It’s one thing for chipmakers to promise great battery life on devices, but it’s another thing to actually see it in reality. Thanks to the energy-efficient DROID RAZR MAXX, it’s made us re-think how we should look at battery life on our devices. As PhoneArena put it best, battery life comes down to simply three things: the display, phone’s radios and the processor. As each evolve, we can see some sort of improvement on the battery life, even if its minimal.
The new architectures of the various chipsets are well on their way to changing the idea that Androids can’t have great, if not good battery life. You may remember how we highlighted the sexy Nvidia Tegra 3 processor which not only efficiently manages tasks such as emailing or watching videos by dedicating them to a core processor, but it has a specific low-level core which is specifically tasked with operating the battery at the most efficient level. Chip manufacturer ARM is following suit by developing a dual core chip featuring one low-power A7 core and another high performance A15. In this setup, the processor can choose which core to use— for example using the A7 for basic apps like emailing and texting. When users are doing something more demanding such as playing a 3D game or streaming HD video, the processor can automatically switch to the A15 for more power. Perhaps the most intriguing development is coming from Qualcomm. The manufacturer is currently developing a solution called “Consia” where the processor can learn a user’s habits such as when the user uses the device most and when it is not used, the device would then automatically adjust its settings based off of its users habits– such as when to gather and push data and when to shut it down and sleep when you sleep. In addition, the chip would learn when and where WiFi is available, without the need for additional apps. Neat isn’t it?
Ladies and gentlemen, the era of poor battery life on Androids are soon to be over. Let the games begin!
One of the best apps available for Android just got another major update. Data syncing wunder-app SugarSync has been updated to version 3.5 and now it does more than just let you access your files on your computers using your Android device. Sure, it introduced the ability to sync videos just a few months ago, but here are some of the items to look forward to in this latest update:
- Get anytime, anywhere access to all of your files, photos, and music
- Automatically back up and sync photos & videos to your computers
- Share any file or folder, even if it’s huge, over email, Facebook, Twitter, or even SMS.
- Stream your entire music collection, even while you use other apps
- Download files or entire folders for fast, offline viewing
- Make edits to any file and will SugarSync automatically sync it to all your computers
The app is now available in the market for Android 1.5+ devices. The new version of SugarSync even includes the much-welcomed support for Ice Cream Sandwich! There’s no excuse for you all to not have this app, so be sure to grab it immediately (if you don’t have it already). You can find the QR code and Market link right after the presser— but first you have to hit the break.
If you’re looking for a 4G LTE tablet at Verizon Wireless, there’s a new player in town. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE was released today on Big Red and will go head to head with the DROID XYBOARD 8.2. While the basic specs are relatively close, Motorola wins with the bigger screen (extra .50 inches) and price ($429 vs $479) while Samsung wins with thinness (7.9mm vs 8.9mm) and weight (340 grams vs 386 grams).
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE features a 7.7-inch (1280 x 800) Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 3.2MP rear camera (with 720p recording), 2MP front camera, 16GB of internal storage, microSD for up to 32GB of extra storage, HDMI through an optional dock or adapter, Enterprise SAFE, and Android 3.2.
Look for our full review soon, but for now, check out our initial hands on.
I don’t know if you’ve looked at any of the HTC One Series phones but if you have you may have noticed something peculiar. You can even see it in the promo videos we told you about the other day. You may not think that it’s peculiar given that this item has long been with most Android Devices before Android 3.0. I’m talking about the capacitive buttons of course.
While the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich made them a thing of the past it seems as if every phone coming out of MWC this year has them in one form or another but I digress. The peculiar item I am writing about is the three capacitive buttons on the One Series phones without their missing menu button. While yes Google did say it was going away from the menu button entirely, this begged the question, how does one access an application’s in-app menu?
Seconds out, Round 10! Another day, another few haymakers thrown in the ongoing court battle between Apple and… well, everyone! Apple and Motorola seem to have a permanent residency within the German courts and today has seen Apple awarded an injunction against all Motorola products that violate on a patent related to photo management. The patent injunction specifically relates to the scroll animations within Motorola’s photo gallery.
The doors had barely shut at the Munich Regional Court in Germany before Motorola came forward with the following statement :
Today’s ruling in Munich, Germany on the patent litigation brought by Apple concerns a software feature associated with performing certain functions when viewing photos in a ‘zoomed in’ mode on mobile devices. We note that the Court ruled that performing the functions in a ‘zoomed out’ mode does not infringe on this patent. We expect no impact to supply or future sales as we have already implemented a new way to view photos on our products that does not interfere with the user experience.
