Headlines

4 years ago

What makes the Droid's screen so tough? Gorilla Glass, of course

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Gorilla Glass on the Motorola Droid

The Motorola Droid is, by far, an industrial-type phone. Solid in the hand, it just feels tough. And that's not by accident. While any glass screen can be cracked, the Droid's is less susceptible to scratches, thanks to its special "Gorilla Glass." We'll leave the science to the scientists. But it has something to do with ions. Here's how it was broken down to SmartPlanet:

Like many glasses used in these kinds of applications, Gorilla glass chemically strengthened. Glass is a brittle material. Brittle materials are extremely strong under compression but extremely weak under tension. When you chemically temper a glass, you immerse it in a salt bath and you stuff larger ions in all the surfaces and put them all under compression.

What’s unique about Gorilla Glass is that because of its inherent composition, it can allow those larger ions to penetrate the surface more deeply to increase the compression tolerance and tolerate deeper scratches.

So let's hear it for ions, everybody. [Gorilla Glass via Gizmodo]

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4 years ago

Quick App: Sygic Mobile Maps for Android

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Maybe you are one of the many who does not have Google Navigation, or perhaps you simply want an alternative. Sygic Mobile Maps may be just what you are looking for. It is a polished turn-by-turn GPS application that has some nice features.

  • Text-to-speech – voice guidance announcing the name of the next street or road.
  • Choose addresses straight from your contacts.
  • Music playback fades out smoothly so you can better hear the voice instructions.
  • Improved GPS lock.
  • Smooth position display as you follow your route.
  • Increased font size of street names and information bars for improved readability.
  • Voice guided gps navigation software and maps.
  • Easy installation process.

This is an application you need to install on your SD card, and it must be purchased directly from Sygic's website. The biggest negative is its price -- a hefty $90.

If you can get past that, you'll have yourself a pretty decent turn-by-turn GPS application for your Android device.

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4 years ago

SugarSync now streams desktop media

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SugarSync 2.1

Looking for yet another way to sync with your desktop or laptop computer? SugarSync is a longtime player in that department, and version 2.1 was just released, and it brings the ability to stream media from your desktop. Streaming music isn't limited to WiFi, either, but it will help the buffer rate.

SugarSync has a free 2GB option, and pricing starts at $4.99 a month/$49.99 a year for 30GB of storage, up to $24.99 a month/$249.99 a year for 250GB. Download the update in the Market, and hit up the Web site for the accompanying desktop software. [SugarSync]

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4 years ago

General Mobile DSTL1 and its dual SIM cards get detailed

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General Mobile DSTL1

Manufacturer General Mobile has unleashed the DSTL1 Imaginary, an Android 2.0-powered phone with a little trick up its sleeve. You might remember the DSTL1 when we spotted it at Mobile World Congress in February, running  Specs of the phone are:

  • Android 2.0 Eclair (upgraded from 1.5)
  • A Marvell PXA 310 processor running at 624 MHz
  • 4gigs of storage, 256MB ROM/128MB RAM, storage card up to 16GB
  • GSM 900/1800/1900 GPRS/EDGE
  • 240x400 WQVGA touchscreen
  • WiFi b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (with stereo support)
  • FM radio
  • Dimensions: 112x54x16mm
  • Weight: 135 grams
  • 5MP camera with autofocus and flash
  • 1200 mAh battery

And that little trick? Dual SIM cards. It's hardly the first phone to have such, but it's one of the first Android devices to sport the feature. Bad news is we don't expect to see these in the U.S. anytime soon, and there's no 3G on board. Otherwise, a solid middle-of-the-road Android 2.0 phone.

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4 years ago

Google Explains Their Meaning Of 'Open'

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Google has an infamous saying, "Don't Be Evil" which is incredibly simple yet loaded with layers of meaning. Obviously, it's a dig at other companies who only make profit-based decisions. It's also a company motto that makes common consumers believe that Google is an all-giving, all-good type of company. And for some, the very basis of reminding yourself to not be evil means you're inherently evil. The slogan can mean so many things to so many different people and perspectives. 

