3 years ago

RIM tells Android developers to get apps ready, offers PlayBooks to sweeten the deal


Keen to get as many Android applications as possible on board before PlayBook OS 2.0 hits, Research In Motion has put the call out to Android developers everywhere. Get them ready for launch now! 

The world has known for some time now that RIM were planning to include compatibility for Android apps on the Playbook (and forthcoming BlackBerry 10 devices). The current OS 2.0 developer beta has given us a glimpse of what's to come, opening up to sideloading prepared apps onto the tablet. Key to making the whole thing work out is getting Android developers to repackage their apps and submit them to Blackberry App World. For them to be included at launch, the deadline to have apps submitted by is Monday February 6. 

The process of repackaging and signing Android apk files is surprisingly straight forward, so straight forward that even I've been able to repackage a couple. There are 3 different methods, one of which can be done through your internet browser. Not surprisingly RIM are asking that all references to Android and the Android Market are removed from the application and application description before you submit. While it's an Android app you'll be submitting, the process of downloading and installing onto a BlackBerry device is to be as if it were a natively developed application. 

To try and entice developers a little more, RIM's Alec Saunders has gone out on Twitter today promising a free Playbook to all Android developers. All you need to do is submit your Android app to BlackBerry App World before Feb.13 to take advantage of the offer. 


If you're an Android Developer and this sounds like an opportunity for you, hit the source links below for all the information you'll need. 

Source: BlackBerry Developer Blog
More: BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps, Crackberry

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3 years ago

Purported leaked Samsung render shows mix of new, old and nonexistent


We might not get the Samsung Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress, but that doesn't mean there might not be something new to play with Mobile rumormonger Eldar Murtazin today teased the Twitters with the image you see above and the following five words: "Barcelona. Samsung. Press Photo Leaked." We can't speak at all about the validity of the image, so we'll just talk about what we see. 

So, yeah. That looks to be some sort of Ice Cream Sandwich with some sort of TouchWiz-esque mash-up. It's different than what we saw in that leaked video from the Galaxy S II in December. It wouldn't greatly surprise us to learn a new phone would have a new version of TouchWiz, nor would it surprise us to learn that the earlier leak was just that -- an early leak and is off the table.

The icons in the dock look like they've been refined a little bit, which you'd expect, right? They've got the ICS app drawer icon on the middle. Glad to see it.

Now the capacitive buttons at the bottom. ... They're done in the style of the on-screen ICS buttons, only they're obviously not on the screen here. The icons are different than what you find on Samsung phones today -- They're the ICS buttons.

Unlike the three-buttoned LG Spectrum, which has menu-home-back, this render goes back-home-multitasking.

And that's that. If you want to get really nit-picky, that calendar entry is for a date that doesn't exist. And that's the old icon for the Android Market, not what you'll see on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Could just be poor rendering, or it could be a sign. And note that this render looks like it borrows heavily from the T-Mobile UK Galaxy S II.

Anyhoo. Maybe it's legit. Maybe it's not. One way to find out: Let's go to Barcelona.

Source: @EldarMurtazin

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3 years ago

The best UK/European Android Phones - As of Feb. 2, 2012


Welcome to the best UK and European Android Phones as of Feb. 2, 2012. Or you can call them our favorite Android phones. Or the top Android phones. Really, call them whatever you want. Here's what you're getting: Our unabashed, unapologetic and unequivocal list of what we consider to be the best Android smartphones available on the five major UK networks today. For those of you outside the UK, we've also thrown in a rundown of our top five unlocked, international GSM phones.

There are a lot of great Android phones available to tempt European buyers, and unlike the U.S., many phones are available on multiple carriers, giving Euros a bit more freedom when it comes to their choice of device. In any case, join us after  the jump for the complete rundown, or check out the best U.S. and Canadian devices at the link below.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Nexus launches on Canada's Mobilicity four days ahead of schedule


Canadian contract-free carrier Mobilicity has announced that the Galaxy Nexus is now on sale, four days ahead of the expected February 6 launch. The Nexus is available in stores for $599, and comes with a free Samsung HM1100 Bluetooth headset for a limited time. The device's availability coincides with the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Mobilicity brand-- it also comes one day before competing pay-as-you-go carrier WIND Mobile will begin selling the flagship device.

Mobilicity also announced a Valentine's Day-themed promotion to run from February 6 through the 17th. In-lust couples are invited to submit a video of their best kiss to the carrier's "Mobile Kiss Cam Contest" via Facebook-- winners will receive a free Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy Mini, with six months of free unlimited service.

Mobilicity's full presser can be found after the jump. Canadians itching to take a bite out of Ice Cream Sandwich will find Mobilicity's product page at the source link.

