The Talk Android staff gives their initial thoughts on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus after 48 hours

by Robert Nazarian on
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We already gave our take of the Galaxy Nexus after 24 hours, which seemed to be thumbs up across the board. Has either of our minds changed after 48 hours? Lets see:

Robert Nazarian

New devices always feel great after 24 hours, but as you get into the second day, the annoyances you found in the first day either start bugging you more or you forget about them altogether. There is also the possibility that new ones crop up. For me, the negative on this device is the hardware. As I mentioned in the 24 hour post, thankfully Samsung put a textured back on the Nexus or I don’t know that I could keep it. but the more I spend time with it, those little things come to light. For example, when using the speakerphone yesterday, I found myself missing the great Motorola hardware. These are things that don’t bother a lot of people, but to me, it keeps this phone from being what it could be. Combine Motorola hardware with this stock Ice Cream experience, and you might have the “Mother of all phones.” Maybe next year. Does this mean I’m ready to return it? Absolutely not. The bottomline is this is a pure stock Android phone, which to me, makes it the phone to have. Is it the phone to have for mainstream consumers? I will save that for my full review, but I will say that if the Galaxy Nexus came with Gingerbread, I’m not sure I would’ve ran out an bought it opening day. I continue to enjoy the newer features of Ice Cream Sandwich, but still find myself wanting to hit a different button at times. For example, I keep long pressing the home screen to install a widget. These are all minor issues and is expected. I’m also feeling the software is not as smooth as it should be. For example, when using the Twitter app, scrolling is very choppy. Again, this will be fixed and is minor, but is disappointing that these little things weren’t already worked out. Lastly, battery life  continues to disappoint, but that’s what it is with LTE so we have to live with it. Sure, you can spend $25 on extended battery, which is a great deal, but that kind of stuff pisses me off. I don’t like spending $299 and being told if I want to make it “right” I need to spend an extra $25. Being a technology nerd, you learn to live with these types of annoyances to have the latest and greatest, and that’s what I will do. All in all, if you’re in the market for a new phone, this is the one to buy.   » Read the rest

Sprint’s Nexus S 4G gets Android 4.0.3 ROM Ported from T-Mobile’s Nexus S OTA

by Harold Williams on
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Android Central forum member beezy has whipped up an Ice Cream Sandwich treat for you folks on Sprint with a Nexus S 4G. The Android 4.0.3 OTA for T-mobile’s Nexus S has been ported to Sprint’s Nexus 4G. You won’t see any wimax (4G), but 3G data, camera, WiFi, and bluetooth are confirmed working. You’ll need to be rooted and you can flash this ROM via Clockwork. You will also need to head over to the AC forums and be registered to download the file and you can do so from the source link below. Happy flashing, but do so at your own risk.

[via android central forums]

 

Get Ready To Hit The Slopes This Winter With “Ski & Snow Report” For Android

by Joe Sirianni on
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Let the snow come I say!  If you’re of the skiing and snowboarding variety then you’re going to want to download this handy dandy guide before hitting the mountain.  OnTheSnow.com, in direct competition with EpicMix, brings you this pretty detailed ski report offering cameras, weather and so much more for your trip.  Check out your favorite ski resort while on the go, search seamlessly for a ski area nearby if you’re not familiar with the area, use live ski cams to see real time conditions and check out what other skiers are saying about the place before you tear it up.  Want to give it a shot?  You can snag the download via the Android Market link below or use the QR code if that’s easier.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think about the app in the comments below.   Hit the break for all of the download links and to check out a few more screen shots of the app in action.   » Read the rest

Get the Google Wallet APK for your LTE Galaxy Nexus – No Root Required [Courtesy XDA]

by Jim Farmer on
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Yesterday we posted a guide on how to get Google Wallet on your new Galaxy Nexus phone. Trying out the method myself, I ran into some strange behavior as we mentioned in that former post. Other’s never got it working at all. The process was in short, not much fun. Well you can put the past behind you because devs after Google Wallet are diligent. Diligent enough to finally bring you a simple APK that you can install, without even needing root! It took mere seconds for me to set up and redeem my free $10 from Google, but as it is currently early morning as I write this, I’ve yet to journey out and blow some poor cashier’s mind. Definitely, something to look forward to tomorrow. Before you get ahead of yourself please pay attention here:

If you previously flashed the .zip file from Friday, you may have to return to a backup, pre-Wallet, or this .apk will not work.

Otherwise, proceed to the download.

[via XDA]

Dead Space from Electronic Arts Hits the Android Market

by Harold Williams on
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The sci-fi horror masterpiece Dead Space you may have played on your PC or console is now available in the Android Market. If you’ve never played the game, Dead Space is a survival horror third-person shooter. In this space set game you’ll play as engineer Isaac Clarke battling human virus turned monsters called Necromorphs. Most notably, this game is hailed by some as the scariest game they have ever played. Hit up the break for more details and links to download.

