Headlines

2 years ago

HTC publishes ICS kernel source for Sensation, Vivid, Sensation XE

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HTC has made the Ice Cream Sandwich kernel sources for the Vivid, the Sensation, and the Sensation XE available for download on their HTC Developer Center website. It's been about a week since HTC began rolling out ICS for the three devices, and per the license, these were to have been published when the software was released. Developers have been getting a little antsy waiting, but now have what they need to build custom kernels and Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs for the newly-updated phones.

As usual, for normal users like you and I the source itself means little. But the magic that developers can make happen with it certainly has some appeal, and we're ready to see what folks can come up with. If you're one of those developers, or if you're just curious what a hundred MB or so of Linux kernel sources looks like, hit the link and have a peek.

Source: HTC dev

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2 years ago

Vlingo reminds us they offer a virtual assistant for anyone and everyone

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Since Apple unveiled Siri, everyone has jumped on the "virtual assistant" bandwagon. Take a solid set of voice actions, give it a cutesy name and claim it has some personality, and you have the next big thing. Vlingo has been at this game a while, since way back when Siri was just a gleam in some programmer's eye. Today, they show us that they can not only make a great cross-platform application, but they have one hell of a sense of humor.

This is how you should market every app -- with Grandma's who cheat at bingo and puppets who want to get "crunk" and forget each others names. Just watch it, you'll be glad you did. The download link is after the break if you haven't tried Vlingo yet.

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2 years ago

Verizon says Remote Diagnostics tool doesn't track personal data in the background

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Verizon over the weekend dropped word that an impending update to the LG Revolution would include a Verizon Remote Diagnostics app — a "new customer care solution to improve device issue diagnosis during customer support calls."

We've gotten some more detail on exactly what that entails, and it's not really anywhere near as scary as you might think. A Verizon spokesman tells us that it's really just a remote desktop type of thing. A VNC service, if you will. And, Verizon tells us, "no personal data like keystrokes or web history, location, etc., is logged or saved."

This sort of thing is a touchy subject because of the hot water carriers found themselves in last year over their use of Carrier IQ, a network analytics tool that was cooked into many smartphones to allow the silent uploading of network and device data. Users weren't explicitly made aware of its use, and a bit of a firestorm erupted. Warranted or not, any sort of "remote diagnostics" app added by a carrier to a smartphone is bound to raise eyebrows. 

We've got a feeling some folks will be putting that to the test, but for now we have absolutely no reason not to take Verizon at its word.

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2 years ago

International Galaxy S II ICS source code now available

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Following last week's Ice Cream Sandwich update release for the international Samsung Galaxy S II, the kernel source code (along with other open-source odds and ends) for the new firmware has been released online. Android's Linux kernel lies at the heart of the OS, and kernel source code for Android devices must be released by manufacturers under the GNU General Public License.

While the code won't be of any use to your average Galaxy S II owner, custom firmware developers will welcome its release, as it'll assist them with the development of ICS ROMs for the device. That in turn makes for better custom ROMs, which is good news for everyone.

To grab the code for yourself, head to the source link and type "i9100" in the search box.

Source: Samsung Open Source Release Center; Thanks graffixnyc!

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2 years ago

Verizon Motorola Fighter shows its big ol' self

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The Motorola RAZR isn't exactly a small phone. Thin, yes. Small? No. It's definitely got some square footage to it. Then there's this new behemoth. That, friends, is said to be the Motorola Fighter on the left here. And that unmistakable Verizon logo sure points to a U.S. launch at some point. That's supposed to be a 4.6-inch display, and the lack of physical buttons suggests it'll have Ice Cream Sandwich. (Which it damn well better have.) We've got feeling that the angle of this pic is making the Fighter look a little bigger than it actually is, but it's certainly going to put a crimp in your one-handed style.

Source: Mfunz (translate); via PhoneHK, Engadget

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2 years ago

Upcoming Samsung phone to use Samsung processor, says anonymous Samsung exec

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Try to contain yourselves here, folks, but the upcoming (and still unannounced) Samsung Galaxy S III apparently will use a quad-core Samsung Exynos system, a "high-ranking" Samsung exec told Korea Times. Shouldn't be much of a surprise there — Samsung's been using Samsung chips (and displays, and who knows what else) in its own phones for quite some time. The bigger story perhaps is that it looks like Exynos processors finally will be playing nice with 4G radios (remember that NVIDIA Tegra 3 chips are finally getting there, too, as seen in a Fujitsu prototype), which will allow Samsung to forgo using other manufacturers' processors.

