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2 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Airborne at 39,000 feet

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Today's free Android wallpaper comes to us from reader ishore, who got this nice shot of a sea of clouds at 39,000 feet, taken with a Motorola Droid RAZR. 

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2 years ago

Want webOS on your Android tablet? HP hopes so

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You may or may not have seen HP's plans from last month on open-sourcing webOS. We did, and had a few words to say ourselves. HP has now good on releasing a roadmap for its open-source release and is fully open-sourcing the Enyo application framework. But what does all this mean for the Android crowd? In the short term it means you'll be seeing at least a few webOS apps made available for Android. In the longer term it means you're likely to see a day where the tables are turned and you can install webOS on Android tablets (instead of the other way around).

We'll tackle the apps thing first -- HP this week released the source code for the Enyo application framework. At its core Enyo is based on web tech like everything webOS (whereas the Android framework is based around Java). As an application framework, Enyo is the language webOS developers use to build their apps and serves as an intermediary to raw web code. The user interface trademark of Enyo is the use of sliding panels, both popping in from the sides and stacking up for adjustable multi-column interfaces. In that regard it's not that different from the Fragments concept introduced for app development for Honeycomb.

Going open-source means that developers who have written in Enyo can compile apps to be loaded in a browser or on web app-supporting operating systems with little issue. In fact, it's already happening -- multiple webOS Enyo apps are available through WebKit-based web browsers and at least one, an Instapaper client called Paper Mache, is available now in the Android Market. Of course, there's some tweaking that'll have to be done to make things nice and smooth, but apps like Paper Mache look and behave (minus the lag and jitter) exactly as they do on webOS.

The second major announcement was that HP is dumping their custom kernel and coopting the standard Linux kernel for use in Open webOS. This is the basic principle behind Android's kernel by making the switch webOS will gain support for a wide breadth of hardware. Where there's Cyanogen for the Android Open Source Project we certainly expect the same to happen with webOS. The question is … will anybody want to install it?

Derek Kesser is editor of webOSNation.com.

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2 years ago

HTC: Fewer device models in 2012, looking for 'something special'

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Last year HTC released a huge amount of Android devices -- something like 387,000, if our math is right. (We kid.) Looks like that'll change in 2012. HTC UK chief Phil Roberson has told Mobile Magazine that this year the Taiwanese manufacturer plans to focus on a smaller number of device models instead of sheer quantity.

"We (HTC) have to get back to focusing on what made us great - amazing hardware and a great customer experience. We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much. So 2012 is about giving our customers something special. We need to make sure we do not go so far down the line that we segment our products by launching lots of different SKUs."

In addition to slowing down on their device launches, HTC has said that it will not focus on tablets so that they can continue their focus on device quality. HTC has not played a large role in the tablet market so far with only a few released such as the HTC Flyer and the HTC EVO View 4G and the wildly overpriced (though that was AT&T's fault) Jetstream.

The quality over quantity is an approach that we can definitely appreciate, and Motorola's said it's going down this path as well. While we are still unsure as to how many devices HTC plans to announce and release this year -- we'll see more in a few week at Mobile World Congress -- but we like the idea of knowing that the device will not find itself obsolete in just a month or two when an upgraded model is released.

Source: MobileToday; via: The Unwired

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2 years ago

Rift MMO launches Android app with in-game items

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Massively multiplayer game Rift has just launched its first companion app for Android. Not only does it have the usual stuff like chat with in-game friends and event notifications, they've also included mini-games through which you can win proper in-game items. Here's the full feature list.

  • Chat with friends and guildmates - Check if your comrades are online, and communicate instantly from anywhere! Send messages from your phone to in-game, or plan your adventures mobile-to-mobile! Push Notifications help your friends call you back to Telara.
  • Full guild support - Guild and Officer chat run smoothly on your mobile device, so you never miss a big decision.
  • Guild MOTD and Guild Wall - View your Guild Wall and Message of the Day at anytime, anywhere.
  • Zone Event notification - Hear the call when Zone Events erupt on your shard, and pick your battles with flexible alert settings.
  • Earn in-game loot! - Win real loot through the mobile app with Lootables. Artifacts, crafting items, and planar treasure shoot straight to your character’s mailbox!

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2 years ago

Spacetime Studios bringing Dark Legends to Android

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Spacetime Studios, creators of Pocket Legends and Star Legends, are returning to Android with their latest creation; Dark Legends. Release for this taste of the undead is currently slated for Q1 2012. 

