Headlines

4 years ago

Going green: The Solio Rocsta-i hybrid solar charger

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Solio Rocsta-i charger

If you're like me, you take your Android phone with you everywhere.  Sometimes you're stuck with a battery in the red, and no AC power in sight.  While there's plenty of gizmos out there that can charge your battery back up, very few are eco-friendly.  Enter the Solio Rocsta-i hybrid charger -- a solid piece of technology that can save your bacon, and plays nice with the blue marble we all live on.  Hit the jump to see more.

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4 years ago

Can developers make money in the Android Market? [MobileBeat 2010]

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We stepped out of a killer panel Monday from MobileBeat 2010 titled "How to turn Android into a money machine," and the answer from the panel to that very question seems to be "all the little things." Is it as easy to make money on Android as it is on, say, the iPhone? The answer seems to be "no" at this point, but there's not a single killer reason that Google is lagging behind.

We are going to mash up a ton of smart insights from the panel in one big hodgepodge after the break, so check in for the collective insight from 

  • Peter Farago, VP Marketing, Flurry
  • David Marcus, Founder & CEO, Zong
  • Evan Neufeld, CMO, Groundtruth
  • Darren Cross, Head of Business Development, Fandango & Movies.com
  • David Jones, VP of Marketing, Shazam
  • Moderator: Patrick Mork, CMO, GetJar

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4 years ago

HTC 1 -- anything else would be uncivilized

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htc1

Have you ever thought about what your Android dream phone might look like? There’s no doubt that HTC has an amazing lineup of state-of-the-art devices, but how could they improve? A man named Andrew Kim has put a lot of thought into this, and came up with a concept design he’s titled the HTC 1. And folks, it’ll knock your socks off.

A clutter-free, simplistic interface mixed with a sleek and sexy chassis adorned with chrome accents seems to be what he’s going for here. Andrew’s vision also includes a sincere minimalistic version of Sense that only seems to add to the professional image he’s constructed. SMS messaging all happens inside one application, and all of your favorite social network clients are merged into one, providing the user a powerful texting solution. If things couldn’t get any more awesome, the HTC 1 is even equipped with an integrated UV light that illuminates whenever it's being charged, warding off any bacteria that may have collected on your handset. Unfortunately, there's a slim chance to none that we'll ever see this phone in the flesh, but maybe after this they might consider it.  Heres hoping.  [Design Fabulous via Engadget]

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4 years ago

Droid X gets another update just days before launch

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Droid X Update

Can't tell you what's changed, but another OTA update (the second in less than a month of pre-release use) has been pushed out to the Motorola Droid X. The 18MB update took just a few minutes to download and install, and we're now working from version 1.13.604.en.US (up from 1.13.516), for whatever that's worth. It's still Android 2.1-update1, so we'll just have to wait some more for Froyo.

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4 years ago

Poll: If your favorite app adds ads, would you leave it?

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comaprison

Lately more developers have been releasing a free but ad-powered versions of their applications, as well as a paid version to get rid of the ads. Some applications, like Astro File Manager have only been available as a free (and ad-free) application. That changed with an update today. So, this begs the question: If your favorite application added in-app ads, would it be enough to make you leave? Often times there are other alternatives to the application, so would this be enough to make you venture off and try one of them? Personally, I can deal with the ads as long as the application does what I want, but we would love to hear what you think about it all!

If one of your most-used apps switched to an in-app ad model, would you leave it?online survey

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4 years ago

Samsung Vibrant promo video

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Samsung Vibrant promo video

The Samsung Vibrant isn't being left out of the fun, it has it's own version of the catchy Samsung Galaxy S series promo videos, too.  The video is about the same as the ones we've seen for the Captivate and Epic 4G, except for all the magenta of course.  If glitzy Hollywood style production isn't your thing, you can see our raw hands-on with the Vibrant right here.  Hit the break for the full video, and don't blame me if that song gets stuck in your head forever. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Droid Eris update coming July 16

