Headlines

3 years ago

Clambook aims to bring laptop capabilities to your Android smartphone

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This one is a far cry in appearance from Motorola's efforts with the Lapdock. The newly announced Clamcase Clambook quite simply wants to bring a laptop experience to your Android smartphone. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Macbook Air and containing a 16:9 widescreen display, by connecting to your phone via an MHL adaptor it brings full native keyboard and trackpad capabilities with it. As well as this, it will charge your phone while it is docked. 

The Clambook also proudly boasts that it will work with Android 4.0, and the keyboard has dedicated home, app switching and back keys. 

Motorola users can use the Clambook to launch the in-built Webtop functionality too. Exact details and device compatibility are still absent at this time, as is any idea on price. But, if you yearn for an Android powered laptop this could be the answer to your prayers. 

Source: Clamcase

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3 years ago

HP TouchPad originally was to be an Android tablet, ex-webOSer writes

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The HP TouchPad originally ran Android. Or at least it was going to. Point is, it was an Android tablet before it was a webOS tablet before it was an Android tablet again

That revelation (new to some, not so secret or surprising to others) comes from Josh Marinacci, formerly of webOS developer relations, writing in response to the epic recap from The Verge of the rise and fall of former smartphone manufacturer Palm. Chris Ziegler's piece is well worth reading. I cut my teeth on a Palm Treo. Marinacci's post also has some interesting nuggets in it. That the TouchPad was designed by HP with Android in mind isn't that big a surprise. It certainly explains that one FrankenPad that appeared to come from Qualcomm with an actual native build of Android on board. Marinacci puts it thusly:

"The hardware design for the touchpad came from HP. It was designed before the acquisition and originally ran Android. That's why you'll occasionally hear rumors of a touchpad the shipped with Android on it. That's also why the specs were a bit anemic when it shipped over a year later."

Another section caught my eye, where Marinacci talks about how the original Motorola Droid didn't necessarily kill off the Palm Pre Plus -- it was Verizon. Or, more specifically, that retail employees never got behind the Pre Plus, instead going for the Droid.

"In the U.S., at least, a phone lives or dies by the retail staff in the carrier stores. Nothing else matters. Not price. Not features. Not apps. If the retail staff doesn't like you ... you die."

True enough, even in the Android microcosm. It's something to remember.

Source: Josh Marinacci; more: webOS Nation

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3 years ago

Google Maps for Android getting offline access

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Google today at a small event in San Francisco announced that it's taking Google Maps offline. That's right, no more will you be beholden to your data connection. Or if traveling abroad (or on a subway, for instance), you'll be able to kill data altogether and still find your way around. This, ladies and germs, is a big deal. What's more is that it's not just macro-level mapping. You'll be able to zoom all the way down into street view, sans data. You can't have it just yet, but Google says it's coming soon enough.

Google also showed off a backpack-type Street View rig -- powered by Android, if you'll believe it -- that's taken us down to street level in places cars can't go. Pretty slick.

And then there's 3D modeling in Google Earth. Google walked us through how it does things, making them better all the time. Its modeling has taken a big leap forward with the use of airplanes and oblique mapping, with computers doing some serious number crunching to make things impossibly smooth. It'll be coming to both Android and iOS devices in ridiculous resolution.

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3 years ago

HTC releases unaudited May 2012 revenues, revises Q2 revenue guidance down

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HTC's bumpy 2012 financial performance continues, with today's announcement of the Taiwanese manufacturer's unaudited revenue numbers for May 2012. The company reported revenue levels of NT$30 billion (~$1 billion), bringing the total unaudited consolidated revenue for the year up to NT$128.8 billion (~$4.3 billion). The numbers represent a slight fall in revenue from April, during which a boost in sales brought  in NT$31 billion.

HTC also revised its second quarter revenue guidance down, to NT$91 billion ($3.1 billion) in revenue with a gross margin of 27% and operating margin of 9%. The earlier guidance estimated revenue of NT$93.6 billion ($3 billion), with a 29% gross margin and 11.2% operating margin.

