Headlines

2 years ago

Google App Inventor killed off with Google Labs, will live on as open-source code

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Some sad news tonight for your fans of the Google App Inventor project. With the demise of Google Labs, so, too, do we learn of the demise of App Inventor. This was a slick little tool that let anyone (theoretically) create an Android app, without having to actually now how to code anything. That's not to say it was easy -- yours truly made his way through the tutorials and did a sweet version of Wack a Mole with his daughter's likeness (it's a long story). But you still need a certain mind-set to really make use of it.

Anyhoo, according to a post last week on the Google Laps group (you'll note how this was killed off and nobody noticed for a few days), App Inventor's being phased out along with the rest of Google Labs, but it will live on as an open-source project.

The current App Inventor site will live on for the next three months. RIP, App Inventor. You were a good idea, but probably a little before your time. For a retrospective of Google App Inventor, check out the video after the break while we pour out 40 lines of code for our homies.

Source: Google Labs Group; via +Jason Howell

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash player for Android updated, brings security fixes and enhancements

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Adobe has updated the Flash player for Android to version 10.3.186.3, which fixes security issues and provides feature enhancements for certain phones and websites.  It's always recommended to update your Flash player, and this update is no different.  Besides the security enhancements we see every month or so, the specifics for this update are:

  • Enabled NEON optimizations for OMAP4 (Cortex A-9) based devices.
  • Corrected an issue on the Samsung Galaxy S where H.264 video at resolutions of 720p and below was not displayed.
  • Fixed an issue where app packaging would fail for Android Apps using Flash Player in WebView that set android:hardwareAcceleration to True in their AndroidManifest.xml.
  • Fixed a crash on the HTC EVO that some users encountered with specific video.
  • Fixed an issue that caused video frames to stop rendering on long streaming videos (> 1 hour) on some Motorola devices.
  • Fixed an issue where touch events were getting delayed with Kongregate.com games.
  • Fixed an issue where games on Kongregate.com freeze when users exit from Full-Screen mode.

The security specific fixes are outlined by Adobe here, and you'll find the link to download or update after the break.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Rolling back an update, Android Market questions [From the Forums]

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A nice rounded out day for Android news today. New Facebook messenger apps, Euro Xooms getting updated and some new details from the Apple / Samsung battle emerged. If you missed any of it, jump on back and have a look or if you're looking for more info or just want to talk Android -- head on into the forums.

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

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2 years ago

London developer builds an Android-powered tank

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If flinging birds at pigs is starting to get a little repetitive, London web developer Tamlyn has lain the basic premise for your very own army of Android powered robot tanks.  Using an existing RC powered tank, everything but the drive assembly and power supply was removed and replaced with an Android phone and an inexpensive IOIO (pronounced yo-yo) board to control the circuitry remotely -- yes, you drive this tank via the Internet. 

Using any web browser, you can send steering commands to an Android phone running Tamlyn's home-brew application.  The signals are then sent out via the phone's USB port, interpreted by the IOIO board circuitry, and power is applied to drive the tank in the direction you told it to go.  He has the response time cut down to 30 milliseconds on Wifi, but feels that he may see issues with network latency when he tests on a 3G connection.

What I find most interesting, is Tamlyn's statement about how easy he found it to write Android apps.  This just so happens to be his first Android application, and he has this to say:

This is my first Android project but thankfully the Android SDK and documentation are outstanding. With the help of a few tutorials I went from Hello World to a simple app that accepted HTTP connections in just a few hours.

That's a far cry from some of the horror stories we hear about Android being to hard to program for, and while this application is just a simple webserver, that fact that an Android programming novice found it so easy to make says a lot.

While I don't think anyone would be able to storm the gates of evil Castle Cupertino with these tanks, it sure looks like a fun way to play with the dog.  Check the video after the break, and read the rest at the source link.

Source: Tamlyn Via: BoingBoing

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2 years ago

Greedy Spiders brings 8-legged strategy to Android

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you like Cut the Rope, it's time to give Greedy Spiders a try. It's a little more cerebral (and a little more creepy), trading Om Nom for spiders and flies.

The idea is this: There's a spider. There are flies. You need to cut the flies out of the web. But every time you cut a strand, the spider moves closer. So, you'll need to cut as few strands as possible, and do it in a way that keeps the spider from reaching the fly. Sound simple enough? It is ... at first.

