AndEtch opens its doors for all your Android pimping needs

Remember a few weeks back when I told you about the awesome custom etched Galaxy Nexus battery doors that you could get through an IndiGoGo project? Well the IndiGoGo project has successfully come to an end but our good buddy Omar Trujillo isn’t finished just yet. After exceeding his pledge goal 6x over, Omar decided it was time to set up a more permanent outlet for Android lovers to pimp out their beloved handsets. Enter AndEtch - your one stop shop for the ultimate in Android device customization.
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Motorola Now Selling Water Repellent Wi-Fi Only Xyboard Tablets (Update: they were splash proof all along)

Interesting news coming from the Motorola camp as they are now offering their Xyboard tablets with nano-coating technology. The good news is that is means the Wi-Fi only tablets are now water-resistant, allowing users to simply wipe off spills in case of an accident. The bad news is that this doesn’t apply to the 4G laden Verizon models, and no, Moto isn’t going to upgrade them either. So if you already bought a Xyboard from Verizon, you are just going to need to remain being careful with your device around liquids. Kind of a lame move on Motorola’s part, it would’ve been nice to see an upgrade option even if was for a nominal fee. No word on whether Motorola teamed up with Liquipel or HzO, or just created their own coating.

In case you were wondering, the prices remain the same as before. $399 for the 8.2-inch and $499 for the 10.1-inch, but this time around Moto is throwing in a free $90 portfolio case with purchase. If you have been looking to get a new Xyboard but have been holding out, now would be the time to get one. Hit one of the source links below to make a purchase.

Update: Looks like they were always splash proof. In fact this is from the original presser about the DROID XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1:

Both are equipped with scratch-resistant displays that use Corning® Gorilla® Glass to stay brilliant and a coating of water-repellent nanoparticles makes them resistant to accidental spills and splashes.

Even Rob missed this in his review. With so many devices and so many specs, sometimes things fall through the cracks. We’re sorry about the confusion.

source: Xyboard 8.2 / Xyboard 10.1
via: Unwired View

Why I Want an Android Brain Implant

In this day and age, technology is designed to make our lives simpler. We no longer need to pull over to a rest area to use a payphone. Paper maps are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We can now carry thousands of books with us without requiring years of weight training. The devices we carry with us every day are rapidly becoming indispensable.

So this is why we freak out when we suddenly don’t have access to our smartphones, either through damage or loss. This single point of failure is why we have a growing market of protective phone cases, insurance, and remote wipe software. How can we guarantee we’ll never lose or break our phones? Only one way I see…remove the device from the equation.

If there was no physical device we had to keep track of, there would obviously be no fear of losing it. But the device is what gives us the power to do all those wonderful things. So what if we natively had the same abilities our smartphones have without having to carry anything around? Enter the Android Brain Implant™ (ABI).


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Turn Your Smartphone Into a Real World First Person Shooter with AppTag

Okay I’ll admit it, when I am out in public I secretly think to myself when looking at random people, “pew pew, got you.” What I mean by that of course is that if I had a Nerf gun or laser tag device I’d run around and shoot them at random folk. Now before you look at me like I am weird and all, you can’t admit that you wouldn’t do the same or at least think about doing the same. When I saw the XAPPR AR idea I got excited about this becoming a reality. Well AppTag Laser Tag looks to throw their hat into the ring as well. As they put it:

“Imagine over 1,000 people all playing together across an entire city, or 10-20 friends battling it out in a park!  AppTag will allow for Real World First Person Shooter Games…it’s like Call of Duty in the real world!”

How can anyone not like a “real world” Call of Duty-esque experience? Well much like the Laser-etched Galaxy Nexus backplates there is a campaign to make this a reality and all they want is some help from us folk in the form of a donation. Their goal of $30,000 has already been reached but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to donate. Those who pledge money from now until the end of the campaign (9 days from now) will get a guarantee of delivery from the first batch and at a discounted price to boot! It will come with a free app so that you can play immediately when the gun is delivered. You can get it all for $39.99 for a single unit or $74.99 for a two pack and it will be available in June online and in stores.

The company is also releasing the SDK for the developers to build their on augmented reality app that takes advantage of these guns. You can hit the source below to donate and get in on this augmented reality laser tag campaign. Like I said you have nine days to get in on the discount pricing and first-batch shipments. I know I’m going to. Enjoy!

 

source: Kickstarter Campaign

 

 

Xperia Phones Used to Drive Automated Cars on Real Life Reckless Racing Track

We talked plenty about Sony’s Xperia line of phones over the past couple months, the Xperia P and U, Xperia S, Xperia IonXperia Play2 and the Hayabusa(?). Now, it’s time to see what the Xperia name can really do… on the racetrack. The Reckless Racing 2 racetrack. In real life even!

The crazy people behind the Xperia Studio have taken a couple of MGF cars and completely automated them to be driven entirely by the physical buttons of the Xperia Play and the touchscreen of the Xperia S. I don’t suspect this is anything that you think about when shopping for a smart phone, let alone will attempt to do, but it’s pretty bad-ass nonetheless. What you are about to see is a couple of grown men playing with some seriously cool toys. Check out the video below and let us know what you think.

