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2 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Transformer Prime

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Read our full Transformer Prime Review


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here it is, folks: The Android tablet you've been waiting to lead you out of the dual-core doldrums of 2011 and into the quad-core continuum of 2012. Welcome to the era of NVIDIA's Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip, bought to you by the ASUS Transformer Prime.

That's a lot of bluster, to be sure. But even in a short time with the Transformer Prime, you're quick to realize that this is a whole lot of hardware. NVIDIA's Tegra 2 dual-core platform brought Android tablets into the mainstream. And for as much as Tegra 2 brought to Android gaming and video playback, Tegra 3 takes it that much further.

But throw in the hardare prowess of ASUS' Transformer line -- this is the company that took a fledgling tablet and turned it into a viable Android laptop on the first try -- and what you've got is a combination of hardware and software that's leading the way into 2012 for an entire series of devices.

Check out our video hands-on above, and be sure to sift through our complete Transformer Prime review.

Transformer Prime Specs | How to root the Transformer Prime | Transformer Prime Forums

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2 years ago

Look for the Transformer Prime around the week of Dec. 19, ASUS says

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Despite a number of recent unsourced stories to the contrary, we unfortunately still don't have a firm sales date for the ASUS Transformer Prime. We do, however have a ballpark window -- ASUS has told us to "expect availabilty in North America to start the week of 12/19 based on pre-order fulfillments and inbound shipment schedules." Online availability may hit a week sooner, around Dec. 12.

So, expect updates over the next couple weeks, we reckon. Pricing is still listed at $499 for the 32GB version of the Transformer Prime, and the 64GB version's going for $599.

Read our full Transformer Prime Review

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2 years ago

How-To: Root the Asus Transformer Prime

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I'll let you guys in on a little secret -- Phil's not only the Editor of the best damn Android site on the Internet, but he's also a closet Android-geek.  By now you know he's had the Asus Transformer Prime for a few days, and one of the things he had to do was root that monster hardware.  Turns out it was pretty easy, which is good news for everyone.  Using the Razorclaw app from the folks at Androidroot.mobi, it's a one-click solution -- install the apk file, run it, and enjoy the root.

Hit the Prime forums for links and details, and be sure to play safe -- at least until someone builds a custom recovery and we have software to roll back to.  This one's gonna be fun!

Root the Asus Transformer Prime

Thanks to the developers at Androidroot.mobi!

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2 years ago

Zen Pinball THD now available in the Market for Tegra devices, and it's free

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If you're using a phone or tablet with a Tegra chip inside it, you'll want to check out Zen Pinball THD, which hit the Android Market today.  It's a great game, using advanced physics for ball movement, has great tables included -- Marvel's Fantastic Four table is really, really, cool -- and includes multiplayer mode.  All for free.  To top it off, it's even OpenFeint-enabled for those who like a bit of competition in their mobile gaming.  We've been fooling with the press demos, and it's a very well done piece of work.  Gameplay is fast, realistic, and beautiful.  Any pinball fan or mobile gamer should enjoy this one, and with the free price tag there's no reason not to try it.  Hit the break for the download link and the gameplay trailer.

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2 years ago

Sonos adds Android tablet support, Slacker Radio, new beta service

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Sonos, the maker of the high-end wireless stereo system, today announced that it's updated its Android application (check out our previous review) to include support for Android tablets. And, yes, that includes the Amazon Kindle Fire, which you see here. Also, Slacker Radio is now on board for yet another streaming music solution. In addition, Spotify's gotten an update, there's now support for AAC+ codecs, and Sonos has added a beta path if you like living on the bleeding edge and want to test features before anyone else.

Full presser's after the break.

More: Sonos

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2 years ago

Editorial: Carrier IQ -- the 'evil' we agree to and hate that we did it

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Seems like every time you turn around you'll see corporations using sneaky tricks to gain a competitive advantage over a different, yet equally sneaky corporation.  That's usually how money is made by the people who are best at making lots of it -- at the expense of others.  The cell phone industry is no different, even though we wish it were.  Yes, I'm talking about Carrier IQ, and it's my turn to bitch.

Carrier IQ sells a stock client for BlackBerry, Symbian, and Android.  There's strong evidence that  they also make client software for other smartphone platforms, and even semi-smartphone OS's like Bada or BREW.  But they're only making it easy to get the same type of data your carrier has been collecting about you since the minute you turned your cell phone on.  If they're collecting it in an insecure manner, which has happened, that's bad on them, and they need to fix it -- pronto. But they're not doing it on their own. They're doing it at the behest of the manufacturer and the carrier, who uses the data to determine how to make changes that get you to spend more money when they offer you the latest shiny.  If 72 percent of the people use a certain feature, you can bet your last dollar that more work goes into making that feature "better" so it's a stronger selling point.  Carrier IQ, as a company, could care less what you do with your smartphone, when you do it, or why.  All they do is make it easier for the people you give your money to each month to see why you like your phone.  I don't work for HTC or AT&T, but I'm sure easy data collection and aggregation makes for a compelling sales pitch.

