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3 years ago

Let's talk about all those device announcements - New device forums now open [from the forums]

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Android Forums at Android Central

It's been a hectic week for us here at Android Central. But as we get prepared to wind down the full on CES 2011 coverage, we figured we'd take the time to round up a listing of all the new forums we've put in place as the devices were announced. If you're looking to learn more or just simply chat about any device in particular be sure to check em out.

Stay tuned, we'll be adding more to the mix and If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Mobience Bluetooth qwerty keyboard -- and headset

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Mobience keyboard

Imagine a full physical QWERTY keyboard - slightly larger than a deck of cards - that wirelessly connects via Bluetooth to your Android smartphone or tablet. On the backside there’s a microphone and earpiece that extends voice conversations just like a Bluetooth headset. Introducing Mobience, a Korean manufacture, that sells an accessory that does exactly that. I had a few minutes of hands on time with this yet to be named accessory at CES 2011, matched up with a Galaxy Tab. The keys were well spaced, albeit a little stiff to press. As you can see in the picture, I didn’t try to correct my mistakes. That said, with a little practice, there’s a potential of pounding out emails and word documents in no time. When your phone receives an incoming call, the device will vibrate, and you can flip it over and converse the same way you would over any Bluetooth headset. This accessory is currently available in Korean markets, with plans to release in the US at a yet to be announced date.

So Mobience, I realize this is a lot to ask, but please let me know what you plan on naming this bad boy, when it will be available, where I can buy it, and how much it will cost. When you get those details figured out, I’ll seriously consider buying one, mkay?  There's a picture of the back, showing the microphone and speaker, after the break.

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3 years ago

HSTi's Wireless Media Stick makes your Android device a media server

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HSTi Wireless Media Stick

It’s now 2011, and I’ve yet to have a high quality and reliable experience streaming media content between an Android device and a media player. I’ve tried docks, Bluetooth, DLNA, and cables with frustrating results. Today, I had an opportunity to see a demonstration of an awesome new accessory called the Wireless Media Stick, manufactured by HSTi. The Media Stick is essentially a network bridge between a PC, Mac, NAS, or Android device connected to a WiFi router; and any media player with a USB playback port (i.e.,TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, game console, stereo, or digital picture frame). On an Android device the Wireless Media Stick App streams videos, music, photos, or PowerPoint presentations - via the WiFi radio - to a Wireless Media Stick plugged into the USB playback port of a media player. The Android application provides full control over which folders and/or files are shareable. HSTi demoed the Media Stick, at CES 2011, by streaming an HD movie from a Galaxy S tablet to a TV with a built in USB port and media player. Both devices were connected to an 802.11g (b and n are also supported) wireless network. Picture quality was perfect with no hiccups nor glitches.   The Wireless Media stick is available now for $119 at www.hsti.com. The free Android app will be available on January 31. The company is also working with carriers on OEM opportunities.

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3 years ago

Xperia X10 Mini Pro Successor Pictured and Spec'd

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 X10 Mini Pro Successor

Pictures of an apparent successor to Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 Mini Pro have leaked out on Chinese forum IT168, along with some technical specs for the device.

Sony Ericsson has apparently packed a Qualcomm MSM7230 CPU and Adreno 205 GPU into the same small form factor as the original X10 Mini Pro. The new device is said to sport 384MB of RAM, a decent boost from the original's 128MB but still relatively anaemic compared to the 512MB+ found in most modern smartphones. No details of clock speeds were included, but the MSM7230 usually runs at 800MHz.

Check out another photo after the jump. [IT168 via SEMC Blog]

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3 years ago

Dolphin Browser Mini officially launches in Market

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Just a few weeks separated from its beta launch in the Android Market, the new Dolphin Mini browser has grown out of beta status and officially entered the Android Market, V1.0. Along with the release comes several new features and bug fixes, including a new data backup and restore feature.

