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2 years ago

What an open-source webOS means for Android

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You might have heard -- webOS just got open-sourced today by HP, joining the world of great, free software like Ubuntu, Firefox, and Android.  It's a pretty big deal for some people, including all those developers you see doing wonderful things with the software on their electronic devices.  HP made the right decision here: let the fate of webOS be in the hands of those who know it best -- like the fellows at webOS Internals.  I'll bet there's one hell of a party going on in Oz this evening.

But what does that mean for Android is what we're interested in, because we're Android Central and that's what we do.  The answer?  Maybe a lot, maybe not so much.  While we don't know what open-source license HP plans to release webOS under (remember things like HTC Sense and iOS started as open-source, but the license allowed them to keep code changes to themselves), as it sits now any code that is owned by HP should be made available to manufacturers and developers.  Some of the proprietary bits will stay closed, and provided as something that plugs in to the running system, but those are almost always hardware- or network-specific bits, so we're not too concerned.

The big and important parts will be available for everyone from the CyanogenMod team to Motorola to use and develop further.  You read that right -- we're all thinking "Wow, the CM guys can port stuff from webOS into CM9!" and we're right, but more important is that so can Google and all the OEMs out there.  Soon there will be a few million lines of new code for engineers to look through and cherry pick the best parts from to add to their existing projects -- and that's a damn good thing.

That doesn't mean it will happen though.  The cores of Android and webOS are pretty different, and things won't just drop in and work.  If it were that easy, we'd already have a bastardized version of Meego, Symbian and Android running on some awesome phone from the far east (and I'd totally be using it).  But having the code sitting there so people can see how it's done certainly makes it possible, and very interesting.  And to be honest, simply open-sourcing webOS isn't going to save it.  If someone (like Google or Samsung) steps in and nurtures it and keeps pumping money and ideas into it, it will keep getting better and better.  If nobody but hobbyists cares, it will wither and disappear, even if those hobbyists are talented geniuses like the webOS Internals guys (and gals). 

We don't know what will happen here.  Just because something can be done doesn't mean it will be done, and with everyone making money hand over fist with Android there isn't a lot of incentive for big changes.  I'm sure we'll see some ideas brought over, and someone will start porting webOS to things like the Xoom or Galaxy S II, but the big picture may not change a whole lot.  It's going to be an exciting time, and we're lucky that HP made this multi-billion dollar gift to the open source community. 

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2 years ago

HP's webOS joins Android in the land of open-source operating systems

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Android just got a new friend in the open-source playground. HP today announced that the beloved-but-floundering mobile operating system will released to the open-source community.

"HP plans to continue to be active in the development and suppport of webOS," the company said. Like the core Android OS, webOS will be made available under an open-source license.

Exactly what that means in regards to webOS as a competitor to Android? We'll just have to see. Certainly it's great news for anyone who likes to tinker -- and you know how Android folks like to tinker. Will it overtake Android as the current embedded OS of choice? We will see some sort of mutant Android-webOS hybrid emerge from these murkey depths? (And how cool would that be?) We'll just have to see.

There's loads more, including the official announcement, at the link below.

More at PreCentral.net

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2 years ago

Not so much ...

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This the only Verizon Galaxy Nexus post we intend on doing today, unless actual news breaks. But it was just too good to pass up. This store in Memphis, Tenn., apparently didn't get the message. Either that or it has a cruel sense of humor. Either way, it'll be here when it's here.

Source: Galaxy Nexus forums

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2 years ago

Sense 3.0 updates rolling out for HTC Desire HD, Incredible S

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And the Wildfire S gets a new lockscreen

Looks like HTC is going on something of an updating spree. According to reports from multiple HTC users, the Desire HD and Incredible S have both received updates to Android 2.3.5 and HTC Sense 3.0, bringing their software in line with more recent phones like the Sensation and EVO 3D. In addition, the Wildfire S has apparently received an update of its own, and while it's still on Sense 2.1, its Android version has been bumped up to 2.3.5, and it's now sporting the fancy Sense 3.0 lockscreen that we've enjoyed on high-end HTC devices for some time.

To grab the updates on your device, head to Settings > About Phone > Software Updates and tap the button (note that if you're on a carrier-branded device, you may have to wait a little longer before it's rolled out to you). If you've already upgraded, let us know how you're getting on over in the comments.

Source: XDA (1, 2, 3); thanks, Dingbums!

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2 years ago

The Verizon HTC Merge? It's a Christmas miracle!

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Tired of waiting on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Could we, perhaps, interest you in another sought-after Verizon smartphone that was all rendered extinct without ever really being launched?

What you see here, according to AllTechEverything, is an ad from a newspaper (ask your parents) in Greensboro, N.C. And at the bottom of that pyramid there is a $49 buy-one-get-two-free offer for none other than the Verizon HTC Merge.

Why's that a big deal? The Verzon HTC Merge, as you'll recall, is that mythical phone we got an exclusive look at way back in late August 2010. Rumored launch dates came and went, and the Merge was never really officially released on Verizon, put out to pasture as some sort of online/third-party only deal. Sad, really. It was a great phone.

Anyhoo, if you're in or around Greensboro and are jonesing for the greatest phone that never was, maybe swing by and see what you can see.

Source:  AllTechEverything; thanks, Daniel!

