Headlines

2 years ago

And HTC's 'major news announcement' is ... Beats Audio

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The rumors are running rampant as to what Thursday's "major news announcement" from HTC CEO Peter Chou will be.

  • Bootloader unlocking? No.
  • Honeycomb tablets? No.
  • When your phone will get Gingerbread? No.

Seriously, folks. You don't hype a "major news announcement" for that stuff. You send a press release.

That said, All ThingsD is reporting that the big news is a $300 million collaboration with Beats Audio. As in Beats by Dre, and the same Beats Audio you'll find in a smattering of HP products -- including the HP TouchPad. The collaboration will be exclusive to HTC smartphones.

Now, that's nothing to turn your nose up at -- there's definitely a market for a proper Android MP3 player. (So long as it's priced right.) But with all the patent nonsense floating around and the world still waiting for its first Honeycomb tablet from HTC, the timing for a "major news announcement" sure came at an interesting juncture.

Anyhoo, whether or not the cat's out of the bag, be sure to join us for the liveblog Thursday morning.

Source: AllThingsD

Update: Added the picture you now see above, from the Beats By Dre Facebook page. Guess that makes it official. Thanks, andyp714 and rfmike!

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2 years ago

Vizio tablet hands-on and initial review

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Our favorite UPS man just dropped off the Vizio 8-inch tablet (don't call it VIA anymore) and we cracked the shrink-wrap to have a look.  It's 8 inches of well-made electronics, running Android 2.3.2, and priced under $300 it's something we have been itching to have a look at since it was announced last January right before CES.

First impressions?  It's different.  Very.  It has a beautiful screen, and it's well-designed, feeling good in your hands.  The edge has a gentle bevel, and with a full soft touch coating on the back it feels like you're holding something that should cost a lot more than $300.  The software is also a big change from what we're used to, with Vizio skipping the standard Android practice of having multiple homescreens and an applications drawer.  Instead, you have a user-customizable panel with all of your apps, and a "widget board" with your live content via widgets.  We'll give it a complete run down, in the meantime there's a quick walkthrough, a handful of pictures, and device specs after the break.

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2 years ago

Motorola Titanium slated for a quick bugfix

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Fresh from this week's Sprint PlayBook, we get word that the Motorola Titanium (read our mini-review) -- which has only been out a few weeks now -- is set to get an update starting next Monday. Here's what's coming in the update:

  • Bugfix so you can dial a number from the a meeting entry in the Exchange Calendar

And that's it. Pretty minor, unless you desperately need to call someone from a meeting in the Exchange Calendar. But kudos to Sprint for pushing it out in a timely fashion.

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2 years ago

HTC making a 'major news announcement' Thursday morning

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HTC just hit us up to give warning of a "major news announcement" to be made by CEO Peter Chou on Thursday morning. He'll be conducting a teleconference Los Angeles, and that's about all we know.

We've certainly been through our share of HTC news conferences, but getting getting a heads up for something like this seems a little unprecedented. Soon as we know more, you'll know more.

Oh, and we'll be liveblogging the whole thing, of course. Click here for the liveblog!

Let the speculation begin!

Update: So we've confirmed that it's a phoner-only event. Nothing live going on. Which tells us ... basically nothing more than what we already knew.

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2 years ago

Kyocera Echo's Gingerbread update pushing out again, sans bugs this time

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Have a Kyocera Echo? Want a Gingerbread update that won't brick your phone? Android 2.3 is pushing out once again, following the initial rollout a week and a half ago that was kind of bricking phones instead of updating them. Whoops.

Anyhoo, the update's pushing out once more. Here's the official word from Sprint:

Sprint will restart the Gingerbread update to Kyocera Echo users beginning today (August 10). In an effort to provide the best possible customer experience, Kyocera and Sprint have addressed a previous issue with the update raised last week. The Gingerbread update will provide Kyocera Echo users with performance enhancements including faster response, improved power management, enhancements for gaming, and more.

And, no, it still doesn't add NFC or make waffles.

