Back on April 2, we reported about the leak of the official Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Nexus S 4G on Sprint along with step-by-step instructions to manually install it (available now as an OTA update). Sitting at work while reading the article, I immediately cancelled my plans to eat lunch that day and reactivated my Nexus S that had been patiently lying on my kitchen table waiting for this day. I have always waited for the OTA updates in the past, never wanting to take a chance messing up my phone or computer, but this update was too important for old habits. The instructions were as clear as they come. I had to register for a free Jumbo Files account before the site would let me download the software, but after a 15 minute download, the rest was a piece of cake. The whole process took about 35 minutes, total, including the registration. Find out if it was worth the wait after the break.
Yes, folks, now you can get TalkAndroid logo gear and other cool Android related products from our very own merch store! We’ve opened up a Zazzle store with everything from t-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers, to hats, pillows, speakers, and water bottles! And we will keep adding new designs as we can (if you have any good Android design ideas, let us know!)
Check out some example products after the break, and be sure to hit our store link to see everything! And also, to save 20% on your entire order, enter coupon code TLKANDROID20 at checkout!
The folks over at Meltus contacted us and wanted to giveaway 25 free copies of Volume+ to our loyal readers. If you’re not familiar with Volume+, it gives you the ability to boost up your overall volume including your bass/treble and save/load your own custom EQ settings on your Android device. You can also utilize their presets for the best sound possible. Since Volume+ works system wide it will work with Google Music, Pandora, Slacker, and every other music software on your device (that doesn’t have a built in EQ). If you’re into sound quality at all, you’re going to want Volume+.
They have two versions. The paid version ($1.99), which includes 9 presets, the ability to go +8 on the levels, and advanced controls. The free version only has one preset, the ability to go +4 on the levels, and no advanced controls.
Hit the break for contest rules and download links
Live Wallpapers just keep getting cooler and cooler for Android, especially with the kind of hardware hitting the market these days. Live Wallpapers are no longer taking the toll they once did on performance and battery life. Latest to catch our eye is the Digital Hive Live Wallpaper, a unique interactive background that allows you to choose from an array of swatches to suite the mood you’re in.
Displays a 3D grid of glowing, pulsing hexagons. This full version also allows you to select any color and enables touch interaction with the hexagons.
The app will run you .99¢ in the Play Store but is well worth the coolness (is that a word?). The application has been brought up to speed to work with most devices including the Galaxy Nexus. The application even allows for multi-color support. The app is compatible with both your smartphone and your tablet. Check out the video below of the quick demo as well as some of the screen shots touting the cool looking digital hive. Run your fingers across the screen and watch the hexagons respond at the touch. Check it out for yourself and if you like it, feel free to drop a comment or two below. Hit the break for the video, pics and to get to the download links. Enjoy. Read more
We can’t help it sometimes, though we know at times and depending on certain devices, live wallpapers can be a damper on your battery. But it’s beautiful ones like the Luma Live Wallpaper for Android that compels you to download a gorgeous app like this onto your smartphone. The Luma Live Wallpaper for Android offers you an array of beautiful colors and shapes such as leaves, hearts, flowers and other patterns to drift smoothly across your screen giving you an overall instant feeling of serenity.
- Luma is a colorful, interactive live wallpaper featuring beautiful combinations of drifting shapes and colors. With literally hundreds of combinations, it’s like having 500 live wallpapers in one.
- Luma comes with a set of designer themes that are made to match a range of homescreen themes and styles. Transform your screen into a beautiful mosaic of moving shapes and color.
There are a ton of options with the app especially when it comes to the customization department. You have the ability to create your very own color schemes, what shapes are involved and how or in what fashion they float across your device’s screen. The app is interactive as it allows you to scatter shapes and disrupt the flow by a simple touch of the screen. Check out the cool demo below from the dev and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below. The app will run you a buck in the Google Play Store but it’s well worth the design and functionality you’re getting. Hit the break for the video and to check out some more screen shots of the app in action as well as to hit up the download links. Read more
The sensation that is Instagram has iOS as well as Android users snapping pictures and sharing them like never before. There’s no question that with the millions of users on the platform as well as the simple workflow, Instagram is a winner. But does that mean Instagram is the best game in town? Maybe not. We recently brought you a list of seven Instagram alternatives, and today I want to do an in-depth comparison with the one I feel is the closest competitor… Streamzoo, available for both iOS and Android.
