Featured Play Store Newbie: Holo Launcher, ICS Launcher without the ICS

 

If you’re one of the 93.3% of Android users who aren’t yet rockin’ version 4.0 or up but still want to experience some of the look and feel of the stock ICS launcher now, you’re in luck.  Holo Launcher is a real-deal ICS launcher, with various bits and bytes modified to make it run on any version of android 2.2 and above.

Features include:

  • ICS style icons, folders and drawer tabs
  • Portrait and Landscape modes
  • 7 icons per dock, 3 pages and infinitely scrollable
  • Desktop previews via Home button
  • Backup and restoring of settings
  • and more…
This is a great option for those stuck on Froyo or Gingerbread but still hungry for a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich.  The best part?  Holo launcher is completely free, and available now in the Play store.  There is also a beta version available as an in-app apk as well. To get in on the beta testing fun, head into the app, go to Launcher Settings > About Holo Launcher > Auto Check For Updates > Beta Version. You can get started by visiting either link below.

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Play Store Link

LG Optimus 4X HD Finally Making Its Way To European Stores, LG Including A ‘Major Surprise’

The one thing that bothers me is when a phone is unveiled then takes several months before its release is even announced. The LG Optimus 4X HD was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2012 back in February and is now finally making its way to consumers in Europe later this month. The specs of this phone are pretty beefy to say the least, they put it on par with the current kings of Android such as the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy SIII. It’s equipped with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch True HD IPS display, an 8MP rear camera, 1.3 front-facing camera, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, 2,150mAh battery, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So far it is reported that Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain and Italy will be the first ones to sell the device. LG has also announced that a certain “major surprise” is in store for the launch of their newest flagship device, but what that surprise might be is still unknown.

While there is still no news for an American release of the 4X HD, I just hope LG figures that out quickly. With the imminent release of the Galaxy SIII in America in a just over a week, the appeal of this phone could become irrelevant to consumers if it takes too long to come to the States. Would anyone be interested in this phone, or will the HTC One X and Galaxy SIII already satisfy your needs?

Source: Engadget

Google Nexus Tablet Confirmed By Anonymous ASUS Representative; Transformer Pad Infinity Coming to AT&T

We have all heard about Google’s official Nexus Tablet that is said to be made by ASUS for quite some time now. For the past couple of weeks the confirmation of the infamous tablet has gotten closer and closer with press image drafts and benchmarks and today we take another step forward to the reality of the Nexus Tablet. Android Authority has reported that an ASUS representative, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the 7-inch Nexus Tablet at COMPUTEX. The representative also informed them that we should expect it to be unveiled by the end of June. We had already assumed this because the end of June is when Google IO will be held, and assumptions were that the Nexus Tablet would be unveiled during the event. While this news itself is nothing fairly new if you’ve been following the Nexus Tablet for the past couple of months, it is still good to get confirmation from an ASUS representative themselves and that the tablet will be unveiled in just less than a month. The Nexus Tablet is slated to be in the $199-$250 range equipped with NVIDIA’s Kal-El Tegra 3 processor. The price range and the fact that it’s straight from Google with the ‘Nexus’ name will be the two huge selling points for this slate.

In other news, ASUS also confirmed to AA that they are working to bring the ASUS Padfone to American carriers although the informant mentioned only AT&T has expressed any interest. Other U.S. carriers are probably too hesitant due to the tethering option that the Padfone has (loss of revenue). AT&T is also said to pick up the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) and should be available by the end of this month in both a WiFi only version and an LTE version.

This next month should be quite exciting in the Android world. By the end of June we should have the Nexus Tablet unveiled and possibly Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as well. Anyone else excited for what’s to come?

Source: Android Authority

Andy Rubin kills off rumour that he’s leaving Google

Infamous Tech Blogger Robert Scoble stirred up a frenzy this weekend when he posted a rumour on his Google+ account suggesting that Andy Rubin was all set to quit Google. Scoble claimed that Rubin was leaving to take charge of a startup company by the name of CloudCar. Just as quickly as the rumour started, Rubin took to his Twitter and Google+ accounts and promptly ended it. The message on Twitter was to the point however his Google+ account offered a bit more of an explanation as to where the rumour surfaced from. It turns out that CloudCar is run by some friends of Rubin who generously offered up some office space in his Los Altos startup incubator to help the team kick off.

With the eyes of the tech world firmly fixed on him, Rubin used the spotlight to drop in a few Android statistics. Official Google certified Android activations are up to over 900,00 per day. Android’s momentum shows absolutely no sign of slowing down and I would not be at all surprised if Google hit 1 million activations per day by the time Google I/O comes around.

 

Source: Twitter

Sprint Implements $15 Phone Number Change Fee, But Still Free Via Sprint.com

Looks like Sprint is starting to find other ways to supplement their income to cover their unlimited plans. Starting today, June 10th, Sprint will be charging a fee of $15 if you want to change your phone number through a Sprint store or Care call representative. But don’t worry… you can still get it done for free by logging in to Sprint.com and going to My Preferences to take care of it yourself.

