Google IO 2015 Coverage

Samsung KIES Tool Reaches Official Version 2.0

Samsung’s KIES tool is a very common method of syncing and updating Samsung phones, ESPECIALLY outside of the US. A lot of European Galaxy S phones have seen updates to Froyo or maintenance releases, for example, that are only available via the KIES utility. KIES has been running in a beta form of 2.0 for a bit now, but it has finally been finalized and 2.0 has been made “official.” For our non-US readers who use, or may want to use, KIES, you can go ahead and grab the update from the official site.

I’ve never used this utility myself, but have read mixed reviews. Love it, hate? Let us know in the comments if you’re a KIES user.

[via Samsung Mobile by way of EuroDroid]

Velocity Micro Announces 3 Android Tablets: Cruz L37, P38, and L510

Velocity Micro has anounced three new upcoming Android tablets. The 7-inch Cruz Tablet L37, the 8-inch Cruz Tablet P38 and the 10.1-inch Cruz Tablet L510.

The L37 has the following specs:

· 1024×600 display
· 802.11n wifi
· 4GB Internal memory
· Front and rear facing cameras
· 3G data options
· GPS and ecompass
· Bluetooth 2.1
· micro HDMI out

P38

· 1024×768 display
· 802.11n wifi
· 4GB Internal memory
· Front and rear facing cameras
· Bluetooth 2.1
· HDMI out

L510

· 1366x 768 display
· NVIDIA Tegra 250 Chipset
· 1GHz dual core CPU
· Front and rear facing cameras
· 3G data options
· Bluetooth 2.1
· GPS and eCompass
· HDMI out

All devices will have the Amazon Kindle app installed, and will be running “Android 2.2/2.3,” presumably launching with 2.2 and being upgraded to 2.3 later. No word on prices or availability at this time, but CES is only one day in, more information could become available at any time.

[via Engadget]

Unhappy With Your Current Launcher? Check Out Go Launcher

A fairly new launcher was brought to our attention today, and based on the writeup over at LifeHacker, it looks pretty cool. It has themability and screen gestures, as well a versatile and customizable app drawer, as well as the capability to have as many as 30 homescreens.

If you wanna try it out, download it via the QR code below, or the link to the developer’s site.

[via GoForAndroid, by way of LifeHacker]

Official Optimus 2X Announcement – First Dual-Core Phone

nVidia’s press conference was this afternoon, and they showed off the first dual-core phone on the market. We knew the LG Optimus 2X — also known as the Star — would be the first phone to sport the Tegra-2 dual-core chip, but this marks its first appearance stateside. No word on when it’ll actually launch or on which carrier, but there were some great specs released.

  • 1Ghz Dual-core Processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2)
  • 4-inch WVGA screen
  • Android 2.2 (Froyo), upgradeable to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD)
  • 1,500 mAh battery
  • 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • HDMI mirroring
  • 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording

Also, our friends over at IntoMobile have nice hands-on coverage, complete with video and a ton of pictures, so if you’re interested in this “Superphone,” you’ll want to check that out too.  Expect a lot more coverage of this phone, and it’s likely to be a shining star in the Android universe for the next few months.

[via Android Central and IntoMobile]

Android 3.0, Honeycomb – Just For Tablets?

Google ran a video of Honeycomb at CES this afternoon…several people on-site have attempted to share the video, but sadly, it’s marked as private, so anybody not there will just have to wait a bit. UPDATE: Engadget seems to have uploaded the video to their own servers and are streaming it on their site via flashplayer, so hit the link below for the video.  BoyGeniusReport has a nice screenshot of the general interface (shown above), and Engadget has some interesting information — most notably, that early in the video are the words “Entirely for tablet.” Many of us scoffed at the speculation that Honeycomb was going to be developed exclusively for tablets, but perhaps we were mistaken and we’ll never see Android 3.0 on a phone. That makes me wonder what Android versions will look like in a few years’ time. Perhaps both tablets and phones will meet up on 4.0 at a later date? Seems an interesting choice for an OS against whom the greatest criticism is fragmentation.

The interface is apparently being well-received, however, and we’ve heard a lot of talk about tablets running Honeycomb, so maybe we can get some hands-on over the next few days, now that the OS has been officially introduced.