I had a chance to get my hands on the HTC EVO 4G LTE tonight in New York City at the Sprint/HTC event. This is definitely the best EVO yet as it should be. The HD Audio demo here sounded incredible. What’s there not to love about this beast. It has a 4.7-inch 720p display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, what might be the best 8MP shooter (f/2.0) in smartphone history, a 1.3MP front facing camera, microSD for up to an additional 32GB, LTE, Beats Audio, HD Audio, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and Sense 4. Pre-orders start on May 7 and priced very attractively at $199.00. Check out the hands on video. My apologies, I said it was the EVO One in the video because I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
We all know Instagram is coming to Android soon, and with its success on the iOS platform, many are waiting anxiously for it to arrive. Let’s take a look at what Instagram offers.
- Nearly 20 photo filters
- Linear and Radial Tilt-Shift blur effects for extra depth of field
- Retro borders
- Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, Posterous, and Instagram’s own network
15 27 million iOS users use Instagram, so it must be popular for a reason. The fact is, it’s a well-made app that’s easy and fun to use, adding a coolness factor to social photo sharing. It’s gotten so popular, in fact, that I’m actually starting to get a little tired of seeing the same retro filters applied to everyone’s photos. I mean, sure it’s cool looking, but if everyone’s photos have the same look, it’s not that unique anymore. This is a testament to how easy it is to use, of course.
Your love of retro filters notwithstanding, Instagram is here to stay, and with the Android version coming soon, it’s going to blow up even more. But what if you want the Instagram experience today? One thing Android already has is a huge list of apps that are similar to Instagram, some with more features, some with less. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
I just reviewed the Androidified case from Cruzerlite for the Samsung Galaxy Note and now it’s time to give a few away! We have a total of six Androidified cases in various colors for the Galaxy Note to give away to six lucky readers. All you need to do is visit our forums, AndroidForum.com, and tell me why you think you need a free Androidified case. Be creative and I will pick the six entries at random for the win. Contest ends on Wednesday, April 4th at 12:59 PM EST. Good luck!
Congrats to the winners!
- Samuel Phyall
You guys were sent a message to the email address you registered with in our forums. Respond to claim your prize!
When it comes to smartphones, Android competes very well with the iPhone. In fact, I think it’s a much better experience, but when it comes to tablets, I hate to admit it, Android is losing. The problem has never been the hardware, it’s the availability of quality apps. Automatically the assumption is that fragmentation is the problem, but fragmentation is an issue with phones, and yet quality apps aren’t a major issue. so why hasn’t developer support transferred to tablets? Well lets first start with a little history.
Back in late 2009, Android phones seemed far behind the iPhone, but then things changed in a hurry. Even though Android’s first phone, the G1, was introduced in 2008, things didn’t get cooking until the DROID debuted on Verizon in late 2009. From that point forward the Android world really started to multiply by numbers even I couldn’t imagine. I remember when I bought my DROID, people would say there aren’t any apps available on Android to speak of. Things changed dramatically, and by the end of 2010, the iPhone didn’t have much of an advantage when it came to apps.
It doesn’t appear that Android tablets are enjoying the same kind of success. Although the Motorola XOOM, technically wasn’t the first Android tablet, it was what really started a wave of tablets with the OS about this time last year. One could argue that it’s only been one year, and look what happened to Android phones in its second year. The problem with that theory is that the success of Android phones was actually an advantage for tablets to get a better kick-start. Actually in terms of sales, Android isn’t doing so bad. According to the IDC, Android tablet market share for the 4th quarter of 2011 was 44.6%. That’s actually very good, but somehow things don’t seem that close.