New Features

  • New backup and restore feature
  • Refined UI and toolbox design
  • New bookmarks label
  • New flash plugin and updated flash settings
  • New address bar "quick options" by long pressing address bar

Dolphin Browser mini has quickly become one of our favorite browsers of choice, so be sure to check out this official release in the Market and let us know what you think in the comments section. [via Dolphin Browser Blog]

 

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3 years ago

Google's Matias Duarte interviewed, says Honeycomb the future of Android

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 Google's Matias Duarte

Engadget scored a lengthy interview with Matias Duarte, Google's Director of User Experience and the man behind much of the UI direction of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and 3.0 Honeycomb.

In one his first interviews since joining Google, Duarte talks about his time at rival Palm, as well as key Gingerbread and Honeycomb design decisions made over the past seven months. Duarte also discusses the future of Android on phones and tablets. He stops short of confirming that Honeycomb itself will be heading to Android phones, but says that the design decisions seen in Honeycomb are "absolutely the future of Android." This in itself is great news, and something that should have everyone excited about Android in 2011.

If you're interested in the future direction of Android, and the thought that goes into designing the platform and its UI then this interview is definitely worth a look. Check it out for yourself after the jump. [Engadget]

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3 years ago

Nvidia announces 'TegraZone' game store for Tegra-powered Android phones

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 Nvidia TegraZone

Nvidia is really proud of the Tegra 2, and for good reason. It is the first dual-core processor to be powering mobile devices and had a huge coming out party at CES this year. It looks poised to become the default processor for Gingerbread tablets as well. The biggest benefactor of much of that power will be games, and Nvidia isn't going to let Google handle things on their own. As such, the company will be launching "TegraZone", an app store for games that require the increased graphical performance of the Tegra 2.

There are also a couple key advantages for game developers to use TegraZone over the Android Market including doing away with the 50MB app size limit and offering a more curated and premium catalogue -- game devs won't have to worry about competing with lower-quality games. Nvidia claims 5-10 launch titles and is actively courting Gameloft, whose refusal to list their games on the Android Market has become somewhat famous. As for release date, we only get a cruel "coming soon". [Nvidia

 

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3 years ago

Verizon to cut return policy to 14 days effective Jan 16th

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verizon

It appears as though Verizon has a lot more changes then we would have ever predicted coming down the pipeline to start out 2011. First the flood of new LTE devices at CES, then the unknown press conference scheduled for next week, then they changed the upgrade policy for two-year contracts, and now they plan to change their return policy to 14 days instead of 30 days. This change is slated to happen on the 16th of this month and no direct communication has been given as to why the change. Be sure to stay tuned for any further information we receive, and hopefully some official communication from Verizon to better understand the changes.

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3 years ago

Froyo update schedule for U.S. Cellular Android phones released

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 U.S. Cellular Samsung Mesmerize

U.S. Cellular has provided a long-due update to their Android customers on the timeline they can expect for their phones to get updated to Froyo. The phones and dates listed are:

It is puzzling why the Mesmerize will take so long to get the update as Samsung has already pushed out the Galaxy S Froyo update code to carriers for testing. Still, at least Android users on U.S. Cellular have some official word now. [Facebook] Thanks to Greg for the tip!

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3 years ago

A sit-down with Toshiba and its 10.1-inch Android tablet prototype

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Toshiba Protoype Android tablet

Toshiba is looking to get into the Android tablet space in a big way. And by big, we mean 10.1 inches, with Honeycomb (once it's actually available). We sat down with Toshiba at CES in Las Vegas for a walkthrough with the unnamed prototype.

The software was defintely not finished, running Froyo (and with hiccups). But it was the hardware we were really interested in. Join us after the break for a good look.

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3 years ago

Viewsonic Tablets Hands-on. Hands-ons. Just a bunch of tablets, really

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Feeling burned by that Viewsonic gTablet you bought at Staples despite our review's best efforts to warn you? Perhaps if it was called the Viewpad 10s you'd feel better about the fact that the 10.1" inch screen is fronting a mere 1024x600 set of pixels. Or perhaps our look at the 7-inch version at IFA wasn't enough and you'd like another peek at that running Android 2.2. Or maybe you'd like to see how the dual-booting Windows 7 / Android 1.6 Viewpad 10 (nee Viewpad 100) has progressed in the past few months.

