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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson committed to supporting independent Android developers

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Yesterday we saw the confirmation that, thanks to assistance from Sony Ericsson, almost all of its Xperia range will be receiving full support from custom ROM CyangenMod in the future. Now SE itself has publicly come out in support of independent developers in a post on its Developer World blog.

The post by Karl-Johan Dahlström (he's the guy holding the CM7'd Xperia Arc in the image above) acknowledges that custom ROMs are "a part of the Android ecosystem", and says SE "fully believes in the openness of Android". It also confirms that SE provided "around 20" devices to FreeXperia team members, along with technical assistance, in order to help bring custom ROMs to the Xperia line.

It wasn't long ago that manufacturers seemed to be irreversibly marching towards locked bootloaders and further restrictions on the way customers use their devices, so it's great to see this kind of support for ROM-makers. And although other manufacturers provide similar assistance to devs behind the scenes, it's fantastic that Sony Ericsson's publicly stating its support for some of the brightest and most dedicated people in the Android community.

Source: SE Developer World

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2 years ago

HTC announces the cost-effective Explorer for India and Europe, coming in Q4

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HTC announced their newest smartphone this morning called the Explorer, which represents an affordable device headed to India and Europe. We tend to get excited about the top tier phones but the lower-cost devices such as the HTC Explorer are equally just as game changing as they will allow more people with varying incomes to buy a smartphone.

Here are the specs for the HTC Explorer:

  • 3.2-inch touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution
  • 600 MHz processor
  • 512 MB internal storage
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 3 MP camera
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 1230 mAh battery

The phone will be coming to the India and EMEA markets in Q4 and will be available in three colors: Metallic Black, Active Black and Metallic Navy. No word yet on how much it will cost, but given how HTC is marketing it, the price will be very low relative to other smartphones. In the UK, Vodafone has already announced that it'll be carrying the device.

To discuss the "affordable" HTC Explorer in more depth, check out our Android News Forum.

Source: HTC

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2 years ago

AppBrain re-invents social app discovery with the AppBrain Stream

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The AppBrain Stream

The folks at AppBrain (remember them?), those same fellows who brought the original web installer for Android to the masses, today unveiled the AppBrain Stream.  It's a lot like Facebook style social networking, but geared towards, and all about, your Android apps.  AppBrain has always been a great way to discover and share Android applications, but the new user streams and feeds really take it all to the next level.  If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the other great tools AppBrain gives us, like daily "hot" apps, personalized recommendations, app demographics, and shared user app lists, you're going to love this.

It's genuinely simple -- you now have a couple new entries on your AppBrain page that show your personalized stream of app-related news and events.  You'll see things like messages from your friends when they install a new app (or uninstall an app), personalized recommendations for new apps based on what you're currently using, updates to apps you're running, even app reviews from your friends and discussion about them.  You can "like", share or add commentary to each of these entries, just like you would at your favorite social networking site.  You can also see just your activity in a dedicated list, to keep track of apps you're talking about.

There's no setup involved -- if you follow someone on AppBrain, you'll see their activity in your stream.  The guys at AppBrain let us in a bit early to check it out, and I'll have to say -- this has real potential.  No more relying on cryptic or less-than-helpful comments in the Market, or using a random Google search to try and find what your looking for.  Like the staff picks on the official Android Market, it will be a great way to find new apps that fit you, with the added bonus of goofing off a bit with your friends.  We've got a couple screenshots after the break, as well as a link to download AppBrain to your phone so you can join in.  And as we've said before -- Google, just buy these guys already.

More at AppBrain

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2 years ago

9MM from Gameloft enters the Android Market

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I've always enjoyed third-person shooter games and Gameloft has now made available 9MM in the Android Market. If you're into some pretend gang violence with a Scarface like tone to it then you'll likely dig 9MM -- as the story line goes:

You become John "Loose" Kannon, the leader of a special team of hardened cops that aren't afraid to bend the law to clean up the streets. But when they kill a local drug lord's brother and steal millions in cash, the theft makes Kannon's whole team the target of every gangster in the city. Now Kannon has only one option: Take down the gang leader that's hunting them, legally or not, before his team gets taken out first.

