Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) provides full 2D hardware acceleration in applications, and Romain Guy explains the ins and outs of enabling it in your app at the Android Developers Blog. Mr. Guy is a software engineer for Google's Android project, and is heavily involved in the graphics rendering code for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and seeing him take the time to further application development for Android is great. He's also one hell of a photographer, and some of his work has been used as the stock backgrounds on Android phones.
Developers should check out the source link for all the details, but we'll keep it a little more end-user friendly here. Hardware acceleration has been around for a while in Android for things like OpenGL games, but now normally coded apps can use and benefit from it as well. On the Motorola Xoom, all the stock applications already use accelerated 2D graphics, and third party apps can take advantage of it with a single line added to the AndroidManifest.xml file in the source code. If the app is using the standard set of drawables, all operations will then use the GPU when drawing them on-screen.
There are some other things to consider if you've written custom drawing code, which is why hardware acceleration is disabled by default. Mr. Guy takes the time to explain what you need to do as well as what operations are supported if you need to go this route. Looks like we're going to be seeing some awesome third party apps coming up for tablets running Honeycomb. [Android Developers Blog]
Amazon has been spending time wooing developers, and they might finally be ready to open their app store to the masses. Wired is reporting that Amazon could launch their app store this coming Tuesday, March 22. Their main selling point to developers (and users) will be a more curated storefront to help quality apps stand out from the pack. In addition, Amazon is already set up to take money in more countries than Google's Checkout which would open entirely new markets for developers and finally give customers living there a (legal) way to obtain paid apps. [Wired]
Virgin Mobile USA has released a new, free music app to the Android Market and it's not just limited to Virgin Mobile users. All Android users can access Virgin Mobile Live 2.0 and the benefits it offers for music fans. After the app is installed, you'll be able to tune into Virgin Mobiles streaming music channel as well as view videos from past artist performances and starting next week, performances from SXSW will start to appear.
Another cool feature that Virgin Mobile has included is the "check-in" option for concert events. You can check into live events and share them with friends on Twitter and Facbook. As of now, it is loaded with Lady GaGa concert info but over the next few weeks the app will expand to more artists and venues. Full press release can be found after the break, as well as the download QR code for those interested. [Businesswire]
T-Mobile UK will begin carrying the Motorola Atrix from June, according to a recent update to the carrier's "coming soon" page. Previously the Atrix has only been available on T-Mobile's sister carrier Orange. In 2010 Orange and T-Mobile merged to form Everything Everywhere, and now subscribers to one carrier are able to freely roam on the other's network.
If you missed out on Amazon's own sale of the HTC Thunderbolt just two days ago (they are currently in backorder status), you now have a second shot at getting the LTE phone at a discount. Online retailer LetsTalk is primed to drop the price of the TBolt down to $174.99 starting at one minute past midnight (PDT) tomorrow, March 19.
Our tipster has assured us that they have the device in-stock and will be offering the discount on all order types - new account, upgrade, add-a-line are all good to go. If you can't wait, LetsTalk is currently offering the phone for $199.99 but their stock (and website) will likely be hit hard as soon as the sale goes active. Decisions, decisions. [LetsTalk] Thanks to anonymous for the tip!
Rumors have been flying for a few days, but there's now a new leak with a bit more information. BGR reports that they have been tipped about two new devices from HTC, and more about the Motorola Xoom. The specifics --
The Sprint Motorola Xoom will be identical to the Verizon model, except the Sprint version will run on the WiMax 4G network. This lines up very nicely with what we've already heard about Sprint and the Xoom.
The HTC View 4G will be Sprint's version of the HTC Flyer, a seven-inch tablet with a 1024x600 display, an aluminum body, 5 MP rear and 1.3 MP front camera, HTC Scribe pen support, a 4000 mAh battery, HDMI out and DLNA support running Android 2.3 on Sprint's 3G/4G network. See our Flyer hands-on here.
The HTC Evo 3D is the real show-stopper though, and has some awesome specs. The Evo 3D supposedly has the following hardware:
4.3-inch 3D qHD capacitive 960 x 540 px display
1730 mAh battery
4GB internal memory with 8 GB SD card, expandable to 32 GB
1 GB RAM
1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU
Dual 5 MP rear cameras (3D)
1.3 MP Front camera
records 2D @ 1080p, 3D @ 720p
Dimensions = 5.0 x 2.6 x .48 inches
DNLA support and HDMI port
BGR reports that special 3D versions of the Blockbuster and YouTube apps will be on board as well. And don't forget the rumors of a Nexus S 4G either. CTIA looks like a lot to be happy about if you're a Sprint customer, and we'll be there to cover it all. [BGR]
Another insanely busy week has flown by. Next week is the start of CTIA so be sure to get well rested during this weekend folks. Again, lots of rumors have been circulating about what exactly will be shown off from the various vendors -- some them might just come true. Make sure you all pop on into the forums and see what is happening or just catch up on what you may have missed from earlier.
Version 10.2 of Adobe Flash Player is now available on the Android Market for devices running Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The Honeycomb version of Flash Player 10.2 is technically still a beta, so a little wonkiness is to be expected as Motorola Xoom early adopters get their first taste of Flash. On Honeycomb, Flash Player 10.2 will take advantage of hardware acceleration to speed up the display of Flash content, particularly H.264 videos. Xoom owners should grab the recent Android 3.0.1 update before installing the new version of Flash Player.
On Gingerbread and Froyo devices, Adobe says version 10.2 will deliver performance boosts across the board -- especially on dual-core devices, as well as improved soft keyboard support and rendering changes to improve the way Flash content is displayed in browser windows.
