4 years ago

Android UI Utilities project brings unified design tools for developers


Android controls design

Love it or hate it, part of the reason iOS applications look as good (or boring?) as they do is because they have a unified toolset to create the application interface.  Design x Code looks to be bringing that to Android with the announcement of the Android UI Utilities project.  While it's still in beta, it offers up a set of tools and templates that not only look easy to use, but follow the Android design guidelines and should compliment existing Android UI elements rather well.

Currently, the Android UI Utilities include templates for Pencil (a popular UI and design prototyping tool), standalone icon templates in .psd format, and an online resource making tool called the Android Asset Studio which can generate all sorts of application graphics from existing images.  The project developers have more planned, so if you're a budding Android app developer, or even a seasoned veteran, this is something you should have a look at.

What do YOU think?  Does Android need a unified look and feel across applications?  Or should we respect the individuality of the developers tastes?  Take the survey and let us know! [Design x Code]

Would you prefer a unified look and feel for Android applications?survey software

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4 years ago

Swiftkey keyboard out of beta, autopredicts its way into the Android Market


SwiftKey Keyboard

SwiftKey has finally made its way out of beta status, and the full version is now available on the Android Market for £0.60 (about 94 cents).  I'm one of SwiftKey's biggest fans, and even after using it through all the beta versions I'm still amazed at the prediction algorithm.  In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, have a look here and you'll see why the beta hit over 100,000 downloads within a few days of its release.  It really is that good at word prediction.  The changes are available to read at SwiftKey's blog, and consist mostly killing off any bugs that crept up at the last minute.  We have the full press release from TouchType, download links, and a video of SwiftKey in action after the break.  [SwiftKey]

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4 years ago

Evo 4G update is pushing out now, here's how to manually update


 Evo 4G OTA update

So the maintenance release for the Evo 4G -- you know, the one that tackles the 30fps thing, among other fixes -- is finally starting to hit phones. But if your Evo's wearing a sad face, you can update it manually. Don't worry, it's the same update you'd get if you did it over the air. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Download the update from this link.
  2. Rename it to update.zip (but be sure not to rename it update.zip.zip). Save it to your Evo's microSD card.
  3. Time to reboot into recovery mode. Turn the phone off. Then hold the volume down button, and press the power button. You should boot to a white screen with three Android guys on skateboards.
  4. Use the volume button to select RECOVERY, and press the power button again. The Evo will now reboot into recovery. You should see a render of a phone, with a red triangle and exclamation point.
  5. Hold the volume up button and press the power button. Choose applysdcard:update.zip. Let it do its thing.

Reboot, and that's it. You've manually updated your Evo 4G. No muss, no fuss, and no waiting. Now head on into our Evo 4G forums and share what you find.

Update: You want graphics benchmarks? After the break, folks.

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4 years ago

LG Ally joins everyone else, receives maintenance update


LG Ally

There has been a slew of updates for various Android devices recently and the LG Ally (check out our hands-on) didn't want to be left out. The  mid-end Verizon device started receiving a maintenance update last Friday, Sept. 17. Users will get the update over the coming weeks as Verizon continues the OTA. 

According to a Verizon employee in their forums, the update will bring:

  • Enjoy preloaded applications like City ID, Skype,® My Verizon,and Corporate Directory.
  • Updated Backup Assistant application.
  • Enhanced ability to pair Ally with multiple Bluetooth® devices.
  • Improved camera performance.
  • Overall enhancement for Microsoft® Exchange email accounts.
  • Improved device detection when syncing Ally to a PC via USB cable.
  • Operate the Gallery application with improved speed and efficiency.
  • Improved Android¿ operating system security.
  • Enhanced battery life.
  • Improved application responsiveness when opening from home screen.

So if you sport an Ally, be sure to look for the OTA update. For more information and step-by-step instructions, check out: Verizon's Ally page [LG Forum] [Verizon Forum] Thanks Michael!

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4 years ago

Rooted version of Evo update released before OTA actually hits


Evo custom ROM

In a weird twist, while everyone was waiting for the Evo 4G update to show up, the folks over at XDA-Developers have just released the rooted users version of it.  Don't ask, we have no answers about the how or why :) It looks like the rumors of the 30FPS cap being lifted were true, but it's still too soon to see if the Gmail and GPS "issues" have been addressed. 

We normally suggest that everyone on the darkside who has rooted their phone wait a day or two for the developers to release a "root-friendly" version, but this time we don't have to.  Follow the source link to grab the ROM, as well as new cellular and WiMax radios while they're still hot! [Xda-Developers via Android Central ForumsThanks b0ricua!

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4 years ago

Sprint, Samsung prepping update to fix Epic 4G upload speeds over 3G


Sprint Epic 4G

There have been grumblings for weeks now about 3G upload speeds on the Sprint Epic 4G being slower than expected. We've had plenty of reports in the Android Central Forums, never mind the hundreds of posts at Sprint's own community forums, that tell tales of upload speeds seemingly topping out at around 150kbps -- inadvertently or otherwise. And that's no good. We've been in contact with the powers that be on this one, and Sprint and Samsung have an update in the works.

Here's the official word from Sprint:

"We have heard reports of users experiencing less-than-expected 3G upload speeds with their Samsung Epic 4G. After extensive investigation, Sprint and Samsung have identified an enhancement that may improve upload speeds on the Epic. This fix will be made available in the next maintenance release. It’s important to note that network speeds are impacted by many factors when using commercially-available speed test applications and test results may or may not be true indicator of the actual network performance."

So there you go. Hang in there, folks. Help is on the way. (More in our Epic 4G forums!)

