Headlines

2 years ago

Netflix launches redesigned Android tablet app

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We told you it was coming on last week's podcast (just another reason you need to listen to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World), and today Netflix has made official its redesign Android tablet app. Gone is the scaled-up phone app, and arrived is a tablet-optimized UI that gives you better access to movies and TV shows.

The update's not just for traditional Android tablets -- the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire will get in on the game as well.

Source: Netflix

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 update pulled

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Samsung dropped word tonight that it's pulled the Android 3.2 update being pushed out to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 after a number of users reported problems, including Wifi connections being broken. Here's Samsung's response:

“Samsung is aware of an issue that some Galaxy Tab 10.1 customers have experienced with today’s software update. We are working on a resolution and will provide more information shortly. In the interim we have chosen to discontinue availability of the update.”

Hopefully we'll see a fix -- and a fix for those who already applied the update -- shortly.

More: Galaxy Tab 10.1 forum

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich source code now being pushed to git servers

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It's a great day to be an Android geek -- the Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now being pushed to Google's git servers!  This is the full release of Android 4.0.1, which is the version that will ship on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  Most readers won't need to do anything here except wait for their favorite developer to get things rolling (hi, Beezy!), but those who are technically inclined and feel like cooking up a bit of their own ICS can find new build instructions here at Android's source project pages.

Two things worth noting here -- the code is huge, and it's going to take a couple hours to transfer over.  If you try to sync now, you'll get something that is never going to build.  As Jean-Baptiste Queru points out, it's best to wait for word from Google that it's finished pushing out.  Also, as-is the code will only build for the Galaxy Nexus, and it's going to take some tinkering to get it to build for other phones.  Builds for other products will be coming from Google shortly.  We're excited, and as soon as the code is done pushing, we'll be at work to get a version built for the Nexus S.

Source: Android Building Google group

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2 years ago

AT&T gets LTE Galaxy Tab 8.9, sweetens the deal with a free smartphone

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Samsung just announced that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (read our full review) will be available on AT&T as an LTE-capable device starting Nov. 20. It's got a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1280x800 display and 3.2 (rear) and 2MP cameras.

It'll cost $479.99 with a two-year contract, but AT&T's sweetening the deal by throwing in either the LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, or an original AT&T Galaxy S II (read our full review). Not a bad deal, really, if you're looking for a smartphone/tablet combo.

In addition, AT&T announced further expansion of its LTE network, which will cover the following locations:

  • Athens, Ga.
  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Las Vegas
  • Oklahoma City
  • San Antonio
  • San Juan
  • Puerto Rico
  • Washington, D.C.  

AT&T's got a few options for LTE data plans on its tablets, with 250MB for $14.99, 2GB for $25, or 3GB for $35. Smartphone plans start as low as $15 a month for 200MB of data, or $25 a month for 2GB, with an additional 1GB costing $10.

Full presser's after the break.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Tab 10.1 getting Android 3.2 update -- and breaking Wifi in the process [updated]

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This is one of those good-bad things that's starting to swing the needle firmly to "bad" column. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is getting a 63.12MB update to Android 3.2, but the update appears to have a negative effect on Wifi -- kind of an important feature on a Wifi-only device. We've gotten a few e-mails and there's a thread running in our Galaxy Tab 10.1 forum detailing the update, which apparently is causing major connection problems. A hard reset doesn't fix things, but setting a static IP address on your tablet worked things out for one poster. The list of complaints includes:

  • Wouldn't connect to Wifi with DHCP dynamic IP, only through static IP
  • Will not connect to Kies
  • Everytime you boot it says: "Firmware update failed. Please try installing
  • using Kies (PC)..."
  • Auto-rotate doesn't work.

Also note that the website the update alert tells you to visit for more information isn't of much help, having last been updated July 1, and it merely links back to itself. We've got an e-mail into Samsung to hopefully clear this one up. In the meantime, we'd probably stay away from this update.

Update: The fine folks at Samsung got back to us and let us know that we're not just imagining issues with today's update:

Samsung is aware of an issue that some Galaxy Tab 10.1 customers have experienced with today's software update. We are working on a resolution and will provide more information shortly. In the interim we have chosen to discontinue availability of the update.

All we can do now is sit tight and wait for a beter working version to push out.  When that happens, we'll let you know.

More: Galaxy Tab 10.1 forum; Thanks, marcch and Jimmy!

