It's been another week filled to the brim with Android news, device announcements, and killer new apps. We should be used to it now, but it still can be difficult to catch it all. You can catch the Podcast each Thursday, follow us on Twitter, even add us to your RSS reader and still miss some -- so here's a list of the week's highlights, in handy bullet point form:
Are you ready for another great contest from Nvidia and Android Central? One that gives you a chance to win a Tegra 2 device each day for a full six days? We hope so, because we're about to kick off our 6 days of Tegra madness mega-contest and make it happen. We've got a big red sack filled with Android phones and tablets, and one of them just might have your name written on it.
Here's how it's all going to work. Starting in a few hours, midnight EDT to be precise, we're going to open a contest thread in the Android Central contest forums. You'll have 24 hours to enter, which is as easy as posting in the thread letting us know you want in on the action. The next night at midnight, we'll close that thread and open a new one, starting a new drawing. You can only enter each contest once (we're going to check), and if you win one you're ineligible to enter the next. The winner will be picked at random, and next Sunday (Sept. 18) we'll announce the winners and get in touch with them all using the address used to sign up for the forums.
Day six is the grand prize, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, a Jambox Bluetooth speaker, a Tab 10.1 Keyboard, and a $25 AMEX card
Tegra 2 devices totally blew us away when they first came out, bringing a level of graphics performance to mobile devices that we hadn't seen before. 12 months later, newer chips have come that throw out mind-boggling numbers, but there's something missing -- software optimization. We poke plenty of fun at our iOS loving friends, but Apple shows us that raw hardware numbers don't always equal the best performers, especially when it comes to mobile gaming. That's where Nvidia steps in, working with developers to make games and apps that utilize the full power of the Tegra 2's GeForce GPU. It's just plain awesome, and I've darn near worn through the glass on my G2X playing Fruit Ninja THD, and Riptide GP on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 or via HDMI out to a television redefines mobile gaming.
Nvidia takes things a step further, offering a complete experience with the Tegra Zone. Available as an app for your Android device or via the web, they keep us up to date with news and articles about Tegra powered apps, offer community discussion, make it easy to share links to the latest games and news through Twitter and Facebook, and have a full set of tools and resources for developers in the Developer Zone. It shows that Nvidia is in for the long haul, and their dedication to Android is a deep as yours and ours is. You can find some screenshots, and a link to the Tegra Zone app for Android after the break, and to keep up with everything as it happens, you can follow @nvidiategra on Twitter.
We'll be sure to announce each contest to remind everyone as they happen, you guys just get ready to enter. Good luck to all!
The LG Enlighten is a mid-level Android smartphone that's been mentioned for weeks now, but without any official info. Looks like the unofficial promotions are continuing, however, as it's made an appearance in the upcoming Verizon catalog. To recap the specs, you're looking at a 3.2-inch slider, with four-row keyboard, Android 2.3 and an 800MHz processor. The rumored Aug. 25 launch date obviously has come and gone, but the catalog still has it as "coming soon," so that's better than nothing.
Our man Cory is at it again -- he has the hacking guides for the Motorola Droid Bionic ready to go and you can find them in the Bionic section of the Android Central forums. Start with his rooting guide, where the procedure is outlined for both 32 and 64 bit Windows (the Mac section is already reserved and will be coming shortly), and he has a great set of FAQ's about rooting your Bionic already set up. The best part? You can ask any and all questions and get quick and simple answers. The way Cory supports us all is legendary, with good reason -- the man eats, breathes, and sleeps Android!
Once you've got that bad boy opened up and ready for a bit of real customization, you're covered with a full bloatware removal guide. And I mean full -- just like we saw for the Droid 3, you have everything you'd ever need to know written out, and a complete walkthrough using Root Explorer to do the deed. It's another awesome piece of work, and just one of the reasons why our forums kick ass.
If you've been holding off, waiting for someone to take charge and get everything simple and easy to understand, here you go. Cory, my hats off to you -- thanks for the great work!