Source: Mobilicity

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich now on 1 percent of all Android devices, Gingerbread still on the rise


Google has just released the latest numbers regarding who's using what version of Android. These are devices that have accessed the Android Market over two weeks ending Feb. 1. The long and short of it is this:

  • Ice Cream Sandwich is up to a whopping 1 percent of all devices. That's the Galaxy Nexus, of course.
  • Honeycomb (Android 3.0) is still around, hitting 3.4 percent of devices in the past two weeks, up a percentage point from a month ago.
  • Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is at 58.6 percent, up from 55.5 percent last month. 
  • Froyo (Android 2.2) fell three percentage points to 27.8 percent.
  • Eclair is hanging on at 7.6 percent, down from 8.5 percent last month.

Google is currently activating more than 700,000 Android devices a day.

Source: Android Platform Versions

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3 years ago

EA bringing The Sims Freeplay to Android this month


If you're one of the millions of Sims fans around the world this next piece of news might interest you. EA is bringing their hit freemium version of the game, The Sims Freeplay to Android. No exact date as yet, but it will be launching in the Android Market sometime in February. 

In Freeplay, you can control the daily shenanigans of upto 16 different Sims, designing and directing their lives as you see fit. In a break from the norm, Freeplay runs in 24-hour cycles meaning that you will need to check in throughout the day and respond to your Sims needs in real time. The game will also employ an in-app purchase model, but everything can be unlocked free of charge if you're willing to put the time in. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Infuse 4G Gingerbread update now available over Kies Mini



Good news, everyone! After a bit of a false start yesterday, the Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread update for the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T is now available via the Kies Mini. Now the bad news: the Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread update (software version KL2) for the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T is now available via the Kies Mini. (See what we did there?)

Kies is notoriously one of the most tempermental update system there is, and that stigma hasn't been lessened with this latest update. A good number of you are seeing the same thing we are in the image above -- an unregistered device. That's no fun.

But at least the update is finally out there, and these things have a habit of sorting themselves out. Shame it's such a mess in the meantime.

More: Infuse 4G forums; Samsung

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO Shift 4G gets a software update


Sprint today announced that the HTC EVO Shift 4G is getting a software update. Here's what's new in software version 2.77.651.3:

  • Security Update
  • Updated Peep client ( to align with Twitter)
  • Battery life improvements

The "Security update" presumably removes the Carrier IQ analytics software from the device (remember that Sprint had quit using it anyway). Head into your settings menu to snag the update now, or you can wait for it to push out automatically starting Feb. 7.

Source: Sprint
More: EVO Shift 4G review; EVO Shift 4G forums

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3 years ago

Sprint officially announces the ZTE Optik, available Feb. 5 for $99


We first outed the $99 ZTE Optik Honeycomb tablet a week ago, and today Sprint has made it official. The 7-inch Android 3.2 device will be available Feb. 5. Spec-wise, the Optik is right up there with most other Android tablets. To wit:

  • 7-inch display at 1280x800 resolution
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb (No mention of an Android 4.0 upgrade)
  • Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 1.2GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • GPS
  • Wifi (802.11 b/g)
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Stereo speakers

Do we finally have an Android tablet that beats all others on price while matching many in specs? We'll have to wait until we get it in our hot little hands. But consider our intereset piqued.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

The best Canadian Android Phones - As of Feb. 2, 2012


Welcome to the best Canadian Android Phones as of Feb. 2, 2012. Or you can call them our favorite Android phones. Or the top Android phones. Really, call them whatever you want. Here's what you're getting: Our unabashed, unapologetic and unequivocal list of what we consider to be the best Android smartphones available on the three major Canadian carriers today.

Just like with our American list, you can't have this sort of thing without controversy. But considering that we're talking Canadian phones and Canadian readers, we also expect the discussion to be much more civil. 

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3 years ago

HTC addressing Wifi security loophole in some Android handsets


HTC is updating some of its Android phones to address a security vulnerability which could allow malicious apps to steal Wifi security information. In a post on its official support site, the manufacturer says that many of the affected handsets have already been updated over-the-air, however some may require a manual update.

On an affected device, the bug in question could allow an Android application with the innocuous-sounding "ACCESS_WIFI_STATE" permission to access Wifi passwords for any network the phone's connected to. According to security researchers Chris Hessing and Bret Jordan, who originally discovered the vulnerability, phones affected by the bug include --

TheNextWeb reports that Hessing and Jordan discovered the issue in September 2011, but worked with Google and HTC to track down the root cause and develop a fix before going public. That's why we're just hearing about this for the first time today.

As HTC says, if your device is affected, it's likely already been updated with the fix over-the-air. The manufacturer says to check back next week for more information on a manual patch for certain handsets. In any case, we're not too worried about this latest security scare, and we don't think you should be either. If you were affected, chances are you already have the fix. And after all, stealing a Wifi password is among the less menacing things a malicious app could do.

