.3.4 software. Contact your local Cincinnati Bell Wireless store for information relating to updating your Nexus S to Android 2.3.6.
Original: While the Samsung Nexus S shown above on Cincinnati Bell has definitely been running the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich update earlier than this week, that doesn't change the fact that the Ohio-based company should be officially pushing out the update starting today. Our sources tell us that the company has the latest version of Android on their servers right now and ready to roll out to its Nexus S owners over the next week, which means you had better get your fingers on that "System Updates" button. From our experience, you don't want to waste a single minute extra without it.
Some good news for those of you suffering with that little slice of sexy otherwise known as the Motorola Droid RAZR: An update's on the way (and we're told that a soak test has already begun) that's going to squash a few bugs, including that blasted SIM card error, and to improve the camera. Here's the list:
SIM error notification has been fixed
Improved camera features and quality
Improved stability of menu access, browser, phone dialer, video playback and music player to prevent force-close errors and lockups
Updated group message notification in e-mail
Improvement in 3G/4G data connectivity
Maintain network connection upon completion of a voiec call
Background color has been adjusted to improve readability in Lapdock connection UI menu items.
Good stuff. Look for the update to drop any time now.
And with all of those completely unsurprising realizations out of the day, BGR says it has word of one Android smartphone coming next year, possibly dubbed the AT&T Congressional, and possibly coming in April. ICS and Beats are a given. As are fast processors, good (or at least better) cameras, and so on and so forth. Hardware is hardware.
No, what we're really interested in for 2012 is what HTC does with Ice Cream Sandwich. Will we see the same old Sense (or, more likely, a new version of Sense) laid atop the Android framework? Will they combine UI features? That's the big question for 2012, folks. Hardware comes and goes. Very quickly.
News spread like a single spark in a mostly uncaring world this weekend over the possible death of a manufacturer that never really manufactuered much of anything. Fusion Garage's website went down on Saturday, Engadget noticed. As of Monday morning, it's slowly come back to life. Sort of. It's currently a mishmash of a single shiny landing page, broken links and security warnings.
And then there's the part that Fusion Garage was the company that had teamed up with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to build the $200 CrunchPad, only to not ever really do it and get itself in a huge legal pissing match with the Silicon Valley bigwig. Meanwhile, the CrunchPad became the Joojoo and died a quiet death in November 2010.
Fusion Garage came back in 2011 with a wacky staged press conference, complete with recorded audience sounds, where it introduced the Grid 10 and Grid 4 devices, which featured a crazy UI over an aging verison of Android. Unofficial sales numbers are said to be in the several. Fusion Garage's purchase page says "We are running out of stock. Thank you."
Responses to the news of Fusion Garage's demise reportedly have ranged from "Hunh?" to "Who?"
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