This past weekend, 70,000 gamers gathered in Boston for one of gaming's largest conventions, PAX East. That's a whole lot of people in one place -- trust us, we were there. Among all the console games, computer games, tabletop games, LARPing, and cosplay, Android was along for the fun, too.
Android and iOS developer, Halfbrick, was there showing off Fruit Ninja HD and was even selling some pretty adorable Fruit Ninja swag. Sprint was also there, sponsoring the IGN booth. The booth was filled with booth babes rocking Samsung Epics and Galaxy Tabs. The ladies were dressed in very yellow attire (refer to pics below). NVIDIA was also there, showing off some Xoom tablet action, as well as highlighting NVIDIA's Tegra Zone.
While it was nice to see Android at PAX this weekend, we're still wondering: Where are all the good games at? Photos after the break.
Sony Ericsson has issued a press release today about the horrible disaster in Japan. They express sympathy for the people of Japan, show concern for the 1100 Sony Ericsson employees in Japan, and let us know that the situation is likely to disrupt their supply chain for components.
Northern Japan manufactures a large portion of the worlds electronic components, so this news is not unexpected. Whether other companies come forward with similar press releases or not, this will effect most manufacturers of consumer electronic goods.
It's important to remember that factories and engineering offices can be rebuilt, but the human factor is the most important issue. We here at Android Central want to express our deepest sympathy for the people of Japan, and wish the nation and it's citizens a most speedy recovery. Sony Ericsson's full, but brief, press release is after the break. [Sony Ericsson]
If you have yet to catch Apple's latest marketing attempts,"If you don't have an iPhone...", you have missed a series of humorous videos, in which they clearly have caught a case of amnesia. In Apple's latest videos they have hinted at being the only platform which contains an AppStore which contains all the best applications, but have they forgotten a lot of them are available on Android now in the ever growing Market. Must we remind them of Read It Later, Words with Friends and Angry Birds, which are dual platform now. Also, they have hinted about iBooks being the only way to read books on a mobile platform, but what about the Nook application as well as Google Books, and many others? Come on Apple, we know you are scared by the numbers, but let's not forget others are doing it, and arguably better. Another video after the break. [Youtube via TiPb]
Update: Let's try this again. Shout out to thisisliving93 at Youtube for re-posting the first video. Seems like Apple didn't like the Internet watching it.
Now that the HTC Thunderbolt is officially available and in stores (though we suggest calling ahead - a few stores in some cities are already sold out), we naturally had to pick up the latest big-screened Android phone and start putting it through its paces. The Thunderbolt's specs, if you don't recall, include the now-nearly-standard 4.3" WVGA screen and 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8mp camera with 720p HD video on the back with a VGA camera on the front, and finally a capacious 32g microSD card.
Oh yeah, one more spec: Verizon's wicked-fast 4G LTE network.
So far in our testing in Miami that network is pulling down a very solid 3 megabits per second and uploading so fast that the Speedtest.net app can't really even provide accurate numbers. The device itself also shows remarkably little lag or stutter - even while Android is dutifully pulling down a very large number of apps and profile information we haven't experienced any notable delay.
Hardware-wise, we're a little tempted to say HTC phoned this one in. It's solid and hefty, no doubt, but a little uninspired and definitely a descendant of the EVO 4G. However, there are a lot of nice little touches throughout - including a soft-touch paint that's a pleasure to hold and a large kickstand that cleverly sits atop the Thunderbolt's large rear-speaker. Not so clever: the microUSB charging port sits on the side of the phone that's on your desk when the kickstand is out, so you literally can't charge the Thunderbolt while it's resting on the kickstand.
We'll have much much more on the Thunderbolt very soon. In the meantime check out some photos after the break. Update: Video after the break!
The Motorola Atrix 4G is the latest high-end Android phone on AT&T's HSPA+ network, bringing a dual-core Tegra 2 powerhouse and Moto's unique WebTop experience along for the ride. Since its announcement at CES in January, people have been excited to see what Motorola can bring to the table, and I was just as excited to have some time with the Atrix and the laptop dock.
That's not to say the experience was perfect -- they never are. I'll share what I learned during my time with the Atrix, and hopefully it will give you a fair idea of what to expect with this one. Join me after the break.
Have you ever been somewhere, reading something, and got stuck on a word that you weren't quite sure what it meant? Don't be shy, you are not alone, it happens to me all the time, and to be honest it can be rather frustrating, having to attempt to figure it out, or having to open the Dictionary.com application and then typing the word to find the definition. Well, gone are those days, now simply launch SnaPanda, click on the word you are unsure of, and boom, definitions are found that easily. In addition to definitions, you are able to view some expressions of how the word is used, and also add it to a list for easy accessibility at a later time. Check out the video above, and then download and test for yourself, this is an application everyone will find use for in their daily life. Download links available after the break.
