Headlines

2 years ago

Sprint announces its first four LTE markets

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Sprint's making the jump from Wimax to LTE in 2012 (well, Wimax will keep working for some time), and CEO Dan Hesse just annouced the first markets for the new brand of 4G. They are:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • San Antonio

Not a bad start, at least if you're in one of those cities. For everybody else, let's hope for a fast rollout -- and some device announcements.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

Say hello to iMore, our all-things-iOS cousins

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Look, we know how you feel about Apple. We know how you feel about iOS. We get it. We really do. But we also want you to keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer. And so we're tickled pink to tell you that our pals at TiPb have been rebranded the much more awesome iMore. They'll still be doing all the great iOS stuff that they do on a daily basis -- and, erm, (i)more is on the way. So go on over and say hi, won'tcha?

And let's all hope they don't try to lop a lawsuit our two our way. More at iMore

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2 years ago

Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire getting their own docking stations in February

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Some interesting accessory news coming out of the Interwebs for the recently released Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire today. The folks over at Readerdock have come up with some pretty sweet looking  new docks for both devices which they're due to launch in February. 

The "N-Station" will also be compatible with the Nook Color, hardly surprising given they're practically identical, and will come complete with a pair of speakers and a charging port and will hold the device at various angles. 

The "Firestation" is the similiarly featured version designed for the Kindle Fire. Both will be available to pre-order some time this month, being due to commence shipping in mid-February. 

via The Digital Reader

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2 years ago

Swiftkey X update brings some handy bug fixes

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The Android Central Editors keyboard of choice, Swiftkey X, got itself a little update today, bringing with it a couple of handy bug fixes. 

The changelog promises improved handling of low memory situations, force close issue fixes, XKDPI icons and key-press popup fix, and voice input improvements for the Droid Bionic. 

Hit the market link below to grab the update.

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2 years ago

Box Android app updated, brings couple of new features to the table

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Box have been pushing themselves in the Android world recently with a slew of 50GB account giveaways to owners of LG and Sony Ericsson devices. Today they update their Android application to bring to the table a couple of nice new features, including a homescreen widget. 

It also now offers better integration with other apps on your device, and the ability to upload content such as email attachments directly to your Box account. 

The full changelog reads:

  • Version 1.5:
  • View recent activity in your account
  • Home screen widget shows updates and provides shortcuts to create and upload content
  • If you have a compatible app installed, the ability to create new documents, spreadsheets, presentations and text files
  • Upload content directly to Box from anywhere you view a file (like an email attachment)

Hit the market link after the break to grab yourself the update.

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2 years ago

AT&T lights up 11 new LTE markets

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AT&T announced this morning that its blazing fast LTE network is now live in 11 new markets, joining the likes of Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, and other cities currently reaping the benefits. The new members of the club include:

  • New York City (officially, this time)
  • Austin, TX
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA

If you're in one of these fine cities and have been holding onto your upgrade, now might be the time to take an LG Nitro HD, HTC Vivid, or Galaxy S II Skyrocket for a spin. Hit the source link for AT&T's full presser.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Motorola Mobility announces two new smartphones, the MOTOLUXE and DEFY Mini

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Motorola Mobility has added two new smartphones to their lineup, the Motoluxe and the DEFY Mini. Both devices will come with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), but that's about all that they have in common. The Motoluxe sports a 4-inch screen, 8-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing VGA camera.

Meanwhile, the DEFY Mini is, you guessed it, a smaller version of the rugged Motorola DEFY.  It's got a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a Corning Gorilla Glass display, 3MP rear camera and a front-facing VGA camera. It is also water-resistant and dust proof. The DEFY Mini is perfect for everyone who wants a smaller phone but also wants to be able to beat it up a bit without having to worry about it breaking.

The MOTOLUXE and DEFY Mini will be available in China, Europe and Latin America starting this Spring. No word yet on US availability. Both will also be showing off at CES next week, so if you're going to be there, check them out.

Source: Motorola Mobility

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2 years ago

White Samsung Galaxy Nexus sighted in the UK, due early February

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Out of the blue today, we're seeing reports of two major British online retailers listing a white (GSM, 16GB) Samsung Galaxy Nexus for launch in just over a month. MobileFun and Clove both show the device with a £500-ish (~$775) price tag, and Clove says it's expecting stock from the week commencing Feb. 6. MobileFun also has a handy promotional shot of the phone, showing that the white Galaxy Nexus not only exists, but looks like a white Galaxy Nexus.

There's no word yet on when (or even if) Verizon will offer a CDMA/LTE version in white, but the good news for importers is that the white GSM version should be a pentaband model, just like the original. If you've yet to pick up a Galaxy Nexus, let us know in the comments if the prospect of owning a shinier version in a different color could push you over the edge.

Source: MobileFun, Clove; Thanks to eveyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Swype prepping Ice Cream Sandwich beta release for late January

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Swype -- the top keyboard in the 2011 Android Central Readers Choice Awards -- on Twitter today announced that we should see a beta release for Ice Cream Sandwich at the end of January. Here's the full tweet:

Good news! Official ICS support is near. Final tweaks and testing should be done in time for an anticipated end-of-month beta update.

Yeah, there's been a hacked version of Swype working on ICS, but we prefer the real thing, ya know. Counting the days.

Source: @Swype

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2 years ago

Android A to Z: What is Dalvik

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What is Dalvik?  We hear that word getting thrown around a lot on the Internet when talking about Android and its inner workings.  While there's no easy explanation we can give in just a few paragraphs, we can cover the basics and point you in the right direction if you need to feed your nerdly side. In its simplest terms, Dalvik is a virtual machine that runs applications and code written in Java. A standard Java compiler turns source code (written as text files) into Bytecode, then compiled into a .dex file that the Dalvik VM can read and use. In essence, class files are converted into .dex files (much like a jar file if one were using the standard Java VM) and then read and executed by the Dalvik Virtual Machine. Duplicate data used in class files is included only once in the .dex output, which saves space and uses less overhead. The executable files can be modified again when you install an application to make things even more optimized for mobile. Things like byte order swapping and linking data structure and function libraries inline make the files smaller and run better on our devices. The Dalvik VM was written from square one with Android in mind.

Confused yet?  Don't feel bad, geeky programming talk usually has that effect. Think of it this way -- when you build a Java application for your computer, a Java Virtual Machine runs the compiled output of the source code. This is why Java runs on just about any operating system. Dalvik is a mobile-optimized version of a Java Virtual Machine, built with code from the Apache Harmony project, which is open-source and runs better than a standard Java VM would on our limited hardware, designed so that you can run more than one instance of the VM at a time -- ie multitasking.  Because Dalvik is open-source, it's also been ported to other operating systems, like the one on the BlackBerry PlayBook. It's pretty damn complicated, pretty damn cool, and Oracle (the company that bought Java from Sun) hates it.

Android uses Dalvik because while the license for the standard Java Virtual Machine is GPL2 (free and open-source), when placed in a mobile device and using the Java Micro Edition, it is not.  The big dispute between Google and Oracle is all based around Dalvik.  Google claims it was written in a "clean-room" environment without using any of Oracle's code, and Oracle disagrees.  We claim to have no idea, we're just glad it works as well as it does. 

For more on Dalvik, see the Google I/O website.

Previously on Android A to Z: What is CES?; Find more in The Android Dictionary

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