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2 years ago

Sprint launches new data plans for tablets and mobile broadband

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Sprint today is detailing new data plans for tablets and its mobile broadband (ie non-smartphone) devices, with several options for each. Here's the breakdown; all pricing includes 3G and 4G data:

  • $19.99 for 1GB of data
  • $34.99 for 3GB of data
  • $49.99 for 6GB of data
  • $79.99 for 12GB of data

The 1 GB and 3 GB only apply to tablets and not Sprint's other mobile broadband devices. Sprint carries three Android tablets -- the HTC EVO View 4G, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola Xoom. Sprint's smartphones retain their unlimited data plans.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire shipping a day early

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Amazon this morning is crowing that it's shipping the Kindle Fire a whole day earlier than expected and taking the opportunity to remind us of the talking points it's been driving home for more than a month now -- mainly, tens of thousands of movies and TV shows, 17 millon songs, millions of books, 400 magazines and newspapers, and so on and so forth.

We're still seeing a Nov. 16 delivery date on our order, but suffice it to say, we should see the Fire hitting doorsteps soon enough.

Source: Amazon; More: Kindle Fire Forums

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2 years ago

Barnes & Noble reveals Microsoft's patent strategy against its Android powered devices

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The cat's out of the bag, thanks to Barnes & Noble's letters to the ITC about their dispute with Microsoft.  Rather than roll over and pay Microsoft what they demand like some big names in Android have done, B&N is fighting tooth and nail against the Redmond Devil Microsoft.  It's fairly long, and apt to make your eyes bleed if you're not a lawyer, but you can see the full scope of the letter and attachments (which actually name the patents and quickly dismiss their validity) at the source link.  Carry on past the break to read our layman's version.

Source: GroklawThanks, John!

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich source code coming Nov. 17 says Notion Ink CEO

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The CEO of Notion Ink, Rohan Shravan, is at it again with news about the Ice Cream Sandwich source code release, saying it will be released November 17.  While it's tempting to just toss this aside as another rumor in the ICS/Galaxy Nexus craze of late, Mr. Shravan has a track record that shows he's usually right.  Last year, he did the same thing with the Gingerbread release, accurately predicting more than could be a good guess, and just last month he told everyone about the OMAP chipset and Ice Cream Sandwich using them as a reference platform.  When he talks, it's always worth listening, and the Nov. 17 date has already been thrown out there as the European release.  If we see source code on the 17th, the 18th is going to be a very fun day for a lot of us.

Source: Notion Ink via AndroidOS.in

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2 years ago

Android 'fragmentation' -- why it really matters to you and me

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It's fun to say Android is fragmented on the Internet.  All the cool kids and blogs do it, they even make fancy misleading charts about it.  While there's more than one side to the argument -- choice versus fragmentation -- only the most rabid fanboy would say that it doesn't exist.  I tend to think the whole issue is living with the choice you make.  If you want the "Android" experience, buy a Nexus phone.  If you prefer the experience an OEM offers, buy one of their phones.  Both are the right choice.  But there's an underlying issue that gets forgotten when we talk about updates and versions -- security patches.

The diversity of Android gives us a chance to have this user experience regardless of the platform version it's built from.  That doesn't make the want for the new software any less, but it a fair trade for most people.  Ice Cream Sandwich looks a whole helluva lot like TouchWiz 4.  Security issues are another matter entirely.  HTC had a recent issue about user privacy, have a read if you aren't familiar (be sure to read HTC's response as well).  They caused it.  They quickly pushed out a patch to at least one carrier to address it.  All security issues need to be addressed this way.  If HTC, or, Samsung, or LG, or Motorola -- whomever -- builds the OS and sells it to the carrier, they need to follow up with security patches in a timely manner -- either by updating their base to the latest Android version and building their OS with it, or patching the issue themselves with the current code base.  Users deserve the benefit that patches to the bootloader, or browser, or whatever, much faster than companies and carriers get them rolled out.  Yes, that responsibility is shared by the carrier as well.  While they aren't the people responsible for updating the code and building the operating system, they are the people that accept your money for the device.  Carriers and OEMs need to work together to keep the phone secure for the life of the product, even if they don't work to keep the software version current.

On the enterprise side of things (something that OEMs are starting to take more seriously), this becomes critical.  Companies simply can't sit back and ignore the fact they aren't getting security patches, because their money is on the line.  Documents, contacts, and communications need to be secure as possible, and when cracks in the armor are found, the patches need to come quickly.  They don't, and this is a problem. 

I know that making sure your phone isn't susceptible to the latest bootloader hack isn't near as glamorous as getting Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Gingerbread.  These few words can't make that happen.  But I think we need to be pointing out the right issues -- not having a phone that is secure for the life of its contract is one of them.

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