Source: Sprint; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Editorial: Farewell App Inventor, we barely knew you

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I'm not an emotional guy, and I understand that tech comes and goes at a jackrabbit pace.  When I found out last night that Google was saying goodbye to App Inventor, I was sad inside.  Not because of how great it was, or the fabulous apps that could be made with it, but the idea behind it is something we need to see more of, not less.  App Inventor was by no means easy to use to make anything more than very simple apps.  In fact, if you argued that using Eclipse and learning Java was just as easy as figuring out the blocks editor, I wouldn't say you were wrong.  But there is a huge difference -- App Inventor would allow someone with absolutely zero programming experience (hi, Phil!) to write an application that worked.  It's a special feeling watching your kids or other loved ones sit down and make something silly, but have a load of fun doing it.  And believe it or not, App Inventor is an excellent introduction to logic and more advanced programming techniques.  My wife built an app that sends a short text to me whenever she hits an icon.  It's very simple, and took her a full evening to figure out -- but she did it.  She is proud of her silly little app, as am I.  The countless little apps that play a sound when you push a button, or even just say "Hello, world!" are each tied to someone who is just as proud, because they made it work.  You just don't often see this sort effort by a company as big as Google, who spent a ton of man-hours focused on teaching people how to be a geek.  And now it's going away, taking a small bit of fun from the programmers-in-training out there.

Yes, the project is being open-sourced, and for that I'm happy.  I hope other folks who build these sort of projects (yes, there are others, and a lot of them are also done really well) pick through the code and use it to improve what they're offering.  I'm afraid that it will only end up being used for projects designed to strip apart and re-assemble the work of others, but I'm a cynic.  Someone please prove me wrong.

In any case, I will have to sit down and finish up all my assorted silly time-wasting projects sitting half done in my App Inventor console.  And so will you.  If you haven't even started looking at App Inventor, but always wanted to, get on it while you still can, you have about 90 days to have some fun. 

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2 years ago

Gingerbread now available for Bell and Virgin Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant via Kies

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The Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant for Bell and Virgin Mobile Canada has received the official Gingerbread update, but the bad news is that you'll need to use Kies to install it.  Just like the Froyo release for the T-Mobile US version, this means digging out your cable and sorting out drivers and generally a big mess that the average user won't be bothered to do.  But I'll go on the assumption that all you guys are not quite the average user, so if you're rocking a Bell or Virgin Vibrant, fire up the PC, step back to the 1990s, and flash your update.

Source:@virginmobilecan; via MobileSyrup

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2 years ago

Logitech announces keyboard case for the Galaxy Tab 10.1

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Logitech this morning announced that it's teamed up with ZAGG and worked up a keyboard case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet. It's in the same vein as the keyboard case for the iPad 2 in that it's a keyboard that doubles as a protective case with a soft interior when the tablet's not in use. The exterior is made of aluminum.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will stand up in either portrait or landscape mode, connecting to the keyboard via Bluetooth. It's got shortcut buttons for common Honeycomb tasks, and the keyboard will charge via USB, so you don't have to worry about batteries.

No word yet on when the keyboard case will ship, but you can preorder one now for $99.

More: Logitech

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Xcover announced; IP67 certified with Gingerbread and Touchwiz

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Samsung has announced the Galaxy Xcover, yet another Galaxy phone, and this one comes IP67 certified to take some real abuse.  This one is clearly aimed at folks who are less than gentle with their electronics, but still want or need an Android smartphone.  Like we first saw with the Motorola Defy, the IP67 certification means the Xcover is dust and dirt resistant, and can be submerged in water a meter deep for up to a half hour. 

No specs have been announced for the insides, but Samsung tells us that it will be packing a scratch-resistant display, a 3.2MP camera with LED flash, 7.2Mbps HSDPA radios, and Gingerbread skinned with Touchwiz.  Set to be released in October, no word on whether or not we'll see this on stateside.

Source: Samsung Germany (Google translate)

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Racing Moto

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's a fun little time-waster that's floating around the Honeycomb apps list in the Android Market. Racing Moto is a very simple racing game. You've got a motorcycle and a need to go fast. Put a finger on the screen  and enable the boost feature, which makes you go really fast (relatively speaking) and ups the score multiplier. Avoid cars, avoid the walls.

So Racing Moto's not going to be one of those games you play hour after hour, day after day. But if you've got a few minutes and don't might the occasional sight of someone skidding across pavement, you could do worse, we suppose.

Racing Moto's free, with in-app advertising. Download links are after the break.

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