Archive | August, 2010

Sony Ericsson U.K. confirms September Android 2.1 update for Xperia X10; are U.S. models included?

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04Thanks to a tweet sent out by Sony Ericsson U.K., overseas owners of the Xperia X10 now feel comfortable that they will not be using Android 1.6 by the end of next month. It is not certain whether or not the message, which says that Android 2.1 will be due for the device by the end of September, applies to Stateside owners of the Xperia X10 on AT&T.

Originally, as we reported, the upgrade was expected sometime in Q4. As the number of high end Android models getting upgraded to Android 2.2 starts increasing, the pressure grows on Sony Ericsson to take the Xperia X10 up to Android 2.1. This would narrow the gap in functions between the flagship unit of the joint venture and other flagship models like the Motorola DROID X and the EVO 4G. The latter is currently powered by Android 2.2 while the former is expected to be upgraded to the Froyo build sometime early next month, as we have told you.
source: Twitter

Posted in Phones

Toshiba’s 10″ Tegra 2 tablet delivers stunning Android benchmark results

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Toshiba's 10" Tegra 2 tablet delivers stunning Android benchmark resultsToshiba is no stranger to being a mobile chipset pioneer – its TG01 was the first smartphone on the market with the 1GHz Snapdragon chipset. Now out of the blue they come up with a 10″ tablet, rumored to be called Folio 100, and powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 mobile platform. The newest Tegra is built with the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 architecture using the 45nm process, so it should deliver amazing performance with extended battery life, compared to even the most advanced chipsets currently on the market.

And deliver it does – over at Carrypad they measured 1911 on the Quadrant benchmark test, which, as you can see from the results graphic below, is more than 50% of what the fastest Android device in the stable – a Nexus One running modded Froyo – produced. Bear in mind that this prototype was still running Android 2.1., so the numbers are likely to increase further, and, on top of that, the benchmark test is not even optimized for a dual-core chipset.

The rest of the Toshiba Folio 100 specs are nothing to sniff at either – it should feature a capacitive screen with 1024×600 pixels of resolution, 3G, HDMI-out and 16GB of internal storage. The browsing speeds were snappy, and the results from the BencmarkPi application were three times faster than the average. The tablet also played full HD 1080p videos at 13mbps, and Raging Thunder 2 at the full WSVGA resolution without a hitch.

Here is the full list from running the Italian site that outed the specs through Google Translate:

* Operating System: Android 2.2
* Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2
* Screen: multitouch display 10.1 “widescreen WSVGA (1024×600pixel)
* Audio: 2 stereo speakers and microphone 0.5 W
* Storage: 16GB internal memory
* Networking: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G
* Ports: HDMI, USB 2.0 standard, USB 2.0 mini audio jack
* Card reader: SD (up to 32GB) MMC
* Battery: 1020mAh, 3.7V, 22600mWh. Up to 7 hours of life with mixed use (web browsing and video playback)
* Internet: Opera Mobile Browser with Flash 10.1
* Productivity: a suite of office applications, PDF reader, ebook reader and RSS aggregator
* Multimedia: 1.3 MP Webcam
* Dimensions: 281 x 181 x 14mm
* Weight: 760gr
* Accessories: IR transmitter and housing, dock and port replicator for Toshiba tablet

It was interesting to observe that the battery is just 1020mAh, but still managing to deliver seven hours of mixed use, which they define as web browsing and watching videos. It certainly looks like the claims for 30% better battery life with the A9 dual-core chipsets are not an exaggeration – and that’s with a 10″ screen! Toshiba’s engineers have also managed less than 30 seconds of boot time, says the Italian source.

Texas Instruments also has an A9-based chipset that finished sampling, but there is not even a hint of a phone or tablet that will be using it. Thus, the rumored Toshiba Folio 100 tablet might turn out to be the first dual-core mobile device on the market when it hits shelves.

source: Carrypad & NotebookItalia

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet

0203

Posted in Tablets

Froyo for all – CyanogenMod 6 brings Android 2.2 to the masses, a video duel between an EPIC 4G and an N1 ensues

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The all-popular CyanogenMod 6 is out of relese candidate status now, and ready to bring Froyo to your rooted oldie-but-goodie Android device. The comprehensive list of supported devices includes the HTC-made Aria, G1, Google Nexus One, Desire, Hero, EVO 4GSlide and Incredible, as well as the venerable Motorola DROID, and the flagship Samsung Galaxy S.

