Android’s greatest strength is its openness, allowing for a huge amount of support from the developer community. And while there has been tremendous success from some great teams in generating custom ROMs from the ground up, and piecing ROMs together from other sources, the best ROMs come right behind the manufacturers making the kernel sources available. HTC has been lagging a bit in that department lately, but it appears that they just got caught up. They have made available the kernel sources for their most recent devices, in one fell swoop. Developers, head over to their site to grab the source code for the Salsa and ChaCha, EVO 4G and 3D models, Droid Incredible 2, and Sensastion 4G, which are available now to complement the sources they had already released. We’re very excited to see what you cook up!
We’ve been happy to tell you about the Droid Charge since it launched, and in typical fashion, after launch, the biggest news we can share will have to do with updates. The official update for the Droid Charge is still pending, but it’s being tested. And as has been the case with practically every update being tested for any phone, the kernel that’s being tested — Android version EC1H for the Droid Charge is making its rounds on the intarwebz. Standard disclaimers apply to leaked, unsupported kernels, but if you’re feeling adventurous and would like a glimpse into Gingerbread on your Charge, hit the source link and check it out.
Farkle is a very popular dice game that started at the table and has made its way around to Facebook and mobile devices. Different sets of dice are worth different amounts of points. You have ten sets of rolls to accumulate the best score, and you take turns against a computer opponent. As with every version of the game, the trick comes in balancing when to turn a die in for points, and when to roll it again to better your chances of getting a set in your next roll.
Farkle Dice Deluxe has been in the Android market for a while wearing a modest price tag of .99, but is available for free today at Amazon. This is the ad-free version as well, and it’s worth a download for anyone who is even passingly interested in dice games.
Question: Is an Android device with a 5.3-inch screen a really big phone, or a really small tablet? I lean towards the former, but it’s definitely a gray area. Regardless, the rumor goin’ ’round is that Samsung is launching a device at exactly that size, and they seem to think it qualifies as a tablet. Maybe it doesn’t have phone capabilities? Anyway, the Samsung Galaxy Q is expected to be revealed publicly at IFA in Berlin this September, and maybe we’ll get the full scoop then. Word is it’ll have a Super AMOLED screen and probably rock a dual-core CPU. Stick around, we’ll keep you posted as more news becomes available. In the meantime, hit the comments and tell us what you think the ideal size for a tablet is.
We talked a lot about the HTC ChaCha, which was to be one of the first of what is expected to be a full line of Facebook-friendly phones. The HTC status has been available for preorder for about a week, and is now officially on sale at your regular expected AT&T retailer lines.
The HTC Status has an 800MHz, Android 2.3, 512MB internal memory, and an included 2GB sdcard. It also features full Facebook integration natively, a physical QWERTY keyboard much like a Blackberry’s, and overall is a decent phone for its $50 on-contract price tag. Anyone looking for a built-in social media experience or physical kayboard to go long with their Android experience should consider picking this one up.
It’s been rumored a lot lately that Amazon was planning to get into the official tablet market, moving past just their Kindle e-reader. There’s still a lot being speculated upon with regard to specifics, but reports are starting to come in that a 10.1-inch tablet (previously believed to be Android and built off the quad-core Kal-El, but that’s not mentioned at this point) is being built by Foxconn Electronics. It’s uncertain at this point whether or not it will be released in time for a holiday launch this year or if we’re looking more at the 2012 mark, but the latter is definitely possible. Quanta Computing is also slated to deliver a 7-inch tablet, but even less is known about that at this point, aside from it likely rocking a Tegra 2 chipset.
We’ll keep you posted as more info comes in. In the meantime, weigh on the comments — what’s YOUR ideal tablet size, and what specs does it have?
I’m sure most of you have used Bump — the app that lets you transfer contact info or even apps from one device to another by just bumping them together. Well, thanks to the rising star known as Near Field Communication, similar functionality will very soon be available on the Paypal Android app. That’s right, you’ll be able to transfer money just by entering an amount and then holding the two phones face-to-face. We knew it was coming — we told you back in January that it was going to happen — and Paypal announced yesterday that it will be coming very soon, and released a demo video of how the process works.
Currently, the Nexus S is the only phone that sports the NFC technology, and opportunities to use it are still pretty rare. The concept is catching on, though, and Paypal throwing their support behind the idea, it can only draw other developers in.
Would you use NFC to transfer money with a Paypal app? What other uses for NFC are you still waiting for? Let us know in the comments!
It’s no secret that there are plenty of instant messenger applications out there. Practically every company has their own chat service, each with its own client. The ones that tend to get my attention, however, are the clients that allow for multiple services to be run through one app. IM+ is one of the more popular of such apps, and it has received an update to bring it up to version 4.1.5. The key improvements are as follows:
- VKontakte and Yandex IM networks added (Cheers to our users from Russia!)
