Headlines

4 years ago

Motorola Droid X2 sees its first custom ROM

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Android developer c21johnson has worked up a custom ROM for the Motorola Droid X2.  Minimal X, currently in a beta-release stage, is the first available custom ROM for the X2, which still has a locked bootloader.  Goes to show that keeping phones locked down won't stop dedicated people from hacking at them, and it a huge waste of resources, and I'll stop there before I go off on a whole 'nother tangent.

The ROM itself has been cleared of any useless bloat, and the system and framework have been edited.  As the developer mentions, this makes a great base for some more exotic work to be cooked from, and we expect to see it soon.  Of course you'll have to have root, and ignore the drama and use the bootstrap utility that is floating around out there to install.  Looks like the X2 is following in its older brother's footsteps and has turned out to be a capable, and hackable, piece of gear.  Congrats c21johnson.

Source: XDA-DevelopersThanks, Alexander!

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4 years ago

ThunderBolt case review: Seidio Surface Extended

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So you've got an HTC ThunderBolt extended battery. Can't blame you there. Now you need a case that'll fit it. Enter the Seidio Surface Extended Battery Case for the HTC ThunderBolt. It's redesigned to fit the extended battery, but doesn't mask any of the phone's functionality.

Let's start without even putting the case on. The inside, where it touches the battery cover, is covered in felt, so you won't scratch the cover. You attach the case by starting on the side with the volume rocker, then snapping on the opposite edge. (You remove it in reverse.)

Once the case is on, the sides and rear of the ThunderBolt are completely covered. There are cutouts for the volume rocker, camera, flashes and microUSB port. The exterior of the case is done in soft-touch. It's got just a tad more of a plastic feel than the ThunderBolt's stock cover, but you might not even notice. The case covers the ThunderBolt's metal kickstand, but has its own plastic kickstand to replace it. It's not as elegant as what's on the phone, but it'll get the job done.

The case extends past the front of the phone just a millimeter or so, which should keep the glass from being scratched when left face-down.

The Seidio Surface Extended Battery Case for the HTC ThunderBolt fits the 2750mAh and 3200mAh extended batteries and is available in the Android Central Store for $27.95. We've got more pictures after the break.

All HTC ThunderBolt casesAll HTC ThunderBolt batteries

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4 years ago

Android 101: How to check what has been using your battery

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4 years ago

Sketchbook Pro app comes to Honeycomb tablets

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Autodesk just released a Honeycomb-optimized version of their popular paint and drawing app Sketchbook Pro. It has been available as a tablet optimized experience on the iPad for over a year, so it's nice to see an Android version finally getting some love.

If you've never used Sketchbook Pro before, it is a highly functional drawing app that allows users to create incredible content on their mobile device.

The app costs $4.99 and is now available in the Android Market. Please find links to the app and a demo video showing off the newly optimized version after the break.

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4 years ago

Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad official photos released

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Lenovo has released the official press photos of the IdeaPad K1 Android tablet (pictured, left) and the ThinkPad Android tablet on their Picasa account.  No details came with these, but we already knew a little bit and can learn more from the photos.  The IdeaPad K1 is a 10.1 inch Honeycomb tablet, sporting the Tegra 2 chip and Lenovo's custom skin.  Today's pictures show front and rear cameras, custom colors, a media dock, and a keyboard docking station.  The ThinkPad looks to be geared more to the business professional with an included stylus and presumably software included to use it in Lenovo's custom UI atop Honeycomb.  The ThinkPad also sports four physical buttons as well as an SD card slot, USB, and HDMI ports on the outside, and a Tegra 2 CPU and 1GB RAM on the inside. 

We have no idea about pricing or a date, but with the official pictures set loose there's no reason for further secrets.  I imagine we'll be hearing more about these in the near future.  In the meantime, head to the source links and have a peek at a slew of pictures.

Source: Picasa; IdeaPad K1, ThinkPad  via: Netbook news

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4 years ago

The Economist finally hits Android, available on phones and smaller tablets

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The Economist has finally released an app for Android. Heavy readers of the popular periodical will be able to enjoy its content right from their mobile device. The app itself is free, but you have to be a subscriber to log in and view the content.

Features include:

  • Each week’s issue available from 9pm London time each Thursday
  • Download each issue to your device to read without an internet connection
  • Switch easily between reading and listening with The Economist in audio
  • Store and access back issues
  • Purchase single issues using In App Purchase
  • Subscribe from within the app for full access to The Economist on Android, iPhone, iPad and The Economist online

The app is only for non-tablet devices running 2.0+. We got a preview of the Honeycomb optimized version back in February, but no news on when we can expect to see one. Please find links to the app after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC Sensation with S-off spotted

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you're sitting there patiently, waiting for some proper S-off action for your HTC Sensation, it appears you might not have to wait much longer, as the folks at AlphaRev apparently have a properly hacked Pyramid in their hands. S-off, of course, is important for having full access to the lower levels of the device. Without it, things like custom ROMs are a wee bit more difficult to accomplish.

Anyhoo, stay tuned for when we see a public release. Until then, enjoy the video.

Thanks, Franky!

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4 years ago

Google Maps adds more 3D buildings in more cities

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Google's just unwrapped more three-dimensional buildings in a number of cities worldwide, including London, Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm, Singapore, Lisbon, Boulder (Colo.) and 11 cities in South Africa. Those are in addition to New York City, Zurich, Milan and others.