Our early impressions of the new version are that it definitely seems faster than both Flash 10.1 and the build of Flash 10.2 that leaked a few days ago. It also bears a different version number to that leaked build -- 10.2.156.12, compared to 10.2.155.67.
To grab the new version of Flash, use the Market link or QR code after the jump.
As we all know, yesterday the HTC Thunderbolt was finally released on Verizon, and from what we saw a ton of you went out and picked yours up already. If you are in the group of people that have already purchased you may have began to come across some issues with the device, some are common, and some may not be so common. Let's take a look at some of the common issues we have seen in the Android Central forums, and some solutions that have been found.
1.) Problem: Finding Blackberry equivalents in Android.
Solution: This article we posted, has a lot of good info for former BB users. I'm not saying it solves all your problems, but it's definitely a good read.
2.) Problem: Swype does not have an emoticon button nor does it automatically insert spaces in the messaging app.
Solution: With Swype keyboard open, long press and select input method. Select other keyboard, same steps and select Swype keyboard again. Had this same glitch on my EVO. Keyboard should work until next reboot.... Credit Imex99.
3.) Problem: No toggle switch for 4G. Worried this affects battery life.
Solution: It does not affect battery life if you are in a 3G area and cannot get a 4G signal. There will be an update that enables a toggle at a later time.
4.) Problem: Loss of network/WiFi connectivity when the battery cover is removed.
Solution: The antenna is integrated into the battery cover. Re-attach.
5.) Problem: Old version of Market app.
Solution: Go to Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications -> "All" Tab -> Scroll to 'Market' and open it, then hit 'clear data' and 'clear cache'. Then reboot and open the market and it should be the newer version. Credit biff6789
While this does certainly not cover every issue that every user is seeing, it certainly does assist with some of the simpler ones, as well as some that new Android users may have missed. If you are seeing other issues with your device, be sure to head into the forums and discuss them with our awesome members!
Although Xobni has made a name for themselves on the BlackBerry platform that doesn't mean they don't have love for Android as well. As a matter of fact, they have lots of love to spread around. Most recently, they've updated their blog to let everyone know that Xobni is coming to GMail, Android and yes, even iPhone.
Xobni for Android will launching in Alpha form, and Xobni is hoping to take managing your contacts to a whole new level by offering such things as the ability to sort and organize your contacts, see recent emails and mutual contacts as well offer faster contact searching.
If you're interested in better contact organization and don't mind a few bugs within an app here and there then Xobni is looking for you. You can sign up now to get on their Alpha testing waiting list and as soon as it becomes available for testing you're in. Hit the source link to get stared. [Xobni]
Samsung and Boost Mobile have invited us to a press event in New York City on April 5. According to the invite, the two mobile companies are "cooking up something hot." We just hope they're not making an Android stew -- not sure if our stomachs can handle that.
Interestingly enough, Boost Mobile currently only has one Android device on its network, the Motorola i1. Other than that one device, Boost hasn't hinted at any more devices in the past. It'll be interesting to see what the two companies are mashing together. Could we see a Galaxy device come to Boost? Certainly possible. We'll be there live on April 5 to bring you the news.
The various live wallpapers that are available on Android are one of my personal favorite parts, because sadly they can keep me entertained by just watching them. While the market is certainly flooded with live wallpapers, there are not very many which offer extensive customization options, but luckily Gravitron is one of the ones that do, and they offer quite a few options. This live wallpaper, which is based around a bunch of flying particles, gives you near complete control of the look of the wallpaper, with customization features including:
Built-in presets: Original, Patriot, Love, Bokeh, Pride, Droid, St. Patrick's day, and more.
10 shapes for particles & decoration
Color randomization & cycling
Up to 8 colors preselection
Background color selection
Camera movement adjustment: speed, distance and behaviour (3D positioning)
In addition to all these custom settings, they have implemented the ability to save and load various presets, and soon they hope to have the ability to share these via Twitter. For less then $1 you can have all these features, as well as whatever they are able to add in the future, so if you want a live wallpaper that you are able to customize fully, be sure to check this out. Download links, and video can be found after the break.
The Froyo (Android 2.2) OTA update for the Cellular South HTC Desire is approved and on the way. According to Cellular South's Facebook page, users should receive notification of the OTA update "over the next few days", and some phones will be able to manually check for the OTA by midnight tonight.
To manually check your Desire for any available updates, simply press Menu > Settings > About Phone > System Software Updates > Check Now. A larger overview, and a full explanation of what to expect can be found at the source link. Froyo really breathes new life into the Desire, so Cell South users are in for a real treat even if it is a bit late. [Cellular South Discover Center]
The HTC Evo Shift 4G has joined the CyanogenMod 7 club, with an early, still unofficial build getting pretty good reviews. Android Central Moderator and Evo Shift user Big D5 has this to say:
I have been running this ROM all day. I have tested just about everything, at least everything I use daily, with no issues. Bluetooth works, GPS works, WIMAX works. This ROM is OC'ed to 1.5 mhz, it is fast and smooth. I am getting 1500's in Quadrant without even trying, meaning that is with everything on. If you like you some CM and Gingerbread jump on this ROM. I am glad I did.
Sure sounds like a fine way to make a great phone a little bit better. If you're rocking an Evo Shift, hit the Android Central Shift 4G forums for discussion, download info (IRC required), and a simple flashing method. Thanks, Dave, for the heads up!
As we are all well aware, the HTC Thunderbolt was released yesterday, and while the device had been heavily anticipated, and nearly everything to know about it was brought to light before the release, HTC felt it would be cool to release an extra little video. The video above spotlights more to the behind the scenes action, the thoughts that went into producing Verizon's first 4G LTE device, and how HTC is truly inspired by each and every one of it's device users. [Youtube via PhoneArena]
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