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4 years ago

Unmodified Holo theme now a requirement for devices with Android Market access


A lot of work has gone into the UI for Ice Cream Sandwich, and Google has decided that manufacturers who want to have access to the Android Market will now have to let it shine -- the Holo theme, in its unmodified form, is now a requirement for devices that wish to use the Android Market. 

Calm down, calm down -- manufacturer skins like Blur and Sense will still be around. (You were worried about them, we know.) But menus, widgets, and settings dialogs will now have to follow the standards set up in Android 4.0 and above.

This means a lot to app developers.  Having a standard set of UI elements to draw from makes applications look and feel more integrated into the operating system, and now that everyone will have to use the same base they don't have to worry about coding their own.  Adam Powell, Android framework engineer, says:

Before Android 4.0 the variance in system themes from device to device could make it difficult to design an app with a single predictable look and feel. We set out to improve this situation for the developer community in Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.

Nice work, fellows.  The Holo UI is unique, and stunning.  Let it shine!

Source: Android Developers Blog

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4 years ago

Google acquires 217 more patents from IBM, beefing up portfolio for the inevitable tech Armageddon


According to an update at the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office), Google acquired 188 granted patents and 29 pending patents from the granddaddy of things that go beep, IBM, on Dec. 31, 2011.  This is just three months after Google purchased over 1,000 patents from Big Blue back in September.  Not all these patents are for their mobile division (Google still does this little thing called search), but their are more than a few that cover things your Android phone or tablet (as well as other platforms) can do like web page rendering and VoIP.  We'll let interested parties check out the source link for a more detailed list.

No financial details have been provided, but we imagine it is far cheaper than lawyer and court fees for the upcoming patent meltdown that's sure to hit had they not purchased the patents outright.  Google seems to be preparing for the day when it all hits the fan as well as licensing and purchasing new technology to make their offerings a bit better. 

Source: SEO by the Sea

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime rooted -- again -- but you'll have to wait for the method [Updated -- or not]


The latest firmware for the ASUS Transformer Prime blocks the root method that we found for the pre-production model, but the folks at AndIRC team have discovered a new method for rooting the first quad-core Android device.  This will go rather nicely with the bootloader unlock method ASUS has promised, making the Prime nice and easy to work with for the hackers independent Android developers out there.

There's not a lot to say just yet, other than a method was found but it will not be released until after Jan. 12 -- when Ice Cream Sandwich (tentatively) begins to roll out for the Prime.  Agree or disagree with this practice as you will, but there's not much to be done about it, other than plug it in to your computer and work it out yourself.  Let's hope that the method works with the ICS update, and my advice is not to take any updates until we know for sure if you plan on rooting your Prime.  When more is known, we'll be sure to tell you.

Update: They decided to release the method after all, according to the @andirc Twitter account:

@androidcentral I released it, after deciding we would likely be safe with ICS.

You can find more info at RootzWiki

Source: XDA-Developers

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4 years ago

ASUS says bootloader unlock tool is coming, Ice Cream Sandwich update starts next week, GPS is hard, y'all


ASUS this morning teased some news regarding the locked and encrypted bootloader on its quad-core Transformer Prime tablet -- and it's good news. A bootloader unlock tool indeed is on the way.

As to why the bootloader's encrypted in the first place, ASUS says it was done for DRM -- digital rights management -- purposes.

The reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely.

If you do choose to unlock the Transformer Prime's bootloader, you'll be voiding your warranty and all that jazz.

And in even better news, the anticipated update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will begin to push out starting Jan. 12. It'll be a worldwide over-the-air update.

Also, ASUS addressed concerns over the GPS on the Transformer Prime, saying the metallic unibody construction can essentially lead it to not perform as well as "a professional GPS device." We'll just let that hang out there by itself for a bit.

The full statement is after the break.

Source ASUS Facebook page

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4 years ago

A.I.type needs testers for its Floating Split Keyboard for tablets


Keyboard developer A.I.type hit us up this morning in search of a few testers for its upcoming "Floating Split Keyboard for Tablets." It's got all of the features you know and love from A.I.type Keyboard Plus, including its predition engine. It also has context-aware autocorrect, built-in skins and more customizations. 

The really sexy part is that doesn't take up a whole lot of screen space and can "float" anywhere on the screen. Move it, resize it, do whatever you want. It'll also support more than 30 languages -- all of which can take advantage of the split keyboard. And nine languages are supported by the prediction engine -- Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Frensh, Turkish and English.

To sign up for the closed beta, just drop A.I.type a note here. Tell 'em Android Central sent ya.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's "New Year, New Phone" sale will slash Android prices for three days only


If the holiday season didn't manage to bait you into a new phone, this might be your chance: T-Mobile is having a three-day "New Year, New Phone" sale this weekend only, beginning on Friday, January 6.  Sure, there are mail-in rebates involved, and you'll have to make a monthly payment ranging from $10 to $20 on the device itself, but a $49.99 down payment on a Galaxy S II or an Amaze 4G is hard to pass up. Other Android devices pegged at the $49.99 sweet spot include the Sensation 4G, the myTouch 4G, the Springboard, and the G-Slate. The source link has a full list of devices on sale, along with the corresponding mail-in rebates and monthly payment information. 

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

ASUS speaks out over Transformer Prime bootloader brouhaha, says to relax


A bit of a stink has errupted over the weekend as more and more ASUS Transformer Primes finally started getting into users' hands, and said users discovered the bootloader is locked down tight.  That really shouldn't be a surprise, and the suggestion that ASUS partook in false advertising for not mentioning the bootloader on the box is, at least, ridiculous. (For what its worth, the review unit we received wasn't locked down.)

