3 years ago

Android Wallpaper of the Day - Ominous Tower in Kansas City


Our Jan. 17 Android Wallpaper of the Day comes to us from member DarthTedd. (Awesome name, btw!) Darth (or should we call you Tedd?) brings us this cool shot of a building in Kansas City, looking skyward to some rather ominous clouds.

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3 years ago

Sony '2012 smartphone list' leaks -- Atlas, Hayabusa and Mint among the highlights


Leaked product roadmaps are always good fun, giving us a cheeky glimpse at what a manufacturer or carrier may have planned for the next several months. The latest leaked roadmap to emerge comes from Sony, by way of GSMArena. According to the leaked list, the newly-minted Sony Mobile Communications has at least 11 unannounced devices in the pipeline for 2012. This is as unconfirmed and unofficial as it gets, so take this one with a pinch of salt. However, the information in the list does align somewhat with what we've heard from earlier Sony leaks. According to ​GSMArena​, all of the phones detailed in the roadmap run Android, and it should also be noted that we're dealing in codenames here, not official branding.

The first half of the year is supposedly dominated by the Xperia S, which we've just seen at CES, along with three new mid-to-entry-level phones -- the ST25i Kumquat, LT22i Nypon and MT27i Pepper. All three have surfaced before in earlier leaks, and we even saw some blurry-cam footage of the Pepper a few weeks back. The middle of the year apparently sees the release of a slew of phones, including the Tapioca, a budget offering, and the Hayabusa, a ~€500-level high-end device. September, too, sees both high and low-end devices coming to market, including the ~€550-level "Mint" and the sub-€200 "AFFM".

Of all the new codenames, the one that jumps out to us is "Atlas", a device which, according to the list, will arrive in September. If you'll allow us to engage in some dangerous and unfounded speculation, we'll point out that "Atlas" is the second Sony phone to carry the codename of an ancient Greek deity. The first, as you may remember, was the Xperia Play, which went by the name of Zeus.

Again, this is all well within rumor territory for the time being. The origin of the list is apparently a leaked Indian sales report, from which the prices have been converted into Euros. So don't be surprised if the actual pricing ends up landing either side of the converted figures, assuming they were even correct to begin with. For more, check the full list over at the source link.

Source: GSMArena

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3 years ago

Airbnb Android app finds you a place to stay while you're on the way


Staying at a hotel is so 2009. Airbnb has made it easy for landlords to put rooms and entire properties up for rent, and easy for rentors to find a place to stay. And today, we now have an Airbnb Android app. 

The Airbnb Android app is nicely done, with loads of photos and easy access to property descriptions. There's a video section as well, and integration with Google Maps makes it easy to see exactly where you're staying. 

Airbnb's also offered up a "featured" section, showing you the service's top 40 properties, and the best of cities such as Austin, Texas; Paris, New York, beach locations, Los Angeles and others.

Sign into your account, and you've got easy access to upcoming rentals (or properties that you're renting out). Upcoming stays are beautifully displayed, with location, duration and contact information for the host.

We're not quite sure we want to go so far as to book a stay from our phones -- we're a little too anal for that. But the Airbnb Android app is a great way to browse listings, and a great way to keep up with your upcoming stays. It's quickly earned a spot in our app drawer.

We've got more screen shots and download links after the break.

More: Airbnb blog

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 now available for the HP TouchPad


Earlier we all got a preview of CyanogenMod 9 running on the HP TouchPad and now, if you're a TouchPad owner looking to get in on the action -- you can do so. CyanogenMod 9 for the HP TouchPad has been released in alpha form.  To break things down for you all:

Things that DO NOT WORK:

  • Hardware Video (OMX). As a result, Netflix does not work, YouTube works only only in non-HD videos.
  • Audio is a mess. The microphone does not work. Work on the current libaudio solution has halted because we will eventually switch to a CAF libaudio.
  • Camera does not work. The only libcamera.so that we have is from froyo and its closed source. There is a wrapper for QCOM gingerbread libcamera libraries that could likely be used as a basis to get our camera working.
  • Market filters prevent some apps from being installed (this can partly solved by switching back to standard DPI settings(120, 160, 240). The current build is using 160 which fixes the market but makes everything look ugly and low resolution.
  • Titanium Backup crashes the kernel. There’s an investigation in progress...There are reports that older versions do work.
  • Most of the hardware problems from CM7 still exist in this CM9 alpha build.