If you have already rooted your device, and want to try the Froyo experience, head over to the forums from the link below. Apart from improved speeds and battery life, the mod brings some additional features compared to the stock Android 2.2. A cool one is the browser color invert (saves battery life on AMOLED screens, such as the one on the Incredible), and there are also some music player enhancements, bringing along support for the lossless audio format FLAC. The mod is not without bugs, though, some users report installation problems, which might brick your device, as well as problems with Google services, so use at your own discretion.

In a battle of the operating system versions, the folks over at PocketNow have pitted a Samsung EPIC 4G, running a stock Android 2.1, against a Nexus One running the latest CyanogenMod 6 Froyo build. The authors ran the Quadrant full benchmark test and examined Wi-Fi and 3G download speeds, but we won’t spoil the fascinating battle for you.
source: CyanogenMod & PocketNow

Posted in Android OS

Samsung Galaxy Tab CDMA version snapped

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With a Samsung Galaxy S handset soon to be offered by each of the top 4 carriers in the U.S., it looks like the Korean based manufacturer has similar plans for its tablet. The Galaxy Tab pictured below is a CDMA model which we can differentiate from the GSM version because of a sticker on the side of the unit.

With prototypes of both tablets out in the wind, getting photographed and meeting fans, at least one person is extremely impressed with the product. Writing in iAndroid, a forum dweller by the name of doronbh says that the Galaxy Tab, which is expected to be launched with Android 2.2 under the hood, has very strong speakers and a GPS that works slowly, but it does work. Flash runs like “a dream” on the tablet which he says is a serious contender for the iPad.

As we reported, Samsung is expected to introduce the Galaxy Tab this Thursday at the IFA show in Berlin. Hopefully we will learn more information on the tablet such as launch date and price. The CDMA sticker on the side of the tablet in the picture answers some of our other questions.
source: iAndroid (Translated)

020304

Posted in Tablets

Alpha version of Fennec for Android and N900 released by Mozilla

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01Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox desktop browser, is now offering an Alpha version of its mobile Fennec browser for Android powered handsets, and for the Nokia N900. According to Mozilla, Fennec is the first mobile browser to offer add-ons and is built using the same technology that powers Firefox. The browser is a free download available from this link.

With Fennec installed on your phone, it is like bringing your desktop browser with you, thanks to Firefox Sync which allows you mobile access to your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, form-fill data and open tabs. The Alpha download includes “Electrolysis” and “Layers”. The former allows the browser interface to run separately from the part of the browser that is rendering pages. The latter allows the user to scroll faster,improves zooming and animation, and makes the browser better when it comes to graphical functions. Developers can build exciting, fast and powerful mobile apps and add-ons thanks to new technologies on board the software, like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
source: Mozilla

Posted in Software

New Samsung Galaxy Tab video examines the interface, in Korean

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Another day, another video of Samsung’s Froyo-running Galaxy Tab. This one goes through the interface, and is much clearer than the blurry leak yesterday. The Hummingbird chipset seems to enable buttery smooth interaction, and there is a size comparison between the Galaxy Tab, the iPad, and the Galaxy S smartphone.

All in all, not much is left unknown at this point about the 7″ Galaxy Tab, of which rumor has it Samsung has ordered to suppliers the modest 100 000 units per month for the initial launch to gauge the interest. The only thing for us now is to line up for the official unveiling next week at IFA 2010.
via GSMArena

Posted in Tablets

TeleNav “OnMyWay” app sends out alerts when you’re running late

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Ever find yourself late for a meeting because of traffic, and when you arrived at your destination, your party had gone? Sure, you might have tried to send out a text, but tapping out a message while driving is a big no-no! TeleNav has come up with an app that will handle a situation like this. The company, known for its navigation software for AT&T and Sprint, has developed “OnMyWay”. With this app, if you are running late, the software will spring into action and send out a text or e-mail with a new ETA, to a pre-selected group of recipients.

