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2 years ago

Android 101: How to set your e-mail signature

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2 years ago

Google Docs updated for Android tablets

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Google Docs just got itself a nice little update. The big one for us is that it's now optimized for tablets -- and that makes a big difference for how much time we're willing to spend looking at a spreadsheet on a smaller screen. Here's the full changelog:

  • Optimized experience for tablet users, Honeycomb (Android 3.0+)
  • New 3-panel interface for improved browsing
  • Details panel showing a thumbnail and sharing information
  • Improved sharing experience with autocomplete system
  • Landscape or portrait mode
  • Improved video playback

Snag it in the market, or with the links after the break.

Source: Google Docs blog; Thanks, @RickBosch, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Android running on the HP TouchPad a different way

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you bought a TouchPad during the fire sale, and decided that you like using webOS while waiting for hackers to get a full Android port up and running, news in the Pre Central forums might get you a little excited.  Android's not the only Linux based OS that people love to hack, and an enterprising young fellow in China has figured out how to get Android running inside a card like a normal webOS app.  Looking at it, it appears to either be an virtual machine or a variant of the Android SDK emulator running, so expect a lot of functionality but at a slower pace because of the emulation layer.  With some further tweaking, many of the software issues can be ironed out, and maybe even a bit more support for the hardware can be found -- those webOS hackers are a crafty bunch.

Until a good (read final) dual boot solution for Android and webOS is found for the TouchPad, this looks like it might be the ticket if you're finding the Palm HP App Catalog a bit lacking, but don't want to give up the TouchPad's great web browser.  And heck, most of you guys bought the TouchPad solely to hack the hell out of it, right?  Here's your chance.

Source: Pre Central
More: Pre Central forums

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2 years ago

Editorial: Now we know why Apple went after Samsung in the courtroom

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If you live in a cave and missed the "big" announcement of the iPhone 5 iPhone 4S, you need to have a peek for reference before we start.  Jump over to TiPb, where Allyson has a summary and links so you can watch the whole thing (if you can be bothered to install a proprietary QuickTime plugin, that is).  If you came back a bit underwhelmed, you're not alone, and it looks like more than a few iPhone die-hards will be skipping this update altogether

OK, we're done with the links and news about the iP4S -- promise.  I just wanted to be sure you all had a chance to see just what Apple took 16 months to release, and have an idea how it was received.  Now compare it to the reaction the Internet, folks in our forums, and people in general had to the Samsung Galaxy S II. 

Apple no longer sets the bar that others are measured against.

This goes beyond the Galaxy S II.  Samsung is releasing some amazing products, listening to user feedback, and delivering what consumers want.  I don't like Touchwiz.  Not even a tiny bit.  But, damn, it is smooth and fluid on the latest Samsung hardware, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It's also functional, bringing things to the table that users haven't even thought to ask for yet.  Techie types are falling in love with Samsung's new products, and we all know where non-techy types look for advice.  No longer will the non-fanboy instantly say the word iSomething when asked what the best smartphone is, because until Apple can show something new, with features users have been asking for, the iProduct isn't it.

We tend to think in terms of smartphone here (we are a Mobile Nation of Smartphone Experts after all) but Samsung, like LG, sells an amazing amount of phones every year.  Numbers that dwarf any manufacturer's smartphone sales.  They are in the Prime position (see what we just did there?) to put out the product that sets the tone for the next generation of smartphones, likely running Android.  Apple can't risk that, because they have a giant cash cow they need to protect.

That's iTunes.

For all the polish and thought that goes into Apple's mobile products, they are just a front end for iTunes.  The fellows in Cupertino know that they can create buzz on a brand (and they do a marvelous job at it), but can they compete when another product comes on the scene that is simply better?  That's a risk that Apple is too smart to take.  If Samsung is able to build and sell something to make the average user want it enough to leave the iTunes universe, Apple's revenue will be hit -- hard.  Apple knows how to sell content and build mindshare.  Samsung knows how to sell a whole lot of electronic devices.  The two had to butt heads eventually, and as Android matures, that day isn't far off.  NVIDIA shows us what can be done with powerful hardware on a mobile device.  The Galaxy S II line shows us that hardware has reached a point where even less-than-optimized software can look and feel awful damn good.  When the two meet (Ice Cream Sandwich?  Maybe.), the chance to really shake up Apple's ecosystem is there.

I'm no fancy paid analyst -- I'm a middle aged father of three who happens to be a big nerd.  I have a theory that if I can see the big picture, real analysts and businessmen can as well.  Samsung is in the position to de-throne Apple, and spending the last six months worrying about legislation instead of innovation makes perfect sense to me after the recent iPhone announcement.

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2 years ago

World of Goo coming to Android as GooDroid!

