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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom stock SBF leaked

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Motorola and Google made the Xoom with an unlockable boot loader (thanks for that!), so it's great news when the hacking community has a way to roll things back to stock.  You never know when your experiments with Android get you so far off base that you need to return to something stable, or when you might need to prepare for any future OTA updates.  That's why we're really happy to see the stock SBF file leaked out -- it allows anyone and everyone to go straight back to the software the Xoom was shipped with, using RSD lite.

We're unsure about Motorola's feelings about this one, they usually don't take kindly to their factory SBF files getting leaked, so this might not last long.  You can get the download links, and a bit more information at the source link. [XDA-Developers via Android Central Forums]

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 5, 2011

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Whether you're looking for a productivity application, or just a fun game to kill some extra time with your Android device, hunting down what you want in the Android Market can be a bit of a task. Since we like to spend as much time as we can searching, tinkering, and playing around with new applications, we figure we should share with you some of our favorites. Let's take a look at some of our favorite applications, and hopefully some of you will find them to be your favorite as well!

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3 years ago

Motorola will upgrade unlocked Xooms with LTE data, no questions asked

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Good news for those of you who might have unlocked and/or rooted your Motorola Xoom -- to the surprise of few of us here, you should have no problem with Motorola upgrading it to LTE. That's in contrary to a story that circulated earlier this week. Originating from the "Moto Xpert" DansDroid on the Motorola Support Forums, it was said that "If your Xoom is rooted it will not be upgraded by Motorola."

We'd been waiting on official word from Motorola but now have semi-official word through the same Moto support forum, this time from the infamous forums manager Matt. And he states: 

All Motorola XOOM tablets on the Verizon Wireless network are eligible to receive an upgrade to support 4G LTE. This includes those that have been unlocked; however, those units must be submitted for upgrade with the original factory software reinstalled and the device relocked in order to receive the upgrade.

For devices that are returned unlocked, Motorola will attempt to complete the upgrade, but may be unable to update the software. In these cases, the device will be returned to the consumer with just the 4G LTE modem installed.

We're really not at all worried about this. If you're the type who unlocks and roots your Xoom, you're also likely able to roll it back and re-lock it before sending it back in. Sky's not falling, folks, though you'll still have to actually be without your Xoom for a week, and pray it gets back to you safely. [Motorola Support Forums, 2 via Android Central Forums]

Update: Oh, and speaking of getting your Xoom back to stock ...

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3 years ago

Android apps purchased from Amazon will work on multiple devices, use Amazon DRM

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Android applications purchased in Amazon's app store (which may finally go live to consumers any time now) will use Amazon's special sauce of digital locker/digital rights management to help combat piracy. Amazon spells it out in its developer blog:

Customers who purchase an app will retain an entitlement to their app even if they decide to replace their current Android device and/or purchase new devices, as long as the new devices meet the installation requirements of the app. This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past.

The digital locker service combined with a robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution not only make managing apps easier for customers, they also address one of the biggest concerns developers have: unauthorized copying and distribution. An authorized user can now install your app on any of their supported devices; however, if you chose to apply DRM on your app at submission time, your app will not run on unauthorized devices.

Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.

The tl;dr version: You can use apps purchased from Amazon on multiple devices just fine; you'll just need Amazon's app store app installed for them to work. It's not nearly as scary as some would have you believe, and it's an extra cushion for developers. [Amazon Developer Blog]

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3 years ago

Finding Google's apps in the Market

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Google is a software giant, and many of us user their proprietary applications on our Android phone.  With good reason -- apps like Gmail, Androidify, and YouTube absolutely rock on an Android device.  But did you know that Google, Inc. has a veritable laundry list of apps available on the Android Market?  They're all free, too! 

Some of you more Android savvy types might already know of them all, but for the rest of us there's an easy way to have a look at them, using search while in the Market app on your phone or tablet.  Just open the search dialog using the search button on your phone or the search icon in the Market, and look for Pub:"Google Inc."  That's a search by publisher -- in this case, Google, Inc.

