Ice Cream Sandwich will feature native screenshot capability

I am sure you are still giddy with excitement after we just showed you an actual image of the Galaxy Nexus. We thought you might want to keep the ball rolling and get a little ICS goodness as well.

It appears that the highly anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich OS will include native screenshot capabilities. This time around we won’t need to be rooted or need to have any add-ons to be able to to capture a screenshot image, with the Galaxy Nexus you just hit volume down and power to save the image. This may not seem like a very nifty feature to some of you but once you get your new Galaxy Nexus I am sure you are going to want to brag to your friends about how cool ICS really is.

Our pals over at Android Police stumbled upon a couple of binaries within ICS proving that a couple apps (screenshot and screencap) are in charge of the native screenshot feature. Yes, these are also found in Honeycomb as well but in ICS you won’t need root in order for them to work!

screenshot
usage: screenshot [-s soundfile] filename.png
-s: play a sound effect to signal success
-i: autoincrement to avoid overwriting filename.png

screencap

[-hp] [FILENAME]
-h: this message
-p: save the file as a png.
If FILENAME ends with .png it will be saved as a png.
If FILENAME is not given, the results will be printed to stdout.

See you all later in the proverbial YouTube theater!

[via android police]

Quick Look At Today’s Free Amazon App: Retro Defense

If you’re a Tower Defense kind of guy or gal, Today’s Free Amazon App is right up your alley.  Courtesy of Amazon and developer Larva Labs Ltd., they’ve made their popular graphics rich, Retro Defense, available today for free.  This action packed game allows you to set up your own towers, leaving you to fend off unwanted invaders as you soar through the levels.  In this strategic game, tower placement is the key.  Each tower you incorporate has to be chosen carefully as one might offer special benefits but another a great weakness.  Some towers can be built quickly and can withstand attacks while others are more susceptible to crumble at the hand of the enemy.  You’ll be equiped with various weapons for defense such as lasers, missiles and crazy shock waves.

“Fast-paced, addictive and beautifully designed, this top-rated game offers outstanding fun for strategy game fans.”

The game is being touted as “difficult to review” because those who review it often get caught in the cross-hairs of an addiction.  We’ll let you be the judge of that.  Ready for the download?  Make sure you have the Amazon App Store side loaded to your device and then log in for today’s application.  To download the App Store simply point your browser here and add your email or phone number to field in the upper right hand corner.  You’ll quickly receive a download link and be on your way.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  Hit the break for a few extra screen shots of the game in action.  
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Google I/O 2012 dates announced

It looks like Google is already preparing for the annual Google I/O developer conference next year in San Francisco’s Moscone West Convention Center. Today, the Google Code Blog announced that the 2012 I/O will be taking place on April 24th and 25th. The convention gathers developers from far and wide treating them to various workshops and new Android apps/features that can be expected in the near future. It is hard to imagine what to expect when we are still hours away from the unveiling of this years big announcement, Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich.

At this year’s developers’ conference we got a glimpse at ICS and Android 3.1 for tablets (and eventually for Google TV) and we were also treated to the introduction of Android@Home, Android Market Movie Rentals, Google Music Beta, and the Open Accessory Development Kit.

With all the free tech goodies given out at this year’s I/O you can bet the number of wishful attendees has increased tenfold. 2011 ticket-holders received a free limited edition Galaxy Tab 10.1, a fancy new Chromebook, and a 4G LTE hotspot from Samsung and Verizon. This year’s tickets managed to sell out within the first hour of sales so if you are planning on making a trip down to SF next year I suggest you be on point and keep an eye out for when registration goes live.

What do you guys think Google has up their sleeve for next years I/O? A little Jelly Bean perhaps?

[via googlecode]

Samsung files for preliminary injunction on the Apple iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan

I don’t think this is a shocker to anyone. After last week’s setback in which Apple was granted an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung just filed for a preliminary injunction on the Apple iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan. In Japan, they are also asking for an immediate ban on iPad 2 and iPhone 4 sales.

Samsung already filed preliminary injunctions on the iPhone 4S in France and Italy about 2 weeks ago, and they are appealing the decision in Australia.

Samsung says Apple Inc. continues to violate its patent rights and “free ride on our technology.”

[via usatoday]

T-Mobile Springboard Tablet Should Come In Under $200 (Video Demo)

T-Mobile will soon launch a new affordable 7″ Android tablet called the Springboard. Made by Huawei, this new device is said to drop sometime in November and will come in at under $200. The Springboard tablet felt pretty solid in hand, almost heavy, but gave me the feeling of  good build quality. With such a reasonable price point for a Honeycomb tablet, I am sure this will be a hit in the coming months.

We were at CTIA this year and got a quick demo of the Springboard tablet by a rep from Huawei. Although he seems a little unsure of himself on video, I can attest to the quality of this device. The picture was surprisingly good and had great color reproduction. The dual-core processor was very snappy and made transitioning between homepages a breeze. The opening of apps was almost instantaneous, I hardly noticed any lag at all. It appears that the bloatwear was kept to a minimum although this was Huawei’s demo unit, meaning the final build may slightly differ.

