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4 years ago

Epson releases SDK for Android to support wireless POS printing

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You see handhelds being used in businesses just about anywhere these days.  Your doctor probably uses one, so does the place you grab your coffee.  Heck, even some lumber yards use them.  Today, Epson is trying to make them easier and more efficient for businesses to use by releasing an SDK for Android (and iOS) that allows devices to communicate wirelessly with a POS (Point of Sale) printer.  The SDK will shorten development time and make it cost-effective to implement mobile technologies into the workplace.  A report from IHL Consulting predicts that by 2015, more than 2.7 million tablets a year will be sold to retail establishments for use as mobile POS devices and consumer information tools.  All of these need a way to print out their data, and Epson is ready to help provide one.  Read the full press release after the break.

Source: Press release

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4 years ago

ZTE Warp Review

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The market for prepaid cell phones continues to rise as more of us look for ways to reduce expenses in everyday life but no one wants to be stuck with a run of the mill phone because of it, right? Well lucky for us we have seen some more powerful Android handsets arriving in the pre-paid market, so you can now slash the price tag without giving up a whole lot when it comes to the device.

ZTE has recently released the Warp, a Gingerbread powered device with a 4.3-inch display that carries a rather affordable price tag of only $199 with no contract needed. Could a device at this price point hold up in comparison to others that have released recently? Let’s hit the break and break it all down.


The ZTE Warp offers a great combination of nearly the most current OS (no ICS) along with a nice large display without breaking the bank.


ZTE's record in Android has yet to be established here in the United States -- with U.S. carriers, so we are unsure what to expect as far as updates. 



If money is a determining factor in your next cell phone purchase, but you don't want it to allow you to completely limit your purchase the ZTE Warp is a great device to consider. Keeping up with most of the specs of a high-end device, or an entry level price allows it to be ultra competitive in the market.
 

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4 years ago

What is fastboot?

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What is fastboot? In Android, fastboot is a special diagnostic and engineering protocol that you can boot your Android device into.  While in fastboot, you can modify the file system images from a computer over a USB connection.  It's a powerful, nerdy tool that deserves to be broken down into terms we all can understand -- let's try and do that.

Fastboot is three different things with the same name: A protocol for communication between your phone hardware and a computer, software that runs on the phone when in fastboot mode and the executable file on the computer you use to make them talk to each other.

Not all phones have a fastboot mode that the user can access.  It's turned on with Nexus devices by default (as well as a few other phones and tablets) and has been enabled by independent Android developers and enthusiasts on some other phones.  It also requires software from the Android SDK, and different USB drivers for Windows computers.  Fastboot runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and all the information about setting it up can be found in the forums if you're interested.  Once set up, you boot your phone to fastboot and you can flash image files to your phone's internal memory.  Flashing a custom recovery (after unlocking the bootloader) is a popular use case, as is resetting it all back using factory images after we're done breaking things by flashing the factory images. With an unlocked bootloader, the images you flash don't need to be signed with a particular key, so just about anything will try to flash — even if it shouldn't be used, so use care.  There are other commands you can use with fastboot, and they're a bit more advanced.  Things like erasing partitions and overriding kernel command line options can be done, and this makes the tool very useful for developing hardware and software solutions that may need customized booting procedures.  With a little bit of knowledge, and the right Android hardware, fastboot can be a great tool.

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4 years ago

OnStar API kicks off with ridesharing app

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At CES 2012, GM was showing off their remote control and monitoring Android app, but I would say their more interesting announcement from the show was a new OnStar API, which will enable outside developers to start plugging into their connected electric car. To showcase the new capabilities, GM partnered up with the guys at RelayRides, which is basically Airbnb for cars. Using the mobile app, you will be able to post your vehicle as available for rent within certain dates, and if it's with a Chevrolet Volt, the car will only begin functioning in the specified timeframe. Once a rental time kicks in, customers can use the app to find the Volt via GPS, and remotely unlock the car to grab the keys inside. Even if you don't have a smartphone, you'll be able to unlock the car via text message. From the renter's side, you can search based on vehicle type, proximity, timeframe, price, and all of the other usual criteria. Rental rates can go as low as $5 to $6, which includes a million-dollar insurance policy. 

This is pretty big news because so far, the only other car manufacturer seriously wooing app developers has been Ford, and they've been doing it for some time now with AppLink. They haven't been able to crank out a ton of apps since AppLink has come out, but RelayRides was apparently wrapped up in under a month. Of course, they made their app specifically for the OnStar API, so they might have been able to get it up a bit quicker than others will be able to, but it's a promising start.

The OnStar API will be available for Android and iOS starting in the first half of this year, but if you're interested in getting involved sooner than later, you can pitch your app idea to developers@onstar.com

Source: OnStar

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4 years ago

Hands-on redux with the LG Viper on Sprint

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

After going hands-on with the LG Viper at CES during the stylish-yet-dark Sprint party, we just  had to get our hands back on one of these devices to check it out a second time. 

The booth rep here reiterates a good point -- you're not actually looking at a final device here. Don't expect a real change in the hardware, of course, and the software's going to be pretty vanilla with stock Gingerbread and Sprint ID. But that's why the CES hands-ons with the Viper have been superficial at best.

Anyhoo, check it out, and stay tuned for pricing and availability information.

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4 years ago

Recent HTC EVO 3D 'security update' removes Carrier IQ

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Just a few days ago we caught word of an update that was rolling out to the HTC EVO 3D and reports are that it also removed Carrier IQ from the device. Folks who have checked around in the manage applications tab have noticed that "HTC IQAgent" and "IQRD," both of which were Carrier IQ, are no longer present on the device after the update.