As we all know, games are a pretty big thing to many people, lots of people love to download new games and play them for countless hours, most of the time right until your battery dies. With tons of games in the market and so many different categories of games, finding and sharing fun games with others can be a bit difficult. When hearing about game releases, or looking for a new game in the Android market, what type of games do you look for? Are you more of a sports person, someone who enjoys the casino experience from their device, or someone who wants to challenge themselves with a nice puzzle style game? Be sure to let us know what you chose, and it will be interesting to see what the Android community views as their favorite game type!
Drooooiiiiidddddd... It's a sound plenty of us know and love, and we realize that along with it comes some serious bloatware from the folks at Verizon and Motorola. The Droid 3 is no exception. Of course, that's when the Android Central forums shine -- we'll help you twist and wrangle all the "value added" applications right off your D3, and get it set up to your liking. Cory, our fearless forums leader and world-famous midnight tinkerer, has worked up quite the masterpiece for doing just that for your D3. It has all the directions spelled out for easy understanding, and full lists of what you can and can't get rid of -- as well as an explanation of what each one of them are. Top it off with a complete walkthrough using Root Explorer (no need for a wire or a computer) and it's a thing of beauty. Make sure your D3 is charged up, and hit the forums to take care of business.
Finally the Motorola Droid Bionic is available, and knowing you, Mr. Excited, you were first in line to grab one at the local Verizon store, huh? Well, you may have been in shock when you noticed how much LTE can affect your battery, or you are a conservative type with the battery and would rather turn it off when not in use, and luckily doing so can be quite simple. A few quick clicks and your LTE can be turned on and off, let's check out how.
Scroll to wireless and networks
Select mobile network
Click on network mode and select CDMA Only
Want LTE back, do the same and select CDMA/LTE instead of CDMA only and you are all set.
For many of us, half the fun of getting a new Android phone is digging in and trying to break it make it our own. The Droid Bionic is no exception of course, and folks are having a blast getting methods all sorted to root and customize the Bionic, unlocking it's full potential. I love it when new phones come out, this is the kind of stuff an Android geek lives for.
But the other side of the coin is that we often need a way to get things back to normal, whether it be because we changed our minds or might need a little hardware warranty work done. We're not going to get into the moral argument of what your responsibilities are once you decide to root (we have forums for that), I just wanted to let you guys know that the latest version of Pete's Motorola Root Tools allow you to fully unroot your Droid Bionic -- as in no leftover bits left behind. I asked the man himself, and sure enough, his tool gets in the system and removes all binaries, returning your phone to a fully unrooted state.
This is important. Some previous methods to unroot phones left the su binary behind and only removed the visual traces of being rooted -- leaving your phone a bit unsecure. Pete has you covered here, though. The same tool you use to root your Bionic will unroot it, and do it the right way. Remember, it won't restore bloatware that you've removed or restore settings you may have changed, you'll have to sort all that out beforehand. Until we can dig up a factory .sbf file for the Bionic, this is the best solution. Just use it wisely, and be sure to thank Pete if it saves your bacon. Grab the latest version of the tool and read the particulars at the source link.
Vodafone UK has updated its "coming soon" page with details of the Samsung Galaxy Y, a new budget device that was unveiled as part of Sammy's shake-up of its Android device line-up a few weeks ago. The Galaxy Y seems to be an updated version of the Galaxy Mini, which we reviewed earlier in the year. Packed into its tiny 3-inch chassis is an 823MHz CPU, which runs Android 2.3 and TouchWiz 4.0. Unfortunately the Galaxy Y's screen hasn't received much of an upgrade from the Galaxy Mini -- according to the official spec list, it still runs at an eye-punishing QVGA (240x320) resolution
No word on pricing or availability yet, but you can probably expect this one to be free on most contracts, and reasonably cheap on its own.
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project
and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License. AndroidCentral is an independent site
that is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.