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!
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.
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.
Android runs on everything! Though, it’s admittedly tougher to run on some things, of which the most common target are PCs. Those of us wanting to experiment in that department have typically found our way to projects like Android x86, which by the way has ICS development builds underway (Yes, I’m one of the experimenters). However, here’s another solution I hadn’t known about until today. It’s so far called “PunkThis” from CUPP Computing. Essentially what we have here is a PCB board attached through either SATA or PCI express. So yeah, stick this thing in your laptop’s hard drive bay and you’ll be running Android. The board is a great improvement over Android x86 in terms of compatibility. Most of the typical phone guts are part of the board, including a 1GHz TI OMAP processor, 512MB of RAM, MicroSD card, and even a WiFi chip. This should pretty much guarantee that any app should run unless its simply too taxing for the allotted processor speed and RAM. As for the rest of what makes a smart phone, the board is able to magically interact with the laptop’s display, keyboard, touch pad, and speakers.
Now that the push into HD displays, quad-core processors and 4G LTE radios is in full swing a lot of manufacturers are looking into ways of making their device’s battery life last more than a couple of hours. We told you about how Samsung was going to look at tweaking radios for better battery life, Motorola is releasing phones with giant 3300mAh batteries and so on. Well others are looking into more efficient smartphones in a completely different direction.
All those fancy features in your 4G LTE phone are amazing. A dual-core, soon to be quad-core processor, with 8+ MP cameras, huge HD displays with the added speed of 4G LTE in a tiny frame is something sought after in today’s phone market. However, having these state of the art parts in our handheld device comes with a high price; dismal battery life. Well it appears that some folks are starting to catch on that this is an issue and they are making strides to combat this. Motorola for instance is releasing the RAZR MAXX, the first smartphone to boast a 21-hr talk time with a 3300mAh battery.
Water, the precursor for all life on Earth and yet, incidentally, looming doom for the gadgets we can’t live without.
It really doesn’t even make sense when you figure Earth is 70% covered by water. So why aren’t are gadgets water proof already, or at the very least safe from sweat and rain. Alright so there are a few of those devices, but realistically every electronic device should be impervious to water. Up until recently the best way to accomplish this feat has been to take rigorous measures to seal the device, but seals wear and impair wireless usability. There’s got to be a better way. Enter Liquipel.
Liquipel repels water at the molecular level. Now we’re talking! The process entails placing your device in a vacuum chamber then subsequently pumping it full of Liquipel formula as a vapor, allowing it to permeate all aspects of the device. After which the vapor is molecularly binded to your device’s materials and what you’re left with is a device not unlike any other of the same type, to the naked eye. The Liquipel treatment is only visible under a microscope.
Trust me, as cool as that sounds, its even more fascinating on video. Take a look at this.
The makers of the best scratch-resistant material around are set for an encore. Corning, the developers of Gorilla Glass, will be at CES 2012 next week to highlight its newest creation– Gorilla Glass 2. It looks like Corning is set to have one heck of a follow-up too. Here are their own words:
“Corning Gorilla Glass has been a tremendous success for Corning, enjoying excellent market acceptance across mobile device industries. Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning’s latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration”.
Looks like we have a lot to look forward to from Corning. Considering we’ve seen the first Gorilla Glass withstand even the harshest of scenarios, it’s safe to say that Corning is ready to take us for a wilder ride with Gorilla Glass 2, which Talk Android will be at front and center. Hit the break to see the full press release.
NTT Docomo, one of Japan’s largest mobile operators has announced that the company will take part in a joint venture along with several other partners like Samsung, Panasonic, Fujitsu Lt, Fujitsu Semiconductor and NEC to take on the chip making giant, Qualcomm. The joint venture will manufacture, sell and distribute the new chips for mobile devices once all of the details are ironed out by the joining parties. The group is looking to create LTE connected products and successfully mass produce them to as large as a global market as possible. NTT Docomo has stated that it will initially invest $5.8 million to create Communication Platform Planning Co. and will announce one of its very own exec’s as CEO. As of now, we all know Qualcomm is the biggest player in the game, however, it looks like they’ll have to work extra hard to stay ahead of the game now. Check out the presser and all of the details after the break.
It seems that developers are becoming more and more interested in bringing the Android operating system to more devices than just smartphones, tablets and recently TV’s. You can also find car stereos that operate on a specialized version of the OS and even in a self contained, dual-core USB stick. Currently there is an open source project going on named, Android-x86, that aims to get Android up and running on your laptop or PC. People are already successfully running Android 3.2 Honeycomb on their computers via this new project.
Most people are reporting easier success with ASUS products and is as simple as downloading the Android ISO and by using UNetbootin you can install the image to a USB stick or SD card. Once complete, just throw that puppy in your computer and you can now run Honeycomb from the comfort of your desk or lap. Most hardware is fully functional, including Wi-Fi, and you can even download the Android Market and various apps. Jump past the cut to see some guy’s rather lengthy, sometimes comical, Youtube video showing Android 3.2 running on his Eee PC netbook. With the recent release of Android 4.0 I can only imagine that developers will soon try and climb that mountain as well. Super exciting!