Setting the app is a matter of taking care of a few simple steps. Enter your destination and expected arrival time, input a list of recipient’s text or e-mail info, and you are then ready to hit the road. You can also add a personal message for some of the recipients and no one will know your location except yourself.

So no longer will you need to fumble for the phone to send out a text while you are driving, or curse at the traffic light for turning green while you are in the middle of writing out your excuse. Already available for the BlackBerry platform, starting today “OnMyWay” can be downloaded on your iPhone or Android phone for free from the App Store or the Android Market respectively.

source: AndroidGuys, TUAW

TeleNav "OnMyWay" app sends out alerts when you're running late TeleNav "OnMyWay" app sends out alerts when you're running late
OnMyWay for the iPhone
TeleNav "OnMyWay" app sends out alerts when you're running late TeleNav "OnMyWay" app sends out alerts when you're running late
OnMyWay for the iPhone

Posted in Software

A battery endurance test of Android phones confirms that “DROID DOES”

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A battery life test run by the folks from Laptopmag has produced some predetermined results. They wrote an Android app to run a web browsing test in controlled environment (60 websites changed every 60 seconds), and turned off all but the cellular data connectivity options. The web browsing was left plain and simple, with Flash and other plug-ins off, and the screens remained on all the time with 40% brightness.

The results are not very surprising if you look at the official manufacturer’s numbers for the tested handsets, however it’s good to have them confirmed by a 3rd party as well. The worst performer was the HTC Droid Incredible, but the authors admit that the type of testing chosen takes the most toll on AMOLED screens. Their power consumption when showing white backgrounds, as found in most websites, is triple the one of regular LCD displays. In other circumstances like shades of gray or colors, they consume way less power, but white is a killer. If the testers had chosen continuous video play, for instance, the results of the Incredible probably would have been better. Not to mention that it has a 1300mAh battery, while most of the others tested are with 1500mAh ones.

Nevertheless, on top of the smartphone pack climbed the two latest DROIDs from Motorola. The DROID 2 lasted 7:07 hours, and the DROID X the whopping 7:42 hours. Considering these two handsets are with the power-sipping TI OMAP 3630 produced with the 45nm technology, those hours are quite explicable. We wonder if the Super AMOLED screens don’t have the same power consumption disadvantage to the LCDs when a white background is continuously displayed that the AMOLED ones have. That might explain the fact that Samsung’s Vibrant, Captivate and EPIC 4G fared worse than the DROIDs, regardless of the fact that their Hummingbird chipsets are produced with the 45nm process as well.

Of note here was the top-notch performance of the Dell Streak, which fitted right smack in the middle between the DROIDs with 7:35 hours of battery life as tested. And this is despite the large 5″ screen, and the 65nm Snapdragon inside. Looks like the Streak was born to browse.

Have a look at the full endurance chart below to see how everybody fared.
source: LaptopMag

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Posted in Phones

Blurry video captures the essence of the Samsung Galaxy Tab

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Just the other day we reported that Samsung had started passing along the word that the Korean manufacturer’s Android tablet, unlike other mythical things caught on camera like BigFoot and the Abominable Snowman, is actually for real. The Galaxy Tab and its 7 inch display were caught on  a blurry video thanks to a spy camera that appears to sneak up on someone using the device.

While being far from the clearest video, we can make out the Froyo app launcher and the photo gallery. At the beginning of the video is a telephone keypad which might be used to make video calls thanks to the front facing camera. We should learn a lot more about the tablet, which looks alot like a Galaxy S handset on steroids, during the IFA show in Berlin on September 2nd.

Posted in Tablets

Google Finance goes mobile friendly across all platforms

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The constant ups and downs associated with the stock market can get anyone into a dizzying frenzy – even more if they’re unable to access share prices on the go. Well now, it looks as though Google is helping those financial astute individuals a lending hand by unifying the experience of Google Finance across a variety of platforms. Whether you’re using an Android handset, an iPhone, or simply resorting to usuing your personal computer, the experience is now going to be the same across those specific platforms. Google announced today that they are launching the new edition of Google Finance for the Android and iOS platforms which enables anyone to keep up with the constantly changing moods of the stock market. The mobile experience offers all the same features and functionality that you would typically find on their regular site – plus it’s now available as an app in the Android market.
source: Google Mobile Blog

0203

Posted in Software

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