CIQ isn't doing anything it's not supposed to be doing, unless there's a software bug in play.  The software was purposefully placed there in order to track what you're doing in real time.  Apparently, it works pretty well.  Some may argue that it's a rootkit, or a flaw of some sort, but to the people using the product -- again, the carrier and manufacturer -- it's a feature, one that they pay money to include.  Remember, you are not HTC's (or Samsung, or LG, or RIM, etc.) customer -- companies like Verizon and Sprint are, and all parties find the data that's collected pretty damn useful, so they aren't likely to stop collecting it.

It could be argued that you don't have a choice in the matter. You bought the phone. And while there might be (and usually is -- see the picture above from a CIQ enabled HTC phone) some vague reference to the phone collecting data about how you use it, you likely skipped over that section, and it's not all that up-front about what's being collected or how it's being done. But on the other hand, that's probably true about 90 percent of what your phone's doing at any given time.  It works exactly how it's supposed to work.  Getting mad about it after the fact isn't very productive, and isn't going to solve the problem any time soon.

Vote with your wallet.  You have the option to say no to this sort of data collection software, and that's done by not buying phones that use it.  Every major carrier in the world now carries one of those.

Yes, I think Carrier IQ is a bad thing, done by unscrupulous people so they have more pennies to count.  But all the hate towards the company that writes and sells the software is misguided.  They are only filling a need, and if they stop someone else will step up to replace them.  Enough words have been written about it, yet the solution for Android fans only needs three:

Buy a Nexus.

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2 years ago

More details about the Motorola Xoom's pending update emerge

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If you recall, we told you a few days ago about a new soak-test for the Motorola Xoom, and today new details about what is being updated have come forth.  To start with, it's not Ice Cream Sandwich, and no amount of wishing will likely change that one.  The Verizon LTE model is getting an update that should appear "invisible" to the end user, and it simply provides improved support for pay-as-you-go customers on Verizon.  Users participating in the test have received an e-mail explaining how to go about providing feedback:

Hi again.

Thanks very much for signing up to give feedback about your Motorola Xoom on Verizon. You will be testing final software for your LTE Xoom. Despite the wild rumors about ICS, this is a very limited update providing improved support for pay-as-you-go customers on Verizon. It should be essentially "invisible" in terms of device operation.

Because of this, we will be looking for feedback on two primary questions:

  • Did you update successfully?
  • If yes, did the update alter your device in any unexpected way?


We feel this software is safe and ready, but your input will provide the data we need to make a go/no-go decision. Here are key points to know:

  • I will send out another email with a survey where you can provide your answers to these two questions.
  • It will come within a few hours of when the software begins to be pushed to your phones.
  • That push is expected around mid-day tomorrow.
  • Please do not post comments on public sites about this update; instead provide your input through the survey I will provide.
  • Please do respond to the survey by Friday morning. We expect to make our decision to release this update later that day

Do not send emails to this account or PM me unless I ask you to do so. General questions sent to either place will go unanswered -- put your questions and comments in the survey please.

Thanks again for your confidentiality and participation. Your help with updates like this certainly counts in your favor when other test opportunities arise.

Regards,

- Matt
  Motorola Owners' Forums
  Motorola Feedback Network

If you're using your Xoom 4G on a month to month basis, this one's for you.  For everyone else, it's important to make sure it doesn't break anything.  We still expect ICS on the Xoom in short order, just not this time around.

Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

Time Warner Cable app for Honeycomb tablets now available in the Android Market

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Time Warner Cable has announced that its TWC app for Honeycomb tablets is now available in the Android Market.  Compatible with any set-top box or DVR running the Time Warner "Navigator" program guide, the app doesn't allow live streaming of television shows but it has some pretty cool features.  You can see seven days of TV listings, control and program your DVR through the app, search TV listings by title or episode name, and even use your tablet as a remote control for supported cable boxes and DVR's. 

TWC says the app has been "certified" to run as intended on the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but should work just fine with any tablet running Android 3.1 or higher.  It's free in the Market, and you can find the download link after the break.

Source: TW Cable untangled, via BusinessWire

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2 years ago

The Kindle Fire shows off some early CyanogenMod7 love

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Let's start off with this -- no it's not ready, and no we don't know when it will be. Now that we got that out of the way, XDA forums member JackpotCalvin has gotten a build of CM7 to boot on the Kindle Fire. While it is still an early build, and the image rotation is off, the developer says he knows how to do some fixes to get it more polished, and we can hope for a build we can play with in the coming weeks. This is definitely a good sign for those hoping to hack up their Kindle Fire!

Source: XDA; Thanks, Ali!

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2 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime user manual, kernel, drivers now available

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You can't buy it just yet, but ASUS has gone ahead and released the user manual, kernel source, drivers and other software related to its upcoming Transformer Prime Android tablet. You're not going to find much you haven't already read in our Transformer Prime preview -- you're looking at a 10.1-inch tablet running the new quad-core Tegra 3 system on-a-chip. The Transformer Prime is still set to launch sometime in early December, with an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich to follow soon after.

Source: ASUS; thanks, @tomtsp, for the tip!

Transformer Prime Forums | Transformer Prime Specs | More on NVIDIA's Tegra 3

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