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2 years ago

Don't forget to download App Inventor projects before Dec. 31

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Google's App Inventor is dead, long live MIT's App Inventor!

A final notice everyone -- if you have some projects sitting around in App Inventor, and would like to keep them, either for some crazy time-capsule experiment or in the hopes of migrating them to MIT's App Inventor project, you've only got a handful of days left.  Come December 31, Google will be taking the whole kit and caboodle offline, and projects that haven't been downloaded are lost forever.

Getting them is easy, just log into appinventorbeta.com and hit the "Download All Projects" button as shown above.  Keep them safe, and when MIT gets things back up and running in 2012, you're ready to go.  For more information about MIT's implementation, have a look at their Learning Center.

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2 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime games

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The ASUS Transformer Prime is the first of the next generation Android tablets, packing the brand new quad-core Tegra 3 chip and offering a boatload of performance while managing the battery life.  We've sort of fell in love with it because of it's thin and light build and the way it runs Honeycomb.  It would be the tablet to get if you're in the market for one.

Something that you've heard us (well, mostly me) talk about is how well this beast handles games.  All the beef under the hood is great for normal daily use, and it handles multimedia very nicely, but cracking open some games that really tax the system was something we had to show you.  That's where I come in.  As a child at heart, I love to spend some time playing games on my tablet, and have grown to love more than a few of the great ones developed for Android.  The Prime takes everything to a new level -- both games that have been optimized by NVIDIA, as well as standard OpenGL games built for all devices.  While some of it you just can't tell from a video -- things like colors and lighting effects -- some things you sure can.  Hit the break, and check out how smooth and fluid the Prime runs a handful of CPU eating 3D games that I throw at it.

I love my job.

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2 years ago

Conan takes on the Amazon Kindle Fire

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Catch the Conan show last night? Team Coco took on the Amazon Kindle Fire, which appears to be popular enough to merrit lambasting on the late-night show. It's quick, it's pointed, and, yeah, it's got a bit of truth to it. Check it out.

Source: Team Coco; thanks, Susannah!

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2 years ago

Kindle Fire Version 6.2.1 brings performance boosts, more options

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Amazon has just posted release notes for the Amazon Kindle Fire Version 6.2.1 software update (Version 6.2 dropped just a few weeks ago), which has promised to address a number of nagging issues. Included in the update are:

  • Enhancement for fluidity and performance
  • Improved touch navigation response
  • Adds the option to choose which items display on carousel
  • Adds ability to add password lock on Wifi access

In a few quick minutes of testing, the touchscreen definitely is more responsive, and the UI does seem to be more fluid. 

You can sit back and wait on the update to push out to your Kindle Fire if you want. Or you can update manually. We've got instructions for that after the break.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Archos announces the 70b Internet tablet, Honeycomb priced under $200

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Archos has been around for quite a while, but they are looking to break into the Android tablet market in a big way with their 70b Internet Tablet, which features Honeycomb and checks in at $199.  We don't have all the details when it comes to specs, but what we know puts this one squarely at odds with the likes of the Kindle Fire or HTC Flyer:

  • 1.2GHz CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • HDMI out
  • 1024x600 capacitive screen
  • Starting at 8GB internal storage
  • Micro SD Card slot
  • Android Market and Google Apps

Starting at $199 and coming in January 2012, it's certainly worth a look, which we'll be doing come CES -- which is right around the corner.  Hit the break for the full press release.

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2 years ago

Samsung's ICS upgrade list a predictable one: Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, Galaxy R, late-model tablets

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Samsung has given in sneak preview into some of its devices that will receive updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2012. They are:

  • Galaxy S II
  • Galaxy S II LTE
  • Galaxy Note
  • Galaxy R
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • Galaxy Tab 8.9
  • Galaxy Tab 7.7
  • Galaxy Tab 7 Plus

That's an international list, of course. For those of us in the United States, we'll probably be waiting on announcements from the individual carriers. Par for the course, but no less frustrating. Samsung says the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will be the first to be updated, starting in the first three months of 2012.

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

Eric Schmidt doesn't actually say Nexus tablet, everybody starts thinking it anyway

So apparently Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said something about a tablet to an Italian newspaper. Next thing you know, we have a Nexus tablet coming in six months or something. And you know what? That could totally happen. And you know what else? It already has.

Here's what Schmidt actually said (more or less, thanks to Google Translate):

"We in the next six months plan to market a tablet of the highest quality."

