It's Sunday, which means it's time to announce the weekly photo contest winners! This time around we asked you guys to take Lloyd along with you and snap a picture showing what kind of good times you all had together, and as usual the response was overwhelming. We dug through all the entries, and picked the five best. Winners will receive an Android Central t-shirt, and all the prestige that comes along with. Winners, check your Inbox for more info.
You can find all five winning photos after the break (in no particular order), and stay tuned for the next contest coming Monday!
Gotta love a good RUU -- otherwise known as a ROM Update Utility -- because they're chock full of fun stuff. And the one that surfaced over the weekend for the HTC Endeavor has found itself available for download. We've been picking it apart and have packaged up a nice little Sense 4.0 preview.
And that' sbeen the big question since Google announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -- what will HTC (and the other manufacturers) do with their custom user interfaces. ICS easily is the sexiest "stock" UI Google's come up with (by far). How will HTC and Motorola and Samsung and everyone else customize it? We've gotten a glimpse of what HTC likely has in store for us in that leaked video of the HTC Ville, and now we're getting an even better look thanks to the RUU. Packaged within it are nearly two dozen screen shots that show a Sense that looks familiar, yet refined.
Looks like we've got a bunch of different lock screen options, with the ring and quick links that we've come to know and love so much, and the Sense dock has more of the traditional Android look and feel that we've come to know. How that all works together, we're not quire sure. It's almost some sort of hybrid, with HTC's widgets throughout. Or perhaps what we're seeing is just a massive serires of themes.
(Update: Now that I think about it some more, maybe toss out that whole "hybrid" thing. What you see after the break may well just be example images of what you see in Sense 4.0.)
You get a good look at the Sense phone book, favorite contacts, photo gallery, lock screen reminders and stocks backgrounds -- in both portrait and landscape. And it also looks like Beats and NFC are a go, too, from what we've seen in the ROM.
We've got a plethora of screen shots after the break. Peep 'em.
Apple is requesting that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus be blocked from sale in the United States because it violates these patents. Should the court find in favor of Apple, a ban against the Galaxy Nexus would be put in effect until the final court decision.
Could it happen? Certainly. But if it does, it won't go into effect any time soon, it would only affect stores inside the U.S. selling these products, and no jack-booted thugs from Cupertino will come pry your Nexus from your hands. We can't be sure how the courts will act, but all of these are pretty shaky patents, and once again Apple is not going after Google directly -- even though the Galaxy Nexus has a pure vanilla version of Android. The only certainty here is that the patent system is broken and only serves the company willing to spend the most in the courts.
It's time for Google to step in and put a stop to this bullshit. The first patent in question is the same one that was upheld against HTC in a move that shocked the tech community at large, essentially giving Apple the rights to the hyperlink -- something invented over 20 years ago by numerous companies that aren't Apple.
The other three are just as laughable, or would be if not for the fact that Apple was allowed to secure the patents at all. Every single one of them has existed as prior art long before Apple became relevant, yet a patent was granted each and every time. This is the core of the problem. You can't blame Apple for trying, it's cheaper to litigate away your competition than it is to out-innovate them. And make no mistake -- that's exactly what's going on here. Apple wants Android to go away, and a look at any chart that shows market share will tell you why. It's a shitty way to get ahead, but it's too easy not to try. It's going to take a tech giant to change the way this all works, and we know nobody can count on Apple or Microsoft to do it, because this is their system, created the way they like it, and making them rich. If Apple is afraid to go after Google, Google needs to go after Apple instead of sitting on their laurels waiting to ride in and save the day at the last minute.
Now blast away in the comments, telling me how subsection F of title code XXIVI (or some other ridiculous lawyer speak) makes my points invalid. In reality, they make it even more valid -- spending money on lawyers, and twisting common sense into something that kills your competition works with the current patent system. That makes us sad.
HTC may be about to make smartphone history with the world's first quad-core handset, if the latest reports from veteran phone blog MoDaCo are to be believed.
