4 years ago

Hands-on with Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nexus S


You didn't think we would stop playing with the Ice Cream Sandwich AOSP ROM for the Nexus S so soon did you?  Trust me when I tell you it's almost 100 percent, and well worth the time to flash and try it out.  We've been having a go with it for a good while now, and decided to fire up the camera and let everyone have a look.  Catch the video after the break, then hit the download link to give Ice Cream Sandwich a try yourself -- you'll be glad you did.

Download at XDA

More in the Nexus S forums

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4 years ago

Orange San Francisco II coming soon


There have been leaks and mentions of the follow up to Orange UK's San Francisco, but it's now officially official that the San Francisco II is heading to market. 

Under the Orange branding, the San Francisco II is actually a ZTE Crescent. While the Orange website is yet to show any pricing details for the device the press video shows it the same as it's predecessor which was available on Pay As You Go for £99. It wouldn't be a bad guess to assume the same price point for the new one. 

Orange's own brand smartphones are quickly becoming the alternative to a feature phone, but what does your £99 actually get you? Well it isn't a spec fest, but on top of the 800mhz processor is Android 2.3.5. Impressive. You also get a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen, an FM radio, and a 5MP camera. On board storage is only 512mb, but it has a microSD card slot, so it's not all bad news. As with pretty much all Orange phones, there's a selection of their own apps which take up frankly too much of the slim on board storage, but some will be of interest. Signal boost allows you to boost your phone signal using wifi, and the Orange Wednesdays app is a must have for customers of the network.

The main point about this phone though - much like it's predecessor and it's big brother the Monte Carlo - is that at this price point it will capture a lot of casual phone buyers who will be taking their first steps in the world of the smartphone. And if those first steps are into the Android world, it's no bad thing surely? 

Check out Orange UK's hands on video after the jump. 

Source: Orange UK

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich source builds surface for Nexus S, ready for flashing


Here's why we love open-source software folks.  With the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich trunk of the Android Open Source Project code came the ability to build it yourself instead of waiting for it to come from your phone's manufacturer or Google.  We've seen several good beginnings, on phones as varied as the LG Optimus 3D or the Samsung Fascinate, but now we've got one that's good enough to use every day for the Nexus S (both GSM and Sprint flavors). 

It's a neat mix and match of new source code, binary files from Gingerbread, bits from the Galaxy Nexus, and custom code from other developers.  Android dev kwiboo has done an excellent job getting things going, and even facial unlock is working -- as long as you don't have a big bushy beard, that is.  As someone who has also been fooling around with the code and flashing my own Nexus S at least a jillion times, my hat's off to him -- I'll say it again, he's done an excellent job.  Hit the source link to see for yourself.

Source: XDA-Developers. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

Discuss more in the Nexus S forums

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet rooted


The Nook Tablet has root access. Repeat: The Nook Tablet has root access. Shouldn't be a huge surprise, given that its older brother, the Nook Color, quickly became one of the most hacked devices of the past year, but the updated version (see our hands-on) has far beefier hardware inside, and so we're all that more eager to crack it wide open.

You've got a couple of options for the procedure -- some handy executable files, or a mere eight lines in the command propt if you prefer to do things yourself. Find it all at the source link below.

Source: XDA Developers; more: Nook Tablet forums

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4 years ago

Delta Air Lines Android app updated with baggage tracking, fleet info


The Fly Delta Android app has gotten a cool little update with a few new features, some of which you can use every time you fly, and some we hope you never have to use. Probably the most useful addition is the ability to pay for checked bags when check in on the app -- a necessary evil, unfortunately, but at least Delta's making it easier. And under the "hope you never have to use it" category is the ability to track your checked baggage from your phone. Delta's also added more technical information about the planes in its fleet (very cool for airplane buffs), and expanded airport maps, transit details, weather info and Sky Club locations -- perfect for frequent travelers.

We've got download links for ya after the break.

More: Top holiday travel apps | Top airline apps

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Nov 19, 2011


Back again for your weekly dosage of applications, so let's hit the break together so you can get your fix!

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4 years ago

Original Galaxy S 2.3.5 update reportedly pushing in the UK


Still using the original Samsung Galaxy S? We bet that there's quite a few of you out there still carrying around this venerable device, and in the UK at least Samsung have reportedly started pushing out an Android 2.3.5 update.

