Soak test starting for U.S. Motorola XOOM WiFi, Jelly Bean incoming

We already knew that the Motorola XOOM will be receiving Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean sooner rather than later so it’s no surprise soak testing is about to begin. Motorola just sent out emails to Motorola forum members that own the XOOM WiFI inviting them to test an upcoming update. Although we can’t say with 100% certainty that this upcoming soak test is indeed Jelly Bean, I think it’s safe to assume that it is.

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We would like to invite to you take part in a software test for owners of the U.S. Wi-Fi Xoom. If you are not using a U.S. Wi-Fi Xoom, please excuse and ignore this message.

If you’re interested in testing new software and providing feedback about your experience, please fill out this short registration form:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=s8wLrWAR2ZbnUuF0A9SnDA_3d_3d

We recommend you respond as quickly as possible as start times are generally fluid. Please be patient if we don’t contact you right away — and be prepared for a launch at any time.

When we’re ready to begin we will send an email with more information, if you register successfully.

Assuming everything goes well, all users should see the update by the end of the week or next week at the latest!!

Cheers Mark and Ted

AT&T Motorola Atrix HD unboxing and initial hands on review [Video]

Will the third time be the charm for Motorola and AT&T? The first Atrix debuted about 1 1/2 years ago, and it’s hard to believe we’re already on the third installment. The Atrix HD is the first Motorola phone to hit North America with a 720p HD screen. It features ColorBoost technology, which is trademarked by Motorola. What exactly it refers to is unknown, but it just might be another way of saying Super AMOLED. The price of $99 screams mid-level, but this is far from that with some pretty hefty specs.

It features a 4.5-inch HD (1280 x 720) display with ColorBoost technology, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, 8GB of storage, microSD slot for an additional 32 GB of storage, 1780 mAh non removable battery, HSPA+, LTE, Android 4.0.4, and a hefty dose of Kevlar and nano coating. It comes in at 8.4mm thick which is .5mm thinner than the DROID RAZR MAXX. The reason for that is that it doesn’t have the massive 3300mAh battery that the RAZR MAXX sports. With a price of $99, I guess you can’t complain.

If you pre-ordered your Nexus 7 from Gamestop, good news, it’s now in stock

Those of you that decided to order your Nexus 7 through Gamestop are the lucky ones because you will be able to play with your new Nexus 7 before those that ordered it through Google Play. Gamestop is sending out texts and emails letting those who pre-ordered know that it’s in stock and ready for pick up.

Now if you didn’t pre-order, don’t plan on stopping by to snag one because they only received enough stock to cover pre-orders. The regular supply won’t hit stores until August 7.

source: reddit

Featured Play Store Newbie: Bomb The Zombies [Game-Casual]

Right off the bat, let me tell you that this game is a lot like Angry Birds, but there are some differences that make it very fun to play, not to mention it has a 4.5 rating in the Google Play Store. In this game each level consists of a structure with a few Zombies. Your goal is to toss bombs on to the structure in the hopes of knocking it down and thereby killing the zombies, much like Angry Birds. The big difference is the tossing. In Angry Birds you toss the birds in a horizontal fashion by aiming high or low. In Bomb the Zombies the bombs are placed in front of the structure so you can aim high or low, but you also need to aim to the right or left. This is all done with a swipe of your finger.

A few lucky souls in the UK receive their Nexus 7 today from Ebuyer

Yesterday we reported how things are looking for U.S. shipments of the Nexus 7, which show customers with early pre-orders receiving them either today or early next week. There are already reports of some lucky people in the UK receiving their coveted Nexus 7 today,  at least the ones who ordered through Ebuyer. It also looks like these shipments might be in error as the site shows that they aren’t expecting to start shipping until July 19th.

source: reddit

Apparently you don’t need a Tegra 3 device to enjoy extended effects

 

With the release of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, we’ve seen a few games that are either only compatible with devices that have the Tegra 3 or sometimes the game is compatible with many devices, but certain aspects like “extended effects” are only compatible for those same Tegra 3 devices. One example is the recent release of Dead Trigger. Upon the release, Madfinger games told us that it’s available for most devices, but if you want the extended effects, you need a Tegra 3-powered device. Some of these extended effects include enhanced water, specular lighting, volumetric fog and ragdoll physics.

The interesting thing is that you really don’t need a Tegra 3 device to enjoy these extended effects. XDA member SnakeHaveYou found a way to enable other non Tegra 3 devices to be able to play Dead Trigger, but enjoy the same extended effects that only Tegra 3 devices get. With a rooted device, a file explorer and some xml editing, you will be good to go. In a nutshell, the game is set up to see if you have a Tegra 3, and if you do, it allows you access to the extended effects. Hit the break for the instructions.