The Huawei Springboard is going to be  a T-Mobile exclusive and no word on the release of a Wi-Fi only version. Although we can’t report an exact price right now, we are confident that it will be under $200. As soon as we get a specific price we will let you know.

Join us after the break for a list of features, pictures, and a short demo video.


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Try Out 4G LTE On Your Xoom With Your Phone’s 4G Data Plan

Have you recently upgraded your Xoom to 4G, but haven’t activated a data plan on it yet? It turns out, if you have a 4G enabled smartphone from Verizon, you can throw its SIM card into the XOOM and enjoy some 4G LTE goodness. Obviously when you do this, your phone will not be able to receive calls, so this isn’t a permanent thing. It’s not known how Verizon will handle this, but I’d have to guess they’ll put a stop to it somehow. If your phone is still on an unlimited data plan, you should be able to rock this on your Xoom as well. Give it a shot and see how it works, but just be careful. Let us know what you discover.

[via droidlife]

Acer Founder Stan Shih Confident Android Will Overcome Apple

In a recent interview with Taiwan’s Chinese-language United Daily News, Acer Inc. founder Stan Shih states that the Android operating system is destined to overcome Apple’s iOS through its combined efforts of Wintel (Windows+Intel) and Google innovations. Shih goes on to say that the alliance between Intel and Google is a match that proves to be good news for “Android leaguers” as the two companies will innovate and provide better solutions for optimizing Android’s speed and performance. Furthermore, he predicts the Android-powered, Atom processor-built portable communication devices will overtake Apple in PC development.

Regarding the post-PC era, Shih said that we shouldn’t expect a true end to that part of the industry but rather we will see it evolve into more diverse forms such as tablets and smartphones. Manufacturers of display panels and IC chipsets, he says, will be instrumental with their production capabilities and capacity for the global supply chain of PCs, whose production will also evolve to envelop the growing PCD consumer demand.

[via cens]

Quanta Computer Lands Microsoft Deal Covering Android and Chrome Devices

Quanta Computer Inc., the electronics manufacturer that Amazon turned to this year to complete orders of their 7-inch Kindle Fire has now signed a patent agreement with Microsoft Corp. Microsoft issued the announcement and says it will provide broad coverage under its patent portfolio for Quanta’s consumer devices running Android and Chrome while confirming they will receive royalties from the manufacturer as part of the deal.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of the corporation’s intellectual property and licensing group made the the following statement:

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace.”

[via microsoft]

Motorola Xoom Family Edition Available For $379 As Best Buy Exclusive October 16th

The family friendly version of the Motorola Xoom, dubbed the Motorola Xoom Family Edition, has been officially announced as a Best Buy exclusive and will go on sale October 16th for $379. The tablet is meant for versatile use by all members of the family, enabling mom and dad to use it in the office with clients by day and cuddled up on couch with their kids at night. It’s pre-installed Zoodles application also allows parents to freely hand over the device to the kids, free from worry over inappropriate content. The price will only last for a limited time, so check out these specs and get it on your holiday list early.

  • Runs on Android 3.1, built specifically for tablets
  • 1GHz dual-core processor for lightning-fast responsiveness
  • 10.1” HS IPS HD screen display with capacitive multi-touch
  • 5MP back camera with flash, with 720p video webcam
  • Preloaded with almost $40 worth of applications, plus Zoodles™, the award-winning Kid Mode application
  • Preloaded with MotoPack by Motorola XOOM (App Downloader by Motorola)
  • Preloaded with Quickoffice™ Pro HD for seamless productivity at work
  • Preloaded with MotoPrint – the application that allows you to print straight from the Web browser
  • Preloaded with fun games like Asphalt 6 from Gameloft and SIM City Deluxe
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • Battery lasts up to 10 hours for video playback and Web browsing
  • Access to more than 250,000 apps in Android Market

Hit the break for Motorola’s full press release.


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Sony Ericsson’s Android-Based Xperia Smartphones Post Top Sales

A comment from Sony Ericsson’s President and CEO, Bert Nordberg, seems to parellel the company’s recently released third quarter 2011 financial data figures quite nicely:

“Android-based Xperia smartphone sales now account for more than 80% of sales… We will continue to invest in the smartphone market, shifting the entire portfolio to smartphones during 2012.”

The report shows that Sony Ericsson enjoyed an increase of 33% of sales quarter-on-quarter, but also that only 9.5 million units were shipped during this time, a decrease of 9% YOY. The decrease comes from a decline in demand for their feature phones and explains the company’s strong desire to shift entirely over to their Android meal ticket, which saw an increase that helped offset some of that decline. Sony Ericsson’s income before taxes were £31,000,00 (that’s $43 million US).

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the joining of Sony and Ericsson, a partnership that is up for renewal. It has been rumored that Sony may buy out the Ericsson side, a move that some believe would benefit this new Android-only direction and provide a integral leap in smartphone design, portable gaming systems and tablets moving forward.

[via sonyericsson]