There was quite a bit of news to come out of Mountain View, Calif., this past week, with the Android team giving us a more in-depth walkthrough of Honeycomb, plus the bevy of developers on hand. We got looks at a number of new (or revamped) applications coming soon to an Android tablet near you, and got to meet the talented developers behind them.
To say that there's an excitement building around Honeycomb would be quite the understatement. This is far, far more than just Android on a big screen.
So let's revisit the news of the past week. After the break, you'll find the entire presentation, plus demos of the apps. Enjoy!
Couple of conflicting stories coming out this morning regarding the launch of the HTC ThunderBolt on Verizon. Above, you have a screen shot leaked to DroidAttic, which appears to confirm the Feb. 14 launch date on Best Buy, news we broke a week ago, and presales start tomorrow. But then there's a post at DroidForums.net passed on by the infamous Miami1683 saying that the ThunderBolt has been pushed back a bit, until Feb. 28.
Miami says the delay is because of the popularity of the iPhone launch, but we'd be willing to wager that with all the hemming and hawing over simultaneous voice and data -- an old feature that would be new to Verizon -- they're still working out some kinks. Guess we'll just wait and see. [DroidForums, DroidAttic]
We travel quite a bit, which means we're always looking for ways to keep our phones charged while on the go. And the folks at 3GJuice sent us a fun little charger to try out. It's called the Android Lunchbox, and it's a nifty little 1000mAh battery that can keep you going in a pinch.
First off, it's a tiny little thing, about 1.5-inches square, 5/8 of an inch thick, and weighs 1.5 ounces. So you can slip it in your pocket and not get goofy looks. The front of the battery has a mirror finish. When you're charging the Lunchbox, little red arrows tell you its progress, and they blink when it's all juiced up.
Then there's the shining feature. While most external batteries need to be charged using the old miniUSB plugs (not many phones use them anymore, so it's one more cable to carry), the Android Lunchbox charges with miniUSB and microUSB. Nice.
But wait, there's more. tucked inside a little rubber flap on the back are miniUSB and microUSB plugs for charging your devices. Handy, indeed, though don't try to charge two devices at once. And you'll need to remember that this only a 1000mAh battery -- most phones now have a 1500mAh battery (or thereabouts), so you're not going to get back to 100 percent from dead. But it's great for keeping topped off, or in an emergency. You can buy a 3GJuice Amazon Lunchbox on Amazon for $30.
There are only a handful of things I like to be awakened by on a Saturday morning. One is the wife and kids. Another is a giant pile of pancakes. And a third is a massive update to Angry Birds, one that brings 30 new levels to the uber popular game. And such was the case this morning, as we now have "Ham 'Em High" to keep us occupied.
Go ahead and get your update on, or hit up the download link after the break if you've yet to play. And now, to go find those pancakes ...
Update: You might well have noticed that the app now says it needs/has permission to access your SMS messages. The developer, Rovio Mobile, tells us on Twitter that it "Must be a mistake in some permission file. Will get it sorted on Monday."
Dev NuroSlam posted a method of installing the necessary su and busybox files, which will grant apps like Root Explorer, Titanium Backup, and SetCPU root access. It still isn't working in conjunction with SuperUser app (which asks your permission for root), so you're missing that extra layer of precaution. But if you're handy with a command line, check out our how-to root Nook Color Honeycomb thread and enjoy your rooted Honeycomb! [xda-developers]
Sony Ericsson hasn't even announced the Neo, but that didn't stop the good folks at Techradar from getting their hands on a unit. Formerly known by the name Hallon, the SE Neo is the Android version of the Symbian powered Vivaz's unique form factor. Ask anyone with a smartphone fetish and they'll probably agree that Sony Ericsson brings beautiful and very well designed hardware to the table. The curved back and center mounted rear camera (8.1 MP) on the Neo are great examples of this. The truth comes when you turn them on, though. Techradar says that Timescape running on Gingerbread has been improved, but we'll have to withhold judgment until we get our hands on one. In the meantime, head over to the source link and have a look. You know you're as curious as we are. [Techradar]
An image of a listing for the "HTC Desire 2" in Vodafone Germany's stock system has emerged on German blog HTCInside.de. The device, with a product code of 00300446, is listed alongside current HTC phones such as the Desire Z and Desire HD.
