Headlines

3 years ago

Android Quick App: FriendCaster Tab beta for Honeycomb tablets

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

For whatever reason, Facebook still has not released a Honeycomb-optimized version of its Android app. And we're kind of to the point where we don't care anymore, as third-party apps are doing the job nicely. Here we have Friendcaster, which currently is in beta for Honeycomb tablets.

Friendcaster has your basic Honeycomb design, which splits things up into columns or panes. On the far left you've got all the basic Facebook features -- News Feed, Profile, Friends, Photos, Check-ins, Messages, Groups, Events and Pages. Tap one, and they expand in the next column over. So you'll see your news feed. Or pictures, or messages, etc. Top on an individual update or photo, and they open in the next column over. Nice, simple design.

You've also got all the usual functions -- you can update your status, filter your stream, take a picture, upload a picture, refresh, see your notifications, or get app settings.

Our only real complaint in this beta is that there's a fat banner app that keeps popping up. We'll be more than happy to pay to get rid of it.

We've got download links after the break if you want to give it a go.

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3 years ago

Harry Potter books coming to Android in October via Pottermore and Google Books

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Calling all Muggles -- JK Rowling's Harry Potter series will finally be hitting e-readers this fall, and it'll be available on Android. There's a bit of a catch, as you'll actually be buying the books from the new Pottermore site in October. When you purchase, you'll have the option to save the book to your Google Books library. And from there, you can read on any Android smartphone or tablet (or any non-Android or iOS device that has a browser).

Google also announced that Google Checkout is the preferred third-party checkout for Pottermore. So if you've got an Android phone and have ever purchased an app from the Android Market, you're already set. More details are set to unfold leading up to the launch this fall.

Source: Google Books Blog

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3 years ago

Lenovo officially announces pair of Android tablets

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IdeaPad K1 is the first Honeycomb tablet with Netflix

Lenovo this morning officially unwrapped a pair of Android Tablets -- the IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad. Both tablets spot a 10.1-inch touchscreens *at 1280x800), NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor and Android 3.1. The IdeaPad K1 -- which we spotted a day early at Office Depot in New York -- weighs 1.63 pounds and is the first Honeycomb tablet with Netflix support along with HDMI out.

The ThinkPad expands on the IdeaPad, adding an optional stylus, full-size USB port, full-size SD card and mini HDMI, plus a wealth of software options key to enterprise.

The 32GB IdeaPad K1 is available today for $499 in the U.S., and worldwide sometime in the third quarter.

The 16GB ThinkPad is $479 without the stylus, $509 with the stylus, and a 32GB version is available for $589 with the stylus. It'll be available starting Aug. 2.

Source: Lenovo

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3 years ago

Netflix now available on 24 devices -- most tablets still excluded

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So, the good: Netflix has quietly added support for a slew of Android phones, bringing the total to 24. That's two dozen devices on which to stream movies to your heart's content -- including the upcoming Motorola Droid Bionic.

And, now, the bad: Except for the Lenovo K1 IdeaPad -- which kinda sorta isn't really on sale yet -- tablets are still nowhere to be found. No Motorola Xoom. No Galaxy Tab 10.1. Heck, no Galaxy Tab 7, either. No ASUS Transformer. No Toshiba Thrive. Odd, to say the least.

But, we'll take what we can get, we suppose. We've got download links for Netflix, plus the full list of supported devices, after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Flyer getting a 3D makeover?

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So this thing hit our inbox, and Jerry and I are going back and forth on how much of a Photoshop job it might be. At first glance, you have what appears to be the upper housing of the HTC Flyer tablet, with 3D cameras and a new speaker grille. Chinese site 175wan, where the picture originated, opines that it's a second-generation Flyer, and that could be. Everybody and their mother's doing 3D these days.

But here's another thought: Absent of any other images, or anything other than this removable housing (remember, the removable microSD card lives under there), it's entirely possible we're looking at a prototype. Or some sort of knockoff. Or just some unholy plastic extrusion that's not fit for beast or man.

If in fact it is for a 7-inch 3D tablet, the next thing we'll question is weather you'll need glasses to view the 3D content, like the T-Mobile G-Slate, or if it'll be glasses-free, like HTC's own EVO 3D.

Source: 175wan.com (translated); thanks, fishtoon, for the tip

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3 years ago

Lenovo K1 IdeaPad Honeycomb tablet at Office Depot already

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Pop quiz: What is 10.1 inches in diagonal, sports a Tegra 2 processor and Android's Honeycomb tablet OS, and is sitting in an Office Depot in Times Square? If you answered the Lenovo K1 IdeaPad, well, pat yourself on the back. Because sure enough, the Android tablet that doesn't actually have a release date yet is just sitting in a New York City Office Depot, ready to get your greasy fingerprints all over it.

