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2 years ago

Verizon confirms Droid RAZR MAXX launch date and price

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$299.99 on-contract, coming this Thursday, Jan. 26

The word out of CES was that the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX would be hitting store shelves on Jan. 26 for $299.99, and today we have the official confirmation of this from Verizon. As usual, that $299.99 price tag comes with a two-year service agreement, and puts the RAZR MAXX in line with Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, as well as the 32GB original RAZR.

Check out our hands-on coverage from CES for more on the Droid RAZR MAXX, which packs a massive 3300 mAh battery. And be sure to let us know in the comments if you'll be picking one of these up on Thursday.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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2 years ago

MIT and Google open-source App Inventor code, public release of MIT's version on track for April

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You guys probably know this by now, but I was a fan of App Inventor.  Watching my wife use it to create her own application just sucked me in, and I loved the whole idea of a way for anyone to make an Android app.  When we heard that Google was shutting it down, I was sad, but the news that MIT was going to pick up the pieces and run with it lifted my spirits again.  Recent news makes me even happier -- MIT and Google have released the full source-code for the service, and folks at MIT's Center for Mobile Learning have said that the public release of the re-vamped service is on track for an April release:

So far (knock on wood) our development effort is on track for releasing the MIT Public App Inventor Service in the first quarter of this year. While unexpected issues can always arise, we're guardedly optimistic that people who plan to run App Inventor courses or workshops can anticipate being able to use the MIT service by mid-April.

With the release of the source and the JAR files you have the choice of running your own local copy, or jumping in and using MIT's version once it goes live.  See the links below for more information, and remember us if you give it a try and come up with your own app -- we'd love to check it out!

Source: MIT's App Inventor Developer's blog

App Inventor source code

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2 years ago

Sony unveils new CMOS sensors for smartphones

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Sony's Exmor R image sensors have been a stand-out feature for many of the past year's Sony Ericsson phone cameras. Moving forward, the electronics giant looks set to introduce even more impressive capabilities in future devices, with today's announcement of new image sensors for smartphones.

Today Sony took the wraps off new CMOS image sensors for smartphones with white pixels in addition to the usual red, green and blue detectors. The new tech is designed to improve low-light performance, something which Sony, as well as rivals like HTC, have been focusing on in their high-end smartphones over the past year. Sony also says that this new "RGBW coding" allows them to introduce HDR video capabilities in its smartphone cameras, meaning more detail is captured in very light and very dark areas in the same shot.

Samples of the new sensors are due to ship from March, meaning it'll probably be later in the year before we'll see them in products you can actually buy. Sony's new Xperia S and Xperia Ion, which are due in March and Q2 respectively, feature earlier model Exmor R sensors at 12MP.

Source: Sony

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2 years ago

Dolphin Browser releases Skitch and Evernote add-ons

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The folks at Dolphin Browser, one of the most popular third party browsers for Android devices, have unveiled two new add-ons today -- Skitch and Evernote.  Both integrate seamlessly with the Dolphin Browser app, and look to be simple and elegant.  We love simple, especially when paired with elegant.  Using them is easy enough -- when you come across a page you'd like to share you just tap the icon in the Dolphin Browser sidebar (Skitch is a big pink heart, and Evernote is the elephant profile we all know and love) to send it to the correct app.  You can either grab the screen and annotate before you share it with Skitch, or clip a block of text to send to Evernote.  If you don't have the app itself installed, Dolphin will direct you to download it and get signed up.

The developers at Dolphin promise us a whole slew of great add-ons in 2012, and they're off to a great start with these two.  When something looks and runs well, and is useful, we're all for it.  Keep up the good work fellows!  We've got links to the Market for both add-ons below, check 'em out.

Source: Dolphin Browser

Download the Evernote add-on

Download the Skitch add-on

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2 years ago

ICS-based MIUI 4 ROM available for Galaxy S II

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Two months after the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code dropped, we're starting to see more exotic custom ROMs appearing for popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II. One such ROM comes from XDA's adyscorpius, and brings MIUI 4.0 and Ice Cream Sandwich to the Galaxy S II. MIUI 4.0 Fresh includes most of the features that you'll need to use this thing as your daily driver, if you're into the look and feel of MIUI.