The gameplay of Dark Legends is said to draw the player deeper into the experience. Boasting a combat system that features new mechanics such as charge attacks and the ability to drain enemies.

The game will also be more focused on the narrative aspect, and will offer the ability to complete quick action missions with a single tap. Such missions feature cut-scenes that become linked together to create a storybook where the player experiences the life of a vampire up close and personal.

The game is said to open with your character recently 'raised' and being watched over by the vampire that created them. The existance of vampires has been exposed and the humans are uniting to exterminate them all. You must work with your clan to survive. 

The previous games from Spacetime have been downloaded over 7 million times and offer players such a high level of gaming quality. There's no reason to suspect Dark Legends will be any different. It is due to be shown off for the first time at GDC 2012. 

via Marketwatch; More: Spacetime Studios

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2 years ago

New Philips Soundbar uses Android to stream your content

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We're always interested in new ways to use Android in our lives. Recently we've seen washing machines, and home phones bringing Android outside of our smartphones. Philips are taking it a little further and integrating Android into a new Soundbar that uses the OS to stream your content via DLNA. 

The CSS5123 Soundbar is a single speaker, bundled with a companion Subwoofer. The aim is to create a virtual 5.1 surround sound effect with just one speaker. The Android part comes in when the Soundbar uses the programming to connect with any DLNA capable device such as your smartphone, tablet or even your desktop PC using the Philips SimplyShare app. 

The best part is that it doesn't just allow for music streaming to be played direct through the speaker. Via an integrated Smart Media Player, video content can be streamed and played back through your TV. 

Availability is expected in the United States in April, costing $350. 

via Gizmag
More: Philips CSS5123 Soundbar spec sheet

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2 years ago

LG Prada 3.0 comes to Phones4U early, first stock arriving tomorrow

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Independent retailer Phones4U has announced that it'll be the first in the UK to sell the new Prada Phone by LG 3.0 (aka LG Prada 3.0), with stock arriving from tomorrow, Jan. 27. The latest collaboration between the Korean manufacturer and the Italian fashion giant has resulted in a thin, high-end Android smartphone with distinctive hardware and software. As we said in our hands-on preview, though, the device's monochrome UI may not be to everyone's tastes.

A quick glance at Phones4U's site reveals that it'll be selling the LG Prada 3.0 with contracts from O2, Vodafone and Orange. The best value seems come from Voda, which offers the phone for free on a £31 per month, 2-year plan, though O2 isn't far behind with a similar deal for £32 per month. If earlier Phones4U exclusives are anything to go by, they'll likely sell you the device in-store without a contract, though you may end up paying a considerable mark-up.

Other British retailers are expected to begin stocking the LG Prada 3.0 from the second week of February, with SIM-free prices of around £430 (~$670). We've got Phones4U's press release after the break.

More: Phones4U

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2 years ago

Google Authenticator / CyanogenMod incompatibility fixed

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Last night's update to the Google Authenticator app caused headaches for a few CyanogenMod users by force-closing at startup on their devices. However, CM users will be pleased to hear that a fix has been swiftly rolled out by Google just hours after the incompatibility came to light. To grab the fix, simply head on over to the Android Market and hit that "update" button.

Kudos to Google for making a fix available so quickly, especially given the critical nature of the Authenticator app for its users, and the fact that the glitch only affected unofficial custom firmware.

Continue past the break for the usual Android Market linkage.

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2 years ago

AT&T breaks its own Android sales record, but iPhone still rules the roost

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AT&T released its Q4 2011 earnings this morning, saying it set sales records for Android devices in the three months ending Dec. 31. (It doubled Android sales in Q3 2011, you'll recall.) While it declined to give specific Android numbers, AT&T did say that it sold 9.4 million Android and iOS smartphones, 82 percent its postpaid sales were smartphones, and it activated 7.6 million iPhones. Do the math there, more or less, and you've got a boatload of iPhones, and some Android phones. But we're not one to look broken records in the mouth, and neither is AT&T, we reckon. The company also said it sold twice as many Android devices as it did in Q4 2010. 

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Official Met Office weather application available now

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One thing we aren't short of on Android is weather applications. In the UK, the Met Office are probably the best source of weather forecasts. These now come to Android with the launch of the official Met Office application. 

What you get is some pretty detailed weather maps, with a range of forecasts between three hours and a full five-day forecast. The maps are also interactive, and display national severe weather warnings. It also touts UV forecast maps, for those rare days in the UK when the sun shines. 

There are some known issues already with the application involving the pressure map layer. The developers have pledged that this will be resolved in a future update. In the meantime you'll find download links after the break.

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