Remember back when a few HP TouchPads shipped to some customers with Android pre-installed on the device instead of WebOS? HP vehemently denied any knowledge of how, or why, the OS got on there in the first place. Well, as it turns out — it was HP. The whole time. Yup.
Well, the fine folks over at HP have finally come clean and in doing so, they’ve released that original Android source code for the tablet to the CyanogenMod team to tinkering around delve into. That means, with the elusive kernel source, Android development on the tab should pick up steam and more stable Android ROMs are sure to follow.
If you thought all the mysteries behind the Android HP TouchPads have been uncovered, there’s still a few questions left unanswered. For one, it appears that HP had a separate team working on an Android port for the TouchPad the entire time, working simultaneously as the WebOS team. Could this mean HP had originally planned to ship the tabs with Android after their purchase of Palm? Perhaps, for whatever reason, they decided against, instead banking on WebOS? No one knows for sure, but one thing is certain: the plot thickens… (queue eerie X-Files music).
What’s old is new again. At least that’s what LG would have you believe after teasing the upcoming LG Optimus Vu, a brand new 5-inch device with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The Optimus Vu breaks away from the now standard 16:9 mold of tall and skinny devices, instead offering a smartphone that looks something like a tiny iPad at first glance.
Details on the device are scarce with nothing but a brief video showing off some of the device’s curves. I’m sure we’ll see more at MWC later this month but in the meantime, what do you guys think? Is there any appeal in a 4:3, 5-inch Android device? Personally, I’ve found 16:9 devices to be almost completely useless in landscape mode so this device has me intrigued. But then again, maybe I’m being overly optimistic?
Occasionally, I like to feature apps from the Android Market that have managed to capture my robotic heart and share them with you all. Developer OneLouder Apps, has long been known for providing Android users with gorgeous looking, full featured apps and you don’t have to look any further than their insanely popular Twitter app called TweetCaster for proof of this.
Well, they’re at it again, this time with a weather app called 1Weather that provides just as much function, as it does beauty. Simple and stylish (coincidentally, words I’ve been told describe myself), 1Weather provides all the functions you’d expect from a full featured weather app like real-time weather info and 7-day forecasts which all make the cut. But also, you can find tweets from your area to see what people are saying about the weather in your city.
I’m sure that all sounds like pretty standard stuff but the real coup de grace is in 1Weather’s clean and wonderfully animated UI. Rain drops fall from clouds, sun dials spin, maps and radar animate all with a UI suitable for an Ice Cream Sandwich device. To better show you these UI elements, I felt a quick little YouTube video was necessary so sit back and enjoy.
You can find 1Weather for free, right now, in the Android Market. If you get a chance to try it out, let me know how you like it.
For some Android users out there, if it wasn’t for CyanogenMod — they probably wouldn’t even own an Android device. Well, TeamDouche and friends have graciously provided an update for the everyone in the Android modding community, giving us some insight on the progress of CyanogenMod, as well as newly and upcoming supported devices, and some pitfalls the team has been facing.
When it comes to roadblocks, CM has been hit with a big one, dealing specifically with closed-source device drivers. If you were hoping you local “dev” would get that camera app working in the Ice Cream Sandwich ROM you’re running, it might be awhile. We’re all at the mercy of OEM’s who will have to release them in a devkit or new device release.
Officially, CM9 (a modified Android 4.0 ROM) is supported on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, HP TouchPad and Motorola Xoom. New devices being added to the fold are Samsung devices using Exynos processors, with Qualcomm MSM 8660 and 7×30 chipsets in the near future. Where things become a little more uncertain is when dealing with devices powered by the aging 1st gen Snapdragon processor, but CM would like to remind everyone that when dealing with the Android community, workarounds can usually be found for these types of things.
The ultimate goal of CyanogenMod is to create a seamless, near-stock, Android experience for users that’s makes them feel as if their device should have shipped with the ROM out of the box. Where normally the CM team is able to beat OEM’s to the punch when dealing with firmware updates — Android 4.0 in this case — it seems at the soonest, you can expect a fully working and stable CM9 ROM on your device is around the same time manufacturers officially update their devices.
In the meantime, if you appreciate CyanogenMod and the hard work their team puts into bringing the stock Android experience to your Sensified/TouchWizzed/Blurred out device and others like it, feel free to hit the source link for more info on progress, as well as a donation link.
Microsoft is at it again — no, it’s not another new patent lawsuit — instead, they’re bringing OneNote to Android devices in their all new application launching on the Market today. Microsoft OneNote is one of many note taking apps for Android, the key benefit here is Microsoft is looking at users who are already using the desktop software, allowing them to sync and take their notes with them on-the-go using SkyDrive.
Standard note taking features can be found like typing out text, pictures, bullet points and check boxes. But there’s a catch — users are only allowed to store and edit up to 500 notes at which point you’ll have to pony up the cash in an in-app purchase for unlimited use.
Seems Microsoft is banking on the fact that maybe not everyone in the world has heard of more robust and full featured note taking apps like EverNote, Springpad or Catch. Still, if you want to give it a test run, you can find the app for free right now in the Android Market.
The Nintendo Zone is a special gateway for your Nintendo 3DS if you happen to be in one of the thousands of special Wi-Fi hotspot locations that Nintendo has set up across the country. These hotspots are in Best Buy stores, airports, malls, and many other locations throughout the country and give gamers with a 3DS access to special content. Now, though, it’s possible to gain access to that same set of content without leaving your house.
