Stories are floating around this morning lamenting Samsung having "no plans" to release the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Note in the United States. Apparently we need to refresh how this works.
At European shows like IFA and Mobile World Congress, you get product announcements from the likes of Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Acer, ASUS, etc. You get some hands-on time, then we return to the U.S. and hope that one day you'll see the devices here. When the original Galaxy Tab 7 was announced at IFA in August 2010, it was done so without any specific U.S. availability (just "in coming months." Same goes for the Galaxy S II and original Galaxy Tab 10.1 at MWC 2011.
That's par for the course for these European events. Products are announced. Any U.S. availability announcements generally come later, more often than not from the U.S. carriers, which will actually sell the devices. (In the case of the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, word came just a couple weeks later, but don't use that as a benchmark.) The U.S.-based shows are usually a little different -- you'll generally get vague timetables for American release, which are very much subject to change. (Hello, Droid Bionic.)
This is PR 101. It ain't official until it's official. So when Samsung says it has "no plans" for these latest releases, it doesn't mean you'll never see the Galaxy Note or Galaxy Tab 7.7 here in the states. It just means it currently has no plans. Or, more accurately, it hasn't announced any plans. That's all.
Good news for those of you worried about being able to root the Motorola Droid Bionic -- it's already been done. The cats at My Droid World have adapted to the Droid 3 root method to the DB, and as you can see from the image above (the # symbol is the telltale), it's a go. We'll still need some proper on-device work, but it's certainly on the way. Bottom line: Root access has been achieved.
If you're thick-skinned and in the mood for some fast-paced, attention-demanding challenges, the Moron Test is for you.
The Moron Test is broken up into a series of sections filled with puzzles and tasks, and after you've completed one, you can move onto the next in line. It'll take a bit of time, though, because the game is unforgiving, and a mistake either starts you completely over or returns you to a checkpoint.
It all starts of simple enough, having you press buttons of the correct color or touch a duck, and once you've done enough of these correctly, the game tells you that now it knows you "have a pulse." That vibe permeates the game; it is the moron test, after all, so from your first puzzle, the game assumes you're a moron. You can only change its mind by beating its silly tests.
Despite the Moron Test's seemingly rudimentary nature, it actually does well in forcing you to think outside of the box (sometimes). Cracking the eggs from largest to smallest is straightforward, but what happens when you're told to press the green button, but the button is orange? If you waited for the button to turn green and then pressed it, you'd advance.
Overall, The Moron Test is good to kill some time (how much is up to you), especially if you're aiming to beat all five of its sections. It runs 99 cents in the Android Market, but if you're looking to start small, the developers have some of the sections in the Market by themselves, and all for free.
Download links and more pictures are after the break.
We've got more new hardware than you can shake a stick at. In fact, we shook a stick at it, and out popped more new hardware. Join us as we talk the U.S. Galaxy S II phones, what's coming out of IFA, the latest Nexus rumors, and that creepy Droid Bionic bust we got in the mail.
Sitting up nights worried that Samsung might hop on the webOS bandwagon and ditch Android? There's about as much chance of that happening as there is of people properly capitalizing webOS. Samsung Electronics Co. CEO Choi Gee Sung apparently said as much this week at IFA, telling reporters "It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion." The Korean manufacturer had been named as a possible licensee of webOS since late June -- long before HP officially started the knife downward.
Works for us. Samsung already makes some fine Android and Windows Phone devices, and it's got its own Bada operating system, too (which graphically looks more and more like Android every day. We really do hate to see webOS continue its downward spiral, but we're also not inclined to argue against natural selection.
Nothing sexier than a nice wireframe at week's end, we suppose. And that brings us to the Samsung SGH-i727, which has made its way through the U.S. FCC. The 850/1900 MHz bands lend credence to this possibly being an AT&T device at some point, but the i727 also is the same designation as Rogers' Samsung Galaxy S II LTE device. It's also got two bands of LTE -- 700MHz and 1700MHz, the latter being the AWS frequency that T-Mobile currently uses and that AT&T was planning on using once it merges. (The recently-announced and very overpriced HTC Jetstream Honeycomb tablet also rocks 700/AWS for LTE, for what that's worth.)
Anyhoo, don't look for this one just yet -- we're not expecting LTE smartphones on AT&T for several months, at least. But it's never too early to start wishing.
Ready for another epic Android Central podcast? So are we. Lots to talk about so make sure you jump on in the forums and hit up the blogs before you tune in tonight in case you need a refresher on what has been happening.
As of now, you'll find the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE listed along with Rogers LTE Rocketstick (Sierra Wireless AirCard 754S). Reservation will set you back $40 per device but that's cheaper then pre-ordering from Best Buy which typically costs you a $50 deposit.