Source: HTC Support; via: TheNextWeb

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3 years ago

A.I.type releases FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard


Early last month we told you about A.I.type and their need for beta testers for a new "floating" spilt keyboard.  Fast-forward to today, and the beta product is now finished, and FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard is now available in the Android Market.  Based on the original A.I.type keyboard and it's amazing prediction engine, FloatNSplit brings a new and unique user interface for tablet users, with a split keyboard that's not only resizable, but with a movable "window" that A.I.type says will change your tablet typing experience.

It's also completely customizable, to adapt to your typing style and needs.  Options include dedicated numeric keys that appear and hide with a finger swipe, a resizing button, and cut/copy/paste/undo/redo functions built into the app itself.  But of course the killer feature is the floating split style.

You can split the tablet version into two semi-transparent halves for easy thumb typing, and they can be dragged separately and positioned anywhere you like on your screen.  A virtual button switches through the three modes (full, split, and floating) to keep the keyboard small and in perfect position for thumb typing with one or both hands.  FloatNSplit currently supports over 30 languages and character layouts, with context-sensitive text prediction and auto-correct available for English, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, French and Dutch. Support for Greek, Turkish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean, Tagalog is said to be coming soon.  

AI FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard requires Android 2.2 or higher, and sells in the Android Market for $5.99.  Six bucks is a lot to spend on an Android application, but A.I.type is so confident that it's offering its own two-day refund guarantee, so I'm definitely checking it out.  We've got a video, some screenshots, and a download link after the break.

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3 years ago

Late night poll: Have you read Google's new privacy policy?


You might have heard that Google has a new consolidated privacy policy coming in March.  All the cool kids are talking about it, and even Microsoft has had a little to say to help you decide how you feel about it.  On one side, you have folks who aren't concerned or say it's a good thing, and on the other you have those who say Google's new policy is horrible for us, the users.  (We're ignoring the folks who claim it will hasten the zombie apocalypse or cause biblical repercussions of any form).  Tonight, we just want to know how many of you guys have even bothered to read it?

Let us know in the poll, and when you're done, have a read if you haven't already. 

Have you read the new Google consolidated privacy policy?

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3 years ago

The best U.S. Android Phones - As of Feb. 1, 2012


Welcome to the best Android Phones as of Feb. 1, 2012. Or you can call them our favorite Android phones. Or the top Android phones. Really, call them whatever you want. Here's what you're getting: Our unabashed, unapologetic and unequivocal list of what we consider to be the best Android smartphones available on the four major U.S. carriers today.

You can't have this sort of list without controversy. We get that. And discussion is good. And so we're just going to anwer the question as simply as we can here: What do we think is the best phone on any given U.S. carrier as of right now? They're all in this post. No metrics, no scores. Just our pics and a tad of explanation, with the goal of helping you find the best phone on a particular carrier at any given time.

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3 years ago

Full-page ads attack Google's privacy policy; el Goog responds


Google, having already explained to the boys and girls inside the Beltway that they don't need to go all Chicken Little over its upcoming new consolidated privacy policy, today took aim at Redmond, Wash., for (if you can believe it) acting even more childish. More specifically, Google responded to claims from Microsoft (among others) that it's evil, it's only out to sell your information and that if you're not careful, Google will loosen your teeth while you sleep. (We might be confused over that last point.)

For those of you who don't ready words printed on dried pulp, the full-page ads Microsoft has taken out are "Putting people first" and go on to say the following about Google:

Google is in the process of making some unpopular changes to some of their most popular products. Those changes, cloaked in language like "transparency," "simplicity" and "consistency," are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between anything you search, sen, say or stream while using one of their services.

But, the way they're doing it is making it harder for you to maintain control of your personal information. Why are they so interested in doing this that they would risk this kind of backlash? One logical reason: Every data point they collect and connect to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser.

To be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to improve the quality of an advertising product. But, that effort needs to be balanced with continuing to meet the needs and interests of users. Every business finds its own balance and attracts users who share those priorities. Google's new changes have upset that balance, with users' priorities being de-prioritized. That's why people are concerned and looking for alternatives.

If these changes rub you the wrong way, please consider using our portfolio of award-winning products and services.

This is straight up political theater, folks. Never mind that if Microsoft was in the search/advertising business, it'd be doing (if it was smart) exactly the same thing. But it's not. It's in the software licensing (and/or litigating, depending on who you ask) business. And Google continues to repeat that it's not collecting any new data with this new privacy policy, nor is it selling your data.

We're really not going to tell you what to think here. Read Google's responses from today. Go back and read its responses to Congress. And then read Google's new privacy policy, which is only a month away from taking effect. Then decide just how worried you are.

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