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droid eris software update

That's right Droid Eris users, Verizon did not forget you -- there's a software update coming on July 16 that's slated to fix a whole slew of audio and contacts issues.  When the update to Android 2.1 rolled around, there was quite a bit of disappointment as things were, shall we say, broken, and with the Eris being discontinued everyone thought that was the end of bug-fixes and other software enhancements.  Nice to see that wasn't the case, and Verizon hasn't forgotten it's customers who prefer the smaller, but still sexy, Eris.  Hit the break to see another leaked screen shot with some information about exactly what is getting fixed.  [DroidLife]

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4 years ago

Laws of retail sales mean stores will only have X number of Droid X's at launch

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Droid X inventory numbers

In a stunning turn of events not seen since the days of Adam Smith, it's come to light that there won't be an infinite number of Droid X's available at launch on Thursday, and in fact retail stores have been allocated a discrete number of phones to be sold.

As for how many phones each store will have, well, you see an early example of the inventory above (via Droid Life). If you're worried about whether your local store will have a Droid X to sell you, we offer the following advice:

  1. Don't worry about inventory screen shots that will be days old on the actual launch day.
  2. Try calling your local retailer (here's a handy location guide) and asking if they have a Droid X to sell to you.
  3. If that fails, you might try actually going to a store and trying to buy a phone.

That said, we're pretty sure this will be a popular phone, so you might wanna show up early. Oh, and if you want, you can enter our free Droid X giveaway.

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4 years ago

Powering the iPad with Android's WiFi tethering

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TiPb.com compares using Android WiFi tethering to power the iPad against paying extra for the iPad 3G.

Our friend (frenemy?) Rene Ritchie over at sister-site TiPb has done a quick, largely (and admittedly) unscientific comparison of connectivity options for the iPad, and whether the additional $130 for the 3G model and corresponding data plan is worth it. In the test, he pits the built-in 3G over the Rogers' 3G 7.2 Mbps HSPA, WiFi tethering on a Nexus One running Froyo over the same network, and a Verizon Palm Pre Plus roaming on the Canadian Bell CDMA network.

Results were varied, but in the end the conclusion was just as you might expect: for the most convenience, shell out the dough for the 3G model and plan; for savings, use your Android handset's built-in free WiFi tethering (where available), or your carrier's paid solution.

Head on over to TiPb for the full article.

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4 years ago

Sprint CEO: Phone shortages affecting 4G adoption

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Sprint Evo 4G

What good is a 4G network if you don't have more phones to run on it? That's the hand Sprint is currently playing and that has been briefly detailed in a story at the Wall Street Journal's website. The Macquarie Group tells WSJ that 300,000 Evo 4Gs have been sold, but the phone (again) is listed on Sprint's site as being unavailable, and one cannot sell what once does not have. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told the WSJ that "We thought we would have had more of a head start than we'll end up having."

Blamed for the shortages (including the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon) are the touchscreens, which are manufactured by Samsung. HTC has enlisted Sony to provide it with SLCD screens, which may help alleviate some of the shortage.

Meanwhile, Samsung just launched the Samsung Galaxy S line in the United States, spanning the four major carriers and two regionals, and we'll have to see how well it can keep up with demand there. [WSJ]

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4 years ago

Win a free Droid X from Android Central

Win a free Motorola Droid X

The Motorola Droid X (read our full review) finally comes out on Verizon this week. And to celebrate, we're giving one lucky reader a Droid X of his or her very own.

To win, all you have to do is leave a post in this thread in our Droid X forum and tell us why you think the Droid X is the hottest phone of the year. We're providing the phone -- you're on your own for Verizon service. (And you'll need to be in the U.S. for this one, obviously.)

The Droid X officially launches Thursday, and we'll announce our winner live on the Android Central Podcast, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday night. Good luck!

Win a free Droid X from Android Central!

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4 years ago

Fring-Skype relationship hits feud status as access pulled (updated)

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Fring-Skype

When last we saw Fring, the VOIP app was touting its popularity after an update to its iPhone client and how it had to "temporarily reduce support to Skype" because of it. Looks like there may be a bit more to this story, however, as this morning Fring took a major backhand to Skype, complaining that it's Skype that is not allowing the access.