The changelog promises a whole batch of bug fixes, along with the usual performance improvements you might expect from an OS update, better battery life, and enhancements to the messaging app and to the camera. 

GSMarena is reporting though that this update could wipe your apps and your data, which sounds pretty messed up for a minor OS update. But take heed and make sure everything is backed up just in case. If you've seen the update hit us up in the comments and let us know how it went.

Source: GSMarena

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Reflexions


YouTube link for mobile viewing

We've all been there: a maniacal evil genius has you in the thick of his trap, and the only way to escape his series of death beams is to reflect them away from you using whatever is at your disposal. Maybe it's a nickel, maybe you've got a lot of mirrors at your disposal. At any rate, we all know the only way we got out of the trap (and saved the day!) was through practice.

My tool of choice? Reflexions, by YoYo Games. What better way to brush up on your reflecting skills, kill some time, and work your brain into a frenzy as you try to collect the diamonds and advance to the next level? I can think of none.

In Reflexions, you're trying to arrange mirrors to bounce your energy ball around, pick up all the diamonds scattered throughout the level (while avoiding the red, mine-looking things), and then bounce your way to the exit portal. The diamonds aren't for fun, either. The exit portal doesn't activate until you've nabbed all the diamonds, so you can't try and skip them to make a sweet time completing a level.

Your motivation to complete levels in a timely fashion? That timer running in the background, of course. In addition to your time being checked, the game is also timing your number of moves (how many times you flip a mirror), and that factors into your overall rating. There's no scores here, just the familiar three-star system that all games are using these days.

If you're like me and think you only earned two stars because the star in the middle is the biggest, don't fret. The game fills the outer stars first, and you get the big star in the middle if you really maxed the level out and earned all three stars. Trust me, confused me, too.

Reflexions is also peppered with little achievements here and there (in-game only, no OpenFeint), like completing the tutorial, world 1, getting 20 stars in world 1, etc. The achievements run the gamut from incredibly simple to ridiculously difficult, and while it's nice to give the player a lot of easy ones at the start, it almost feels a little too much like "everyone is a winner" for my tastes. Still, the completionist in me appreciates the challenge.

With 40 levels in four worlds, oodles of achievements, and the fact Reflexions runs equally well on both tablets and phones, I'd behoove you to try it out. It's only $1.10 in the Android Market, but that's a special, introductory price, so I'd move on this sooner rather than later.

Dr. Evil Mr. Bad Guy is planning, so if you're ready to brush up on your reflecting skills, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Transform Ultra


Are you a Sprint customer looking for a new device but would rather not kill your savings on it? Well meet the Samsung Transform Ultra, a nice mid range sliding QWERTY device that is available for only $70 after rebate. Recently we have seen a huge amount of Samsung devices launch into the market, each of them rating rather well, and the Samsung Transform Ultra should not be left out of the positive recognition.

Touting a 3.5-inch display it may not be the largest in the fleet, but it size isn't everything, is it? The 1GHz processor does a great job powering this Gingerbread powered device, and included is 512MB of RAM and 2GB of internal memory, more than enough for most users. The back features a 3MP camera accompanied by a front facing VGA camera, all of which is powered by a 1500mAh battery which should give about 7 hours of continuous talk time. If you are in the market for a new mid-range QWERTY slider, be sure to hit the break and check out a hands-on video and some more images.

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4 years ago

Android Market app uninstall refund window still 15 minutes


We've gotten some clarification from Google regarding any changes to the app refund window in the Android Market after a couple of developers led us to believe it had been changed to 48 hours when asked to accept a new version of the Developer Distribution Agreement. The short version is there have been no changes. You still have 15 minutes to uninstall an application for an automatic refund.

The 48-hour window is for Google to refund the money to the developer. Also, you, as a user, technically have 48 hours to request a refund of an app from Google, though very few people do that for the obvious reason.

Hope that clears things up a bit.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid XYBOARD 8.2 picture surfaces, Verizon LTE on board


And the winner for the worst device name goes to (drum roll please) the Motorola Droid XYBOARD.  Previous winner Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch will present the trophy.