We can tell that you want all of these things. Heck, you probably want to know that there's also a 4" version floating around at CES that we may try to track down later. We're comfortable with Viewsonic pushing out lower-end tablets and we want you to be too, so go on and watch some videos and photos of Viewpads after the break

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3 years ago

Verizon to announce the iPhone on Jan 11th?

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verizon-press

Can't say we didn't see this one coming, can we? Verizon has sent out communication in regards to another press conference, separate from the one we were at yesterday here at CES, which is for Jan 11th in NYC. We all know Apple, and we know they like to be the center of attention which makes sense as to why it will be done next week, and away from this main event, where everyone already is. So, with the Verizon iPhone coming down the pipeline, or maybe it is really just the HTC Merge, will you be leaving your current device behind for one, or staying strong with your Android device? Keep your eyes posted to our good friends at TiPB so we can keep up with any updates they may receive. [via TiPB]

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3 years ago

HTC Android battery saves valet drivers life after stopping bullet fired at him

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htc-battery

When they say "Droid Does" they really mean it, and we have yet to see a limit be put on that. We have seen devices launch into space, devices take pictures of the lunar eclipse, and now we have seen a device save someones life. From reports, it appears as though a valet driver had his HTC Incredible in his inside pocket of his jacket when shots were fired at him, but they hit his device instead. The shot hit the battery of the device, which actually prevented the shot from penetrating any further, thus saving his life. Do you think that pretty glass iPhone4 could have saved anyone's life? Just another reason why, Droid Does. Video is after the break for you all. [wsbtv via AP]

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3 years ago

Security firm Lookout dissects the Geinimi trojan

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Android trojan

A week or so ago we warned everyone about the Geinimi trojan that's been spotted in the wilds of the Orient.  The threat level itself hasn't increased (as far as we know) if you aren't poking around Chinese Android fansites and downloading slightly questionable programs, so there's no need to ring the alarm and circle the wagons just yet.  Lookout has torn down the trojan itself and gives a great overview of what it does, and how it does it.  This isn't a primer to teach yourself trojan writing, it's standard practice among security firms to show how things are done and help find ways to prevent it in the future.  First, here's exactly what this trojan can do:

  • Read and collect SMS messages
  • Send and delete selected SMS messages
  • Pull all contact information and send it to a remote server (number, name, the time they were last contacted)
  • Place a phone call
  • Silently download files
  • Launch a web browser with a specific URL

Yikes.  Remember, this is so far a pretty isolated incident, and this isn't in any apps you can get from the Android Market.  In fact, so far it looks like it's confined to "warez" files, so it mirrors what you find on the internet when downloading questionable files for your computer.  Our advice -- stick to applications from someone you trust, and if you have a need to download random applications (we have to do it here all the time to check them out) find a method to scan them for malicious code.

Lookout breaks the code itself down, if your a developer or just curious be sure to have a look.  It's pretty sophisticated and a shame that the developer(s) don't put their effort into something a bit more productive.  Check the source link for all the details, including a .pdf file with a complete code breakdown. [Lookout] Thanks Cerena!

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3 years ago

Verizon Wireless to expand LTE to more than 140 markets in 2011

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verizon

Yesterday 4G LTE was all over the place at the Verizon press conference, many new devices, which is awesome, but how awesome is it without network expansion to allow these to run. Verizon has announced that they are expanding their network across the country, from Alabama to Wisconsin, including various areas of Florida, one specific area being Pensacola. [hooray for Phil!] In addition to Pensacola they will be expanding to Tallahassee, Gainesville, Lakeland-Winter Haven and Sarasota/Bradenton for you Florida folks, and generally blanketing US metro areas one by one.

Hit the break for a list of cities that will be covered before the end of 2011, and the latest Verizon Wireless press release. [Verizon]

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