That's in line with the leaked version of the ROM that surfaced some weeks ago, and it piggybacks the news we broke that Sprint had stopped collecting Carrier IQ data on all of its phones. We're not expecting Sprint to strip the Carrier IQ code out of all 26 million units spread across 15 or so Sprint devices, but it also wouldn't surprise us to see Carrier IQ to disappear from further updates.  

More: Update in the EVO 3D forumsThanks, JeanPaul!

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4 years ago

Textie for Android brings unlimited cross-platform messaging to your phone

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Our pals at Borange today unleashed Textie for Android, bringing cross-platform text and picture messaging from the land of iOS (they've had something in the neighborhood of 1.6 million downloads from iTunes) to our beloved mobile platform. The port is pretty obvious -- you'll see a lot of iOS-type buttons. Try to get over that, because what you've got is a simple and pretty powerful texting appliation that offers unlimited use. Features include:

  • Sends unlimited free messages to any Textie user, email address and most U.S. mobile phones
  • Sends high quality photos to other Textie users or to any email
  • Installs free on Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
  • Can be installed on multiple devices simultaneously
  • Naturally integrates with your existing address book contacts
  • Provides access to server-archived messages
  • Uses secure SSL for all connections
  • Uses battery-efficient Google C2DM Android push notifications

Textie's also done a great job of explaining in the Market listing all of the permissions it uses, so be sure to read that if you're worried about that sort of thing. We've got download links to the free Textie app after the break.

More: Textie blog

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4 years ago

The Week in Android News -- CES Recap style

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With CES 2012 finally behind us, and a little opportunity to catch up on some sleep we realized you probably couldn't keep up with all the news. Well there was a lot of it, tons of device announcements, hands-on time with tons of greatness and many other things. Check below for some of what you may have missed this past week while we were busy conquering CES.

General News

Hardware News

Tablet News

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4 years ago

Official MIUI release now available for the Samsung Epic Touch 4G

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Been looking for a new ROM for your Samsung Epic Touch 4G on Sprint, well how about a little bit of MIUI love for you? It appears as though an official build has been released for the device, and it is now available for your downloading pleasure. For those unfamiliar, MIUI is a custom ROM that is quite similar in many ways to iOS and provides a rather unique Android experience. Rooted and ready to flash? If so hit the link below for download links and full information about the ROM.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

How to flash ICS to your stock LTE Motorola Xoom [from the forums]

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Looking for a sweet taste of Ice Cream Sandwich on your LTE model Motorola Xoom tablet? If you got some time to read, some patience and the hardware you will definitely want to check this out. Android Central forums member BasPilot has taken the time to write up a rather lengthy, detailed explanation of the process that not only tells you what to do, but also why you are doing it and breaks it down rather simply. If you are feeling risky and want to get to flashing be sure to hit the link below and get to reading!

More discussion in the forums

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4 years ago

Notion Ink releases alpha build of Ice Cream Sandwich; teases a new device

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Notion Ink has released the alpha build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Adam.  Because this is an alpha build and nowhere near a finished product, there's a good number of bugs and annoyances with this one.  The camera doesn't work, nor does 3G, USB storage, USB flash drive, and the light sensor.  There's also an issue with the tablet waking from sleep and issues with video playback and HDMI sound.  But it's Ice Cream Sandwich, and Notion Ink has opened the test bed for anyone who wants to try.

In addition, a short blurb on their blog (Shravan is a master of the tease) about changes to the blog and other company news.  Tucked in there is:

Post the mentioned public release, we will be starting another blog. It will focus only on development, and we will again see a new device coming to life. Unlike last time where the hardware was mostly done out-house, this time every resistor, IC, bus lane, etc is designed and selected on the very computer working on this blog. We will try to involve as many professionals as possible so the new blog can become a reference for new developments!

Read the link for more and download instructions, and hit the break for a long (18 minute) video demo.

Source: Notion Ink

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4 years ago

iBone for Android: For those awkward times when you leave your trombone at home

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Ever have that moment of panic when you realize you've left the house without your trombone? Yeah. We've all been there. Fortunately there's iBone.

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4 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus caught out in the wild

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We've had the first retailers bring it up, we've had the first real promotional shots, and now we have the first real, actual shots of the white Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The folks over at the AndroidHD Blog in Italy have snagged themselves some photos of the as-yet unreleased device. Worth noting is that as in the official renders, it's only the sides and the rear of the device that are white -- the front remains black as on the original "titanium silver" version. 

In the UK at least, we're expecting to see this on sale from the week commencing Mar. 6. If you're a sucker for a white phone, hit the source link below for more pictures. 

Source: AndroidHD Blog (translated)

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4 years ago

UK retailers beginning to offer up dates for official Galaxy Nexus accessories

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In the United Kingdom, we're fortunate enough to have had the brilliant Samsung Galaxy Nexus since mid-November. Almost two months on from release, what we're still yet to see are any of the OEM accessories for the device. Two of the leading British online retailers for mobile equipment, Expansys and Clove Technology, have now started to offer some actual timeframes for getting their stock of the accessories in. Both companies though have quite different expected release dates. 

Clove have got the full range, including the sweet looking vehicle mount shown here, showing "first stock expected mid-January." We're in mid-January now, so this could mean we won't have to wait much longer. 

Expansys however are expecting to release the items on Feb 29. A significant difference from the Clove expectations, but it's important to note that Expansys are not always in first with what they sell. It's a lot more pinpoint though than "mid-January." 

Hopefully we really won't have too much longer to wait. Theres a lot to be said for utilising official OEM accessories, and my wallet is crying out to buy them. 

Source: Expansys, Clove

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