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2 years ago

NVIDIA joins the Linux Foundation - here's what it means for Android (hint: Not a lot)

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The Linux Foundation has announced four new members this week, including the familiar face of NVIDIA. As most of us here know, Android is based on the Linux kernel, and NVIDIA has become a major hardware player on our phones and tablets. But what does this mean for Android users?

On the surface, it's excellent news. NVIDIA will invest money into advancing Linux, and by proxy, all open-source projects based on it. Linux has always been strong in the enterprise (some figures claim that over 60 percent of the servers on the Internet run Linux). However, its role in the desktop, and until recently mobile, has been much smaller. Because of this, and also to blame for this -- it's a Catch-22, is the relatively poor showing multimedia makes when talking Linux. This is where NVIDIA can make a difference. With its investment, other players may feel more compelled to develop for Linux and Linux-based projects like Android. We want more support from all hardware and software vendors, and getting a company like NVIDIA on board is a big step.

On the other hand, not much is really going to change for users like us. NVIDIA isn't likely to suddenly open-source its drivers for Tegra chipsets, or even offer more support than they do now.  hat they have done is show support for a cheap operating system that bridges their expensive hardware and their showcase software together. This makes sense from a business point of view -- make games that show off the power of your product, and invest time and money into the conduit that makes it possible.

In the end, this one doesn't really affect Android fans directly. Nothing we're concerned with will change, and NVIDIA has always shown support for Linux and Android without being an official Linux Foundation member. But it is nice seeing a company give a little back, and the folks behind the scenes building Linux will put it all to good use.

Source: The Linux Foundation; via Slashdot

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2 years ago

Three UK announces availability of Sony Xperia S

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Today sees the official UK launch of Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia S, with the news that Three UK has begun selling the device. The phone went on sale exclusively at the Sony Store in Barcelona during MWC, and is expected to see broader availability in the next week or so.

Despite Three's announcement, we're not seeing the Xperia S anywhere on the networks' online store, so your best bet may be to track down your local brick-and-mortar Three shop if you want to pick one of these up.

Three says it's offering the Xperia S for free on contracts of £30 or more per month, but it's also available for a surprisingly reasonable £369.99 on pay-as-you-go. That's not at all bad for a dual-core phone with a 720p display and an impressive 12MP camera (even if you'll have to wait until Q2 for ICS).

For more on the Xperia S, make sure you read our first impressions, and stay tuned for the full review in the days ahead.

Source: Three

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2 years ago

First Sony Xperia S software update now available through PC Companion app

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If you were one of the lucky few able to grab an Sony Xperia S in Barcelona during MWC, today you'll be able to pick up a new software update to version 6.0.A.3.67. The update isn't yet going out over the air, but it is available through Sony's PC Companion app for Windows.

Unfortunately the package doesn't include the sorely-needed Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update -- that's due sometime during the second quarter. However, we're hoping the update fixes a few niggling issues we've been noticing with our review unit, including some radio wonkiness and difficulty automatically disconnecting from Wifi routers when out of range. If you've picked up the new software on your Xperia S, be sure to point out any changes or fixes over in the comments.

For more on the Xperia S, check out our initial review and hands-on video.

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2 years ago

German HTC Sensation XEs apparently starting to get Ice Cream Sandwich

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Update: Forum reports now indicate that the original HTC Sensation is also getting the ICS update, though for the moment it seems to be limited to Germany and Nordic countries.

Have a German HTC Sensation XE? Looking for your Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update? Tired of us asking questions when you know darn well where this is going?

That's right, boys and girls, it looks like the ICS update is starting to hit the Sensation XE in Germany, along with an update to Sense 3.6. You're not going to get all the features in the new Sense 4, but somehow we think nobody's going to turn this one down.

HTC had promised the update would hit by the end of March. So that we're seeing it drop in Week 2 is pretty promising. Other phones expected to get ICS this month are the HTC Sensation and Sensation 4G, followed by the Sensation XL.

Head into the settings and check for the update now!

Source: HTCInside.de; via BestBoyz

Update: Looks like the basic Sensation is getting an update, too!

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: What do you think of the 'Google Play' portal name?

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We've had a couple of days to settle in (and debate) the new Google Play branding that covers the old Android Market, Google Book, Google Music, and Google Movies content stores. We've also been enjoying the sales in effect on apps and digital media (get Flick Golf Extreme from Google Play for a quarter before it's too late!) and filling our devices with content. But the name is a bit of a change.

We get it -- Google wanted to provide a unified name and look across all their digital content stores for Android, and a big re-branding sure got everyone's attention. But like all things when they change, there are plenty of skeptics. I'll admit saying download from Google Play seems a bit odd, but I'll get used to it soon enough. Of course what's done is done, but we're still allowed to say what we think of it, and that's what we're about to do. Sound off in the poll and comments and tell us what you think of the new Google Play moniker.

 

Is "Google Play" a good look for Google?

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2 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons gets 'Cherry Blossom' update

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Rovio has revamped Angry Birds Seasons with an early sprint update, featuring a cherry blossom theme. You'll now have 15 new levels to play through, and three new bonus levels. We're used to seasonal updates from Rovio, and as usual, this one is already been well received by the missus, and she says "it's great, go update it"!  Who am I to argue? Market, erm, Google Play download links are after the break, or you can get the latest from the Amazon Appstore.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Hands-on redux with the HTC One X

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We take a second look at HTC's flagship smartphone for 2012

We're live at Three UK's 2012 showcase event in London, where the network is showing off some of its hottest upcoming handsets. Among the first Android phones we tracked down was the HTC One X, HTC's upcoming flagship device, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last week. With a 4.7-inch, 720p display, a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU and some crazy new camera technologies, HTC has left no holds barred with its latest high-end smartphone.

We got our first look at the One X in Barcelona not too long ago, but today we've managed to spend a little more time with the phone, and take a look at some of the new software features in Sense 4.0. Join us after the break for our second preview of one of the biggest Android releases of 2012.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 3 soak test e-mails now being sent out

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If you're looking at the Droid 3 in your hands and thinking it's really time for an update, that will soon be a reality. Motorola has sent out emails advising folks there is a new soak test being prepared for eventual rollout to the masses:

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid 3, please excuse and ignore this email.

Click this link to take a short enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners' Forums to be included. The registration window is can close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks -- please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don't hear from us right away.

If you're hoping for Ice Cream Sandwich, sadly -- you'll need to drop that thought from your brain considering Verizon left the Droid 3 off their ICS update list. However, bug fixes are a good thing to have.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Using the Android SDK tools with Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Unlike the Windows Phone SDK, the Android SDK works fairly well with the Windows 8 consumer preview. We know a lot of you folks want to be on the bleeding edge, and for Windows users that means installing the Win8 preview on your computer at home. I decided to dive in and see what was working, and what wasn't, and installed it on my laptop to test things out.

The verdict -- most everything works just as it did before. It's just harder to get to it with Windows' silly new interface. Hit the jump, and we'll have a look.

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2 years ago

HTC unlocks the bootloader on the Dream (yeah, really)

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Chances are a good many of you out there aren't even old enough to remember the HTC Dream. (By the way, get off our lawn.) And chances are even slimmer that there are many still being used today. But if so, know that HTC has added the Dream to its cadre of unlockable bootloaders. Blow the dust off and hit the link below.

Source: HTCDev.com; via @htcdev

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