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4 years ago

HP releases Android TouchPad kernel to CyanogenMod team

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Remember how we saw some HP TouchPad devices mysteriously show up running Android, and the ensuring HP investigation as to how they ended up in the hands of consumers? Well, there was no conclusive answer as to how that happened, however HP has now released the kernel source code for that version of Android for the Touchpad to the CyanogenMod team.

Wifi drivers aren't included, but this is still great news for those toiling away to bring the latest version of Android to TouchPad owners. The information derived from the kernel brings some interesting info to light, as RootzWiki user Green notes --

"It seems to be a totally separate development from the webOS kernel (this was suspected from the very beginning), but now the comments in the code seem to imply that HP had another team working on Android port to Touchpad and that team appears to be totally separate from the webOS team. I wonder if that means there was a plan to ship the Touchpad with Android that were then preempted by webOS plans after Palm purchase."

What it all amounts to in the long run isn't really known just yet, but hopes are that portions of it will be adopted into the CyanogenMod 9 Android 4.0 port for the HP TouchPad. Bugs aside, the TouchPad make a great little tablet when Android is loaded on it (and, some would argue, when it's not).

Source: RootzWiKi; via: webOS Nation

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4 years ago

Steam beta for Android updates with hardware acceleration, stability fixes

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Valve Software has updated its Steam beta app for Android, bringing the application up to version 1.0.3. There's a sizeable list of changes in this latest update, including stability fixes and hardware acceleration for Honeycomb and ICS devices, which should fix some of the jerkiness that's been reported. Czec and Thai language support has been added too, in addition to Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Hungarian Norwegian, Polish and Turkish, which came in version 1.0.2.

Steam for Android is a community app that gives gamers access to Steam community news and chat, along with the all-important Steam store for impulse PC and Mac game purchases on the go. We went over it in more detail a in our hands-on feature a few weeks back.

If you've yet to grab the Steam for Android, it's now open to all Steam account holders, so you can pick it up using the Market link after the jump.

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4 years ago

Motorola confirms UK Motoluxe launch for late February

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Motorola has confirmed its UK launch plans for the Motoluxe, a new Android smartphone that aims to deliver an attractive, lightweight design at an affordable price point. In line with what we heard at the device's CES unveiling (and later from retailers), Moto is planning to bring the Motoluxe to British shores from late February. There's no official price point provided alongside today's announcement, but earlier reports indicate it'll set you back around £260 (~$400) SIM-free. As such, we're sure to see it it offered for free on-contract when it eventually hits the carriers.

Under the hood, the Motoluxe provides a modest hardware package -- an 800MHz CPU, 4-inch screen, 8MP camera and Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread backed up by Motorola's MotoSwitch UI (which seems to be the new name for PhilBlur MotoBlur in Europe). As we saw at CES, the device incorporates a unique grid-shaped widget that provides links to your most-used apps and contacts. All in all, it's not going to knock your socks off, but it looks like a decent mid-range Android smartphone.

For more on the Motoluxe, be sure to check our CES hands-on feature from the show floor.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu teases a 5-inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio

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The first half of 2011 was all about 3D displays for Korean manufacturer LG, with the likes of the Optimus 3D and the Optimus Pad. Looks like LG has something new cooked up for 2012. The LG Optimus Vu has bade an early appearance on LG's Youtube channel. And, yeah. It looks a little squat there. That's a 5-inch display you're looking at with a 4:3 aspect ration. Not something you see every day. 

Other hardware features we've been able to glean from the video are a couple buttons (or maybe screws?) on the top bezel (perhaps three, actually), along with a USB port that appears to be hidden behind a door, and a headphone jack. The volume rocker appears to be on the right-hand side.

Other unofficial specs are said to be a 1024x768 display, a dual-core Qualcomm WPQ8060 processor running at 1.5GHz, 1GB or RAM, 8GB of ROM, and an 8MP camera.

Interesting here is that most of the phones we've seen leaked for the first half of the year have gone to three capacitive buttons -- including the already released LG Spectrum on Verizon -- presumably in preparation for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. We've got no idea when an Ice Cream Sandwich update might be in store for the Optimus Vu (though it's said to be destined for one), nor if it's intended for any markets outside Korea.

Check out the video for yourself after the break, and stay tuned, as we're willing to put money down that we'll see this guy at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.