If speed is something you crave, by choosing the Android OS you chose the faster browser without even realizing it. Blaze Software conducted an extremely intensive study on browser speeds, and after 45,000 tests they were able to conclude that the Android browser was much faster then the iPhone using Safari. The average load time on an Android device was 2.1 seconds, while the iPhone was stuck at 3.2, which is 52% faster, a huge improvement.
While most retailers will have the Wi-Fi only Motorola XOOMready to go on March 27, Costco is taking pre-orders now and giving and expected ship date of April 1. So what exactly is the incentive in ordering from them considering you'll be waiting a few extra days to get one? Well, Costco will only charge you $589.99 and toss in a free gel skin case to go along with it. If you're not an impatient person -- that's one hell of a deal. You can place your pre-orders at the Costco website. [Costco via BGR]
If you live in the UK, and have been eying the HTC Flyer ever since it debuted at Mobile World Congress, the wait for the device is coming to an end. Online retailer Clove Technology has put the device up for pre-order, and it is set to be released next month. The device carries a price tag of £600, which will get you the 7 inch tablet with 32gb of storage powered by a 1.5GHz processor. So, if you have been waiting, place your pre-order now, and the device will be in your hands at some point next month. [Cnet.uk]
If you are a college basketball fan, March is probably one of your favorite months, but while unfortunately you are unable to take the whole month off to keep up with the games. This year, the tournament is being broadcasted all over the place, potentially making it rather difficult to ensure you are able to watch your game of preference. PlayOn, which just finally came to Android last month, has announced they are offering one simple way to keep up with all the NCAA action, in just one place.
"Last year we were thrilled to offer PlayOn subscribers access to every game in the NCAA Championship," comments David Karlton, MediaMall Technologies' CTO. “This year we wanted to let hoops fans take March Madness with them. PlayOn still works with your television, but it also works on the most popular devices, including Android Phones, iPads and iPhones.”
The application itself runs with a subscription fee of only $4.99 a month, and they are also offering a 14 day free trial of the services, so be sure to check this out if you don't want to miss out on any of your favorite college hoops action. More information and download links after the break. [Playon]
It's time folks. If you've been sitting at your computer waiting for the minutes on the clock to roll over your wait is now over. After many rumored launch dates, delays and seemingly false starts -- the HTC Thunderbolt has now gone live on the Verizon Wireless website and is ready to be delivered direct to your door. As noted previously, purchasing the device straight from Verizon will run you $250 for a two-year contract, $320 for a one-year contract, or $600 $444.99 with no contract.
No matter where you stood in our poll from earlier, a lot of folks are going to be grabbing the HTC Thunderbolt and taking the device as well as 4G LTE for a spin. Until now, the Verizon 4G LTE network has seen minimal traffic so it'll be interesting to see how it handles the masses. If you're still undecided about the device as a whole, you can check our device page to get the full run down, also be sure to hit up our first-look from CES 2011. If you've already decided and are ready to take the plunge, then jump on the source link to take you on over to the Verizon Wireless website. After that, hop into the forums to brag. [Verizon] PS: Looks like no contract price was dropped to $444.99
*Edit* - Now it is back to $599.99, anyone get one at $444.99?
So, apparently some phone called the HTC Thunderbolt is coming out tomorrow. And some people are kind of excited for it for one reason or another. Well, Amazon will help you make the plunge into this LTE thing as they are now offering the TBolt for just $180 when signing up for a new or upgrade two-year contract. It should be noted that Amazon will likely hit you with an extra fee if you ETF, so keep that into account if you are prone to such things.
All jokes aside, pricing straight from Verizon will run you $250 for two-year contract, $320 for one-year contract, or $600 with no contract when the phone goes on sale tonight at midnight. The 4G is so close you can almost taste it. [Amazon Wireless, Twitter (1), (2)]
We've seen similar products like this from Samsung in the past and we're about to see some more come this spring. The latest press releases confirms they will indeed be bringing the Samsung Galaxy Player 4 and 5 to the US market. Although no pricing or details were revealed they did drop the specs for us all in the official announcement.
Both the 4" and 5" will come pre-loaded with Android 2.2 Froyo and will be upgradeable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Both devices also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, front and rear facing cameras and Skype as well as Flash 10.1. Hit the break for the full press release. [Businesswire via Engadget]
Finally! The HTC Thunderbolt is rolling into retail locations and users will be able to pick one up for themselves. No more rumored release dates, no more cases showing up in store inventory with no devices available. As a Canadian, I cannot partake in the luxury of grabbing one but I'll certainly be scouring the Android Central forums to get folks opinion on it after it hits the masses. Until then, check out some of the threads below:
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