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2 years ago

Team Hydro Bootmanager coming soon, puts an end to bootloops forever [hacking]

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Ever do something you shouldn't have whilst hacking away at your phone, and end up stuck in a bootloop?  Of course you have, because we all have.  That will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Team Hydro Bootmanager.  Usually getting to your Android device's bootloader menu or recovery menu involves mashing and holding buttons, pulling batteries, or in the case of some phone (looking at you LG Optimus Black) a bit of luck because there are no button combinations that work.  This jewel resides in the boot image on your phone, pauses the boot-up, and lets you choose how you want to proceed.  According to lead developer Drew Walton, it works great, it's stable, will run on just about any phone, and will be ready for public consumption very soon.

*Spoiler alert* Drew is also pretty sure he will be able to expand this, using custom recovery builds (like ClockWorkMod recovery) and create a bootmanager with more options.  This would of course be more device specific and less portable, but offer a new way to manage your device.  You normal, well adjusted users out there may not be as excited as we hacker types are, but all you crack flashers know just how cool this one will be.  I can't wait!

More: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Update for the Droid Bionic imminent, rolling out "soon"

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The Motorola Droid Bionic is set to receive a fairly substantial update, said to fix connectivity issues and a number of various bugs. Software version 5.5.893, which totals 54.5 MB, improves data stability, increases the Mobile Hotspot capacity to eight devices, and fixes media playback via Bluetooth, just to name a few tweaks. The full list of improvements is available at the source link (there’s more than the image above leads you to believe), as are detailed instructions for both the manual and OTA update process. As always, we suggest you sit tight if you’re not seeing it just yet, as this sort of thing is often slow to roll out.

Source: Verizon Wireless; via Android Central Forums
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Android Central on Google Currents

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Download Android Central on Google Currents now!

Now that Google's announced its Currents project, it's time to let you in on a little secret.

It's pretty darn awesome.

We've been experimenting with Currents (neé Propeller) for some weeks now on its road to launch. At its heart, it's very much a Flipboard competitor, if you've ever seen or used the excellent iPad application. The consumer-facing side of Currents is a magazine-like look and feel, as powerful offline as it is when connected to the Internet. From the back end, it's basically just pulling in RSS feeds and displaying them in a custom UI, and you can have it up an running in just minutes through the web-based (natch) Google Studio.

This isn't just some cookie-cutter operation, though. There are plenty of apps like that in the Android Market, and, frankly, many of them suck. Currents's strength comes from its simplicity. It's easy to set up and maintain, and the app has a simple and attractive user interface. Toss in that it's pretty customizable, and you've got the makings of a strong platform, and one that's ready to go out of the box at launch.

So why call it a Flipboard competitor, when Flipboard's only available on iOS? Because when you create an edition in Currents, you're simultaneously creating for Android smartphones. And tablets. And the iPhone. And the iPad. And you can preview each platform on the fly, as you work. Bad news for most of the world, though -- Currents is U.S.-only for now.

We've got our Android Central walkthrough of Google Currents after the break, and be sure to add our Google Currents Edition. Check it out.

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2 years ago

OnLive gaming launched for Android, free game included

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Popular cloud gaming service OnLive today launched its Android offering for smartphones and tablets, bringing a free game along with it in the form of Lego Batman. For anyone not familiar, this is no mobile offering -- the cloud service offers up full console games to play in the cloud. Currently the Android app is available in the UK and US.

There are around 25 games at present that can be played using a touchscreen, with another 200 that can be played using the OnLive wireless controller, which goes on sale Dec. 9 for around £40/$50. With a tablet and a controller, you effectively get a mobile games console. The service offers cross platform compatability, meaning your progress will be available on all your devices, and it also gives you the chance to engage in multiplayer activity against your iOS and desktop playing friends. 

There is an official device compatibility list, but it's important to note that it'll most likely work without a hitch on other devices. For example, the Galaxy Nexus is absent, but it works just fine, as does the Nexus S. 

The OnLive app requires at least Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has been tested on the following devices:

Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, HTC Evo View, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony Ericsson Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive, HTC EVO, HTC Nexus One, HTC Rezound 4G, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola DROID BIONIC 4G, Motorola DROID RAZR 4G, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.

The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller has been tested with the Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Toshiba Thrive.

We'll have a full review coming up soon, but in the meantime check out the video and a whole host of screenshots and download links after the break. 

Source: OnLive; via: Clove

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2 years ago

HTC Sensation 4G 'performance and stability' update rolling out

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T-Mobile is pushing out a new software update for its HTC Sensation 4G, bringing the device up to version 1.50.531.31. The new version, which is still based on Android 2.3.4 and Sense 3.0, brings a host of welcome improvements and fixes to Sensation 4G owners. T-Mo's describing it as a "performance and stability" update --

New Features:

  • Software stability
  • Improved battery life

Improvements:

  • Improvements to Trace dictionary
  • Screen  unresponsiveness resolved
  • Device taking screen shots resolved
  • Lock screen shifted up resolved
  • Icon pixilation resolved
  • Improved Wi-Fi connection
  • Green lines on photo resolved

The new software will start rolling out between now and Jan. 15 -- to grab it, head to Menu > Settings > About Phone > HTC software updates and tap "Check".

Source: T-Mobile, Thanks, mdemars!

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