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2 years ago

How might a Droid Prime affect the future of Android's Nexus line?

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Perusers of our Rumored Devices Forum were the first to learn weeks ago that the Nexus Prime is (a) coming to Verizon and (b) we should expect it in October. But what if it's a Droid-branded device? BGR brings that bit of unofficial info this morning, adding that it'll be the SCH-i515, and it's an interesting idea, spawning several possibilities.

First, remember that we're all expecting the Nexus Prime (or Droid Prime, perhaps) to be the first running Ice Cream Sandwich, the version of Android that brings the Honeycomb tablet-style OS back to the smartphone. The previous two Nexus devices -- Google's de facto developer phones -- have largely gone unbranded. Verizon attaching its excellent "Droid" branding would be unprecedented for the Nexus line.

We've long been of the opinion that Verizon never got the Nexus One (though it was originally supposed to) or Nexus S because there really wasn't  anything in it for them. No carrier-branded apps, with which it makes money, no control over the update process, etc. And aside from Sprint's Wimax version of the Nexus S (appended as the Nexus S 4G), there's been no individual naming. The Nexus One was the Nexus One, the Nexus S was the Nexus S. (Hell, neither one had any branding at all on the front -- Google and manufacturer logos were relegated to the rear.) We never saw an "EVO Nexus" on Sprint or "myTouch Nexus" on T-Mobile (and just as well -- those would be terrible names). Perhaps a Droid branding is the trade-off for finally getting the Nexus line on Big Red.

It's a slippery slope, right? Say the Droid Prime really is a Nexus device. Does that mean Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T -- which for some reason has always been late to the Nexus party -- will each get individualized versions, even if it's name only? We kind of hope not. One of the stronger features of the Nexus line has been its unification. One device, one experience, one name. That's why it's also been the developer line of devices, as well as being popular with those who want a "Pure Google" experience.

The next thing to ponder is that maybe the Droid Prime is completely separate from the Nexus line.  The unconfirmed rumor suggests it's a Verizon exclusive, but we do have a hard time believing the next Nexus phone would launch on a device that's really only usable in the United States, seeing as how Verizon's CDMA network is only good here, and LTE's not exactly built out anywhere else yet (and likely will use different frequencies anyway).

There are lots of questions remaining on this one. But we're expecting to get answers soon enough. One way other another, things are heating up, folks.

Update: Oh, and one more thing. Any phone branded as "DROID" by definition is a Verizon exclusive. It's the only carrier to have licensed the name for a line of phones. Food for thought.

Source: BGR;
More: Nexus Prime forum; rumored devices forum

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Gravity Wins

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Here's a great little twist on an old favorite. Gravity Wins takes your old Connect Four game and turns it on its head. And its side. And keeps doing so until somebody wins.

The idea is simple. Just like traditional Connect Four, you drop checkers down the slots, trying to get four of your pieces in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Only in Gravity wins, the board rotates clockwise 90 degrees every five moves, dropping all the pieces to the bottom. (Thus the game's name.) It's a little frustrating at first, but soon enough you'll start thinking about where your pieces -- and your opponent's pieces -- will end up.

Gravity Wins has a single-player mode, or you can play against a friend on the same phone. There's a lite and paid version available. (With annoying video ads in the former.) Download links to the free version are after the break.

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2 years ago

LG collaborating with National Geographic photographers to create 3D image and video content

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While it might not be the most obvious collaboration to have happen, LG and National Geographic have announced their efforts to bring plenty of 3D to the masses. National Geographic Assignment photographers will be creating 3D content using LG’s Optimus 3D smartphone.

“For over a century, National Geographic has been the preeminent institution for world-class wildlife, landscape, travel and lifestyle photography,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “To have six of National Geographic’s photographers showcase the power of Optimus 3D’s imaging capabilities is a true honor and a significant moment in the acceptance of 3D technology in a portable device such as a smartphone.”

The National Geographic photographers work will be shown off at IFA, Europe’s largest trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin, Germany, from September 2-7, 2011. Full press release can be found past the break.