According to MoDaCo's source, the manufacturer will soon unveil the HTC Endeavor, and it'll be powered by a beastly quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. Other reported specs include 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch, 720p display, an 8MP main camera and 1.3MP front-facer. Connectivity-wise, Wifi a/b/g/n support is reported, along with Bluetooth 4.0. A quad-band (not penta-band) HSPA+ radio is apparently in the bag too, which suggests this device may be AT&T-bound in the US.
The Endeavor, which seems to have started life with the codename “Edge”, has been the subject of numerous leaks since late last year. Recent reports have suggested that “Endeavor” is actually a codename, and that the device will be branded as the HTC Supreme. Given the differences in the spelling of “Endeavor” (or Endeavour, if you prefer) around the world, our money would be on “Supreme” being the final name.
It’s likely we’ll see more of HTC’s quad-core monster in a couple of weeks at MWC. We’ll be there, of course, to bring you all the announcements as they happen!
4-inches, 4.65-inches, 5.3-inches, when will it all end? When we decide they are too big and stop buying them, that's when. When the HTC EVO 4G came out at 4.3-inches, people wanted more. The Galaxy Nexus checked in at 4.65, people are wanting more. Now we have the Galaxy Note at 5.3, and the rumored LG Optimus Vu at 5-inches but with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Those are big phones. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the size of their phone, but there is a market sweet spot that will eventually be found. We figured we could do some market research of our own and predict a little bit of the future, so let us know in the poll about how big your ideal phone would be.
The interesting saga of Samsung Galaxy Nexus OTA's has now spread to Canada. Users of Bell Mobility in the Great White North are now reporting Android 4.0.2 is now setting off update notifications on their devices. This version is still a bit behind as some have since moved on to Android 4.0.3 but if nothing else it's interesting how the updates have been rolling out. If you're on Bell and have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus go ahead and check for updates.
The LG Optimus Vu has appeared in a picture next to the Samsung Galaxy Note, giving us all a great side by side look at the next phablet to hit the pipeline. As we can see from the picture, the Vu's overall size is pretty close to the Note, meaning both are big, bold, and in your face. The 5.3-inch Note is slightly taller than the Vu, but the latter's 4:3 aspect ratio makes it the wider of the two. The unofficial specs are said to be a 1024x768 display, a dual-core Qualcomm WPQ8060 processor running at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of ROM, and an 8-megapixel camera.
We still don't know much more about this one, but now that it's showing off for the camera we expect we will see it at Mobile World Congress in a week or so. The real question remains -- is the world ready for a phone this big, or are we entering the tablet space once we go past ginormous on the size chart?
Jumping forward to the present, Acer apparently just won the iF Product Design Award for outstanding achievement in design with a AcerCloud enabled device called the Acer CloudMobile but the full details and specs surrounding the device are still pretty slim.
What we did learn though is that the Acer CloudMobile will be the first device coming equipped with AcerCloud services, it will be packing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in a body less then 10MM thick with a 4.3-Inch HD display and Dolby audio and to top it all off, it's expected to see a full unveiling at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We'll see.
As well as expanding its mid-range portfolio with the Galaxy S Advance, it looks like Samsung is preparing a refresh of its entry-level hardware. A couple of promotional shots for a device dubbed the "Galaxy Mini 2" have leaked out online, showing some modest improvements on the basic hardware of last year's Galaxy Mini.
The most significant change is the upping of the screen's resolution -- from QVGA to HVGA. This was one of our biggest complaints about that device, so we're hoping the extra pixel density will result in a little less eye strain when using the Mini 2. For what it's worth, the LCD itself is a little larger, at 3.3 inches compared to 3.2 on the original.
As we said, spec bumps elsewhere are pretty minor -- the CPU gets a boost from 600MHz to 800MHz, while internal storage is increased to a total of 3GB. HSDPA speeds remain at 7.2Mbps, though unfortunately there's no mention of HSUPA support. And on the software side of you've got Android 2.3 Gingerbread, likely backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz UX.
Though the gap between super-high-end and entry-level phones is growing wider, the updated specs on the Galaxy Mini 2 should make it a a reasonable device for those on a budget. According to today's leak, the Galaxy Mini 2 will start shipping internationally later this month.
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