HTC blamed the revised figures on weaker than expected European sales, in addition to the recent delays in getting some U.S. phones through customs.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 launches in the UK

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Samsung sends word that its diminutive entry-level smartphone, the Galaxy Mini 2, has launched in the UK. The phone's 3.27-inch HVGA screen and 800MHz CPU is certainly a far cry from the specs found in the company's latest flagship. But as we discovered during our hands-on time at MWC, it's a well-built and relatively speedy entry-level phone that feels great in the hand. It's definitely a solid improvement over last year's Galaxy Mini.

A cursory glance over a few online retailers reveals SIM-free prices of around £150, which isn't at all bad for this kind of handset. The Galaxy Mini 2 is also due to appear on-contract from T-Mobile and Orange in the UK.

For more info, check out our hands-on preview from Mobile World Congress.

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3 years ago

Where to order the Samsung Galaxy S III in the United States

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The roll-out of the Samsung Galaxy S III has begun in earnest. From its announcement in London a month ago to release in Europe and elsewhere, and now with preorders well under way in the United States, the GSIII certainly has positioned itself as the phone to be reckoned with in 2012. 

Following is a quick roundup of where you get preorders, and when we expect phones to ship.

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3 years ago

Sony Google TV update v2.1.1 arriving, Logitech Revue update news to follow

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It's been a while since we heard of any updates coming to the Sony Google TV and even longer the Logitech Revue but  there is some action finally happening on that front as we now know thanks to an update from Google TV Developers.

The Sony Google TV has an update on the way that in addition to adding support for watching movies purchased through Google Play also includes support for watching videos via the YouTube Movies page.

Logitech Revue owners aren't so lucky as of yet though, don't fret as the Google TV developer team has noted there is some update news coming your way as well sooner rather than later.

Source: Google TV Developers

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3 years ago

TomTom for Android to launch 'fairly soon' according to company co-founder

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TomTom for iOS has been out for a long old time now, but there's never really been any traction behind an Android version appearing. There is now hope though, as co-founder of TomTom, Peter-Frans Pauwels, has told ​Pocket-lint​ that the app will be released "fairly soon." 

He couldn't put an exact date on the launch, but went on to say "I can confirm it is real" and that the "summer season is important for us." He also confirmed that the Android version would contain the same feature set as is iOS compatriot. There was no indication of price, but make no mistake. TomTom is a premium application that will come with a premium price. 

Many Android users would question the need for TomTom -- especially given the length of time without having it -- when we have a perfectly good, and free, satellite navigation system in Google Maps Navigation. Only time will tell on that one, but for many TomTom is satellite navigation so we're looking forward to seeing it land. 

Source: Pocket-lint

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3 years ago

Intel powered Orange San Diego officially on sale today

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The Intel era has officially reached European shores, as the Orange San Diego becomes the first device to launch carrying their hardware. The device was unveiled in London last week, but officially goes on sale today priced at £199.99 on pay-as-you-go, and free on a 2-year contract starting at £15.50 per month. 

As you can see, we've got one, and over the next week or so we'll be putting it to the test to really see what's what. First impressions are good based upon an albeit brief hands-on at the launch event. As a phone, it's relatively unassuming. It has a nice screen, it's light enough, it has 16GB of on-board storage and 1GB of RAM -- but that's not really what we're interested in. It really is what's inside on this one, and we'll be spending a lot of time looking at how this Intel device stacks up against other higher priced, higher spec'd devices. Battery life is key, as is performance. Can Intel really deliver high-end performance, with the added bonus of superb battery life. There's only one way to find out. Stay tuned. 

More: Orange San Diego hands-on and first impressions

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3 years ago

Instagram for Android updated with improved search, advanced camera fixes

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The latest Instagram for Android update has now appeared in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. This release looks to solve a number of issues users were having with the app, and the folks from Instagram has ever so nicely laid out the full change log for everyone --

  • Improved search functionality
  • Support for location data taken from Gallery images when geotag is selected
  • Fix for HTC Sensation 4G freezing using tilt shift
  • Improved support and bugfixes for devices using the Instagram advanced camera
  • Addresses tilt shift issues on lower resolution images

If you happened to come across any of those issues in your use of the app, then the you'd best grab the update and see if things are fixed for you. Head to "My Apps" in the Google Play app to update to the latest version, or use the Google Play web interface.