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2 years ago

CM7 seen booting on an HP TouchPad, still a long way from being usable

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Well, how about that. What you see in the video above apparently is CyanogenMod 7 booting onto an HP TouchPad. Of course, booting is just the first step in a long line of things that have to happen before we get a working port. Notably, the touchscreen doesn't yet work. That's kind of a big one. But booting CM7 is a big step, no doubt. The plan now, apparently, is to work up a sort of dual-boot system. So you'll have webOS, Android and who knows what else running within the existing sandbox.

As always, don't bother asking about when we'll have a usable port. "Coming soon" ain't in the vocabulary for a project like this. It'll be ready when it's ready, which should give aspiring tinkerers a little more time to track down a TouchPad.

Source: Rootzwiki

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2 years ago

EA officially rolls out free version of Tetris

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EA's had Tetris in the Android Market for some time now, and a free version recently soft-launched. Today, EA's officially announced the ad-supported version. And it's the same excellent gameplay you've come to know. Tap to rotate, slide to move, drag down to drop slowly, and flick to send pieces crashing downward. The in-game ads aren't terribly intrusive, though we could do without the interstitials, which should look familiar if you've ever played Words with Friends.

Full presser and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Toshiba's Android-powered tablet gets thin at IFA

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The Toshiba Thrive may not be the tablet for you, but Toshiba doesn't appear to be stopping its Android development any time soon. In fact, the above image is that of a purported tablet Toshiba is expected to announce at IFA. The details on this one have been kept rather slim for the sake of not wanting to ruin the announcement, but the images tell us a few things. Brushed metal design, powered by Android Honeycomb -- packed with a microUSB, a microHDMI and a microSD memory card reader. That's all we get for now but we're guessing more details will pop up before IFA takes place. One more shot can be found past the break.

Source: NoteBookItalia; Thanks, Lau!

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2 years ago

Samsung announces new ChatOn messaging service

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Apple has iMessage and RIM its BlackBerry Messenger, and now Samsung has ChatOn. According to an infographic and supporting video, it'll support a lot of features:

  • Group Chat
  • Image Sharing
  • Video Sharing
  • Music Sharing
  • Location Sharing

But that's not exactly the full story -- Samsung has quite a few other details listed on the website. That said; it is noted it will be coming to phones, tablets and even different platforms such as Android, Bada, feature phones and even PC's. Hit the break for a promo video of ChatOn in action, as well as the full press release.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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2 years ago

One-of-a-kind Verizon Samsung Galaxy S II not found on Amazon [the old switcheroo]

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Take a look at the picture you see here.  Clear your head and take a long hard look at it (we'll wait).  See it yet?  I'll give a hint -- it's not a Samsung Galaxy S II with a big juicy Verizon logo up top, no matter how bad we all wanted it to be.  When we read the caption attached to this picture uploaded at Amazon, things start to make some sense:

Ordered a Galaxy S II from Warehouse Deals, received a Verizon Galaxy S. Sad that people take advantage of Amazon like this...I hope whoever stole the Galaxy S II gets caught.

Now we weren't there so we don't know exactly how this went down, but it sure looks like someone ordered a Galaxy S II from Amazon, then slapped the screen covering on a Samsung Fascinate, threw it in the box and sent it in for a refund.  With stock being low and demand being high, it slipped through and was sent to another customer. 

Feeling a little pissed off yet?  Yeah, I am, too.  It's not like it was my money, or this happened to a SGS II that was destined for my doorstep, but I can't help but feel a little outrage.  We're pretty sure Amazon will make this right -- they're Amazon.  We do have to agree with the gentleman who was expecting a shiny SGS II ready for his AT&T SIM card -- we hope whoever did this gets caught.  And maybe sent to some Russian Gulag to atone for his (or her) sins.  OK, maybe that's a bit too far.

This all goes to show just what hype will do to people.  We keep hearing about how something will be "the best one yet", and we'll be getting it soon.  After a while, this has one of two effects; you get jaded and stop caring, or you let it consume you.  I'm here to tell you, there is no best one, because the next one will always be the best one.  I've decided I'm not going to ride the hyperbole train any longer and just use what I have, and love it.  My old scratched Nexus One may not have that Super AMOLED HD screen I've been crying for, but I dropped my SIM card back in it, and made myself smile.  Do I still want a great new Android phone to use and abuse?  Of course I do.  I'm just not going to worry about when it gets here any longer.

Thanks, intheb0x for the link and pic! 

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