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3 years ago

EB01 Froyo for the Verizon Fascinate leaked, rooted and ready to try

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No announcements have been made, and no dates have been confirmed, but it appears that owners (points to self) of Verizon's Samsung Fascinate may soon (finally!) get their share of Froyo.

Just last week a leaked version, dubbed DL30, made the rounds, and we wasted no time in helping you join in on the fun. Alas, a week is an eternity in the world of Android, and an anonymous source slipped us a new build, dubbed EB01.

I got to put this build through its paces and see how well it performs and stacks up in terms of benchmark scores. A few highlights:

  • All the things you'd expect from Froyo including installation of apps on the Fascinates SD card; the latest Gtalk and Gmail apps; and full Adobe flash.
  • Bing is still the default search engine; however, Verizon has thrown in Google Search for good measure. Google Maps and Nav must still be downloaded separately.
  • Customize the Fascinate with one of 3 system fonts styles: Choco Cooky, Cool Jazz, and Rosemary (additional fonts available for download)
  • Visual upgrades to icons and new options for controlling Mobile Data & Auto Rotation in the notification panel.
  • Samsung's Media Hub allows you to download movies and TV shows.
  • Take screen shots by holding back and power.

Will this be the official Froyo update? I can't say for sure, but it appears about as final as Froyo gets. If you can't wait any longer, head on into the forums, where forums adviser Adrynalyne has packaged it up so you can share in the fun. Video and links to the unofficial update are after the break.

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3 years ago

Honeycomb gets high performance 3D with Renderscript

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We know a lot of new features are coming with Honeycomb, and many of them will be behind the scenes to the end user.  New APIs, and changes to existing APIs (Application Programming Interface) make things easier to program, run faster while using less resources, and bring new features.  For the end user, this means a better Android experience. 

One of the important new API's in Honeycomb will be Renderscript.  It's Google's new 3D rendering engine, and by the looks of things it's going to be a treat.  Renderscript uses developer friendly tools and methods to compile 3D rendering commands into scripts that the a device can run as native code.  Your device can then run these commands the best way possible, using either the GPU core(s), or the CPU core(s).  A huge bonus, and maybe the best part of the new API, is that high-end hardware can handle much of this on the dedicated graphics processor, while not so high-end equipment can process parts on the CPU.  This means one set of code will run on many different hardware configurations.  Great examples of Renderscript in action are the new YouTube and Books app used in Honeycomb (see them in action here).

Googler and Android engineer R. Jason Sams gives a nice overview of what Renderscript is on the Android Developers blog, and promises an in-depth and more technical presentation soon.  Just like most things on the Android Dev blog, it's a great read for Android nuts.  Hit the source link to read it, and after the break we have a video of Renderscript at work, captured directly from an Android device using HDMI out. [Android Developers]

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3 years ago

Redbox app lets you reserve a movie before you hit the kiosk

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Two thinks I hate to have happen when I'm at the convenience store -- One is they run out of Funyuns. The other is I get to the Redbox movie rental kiosk and find the manly action movie I wanted to watch sensitive chick flick the wife demanded has already been rented.

No more.

Redbox has released its official app that will let you find the nearest kiosk (maps are included, natch) and reserve a movie so it'll be there when you are. You can search by genere as well and get basic info about the movie. Pretty slick, actually. Market link's after the break.

Now if only it could do something about that Funyun supply. Thanks, Jese!

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3 years ago

LG Revolution completes first VoLTE call

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Verizon wireless announced today that they have completed the first ever voice call over LTE, using a pair of Android powered LG Revolution smartphones.  Rumors have been flying about the phone launching with voice and data over LTE, but we can stop those right now -- Verizon will be using 2011 to optimize the process, and "commercial services" will become available in 2012.

While on test calls, simultaneous voice and data was tested with online chat, web browsing, and using the Android Market. There will be further demos at Mobile World Congress, and we'll be sure to have a look. 

From all reports, this looks like a very successful test and things are pushing forward -- with Android leading the way.  Read the full press release after the break. [Verizon]

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3 years ago

INQ's Cloud Touch Facebook phone gets brief hands-on, uses Spotify for music

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The Facebook phone lives! It's been a long-winded rumor, of course, most recently with INQ Mobile sending hardware through the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and now there's video of the phone -- also called the Cloud Touch -- in action.