But fear not, intrepid tinkerers. On its Facbeook page, ASUS has said it's got an official statement coming up. "And in the meantime, relax." That's probably a good sign.

Stay tuned.

Source: Facebook

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4 years ago

Wifi-only HTC Flyer gets its Honeycomb update


HTC a month ago said the Honeycomb update was finally coming soon to the HTC Flyer tablet. And today the Taiwanese manufacturer is making good on that promise, as the update has begun to push out. You'll be updated to Android 3.2, and we're already hearing reports of more smoothness, the disappearance of wallpaper lag and other overall coolness.

The question at this point is whether we'll see the Flyer go beyond Gingerbread and get Ice Cream Sandwich anytime in 2012. Even money, we'd bet.

More: HTC Flyer forums
Thanks to Logan and everyone else who sent this in! 

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4 years ago

Wifi-only Motorola Xoom getting prepped for another 'project'


It's project time again for the Motorola Xoom, according to a few tips worming their way into our inbox. The one the Verizon Xoom got at the end of November wasn't the Ice Cream Sandwich update everybody's on pins and needles for. Will this one finally be the Android 4.0 upgrade? We'll see. Here's the e-mail that's going out from Moto:


Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are preparing a project
for owners of the "Google Experience Device" version of the WiFi-only
Motorola Xoom. (This is the U.S. version only.) If you own this particular
model, we would like to invite you to participate.

Click this link to take a short enrollment survey for this project. Please
note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners'
Forums to take part. We have recently moved our forums communities to a new
site, and YOU MUST RE-REGISTER to be considered a member. Please visit our
new site and complete your registration update if you have not done so
already. Be sure to fill out the MFN opt-in information on the new site.
This is a confidential project under the terms of the Motorola Feedback
Network. Do not post any details or information about this project on any
public sites.

Thanks -- please understand that project start times are always fluid. We ask
for your patience if you register but don't hear from us right away.

- Matt
Motorola Owners' Forums
Motorola Feedback Network

Pins and needles, folks. Pins and needles!

More: Motorola Xoom forums; thanks, C and jediman, for the tips!

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime getting a speed boost with latest update


Ye olde inbox this morning is alerting us to an update headed into the ASUS Tranformer Prime. The quad-core tablet, which is still awaiting its promised Ice Cream Sandwich Update, is now at software version And in addition to some overall increased snappiness, we're hearing that the camera's launching much faster as well. Seeing any other improvements? Let's hear 'em!

More: Transformer Prime forums; thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Also: Read our Transformer Prime Review


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4 years ago

'7-inch ASUS EeePad' image appears, rumored for CES unveiling


ASUS has seen considerable success with its 10-inch EeePad Transformer line, and now the Taiwanese manufacturer could be set to move into the 7-inch tablet space, if a newly-leaked promotional image is any indication. The shot, obtained by Italian site Notebook Italia, shows what seems to be a smaller Android-powered ASUS tablet with a slightly different design to earlier EeePad models. Most notably, the presence of docking connectors at the bottom suggests the possibility of a portrait-orientation keyboard dock, if such an add-on is offered. No firm information is available about specs for the mysterious device, however the possibility of  the Transformer Prime's beastly Tegra 3 chip powering this thing already has us salivating.

The source also suggests that ASUS' rumored 7-incher will make its debut at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, which should come as little surprise considering it's barely a week away at this point.

Source: Notebook Italia (Italian)

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4 years ago

This is a picture of a Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo


Forgive us for not being too terribly excited about a render of the Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo on it. But the Galaxy Note, despite its huge-ass 5.3-inch screen size, has garnered a surprising amount of interest here in the States, and this one you see before you here has UCLA featured on Google Maps. Interesting. (Check out our full review if you've yet to get your hands on one.)

But what we're really interested in is official pricing and a release date. If we had to guess, we'd put even money on seeing it in a week at AT&T's developer conference in Las Vegas (we'll be there, of course) on the eve of CES.

Anyhoo, here's a render of a Samsung Galaxy Note with an AT&T logo and a mention of UCLA. Don't think you'll be able to squint much more out of it, but feel free to try.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

HTC Jetstream receives custom CWM based recovery and permaroot


While development for the HTC Jetstream has been pretty slim since its release that's not to say the device has been abandoned totally by developers and now, some new doors have been opened. DooMLoRD has created a custom CWM based recovery and permaroot for the HTC Jetstream and made it available for download.

The recovery is still in testing so feedback is needed. Plus, like all things of this nature -- caution is advised should you put it to use but if you're fine with that then you can head on over to XDA, grab the download and check out the full list of changes and features built in.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

MIPS NOVO7 mini review -- the 'first' Ice Cream Sandwich tablet


But how far did you think $99 would get you?

Ice Cream Sandwich, and a 7-inch tablet -- two things that (for me) that go great together.  We got our 7-inch Ainol NOVO7 tablet fresh off the boat, and we're having a look at "The first Android 4.0 tablet in the world."  We really don't expect much from these no-name tablets -- especially one that retails at less than $100, but the intrigue of Ice Cream Sandwich running natively on one made it too hard to resist.

Hit the break, and let's have a look.

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4 years ago

Toshiba Thrive 32GB hits rock bottom $300 price; Santa has buyer's remorse


You might want to look away if you just purchased a Honeycomb tablet for Christmas: has the 32GB Toshiba Thrive on sale today for a mere $299.99, a full $180 cheaper than the list price you'll find at Best Buy, Amazon, and other retailers. The 10-inch, Tegra 2-powered tablet is no slouch, as we discovered in our review back in August, and while it may not be the prettiest Android tablet out there today, it's hard to pass up for a mere three Benjamins. Hit the source link before midnight tonight to grab one and if anybody sees Santa, break the news gently.


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