Transformer Prime GPS Dongle Demoed on Video, Locks onto 16 Satellites in Just Seconds

One of the most reported complaints about the ASUS Transformer Prime is the trouble it has locking on to a GPS signal. Now, whether or not that is even a valid complaint for a tablet can be argued until blue in the face. I personally think using a tablet for a GPS unit is a silly thought and would never think to Velcro my Prime to my cars window or strap it to my bike’s handlebars. But who am I to judge? And apparently ASUS doesn’t want to judge either because they want to keep their positive customer service in tact and have offered Prime owners a solution – a free GPS dongle.

All a Prime owner needs to do is simply register their tablet and in a few weeks will receive this tablet add-on in the mail. Speaking of receiving a dongle in the mail, our pals at Engadget already got their dongle and put together a little video showing how it can drastically improve GPS reception. The Prime managed to lock on to 16 satellites in only a matter of seconds and should prove to be more than enough signal for anyone. It may not be the prettiest of solutions, but hey, at least it free. Jump past the break to check it out in action.
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RIM Stopping The Android Market “Cesspool” On The PlayBook

Reasearch In Motion has decided to drop the major bombshell and stop the ability to sideload Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook. It’s reasoning? RIM highlights 53 percent of surveyed Android developers believe app piracy is either somewhat of a problem or a huge problem. This seems to fall in line with recent findings showing apps being published without (Android) developer consent. Here’s Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations summing it up best:

“[P]iracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.”

While it seems like it’s a direct attack on the Android platform, there’s actually some reasoning to his statement. The Android Market Play Store has a number of quality apps available, but every now and then users will have to search through a multitude of poorly developed apps in order to find the real jewels. RIM wants to keep the integrity of its own app store by keeping its app ecosystem full of quality apps— even if the number is dwarfed by what is found in the Play Store. That means reducing the number of unofficially ported apps to the PlayBook in favor of a smaller number of apps that were developed, tested and certified by developers and RIM.

Thoughts?

source: GigaOM

Transform your DROID RAZR into a RAZR MAXX for $110

For many DROID RAZR owners out there, the DROID RAZR MAXX is a topic of bitterness and jealousy. I would certainly not be impressed if my cellphone carrier decided to release a nearly identical version of my new phone with a gigantic increase in battery life and sell it at the same exact price only 2 months after mine was released. However, for the handy men and women out there, there is a solution that might be of some interest. Cellphone Repair Shop has created a DROID RAZR MAXX conversion kit that will set you back $110. Apparently the phones have identical hardware except for the back housing/battery cover. The kit includes:

  • Instruction manual with step-by-step guidance
  • 3300 mAh battery
  • DROID RAZR MAXX back housing/battery cover
  • SIM/SD card door
  • Adhesive tape

The base kit doesn’t seem to include the tools necessary to unscrew and pry the back cover off, however you can request to have those included for an additional cost. I realize that this may not be the perfect solution for some, but for those that want to double their battery life, this would be cheaper than breaking contract or even using an upgrade to grab a RAZR MAXX. Let us know if this kit will be the answer to your DROID RAZR woes in the comments.

source: Cellphone Repair Shop

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.

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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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