I’m sure some folks will not be too happy with this new policy, but to me it seems logical to charge a bit if you are interacting with an employee versus doing it yourself. Plus, if this helps us keep our unlimited plans, I’m all for it.

source: sprint
via: engadget

Korea to Receive New Version of the Samsung Galaxy S III

As you know, Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy 3 III internationally with model number GT-I9300 and a quad-core Samsung Exynos chip with 1GB RAM. The U.S. variants get an upgraded 2GB of RAM, but the processor gets swapped out for the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 because of LTE and AWS compatibility.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could combine the two phones? Korea is expected to get a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S III in July that does just that. It packs the same Exynos quad-processor and 2GB of RAM. Other than being a little thicker (9.0mm as opposed to 8.6mm), the rest of the specs will be the same. Looks like they just one-upped the LG Optimus LTE 2.

source: Phone Arena

Chameleon Homescreen Closes Kickstarter Project Only to Open New One Next Week

The folks from the Chameleon tablet project have posted an unfortunate message on their Kickstarter page explaining that the project’s funding process has to start over again. The Kickstarter project was doing well obtaining financial backing until it ran in to an issue with Amazon Payments. The account Teknision Inc. was using actually belonged to an employee and that employee is no longer with the company. Kickstarter only uses Amazon’s payment service and now cannot accept any of the money pledged for this project. Since they are not allowed to switch accounts midstream, the only option available is to recreate the project and start over again. None of the funds pledged to date can be accepted and would have to be pledged again to the newly created project. No one who pledged funds to the current project will be charged.

Chameleon claims that the new Kickstarter project will be up next week and will offer to include the wallpaper pack beginning at the $5 donation level to compensate for the inconvenience this situation has caused its funders. They have reached out to Talk Android letting us know that those who pledged should be receiving email updates and will be notified when the new project is live. They are encouraging folks to resubmit their pledge to help the project move forward… again.

The Chameleon tablet is setting out to make your home screen display change according to where you are and what you are doing. Check out this Kickstarter project using the link below.

source: Kickstarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verizon Offering The Sony SmartWatch And Accessories For $150

We already know Verizon is a major player in the smartphone and tablet game, but it’s now growing its portfolio of accessories too. The famed Sony SmartWatch has been casually listed on its website for a price of $149.97 and can also be found in its stores as well. In addition, Verizon has accessories for the device such as extra wristbands listed as well. This means there is yet another way of getting those Facebook, Twitter and Gmail updates to Verizon customers using the Bluetooth-powered device. I’m sure some of you all are just itching to get more details of the device, so make sure you hit the source link to find more information.

source: Verizon Wireless

Intel Thinks Android is Not Ready for Multi-core Processors

 

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, has caused quite a stir with its recent comments that Android SOC (System-on-chip) vendors like Samsung, Nvidia and Qualcomm haven’t done enough to optimize Android for multi-core processors.  According to Intel tests have shown that in some cases, using the second core on a dual-core chip from another manufacturer (they wouldn’t say which one) actually results in decreased performance versus using a single core.  They say the benefits of the second core aren’t being realized because the processor scheduler, which sends “jobs” to a specific processor to complete, hasn’t been optimized to work with the Android OS.  Intel blames the SOC manufacturers and not Google for this, as it’s their prerogative to make sure their chips operate the way they are intended.

Now, let’s step back and take a look at all this.  It’s no coincidence that Intel is about to start pushing its single-core “Medfield” chips onto the Android market in the coming months.  It goes without saying that Intel needs to make a case for single-core processors in a world of dual-core and quad-core devices.  If Intel can show that similar (or better) performance can be achieved by a single core, I don’t think anyone is going to complain.  If Intel’s claims about more optimization being needed are true (which they may be, at least partly), hopefully having the 800-pound gorilla of the processor world calling out other manufacturers will see some real action on their parts to improve performance.  Either way some competition in the processor space, whether it’s in the hardware design or the software that runs on it, is good for the Android ecosystem.

source:  The Inquirer
via: Pocketnow

Samsung Galaxy S III Uses Special MHL/HDMI Adapter

Many new devices are using Mobile High-Definition Link ports (MHL) to output video to a compatible HDMI port on a TV or monitor. MHL is an industry standard that adds video output through the existing microUSB port. Unfortunately for owners of a Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung has changed the configuration of their MHL port slightly and it now requires a special MHL adapter cable rather than the standard MHL cables that are commonly available.

Apparently, Samsung changed some pinouts in their MHL configuration, possibly for supporting future accessories or for some other currently unknown improvement. At least we’re hoping that’s the reason rather than Sammy trying to make more money by selling special adapters (which would be a very Apple-esque move).

In any case, if you plan on getting an S III and want the ability to output video, you’ll need to plunk down an extra $30 for their custom adapter.

Check out videos of the S III and its MHL adapter after the break.


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