Greedy Spiders has some nice graphics, and there's an ad-supported lite version in addition to a paid version. We've got free download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Bell and Virgin Mobile launch Samsung Galaxy Gio

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If you're in the market for a nice entry-level Android device, you can now go pick up the Samsung Galaxy Gio at either Virgin Mobile Canada or Bell. Priced at just $149 outright at Virgin or $249 outright at Bell (or $0 and $29.95 respectively on 3 year contracts), the Gio features an 800 MHz processor, a 3.2 inch touchscreen, 3mp camera, and runs on OS 2.3. You can also use the Gio as a wifi hotspot for up to eight devices! Sounds like a deal to me.

Source: Mobilesyrup

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2 years ago

Android gets a dedicated Facebook messenger

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While the cool kids are off doing their group huddles on Google+, Facebook keeps plugging away, and a new dedicated group messing app apparently is in the works. Hardly a surprise, given that Facebook bought Beluga earlier this year. And judging from Facbeook's placeholder page for the mobile messenger, it's pretty much the same thing. Simple, easy to use group messaging.

So let's see. One app for IM. One app for Facebook. Another for Google+ huddles. Text messages. E-mail. That about cover it? 

Download links are after the break.

Source: Facebook, Facebook blog; Thanks, Milad!

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2 years ago

Android 3.1 for the Motorola XOOM in Europe rolling out in stages

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Just as was promised, Android 3.1 for the Motorola Xoom in Europe is now rolling out in stages.  Motorola Europe took to their Facebook page to make the announcement and from the looks of things, some users are already getting it loaded up:

Android 3.1 for Motorola XOOM in Europe has now started to roll out in a number of countries. We are rolling out in stages and will let you now when the update is available in your specific country and so please watch this space. Details will be posted within the discussions tab and so please join us there or visit www.motorola.com/myxoom

Hoorah for updates! Go ahead and check for system updates now,  you may find it waiting for you. Now the real question on everyone's mind is -- when is the next update for Android 3.2 coming?

Source: Motorola Europe Facebook

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2 years ago

Designer notes Take 2: T-Mobile MyTouch 4G

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Earlier we told you about Donn Koh and his former employer, the San Francisco-based One & Co, and how HTC purchased the firm after they fell in love with the design of the HTC Diamond.  Koh, as part of One & Co., helped design the HTC EVO 4G, which many feel changed the face of smartphones across the globe.  Koh and his colleagues didn't stop there, and today we're going to have the same look at the T-Mobile myTouch 4G.

Six months in the making, Koh describes how they were asked to turn T-Mobile's existing myTouch moniker into an upscale flagship name using the best components available at the time.  The goal was to evolve into a premium device, without losing the recognition consumers had with the myTouch series of phones.  It was important to keep the same feel and identity as the myTouch 3G Slide, then T-Mobile's current myTouch offering, while including changes that T-Mobile executives wanted -- like the large metal battery cover. 

Koh goes into detail about how he and his team tackled things like the signature three-element earpiece grill, as well as the physical buttons and optical trackpad.  He also talks about the goals designing the docking stations with a minimal elegance that allows the device, and it's screen, to remain the focal point.  If you're any type of design student, or just appreciate a beautiful piece of hardware and all the work that goes along with it, it's another must-read. 

Update: The blog post referenced here has been made private; image and links removed by request.

Update 2: We've re-edited this post to better reflect that Koh was a part of the team that designed the myTouch 4G, and that he was not solely responsible for it.

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2 years ago

LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S II Celox surfaces

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Forget the fact we're still waiting for the current Samsung Galaxy S II variations to arrive in the U.S. for a second and feast your eyes on the Samsung Galaxy S II Celox that comes fully loaded with LTE. Sounds awesome, right? Not so much, you see -- the LTE-loaded in this case is for 800/1800/2600 MHz making it only capable in Europe, Asia or Australia.

In order to get it working for Verizon it would require the 700MHz band. For the most part, specs are the same as the current Samsung Galaxy S II and we're not saying this device won't show up in North America eventually but for now -- it's not showing signs of that.

Source: SammyHub; via: Unwiredview

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