HTC releases kernel source for both the T-Mobile One S and the Sprint EVO 4G LTE

HTC seems to be running a little slow with kernel releases, but better late than never. They just released the kernel source for both the T-Mobile One S and the Sprint EVO 4G LTE. Again these source codes don’t mean much unless you’re a developer, but if you own one of these phones, you can be on the look out for better performance from custom ROMs.

source: HTCDev

 

Android and Samsung continue to dominate smartphone market share

At the end of 2011, the Android OS had a 46.3% market share for smartphones, but now they are officially over the 50% mark according to Nielsen’s latest report for the 2nd quarter of this year. The Android OS continues to climb and of all smartphone users, 51.8% of them are running Android. The question that is always asked next is where’s Apple stand? Well things aren’t so bad for Apple’s iOS. They are sitting at 34.3%, which is still a gain of about 4.3% from the end of 2011. If you ask me this is very good considering that it’s one phone per year with one manufacturer, whereas Android is doing it with several phones from several manufacturers.

Samsung releases source code for AT&T Galaxy Note ICS kernel, CyanogenMod Nightlies already available

Samsung has been releasing a lot of source codes lately so it’s no surprise the AT&T Galaxy Note Ice Cream Sandwich kernel was just released. In case you aren’t aware of it, the ICS update hit Kies a couple of days ago. With the release of the source code, CyanogenMod Nightlies are now supported for the AT&T Galaxy Note. Just hit the source link to get started.

source: Samsung, CyanogenMod

Featured Play Store Newbie: MacroDroid [Tools]

There are a few automation apps in the Google Play Store, but MacroDroid is a fairly new one that looks to make things a little simpler. In speaking with the developer, he sees it as having the power of Tasker, but it’s simple enough for your Mom to use. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.

Apps like MacroDroid are useful to every Android user because they can automate tasks. It makes you more productive, and in many cases can prolong your battery. For example, you can easily program your phone to turn off your Bluetooth or Wifi depending on your location or even if you launch a particular app. You can also make things easier like for example, you can set your phone to upload the last photo to Facebook just by shaking your device or even respond to an incoming text message by sending your current location. Not only that, if your phone has NFC, you can utilize NFC tags to trigger certain actions.

Simple root toolkit now available for both international and U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III

I know there are a lot of you that might want to get into rooting and utilizing custom ROMs, but just don’t know where to start. Although it’s always best to do things the manual way, we can understand why some of you might want something that’s quick, simple, and has everything in one place. That’s exactly what toolkits do. They allow you to unlock and root your device as well as flash custom recoveries and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Well XDA member mskip has a toolkit available for the international Galaxy S III (i9300) as well as 3 of the 4 U.S. Galaxy S III’s (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint). Obviously Verizon isn’t included since the bootloader is locked. The U.S. variants get one universal toolkit, while the international version has its own. Hit the break to see a list of all the features, download links, and forum links.

Verizon Galaxy S III is finally available online and in stores

It might have a locked bootloader, but Verizon is likely to sell a lot of Galaxy S III’s. After being available at AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for a few weeks now, it’s finally available at Big Red. You can order it online with free shipping or go to the store and see it for yourself in person. It’s priced at $199 for the 16GB version and $249 for the 32GB version. Let us know if you pick one up.

 

Garnet Red AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III pre-orders begin July 15th, In-store July 29th

When AT&T announced they would be carrying the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, they told us they would offer an exclusive special edition red version this Summer. They just announced that you can pre-order it beginning July 15th and it will be in stores starting July 29th. More importantly, they finally gave us a press shot so we can see what it will look like. We assume the pricing will be the same as the Pebble Blue and Marble White versions as they didn’t mention it. Hit the break for one more image.

Amazon talking to Google about offering the Nexus 7

Amazon made a big splash last fall with the Kindle Fire. Priced at $199 it was priced to sell. Fast forward 9 months and Google changed the game with the Nexus 7, also priced at $199, but with severely better specs. Now we know Amazon isn’t going to sit back as they probably will offer newer tablets later this year, but would they sell the Nexus 7 directly from their store? They are a full-fledged retailer aren’t they?

Well, not surprisingly they are in talks with Google, and they are considering carrying it. TechRadar was able to get a quote from an Amazon spokesperson, and they said, “People higher up in Amazon are talking to Google regarding the Nexus 7.”

Peter Alfonso releases Bugless Beast 4.1 Jelly Bean AOSP ROM for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

If you own a Verizon Galaxy Nexus (toro), and you’re looking for a good AOSP-based Jelly Bean ROM, then you might want to try Peter Alfonso’s Bugless Beast 4.1. It’s based on Android 4.1.1 and is as close to stock as it gets. For enhancements, he did include native tethering, Google Wallet, improved scrolling, louder audio output, and Chrome is the default browser. It’s recommended that you download the offline speech recognition package in Google Search settings once you install the ROM.