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2 years ago

Unmodified Holo theme now a requirement for devices with Android Market access

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A lot of work has gone into the UI for Ice Cream Sandwich, and Google has decided that manufacturers who want to have access to the Android Market will now have to let it shine -- the Holo theme, in its unmodified form, is now a requirement for devices that wish to use the Android Market. 

Calm down, calm down -- manufacturer skins like Blur and Sense will still be around. (You were worried about them, we know.) But menus, widgets, and settings dialogs will now have to follow the standards set up in Android 4.0 and above.

This means a lot to app developers.  Having a standard set of UI elements to draw from makes applications look and feel more integrated into the operating system, and now that everyone will have to use the same base they don't have to worry about coding their own.  Adam Powell, Android framework engineer, says:

Before Android 4.0 the variance in system themes from device to device could make it difficult to design an app with a single predictable look and feel. We set out to improve this situation for the developer community in Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.

Nice work, fellows.  The Holo UI is unique, and stunning.  Let it shine!

Source: Android Developers Blog

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2 years ago

Google acquires 217 more patents from IBM, beefing up portfolio for the inevitable tech Armageddon

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According to an update at the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office), Google acquired 188 granted patents and 29 pending patents from the granddaddy of things that go beep, IBM, on Dec. 31, 2011.  This is just three months after Google purchased over 1,000 patents from Big Blue back in September.  Not all these patents are for their mobile division (Google still does this little thing called search), but their are more than a few that cover things your Android phone or tablet (as well as other platforms) can do like web page rendering and VoIP.  We'll let interested parties check out the source link for a more detailed list.

No financial details have been provided, but we imagine it is far cheaper than lawyer and court fees for the upcoming patent meltdown that's sure to hit had they not purchased the patents outright.  Google seems to be preparing for the day when it all hits the fan as well as licensing and purchasing new technology to make their offerings a bit better. 

Source: SEO by the Sea

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2 years ago

Discounted Nexus S back in stock at Carphone Warehouse

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We passed along the good news on Boxing Day about how Carphone Warehouse had slashed the price of the Nexus S to a few pence under £200. However they seemed to sell out of them almost immediately. 

Well, good news. If you missed out last time, it's worth trying again because as the graphic here shows, they're currently back in stock. You won't see a link to the SIM free version on the main page, but hit the source link below to be taken right to it. As ever folks, be quick. Don't expect them to hang around. Again. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 2 hits LG's website

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Update: Apparently this one was released on some regional carriers in late 2011. Carry on, folks!

One of the bigger (if underappreciated) hits of 2011 was LG's Optimus line. And it looks like it'll be getting a follow-up version with the Optimus 2 (aka the AS680). It looks to be sporting a 3.2-inch display, Android 2.3, 3.2MP camera and 1500 mAh battery. It's got all the other usual features, like GPS and Bluetooth, and Swype is built in. 

Look for this guy to make an official appearance next week at CES, we reckon.

Source: LG; via Phonescoop

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2 years ago

T-Mobile's "New Year, New Phone" sale will slash Android prices for three days only

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If the holiday season didn't manage to bait you into a new phone, this might be your chance: T-Mobile is having a three-day "New Year, New Phone" sale this weekend only, beginning on Friday, January 6.  Sure, there are mail-in rebates involved, and you'll have to make a monthly payment ranging from $10 to $20 on the device itself, but a $49.99 down payment on a Galaxy S II or an Amaze 4G is hard to pass up. Other Android devices pegged at the $49.99 sweet spot include the Sensation 4G, the myTouch 4G, the Springboard, and the G-Slate. The source link has a full list of devices on sale, along with the corresponding mail-in rebates and monthly payment information. 

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

Samsung unveils new entry-level offering -- the Galaxy Ace Plus

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Today sees the unveiling of a new entry-level Android handset from Samsung, the 3.65-inch Galaxy Ace Plus. The Ace Plus is the successor to last year's Galaxy Ace, which was Sammy's main mid-range phone for Europe in 2011. It's billed as a phone for "trendy and sociable young professionals" (so that's us out), and brings Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the latest TouchWiz 4.0 onto a 3.65-inch HVGA display. Design-wise, you've got a chassis that closely resembles the original Galaxy S, and the more recent Galaxy S Plus.

The phone's powered by a 1GHz CPU and comes equipped with a 5MP rear-facing camera (no front-facer), along with 512MB RAM and 3GB internal storage (including 1GB for apps, and expandable using a microSD card) -- so nothing to set the world alight, but a respectable mainstream device nonetheless. Of course, you can also expect all the usual Gingerbread and TouchWiz software niceties.

Samsung expects to release the Galaxy Ace Plus in Russia this month, followed by a gradual roll-out in Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa later in the year. We've got the full spec list, along with more photos, after the jump.

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 7 nightly builds now available for SE Xperia Active, Xperia Pro and LG Thrill

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Following a slew of other phones late last week, the CyanogenMod team has just added nightly build support for three new devices -- Sony Ericsson's Xperia Pro and Xperia Active, as well the LG Thrill 4G -- AT&T's version of the Optimus 3D. Nightly builds of the popular custom ROM are built every day by the team's army of robots, giving advanced users the change to try out the very latest untested versions, bugs and all. They're also an important milestone towards a device being fully supported by CM.

Also worth noting is the fact that these nightlies are based on the current CyanogenMod 7 release, rather than the upcoming CyanogenMod 9, so if you're after ICS on these devices, then you'll have to wait a little while longer. We've got individual device links after the jump, or alternatively you can hit the source link to see all CM7 nightly builds.

Source: CM Mirror Network; via: XperiaBlog, +Ricardo Cerquiera

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2 years ago

This is a picture of a Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo

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Forgive us for not being too terribly excited about a render of the Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo on it. But the Galaxy Note, despite its huge-ass 5.3-inch screen size, has garnered a surprising amount of interest here in the States, and this one you see before you here has UCLA featured on Google Maps. Interesting. (Check out our full review if you've yet to get your hands on one.)

But what we're really interested in is official pricing and a release date. If we had to guess, we'd put even money on seeing it in a week at AT&T's developer conference in Las Vegas (we'll be there, of course) on the eve of CES.

Anyhoo, here's a render of a Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo and a mention of UCLA. Don't think you'll be able to squint much more out of it, but feel free to try.

Source: SamMobile

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2 years ago

Report puts LG-Intel relationship on track with Android at CES

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Back in October we got word that in 2012 we'll be seeing versions of Android optimized to run on Intel chipsets. Word out of Korea is that the first smartphones running on them, will be made by LG and on show for the world to see at CES.

An article in the Korea Times claims that officials from both companies have confirmed the news despite official spokespeople remaining quiet on the matter. 

To spin the story around a little though, another LG executive doesn't think that the company will be releasing Intel powered phones to the mass market. Instead claiming that through massive subsidies from Intel, LG would more likely be producing the reference devices. 

It's not unusual to see such rumours floating around so close to CES -- especially one that makes total sense -- but Intel will be there so seeing an Android announcement isn't too far fetched. Either way we don't have long to wait and see. 

Source: Korea Times 

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2 years ago

HTC EVO Design 4G and Hero S kernel source released

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HTC has released the kernel source for the EVO Design 4G, and its US Cellular cousin, the HTC Hero S.  The specific version is 2.6.35 for Gingerbread, which is the current kernel running on the devices.  Having kernel source opens up some ridiculously cool mods and hacks, and the development community should have plenty of fun with this.  This means that we'll all be having fun shortly after.  If you're an interested developer, hit the link below and grab some code.

Source: HTC Developers

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