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Picking up your Nexus 7 today? Here’s some required reading

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2012 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

The Google Nexus 7 is starting to make it its way out to consumers around the world, and if you're among the lucky early adopters picking up the Jelly Bean tablet this week, we've got some required reading for you. As you'll know if you've been watching the site since Google I/O, we've been covering the heck out of the Nexus 7, so we've got all the information you'll need as you're getting to grips with your new tablet.

Let's dive right in –

  • Nexus 7 hands-on and initial review
    You should already have a pretty good idea of what's lurking within that Nexus 7 box, but if you want to brush up on the basics before going any further, our complete hands-on report and video walkthrough is where you'll want to start. (And if you're still on the fence, why not check out our full review of the tablet.)
  • How to unlock the bootloader and root the Nexus 7
    The Nexus 7 isn't just a portal into Google Play, it's also a Nexus device, and that means easy bootloader unlocking, rooting and hacking. If you're new to this side of Android, be sure to check out our guide to unlocking and rooting the Nexus 7, courtesy of AC forum moderator ragnarokx.
  • Top 5 Games for your new Nexus 7
    With a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU (and 12-core GeForce GPU) inside, the Nexus 7 is a great mobile gaming device. If you're a gamer, why not check out Simon Sage's guide to the top five games to try out on your new Nexus 7 tablet. (You'll find even more suggestions from readers in the comments.)
  • Check out the official Nexus 7 guide book
    There's no manual inside the Nexus 7 box, but you'll find all the basics in the official Nexus 7 guide book on Google Play Books. You'll find it inside the Google Play Books app when you power on your Nexus 7 for the first time.
  • Get to grips with new Jelly Bean features
    From the redesigned notification area to the buttery new home screen launcher, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean includes a host of new features. Find out about all the new tricks Android 4.1 has up its sleeve in our Jelly  Bean feature articles, complete with video walkthroughs.

If you're getting your Nexus 7 today or later this week, then shout out in the comments and let us know how you're getting on!

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Some Iconia Tab A500s getting Ice Cream Sandwich early, Acer Ring is MIA

Posted by wicked April - 27 - 2012 - Friday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Some Iconia Tab A500s getting Ice Cream Sandwich early, Acer Ring is MIA

Last week, Acer announced that Ice Cream Sandwich would make its way to Iconia Tabs A100 and A500 in Canada and the US starting April 27th, but Phone Arena reports that some owners of the 10.1-inch A500 are getting the option to update a day ahead of schedule. If you’re one of the lucky few to be in on the early upgrade, you should be ready to rock with Android 4.0.3 after a 30-minute install. The one potential downside to getting ICS ahead of time? You’ll have to wait for the Acer Ring hub, which didn’t make the cut for this update.

Some Iconia Tab A500s getting Ice Cream Sandwich early, Acer Ring is MIA originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 18:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 7-Incher Won’t Be Getting Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted by wicked December - 24 - 2011 - Saturday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

The Galaxy S was Samsung’s most popular smartphone until the release of the Galaxy S II. Photo: Jim Merithew/

Samsung addressed some of the mystery surrounding its Ice Cream Sandwich rollouts on Friday, and the news isn’t good.

The latest flavor of the Android OS won’t be arriving on Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone, or on its 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet. These devices won’t be getting the update because they lack the RAM and ROM requirements to run both ICS and Samsung’s own TouchWiz user interface (along with other “experience-enhancing” software like widgets), Samsung says.

For a better perspective of how much RAM Samsung’s custom UI demands, check out Anandtech, which found that for the Honeycomb version of Android, TouchWiz consumes about half of the available RAM at startup.

Samsung has also announced that many of its other Android devices will be getting the upgrade to ICS. The Galaxy Nexus, this year’s flagship Android device, and Nexus S are currently the only devices running ICS, but the Galaxy S II smartphone and the three other Galaxy Tab sizes are reported to be getting the upgrade in the future.

The Nexus S runs the same 1GHz Hummingbird processor that the Galaxy S does, but because it’s an Android flagship device — essentially Google reference hardware — it doesn’t run Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.