The current version 2.1 features full 8MP camera support, as well as external SD support, so you shouldn't need to sacrifice any of your device's basic functionality in order to enjoy the unique ICS/MIUI combo. For download links and a full feature list, check the source link.

Source: XDA

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2 years ago

Google Music updated in Android Market, fixes bugs in shuffling songs and multiple accounts

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Google Music has been updated to version 4.1.512, bringing fixes to shuffle mode and fixes for folks using multiple Google accounts.  The update looks to be across the board for all devices running Android 2.2 or higher, so be sure to check and see if your copy is up-to-date.  We love Google Music around here, and on devices without removable storage it's a life saver.  Hit the break for the download link if you haven't given it a try yet.

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2 years ago

Droid RAZR now available in purple from Verizon Wireless

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If you don't fancy the Motorola Droid RAZR in white or black and have been holding out for it to arrive in purple, your wait is now over. The purple Droid RAZR that got announced alongside the Droid RAZR MAXX at CES 2012 is now available from Verizon Wireless. There is no difference in pricing for the device so; you're looking at $200 with a new two-year agreement or $600 with no contract at all. Want one? Hit the source link below.

Source: Verizon; Thanks, @Pilotboy!

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2 years ago

European LG Optimus Black Gingerbread update rolling out now

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It's been a long time coming, but European owners of the LG Optimus Black should finally be starting to see some Gingerbread. Optimus Blackl owners in India also should be seeing this update.

We first heard about the updates for the Optimus range way back in October, and now it's the turn of the Black to be pushed up to Gingerbread. The 2.3.4 update is rolling out as version V20N. 

New features touted include improved power management, support for new media formats, shortcuts, widgets, better auto-focus on the camera and Google+ pre-installed. 

The update is reported to be available currently via LG's software update tool right now. It still hurts a little that updates to Gingerbread are still rolling out, but LG has made no secret of its ICS plans.

Sources: AndroidOS.in; HDBlog.it; thanks to everone who sent this in

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Transportation

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We're back for the second weekly Android Central photo contest, and this week's theme is transportation.  Anything that you use to get from point A to point B is fair game (see our example photo above), and we're looking forward to seeing another round of great pictures from you guys and gals.  Come Sunday, we'll pick the cream of the crop and show them all off (check out last week's finalists, they're amazing) -- and the winner this week get's an extended battery from ShopAndroid.com for his or her phone so they can carry a bit of extra juice and take a few more pictures.  We've also adjusted the rules a little, so read the next bit carefully:

  • Pictures must be taken with an Android device.  Yes, your iPhone or DSLR takes great pictures, but we're all about Android here.
  • Only one picture per person.  If you send in more than one, even if it's the best one, you're disqualified.
  • Entries must be accompanied by the name of the phone (or tablet) used to take them, and the name you want used for photo credit should you make the final cut. In other words, we want to know which phone you used!
  • Photos must be sent as an attachement.  With so many entries, we just don't have time to visit your Picasa or Flickr album.

Pick out your best photo, and send it to pics@androidcentral.com.  Good luck to everyone!

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2 years ago

Huawei Honor Review

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With a new Android device announced ever hour, it takes a lot to make a device stand out from the crowd. Some devices are marketed heavily, some bring new features and others just fall to the wayside after announcement, and the Huawei Honor is a handset that falls in the middle of a bunch of these categories. Claims of three-day battery life certainly piqued our interest, but we'll have to get this in the States first before we'll celebrate too much. But that didn't slow us down at all. We got the Honor in our hands, and it's time to put it through its paces.

Could the Huawei Honor bring enough to the table to make some folks want to import the device, or to make it a daily driver for those who are able to purchase and make use of it? Let’s hit the break and take a look at how it rates.


The Huawei Honor offers a solid build quality, large screen, fast processor and a demo ICS ROM already.


The self-proclaimed amazing battery life was anything but, and the 8-megapixel camera disappointed. Currently unavailable in the U.S.



The hardware is very well built and the Honor runs rather smoothly. We can expect to see support for ICS on this device since we already saw the demo ROM available, and with multiple colors available the device is sure to meet your style requirements.

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