Source: LG Blog (Korea); via Datacider (translated), The Verge

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4 years ago

Late-nite poll: Is no Flash on Chrome a non-starter?

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So we've finally got a Chrome browser on Android. Huzzah. But it's missing Adobe Flash support. Uh, not huzzah. That is, for some. While Flash is going the way of the dinosaur -- an extremely slow-moving, refuses-to-die dinosaur -- being phased out it is. And for that reason, says Adobe, the new Chrome browser for Android doesn't support it. (And let's face it -- while Flash may have an expiration date, nobody actually knows what it is.)

So is that a deal-breaker for you? Will you stick with the (current) stock Android browser, or a third-party browser, to get you through the interim? 

Is a lack of Flash on the Chrome mobile browser a deal-breaker?

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4 years ago

Microsoft's OneNote now available on Android

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OneNote, Microsoft's popular Office-bundled software, is now available in app form on the Android Market. OneNote allows users to take notes on the go, complete with photos, bullets, and to-do lists. Notes will sync with OneNote on your computer, and will also be available to view and edit online using the OneNote Web app at www.skydrive.com

OneNote began shipping with Micrsoft's Office Suite in 2010 and has since landed on iOS, Windows Phone 7, and now finally Android. The free app lets you create and edit up to 500 notes, with unlimited views and syncing. You'll need a Windows Live ID and Android 2.3 or higher to use the OneNote app, and to sync with your computer, you'll need OneNote from Microsoft Office 2010. Give us some quality time with OneNote for some deeper thoughts, and hit the break for the Market download link.

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4 years ago

Minus for Android - Updated with bug fixes, stability improvements, and optimizations

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Minus has rolled out its latest release for Android users, bumping the app up to v3.0.17. If you're currently using Minus on your device for your file sharing needs you'll want to make sure you grab this update as it brings some much needed changes:

  • Basic searching for users/folders
  • Upload multiple files at once with new built-in picker
  • Upload faster and more stable than before
  • User profile added, with folder lists and avatars
  • Copy Link button returns, now with options!
  • Updated Image Editor to use new Aviary Feather 2.0
  • Invite and follow friends on Minus for Android
  • View all of your folders, and all files in a folder
  • Context Menu in Folder View
  • Clearer error messages
  • View captions and other file info
  • SSL connections added for more security
  • Many other stability and bug fixes

As a reminder, Minus will give you to 50Gb in storage for your hosting needs and files as large as 2GB can be uploaded to your account, although you'll likely want to use their desktop solutions if you're moving that much content. The updated release can be found past the break for you all.

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4 years ago

DroidDoodle - Still a Nexus -- really

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4 years ago

What is a widget? [Android A to Z]

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What is a widget?  In Android, the word widget is a generic term for a bit of self-contained code that displays a program, or a piece of a program, that is also (usually) a shortcut to a larger application. We see them every day on web pages, on our computer desktop and on our smartphones, but we never give too much thought into how great they are. Widgets first appeared in Android in version 1.5, and really gained traction thanks to HTC's Sense-flavored version of the operating system. Prior to the release of the HTC Hero and our first taste of Sense, widgets were functional, but pretty bland in appearance. Since then, OEMs and independent developers alike have done some marvelous things with widgets, and it's hard to imagine using Android without them.

Android widgets come in all shapes and sizes and range from the utilitarian 1-by-1 shortcut style to full-page widgets that blow us away with the eye-candy.  Both types are very useful, and it's pretty common to see a widget or two on the home screen of any Android phone. A full-page widget, like HTC's weather widget for late-model Android phones, tells you everything you need to know about the current conditions, and is also a quick gateway to the weather application where you can see things like forecasts and weather data for other cities.  At the other end of the spectrum, the Google Reader 1x1 widget watches a folder in your Google Reader account and tells you how many unread items there are, and opens the full application when pressed.  Both are very handy, and add a lot to the Android experience.  

Most Android phones come with a handful of built-in widgets.  Some manufacturer versions of Android offer more than others, but the basics like a clock, calendar, or bookmarks widget are usually well represented.  This is just the tip of the iceberg though.  A quick trip into the Android Market will dazzle you with the huge catalog of third-party widgets available, with something that suits almost every taste.  With Ice Cream Sandwich supporting things like higher resolution screens and re-sizable widgets, it's going to be an exciting year seeing what developers can come up with.