Original story? Not exactly. But the game looks to have some pretty awesome graphics and the soundtrack is pretty slick as well. You'll want to make sure you play this one with some headphones on though, or at least out of earshot of those who may find some of the NSFW language found within offensive. You'll find the NSFW video trailer, press release and download link past the break. Before you download though, check out the review left on the Android Market -- many are saying it is a fairly large download so keep that in mind.

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2 years ago

Skype adds video calling -- and ads - to another round of phones

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You don't usually get sumpthin' for nothin', and the adage rings true with the latest update to Skype for Android. The good news: A baker's dozen devices have had video calling turned on, but at the price of having to put up with advertising.  You can get around the ads (which show up for everyone, not just the new crop) if you've got Skype credits laying around, which we're betting most of you don't.

Anyhoo. Here's the list of phones that gained video calling:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (T-Mobile)
  • HTC Shooter (KDDI)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Live with Walkman
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
  • Acer Iconia Tablet (A500)
  • LG Optimus Black (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 3D (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 2x (landscape only)
  • Motorola Photon
  • Motorola Droid 3 (landscape only)
  • Motorola Bionic (landscape only)
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Motorola Atrix

A nice smattering, indeed. Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC Rhyme now available from Verizon

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Seems not all that long ago the HTC Rhyme was nothng more then a rumor and now Verizon will gladly sell you one for $199 on a new 2-year contract. You get that fancy interactive charm to go along with it so it's not all that bad of a deal, especially considering the package as a whole. 

Nothing mind blowing can be found in the specs but that's not what the HTC Rhyme was built for. Everything about the devices is geared towards females, even the weird commercial that went along with its launch which can be found past the break for you all.

Source: Verizon

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2 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire - a Q&A

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Amazon's big Kindle Fire announcement day has come and gone, and a lot of you may be scratching your head trying to figure out all the news that happened while you were stuck at work or school.  We've taken the time to provide a handy set of questions and answers ourselves, and we think they would make a great starting point.  Of course, you can (and should) dive into the discussion in the Kindle Fire forums to talk it all out as well.  Hit the jump and have a read.

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2 years ago

Acer Iconia A500 Android 3.2 update slowly rolling out

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For those of you who picked up an Acer Iconia A500 you might want to go ahead and check for system updates. It appears as though the Android 3.2 update for the device has been very slowly rolling out to users for the past couple of days.

In order to get the update you need to return back to stock and unroot but keep in mind if you accept the official update, you won't be able to root it. That said, there are a few ROMS now built off of the Android 3.2 update so best to look around before you go diving in.

Source: Android Central Forums; via: XDA Thanks, smokediver61!

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2 years ago

LG Esteem for MetroPCS gets unboxed

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We're all over the place, but we can't always be everywhere. That's where you come in. And sniper1087 has done an excellent unboxing of the LG Esteem for MetroPCS. He'll walk you through the UI, benchmarks, and don't blink, or you'll miss the very cool boot sound.

Need a reminder on specs?

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

There you have it. Peep the video. It's well worth a watch.

Thanks, sniper1087!

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2 years ago

Samsung and Google appear poised for some possible Ice Cream Sandwich at CTIA

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Allow us a little inside baseball here. We normally don't post every event we're invited to at the usual trade shows. We'll be there, and you know we'll be there. But this one's a little different.

Behold the invitation to the Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011 "Google Episode" at CTIA in San Diego. So, first, it's the "Google Episode." That's new. Second, they're going to stream it for everyone to see, live on Youtube. Normally such bandwidth is reserved for Google events. And this very much appears to be a Google event.

So we're going to figure we've got some Ice Cream Sandwich in our future in San Diego. Some Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich. Some Samsung Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich.

We'll see you there.

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