Of course, we still have no real idea of when we'll see any of this come to market. When Samsung announced its new 32nm Exynos 5250 in November 2011, it said it was scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of 2012.

Source: Korea Times

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2 years ago

HTC One roadshow coming to 'dozens of cities' around the world

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Over the past year, HTC has taken to the road to promote its products across Europe. And for its latest series of smartphones, it's taking things to the next level, launching a worldwide tour to allow fans to go hands-on with its new HTC One line-up.

In a post on its official blog, the manufacturer reveals that it plans to visit "dozens of cities" across the globe, including the major cities you see in the image above. If last year's roadshows are any indication, this year's tour should be a great opportunity for regular people (as opposed to snooty press types like ourselves) to get an early look at the One X, One S and maybe even the One V. No specific dates are mentioned, but according to today's blog post, the tour is planned for "the next several weeks."

HTC's also asking fans to suggest more destinations to add to its line-up, so if you're not anywhere near the nine cities that've already been announced, there's still time make yourself heard.

Source: HTC Blog

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2 years ago

HTC One X, One S pre-order prices emerge

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HTC has offered little in the way of pricing info or launch dates for its new One series. However, pre-order listings by a number of UK retailers present some clues as to when you'll be able to get your hands on the One X and One S, and for how much. Several online stores, including Amazon, Clove and Expansys are listing HTC's new flagship phone for release on April 5, with a £490-500 price tag. Meanwhile the One S, HTC's slightly less high-end, high-end phone is placed around £440-450 by Amazon and Clove, with the same purported release date of April 5.

The April 5 date matches what's been reported by O2 UK and others in the past week, and the price tags shouldn't surprise anyone -- that's what cutting edge phones cost in the UK. (Though we're relieved to see that the One X isn't pushing into silly money territory with prices above £500.)

Network-subsidized deals will likely knock these SIM-free prices down to more affordable levels anyway. The One X and One S are to be carried by every major UK network, so we'd expect to see some competitive offers.

In the U.S., the One X will launch on AT&T, while T-Mobile will get the One S. However there's still no word on exactly when these phones are due to cross the Atlantic.

Source: Amazon, Clove, Expansys

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2 years ago

Linux kernel 3.3 released with Android support almost complete

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The latest version of the Linux kernel was released Sunday afternoon, and with version 3.3 comes something that just may get your inner-geek excited -- tons of Android changes have been merged. In theory, one should be able to boot and run an Android powered device using just the vanilla, mainline Linux 3.3 kernel. There's still work to be done, especially with power management, and the wake-lock issue that many think was at the core of the argument whether to merge or not to merge still needs full resolution. But since Android doesn't need to have wake-lock support (it just keeps your battery from draining in record time) our phones and tablets can now be considered officially supported by the Linux community. We'll stay out of the nerd battle royal over the wake-lock issue and trust the promises that it will be taken care of with the 3.4 version.

Knowing that Android is now in the main Linux kernel trunk is good, and makes nerds all warm and fuzzy inside, but what does that really mean for you and me? Not a lot, really. ROM and kernel developers will benefit from an easier migration for changes and better support for custom features in the device's kernel, but for regular users there will be no big changes. For anyone working on a true native Linux distro running in tandem with Android from one device, this really makes things easier. 

One last thing to mention is that we still will have to wait for OEM's to release kernel sources for each device or update. The current Android kernel is subject to the same license as the main Linux kernel, so nothing has changed on that front -- OEM's can and will modify it as they see fit (that's the beauty of open source) and be responsible for publishing any changes. They all have been getting better at this, so I don't foresee any big problems.

Hopefully, all goes as planned and we see full support in Linux 3.4, and the next reference device from Google.

More: Phoronix; Muktware; Thanks, crxssi!

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2 years ago

ZTE Score arrives on MetroPCS for only $50

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MetroPCS has been rounding out its Android lineup lately and, now they've added another device to the mix -- the ZTE Score M. The ZTE Score certainly won't win any spec wars, but for anyone looking for a cost effective smartphone, it has a fair bit to offer:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 4GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • CDMA 1x-EVDOrA Cell/PCS/AWS network
  • Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) compatible

Android 2.3 and a 3.2 megapixel camera complete the package which, is available for $49 plus tax, after mail-in rebate. The deal applies for a limited time at all MetroPCS and dealer retail locations nationwide and online.

Source: MetroPCS

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