Like we said, very Alpha. Don't venture into this if you're easily annoyed by bugs because you're going to have to deal with quite a few of them here. That said, hit the source link below -- read the disclaimers and get some Ice Cream Sandwich love on your HP TouchPad.

Source: RootzWiki

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich for the Motorola Xoom appears to be rolling out now to everyone


A treat for the night owls from Motorola -- the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Wifi only Motorola Xoom looks to be rolling out right about now.  Reports say it's Android 4.0.3, and everything is the same as the recent "project" that started last week.  It's an OTA, and like all OTA's will roll out in stages of some sort or another and nobody is sure how it's calculated.  Keep an eye on the forums if you're looking for the manual download link should you be the impatient type.  

More in the Motorola Xoom forums

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

LG unveils the Optimus Pad LTE


As LTE is exapanding rapidly, perhaps more rapidly then some would have thought - it's up to manfacturers to go ahead and exapand their device line-ups to include LTE-capable devices as well. LG is fully aware of this and their latest announcement introduces the first LTE-capable tablet from them into the market - the LG Optimus Pad LTE.

“With tablets generating five times more traffic than the average smartphone, it’s not a huge jump to assume that tablet users need and want faster connectivity,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. “The combination of LG’s LTE technology with the tablet form factor is a clear advantage for consumers who use a tablet as their primary consumption device when on the move.”

The LG Optimus Pad LTE will be launching in Korea intially and moving out from there. It will come equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor running Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS, a 1280 x 720 True HD IPS display and 8 megapixel camera for shooting HD video. Plus, HDMI and DLNA support are on board as well as SD Card support for up to 32GB of additional storage. LG hasn't given any pricing or launch details as of yet but you can check out their full press release past the break.

More: Optimus Pad LTE forums; Optimus Pad LTE specs

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Pad LTE specs



Specs for the LG Optimus Pad LTE

    • Operating System: Android 3.2 Honeycomb
    • Memory: User 32GB (Micro SD up to 32GB)
    • Size: 245 x 151.4 x 9.34 mm
    • Weight: 497 g
    • Display: 8.9-inch IPS True HD Display
    • Resolution: 1280 x 768
    • Camera: 8MP (Rear) / 2MP (Front)
    • Processor: Qualcomm 1.5GHz Dual-Core / Dual Channel Processor
    • Battery: 6,800mAh
    • Others: HDMI, DLNA 

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    3 years ago

    Open NFC stack now available for Android 4.0, makes NFC hardware easy to use for OEMs


    The good people at Inside Secure have ported over their Open NFC stack to Ice Cream Sandwich, giving OEM's one less hurdle to jump when getting devices ready for upgrading.  The new 4.3.3 release allows almost any NFC hardware to become Android compliant by using a Hardware Abstraction Layer and special kernel module to communicate via a set of consistent APIs.  What this means to you and I is that hardware developers can now use the free and robust Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to get their hardware working, and software developers can use the Android SDK add-on to communicate with it.  This means shorter engineering and development time dedicated to NFC from start to finish -- something that all impatient Android enthusiasts will be happy about.

    Inside Secure says to expect new devices using the Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to ship later this year.  We don't know if this will be the push needed to make NFC relevant, but it sure can't hurt.  For more info, and more technical specifications than you can shake a stick at, see the links below.

