The folks over at LevelUp Studios have developed a free version of its hugely popular app, Beautiful Widgets. Although augmented by in-app purchases for additional functionality and customization, it’s still worth a download due to the great looking widgets it provides for your home screen. Through in-app purchases it’s possible to unlock every feature that is included in the full paid version of the app. This is nice because it allows users to pick and choose what kind of features they want, without having to pay for the full app.
Due to this welcome addition to the Google Play Store, the full app has been renamed Beautiful Widgets Pro. According to LevelUp Studios, both versions will maintain feature parity in future app updates.
Check out the link to the app in the Play Store after the break.
It wasn’t too long ago that ASUS unveiled their MeMo Pad Smart 10, and it looks like the company is already at it again with a successor to their budget full sized-tablet. Expected for a summer release, this one certainly won’t disappoint.
Some of the rumored specs include a Full HD touchscreen on a 10-inch display, a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 1GB of RAM, a 13 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front camera, 16 GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, full Wi-Fi capabilities, GPS, Bluetooth, support for 4G LTE, and a 5,050 mAh battery. It is expected to come with Jelly Bean on board.
As if Google Glass wasn’t enough, Google decided they want to take over your wrist too, filing patents for a new smartwatch with some features similar to Glass. This is definitely not the first Android-powered watch, or even the first watch design from Google, but it does seem to be at least very different from its competitors. Combining what appears to be two touchpads on either side of the watch’s face will allow for gesture-based control such as “pinch, stretch and scroll on a platform with limited space available for user input” not unlike Glass. However, with any luck the watch will not be voice-controlled.
Speculation aside, 2013 is looking to be a good year for Android-powered watches with Samsung also working on a watch of their own. Check back with us for more information on these projects as we get it.
Last month HTC released their financial results for the first quarter of 2013 and the numbers were unpleasant reading. In a recent conference call, HTC sought to put some context to the numbers for the benefit of investors and analysts. CEO Peter Chou acknowledged the problems supply chain delays had caused for HTC and the release of the HTC One. Nevertheless, he believes HTC ultimately had a successful launch of the HTC One and looks forward to sales of about 10 million units during 2013. Most of that will take place during the final three quarters of the year as analysts from CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets project only 750,000 units were sold during the first quarter. For comparison, Samsung is projected to to sell 60 million Galaxy S 4 units.
MediaTek is best know for producing inexpensive, quality processors for cheaper smartphones, and they’ve just announced another chip to their lineup. The MT6572 system-on-a-chip is a next-generation processor for entry level phones, many of which will likely be Android devices. It’s based on a 28nm dual-core A7 CPU and boasts clock speeds up to 1.2 GHz, and can handle up to 720p video playback, along with support for 5 megapixel cameras and 540 by 960 screens. As for connectivity, it has integrated HSPA+/TD-SCDMA radios.
Nothing ground breaking here, but it’s going to be a solid chip for upcoming entry level phones. Hit the break for the press release.
As promised, Dan Rosenberg aka djrbliss on the XDA Developers forum released some additional details about his attempts to unlock the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Yesterday he posted a pic showing the unlocked bootloader that seemed to indicate he had recovery capabilities. He confirmed that in his latest post on the subject where he reports his work will allow custom kernels and recoveries.
Rosenberg also confirmed he had achieved the unlocking on an AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4. However, he is not planning to release any details until Verizon starts to ship their version later this month. If you think you will be interested in unlocking your new Galaxy S 4 using Rosenberg’s tools, he does recommend that you not accept any OTA updates prior to his publishing his release despite the risk of missing out on security updates.
source: XDA Developers forum
Recently we reported on a new Toshiba tablet sporting the Tegra 4 showing up in benchmarks. Today we bring you alleged photos of not just the device, but also its companion keyboard dock.
While nothing has been confirmed yet, it is safe to say the the AT10LE-A is a high-end, 10.1-inch tablet, powered by the quad-core Tegra 4 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz. As you can see in the slideshow below the tablet will also include a microSD slot, mini-HDMI output and stereo speakers. The tablet is also confirmed to be running Android 4.2.1. Hit the break for images of this promising new device.
For those of you looking for another reason to buy the excellent HTC One, HTC has extended their $100 trade-in program again, just begging you to take their money. The deal was already extended once to make up for the multiple delays, but it’s now extended again to May 19th, allowing people who purchase the One before then to send their old phone in for a hundred dollar gift card. Phones must be sent to HTC by June 19th, allowing consumers over a month to participate.