So can you guess all the Google apps? We've given you seven freebies, and we've got your list after the break. Thanks for the tip, cdubbs!

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3 years ago

Mysterious Motorola device at the FCC

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The FCC holds a World of wonders for gadget lovers. The most recent point-of-interest is in a Motorola filing that was discovered today. While it could be speculated that it is the previously leaked Motorola Droid X 2 the fact is there really isn't anything telling in the information above to make us believe it's that device in particular-- or even Android device at all, for that matter.

What we do know however is that Droid X 2 leaked out already and given that the device above has CDMA bands it is somewhat possible this may be what we are seeing at the FCC. But again, nothing about the filing indicates it's that particular device. We'll just have to sit on this one and see if more info turns up in the meantime. [FCC via Electronista]

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3 years ago

Samsung reconsidering Galaxy Tab 10.1 price after iPad 2 announcement

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Apple's recently-announced iPad 2 will provide some strong competition to the current crop of Honeycomb tablets, and it looks like manufacturers are already taking note of the threat posed by Apple's latest tablet.

Speaking to a Korean news agency, Samsung executive Lee Don-joo acknowledged that the iPad 2's low price point and thinner chassis were the biggest obstacles facing the company as it prepares to launch its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab. In future products Lee says Samsung "will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," likely referring to the 10.1-inch Tab's additional heft compared to the new iPad.

Most interestingly though, Lee adds that Sammy may be reconsidering the launch price for its new tablet, saying "the 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over." The 7-inch Galaxy Tab currently retails at around $500, the same as the cheapest iPad 2. A 10.1-inch Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab at this price point would be a tantalizing prospect, if Samsung is willing to be as competitive with its pricing as Lee's comments would suggest. [Yonhap News Agency]

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3 years ago

Geeksphone Zero gets pricing, release date and specs laid out

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While many of you may not have heard of the Geeksphone One when it was announced in 2009, it was the first European brand to launch an Android Smartphone to the mass market and has quite a following among its users. Since that time Geeksphone has not released any other device but the Geeksphone Zero is now on the horizon and pre-orders are suggested to be taking place within the next 2-weeks. When it comes to specs they are a little underwhelming when compared to newer devices but still, capable:

  • A-GPS
  • Wi-Fi  b/g
  • 5 MP Camera
  • 512MB of RAM
  • AMD Z430 GPU 256MB
  • Qualcomm 600 Mhz MSM762
  • 3.2 Inch HVGA LED Multi-touch
  • Quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz), dual-band UMTS / HSPA (2100/850MHz)

Again, not the most impressive specs but considering the device will cost you only €189 unlocked and only €168 if you were a previous Geeksphone One owner it's not all that bad of a deal. Especially if you're only looking for an entry level device -- a market that is growing. [Android-France]

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3 years ago

Another visual pondering of the future of Android device activations

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you liked that previous visual look at how Android activations -- at more than 300,000 a day now -- you're going to love this one. Greek blogger Stefanos Kofopoulos worked up this stunning video that ponders future growth of Android, and compares Android use to global population. It's a cool little "what if" moment. Check it out. [pestaola.gr] Thanks, Stefanos!

 

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3 years ago

Android Quick-App: Wave Launcher

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It's been a little while since we've seen any webOS aping on Android. And now we have Wave Launcher, which brings the webOS wave launcher (thus the name) feature to Android. It's pretty slick. Touch the bottom of the screen (which would be the gesture area on a webOS phone), wait for the vibration and drag up, and the ribbon appears. You can attach any five apps of your choosing.

If you're using a third-party launcher, you could turn off the launcher dock and just use Wave Launcher. Or use them both. And it works while apps are open, too. Pretty handy, actually, and it's available in the Android Market for a mere 99 cents. We've got video of it and action, as well as download links, after the break. Thanks, Ray!

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