You don't have to do anything -- the updated maps are all on Google's side. To view the 3D buildings, just make sure you're viewing things in map mode (not satellite), then zoom in and use two fingers to change the viewing angle.

And in case you're wondering, the image above is from the site of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro checks in at the FCC

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It has been quite a while since Sony Ericsson officially announced the Xperia Pro. In that time we've seen bits and pieces of info here and there about it being launched in the UK but now its been featured in a full blown FCC review. It's still missing those glorious 3G bands for the US but it does come with 900MHz and 2100MHz HSPA making it prime for those of you across the pond.

Source: FCC

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4 years ago

New Desire HD update addresses Wifi issues

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According to reports from multiple forums, HTC is now rolling out a new over-the-air update for the Desire HD, bringing the handset up to software version 2.50.405.2. The new software is still based on Android 2.3.3 and Sense 2.1, but includes a fix for Wifi connectivity issues that some users have been experiencing. So far the update is only rolling out to unbranded Desire HD units in Europe, so you may have to wait a little longer if you're using a carrier-branded DHD.

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you've received the update on your Desire HD, and if you're noticing better Wifi performance as a result.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

The best free backgammon apps on Android tablets

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One thing a 10-inch tablet is perfect for is playing Backgammon. If you've never played, it's an ancient game -- something like 5,000 years old, by some accounts that involves rolling dice and removing all of your pieces (or checkers) from the board. It's a good mix of strategy and luck, and it really doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

We've taken a look at some of the free backgammon games available in the Android Market, and gave them a go on a Honeycomb tablet. Check 'em out after the break.

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4 years ago

ComiXology out of beta, brings DC Comics to your Android device

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It's been more than half a year since ComiXology hit beta status. And now, just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con, ComiXology is out of beta and bringing countless comics to your Android device. The app itself is free in the Android Market; comic issues run from 99 cents to $2.99. There are more than 3,000 issues available from the DC Comics and Vertigo libraries.

Download links are after the break.

Source: ComiXology blog

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4 years ago

Eric Schmidt comments on Android growth and the patent situation

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Google held an event in Tokyo yesterday entitled Google Mobile Revolution. Former CEO Eric Schmidt was the speaker and hit on everything from the explosive growth of Android to the Apple/HTC patent issue.

Concerning the growth of its mobile operating system Schmidt said that he expects Android to be the most popular platform in Asia due to lower prices brought about by increased competition. Asia boasts some of the world’s fastest growing economies; this, coupled with the booming populations of these nations make the possibilities for adoption endless. Quoting Schmidt:

“Every month, China and India are adding 10 million mobile subscribers and we expect to see amazing growth in markets with lower penetration rates such as Indonesia and the Philippines.”

The patent issues were also brought up, which Google hasn’t commented on much thus far. Friday represents a potential blow to the Android platform as it was ruled that HTC infringed on 2 of Apple’s patents. Schmidt remarked:

"We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations. I’m not too worried about this.”

This is very similar language to what Larry Page said on the his most recent earnings call regarding patents. However, Schmidt was also asked directly about the HTC/Apple issue and whether Google would help HTC’s legal bills. His response:

“We will make sure they don’t lose, then.”

What exactly Google’s plans are regarding support for its OEMs remains to be seen, but it’s good to see a Google executive comment directly on the case. There's no doubt that Android is being attacked mainly due to its success. Its growth outlook, particularly in the Asian continents represents exponential growth, which will only invite more lawsuits. It's pretty safe to say that Google has invested heavily in Android and won't let it or its OEMs go anytime soon.

Source: ZDNet Asia

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4 years ago

The Box Mobile Developer Challenge offering $25,000 and more for the best mobile apps

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Box is offering prizes ranging from $25,000 to free HP TouchPads for the developers who can build the best 10 mobile apps.  Between now and Sept. 9, Android, webOS, and iOS developers can submit their applications to the folks at box.net, who are looking for "the next generation of enterprise-grade mobile applications that will enable workers to be as productive in the field as they are in the office."

First prize is $25,000 US, second place walks away with $10,000 US, and the top ten all receive a free HP TouchPad.  In addition, the top two winners each get $5,000 in the InMobi ad network, and a chance to pitch their ideas to venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which is quite a nice prize as well.  If you're an application developer, and feel up to it, be sure to check it out -- and be sure let us know what you're working on when it's ready for us to have a peek.

Source: Box.net

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4 years ago

Kelvin Taylor, son of NFL great Fred Taylor, gets his own Android app

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If you're an NFL fan, you know the name Fred Taylor, the hard nosed running back who played most of his career for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His son, Kelvin Taylor, is now a high school football player who is looking to follow in his father's footsteps. If you're a fan of the Taylors or just want to track a good young football player's progress, Kelvin now has a free app that is currently exclusive to the Android platform.

The app is divided into four sections:

  • HS Football: provides news and analysis pertaining to the biggest high school football stars and the college recruiting process
  • Twitter: Shows Kevlin Taylor's Twitter stream @ImKelvinTaylor
  • Video Footage: Gives users access to video footage of both Kelvin and his father Fred
  • Photos: Organizes various football photos of Kelvin

What's interesting to note is that Kelvin decided to release the app on Android first, though the iPhone version is 'coming soon'. If you're a huge high school football fan or want progress on Fred Taylor's son, find the link to the app after the break.

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