As I mentioned yesterday, our YouMail contest (among others) is now live in the forums. Be sure to check that out if you're looking to win a premium subscription. While you're entering the contest be sure to hit up some of the other posts as well or create your own. We love seeing new threads in the forums so if you have anything to share, questions that need answered or are just looking to talk Android you know where to go.
Sure, taking a Nexus S into near-orbit is great and all, but it's not really outer space, is it? Well, some researchers from England have decided to toss an unnamed Android phone into a rocket and blast it into the final frontier later this year in the name of science. The purpose of the experiment -- other than simply being awesome -- is to test how well the phone and its internal components withstand the extreme conditions of space.
The end goal of the team is to adapt the compact and powerful design of modern smartphones to power low-cost satellites of the future as they note that the phone cost "less than £300" and that the entire satellite ran the team "less than a family car." Another benefit would be that the free and open nature of Android lends itself well to allowing developers to "feasibly develop apps for satellites." [TG Daily]
Here it is folks. The release dates of the LG G-Slate, Dell Streak 7, and Samsung Vibrant 4G have all been revealed. TmoNews got their hands on a couple of screens which outline when all three of these devices will be in consumer's hands. The Dell Streak 7 has a release date of Feb. 2, which confirms previous rumors, and has a price point of $299 after some sort of rebate. Meanwhile, the LG G-Slate will be the last of the three available, releasing on March 23. Finally, the refreshed Samsung Vibrant with 4G capabilities will be in stores February 23. Anybody running out on launch day for these devices? Let us know. Hit the break for one more picture. [TmoNews]
The HTC Evo 4G and it's massive 4.3-inch screen make for a pretty big package, and unless you want to holster it, a thin, form fitting hard plastic case like the HTC Hard Shell Case is a great way to protect it without adding too much bulk. The case is made from a textured hard plastic, and the matte finish helps maintain your grip even when your hands aren't completely dry.
Its two-piece slide-on design is easy to put on and take off, and there are cutouts for access to all the buttons and features that come with the Evo. The cut-out on the bottom of the phone that allows access to the micro USB and HDMI ports is unique, and while the open-ended design may not be the best looking option, it allows the use of just about any USB or HDMI cable, even those with a thick jacket and wide plug. All the cutouts are raised with tapered edges so buttons aren't likely to be pushed while riding in the pocket, and the case is just thick enough to keep the camera lens off the surface if you lay your Evo down on its back. And of course there's full access to the kickstand.
Putting the case on and taking it off is easy, just place the red ( red for this one, the HTC Hard Shell Case is also available in gray and black) side on, then slide the black side over, lining up the interlocking tabs. The case isn't going to slip apart on its own, but it doesn't take much force to unlock and slide the case off. On the front, the case wraps around the sides of the phone and creates a raised lip to protect the screen when the phone is lying face down.
The HTC Hard Shell Case is a great way to protect your Evo without losing the slim profile, the cut-outs line up very well so the controls aren't awkward to use. You can get it for $8.24 in the Android Central store, and there are more pictures after the break.
Forrester Research has published a report concerning support for various mobile operating systems in the business sector that shows strong gains for Android. Support jumped from two percent at the end of 2009 to a respectable 13 percent in 2010. Considering Android really only exploded for most people in the latter half of 2010, it is not hard to imagine that many IT departments around the world are working on getting Android integrated in the coming year.
The leaders in this space are unsurprisingly BlackBerry at 70 percent (up three percent from 2009) and Windows Mobile at a steady 41 percent. Somewhat surprisingly iOS has the support of just 29 percent of companies surveyed. Forrester also notes that companies are increasingly supporting multiple platforms with more than 50 percent supporting at least two and about 25 percent supporting at least three. [Forrester Research (1, 2) via PreCentral]
YouMail not too long ago sent out a rather awesome update to their visual voicemail application, making it more social. YouMail now allows users to easily share voicemail not only through e-mail or text messages, but also by posting them directly to Facebook and Twitter. Great for those times when you getting those funny voicemail messages or just have one that you want to hang onto forever. Some other new features were added as well, full breakdown is below:
Simple Sharing - With just a couple of clicks, users can now easily post voicemail on their Facebook wall, and tweet voicemails using existing Android twitter clients, like HTC’s Peep.
Smart Reply - YouMail automatically maps incoming phone numbers to e-mail addresses, so users can easily reply to an incoming voicemail with an e-mail or text message, either directly through the YouMail client itself, or through other messaging clients like Gmail – with the reply automatically including a link to the original voicemail to provide context.
Expanded Caller ID - Whenever a caller leaves a message, YouMail now pulls and displays incoming caller photos from the phone’s address book and the user’s Facebook account – giving users truly visual voicemail. YouMail also provides the caller’s city and state, in addition to their phone number and name.
Flipping through the session listings for Google IO 2011, and a couple of things stand out: First, there's building web apps and Android apps for Google TV. Google TV, as you'll recall, was announced at least year's developer's conference. It's based on Android, but third-party apps aren't yet available, though they definitely were promised. So it looks like the ball's going to get rolling there.
Also on the agenda is a "Honeycomb highlights" session. It's no great surprise that we'll see more of the Android version that is first coming to tablets, supposedly in the first quarter of the year.
There's also the usual programming and developer tools' sessions, which, frankly, we don't understand in the slightest. But you devs certainly do, and you'll definitely want to check them out. [Google IO sessions]
Google's launched its Google IO 2011 site -- your one-stop shop for everything related to Google's annual developer's conference. Registration hasn't opened yet, so stay tuned for that. But attendee pricing was announced, $450 through April 16, $550 thereafter. Students and faculty can register for $150, and the optional Bootcamp session is an extra $100.
If you're an Android developer, IO is a must-attend event. Hard-core Android enthusiasts would have a blast, too. Hit up the site for all the other details, including session listings. Then check our our coverage from Google IO 2010. We'll see you there! [Google IO]
Google last week teased us all with a test of number porting. Today it's gone live for everyone. You're going to need to think about this a bit before you dive in, however. If you port your current cell phone number to Google Voice, your current plan will be canceled, and you may be subject to an early termination penalty if you're still under contract. You'll then need to get a new plan, with a new number, which you'll then instruct Google Voice to ring.
T-Mobile has begun pushing Android 2.2 Froyo to users of the MyTouch 3G 1.2 Jack and the Fender LE edition. They had previously promised the update would begin on Jan. 12 but at least it is finally rolling out now. As a quick reminder, the update should be rolling out in waves, so not every user should be prompted to download it right away. Thanks to Vicken for the tip and pic!
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