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4 years ago

10-inch Acer Iconia A200 hits Jan. 15 for $329

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Ice Cream Sandwich update available in mid-February

Acer's looking to make a dent in the Android tablet market, having started with the 10-inch Iconia A500 and then with the 7-inch A100. And now it's back in the larger category with the A200 -- and doing so with a price that all but promises sales. The Acer Iconia Tab A200 is a 10.1-inch Android 3.2 tablet (it'll get Ice Cream Sandwich in mid-February) with a 1280x800 resolution, full-size USB port and a Tegra 2 processor. Nothing we haven't seen before. But the $329 price tag is what really has our attention here. Of course, that's the price for the version with only 8GB of storage. The 16GB Iconia A200 will run a whopping ... $349. Somebody here is doing things right, folks. 

We'll expect to get our hands on this puppy next week at CES, and it'll be available starting Jan. 15. Stay tuned.

Source: Acer

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4 years ago

Google Earth updated, fixes issues with Tegra 2 devices

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Google has updated the Google Earth app, fixing a pesky-as-hell bug that caused the app to crash during startup on Tegra 2 devices.  NVIDIA uses special instructions for the Tegra chip, and while they work amazingly well when used properly (check out some Tegra games if you haven't yet), sometimes different specialized hardware makes it difficult for the generic "works everywhere" app to use the full set of features.

That's probably what happened with the last update for Google Earth -- it certainly pushes the limit of what a mobile GPU can handle, and needed a bit of tweaking to run it all on the Tegra chips.  Call it fragmentation, call it legacy, but it's a fact of life that you have trade-offs between different hardware platforms.  Google seems to have it all sorted, and now we can have our imaginary getaways to exotic virtual locations on our Tegra based tablets and phones.  Hit the download link after the break or check the Market for your update.

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4 years ago

Tapatalk optimized for Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 10.1; available for free on Samsung Apps

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When not browsing the Android Central Forums from a computer, many folks use the popular app Tapatalk. And now, a special version of Tapatalk is available exclusively from Samsung Apps free for a limited time. The special version was built for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab Tab 10.1 so if you own either of those devices, you can open up Samsung Apps and grab your free copy now. Once downloaded, let us know how it's working in the Android Central Forums.

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4 years ago

Amazon's Silk Browser hacked to work with Cyanogenmod

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The Silk browser on the Amazon Kindle Fire may or may not be to everyone's liking, but that hasn't stopped the community efforts to port it across to other devices. The ever helpful folks over at the XDA forums have successfully managed to port the browser to work with the Cyanogenmod custom ROM. 

It's been tested on a number of different devices, including the Motorola Atrix and Droid X. There are more than a few different choices in the browser stakes that would probably be a better choice than Silk, but such tinkering is one of the reasons we all love Android as much as we do. If you fancy trying it out for yourselves, hit the source link for the lowdown. 

Source: XDA Forums

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4 years ago

Transformer Prime root tool Nachoroot packaged into a simple method

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For those of you who want to root your ASUS Transformer Prime but don't want all the muss and fuss of command lines, the Nachoroot method has been nicely pacakged into a little executable file that will take the typing out of the equation. We'd still recommend at least reading through the manual method -- it's important to know how and why things work -- but this little ViperMOD Primer Tool indeed makes thing easier.

Note that we're talking root access, not bootloader unlocking here, and the ViperMOD tool is Windows-only for now. That'll still come from ASUS itself.

Source: XDA; via Engadget

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4 years ago

Pantech Element slips out ahead of CES, 8-inch Honeycomb tablet for $299 on contract

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Apparently some of the first CES 2012 devices are starting to leak out, with BGR getting a gander at the Pantech Element, an 8-inch Honeycomb tablet that supposedly will run $299 on contract with AT&T, or $499 outright. This little guy is another of AT&T's initial LTE devices, sports Android 3.2, 16GB of memory, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 5MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, and a 2MP front-facing camera. Oh, and it's water-resistant, for what that's worth.

We'll be looking for this one early next week, we reckon.

Source: BGR

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4 years ago

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

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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

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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]

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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'

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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:

Hi,

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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