And as anyone living in the US in the 2010s knows, being able to do something from your house is always better than going out to do it. Yes, perhaps it is sad that someone might not have the energe to go to the local McDonald’s to connect to Nintendo Zone, but we’re not judging. A user who goes by the online handle DarkWish found out that this hack is actually one of extreme ease. In fact, it’s so simple it almost boggles the mind. Anyone can do it, and here’s how:
“If you set your wireless network to be named attwifi and make it unsecured, then add that network on your 3DS… you can access the Nintendo Zone from home! So whatever demos (right now it’s just Mario & Sonic), Pokémon TV show episodes, and other content they have on there is now accessible from home.” So the Nintendo Zone is not exactly set up with proprietary restrictions. It’s kind of interesting that no one figured this out sooner. Here’s a video so you can see for yourself:
Nintendo 3DS hack makes Nintendo Zone content available at home is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
Olympus has taken the covers off three new digital cameras today, the SZ-31MR iHS, the TG-820 iHS, and the OM-D E-M5. Okay, so that doesn’t mean anything. Unlike smartphones, digital camera model names are still just a confusing conglomeration of letters and numbers. But here’s what is cool – the SZ-31MR iHS has 920,000-dot touch-screen LCD display, the TG-820 iHS offers protection from everything from water to being crushed, and the OM-D E-M5 has the world’s fastest autofocusing system.
And that’s just the beginning of the specs. Let’s look at each of them individually. So going back to the SZ-31MR, it has a 16-megapixel sensor and an eye-popping 24x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens. It also packs in a Multi-Recording feature that allows users to take photos and video simultaneously. There’s functionality for movie and image stabilization, and it offers full HD video and HDMI control for 1080p playback. It will be available in April for around $400.
For the TG-820 iHS (pictured), it’s all about durability. Olympus promises that it sets a new benchmark for “Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Crushproof and Dustproof performance.” The 12-megapixel sensor and TruePic VI image processor, originally developed for DSLRs, offer fantastic image quality. That’s good to know if you ever need a crystal clear shot while 220 pounds of weight are being applied to your camera. Yep, it can withstand 220 pounds of force. This one will be available in March for around $300.
And finally the E-M5 is the first of a new series for Olympus, the OM-D brand designed to meet the needs of advanced photographers. The device has a 16.1-megapixel sensor, the world’s fastest autofocusing system, the world’s first 5-axis image stabilizer, and a touch-screen OLED display. This high-end camera will sell in April for between $1,000 and $1,300.
Olympus announces new cameras that are tough, offer amazing zoom is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
Users around the world today complained of prolonged periods of slow or no access to Facebook either through their browser or mobile phone app. The social networking giant did not offer any sort of comment as to what caused the extended period of technical difficulties, but that didn’t stop frustrated users from taking their anger to other social networking sites. That is to say, there was a lot of tweeting about Facebook’s slow connection.
One memorable Twitter message that was quoted was, “Facebook has been slow/down since the IPO. Are they all too busy selling their shares and buying fancy things? I might be.” This kind of comment underlines just how much more Facebook will have to come under the microscope now that it will be a publicly traded company. This also begs the question of if getting listed will lead to more transparency since there’s more accountability, or less transparency since Facebook now has to make its shareholders happy above anyone else.
The initial public offering has been destined to be a spectacle like no other, but there cannot be any hiccups. Facebook has a lot of concerns on its plate, including reliable site performance, privacy issues, and all sorts of other very delicate and complex problems. As for today’s slowdown, analyst Ezra Gottheil was quoted on Computerworld as saying, “It’s only a problem if it lasts a long time, or recurs. One bad morning isn’t going to hurt them.”
Facebook encounters slowdown, offers no explanation is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
When it comes to that special someone in your life, nothing says “I love you” quite like a new phone. Actually, what it really says is, “Hey guess what? We have to stay together for another two years or we’re both going to end up on The People’s Court over a cell phone bill dispute.” Ah, Valentine’s Day. So T-Mobile has a great promotion available one day only, on February 11, to get you in that commitment spirit that only the middle of February can bring.
In line with other ‘free phone’ promotions T-Mobile has offered in the last year, this one-day event includes an impressive selection of free-after-contract phones, including the SpringBoard and the Galaxy S II. There will even be “select tablets” at no cost to those who sign up for a new two-year service agreement. Some of these devices are as much as $200 on a normal day so this deal is nothing to sneeze at.
“T-Mobile has a commitment to make the 4G experience affordable and accessible to everyone, so this sweet deal on smartphones and tablets is our Valentine’s gift to consumers. No matter where loved ones live, T-Mobile wants to bring them closer with unlimited talking, photo sharing, video chatting, texting, and more,” said T-Mobile in a statement.
T-Mobile to offer free 4G phones this Saturday, as a Valentine’s Day promo is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
It goes without saying that battery life is a huge concern in the Android space, where juice hungry devices gobble up mAh’s faster than data on Verizon’s LTE. Now, there have been plenty of ideas to help deal with this hard pressing issue, everything from extended batteries, solar powered devices, to the very distant future of devices that can charge themselves.
But this concept design from Francois Rybarczyk deals with the problem of always carrying a charger around with you, especially when we don’t always carry around purses or “murses” (man-purses) to stash them in.
It’s called the Autonome and the concept shows us an extended battery that comes with it’s own built-in fold out plug that eliminates the need to carry around the ‘ol ball and chain, otherwise known as USB charger and cable.
Although the concept unrealistically hopes for a quick 30 second charge on the detachable battery module, a more realistic expectation would be somewhere in the ballpark of around 30-minutes using fast charge technology (coming soon to a Sony device near you).
Concepts can be fun, although for the most part they leave techies like me in need a cold shower after fantasizing (too much info?). I guess for now, OEM’s should focus on making their devices thinner so that bigger, not just for looks — but so that 3,000mAh batteries could still fit into them, while leaving a relatively slim profile. Even still, concepts like the Autonome with it’s all-in-one solution could prvoe to be helpful for those days when you need to charge. What do you guys think?