Android plays a pretty big role in that "Don't Be Evil" campaign, it's a desktop class smartphone OS that is open source. In fact, one of the most attractive aspects of Android is obviously its open source nature. Companies such as HTC or Motorola can tinker with Android's open source and layer a completely fresh UI on top of it with no argument from Google.

But because of some recent questionable behavior from Google regarding its 'openness', Google felt the need to explain their stance on being open and conveniently remind us that Google is the largest open source contributer in the world. Basically, they're still not evil. Google explains the meaning of open in a lengthy blog post that's certainly worth the read but here are the pertinent Android related nuggets:

When we open source our code we use standard, open Apache 2.0 licensing, which means we don't control the code. Others can take our open source code, modify it, close it up and ship it as their own. Android is a classic example of this, as several OEMs have already taken the code and done great things with it. There are risks to this approach, however, as the software can fragment into different branches which don't work well together (remember how Unix for workstations devolved into various flavors — Apollo, Sun, HP, etc.). This is something we are working hard to avoid with Android.

It's nice to see that while Google is focused on remaining open source for Android, they're still conscious of the fact that the software may fragment and are taking steps to prevent it from happening. The fragmentation of Android is easily our biggest concern for Android in 2010 and we're hopeful that Google will deliver.

What do you guys think? Can Google be truly 'open' about Android and keep Android from fragmenting?

[official google blog]

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4 years ago

The Year 2009 Explained Through Google Wave

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We'll be honest here, we have Google Wave but we have no idea how to use it. Luckily, more talented folks have gotten a handle on Google Wave and have decided to summarize the year 2009 by using one of Google's more ambitious applications. We get all the highlights, from Obama to Balloon Boy, to the people we happily ridiculed and sadly said goodbye to--2009 was simply a momentous and unforgettable year.

But if we can take anything from this year in review video, it's "dang that was so cool, let's figure out how to use this thing for 2010!". And we guess, that's the way Google would want it. 2010 is going to be huge for Google and of course, for Android. We can't wait.

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4 years ago

Some more Nexus One pics surface, along with some video

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Nexus One

It'd been a little while, and I guess we were due. So here are a few more pictures of the Nexus One, aka Google phone. And along for the ride this time is a brief video. Peep that after the break. [@djrobrob via TechCrunch]

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4 years ago

Seesmic Twitter client updated, gets support for lists, searches, sharing

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Seesmic for AndroidSeesmic for Android

Seesmic's Android Twitter client just got an update. New in Version 1.1 are:

  • Searches: Full search support, including searching for Tweets, trending topics, create save and delete searches.
  • Share: Share links, photos or videos through Seesmic. Share something "via Seesmic" and a new tweet will be created with your content.
  • Lists: View and manage your Twitter lists, including adding new lists and unfollowing others.

The update is available now in the Android Market. [Seesmic]

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4 years ago

webOS Hands On Video, Smartphone Round Robin

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To start the second week of the Smartphone Round Robin, we're taking a look at Palm's new webOS by way of the Pre and the Pixi. If you're unfamiliar with the story of Palm here's my quick summary: they were once dying, the Pre & webOS saved them, and they now have a good chance of surviving and maybe even thriving.

And that's pretty much all I know. Of course, I know that webOS is very big on multitasking and that the OS is quite beautiful (have you seen the fonts!) but I'm definitely going to need some help. I've started a 'get to know webOS' thread over at the PreCentral.net Forums and am sure the Pre and Pixi users there will help me out. On another note, Matthew Miller of Nokia Experts has Android this week, so if you'll be so kind to help him out in our Forums, it'd be much appreciated. You might even win an Android smartphone of your choice!

So be sure to check out my hands-on video of webOS after the jump. The Pre and Pixi are both such great devices and I'm sure I'll love my time with them! Stay tuned!