All kidding aside, the 8.2-inch version of the Droid XYBOARD has been pictured at PocketNow, and as expected, there's a big old LTE logo on the back.  Also known as the Motorola Xoom 8.2 Media Edition, the Droid XYBOARD should launch with Android 3.2, a 1.2 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.  It should prove to be a capable device, eventually get upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, and the 8.2-inch size is sure to appeal to more than a few.  Rumors say to expect an official announcement soonish.

Source: Pocketnow

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus in the UK, XAPush [From the Forums]


Another week stormed through and here we are -- heading into the weekend. Plenty of news happened this week, and more on the way for next. If you missed out on anything be sure to check the blogs and in the forums for anything you may need to get caught up on.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Vscreens from Sony Ericsson brings your mobile photos to bigger screens


An interesting new application hit the Android Market today from Sony Ericsson which allows you to easily share content from your Android smartphone to a bigger screen via a web browser. 

Called vscreens, the app is currently in beta but despite being a Sony Ericsson product, they claim it should work with all Android smartphones running 2.1 and above. 

The idea is relatively simple. Download the free app from the Market (download links below) and install on your device. Then by visiting the vscreens website and scanning the displayed QR code, your phone automatically connects to the service allowing you to 'throw' your photos from your device to the browser. If both devices are on the same wifi network it is even possible to do the same with videos. 

Attention should be paid to the beta tag, and this is still in its very early stages. It's an interesting idea though, so it could be good to watch where Sony Ericsson go with it. If you try it out, hit us up in the comments and let us know how it went.

via TechCrunch

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4 years ago

The Woz gets his Galaxy Nexus (and a t-shirt) a bit early from Google


Steve Wozniak, considered by many to be the real brains behind Apple's early success in the desktop computer business and an all-around cool fellow, is seen leaving some mysterious Google campus building today.  Word is he received a Galaxy Nexus and an Ice Cream Sandwich T-shirt from the boys and girls in Mountain View, and it looks like he's ready to defend them from fans and press with a short right hook to the chin if need be.   Woz is Woz, so we'll know soon how much he likes his new toy.  I'm betting he gives it a big nerdly thumbs-up.  One more pic of the proud papa after the break.

Source: +Kirill Grouchnikov

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4 years ago

Courtroom roundup: Moto v Apple, B&N v Microsoft, Samsung's new Tab, and more software patents


What would a week in the mobile arena without legal drama be like?  We have no idea, and probably never will.  Today there's so much that we're just going to round it all up in one easy spot, then take a couple aspirin and chase the headache away.  Without further adieu:

Motorola v Apple

Motorola will likely win another injunction against Apple in Germany.  This time, it's a method describing how a mobile device synchronizes data with a server, and Moto seems pretty confident that iCloud and MobileMe violate their patents.  This time the patents in question aren't covered under a FRAND defense, so Apple and Moto may have to fight this one out -- a move which Apple feels will cost over 2.7 billion (with a B) dollars.  Read more at Phone Arena

BN v Microsoft

Barnes & Noble have filed more than 45 pages worth of links to prior art in their defense against Microsoft.  Things ranging from Mosaic, Netscape, Unix man pages, and even work shown by Microsoft themselves.  All these examples pre-date the patents Microsoft is using in their suit, and it looks like B&N is pretty damn serious about fighting back.  Take a few aspirin of your own and check out Groklaw for the full details.

Samsung's redesigned German Galaxy Tab

Samsung has skirted their way around the ban of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.  A slight redesign where the metal bezel now wraps around the front of the device and is visible was all the German courts needed to allow the tablet to be sold.  Personally, I would have redesigned it with rotating spikes designed to maim and cripple competitors (yes, I just watched Mad Max again), but there's a reason I'm not in charge of anything.  I wonder how many millions were wasted on this one?  See PCMag for more details.

Google's unlock patent

Google was granted a patent on the pattern unlock method they use for Android smartphones.  And patents of ideas are still just as wrong as they ever were, even when it's Google getting them.  In addition, Google was granted a patent on the method to use lockscreen based gestures to control other phone functions (think gesture based app launching).  Could this mean Google has plans to add some new features to the lockscreen?  Hurry up Android 5.0!  Read more at 9 to 5 Google.

Is it happy hour yet?  Thanks everyone who tipped us about these!

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