Rogers 4G LTE is already live in Ottawa but come September 28 they will be lighting up the largest city in Canada - Toronto. Pricing for the LTE equipped devices hasn't been announced as of yet but, if you're wishing to be among the first with an LTE Samsung Galaxy S II you can now get your reservation in.
The latest mobile version of the long running Need For Speed franchise is now upon us, and for the time being at least will be exclusive to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.
Hot Pursuit is now available through the on board games store, and we were treated to some hands-on time this evening at a Sony Ericsson press event in London. First impressions are pretty good. Anyone familiar with the series will feel right at home, but for those new to it; you drive a selection of some of the worlds most exotic supercars (and some not so exotic) trying to speed away from the Police using all manner of underhanded tactics to shake them off such as oil slicks.
Or if you're a more law abiding citizen, you can turn the tables and play as the Police and use your stinger strips and and roadblocks to stop the fugitive.
Controls on the Play are really nice, very responsive and graphically it isn't a bad looking game when you see it up close. There's also plenty of variety with 20 cars and 24 events to choose from.
A friendly reminder that today's prize in the big Waze contest is an HTC Thunderbolt -- packed with LTE goodness. With the included car dock and charger, it's not only the "ultimate traffic survival kit" but it's a cool way to use Waze while you're out doing other stuff that isn't nearly as fun. Entering to win it is easy as can be:
Download Waze (m.waze.com) or via the Android Marketplace (we've got an easy link after the break)
Make sure you’re a registered user with an email on file (Waze needs your contact info to tell you you’ve won – check ‘Settings’ to ensure that you’re registered.)
Munch (drive over) as many robot road goodies as you can
See the Waze blog for all the details, and get that app downloaded and start playing!
Even though I can't win a prize (curses!) I had to load up Waze and see what all the fuss was about. I needed something to make a trip into downtown DC a bit more fun, and decided munching some Androids would be the way to do it. Set-up and registering was simple, and soon I was on the look out for some munchies. I soon spied one just off interstate 66, and just knew I had to have it.
Then, I noticed things started to slow down (as they are apt to do anytime you're close to Washington, DC and driving -- it's evil on the roads around here). Slower, and slower, then we finally stopped. The wife said, "what's this icon with the cars on your Waze app?" After some discussion that went along the lines of me saying I didn't know, and her telling me that any Android blogger worth his salt should know these things, I figured out that tapping it would probably be the way to go here. Sure enough, a big warning about the traffic jam I was sitting in, and had I been paying attention instead of singing Creedence Clearwater Revival songs (off-key and loudly), I may have been able to jump off the highway and missed.
Yeah, I could have known this 19 minutes before I took the screenshot, sitting in 600 degree heat (OK, maybe only 90) on I-66 with my wife reminding me that technology has advanced far enough to keep people like me from doing stupid things if we only pay attention.
I do know that I'll be putting the car dock up on the dash, and seriously checking out Waze on my next trip to traffic hell Washington, even if I can't win any cool Android devices. I never did get my Android munchie, blasted traffic, but I'll get the next one. You can, too -- hit the jump,download Waze, and be sure to holler at me if you win a Thunderbolt today.
When it comes to weather apps on Android, HTC's pretty much had the market cornered in terms of design. But look out, there's a new kid in town. And in addition to being gorgeous as well as extremely useful, BeWeather has the added advantage of not being locked into one manufacturer's devices. Indeed, for $2.99 $3.59 an apparently fluctuating price, anyone can download this app, powered by the also excellent Weather Underground, and get weather info for just about any city, including four-day forecasts, sun/moon info, and so on. It's the whole 9 yards.
Plus, there's a complete armada of widgets of nearly every size you could want, from 4x3 to 1x1, so it can take us much or as little of your home screen as you want.
Let's just put it this way: BeWeather is now our go-to weather app. Period. This one's definitely deserving of a look, folks. Download links are after the break.
The results are in on TouchType and Smartphone Experts' survey from earlier this year, and with over 30,000 responses, we now have some pretty solid data to share with you. The survey asked readers to share how they use their smartphones, and which features they find most important. Of those surveyed, 86 percent indicated that they use their phone for texting at least once a day, while only 80 percent reporting making a call at least once a day. An overwhelming majority (94 percent) reporting emailing daily. Hit the break for the rest of the results.
Since NASA launched the final Atlantis shuttle mission earlier this summer, the two Nexus S devices on board have been hard at work upgrading three SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) aboard the shuttle. NASA has expressed interest in Android due to its open-source nature, which has enabled engineers to build the sensor logging app that is currently being used on the SPHERES. The video above sheds some light on the Nexus S's deep space adventures, and you can grab said sensor logging app, straight from NASA engineers, from the Android Market after the break.
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