[via Engadget and BoyGeniusReport]

Amazon Launches Developer Portal for its Own App Store

We’ve known for a while that Amazon was planning its own Android app store, and it looks like they’re kicking off the process. They have just made the developer side available for submissions. Apps can be uploaded via developer.amazon.com, and right in line with the native Android market, developers will keep 70 percent of the revenue, with Amazon taking the other 30. Some other things we know:

  • Developers will be paid once a month, within 30 days of the end of the month.
  • Excepting installation issues, there will be no refund process.
  • Devices will be tested for functionality on a multitude of devices, and will be tested to ensure they are not malicious.
  • Apps may be rejected for content; guidelines will be publicly posted.
  • It’s not yet certain how long approvals will take
  • When apps are available for purchase, customers will be able to purchase them either from the website, or directly from the phone.
  • Amazon wants its app store to be available on as many phones as possible. Amazon was a little vague on how AT&T’s ban on sideloading may affect this, but said “We’re working with them to figure out the best way to resolve that.”
  • There will be a $99 annual program fee, but this will be waived for the first year.

Time will tell how beneficial this app store will be, both to customers and developers. It seems unlikely that a large percentage of customers would rather go to Amazon than to the market that’s already built-in to their phone and which they are accustomed to using, and it seems unlikely that developers will submit their apps JUST to the Amazon market without also submitting to Google’s market. That said, only time will tell how Android users and developers will utilize this service. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

[via Android Central]

PayPal may be supporting NFC payments

Gingerbread_NFC

Android 2.3 comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities, despite the use of NFC is still a little unclear, although has huge potential for the future of digital transactions. A current rumor is that PayPal may be an early adopter of the NFC technology, suggesting a partnership with Google. If this deal goes down, PayPal may be supporting payments in the latter part of 2011.

Laura Chambers, Senior Director of PayPal Mobile, said a commercial NFC service in late 2011 is feasible and that Google could represent a viable partner. Given PayPal’s amount of transactions online and in mobile devices, this seems realistic for them to grab this new technology and start setting standards along with Google.

[via Business Week]

Samsung’s SH100 Camera Offer Wi-fi Support, Android Remote Control

Samsung has announced a new camera, the SH100. Normally, we don’t talk about cameras, so what makes this one special?  This 14.2-megapixel camera is Wi-Fi capable, and specially designed to interface with Galaxy S line of Android phones. You will be able to view the shot you’re about to take with your Galaxy S phone, control zoom in or out, and snap the shot all without touching the camera. Sounds great for self-portraits, or if you need to adjust some lighting or the subject but have the camera set up on a tripod. It will also pull the GPS location of your phone to geotag the photo. The camera can also use its wireless to upload photos directly to Facebook or Photobucket, but we’ve seen that before. The integration with Android is what makes this device so unique.

Anyone planning on making this their next camera? It’s got my attention, that’s for sure.

[via BusinessWire]

Battery Icon Modification Made Easy

My absolute favorite thing about the Android OS is how remarkably customizable it is. Even without rooting, you have tons of possibilities for themes, launchers, wallpapers, and notification sounds. But for those who have made the choice to root their phone, things open up even more — kitchens, roms, custom backups, and apps that REALLY dig in and change things. So, have you ever thought about maybe changing your battery icons? If you’ve ever looked into that, you know it’s always involved flashing an update.zip from recovery mode, or pushing files through adb — neither of those options are particularly painless or convenient.

Well, once again our friends over at XDA-Developers have whipped up a tool to help you out. theimpaler747 and appelflap have written an app that will allow rooted users simply to run the app and it will give you choices for icons that you can run, sorted by device. Currently supported devices, as of this writing:

  • GT-I9000
  • Epic 4G
  • HTC Hero CDMA
  • Nexus One
  • HTC Magic
  • Samsung Intercept
  • HTC Desire HD
  • Droid 1
  • Droid Incredible
  • HTC Evo
  • HTC Hero GSM
  • Dell Streak

It is highly, highly recommended that you do a full backup before using this app, as selecting icons that are not compatible with your phone or your rom could cause you some real headaches. It’s not hard to recover from, though, provided that you have a solid backup of your device as it is now.

Some of those icons look pretty cool, and my phone’s on the list…I may have to check this one out myself. If any of you do the same, be sure to let us know in the comments. More details and download at the source.

[via XDA-Developers]

Amazon will release Free Kindle Apps made for Android tablets

amazonkindle

With CES 2011 beginning tomorrow, and the amount of expected announcements at CES for new tablet devices, particularly Android tablets, Amazon is capitalizing on the hype and launching a tailored Amazon Kindle app for Android tablets which will give you access to over 775,000 Kindle books and the ability to read them anywhere via your Kindle library.

Smart play Amazon, giving another reason to use Amazon over Kobo or Nook.

Also, follow all the Android CES action via the following;

Here’s the press release below