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3 years ago

Saygus Vphone receives Verizon certification

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Remember the Vphone? Revealed way back in 2009, Saygus promised that the Vphone would be the first consumer phone to pass Verizon's Open Device Initiative (ODI) certification, promising revolutionary features such as video calling over 3G, Remote backup and restore for data, and up to a three year warranty.  The phone won several design awards at CES, and the company promised that the device would be out sometime during 2010.  Then, it disappeared.  That is, until today.

Sascha Segan, over at PC Magazine, broke the news to day that the Saygus Vphone finally received certification through Verizon's Open Network Initiative and would start selling the handset "soon." The phone's specifications include:

  • 3.5" 800x480 screen
  • 'Best in class' slide-out keyboard
  • 806Mhz processor
  • 256MB SDRAM
  • 512MB Flash
  • "Android OS" - Though the version number isn't listed in this release, the last known version it ran was 2.2 aka Froyo.
  • 5MP rear camera with VGA front-facing camera
  • USB host port
  • USB modem capable

In a market dominated by 4"+ black slabs and dual-core processors, the Vphone won't win any awards in the spec race.  It's important to note that this is the first (and currently only) android device to receive Verizon's ODI certification.  What this means is that while the device itself will run on Verizon's network, it won't be officially "supported" by them, meaning it should ship without CityID, Vcast, and the other applications Verizon puts on their other devices. This isn't a Nexus device, but it's the closest thing Verizon users have seen to a stock Android device since the original Droid.

On Monday, we wake up to see that Google is buying Motorola, and on Tuesday we discover that the Vphone will actually see the light of day.  What will we wake up to tomorrow?

Source: PC Mag.  More: Verizon, Saygus

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3 years ago

HTC Ruby may be the HTC Amaze 4G when it launches

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The HTC Ruby that we've seen a leaked a few times may very well debut as the HTC Amaze 4G on T-Mobile -- maybe even on October 26 according to a leaked T-Mobile flyer.  A tipster let the fellas over at pocketnow know about the retail name, and the fact that HTC has filed for trademark protection for it points to it being spot on.  The Amaze 4G has some killer specs:

  • 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU
  • 4.3 inch qHD display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP rear shooter with dedicated hardware keys for both still and video capture

It's one we're looking forward to seeing, as I'm sure more than a few of you guys are too.  Is is October yet?

Source: pocketnow

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3 years ago

LinkedIn revamps their Android app - Faster, Simpler, and Better

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For some business users LinkedIn is a vital resource and in an effort to bring their online experience to the mobile environment, LinkedIn has gone ahead and revamped their mobile application. The new update, aside from getting a visibly better UI also has some great new features baked into it.

  • Updates: View updates from your network and top news from LinkedIn Today
  • Inbox: You can view your invitations and messages in one place
  • You: Access your profile, connections, share updates, and even more in the future
  • Groups & More: Browse and interact with your groups, as well as build your network through our People You May Know feature

While the previous version worked just fine, the new layout here and added features make the whole application overall just all that more functional -- if you're a LinkedIn user, make sure you grab the update.

Source: LinkedIn

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3 years ago

Android App Review: FriendCaster

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With all of the hubbub about how poorly Facebook's app for Android functions, I went on a hunt. A lot of people (both in comments here and on the Market) talked about using FriendCaster as a superior alternative, so I started my search there.

As you can no doubt see, the interface is strikingly similar to the traditional Facebook app. That's not a bad thing, as it keeps everything nice and familiar, which is what I was hoping for. The news feed is just about what you'd expect, and getting from screen to screen to comment or like is as simple as a tap or a long-press.

There's also the requisite "Places" option, (named Checkin here), that allows you to find places via GPS or coarse location, and also tag friends.

One of the features I was most impressed with was the picture viewing. While viewing pictures, the picture will take up your entire screen, by default, and there's a nice, slide-to-move dynamic that is very Android, and very cool. You can keep track of where you are in an album by looking at the string of dots at the top of the screen. The solid dot is where you're at, the empty dots are all of the other pictures.

There's also a strong settings menu, filled with all sorts of notifications options. I learned (by accident) that when someone "Likes" one of your posts, FriendCaster gives you a popup on your homescreen, instead of an icon in the notification bar. It's real-time (something not readily available on the Android version), so that's always a plus.

There's also a setting for tablet-sized screens that comes built into the app, so you don't need to worry about getting yet another app (or waiting for Facebook to come around and do it themselves).

Where FriendCaster falters, I think, is the price. There's a free version in the Market that's ad-supported as well as a Pro version for $4.99. The Pro version is definitely good, but unless you absolutely abhor the stock Facebook app, pushing five dollars seems a little steep to feed your Facebook addiction.