YouTube Preview Image

If you want to see more on this Xperia Studio experiment and others, be sure to hit up the source link.

source: Xperia Studio
via: Xperia Blog 

 

Beats Audio No Longer Limited to HTC Devices, Now Flashable to Any Gingerbread ROM [Updated]

I am sure many of you are familiar with Dr.Dre’s Beats Audio line and that HTC bought exclusive rights to integrating the audio improvement software in their devices. I’ve heard people say that their HTC/Beats device provides a sound that is unmatched to other devices they have owned and I’ve also heard folks say the improvement isn’t even noticeable. While I am still on the fence on whether or not this software actually makes a noticeable difference, at the same time I have yet to couple the experience with a quality pair of headphones. Either way, the Beats Audio software is no longer tied to just HTC devices and is now flashable for non HTC owners to enjoy. Now you can be the judge on whether or not HTC spent their money wisely.

Since Beats Audio is nothing but software, thanks to XDA members fuss132 and willblake13, we now have an easy way to flash Beats Audio to any rooted device running a Gingerbread ROM. It’s pretty simple really, all you need to do is hit up the XDA link at the bottom of this post, download the .zip file, and flash through CWM. Not much to it. The real question is whether or not you will notice a difference. Although fuss132 takes a similar stance as I do and says “I think at some ponts beats audio is only a audio marketing strategie,”  he also claims “The sounds will be more natural, playing with more clarity.” However contradicting that may sound, he includes some test results that clearly show that there is some level of improvement to be gained. So if you’re the flash-happy type of person I think you are, you should check it out and decide for yourself. Test results after the break.

Beat on my friends… Beat on

Update: It looks as though this didn’t bode well with someone (most likely HTC) and the thread has been removed from XDA already. If you have more insight please let me know, I am curious.

source: XDA


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Qualcomm Atheros Launches 802.11ac WiFi Ecosystem

Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon S4 processor already makes our mouths water, but there’s yet another reason why we can’t wait to get our hands on an S4-based device. The current WiFi standard is about to get just a smidge faster. Qualcomm Atheros has officially launched the 802.11ac WiFi ecosystem by unveiling the WCN3680 module, which attaches directly to the Snapdragon S4 chip. The WCN3680 module will feature high data transfer while having fairly low power consumption– we can expect to see data transfer speeds of up to 433Mbps. Yeah, this puppy looks like it’s ready to stream high quality content.

Now that Qualcomm Atheros has placed it’s new wireless standard into the limelight, we expect to see the technology in action and perhaps a device or two featuring the technology at MWC next week. Hit the break to see the full press release.


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ASUS Officially Releases Transformer Prime Bootloader Unlock Tool

Finally! ASUS has officially released the Transformer Prime bootloader unlock tool that they have been talking about for what seems an eternity. Just as they promised, ASUS has delivered the tool in the month of February so now the development side of things is about to get exciting. Before today, the Transformer Prime was blocked from doing any major tinkering, like flashing custom ROMs, kernels and those oh so fun MODs. Once a major deterrent to many perspective buyers, the availability of an unlock tool will now give users the option of customization, probably my most favorite thing about Android.

Available now, the bootloader unlock tool doesn’t come without warning. ASUS makes it clearly known that if you decide to unlock your TP’s bootloader, you will knowingly forfeit your manufacturers warranty and all future OTA updates. Although ASUS claims this method is irreversible, I give it a couple weeks before the development community figures out a way to re-lock the device.

If you’re ready to get your home-brew on, head over to the source link you see below for the full run-down and harrowing warning from ASUS. As always, Talk Android takes no responsibility for what you do to your own device so don’t blame us if something goes awry. That being said, who’s ready for some flashin’ action!? I know I am!

source: ASUS
via: Phandroid

 

Magical Spray Makes Everything an Antenna [Video]

We’ve all had issues with cell phone reception at one point or another. Sometimes there’s just not enough cell towers to blanket an entire area, or the antenna on our phone is just too weak. If you’re sure you’re not holding it wrong, then perhaps you could use Chamtech Enterprise’s just unveiled spray-on antenna.

At Google’s inaugural Solve For X conference, the Utah-based company revealed their nanotechnology, which can be sprayed on to trees, walls, the ground, people… just about anything, to increase and improve signal reception for any variety of uses. Currently, Chamtech is working with government customers, but plans to eventually take the technology to mobile phone and medical device makers. They say it uses organic elements to tinker with magnetic and radio-frequency fields, improving mobile energy efficiency by 10 percent. 
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Galaxy Nexus Desktop Better Than Motorola Webtop?

Motorola has long been pushing their Webtop-enabled phones, allowing folks to use their phones as a pseudo-desktop or laptop, complete with keyboard, trackpad, and monitor. YouTube user Christian Qantrell decided to see if he could replicate something similar using only his unrooted Galaxy Nexus, Apple keyboard and trackpad, and computer monitor.

His goal was to do this using only standard equipment with no hacking. Connecting his phone to the monitor using an MHL adapter, and using his Bluetooth connected keyboard and trackpad, he manages a surprisingly smooth experience. Having a large trackpad helps replicate finger swipes and gestures, allowing for a more natural feel. Other surprise features that just work are Alt-Tab bringing up Android’s native task switcher, and the Esc key acting as a back button. Check out his video after the break.


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