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4 years ago

Unmodified Holo theme now a requirement for devices with Android Market access

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A lot of work has gone into the UI for Ice Cream Sandwich, and Google has decided that manufacturers who want to have access to the Android Market will now have to let it shine -- the Holo theme, in its unmodified form, is now a requirement for devices that wish to use the Android Market. 

Calm down, calm down -- manufacturer skins like Blur and Sense will still be around. (You were worried about them, we know.) But menus, widgets, and settings dialogs will now have to follow the standards set up in Android 4.0 and above.

This means a lot to app developers.  Having a standard set of UI elements to draw from makes applications look and feel more integrated into the operating system, and now that everyone will have to use the same base they don't have to worry about coding their own.  Adam Powell, Android framework engineer, says:

Before Android 4.0 the variance in system themes from device to device could make it difficult to design an app with a single predictable look and feel. We set out to improve this situation for the developer community in Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.

Nice work, fellows.  The Holo UI is unique, and stunning.  Let it shine!

Source: Android Developers Blog

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4 years ago

Google acquires 217 more patents from IBM, beefing up portfolio for the inevitable tech Armageddon

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According to an update at the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office), Google acquired 188 granted patents and 29 pending patents from the granddaddy of things that go beep, IBM, on Dec. 31, 2011.  This is just three months after Google purchased over 1,000 patents from Big Blue back in September.  Not all these patents are for their mobile division (Google still does this little thing called search), but their are more than a few that cover things your Android phone or tablet (as well as other platforms) can do like web page rendering and VoIP.  We'll let interested parties check out the source link for a more detailed list.

No financial details have been provided, but we imagine it is far cheaper than lawyer and court fees for the upcoming patent meltdown that's sure to hit had they not purchased the patents outright.  Google seems to be preparing for the day when it all hits the fan as well as licensing and purchasing new technology to make their offerings a bit better. 

Source: SEO by the Sea

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4 years ago

Motorola RAZR coming to Fido on Jan. 10

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When the Motorola RAZR was released in Canada it was only available from Rogers but Fido customers will soon be able to grab the device as well. In the past, we had a look at the CDMA cousin being the Droid RAZR and were pleasantly surprised with the total package, plus -- the Motorola RAZR came up in our 2011 editors picks for smartphone of the year. If you're looking to get a Motorola RAZR for yourself on Fido, you'll be able to pick one up come January 10th for $100 on a new three-year contract.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus heading to Fido on Jan. 10

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While Bell and Virgin Mobile locked down exclusive deals for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in Canada during its initial launch, it looks like that time has now been spent. Fido who announced the release of the Motorola RAZR on Jan. 10 is apparently readying another sought after device, that they've yet to make official.

According to internal documents, Fido (Rogers' "budget" brand) will also be making available the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on that day. No price points are mentioned, so we'll have to wait and see what those will be but they should be in line with other carriers such as Bell and Virgin Mobile, so expect $150 or higher with a contract, and $650 or worse outright.

Source: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

No Samsung ICS 'Value Pack' coming

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The "Nobody knows what the hell's going on with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab," saga continues today (see Part 1 and Part 2, Part 3) with the latest news now being that Samsung has no intentions of delivering a "Value Pack" upgrade. According to a Samsung source who spoke to The Next Web:

Samsung "will not offer the update due to the hardware specifications of the older Galaxy devices, in that they are limited to and fully optimised for the Gingerbread experience."

That'll likely frustrate some Galaxy S owners but realistically, it's not in anyway surprising. As for the Galaxy Tab, while it's not mentioned specifically -- it's safe to assume that's lumped in there as well. Luckily, there is plenty of custom ROM's floating around to keep you busy if you're that upset over the matter.

Source: The Next Web; via AndroidOS.in

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime rooted -- again -- but you'll have to wait for the method [Updated -- or not]

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The latest firmware for the ASUS Transformer Prime blocks the root method that we found for the pre-production model, but the folks at AndIRC team have discovered a new method for rooting the first quad-core Android device.  This will go rather nicely with the bootloader unlock method ASUS has promised, making the Prime nice and easy to work with for the hackers independent Android developers out there.

There's not a lot to say just yet, other than a method was found but it will not be released until after Jan. 12 -- when Ice Cream Sandwich (tentatively) begins to roll out for the Prime.  Agree or disagree with this practice as you will, but there's not much to be done about it, other than plug it in to your computer and work it out yourself.  Let's hope that the method works with the ICS update, and my advice is not to take any updates until we know for sure if you plan on rooting your Prime.  When more is known, we'll be sure to tell you.

Update: They decided to release the method after all, according to the @andirc Twitter account:

@androidcentral I released it, after deciding we would likely be safe with ICS.

You can find more info at RootzWiki

Source: XDA-Developers

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4 years ago

DroidDoodle - Short attention spans

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Now that ASUS has calmed everyone down, what's next on the pitchfork agenda?

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4 years ago

Discounted Nexus S back in stock at Carphone Warehouse

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We passed along the good news on Boxing Day about how Carphone Warehouse had slashed the price of the Nexus S to a few pence under £200. However they seemed to sell out of them almost immediately. 