Specs are about what you'd expect for a $499 tablet -- 10.1-inch screen at 1280x800, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and it weighs 1.65 pounds. OK, those are the specs for just about every other Honeycomb tablet, but there you go. The one you see above was charged and would turn on, but was password protected.

So, we've got price. No word on if you can actually walk out of the store with one.

Couple more pics after the break.

Thanks, Lukasz!

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3 years ago

Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad official photos released

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Lenovo has released the official press photos of the IdeaPad K1 Android tablet (pictured, left) and the ThinkPad Android tablet on their Picasa account.  No details came with these, but we already knew a little bit and can learn more from the photos.  The IdeaPad K1 is a 10.1 inch Honeycomb tablet, sporting the Tegra 2 chip and Lenovo's custom skin.  Today's pictures show front and rear cameras, custom colors, a media dock, and a keyboard docking station.  The ThinkPad looks to be geared more to the business professional with an included stylus and presumably software included to use it in Lenovo's custom UI atop Honeycomb.  The ThinkPad also sports four physical buttons as well as an SD card slot, USB, and HDMI ports on the outside, and a Tegra 2 CPU and 1GB RAM on the inside. 

We have no idea about pricing or a date, but with the official pictures set loose there's no reason for further secrets.  I imagine we'll be hearing more about these in the near future.  In the meantime, head to the source links and have a peek at a slew of pictures.

Source: Picasa; IdeaPad K1, ThinkPad  via: Netbook news

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3 years ago

Google Maps adds more 3D buildings in more cities

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Google's just unwrapped more three-dimensional buildings in a number of cities worldwide, including London, Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm, Singapore, Lisbon, Boulder (Colo.) and 11 cities in South Africa. Those are in addition to New York City, Zurich, Milan and others.

You don't have to do anything -- the updated maps are all on Google's side. To view the 3D buildings, just make sure you're viewing things in map mode (not satellite), then zoom in and use two fingers to change the viewing angle.

And in case you're wondering, the image above is from the site of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

The best free backgammon apps on Android tablets

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One thing a 10-inch tablet is perfect for is playing Backgammon. If you've never played, it's an ancient game -- something like 5,000 years old, by some accounts that involves rolling dice and removing all of your pieces (or checkers) from the board. It's a good mix of strategy and luck, and it really doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

We've taken a look at some of the free backgammon games available in the Android Market, and gave them a go on a Honeycomb tablet. Check 'em out after the break.

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3 years ago

Blue Drone -- Android controlled R/C car looking for backers on Kickstarter

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Blue Drone is a Bluetooth controlled R/C car that can be controlled by any Android device running Android 2.0 and higher.  It's currently in its initial phase at Kickstarter, where the developer is looking for initial interest in order to justify the production costs.  If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, you can opt-in and support a new project, and if the funding goals are met you'll be charged and receive what you've paid for.  If the goal isn't met, you aren't charged and the project is left to seek funding elsewhere, or just fizzle away.

This one is way too cool to let that happen.  For a buy-in of $59, you'll get a scale model R/C car, and the app to control it from your Android phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection.  The car is controlled via the touchscreen or uses the accelerometer for steering.  You'll get three hours use from a trio of AAA batteries, and the whole set-up has a 30 foot range.  Check the video above, this looks like loads of fun.  Hit the source link for more information.

Source: Kickstarter; Thanks, Steve!

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3 years ago

Verizon getting micro SIM cards for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE tablet

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Update: And Samsung's confirmed this one for us. It indeed has a micro SIM card.

Now this is a bit interesting. According to this little tidbit that just hit our inbox, Verizon's upcoming LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will feature a micro SIM card, and not a full size SIM card as found in the HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid Charge or LG Revolution. That's not a huge deal, necessarily, though it does mean you're not going to be swapping your SIM card from device to device without an adapter.

It looks like Verizon will begin to introduce the micro SIM card later this month, though it's unknown if the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE will launch at the same time. It's currently available for preorder at $529 for the 16GB version, or $629 for the 32GB version.

Our next question is this: Will future LTE devices use micro SIM cards? Or is the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE a special case? News at 11.

Thank, ninjroid!

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3 years ago

Disney publishes their first Android app -- Winnie the Pooh: What's a bear to do?