Someone want to point out where, in that sentence, the word "Nexus" is used?

Here's what probably happened: Someone asked Schmidt a question. Schmidt gave an answer that you'd totally expect from the company's executive chairman and former CEO. What else should he have said? "Oh, we're going to push some piece of shit that nobody's going to buy." Nobody would say that. Not even RIM. (OK, maybe RIM.)

Oh, but, yes, Schmdit did say "We ... plan to market." Cool. Wouldn't surprise us in the least. Because Google's already done that once. A year ago. It was called the Motorola Xoom. It came with an unlockable bootloader, was devoid of bloatware and was the first tablet to be pushed by el Goog.

No, it wouldn't surprise us in the least to see Google put its weight behind another tablet. And a tablet of the highest quality, to boot. And it'll be welcomed by us with open arms. But let's not go putting words in people's mouths just yet.

Source: Corriere Della Sera (translated); via Notebook Italia (translated)

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2 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime back on Amazon, company expects 'normal inventory levels in January'

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Read our Transformer Prime Review

ASUS this morning gave us an update on the availability of the popular and already hard-to-get Transformer Prime Android tablet. It's once again available on Amazon, which may be your best bet if you're looking to snag one by Christmas. And ASUS says it expects to have "normal inventory levels in January" for North America. In-store availability in the meantime, will likely fluctuate. It is the holidays, after all.

Here's the official line from ASUS:

“ASUS started filling the inventory pipelines this past week for our new Eee Pad Transformer Prime and will continue to do so on an expedited basis for the foreseeable future. We will reach normal inventory levels in January for the North American market based on current orders and forecasts.  Based on forecasted supply schedules to our valued partners we expect pre-order allocation fulfillment to occur shortly and online or in-store availability in the very near future.  We will continue to work closely with our partners to fill customer orders as quickly as possible.”

As for Amazon, you can get the 64GB Tranformer Prime in champagne or amethyst gray for $599, and the 32GB version in those colors for $499 at the links below.

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2 years ago

Fusion Garage might or might not be dead (is there a difference, though?)

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News spread like a single spark in a mostly uncaring world this weekend over the possible death of a manufacturer that never really manufactuered much of anything. Fusion Garage's website went down on Saturday, Engadget noticed. As of Monday morning, it's slowly come back to life. Sort of. It's currently a mishmash of a single shiny landing page, broken links and security warnings.

Then there's the part where Fusion Garage's PR apparently team quit. And then its lawyers. Not good.

And then there's the part that Fusion Garage was the company that had teamed up with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to build the $200 CrunchPad, only to not ever really do it and get itself in a huge legal pissing match with the Silicon Valley bigwig. Meanwhile, the CrunchPad became the Joojoo and died a quiet death in November 2010.

Fusion Garage came back in 2011 with a wacky staged press conference, complete with recorded audience sounds, where it introduced the Grid 10 and Grid 4 devices, which featured a crazy UI over an aging verison of Android. Unofficial sales numbers are said to be in the several. Fusion Garage's purchase page says "We are running out of stock. Thank you."

Responses to the news of Fusion Garage's demise reportedly have ranged from "Hunh?" to "Who?"

Less: FusionGarage

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2 years ago

U.S. Cellular updating original Samsung Galaxy Tab to Android 2.3.5

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It might not be the belle of the ball any longer, but U.S. Cellular has approved an update for  the original 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, bringing it some Gingerbread live in the form of Android version 2.3.5.  While it's not Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, it is a vast improvement over the Froyo (Android 2.2) build the Tab shipped with, and should breathe new life into your faithful electronic companion.  Besides the advantages of Gingerbread itself, the change log has a few nice bullet points:

  • VPN support
  • Improved volume control when playing a video or movie while listening with a headset
  • Google security patches:  DigiNotar certificate revocation; Libpng security update
  • Remove auto accept of Bluetooth paring for Handsfree Profile (HFP). This vulnerability allows a nearby third-party to auto connect to Bluetooth HFP and potentially access contact data on the mobile device.

Now, for the bad news.  The update is not an Over The Air (OTA) style affair, and must be done via the USB cable and a Windows computer.  This means that it's going to wipe away the data on your Tab, and of course involves software and driver installation on a PC.  Samsung has set up a nice support page for the issues that are bound to crop up, and of course the Android Central forums are full of people who can help -- don't be afraid to hit them up.  Check out the links if you're needing to update.

Source: U.S. Cellular.  More: Samsung

Thanks, Mark!

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