At any rate, more pictures and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

ViewPad 10Pro by Viewsonic whets both Windows 7 and Froyo appetites

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Viewsonic has unveiled its latest tablet, the dual-OS ViewPad 10Pro. Under the hood you’ll find Android 2.3 Gingerbread Android 2.2 Froyo along with Windows 7, both powered by the brand new 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Z670 processor and 2 GB RAM. The ViewPad 10Pro comes equipped with 10.1 inch screen at 1024x600 resolution, 1.3 MP front camera (nothing in the back), full HDMI out, and docking station support. It’ll come with two price points when it hits store shelves later this month: $600 for a 32 GB SSD hard drive and Windows 7 Professional, or $500 for 16 GB and Windows 7 Home Premium, each with micro SD support for up to 32 GB. Pretty powerful specs to be driving Froyo, though coupled with Windows 7, we’re dying to see how it performs. Hit the source link for Viewsonic’s product page with full specs and links to purchase.

Source: Viewsonic

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3 years ago

Verizon announces new $20 data plan for DC, MD, and VA

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Verizon has announced that they will begin offering a new $20/300MB data plan option for subscribers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia for any 3G or LTE smartphones.  The plan is promotional, and will only be offered from Aug. 18 through Sep. 30.  Nobody likes the idea of tiered data plans, but for many the biggest issue was that there was no option that saved money, even though the new plans were described as such.  It appears that Verizon is considering a low cost, low use option for those that need one.  Personally, I think it was held off just long enough to make me eat my own words, but I've been known to wear a tinfoil hat from time to time.  Well played, Verizon!

In all seriousness, it's a great idea to offer a cheaper plan for those transitioning from a feature phone to a smartphone, or those that use Wifi all day.  With this plan, users will have 300MB a month, and if they go over they automatically are billed for another 300MB at the same $20 rate.  While not for everybody, it's great to see another option.  The full press release is after the break.

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3 years ago

Firefox for Android reaches version 6, brings performance enhancements and a visual refresh

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The fellows at Mozilla have updated Firefox for Android to Version 6, and it comes with a huge changelog full of fixes, improvements, and features.  Things like a visual update for phones running Gingerbread, better right-to-left language support, and adjustment of page element locations and sizes when using on a tablet.  We won't list each individual change here, but they're available at the source link.  There's also over 160 add-ons now available, ranging from Ad-blocking to themeing with personas.  With the same rendering engine as the desktop version, Firefox mobile can handle pages with complicated scripts better than the stock Android browser, or other browsers based on stock.  Not that anyone would want to, but it's close to the point where we could use our system and write blog posts with it.

Firefox mobile is shaping up nicely, and if you haven't had a look lately, you really should.  Download link is after the break, for devices running Android 2.0 and higher.

Source: Mozilla

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik hired by Samsung

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Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik has been hired by tech giant Samsung, and the Internet (at least the Android-centric portions of it) are ablaze with the news.  Steve is one of the biggest names in the Android hacking scene, and if you don't use CyanogenMod on your phone, chances are you know someone who does.  Of course news like this gets everyone all fluttered, and a race to blog about it was on.  We got the news last night, too. 

We also realized that Steve isn't interested in making a big fuss over this.  He said his work with Samsung will have nothing to do with CyanogenMod, and that should be that, right? But the hype machine is not to be stopped, apparently. Congrats on your new job, Steve.  Samsung is a great company to work for, we think you'll fit in well.

That said, it should not go unmentioned that one person does not a software team make (just as CM comprises a number of talented coders). For every "amateur" developer who gets hired or promoted (or just changes jobs), there are a whole lot of people just as talented who aren't in the spotlight.  If any of you see one of us from the AC team out and about, give us a yell so we can buy you a beer or two.

As for CyanogenMod, work will continue, even if Steve doesn't have as much time to dedicate to it. Again, it's a community project, which a big reason why we like it, and why it's as good as it is.

 

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3 years ago

HTC sues Apple for patent infringement

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HTC has sued Apple for infringing on three patents owned by the Taiwanese handset maker. HTC has  traditionally played the victim as both Apple and Microsoft have both sued the company for patent infringement.

This comes one day after Google announced the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, arming the tech giant with a large patent portfolio of its own, which it said will be used to defend its partners.

This is just another chapter in a long saga of patent wars that likely will not be resolved anytime soon. Stay tuned for more info.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Samsung Celox, an LTE-toting Galaxy phone, captured on camera

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Don't hyperventilate just yet, as this one is clearly branded for SK Telecom (Korea), but it just might give us an idea of what a Verizon (or AT&T) version could look like.  The rumored specs sound delicious -- 4.5 inch Super AMOLED plus screen, 1.5GHz Snapdragon, front and rear cameras, 1GB of RAM and LTE. 

Yes, Snapdragon.  Would seeing a Snapdragon CPU sour you on the LTE enabled Galaxy S II?  Or would the screen and network speed be enough to keep you interested?  Of course, none of this is set in stone, and officially there is no LTE next-generation Samsung phone in the works.  We'll have to see how it all plays out.

Source: Ameblo (Japanese); via Droid-Life

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