Following the announcement of the Thunderbolt and Inspire 4G at CES last month there's been plenty of speculation about future European HTC handsets. The original HTC Desire was revealed for the first time at last year's Mobile World Congress. We'll have to wait and see whether a possible successor will emerge at this year's MWC, which runs from February 14-17. [HTCInside.de] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
TGIF! Been chaotic around here for Android news this week, and next week's Sprint event is coming up, erm, next week! If you happened to miss out on the podcast be sure to get caught up over the weekend. Also, take some time to hit up the forums today, tomorrow, whenever and don't be afraid to ask some questions of you have some problems that need sorting out.
NetQin, China's market leader in mobile security, has brought their anti-virus application to Android. NetQin anti-virus offers real-time monitoring, instant scanning, contacts backup and restoration, and phone theft and loss protection. NetQin anti-virus uses what they call Cloud Scan:
"cloud and client twin-engine scanning, which is faster and more accurate at identifying and resolving threats from viruses and malicious programs. Key benefits include fast response to the latest security threats and comprehensive protection from Trojans, malware, and virus-infected plug-ins."
As new threats are found, the cloud scan engine is updated to deal with them. In real-world usage, the app seems to use little resources, and there is no noticeable slowdown with it running in the background.
Maybe you'll never have need for an Android malware scanner, but threats do exists in the wild. It's a by-product of being "open" to the installation of unapproved software. Applications like NetQin anti-virus fill that need, and it looks like this one will do very nicely. If you want to give it a try, it's free in the Market, and is available in a version for Android 1.5 and Android 1.6, as well as a version for Android 2.x. The full press release is after the jump.
Despite having taken some wind out of the Motorola Atrix 4G's sales with its recently announced pricing, AT&T is still doing its marketing push. The latest comes to us courtesy of the AT&T YouTube channel, where they walk us through one minute of Motorola Atrix 4G goodness. When all is said and done, we're still certain the device is a great addition to the AT&T lineup, but we'd be foolish to not suggest the pricing has caused many folks to look elsewhere. It's quite alright, AT&T, if you want to adjust that pricing. We won't mind, I assure you. [YouTube]
While there are quite a few torrent clients and torrent remote control apps in the Android Market, Bittorrent has never directly released an application to interface with your µTorrent installation. That is, until now. The official µTorrent remote app has just been released to the Android Market and is available for download. Keeping in mind, it's not a full blown client but rather a remote for your already existing installed client on your computer it does have some nice features built into it.
Check the status of a download directly from your Android smartphone
Add, pause or remove µTorrent downloads on your computer
µTorrent remote registers as a .torrent handler so you can browse and add torrents just as if you were on your PC at home.
Start, pause or remove µTorrent downloads in progress on your computer
Update and add torrents from RSS subscriptions
Transfer, save and play any completed file from your PC right to your device.
Bittorrent does have a full blown client in the works but for now they are asking users to report any feedback they may have regarding just the remote application. You can find the download link right after the break. [Bittorrent]
Yes, we knew it was coming but now we finally get a sneak peek at the soon to be released Angry Birds Valentine's Day edition. Although we still have some time to rough up some pigs before then, Rovio hasn't forgotten that fact. In addition to the upcoming Valentine's Day edition, you'll also be able to unlock a new level via secret code found within the Super Bowl commercial for their upcoming animated feature movie Rio. You can hit the break to get a look at said secret level [AllThingsD, Entertainment Weekly]
Now this is awesome! Samsung Galaxy Tab owners can finally get their hands on a CyanogenMod 7 build for their devices courtesy of Technomancer over at XDA-Developers. While the build is still rather buggy, most basic functions do indeed work. You may not want to make it your everyday ROM as of yet but considering the progress being put towards it being a stable build is happening rather quickly it's certainly something to keep your eye on that's for sure. You can hit up the source link for the full details. Anyone going to be loading this bad boy up and testing it out? [XDA- Developers]
Another day, another Xperia Play leak. This time images of a possible in-store demo booth for the device have cropped up on Dutch site AllAboutPhones.
While there's not a lot of new information to be gleaned from these pictures (partly because almost everything about this phone has alreadybeenleaked), eagle-eyed viewers will notice what seems to be a T-Mobile logo on the close-up of the stand. T-Mobile operates in many territories, however, so it'd be premature to jump to any conclusions based on this logo placement alone.
Be sure to feign as much surprise as possible when the Xperia Play is officially confirmed and revealed, most likely at the 2011 Mobile World Congress later this month. [AllAboutPhones]
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