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2 years ago

Android Primer: T-Mobile Theme Chooser

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One of my favorite things to do on Android is use the T-Mobile Theme Chooser to change the look of my phone. With a few simple clicks you can alter things like the notification pulldown bar, toast notifications, check boxes, and button colors.

Because this is something so powerful (and empowering to the user), I want to clear up any misconceptions anyone had about the Theme Chooser, so join me after the break for a primer on what it is, when you can use it, and why you should.

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2 years ago

Motorola Admiral images leaked -- portrait qwerty never looked so good

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We know that the Motorola Admiral isn't going to appeal to everyone.  People who want a 4-inch plus screen or a razor thin slab (or both) probably won't look twice at it.  But hey -- there are plenty of those out and more are coming.  This one is for people who need a business oriented device that's tough as nails, and built for communication.  The mil-spec Admiral delivers in the specs department with Android 2.3, a 3.1-inch display, QWERTY keyboard, an 1860mAh battery, 5MP camera and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor.  And it chirps -- it's the first full CDMA device featuring Sprint's CDMA direct connect, which may just bring a tear of joy to more than a few eyes.  May IDEN rest in peace.  Besides what we already knew from video that Sprint accidentally posted a while ago, we also get to see a great shot of the profile and it's wedge shaped design.  One more pic is after the break.

Source: Engadget

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Oct 8, 2011

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Looking to download something new today, but just not sure what it should be? Don't worry, we have you covered, hit the break with us and let's check out some of our favorites from this week and hopefully they can become some of your very own favorites!

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2 years ago

Android, Red Bull Flugtag, and Playboy Playmate Jaime Edmondson

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(You're welcome, world)

We've seen a lot of great things in our day. This might be the new top of the mountain. Remember those crazy cats from Stumble Force who were going to fly their "Android Wing" contraption in the Red Bull Flugtag in Tampa? Here they are. And posing with them is none other than Miss January 2010, Jaime Edmondson, who was one of the judges for the event.

Android nerds, with a Playboy Playmate. (And Stumble Force won the People's Choice award!) Now we've seen it all. We might have had something to do with it, but mad props to Jaime for tweeting it back to us.

Source: @jaimeedmondson

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2 years ago

TWRP recovery flash tool for the EVO 3D (from the forums)

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If you have an HTC EVO 3D, and have had some issues flashing the TWRP (and be sure to check out Josh's awesome hands-on and interview with developer agrabren) while using version 1.5 of hboot, our own AC Developer scrosler has whipped up some badassery to help you along.  It's a Windows only tool, but all you need to do is install the USB drivers, and click the button to get TWRP flashed and running.  While it works for all versions of hboot, it was designed for and tested with rEVOlutionary S-OFF 1.4 hboot, and 1.5 hboot unlocked with HTC's unlocking tool.

As always, the best part is the level of support you get.  The forum thread is right there, and scrosler is an active member of the community as well as a developer, so you can feel at ease giving this one a try -- we all weren't born with a working knowledge of the command line.  This is why we love our AC Devs.  Not only do they cook up awesome hacks and tools, but they stand behind them.  So if you've been waiting, head into the forums and have a look.

TWRP recovery installer

Thanks, scrosler!

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2 years ago

Android Theme Review: Frost

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I think once you've got the theming fever, the only prescription is more cowbell theming. Returning back to my initial obsession with monochrome and minimalism, I'd like to present another theme by Sonny Sekhon (the creator of Tangerine): Frost.

Frost takes your status bar icons and turns them black. How will black show up on your bar, you might ask? Well, your notification bar is transformed into a brilliant, frosty silver. Same as Tangerine, the battery percent is put inside the battery by default, so you'll always how much time you've got before you need to swap in a spare battery.

The pulldown notification bar is similarly themed, with a transparent background and silvery-white text and icons. The bottom of the bar is a sort of metallic rectangle with a slice cut out of it. Your notifications are also on metallic rectangles too.

The dialer is relatively unchanged, with just some transparency added. The phone icon is now silver, people's frames around their pictures is a slightly darker grey, but otherwise, it's the same app you've come to know and love.

Icons and widgets have been heavily themed, with many of the apps in my drawer sporting some new, silver threads. A number of widgets have been skinned, too, like the analog clock and the Google search widget.

As a matter of fact, everything in Frost is themed or skinned in some form or fashion. Check box buttons, the settings menu, field highlights, and toast notifications are all cold, frosty, and monochromatic. There isn't a part of your ROM that won't have been themed, and it all comes together in one very convincing package or total frosty immersion.

If you're on the hunt for a brightly colored theme (like me!), then look no further than Frost. It's bright, steely, and very eye-catching. And for only $1, it can be yours.

We've got download links and more pictures after the break.

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2 years ago

Vizio tablet gets another OTA -- VIA version 1.3 brings Netflix support

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The Vizio tablet (check out our review) has received an OTA update (no, it's not Honeycomb) that brings security fixes and Netflix support.  The security fixes weren't detailed, but the current build is now GRH78C, with VIA Plus 1.3, dated Sep. 30. We loaded it up here, and sure enough -- Netflix works really well.  Combined with the recent price drops at places like Sam's Club, this little tablet gets more interesting.