Well, good news. If you missed out last time, it's worth trying again because as the graphic here shows, they're currently back in stock. You won't see a link to the SIM free version on the main page, but hit the source link below to be taken right to it. As ever folks, be quick. Don't expect them to hang around. Again. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson to show 'something big' at CES next week

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With CES 2012 now under seven days away, Sony Ericsson has started dropping a few hints about what it'll be showing off next week in Las Vegas. On its official Google+ page, SE promises  "something big is coming," saying fans should "stay tuned for some exciting news next week" -- and there's a similar message being spread on the manufacturer's Twitter and Facebook pages.

The fact that a big device announcement is due at CES isn't surprising in itself. After all, CES is where we first saw the Xperia Arc last year, and we're sure there'll be plenty more product unveilings in the coming days. So place your bets now -- this year's possibilities include the LT28at, "Xperia Arc HD" and "Xperia Ion," all of which have been subject to varying amounts of leakage over the past couple of months.

We'll be live at CES next week, of course, with full coverage of whatever's under SE's shimmering mystery blanket.

Source: Sony Ericsson on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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4 years ago

LG Optimus 2 hits LG's website

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Update: Apparently this one was released on some regional carriers in late 2011. Carry on, folks!

One of the bigger (if underappreciated) hits of 2011 was LG's Optimus line. And it looks like it'll be getting a follow-up version with the Optimus 2 (aka the AS680). It looks to be sporting a 3.2-inch display, Android 2.3, 3.2MP camera and 1500 mAh battery. It's got all the other usual features, like GPS and Bluetooth, and Swype is built in. 

Look for this guy to make an official appearance next week at CES, we reckon.

Source: LG; via Phonescoop

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4 years ago

ASUS says bootloader unlock tool is coming, Ice Cream Sandwich update starts next week, GPS is hard, y'all

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ASUS this morning teased some news regarding the locked and encrypted bootloader on its quad-core Transformer Prime tablet -- and it's good news. A bootloader unlock tool indeed is on the way.

As to why the bootloader's encrypted in the first place, ASUS says it was done for DRM -- digital rights management -- purposes.

The reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely.

If you do choose to unlock the Transformer Prime's bootloader, you'll be voiding your warranty and all that jazz.

And in even better news, the anticipated update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will begin to push out starting Jan. 12. It'll be a worldwide over-the-air update.

Also, ASUS addressed concerns over the GPS on the Transformer Prime, saying the metallic unibody construction can essentially lead it to not perform as well as "a professional GPS device." We'll just let that hang out there by itself for a bit.

The full statement is after the break.

Source ASUS Facebook page

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4 years ago

A.I.type needs testers for its Floating Split Keyboard for tablets

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Keyboard developer A.I.type hit us up this morning in search of a few testers for its upcoming "Floating Split Keyboard for Tablets." It's got all of the features you know and love from A.I.type Keyboard Plus, including its predition engine. It also has context-aware autocorrect, built-in skins and more customizations. 

The really sexy part is that doesn't take up a whole lot of screen space and can "float" anywhere on the screen. Move it, resize it, do whatever you want. It'll also support more than 30 languages -- all of which can take advantage of the split keyboard. And nine languages are supported by the prediction engine -- Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Frensh, Turkish and English.

To sign up for the closed beta, just drop A.I.type a note here. Tell 'em Android Central sent ya.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's "New Year, New Phone" sale will slash Android prices for three days only

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If the holiday season didn't manage to bait you into a new phone, this might be your chance: T-Mobile is having a three-day "New Year, New Phone" sale this weekend only, beginning on Friday, January 6.  Sure, there are mail-in rebates involved, and you'll have to make a monthly payment ranging from $10 to $20 on the device itself, but a $49.99 down payment on a Galaxy S II or an Amaze 4G is hard to pass up. Other Android devices pegged at the $49.99 sweet spot include the Sensation 4G, the myTouch 4G, the Springboard, and the G-Slate. The source link has a full list of devices on sale, along with the corresponding mail-in rebates and monthly payment information. 

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Windows Phone Hackathon winner Duudle coming to Android

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Once upon a time Microsoft ran a little Hackathon in which 40 developers had 40 hours to create an app for the new Nokia Windows Phones. The winner of the Hackathon was Visiarc, which came up with a Pictionary-style game called Duudle. It's a multiplayer, turn-based game. You draw, your opponent guesses. And vice-versa. 

And we've now gotten word and confirmed with Visiarc that Duddle's coming to Android -- "in progress" were the exact words -- and that it's in the works for iOS, too. No ETA yet, but we're definitely going to be on the lookout for this one. Check out some hands-on video after the break.

More: Duudle at WPCentral.com
Thanks, E-werd, for the tip!

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4 years ago

ASUS speaks out over Transformer Prime bootloader brouhaha, says to relax

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A bit of a stink has errupted over the weekend as more and more ASUS Transformer Primes finally started getting into users' hands, and said users discovered the bootloader is locked down tight.  That really shouldn't be a surprise, and the suggestion that ASUS partook in false advertising for not mentioning the bootloader on the box is, at least, ridiculous. (For what its worth, the review unit we received wasn't locked down.)

But fear not, intrepid tinkerers. On its Facbeook page, ASUS has said it's got an official statement coming up. "And in the meantime, relax." That's probably a good sign.

Stay tuned.

Source: Facebook

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