So there you have it, Apple have seemingly won an injunction that prevents Motorola devices from doing something they don’t actually do. The litigation roller-coaster continues and you can bet your mortgage that there will be more fun and games to come over the next few months. I think this particular round is a split decision on the judges scorecards.
source : FOSS patents
LG has noticed the wireless charging dilemma, and taken action. Wireless charging is great for avoiding a messy tangle of cables, but in the past, the positioning of the phone left us mostly unable to use our phones while charging. At MWC 2012, LG revealed its WCD-800 wireless charging cradle that will get rid of the wires, and let you use your phone while it’s getting juiced up. The cradle will work in landscape or portrait mode, so you can browse the internet or squeeze in a round of Angry Birds while your phone is charging.
The WCD-800 will work with the new phones that LG has announced at MWC 2012, along with devices that will work with the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard. Its predecessor, the LG WCP-700, had a much smaller charging contact area with the phone, so it charged slower. This new cradle will be just as fast as a conventional wall charger, according to LG.
At first, the WCD-800 will only be available in Korea, but North America should see this gadget in the first half of 2012. LG has not released any pricing.
source: Phone Arena
I am sure many of you are familiar with Dr.Dre’s Beats Audio line and that HTC bought exclusive rights to integrating the audio improvement software in their devices. I’ve heard people say that their HTC/Beats device provides a sound that is unmatched to other devices they have owned and I’ve also heard folks say the improvement isn’t even noticeable. While I am still on the fence on whether or not this software actually makes a noticeable difference, at the same time I have yet to couple the experience with a quality pair of headphones. Either way, the Beats Audio software is no longer tied to just HTC devices and is now flashable for non HTC owners to enjoy. Now you can be the judge on whether or not HTC spent their money wisely.
Since Beats Audio is nothing but software, thanks to XDA members fuss132 and willblake13, we now have an easy way to flash Beats Audio to any rooted device running a Gingerbread ROM. It’s pretty simple really, all you need to do is hit up the XDA link at the bottom of this post, download the .zip file, and flash through CWM. Not much to it. The real question is whether or not you will notice a difference. Although fuss132 takes a similar stance as I do and says “I think at some ponts beats audio is only a audio marketing strategie,” he also claims “The sounds will be more natural, playing with more clarity.” However contradicting that may sound, he includes some test results that clearly show that there is some level of improvement to be gained. So if you’re the flash-happy type of person I think you are, you should check it out and decide for yourself. Test results after the break.
Beat on my friends… Beat on
Update: It looks as though this didn’t bode well with someone (most likely HTC) and the thread has been removed from XDA already. If you have more insight please let me know, I am curious.
Here at Talk Android, we love to envision what our mobile devices will look like in the future. Imagine if your cell phone wasn’t simply a rectangle, but was bent for you to wear as a watch. This seemingly crazy idea isn’t as far in the future as you might think, according to Samsung. An executive at Samsung has confirmed the mass production of flexible OLED screens in the next year, meaning some time in 2012, or early 2013 at the latest.
These crazy looking displays have quite a few advantages other than their novelty. They do not contain any glass, so shattering your phone would be a thing of the past. Another advantage is the freedom this technology will give to cell phone designers. The possibilities are endless, including phone watches, tablets you can fold and paper thin displays. It is likely, however, that the first devices featuring a flexible display will be the rounded displays that were not otherwise possible. Even if the screen is flexible, though, the battery and CPU will have to be taken into consideration. How would you use a flexible AMOLED screen? Shout out in the comments.
We had a chance to see the Splashtop THD app at CES back in January. We were totally excited then and today we’re even more excited because it’s now officially available in the Android Market.
With Splashtop THD you can play 3D PC games from your PC on your Tegra 3 tablet. We are talking 60 frames per second. Other things you can do include:
- Fully access your applications on your tablet such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Outlook, Excel, Word, etc.
- Watch videos / Flash content streamed from your computer in any format
- Listen to music on your computer in any format
- Access your full computer browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) including your bookmarks, favorite plug-ins, and extensions (Flash, Java, etc.)
Splashtop specificially says that this is only compatible with Tegra 3 tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich, but in the “about app section” they have it listed as requiring Android 3.1 and higher. We suspect that you will indeed need ICS, which makes this only compatible with the ASUS Transformer Prime. The cost is $6.99 and seems well worth it. Hit the break for our CES video and download links.
While most folk feel that quad-core devices are the in thing this year, as made apparent at MWC this year by companies like HTC, Huawei, LG, and Toshiba, a few companies are holding off and sticking with the dual-core architecture. Sony, has made it clear that they are perfectly comfortable with it, at least until next year at the very earliest. Stephen Sneeden, Product Marketing Manager for the company, had this to say:
“We’re going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency. Because right now we don’t feel that is there. What we are going to be doing in the second-half of the year is moving to the Cortex A15 architecture, which we feel outperforms the current quad-core architecture.”