At its heart, as you'll see in TechCrunch's brief look, is an Android-based phone that has deep integration into Facebook and Spotify taking over the music-playing duties. There's some serious widgetry going on, with hooks for Facebook chat as well. Of course, Spotify means you won't be seeing it in the United States at first, through they're hoping to get it here after a May launch overseas.

Not sure how sold we are on the idea still, but the implementation doesn't look horrible. Check out the video after the break. [TechCrunch]

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3 years ago

HP TouchPad now official, will it woo you from Honeycomb tablets?

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Over at Pre Central today HP unveiled their brand new TouchPad running webOS. Although we're rather XOOM focused here there is no denying the new TouchPad is fine piece of hardware. A 9.7-inch display at 1024x768, weighs a little more than 1.5 pounds and has a dual-core Qualcomm 8660 Snapdragon processor at 1.2GHZ. All of that backed up with 1GB of RAM and comes in 16GB or 32GB's. Just in case that wasn't enough to tickle your fancy, you'll also be getting a front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calling and a 6300 mAh battery. Overall, we're pretty impressed with what HP did with the TouchPad. The specs and hardware look great but we're waiting to see more. Although, we'll be waiting for summer to hear pricing and availability.

HP didn't stop at the TouchPad announcement though. They did go on to announce the HP Veer and the new Pre 3 all of which was in addition to what was most likely the most unexpected announcement. Yes, HP is dedicated to working on a complete ecosystem with webOS and they will indeed be working toward bringing it to PC's in the near future. Not a lot of details were outlined in that area but it's certainly something interesting to ponder. The Palm name may be dead but we're liking what HP has done thus far with webOS. Head on over to the source link for more details and highlights. [Pre Central]

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3 years ago

Dropcam now available for Android -- we go hands-on!

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Let's not mince words here: If you're in the market for some basic -- and extremely easy to use -- webcam monitoring, you need to check out Dropcam. It's been available for some time now for the iPhone (and on a desktop web browser), and now it's come for Android.

The Dropcam folks sent us one of their Dropcam Echo cameras to test out. How did it fare? We'll discuss after the break.

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3 years ago

Nexus S coming to Vodafone worldwide in black and white

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Vodafone has announced that it'll soon be selling the Nexus S on contract in 24 countries. The carrier will be offering the Nexus S in the original black, as well as the previously rumored white.

Vodafone was one of Google's main carrier partners for the Nexus One, and the recent announcement will make it the first carrier to offer the Nexus S subsidized on contract. So far the phone has only been available unlocked at retail in the US and UK.

The carrier has yet to announce any prices or launch dates, but says the Nexus S will be arriving on its network "soon." Potential customers can sign up to register interest on their local Vodafone site. [Vodafone]

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3 years ago

American Airlines app now available in the Android Market

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If the airline you frequent flying doesn't have an app to help make your trips a little easier, you might want to look into changing carriers. (We kid! But not really, and here's a list of handy travel apps.) That said, American Airlines just took off (see what we did there?) in the Android Market. With everything from a mobile boarding pass, standby status lists and even a Sudoku game built-in American Airlines has covered a lot of bases with this release. Download can be found after the break. Be sure to grab it before your next red-eye. [American Airlines]

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3 years ago

Did a WiFi only Motorola XOOM just appear at the FCC?

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We've been discussing the possibility of a WiFi only Motorola XOOM showing up for quite some time now and although Motorola gave us a partial confirmation, that was seemingly only for Latin America. We're still looking for the North American branch of Motorola to come out and say one exists and will be sold here. Although, we may not necessarily need them to considering what is now showing up at the FCC. As described in the documents, Motorola submitted the following:

This equipment operates in the 2.4 GHz band functioning as Bluetooth and WiFi (part 15.247) as well as in the 5GHz UNII sub-bands I & IV non-DFS WiFi (part 15.407). The unit may also be connected to a computer via a USB connection. (Part 15B Computing Device Peripheral).

That sure sounds like a XOOM to us. Couple it with the fact the SARS report is in-line with that of the originally posted XOOM and we're drawing a blank as to what else it could be. There is actually two reports showing the same ID, the other shows it as a tablet. Hit the break for that image. Share your thoughts in the comments folks. [via FCC] Thanks, Tom!

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