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III now available for pre-order, shipping from June 18

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It's Wednesday, June 6, and that means AT&T's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III is now available for pre-order over at the carrier's website. The phone's pre-selling for $199 on a 2-year plan, or $549 without a contract, and it's available in marble white and pebble blue, just like the international model (though a limited edition red version is slated for launch later in the summer.)

Follow the pre-order process all the way through and you'll be informed that your order will ship in under two weeks time, on Monday, June 18 -- that's a few days earlier than most other U.S. Galaxy S III models, which are due to appear from June 21.

The AT&T Galaxy S III features a 4.8-inch 720p SuperAMOLED display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card. If you're still on the fence, be sure to check out our exhaustive review of the international version for a broad idea of what to expect.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Dropbox update adds new streaming features and Korean language support

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Cloud storage service Dropbox has updated its official Android app to version 2.1.4, introducing a couple of new features that some may find useful. Firstly, Korean language support has been added, opening the app up to the multitudes of Korean Android users. And Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users get a "custom-tailored" video streaming interface, which it seems plays a little more nicely with virtual buttons on ICS devices. 

To pick up the latest version, head to the "My Apps" section of the Google Play Store app, or use the web interface to install from scratch. 

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: Samsung Galaxy S III -- white or blue?

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This one's for Dana (she loves the Samsung Galaxy S III in white), who wrote in and asked me to find out which color the Internet loves most -- Marble White or Pebble Blue. It's not very often that we get a choice of color, especially when black isn't one of them, so I'm curious, too. And lest we forget, there's now a red option coming later this summer from AT&T. Let's throw that one in as well, even if we've not yet seen it. If you're getting one, or even if you're not, let Dana and me know what color looks best.

 

Which color Samsung Galaxy S III looks the best?

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3 years ago

LG Optimus L7 now available from Fido in Canada

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Although Future Shop, Rogers and Fido gave up the goods a little early, the LG Optimus L7 has now popped up on the Fido website and is ready for purchase. Fido has decided to start this one off at $0 with a new three-year contract, $50 with a two-year contract or if you're looking to avoid contracts altogether you can hand over $300 and it'll be yours outright. If you're looking for more info, check out our hands-on with the device or hit the Fido link below to get your order for one placed.

Source: Fido

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3 years ago

Android A to Z: Haptic feedback

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We're back with another installment of Android A to Z, and this time we're looking at haptic feedback. It's one of those little things that can make a big difference, and something we never really think about. Simply put, haptic feedback (commonly referred to as haptics) is the use of touch feedback to the end user. You know how your Android phone vibrates a tiny bit when you tap one of the navigation buttons? That's haptics at work.

Since the screen on your Android phone or tablet is pretty much just a smooth sheet of glass of some sort or another, it's difficult to register any sort of tactile feedback to our fingers. When we type on a computer keyboard, we know when our fingers have pressed a key down. Our mouse (and some trackpads) do the same thing with a healthy click when we press the button. On a smartphone, we just have to trust we've done something, and wait for it to happen. Haptics helps here. The short and light vibration when typing out a message with an on-screen keyboard can make a big difference for many of us, and I can see myself being pretty frustrated if an on-screen button didn't let me know I had pressed it.

Haptics go beyond navigation and the keyboard though. They can be a very important part of mobile gaming. Gunning your way through an enemy horde is much more satisfying when you feel every shot from your rifle, and nothing lets you know you've hit the wall in your favorite racing game like a harsh vibration from your phone or tablet. 

Probably the best thing about haptic feedback on Android devices is the way it can be customized. The OS itself is open, meaning OEM and developers can adjust things to get them just the way they like, including leaving the settings wide open to the user like we see in CyanogenMod ROMs. More importantly, application developers have access to the hardware controller to customize haptic feedback for their products. It goes one step further with the addition of things like the Immersion haptic SDK to the mix, where developers have an almost unlimited way to make their applications register with your fingers as well as your eyes and ears. Sometimes, the little things mean a lot.

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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