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4 years ago

Your Christmas Present: Official Android Apparel

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If you want to profess your love for the best open source smartphone OS on the market, what better way to do it than by wearing an Official Android T-Shirt? There are currently two styles: the one above with the cute Android robot walking a dog (don't question why, it's just awesome) and another with a side-printed Android logo. They're both fairly affordable, $13.95 and $10.75 respectively, and are available at the Official Google Store. If you're into matching your headgear, there's also a side-printed Android hat available.

We know we can't be the only one geeky enough to buy this. Who else is getting it? Hit the link to check out all the styles!

[official google store via phandroid]

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4 years ago

Nook Getting 1.1 Software Update, It's Faster

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The Barnes & Noble Nook just received a software update that brings the firmware version up to 1.1.  Basically, reboot your Nook to get the download to start or you can manually install it. Since the Nook has already been rooted, it's a little surprising that 1.1 didn't break root access, we guess the cat and mouse game has yet to start. According to nookdevs, it is safe to update your Nook to 1.1, you'll still have root access and still can root the Nook at 1.1.

Engadget says that the Nook is faster and basically improved all around. Page turning, the navigation screen, and entire experience is speedier. After using the Nook, the one thing that disappointed us was the speed, hopefully 1.1 really does fix that.

[via engadget]

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4 years ago

Motorola Opus One specs leak out

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Motorola Opus One

We've already seen the Motorola Opus One reviewed on video, erm, guerrilla-style. Now come some leaked specs And it's mostly a middle-of-the-road device. Here goes:

  • 3.1-inch HVGA (320×480) capacitive touchscreen
  • 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • WiFI b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • microSD card slot
  • 2.5mm headset jack
  • Home, Menu, Back, Speaker buttons are capacitive buttons with haptic feedback
  • iDEN PTT & PTX
  • Android location-based services, integrated into the iDEN GPS engine
  • “Enterprise email”
  • 58x118mm (no word on thickness)
  • 100g weight
  • 512MB Flash / 256MB of RAM
  • 64k and 128k iDEN SIM card support
  • A-GPS
  • Motorola dual-mic technology noise-canceling for noisy environments
  • Flash Lite v3.1.x
  • A "Zeus" processor.

There you have it. The Opus One likely won't knock anybody's socks off, but neither should the pricetag. We're still looking for it eventually with Nextel. [via BGR]
 

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4 years ago

Another Xperia X10 hits the FCC, this time with AT&T 3G bands

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 take 2

What's that, you say? There's another Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 at the FCC? And this one sports the proper 3G bands for AT&T, Bell, Telus and Rogers? (Not to mention EDGE coverage.) Sho' 'nuff.

This isn't that surprising. When SE released the Windows Mobile-based Xperia X1, it did so in two versions: The X1 (outside the U.S.) and X1a (U.S.-only). And what do the X1 and X1a still have in common? Neither was picked up by a U.S. carrier, leaving the hard-core (and deep-pocketed) shelling out $800 for a nice piece of hardware with a so-so UI.

Will that happen with the X10? Or will it wind up on, say, T-Mobile? Stay tuned, folks.

[FCC via Engadget]

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4 years ago

Nokia Experts Round Robin, Moto Droid Cases, Palm Pre to HTC Hero, Weather Apps

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From the Forums is a great way for you, our readers, to see the hottest topics being discussed. But you must be a registered member and becoming a member is a simple process. So if you have not already already done so, head on over and register now!

See you on the forums!

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4 years ago

Motorola reportedly buying TV time during the 2010 Super Bowl

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Motorola at Superbowl XLIV

It should really come as no surprise to anyone that Motorola is reportedly buying advertising time for the 2010 Super Bowl, given the gigantic TV push of late. And it's a pretty good guess we'll see more of the Droid, even though the content of the ad is not yet known. Stay tuned on Feb. 7 in Miami, people. [via Electronista]

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