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Disney Publishing has released its first Android application, "Winnie the Pooh: What's a Bear to Do?".  It's an interactive children's book, starring one of the most loved characters of our childhood, that's sure to be a hit with any pint-sized Android lovers you have scurrying underfoot around the house.  It's more than just an eBook, though.  Features of the app include:

  • Read in any of 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, or Japanese!
  • Professional narration, sound effects, and Winnie the Pooh background music
  • Readers can record their voice or their child’s reading the story
  • Three reading modes to suit any reader’s mood: Read to Me, Use My Recording, and Auto Turn pages
  • Four interactive jigsaw puzzles
  • Tap ‘n’ Play surprises throughout the story – several new animated sequences added for Android
  • Pooh’s Cupboard matching game ties in to the story and reinforces color recognition
  • Visual Index allows readers to jump to their favorite page or puzzle

Disney's published a video (after the break) and I have to say, this looks very nicely done.  It's a name your child is sure to know and love, and time spent with a book (even of the application variety) certainly beats time spent in front of the television.  You can grab it from the Android Market (devices running 2.0 and higher) for $2.99.  The link as well as that video, is after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon breaks down who's getting LTE where this week

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Verizon's trickling out press releases all day, so we're updating as we get them.

Verizon this morning dropped a few more details on the markets that are scheduled to see the LTE switch flipped on Thursday. (We say "scheduled," because it definitely looks like some of you are seeing those sweet, sweet 4G speeds.) Following are the communities that will see new coverage:

Raleigh-Durham, N.C.: Apex, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Gorman, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, Rolesville, Smithfield, Wake Forest, and Wendell.

Charleston, S.C.: Charleston, Folly Beach, Goose Creek, Hanahan, Hickory Hill Plantation, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, Ladson, Lincolnville, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Riverland Terrace, Seabrook Island, Sullivan's Island, Summerville, and Wildwood.

Knoxville, Tenn.: Athens, Etowah, Greenway, Jefferson City, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Louden, Marbledale, Maryville, Morristown, Niota, Oak Ridge, Oakland, Pigeon Forge, Pleasant View, Powell, Rockford, Sevierville, Sweetwater, Talbot, and White Pine. 

Augusta, Ga.: Augusta, North Augusta and Aiken. Coverage includes the I-20 corridor, Aiken Mall, Augusta Mall, Augusta National Golf Club, Fort Gordon, Augusta Regional Airport, Medical College of Georgia and the E-Z-Go manufacturing plant.

Maui, Hawaii: Kaanapali, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Napili, Wailea, Wailuku.

The Big Island, Hawaii: Hilo, Keaau, Mountain View, Pahoa

Oahu, Hawaii: Aiea, Ewa Beach, Haleiwa, Hawaii Kai, Honolulu, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei, Mililani, Pearl City, Waialua, Waikiki, Waipahu, Waipio

Toledo, Ohio: Toledo, within the Interstate 75/475 beltway north to the Michian state line; Bowling Green; Oregon; Waterville

Verizon did manage to slip a bunch of cities into one press release. Here's the list of markets going live this week.

Decatur and Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rouge and Hammond, La.; Springfield, Mass.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Olympia and Tacoma, Wash; and Charleston, W.Va.  The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network in Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Northern New Jersey;  Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Wash.

To take advantage of Verizon's 4G speeds, you'll need either an HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid Charge or LG Revolution Android smartphone.

More: Verizon

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3 years ago

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer in the midst of an update, still says Android 3.1

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We know, we know. Now that the Motorola Xoom's getting Android 3.2, everybody else wants in as well. Can't blame ya. And while the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (read our full review) appears to be in the throes of yet another OTA update, it's still showing Android 3.1 in ye olde about page.

Before anybody gets all out of whack, ASUS has said this week that Android 3.2 is in testing for the Transformer, so it'll likely be coming sooner rather than later.

Source: Transformer Forums

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3 years ago

Larry Page on the Android 'patent situation'

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Google was asked about the "patent situation" during Thursday's second-quarter earnings call. The "situation," of course, is that Google recently lost a bid for a major bunch of patents -- and lost to a consortium including many of its main competitors in the mobile space. Meanwhile, developers are having to fight (or pay off) patent trolls, and we're seeing more licensing deals being made between Android OEMs and Google competitors.

Here's what Page had to say:

"Android's really on a tear. I mentioned there are over 550,000 new Android activations. There's over 400 such devices. Thirty-nine OEMs. Two-hundred-and-thirty-one carriers in 123 countries, and over 78 Open Handset Allience partners, and that velocity's only increasing.

"Now, of course, despite the efforts of some of our competitors, there hasn't been any slowdown in any of those things. And, you know, partners and developers are continuing to expand the Android ecosystem.

"And I should say, of course, we're really committed to Android and continue to support that platform and ecosystem, and do it in a cost-effective manner."

See also: Editorial: How long can Google and Android afford to remain silent on patents?

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