Previously on Android A to Z: What  is USB?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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4 years ago

Telus launches on-demand TV streaming app for smartphones and tablets

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TELUS has just launched a new app that ties in with their Optik TV service. Canadian customers can now watch a bunch of their subscribed channels streamed wirelessly to Android or iOS tablets and smartphones. Unfortunately, the channel selection is a little limited for the time being; through the app, you'll be able to access YTV, HBO, two Disney channels, and a few others. You'll also be able to access those channels on a laptop or other web-enabled device through their online portal. On top of that, if you've got an Xbox 360 with Kinect, you can now use the game console to control everything with gestures and voice. 

This is a fine companion to the existing remote recording app TELUS offers Optik TV subscribers, and it's good to see there's a wide array of device support. TELUS LTE is right around the corner, likely coming out on February 14 with the Galaxy Note, which will no doubt be a great host of streaming mobile TV. It's worth noting that while Android devices with Optik TV will be able to benefit from LTE (with the usual data charges applicable), the iPhone and iPad versions are relegated to Wi-Fi networks. 

If you're a TELUS customer and want to give this a shot, head on over here for instructions, or download the tablet app at the link after the jump. There's a video demo down there, too. 

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4 years ago

T-Mobile celebrates Valentine's Day with free 4G devices

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T-Mobile announced today that it will be celebrating Valentine's Day with a blow-out sale on all of its 4G smartphones. On Saturday, February 11, a respectable lot of devices will be free after mail-in rebate both in stores and online. Below is the list in its entirety, which includes some heavyweights such as the Galaxy S II, the Amaze 4G, and T-Mobile's Springboard tablet:

If you've got a sweetie that's still carrying around a G1, now might be the time to show him or her how much you love them. Hit the source link for the sale page, and remember, phones are the new box of chocolates.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta, Galaxy Note pre-orders [From the Forums]

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It's been a pretty busy day with all the udpates coming from Google and of course their release of Chrome beta. If you missed out on anything thus far, get yourself caught up and once you're done -- hit up the Android Central forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

New browser (Chrome) doesn't support dying plug-in (Flash)

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Everybody's all in a tizzy over the new Chrome for Android browser -- and rightfully so. It's likely the future of default browsing on Android going forward. But, guess what: It doesn't support Adobe Flash Player.

And that should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Adobe in November announced that Flash Player would be taken off life support, insofar as mobile browsing is concerned, and that the company would focus on AIR instead for cross-platform applications. And, so, Adobe Flash Player isn't supported in the new Chrome mobile browser. And that's a good thing. It's time we all -- from end-users to developers to OS-makers -- start weening ourselves off Flash for browsing

And Adobe said exactly as much in a blog post today.

Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content. Flash Player continues to be supported within the current Android browser.

Makes perfect sense, folks. If your favorite website's not yet moving toward HTML5, it's time to warm up your e-mail-writing fingers.

Source: Adobe

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4 years ago

Google Authenticator updates with 'UI improvements', looks the same to us

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There's only so much you can do to improve the appearance of an app that's essentially a black screen with a six-digit number on it. But that's exactly what Google's done with the latest version of its Google Authenticator app, which has just been pushed out on the Android Market. The official changelog for version 0.87 notes "UI improvements" as the only new feature in this version. We'll have to take Google's word for it -- to us, it's still just a blank screen with a number on it.

In any case, Google Authenticator is an important app for those using two-step authentication for their Google account, so it's always best to keep things up to date. We've got the Android Market link for you after the break.

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4 years ago

Motorola teases Mar. 7 MOTOACTV update

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Motorola is preparing to roll out a new software update for the MOTOACTV, it's Android-based fitness tracker. The new firmware, which Moto says will land "around the world" from Mar. 7, will enable owners to track new types of activity including yoga, Pilates, dancing and martial arts.

The manufacturer's also promising the ability to activate the MOTOACTV with a flick of the wrist, and set up Wifi connectivity directly on the device. The most interesting new feature, however, is the competitions feature in the MOTOACTV Training Portal, which will allow you to (virtually) square off against MOTOACTV-owning friends at various activities.

Motorola says it'll unveil more features of this new software update as the release date approaches.

Source: Motorola

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