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4 years ago

HTC HD3 shows itself [the competition]



We in the Android world have been basking in some pretty bad-arse hardware for some time now. Our Windows Phone cousins, on the other hand, have been patiently waiting for something new since -- well, the Touch Pro 2 and HD 2. But it doesn't look like Android's going to corner the black-slab market for long. The first real images of the HTC HD3 (it might also be called the HD7) have leaked out, and it's admittedly a beauty. And we're pretty darn curious to get a look at the final product of Windows Phone 7 (I was able to get a look at the early build way back at Mobile World Congress).

Anyhoo, check out some more pics at WMExperts, and see if any of this doesn't pique your interest.

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4 years ago

Verizon Fascinate update pushing out now


 Fascinate updateFascinate update

Those of you waiting on the Verizon Samsung Fascinate update to drop -- well, it's dropping now. A recap for what's in store:


  • Instant notification of Visual Voice Mail in the messaging bar.
  • Improved sync between phone and e-mail accounts.
  • Prompt notification when switching to airplane mode.
  • Faster switching from 3G to 1x RTT.
  • Search phone while on a call.
  • Improved Exchange password alerts.
  • No Service audio alert removed.

You can sit back and wait for the update to roll in, Or you can try to snag it at Settings>About phone>System updates. (Though it's not working for me. Grrrr.) Thanks, Cory!

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4 years ago

Testing Samsung's GPS improvements [video]


 Samsung Captivate (updated at left)

Probably the biggest fix in the maintenance update for the Samsung Captivate was with GPS reception. OK, it might not be a "fix." But Samsung is calling it "an update to improve the ... GPS performance," and, darn it, that's a fix to us.

Anyhoo. We had two Captivates laying around. So we updated one, and left the other one looking longingly at its brother, then fired up some GPS on both. We didn't see a huge boost in our short test, but the updated phone seemed to connect to more satellites and just a tad quicker. Check out the video after the break, and let us know if your GPS is any better in the Samsung Captivate Forums

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4 years ago

Dell working on 7-inch tablet, Streak to be sold at Best Buy soon


 Dell Streak

Dell had moderate success with its Dell Steak (pictured above), and looks to be following upon that with a new tablet. CEO Michael Dell announced the device during a conference in San Francisco, but did not give any details other than it would pack a 7-inch screen and run an unspecified version of Android. Considering the screen size, it is probably safe to assume the device will be a full-fledged tablet, and not a phone/tablet hybrid like the Streak. One would hope that Gingerbread would be released and on the tablet by the time the device is launched, but that might be a pipe dream considering the struggles Dell has had just getting the Streak up to Froyo. In addition, the CEO mentioned that the Streak would be available in Best Buy retail locations soon. [Wall Street Journal]

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4 years ago

Android Quick-App: Vignette


Vignette homeShooting mode

One of the greatest iterations of the smartphone industry has been the cameras that are attached to the devices. They have become sufficient enough to leave a separate camera at home or forget buying one altogether (Photo-philes will disagree, but for the average consumer this is true).

A result of this has been an increase in camera apps found in the Market. These can range from simple effects to a full on camera replacement app. One of the best that I’ve tried is Vignette, which can act as one of the full replacements. Let's take a look, after the break.

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4 years ago

Sprint Hero also is getting an update; Evo 4G 30FPS cap removal confirmed


 Sprint updates

Looks like the rumors are true, folks -- the Evo 4G update that's coming down the pike may well be fixing the 30FPS graphics issue that's been plaguing us all from the start. We were slipped the above e-mail (and it looks like Engadget got one, too) that shows the rumored 3FPS and GPS reboot fixes (that strangely are missing from Sprint's update list).

But wait, there's more. The leaked e-mail also shows an update to the HTC Hero. No, it's not Froyo (and it won't be), but you are getting fixes for GPS reboot and sluggish dialer issues. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

Sing out in the comments if you've gotten either of the updates yet.

Update: Unrevoked's got video of the fix in action, apparently. Check it out after the break.

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4 years ago

Droid 2 world phone breaks cover, shows off new paint job



Curious what the Droid 2 world phone (also being referred to as the Droid Pro or "Global" edition) looks like? Droid Life got their hands on the CDMA-GSM device, and it looks like it's got a new paint scheme to go with it. No word yet on any other new features, though the ability to take this kid overseas is going to sit pretty with a good number of business-types, we reckon. Couple of more pictures at the source. [Droid Life]

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4 years ago

Update coming for the Evo 4G, will fix gmail sync, calendar edits (maybe more)


Evo 4G update

Sprint just posted that an update is coming to the Evo 4G. It says that Version 3.29.651.5 shall contain fixes for calendar event edit issues and syncing of multiple gmail accounts, both of which have been subject of complaints for some time now.

But wait. There's more. Maybe. Word of the update actually started late last night at SDX Developers, and jerdog says that in addition to the gmail and calendar fixes, the infamous 30-frames-per-second graphics cap is lifted, and the GPS reboot will be addressed. We're hoping to get official word on those last two, but we'll gladly take the gmail and calendar fixes, too. [Sprint via Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Samsung says AT&T Captivate GPS is addressed in current update


 Samsung Captivate GPS fix

Samsung just announced that the update currently being pushed to the Captivate -- AT&T's version of the Galaxy S -- does indeed include a fix for the GPS issues that plagued a good many of us at launch. Here's the official word:

An update to improve the Samsung Captivate's GPS performance is now available. Captivate customers will receive a notification on their device that an update is available and will simply need to download the file to update their phone. The updates will be pushed to customers’ devices over the next few weeks.

The update for the Captivate will also improve additional device functions, such as media scanning time, add the full version of Quickoffice and address Microsoft Exchange 2003 policy support.

If you haven't gotten the update yet, you can check from your phone's settings. (And ukulele_ninja in the Android Central Forums notes you can bypass the pesky one-check-per-24-hours thing by changing the date.)

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