    Source: Inside Secure; via: PhoneScoop
    More: Open NFC developer site

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    3 years ago

    Samsung says it wants no part of RIM; BlackBerry maker's stock falls in after-hours trading


    A report from BGR today, citing anonymous sources, stating that RIM was hoping for a $10 billion to $15 billion purchase by Samsung apparently has fallen flat, but not before the Waterloo company's stocks climbed 8 percent on the day.

    Samsung has not "considered acquiring the firm and are not interested," a company spokesman told Reuters.

    Stock in Research in Motion closed the day up 1.30, or 8.04 percent, but had fallen nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading. A previous report from BGR that RIM would bring its popular BlackBerry Messaging client to Android in 2011 also has been rebuffed by RIM.

    Source: Reuters, Google Finance; via CrackBerry

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    3 years ago

    Editorial: Everybody always is working on better battery life


    In the news business, it's what we call a "no shit" headline.

    • Samsung aims for better smartphone battery life in 2012
    • Samsung promises better battery life in 2012
    • Samsung aiming for extended battery life in 2012
    • Samsung pledges a full day of life on single charge for 2012
    • Samsung aims for all-day smartphone batteries in 2012
    • Samsung looks to beef up batteries and tweak radios in 2012 for extended life
    • Samsung joins the fight against short battery life, promises 2012 phone will be all-day strong for most users
    • Samsung promises full day of battery life for 2012 smartphones
    • Samsung commits to increasing smartphone battery life in 2012, hopes for all-day use

    Every one of those headlines comes today from rereporting a CNET story  -- a story from Jan. 12 at that -- with a single direct quote from Samsung VP of product innovation, Kevin Packingham. (Note to self: Maybe pare down your Google Reader feeds a tad. Things are looking a wee bit similar.) Packingham said "When you wake up to when you go to bed, we don't want you feeling anxiety about your battery life." The transition to the quote says Samsung's goal for smartphones coming out this year is all-day use under average to moderately heavy use. It's a great line. And it's hardly new. And I still have no idea what average to moderately heavy use is. It's different for all of us.

    From the beginning of smartphone time, manufacturers have sought better battery life. Carriers have sought better battery life. Customers have sought better battery life. Hell, from the first moment humans harnessed fire and started carrying it around with torches (early experiments with fire in a cup ended pretty horribly), we've wanted more bang for our buck. So what, exactly, in that one line quote from Samsung has changed in the 17 days since 2011?

    We suppose it could be argued that nobody cared about battery life last year. Just look at the initial crop of 4G LTE phones for that statement to be relatively true. Except it's not true. Not in the least. We're not engineers (as anyone who managed to pass high-school algebra will tell you). But we're willing to bet that power consumption is among the top three factors that go into smartphone design. And while battery life certainly was traded for data speeds (more accurately, radio power consumption, we reckon) of the early 4G LTE devices, to suggest that the likes of Samsung, Motorola, LG and HTC didn't care about battery life for the entire year and will just now pay attention to it is ridiculous. Besides, think back to all of the updates your phone's gotten. How many of them included lines about "Improved battery life" in the changelog?

    That's not to say that some sort of paradigm shift in mobile battery technology isn't sorely needed. It's great that manufacturers are cramming more cells into smaller spaces -- like what Motorola's doing with the Droid RAZR MAXX, and what we presume we'll see the other manufacturers do as well. But that's just moving the wall a little farther away, not finding away up and over it, which is what really needs to be done. Some of that will be done on the software side, with improvements to the operating systems and well-coded applications. But most of the innovation will be done on the hardware side. If Intel can do what it's promising with its Atom processor in phones, we might finally see some movement. Dual- and quad-core processors are steps in the right direction. But what we really need is some sort of Mr. Fusion for smartphones. Something to really change the way we power our phones.  

    Anyhoo, yes. Samsung's working on better battery life in 2012. So is Motorola. So is HTC. So is LG. So is Lenovo. So is ASUS. So is Toshiba. So is NVIDIA. So is Qualcomm. So is Intel. Everybody is working on better battery life, every day of the week. Right now we just have to be content with baby steps. 