The Android ecosystem notoriously suffers from heavy fragmentation. In the past, the fragmentation has been more hardware-based — for example, manufacturers have arranged their four hardware navigation buttons in a different order on different devices. But the fragmentation also applies to software builds as well. In late October, a chart comparing the software fragmentation of Android devices against iOS devices revealed exactly how dire and widespread the problem is.

As for Ice Cream Sandwich updates from other companies, Motorola and HTC have stated that recently released smartphones and tablets will get the ICS update in three to six months.

via The Verge

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Android 101: Using multiple Android devices

Posted by wicked December - 8 - 2011 - Thursday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

The gear

'Tis the season for getting cool electronic gifts, and there's a good chance that some of us will be getting another Android device for a holiday present.  While for many it will be a new smartphone to replace their existing Android phone, for others it might just be a new Android tablet or Google TV, and will be used in addition to your beloved Android phone.  Some of us are old pros at handling multiple devices, but for the first timer it can be a bit confusing, not knowing how things like Google applications and other apps with an account will work while on more than one device.  That's where we come in.  There's two ways to handle it all, and we're going to cover them both after the break.

Big thanks to Android Central member whitenack for the idea!

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Mobile Miscellany: week of November 21, 2011

Posted by wicked November - 26 - 2011 - Saturday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

This week was packed with news on the mobile front, so it was easy to miss a few stories here and there. Here’s some of the other stuff that happened in the wide world of wireless for the week of November 21, 2011:

  • Bell Canada is getting a couple new LG devices: the entry-level LG Eclypse, coming December 2nd, is a QWERTY device with Gingerbread [PocketNow], and the high-end LG Optimus LTE, which offers a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, HD display, 1,830mAh battery, 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front-facing cam, is available now. The Optimus LTE is available for $150 with a three-year commitment. [AndroidCentral]
  • MetroPCS announced the availability of the HTC Wildfire S sometime this week. You’ll be able to grab one for $180 with no contract attached. [Unwired View]
  • T-Mobile is getting its Galaxy S II in white, so why not the Skyrocket on AT&T? A few press images of the device’s new hue have leaked out. [PocketNow]
  • Verizon’s message app just got a refresh which now offers support for SMS / MMS syncing between your phone and tablet. Both devices have to be attached to the same WiFi network, however. [AndroidCentral]
  • Verizon’s rolling out LTE to another selection of cities on December 15. [PhoneScoop]
  • User Agent Profiles outed the Sony Ericsson Arc HD (previously known as the Nozomi), amongst other unknown devices. [Android Community]
  • It appears that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 may be coming to T-Mobile, according to leaked marketing materials. [PocketNow]
  • Cincinnati Bell just launched the BlackBerry Torch 9810 for $200 with a two-year commitment and after $50 mail-in rebate. [BusinessWire]

Mobile Miscellany: week of November 21, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 Nov 2011 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlackBerry’s Android App Player not all it’s cracked up to be?

Posted by wicked October - 25 - 2011 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

BlackBerry Android App Player

A big question we've had since RIM first announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would be able to run some Android applications was "Why?" Another question has been "Would a developer really want to?"

We're getting a little insight into that courtesy of pals at CrackBerry. The tl;dr version:

This seems to be a short term solution for a long term problem. For years RIM rested on their laurels doing very little to woo new developers or even keep their existing ones happy and it finally caught up with them and the Android solution seems to be more about getting some quick positive publicity rather than solving the real problem.

Sounds about right to us. Check out the whole piece at the link below.

Read: To build or to port? A developer's thoughts about
the Android App Player on BlackBerry

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Refresh Roundup: week of October 17, 2011

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2011 - Sunday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging to get updated. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it’s easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don’t escape without notice, we’ve gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery from the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout attips at engadget dawt comand let us know. Enjoy!