But it gets a little weirder than that. On one had we have a pretty straightforward press release detailing Fring's side of things. And on the other is a pretty inflammatory post on Fring's blog that openly calls Skype "cowards" for "trying to muzzle the competition." (Also a line used by Fring's CEO in the press release.) That's a long way from last week, when things seemed more like a small technological bump.

We're hoping to get Skype's side of the story soon. We'll go out on a limb here and hope that this is a precursor for Skype shirking its Verizon exclusivity and finally bringing a proper app to the Android Market. But in the meantime, we're all going to have to sit back and watch this one unfold. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

Update: The plot thickens, as Skype just got back to us and tells us that removing access was all Fring's doing. Here's the quote:

“Skype has been in discussions with Fring regarding our belief that Fring is breaching our API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement. Skype is disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible but Fring’s decision to withdraw Skype functionality immediately was of its own choice. Skype encourages developers to build products that work with Skype in accordance with our various API licences. However, Skype will rigorously protect its brand and reputation and those companies that do not comply with our terms will be subject to enforcement.“

 Update 2: Here's Skype's blog post on the whole thing.

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4 years ago

MyTouch 3G Slide review

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T-Mobile's Android slider packs a punch

HTC MyTouch 3G Slide

The HTC MyTouch 3G Slide from T-Mobile USA is the Android smartphone that has seemed to fly under the radar.  Released at a time when Snapdragon processors and AMOLED screens are all the rage, the mid-range specs on the Slide disguise the performance and feel of this qwerty slider.  Packing its own flavor of the touted HTC Sense UI and running Android 2.1, the Slide was a phone I was itching to get my hands on and put it through the paces.  Hit the jump to see my impressions of this solid, but forgotten phone.

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4 years ago

Google unveils Android App Inventor, no coding skill required

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Android App Inventor

Ever wanted to create an Android app but just don't have the coding skills? Google's just greatly lowered the barrier for entry with the Android App Inventor. It's akin to Palm's Ares system (and we presume other development platforms? Hey, we're not coders, either) in that it's basically drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Hit a few buttons, and out spits an app.

A couple of worries about this:

  1. The Android Market is already flooded with hundreds (and likely thousands) of crappy apps. Let's call them crapps. And this is going to make it easier to make more crapps.
  2. This is bound to upset already established developers, right? (Let us know in the comments, folks.)
  3. Again, crapps. There's been a lot of chatter over the weekend about how the Market's closing in on 100,000 apps (according to sites like Androlib, anyway). And we're repeat what we have to say every time these milestone stories come up: There are apps, and there are crapps. We'd rather have 10,000 quality apps than 100,000 crapps. (And never mind that the total includes ringtones, keyboards, wallpapers, etc.)

We go back to a question that asked (by yours truly) of the Android Leadership at Google IO: Is the Market ever going to curated up front? Or will it still be up to use to wade our way through the craps? Google being a search company (and the whole openness thing, too), you can imagine which way that went. But we digress.

Let's give Android App Inventor a shot and see where it goes. Certainly the idea is good, and it's worked out well for Palm with Ares. Hit up the source link to find out more, and there's a pretty video after the break, too. [Google App Inventor]

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4 years ago

Sprint 4G goes live in 7 new markets

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Sprint 4G

Sprint announced it has flipped the magic switch and turned on their 4G network in  New York (Rochester and Syracuse); California (Merced and Visalia); Washington (Tri-Cities and Yakima); and Oregon (Eugene).  This lines up perfectly with the images leaked of their summer roadmap

Though some of us will probably never get any type of 4G service (*cough Jerry's house*), it's nice to see things look like they're right on schedule for the areas they have planned to cover in 2010.  Anybody out there seeing that sexy '4G network available' icon on their Evo 4G in any of these new cities?  Follow the break to see the full press release. [Sprint]

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