As you can see above its as simple as buying a One, registering it on HTC’s site and mailing them your old phone. In some cases you may even get more than the $100 minimum value. Once HTC receives your old device, they send you a prepaid Visa card with either $100 or the value of your phone (whichever is worth more). This could be the last time they extend the offer, so be quick, deals like this don’t happen often.
The HTC One is available to order in a number of places, so if you were thinking of picking one up, now is the time. $100 is a lot more than you will get for the majority of old devices elsewhere.
Source: HTC / Click here to sign up
Samsung has been stepping up its game for enterprise security. Their latest offering is KNOX, which will be available on the Galaxy S 4 soon. KNOX not only addresses the security needs for enterprise, but it also addresses the concerns for employees personal privacy. In a nutshell, it keeps work stuff separate from personal stuff by creating two different personas on one phone. It appears the U.S. Department of Defense will grant an approval for Samsung Galaxy smartphones (most likely the Galaxy S 4) as well as Apple iPhones and iPads.
Larry Page met with LG Electronics CEO Koo Bon-joon in Seoul last week to discuss ways to improve their partnership and how to form an alliance in futuristic projects. When it comes to mobile market share, it’s dominated by Samsung and Apple, but LG wants a bigger piece of the pie. Word is that LG is already working on the next Nexus phone, but it appears that LG wants to extend their partnership in TVs and Google Glass as well. As to TVs, LG is looking to implement Google TV in their OLED TVs. Nothing was mentioned regarding Glass, but it has me intrigued.
LG is definitely in the upswing as their sales have been strong for both smartphones and TVs, and they are now in the third position behind Samsung and Apple for mobile market share. I will say that LG seems to be doing it right with building the Optimus brand as well as investing heavily in proprietary features such as the Value Pack for the Optimus G Pro. If LG plays its cards right, they just might be able to steal more market share from both Apple and Samsung. Could we be looking at a three way race this time next year?
source: Korea Times
As can be seen in the above graphic, Jelly Bean continues its growth, which is nowhere near last month’s increase of 8.5%. Unfortunately, the numbers still aren’t at a point where Google (and Android customers) should be satisfied. Of course the Jelly Bean numbers will naturally rise as newer phones are released and older phones become discontinued, but we would like to see this happening at a much higher rate— this starts with the manufacturers.
They need to start developing their skins/bloatware for updates more efficiently, or getting rid of it altogether. (Which would make a lot of us pretty happy.) Stock Android with unlocked bootloaders for all phones is still somewhere in fantasyland, but hopefully the imminent release of Android 4.3 (or 5.0) will make OS-integration simpler.
If you’ve been enjoying Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress, you’ll soon have the chance to invite some buddies to join the fun. The Ingress profile on Google+ has announced that all players over level 2 will be getting some invites to hand out to friends, which is great news for everyone. So if you’re already playing, get some friends on board. If you haven’t gotten an invite yet, now’s your chance to start bugging your buddies for one.
source: Google Plus
IDC has released their numbers for tablet market share in the first quarter of 2013, and it looks great for Android tablets. In the first three months of the year, 27.8 million Android tablets were shipped, up 247% from Q1 last year. The 27.8 million tablets also happen to make up 56.5% of all tablets shipped during the quarter, snagging the top spot from Apple. Apple’s share dipped to 39.6%, which is almost a 20% decline in market share from the previous year. While Apple didn’t ship less tablets, (they actually shipped almost 8 million more than they did in Q1 2012) there was a significant boon in the tablet market compared to last year, and a ton of those tablets ran Android.
Obviously, this just represents one quarter of this year, which a small slice of the pie. Android tablets have a ways to go, especially in popularity and app selection, before they can really penetrate the tablet market the way Android has done with phones. Still, though, grabbing up over half of an entire market in a quarter is a huge step in the right direction.
In what is definitely a huge oversight on Google’s part, the Glass software has no built-in lockscreen function. Obviously it can be assumed that there will be many changes before the rumored Spring 2014 release date since it’s a Beta product, but the problem remains for now.
Developer Mike DiGiovanni didn’t want to risk having his contacts and personal information easily swiped so he set about doing Google’s job for them, and Bulletproof was born. In a post on Google+ DiGiovanni explains its function saying, “Use combinations of swipes and taps on the side touchpad to unlock your device. The app knows when Google Glass is off your head and locks the device only at that point.” Pretty handy, and very useful. Click past the break to see it in action.