Official Android updates

  • Given up on the HTC Thunderbolt’s mystical Gingerbread update? HTC’s still insisting that it’s on its way, despite multiple delays. This time, however, the OEM isn’t giving a timeframe for ETA. [Droid-Life]
  • The T-Mobile G2 was boosted to Android 2.3.3 in July, but we’re glad to see the device getting yet another refresh. This time the G2 is getting hooked up with 2.3.4, which promises better battery life and improved data roaming, among other minor fixes. [AndroidCentral]
  • What other device is getting 2.3.4 this week? The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, that’s what. It’s only rolled out to parts of Europe and the Middle East, so be patient if you haven’t seen an update show up for your unit yet. [AndroidCentral]
  • Up north, the LG Shine Plus on Telus is getting Android 2.3.3. [MobileSyrup]
  • Anyone using a Motorola Atrix or Milestone 2 in the UK should expect to have an update to Gingerbread sometime next month. [Unwired View]
  • Motorola mentioned on its Facebook page that the Droid Bionic will receive Ice Cream Sandwich, though it wouldn’t share details on when. [Thanks, Grant]

Unofficial Android updates, custom ROMs and misc. hackery

  • Amazingly enough, the Samsung Epic 4G is still missing Gingerbread (officially, at least). In hopefully what could be considered another step forward, Sammy’s pushed out the kernel source for Android 2.3. Keep those fingers crossed, Epic 4G owners. [AndroidCentral]
  • Motorola released the kernel source for the Droid Bionic. [AndroidCentral]
  • Speaking of kernel source, HTC’s also gone ahead and released code for the myTouch 4G Slide, Desire (Gingerbread), and the Raider 4G. [AndroidCentral]
  • Three days after its kernel was made public, T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II has now been successfully rooted. [Phandroid]
  • Looking down at your HTC Sensation 4G (or any other Sense 3.0 or higher device) filled with Dre envy? Wish you had the cool Beats that’s starting to trickle out to the latest HTC handsets? Leave it to XDA to find a way to port the new audio functionality over to any Sense 3.0 or 3.5 phone without having to ditch your current ROM. [Droid-Life]
  • Anyone frustrated by the news about the HTC Thunderbolt above and is savvy to the rooting world may want to check out a new Gingerbread RUU just leaked for the device. [Android Police]

Other platforms

  • Select Symbian Anna devices are currently getting a bug fix. Sadly, it’s not Belle. [Unwired View]
  • The Windows Phone Team has reported that the Mango update is available to nearly everyone now. [Windows Team Blog]
  • The iPhone Dev Team brought out a new version of Redsn0w, 0.9.9b7, which was designed to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to jailbreak your iDevice. [Pocketnow]

Refreshes we covered this week

  • HP TouchPad gets webOS 3.0.4 update
  • Kindle 3 gets software upgrade, ready to soar into the cloud
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich roundup
  • Android 4.0 now official, includes revamped design and enhancements galore
  • HTC: we’re reviewing ICS and determining future plans
  • Motorola RAZR to get ICS in early 2012
  • ICS unofficially ported to Samsung Nexus S 4G
  • Sony Ericsson bringing ICS to Xperia handsets?
  • ASUS: Android 4.0 tablets coming by end of this year
  • HTC’s new audio API beats OpenSense into developers

Refresh Roundup: week of October 17, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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T-Mobile G-Slate’s Android 3.1 update pushing out now

Posted by wicked August - 12 - 2011 - Friday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

T-Mobile G-Slate

It’s been a few days since we first learned the T-Mobile LG G-Slate would be getting its Android 3.1 update soon. And that day has now come. Pushing out over the air, the update will roll out in waves, meaning not everybody’s going to get it at the same time. You’ll see a notice on your tablet when the update’s ready.

Here’s what you’re getting in Android 3.1:

  • Google Videos – A new Videos app has been added that allows you to buy and rent movies.
  • Recent apps list expanded – The recent apps list has been expanded to show all apps recently used. After opening the apps list, touch one of the apps to access it.
  • Home screen resizable widgets – Widgets built-in to Android 3.0 (Calendar, Email, Gmail, etc.) can now be resized vertically or horizontally on any one of the five home screens.
  • USB accessory support – Customers can now attach a keyboard, pointing device, or gamepad to the G-Slate for use with typing, gaming, etc.

You’re also getting bugfixes to Google Talk and Google Music, as was as for the browser and widgets.

Source: T-Mobile

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