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If you've never heard of the World of Goo, we have a feeling that will be changing soon. The folks behind the World of Goo, 2D Boy -- have announced they will be bringing their physics-based puzzle game to the Android platform.

Similar to Angry Birds gameplay, the obeject is to move goo around from pipe-to-pipe in an effort to get it where it needs to go. You'll be facing plenty of structures in your way though such as hills, spikes, and cliffs and you have to maintain as much goo as possible.

No pricing or launch date was announced for the game but 2D Boy states they are currently working on some of the machinery for GooDroid, as it will be called when released so with that in mind -- we're guessing launch cannot be that far off.

Source: 2D Boy

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2 years ago

Latest Android version numbers released, Gingerbread is on the rise

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Google has released the latest breakdown of the platform version numbers, and they show Gingerbread growing in a big way.  These numbers are a snapshot of the phones and tablets that have visited the Android Market up to October 3, 2011, so it's a pretty good breakdown of just what's out there in the wild. 

As noted, Gingerbread saw a big jump of almost 8 percentage points, and almost all of it came from the Froyo column.  This means OEMs are getting their phones upgraded to the latest platform version, bringing welcome security and bug fixes along for the ride.  On the other end of the spectrum, not much has changed for phones still using version 1.5 and 1.6, they still clock in at just 2.5 percent of the total.  Honeycomb has seen a slight bump from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent of the total, and Android 2.1 has dropped a couple tenths to 11.7 percent.

It's about what anyone would have expected, some phones are going to be stuck on older versions, and phones that can be upgraded are being upgraded, albeit slower than many would care for.  The numbers are quite favorable, with 97.5 percent of all Android devices on the 2.X codebase.  Of course, this won't look quite so good when we move to Ice Cream Sandwich, and go through the waiting game all over again.  We'll visit that one next month, hopefully.

Source: Android Developers

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2 years ago

The Amazon Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market - that bother you?

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KMLProxy in our forums brings up a good point, if you're looking at purchasing an Amazon Kindle Fire. You won't be able to easily transfer apps that you purchase in the Android Market to the Kindle Fire. That is, you won't be able to redownload them directly, because the Kindle Fire won't have the Android Market.

That's not an insurmountable problem -- we've talked about how to pull the apps off your phone before, and you should be able to sideload them back onto the Kindle Fire. But you do see what we're getting at here, right?

Will the absence of the Android Market sway your decision to purchase a Kindle Fire? Let's hear it.

More: Preorder the Amazon Kindle Fire; Amazon Kindle Fire forums

Does the lack of the Android Market make the Kindle Fire worry you?

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2 years ago

Adobe releases AIR 3 for Android, grab it in the Market

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Abode Flash Player wasn't the only thing to get an update tonight -- Adobe AIR has also been updated to version 3, and it's again full of performance enhancements and improvements.  ActionScript developers will appreciate support for native extensions, and users will love front facing camera support (we want a Zombie Booth AIR version please!).  There's also support for speaker control and more color depth, as well as better file compression support and more secure streaming to keep Hollywood and the record labels happy.  AIR is deeply integrated into Stage 3D, and the games should be incredible once the new features are finished rolling out.  Get your update from the Market, or hit the install link after the break.

More: Adobe

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash Player 11 available now in the Android Market

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Adobe has released Flash Player 11 right on schedule and you can now grab them  from the Market.  The changelog is pretty spares, noting only "performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability," but the power of the internet (and a handy link from Adobe) points us to the release notes.  Support for new compression methods, better support for high resolution pictures, protected streaming improvements (will help with DRM issues), and many other small fixes -- which all add up to better performance.  These improvements are the first step towards Stage 3D, which quite frankly looks amazing.  If you already have Flash installed, grab the update from the Market, if not, the link is after the break.

More: Adobe

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2 years ago

Chromium web browser gets files that support a build for Android

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Chromium, the open-source version of Google's Chrome web browser, got an interesting bit of code checked in a few days ago -- files and scripts that support a build for Android.  While normally we wouldn't get too excited seeing an upstream check-in about Android in an open-source project, this time the submission is from a Google employee.  Google took extra time to let everyone at Google I/O 2011 know that Android and Chrome were two separate entities, and everyone got the impression that the two would never meet.  We sure did, and discussed it ourselves over a beer or two.

Of course, things change -- maybe Google has decided that a merger of the Android browser code and the Chrome browser code would benefit everyone, and the open-source version would be the best place to do it.  Or maybe these are just files for the DIY'ers out there to build their own version of Chromium for Android.  Either way, the full Chrome browser on my Galaxy Tab is something I've been wanting.  Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step.

Source: Chromium via Conceivably Tech

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