» Read the rest

Motorola Xoom Gets Unofficial Taste of Android 4.0.3 [Courtesy of XDA]

by Jack Holt on
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Quickly after the release of Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 and the push to AOSP, developers over at XDA have created an almost fully functional ROM for both versions of the Xoom. A few issues for both the WiFi and 3G/4G versions are apparent and they are as follows:

What is working: (That I can tell so far)
- Wi-Fi
- Browser
- All the basics

What is not working:
-3G/4G – baseband issue?
-Camera*
-HDMI*
*Need binaries from Moto

There also seems to be an issue with some green coloring on the screen at times, but it appears that we are pretty close to seeing a fully functional Android 4.0.3 ROM for the Xoom.

So if you have a rooted Xoom and want to give this a try, you can hit the break below to download the files and get the instructions on how to do this. Those who want to try this I wish you good luck and let us know how it goes, although if you have 3G/4G I would hold off until those work. A big thanks to razorbladex401, xxspark89xx and XDA for developing these. Note: You need to use fastboot for the 3G/4G files.

» Read the rest

Android UI Lead Developer Gives A Shrug For Custom Android Skins By OEMs

by Roy Alugbue on
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Ice Cream Sandwich is undoubtedly Google’s best OS yet. The notable enhancements and improvements seen here over the previous versions are no doubt welcomed and loved by even the most advanced Android users. While the Android 4.0 build is seen on the Galaxy Nexus (and now Nexus S) only, we can expect the new OS to be fired up on new and existing devices from other manufacturers within the next few weeks. However, while we can look forward to ICS being on our favorite OEMs such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung, we also will not be looking forward to the customizations– also known as “skins”– each brand will place on the OS. Whether we like it or not, we will see Sense, (MOTO)BLUR, and TouchWiz which most agree detracts from the overall Android experience. It’s no secret that most of us strongly dislike the different skins each manufacturers place on otherwise stellar devices, but what do the head honchos of Android development think? Well, you’re about to find out. The Daily Beast hosted a Google+ hangout featuring Matias Duarte, the Android UI Lead Developer. Duarte was kind enough to take questions from a lucky few who were invited in the Hangout and was posed a question by Andrew Kameka of Androinca:

 “So much work goes into producing the UI and the changes that you make, and then typically what happens is that the OEM’s put their skins on it and put their own touch. Does it bother you that so much work goes into it and in the end, a lot of consumers don’t interact with the UI as you intended it?”

Great question and one that many like us here at Talk Android would have asked as well. Read on for Duarte’s response and follow-up after the break. » Read the rest

Boost Mobile has Plans to Add LG Optimus Black, Samsung Replenish to Android Line-Up

by Stacy Bruce on
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Are you a little bummed that Boost Mobile only offers 3 different Android phones at this time? Well you in luck! A couple press shots just popped up over at Pocketnow showing 2 more Android devices that will soon be on their way to the prepaid carrier.

The LG Optimus Black (aka Sprint Marquee), and the full QWERTY Samsung Replenish, will soon be added to Boost Mobile’s line-up. We don’t quite have any definitive release date info, but we suspect they will arrive sometime in the first half of 2012. One bit of cool news to report is that LG had earlier confirmed that the Optimus Black is slated to receive the Android 4.0 update sometime in the future. ICS on Boost, Woot!

[via Pocketnow]

 

[Guide] Google Wallet Available for Those with Rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus [Courtesy of XDA]

by Jack Holt on

**UPDATE: While experimenting with this, we had issues with this process and in effect have had to restore our phones. Issues include the phone repeatedly crashing and attempts at scanning each app before hand. Performance has dropped as it takes a long time to boot, and we have had to restore a previous back-up. So if you aren’t familar with this, or are in anyway uncomfortable with the process, STOP HERE. If you understand that these things can happen and want to take your chances, you can continue on. **

Like you, I was a little miffed at Verizon for blocking the use of Google Wallet on our Verizon branded Galaxy Nexus phones.  They say they didn’t block it, but come on, we’re smarter than that Big Red. Anyway, those of you that want to experience Google Wallet, and get yourself a $10 credit to boot, should check this out.

The folks over at XDA have created a flashable version of the app and have put out relatively painless instructions to flash it. Of course when we say flashable version, we mean that you have to be rooted and have CWM installed. If you haven’t yet, you can root your fancy device after unlocking the bootloader, and then going here. Hit the break below to find the instructions and files needed to get your taste of Google Wallet courtesy of the folks over at XDA. » Read the rest

Source Code for Android 4.0.3 Pushing to AOSP

by Harold Williams on
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Jean-Baptiste Queru has announced Android 4.0.3 is pushing to the Android Open Source Project, also claiming it’s the best release ever in his eyes. It certainly should be the best release ever since this is the first time we’re seeing AOSP ready to go on multiple platforms. This build is locked and loaded to work on the Galaxy Nexus (mysid and yakju builds), US Motorola XOOM variants, and all Nexus S devices. 4.0.3 is also optimized to work on devices that may not have the horsepower of the Galaxy Nexus.

Out of the box, this is the first time that AOSP works on 3 different
device families, the first time that it works on tablets, the first
time that it works directly on a device that’s neither an ADP nor a
Nexus, and the first time that it works on Verizon devices.

We’ve all known Ice Cream Sandwich would be the Android OS that would bridge the gap between phones and tablets. If done right, this will put Android right where it needs to be from a development standpoint to move forward at a faster pace. Let us know what you think right down there in the comments because this is huge news for Android.

[via Google Groups]