If you haven't seen the update yet, restart your tablet and it should automatically check for the new version.  It takes a few minutes to download, and you'll have to restart again, but once it reboots you'll be able to enjoy streaming from Netflix, with great sound from the Vizio's unique speaker system, right in your hands.

Thanks, fatnasty!

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2 years ago

This is happening: The Stumble Force Android Wings Flugtag

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There are a couple reasons why I don't go to Tampa very often. One is a restraining order thanks to a bad night in Ybor City. (Is there any other kind?) The other is there's some serious poop going on down there. Witness: The crazy bastards of "Stumble Force" and their crazy-ass "Android Wings" contraption. Yes, that's a 12-foot-high EVO with a pair of 15-foot wings. And, yes, it's going to take flight over Tampa Bay. Or, should Sir Isaac Newton's streak continue, take flight into Tampa Bay.

If you're not familiar with the Red Bull Flugtag events, picture these things: A large body of water. A ramp. A human-powered flying machine, and sufficiently disturbed humans to pilot them. OK, not so much pilot, but hold on for dear life. Hell, watch the highlights from 2008, the last time the Flugtag was in Tampa. That ain't right. But it sure is fun to watch.

Anyhoo. Stumble Force and the aluminum-and-PVC Android Wings will be doing their thing today. We wish those crazy SOBs the best of luck.

Source: TBO.com; Image: Stumble Force on Facebook;
More: Red Bull Flugtag; Thanks, @cwperdomo1 for the tip!

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2 years ago

GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus hits the FCC

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Surprise! There's going to be a GSM version of the next Nexus phone, which also will be coming to Verizon. Go figure, eh? Look, there are still a bunch of questions to be answered surrounding the next Nexus phone -- official name chief among them. But as we've been saying (over and over), even if Verizon has some sort of up-front U.S. exclusivity on the next hottest phone, and it might well be slightly different than the ROW devices, there absolutely will be a GSM version. That's what the rest of the world uses. And that's what just went through the FCC as the GT-i9250. Looking at the radio bands, we've got something that's compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and Canada, among other nations.

So, yeah. A GSM Nexus. No kidding.

Source: FCC; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
More in the Nexus Prime forums

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2 years ago

Editorial: It's OK to take a breath

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Way too much hay has been made over Google and Samsung's decision to postpone Tuesday's Nexus/Ice Cream Sandwich event at CTIA in San Diego. It's disappointing, to be sure -- especially to those of us who were going to be there. Samsung and Google events, separately, are something to experience. Put them together, and, well, we can only imagine. But it's also disappointing for everyone else, as the event was to be streamed live, for everyone to see it, and not just those lucky enough to be in the room. That's very openy of Google, ain't it?

It didn't help that the postponement message appeared to be somewhat bungled, with word apparently first trickling out from Samsung UK (which being hours ahead in Europe was actually awake), while the U.S. arm was the one that had sent the invitations in the first place, so presumably it would be the one to give us the bad news after breakfast. (And, in the end, it did.) That's inside baseball, though, and shouldn't really matter. When two major companies are coordinating something like this, stuff happens.

And it didn't help that barely hours before, another major Ice Cream Sandwich/Nexus leak hit with video and screen shots of the new phone and new device. First thing many of us saw after waking Friday was a shiny new phone and version of Android. It's Christmas in October, right?

But then we get official word, and the conspiracy theories began. Ice Cream Sandwich isn't ready. The hardware isn't ready. The event presentation isn't ready. Apple filed another pre-emptive lawsuit. Plausible theories, all (especially the latter, we suppose). A statement was later released, saying "We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs's passing."

We should all respect that.

We tend to think of these phones as ours. Our phones, our platforms, our ecosystems. We take them personally. We fight for them. That's not a bad thing. We should care, and maybe even be a little overzealous. But something most of us outside of the companies involved need to remember is that we see the end product -- we don't truly understand the blood, sweat and tears, days and weeks and months and years that go into building these phones. The developers. The engineers. The debuggers. The managers. The PR folks. The countless wives and husbands and children. Trust me, they take these things personally, too. They fight for them. They care. And maybe they're even a little overzealous. That's how they should be.

ZENandTECH helps center your inner geek and de-stress your connected life.

I don't pretend to "know" Google any more than I pretend to "know" Apple. But I do know they're companies made of people. I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in Mountain View earlier this year, and one thing that stood out was just the overall vibe of happiness of the people mulling around, eating lunch, going from building to building and generously tolerating a bunch of nosy journalists in their way for the morning. It's palpable. But another thing I'm pretty sure of is that for all the secrecy and competition, it's also a fairly tight-knit community. Friends. Family. Respected competitors. (Remember that Eric Schmidt was once on Apple's board.)

This week, they -- and to a different extent those of us in the general public -- all lost someone whose effect on our lives, both personal and technological, likely will be measured not in product cycles or releases, but in the way our children and grandchildren live their lives.

Point is this: We want the next Nexus phone. We want Ice Cream Sandwich. And soon enough, we'll have them both. And they'll be spectacular. And they'll be replaced by something else in another year and we'll go though the process again.

If the men and women of Google and Samsung and any other tech industry more directly affected by Apple and Steve Jobs want a little time next week to reflect, regroup and take a breath, let them. They deserve it.

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