- New splendid emoticons
- Integration with Android Address Book
- New Compact Mode UI to fit smaller displays
- Ability to disable notifications in status bar
- DND status
- Improved IM+ Toast alerts
- Japanese localization
- Fixed fast battery draining //IM+ free
- Many bugfixes and performance optimizations
If you already have this app, be sure and grab the update, and if you don’t but it sounds appealing, drop by the market and download it.
Anyone who has spent much time at all in the Android dev community knows how often file upload s services like Megaupload and Rapidshare are used to distribute cracks and ROMs. While these sites are perfectly functional, users have to share bandwidth with people downloading various videos, music, and hacks of all kinds. Enter AndBuddy: A file upload service aimed specifically at giving Android developers a place to upload and share their ROMs and kernels. With a 100MB pipe and space reserved exclusively for Android developers, this looks like a cleaner, faster way to upload and download files that are of interest to the Android community at large. Giving developers one-click access to their files, it also allows them to share the link with the community. The service is currently is a closed beta, so you’ll have to hit the link on the front page to apply for registration, but the idea behind the site is sound, and if the beta is successful this could provide a streamlined pipe for our favorite Android developers. And of course, an Android app will be available soon. Developers can register via the main page, and anyone interested in more information should visit the site, hit the FAQ, or drop the AndBuddy team an email. And feel free to leave comments here and let us know what you think of this service!
One thing’s for sure about the Android dev community: They move fast. Less than two weeks after the device’s launch, root access has been achieved for the Evo 3D — both the stock version, and the updated kernel that was released OTA right after launch. Android dev agrabren announced via Twitter just hours ago that he has managed to root not one, but two different Evo 3D devices, one which was updated and one which wasn’t. He doesn’t yet have a method of distributing this hack to the general public, but he has successfully gained access. We’ll keep you posted on progress of general distribution in the upcoming days.
[via twitter, by way of phandroid forums]
The last few years, we’ve seen smartphones completely take over the consumer market. If there’s one thing that Apples iPhone has done well, it has taught the general public that smartphones aren’t just for geeks anymore. When you go to get a new cell phone now, you’ll see many choices of iPhones, Android phones, Blackberry devices, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS, all of which are now more prominent than “dumbphones” or feature phones. (Well, maybe not so much with the WebOS.) But as much as we love our smartphones, there’s one function that still can’t be met by your smartphone: Sitting around the table with your buddies, poring over a game board together. ePawn intends to bring those worlds together, with its Arena.
It’s no secret that here at TalkAndroid we love us some Android. We love the hottest, newest, coolest Android toys. Phones, tablets, rumors of radio-free mp3 players…we love them all. But honestly, for an open source platform, we’ve seen very little outside of phones and tablets. Where else might Android choose to reside? How about a headset? According to Nox Audio, it’s a perfect fit.
There has been a lot of uncertainty about the DROID Bionic. It was a much-anticipated phone, and then there was rumbling that it might never see the light of day. The most recent rumors were that it would make an appearance, but might not be exactly the phone we wanted. Sadly, we still don’t know MUCH for certain, but Motorola did promise us all via Twitter today that there will, definitely, be a phone released that they deem worth of the Bionic name.
Hang tight, DROID Bionic is coming and slated for summer release. Our team is working on some new updates
We just saw the first day of Summer, so they have approximately three months to finish up their updates and bring the phone to market, if this promise rings true. And I, for one, eagerly await more info! Leave us your thoughts in the comments, and we’ll bring you more news as soon as it comes to light.
Our very good friends over at Lookout Security have announced the discovery of a new piece of malware that’s harassing some Android users. GGTracker seems to be sneaking itself into a few users’ ads, and disguises itself as an Android Market installation screen. While relatively low-risk, it does have the potential to rack up some “premium SMS” charges for infected users, potentially signing you for services that charge directly to your phone bill and usually require user interaction to sign up for. It’s been sighted masquerading as a battery optimizer packaged as ‘t4t.pwower.management,’ and in a porn app packaged as ‘com.space.sexypic’ – so if you see either of those, be wary. As always, the best protection is to download Lookout Mobile Security from our apps database or from the Android Market to make sure you’re completely protected, and the premium version will give you added “Safe Browsing” security that will check all browser links for security before directing you there. (If you don’t already have Lookout Premium, but sure and use our exclusive promo code to save yourself five bucks on the purchase.)
So be wary, practice safe browser practices, and make sure you have at the very least the free version of Lookout installed on your phone. They’ll watch out for you.
[via lookout – thanks Alicia!!]
Tired of using your phone’s web browser to program your TiVo when you’re on-the-go? Of course you are. That’s so 2005. We live in the era of the smartphone, and I’m sorry, but we just need our apps. TiVo released an app for the iPad earlier this year, and made the statement via CEPro magazine that iPhone and Android apps will be showing up soon. So TiVo owners rest easy knowing that programming your records will get a little easier in the new future. Keep an eye on the market, and of course here — we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.