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    3 years ago

    Netflix and Youtube resolution, 1080p video recording [From the Forums]


    We're rolling through this week with plenty of Android news happening. If you happened to miss out on anything make sure you jump on back a page and get caught up. If you're looking to discuss things further, we have just the spot for you in the Android Central forums:

    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

    ASUS: No Transformer Prime TF700 in the UK 'before June', British TF201s unaffected by Wifi glitch


    Asus has posted an extensive update on its UK blog covering the newly-announced EeePad Transformer Prime TF700 tablet, along with details of how the widely-reported Wifi and GPS issues with the original Transformer Prime TF201 affect UK users.

    Firstly, ASUS says that the Wifi problems experienced by some Prime owners stateside don't affect any of the units sold in the UK. And on the subject of GPS woes, the manufacturer reminds Brits that they're entitled by law to return their tablets within 30 days for a full refund. To sweeten the deal for those who choose to keep their TF201, ASUS says it's increasing its standard warranty on the device from 12 to 18 months. If you want to take them up on the offer, check the source link for details of how to extend your warranty.

    As for the TF700, the souped-up version of the Prime with a 1080p SuperIPS+ screen, ASUS says that model won't be arriving in the UK until June at the very earliest. So it's bad news bears for Prime fans on this side of the pond, but at least the delay will give prospective buyers the chance to first see what's unveiled at Mobile World Congress next month.

    Source: ASUS Blog; via: Eurodroid

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    3 years ago

    Amazon's Q4 2011 earnings call set for Jan. 31 -- will we finally get Kindle Fire numbers?


    Amazon has been quick to tell us how popular the Kindle Fire has been the past couple of months, but we've yet to see any real numbers. Perhaps that will change Jan. 31, when the online retailer announces its fourth-quarter 2011 earnings. 

    What we do know is that the Kindle Fire was Amazon's best selling, most wished for and most gifted device of the the holiday season. So chances are it's moved a few units. But investors -- if thiey're anything like us -- have got to be chomping at the bit waiting on actual numbers of actual devices sold. Time for Amazon to put its money where its mouth is on this one.

    We'll see you at 5 p.m. EST Jan. 31, Amazon.

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    3 years ago

    Roam Mobility offers affordable roaming for Canadians while visiting the US


    For Canadians traveling into the US sometimes the most expensive part of the trip isn't the airfare or the hotel but instead the roaming fees associated with their data plans. Gone are the days of ridiculous roaming fees on your current carrier, or trying to find a pre-paid data plan to use for the short time you are in the US, and here is Roam Mobility. The idea behind Roam Mobility is quite simple -- they want to provide a painless solution for roaming Canadians that gives them access to a fast, reliable network while in the US. 

    Roam Mobility offers a basic handset, a Liberty mobile hotspot or a SIM / Micro-SIM card that can be purchased, and they pair them with affordable plans as well. You can choose between data only plans, text & talk, or text, talk and data and with these plans you are given the option to pre-pay for the time you will be here, or pay by day. All you need is an unlocked GSM phone and you are ready to rock. For full details, comparison to Canadian carriers roaming charges, and how to get one for yourself be sure to hit the link below.

    Source: Roam Mobility

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    3 years ago

    Groundlink car service Android app updated for more accurate ETAs, better registration


    Groundlink has updated its car service Android application with a number of improvements that make the entire process easier on you, the rider. 

    For starters, you'll get updates on where the car is even more quickly than you were before. That's one of the more fun aspects of an app and service like this -- being able to see the car en route to pick you up. You'll also get more accurate estimates as to when the car is on the way.

    Groundlink also has simplified the registration process. So if that's kept you from trying out the service, no more excuses. There's a new registration screen to go along with it. 

    Groundlink also now accepts international billing, for those of you traveling to the United States. That also allows you to book a car from anywhere in the world.

    In addition, there have been improvements to the overall order process, as well as general bug fixes. 

    We've got download links after the break.

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