Samsung Says No on ICS “Value Pack” for Galaxy S and Original Galaxy Tab

Man, when the Galaxy Nexus was first debuted with Ice Cream Sandwich it looked amazing (still does). However you’re an owner of a Samsung Galaxy S or an original Galaxy Tab and your contract isn’t up for a while. Maybe it is, but you’re thinking to yourself that you love the Galaxy S hardware or you love that little tablet and that maybe if you hope really hard Samsung will grace your device with Ice Cream Sandwich. Well even with hope sometimes we don’t get what we want, as you well know, Samsung made it clear that the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab wouldn’t be seeing the awesome, new Android 4.0 OS. Well, that was until they back pedaled and rumors were flying about that these devices would  see it or that they may receive a “value pack” that would give the best features of ICS without the need for a full update instead.

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Premium Version Of NHL Gamecenter App Free For Verizon 4G Customers

Verizon customers seem to get all the perks, don’t they? If you’re a Verizon LTE customer and a hockey fan, you now have access to the $9.99 premium version of the NHL Gamecenter app. All you do is get the download the NHL GameCenter free edition app, click on a video highlight, and you will be automatically upgraded:

“Hey Verizon users, download the Verizon edition of the NHL GameCenter app to receive all of the great features of NHL GameCenter plus access to nationally broadcast NBC games, exclusive video features, and live streaming of NHL Network’s On the Fly.

For those users with Verizon 4G LTE Smartphones, Verizon enables you to get NHL GameCenter Premium for FREE! Just download the NHL GameCenter Verizon edition app, click on a video highlight, and you will be automatically upgraded.”

There’s a boatload of features in the premium version of the app too. In addition to live streaming of NHL Network’s On The Fly, you’ll find live game radio and additional video content including Quick Picks and Best of the Week. This is a nice little excuse for Verizon 4G customers to eat up their data isn’t it? Hit the Market link or QR code below for the free version of the app, watch any highlight video and enjoy all the premium content you can handle.

Android Market



Google and IBM Continue To Grow Google’s Patent Lineup, Brings 217 New Patent Filings To The Table

Google continues to gain major ammunition for its various patent battles with competitors. According to Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea, Google acquired 188 granted patents and 29 published pending patent applications from IBM in the last week of 2011. The patents cover a broad area too, ranging from presentation software and email administration to internet, phone and mobile phone technologies. Nothing wrong with Google obtaining added protection for itself and its allies in case certain corporations try to slow down Google’s momentum again. Let’s see how this further impacts the patent war between Google, Microsoft and of course, Apple.

[via SEO by the Sea]

Untouched Holo Theme Now Required For Android Devices With Android Market Access


There’s no doubt the acclaim Ice Cream Sandwich has is the result of the tireless work and efforts from Google’s developers. Google may be ok with custom UI skins on top of its OS, but when it comes to the general theme of the UI of its new jewel, it’s essentially no modifying. Let me explain: Google recently decided that manufacturers who want access to the Android Market will now have to use the Holo theme—untouched and unmodified– as a specific requirement for devices that want to use the Android Market (which is umm, 99.99999% of Android devices).

That’s not to say Google isn’t restricting manufacturers from creating custom skins. In fact, Google stresses the process to create custom UI skins on top of Android 4.0 is even easier:

“We have no desire to restrict manufacturers from building their own themed experience across their devices. In fact we’ve gone further to make this even easier. In Android 4.0’s API (level 14) we’ve added a new public theme family to complement the Holo family introduced in Android 3.0: DeviceDefault. DeviceDefault themes are aliases for the device’s native look and feel. The DeviceDefault theme family and widget style family offer ways for developers to target the device’s native theme with all customizations intact.”

The bottom line: Google is making sure all Android users are getting a somewhat uniform Android 4.0 experience— even if you’re on a device with a custom skin. Adam Powell, an Android Framework Engineer said it best:

“Android apps running on 4.0 and forward can use the Holo themes and be assured that their look and feel will not change when running on a device with a custom skin”.

What this means to manufacturers is so long as they keep the general Holo theme intact, they are free to add their personal touches in the form of custom skins as they choose. However the basics such as the menus and widgets must meet the Android 4.0 standards. Android 4.0 is without a doubt a stunning OS that should be enjoyed relatively at its simplest level. Well done Google, well done.

[via Android Developers Blog]

AppGear By WowWee Combines Physical Toys With Android Apps (Videos)

The wonderful folks over at WowWee, the company most popular for creating little robot toys, brings to the table in 2012 the ability to combine toys and action figures with Android applications for smartphones and tablets.  If I’ve ever experienced a strange or different “thinking out of the box” behavior before, this would certainly be it.  And I mean that in a good way assuming this trend kicks off and catches on well.  The action figures purchased come ready to pair with their own free downloadable application.  The applications can either provide virtual game play with the figures or an augmented reality game play on the smartphone and tab.  You can expect to see the launch of the new games early this year and they’ll go for around $9.99 to $19.99 depending on what model toy or platform you want.  To kick things off, the company will offer six different products which will include titles like Alien Jailbreak, Zombie Burbs and Elite Commander.  You can check out some of these titles after the break via YouTube videos as well as the presser.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think of them in the comments below.  We’ll be covering more news from WowWee as we catch their booth at CES this year.  
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Easily Unlock and Root your Verizon Galaxy Nexus with this new 2-Click method, Unroot and Re-lock just as easy

Unlocking and rooting your Galaxy Nexus is a pretty easy process, but I’m sure there are some of you that wouldn’t mind something even easier. I think I might have something for you. WugFresh from the galaxynexusforum just posted his program that easily unlocks and roots your Verizon Galaxy Nexus as well as easily flashing it back to stock and re-locking it. This is completely automated and simple. Please note that this is for the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus, but WugFresh promises the GSM version is coming soon.


1) Install the program by double clicking the GnexRootToolkit.sfx.exe

  •  This will extract the contents to %PROGRAMFILES%\GnexRootToolkit
  •  Place shortcuts on your Desktop and Start Menu\Progarms
  •  Launch the program for first use

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Contest: Win one of twenty Free licenses for JuiceDefender Ultimate, JuiceDefender Plus on sale for 99cents (Updated with winners)

When it comes to conserving your battery, nobody does it better than JuiceDefender. We all can use a little more battery power each day can’t we? JuiceDefender is probably the most popular app for saving power and extending battery life. It has been downloaded over 7 million times. There are three tiers  - Juice Defender Battery Saver (Free), JuiceDefender Plus (on sale for .99cents through January 7), and JuiceDefender Ultimate ($4.99).

JuiceDefender – Battery Saver lets you easily manage Mobile Data, keep power consumption under control (e.g. disabling connectivity when the battery runs low), schedule regular Synchronization events, and much more. The preset power saving profiles makes it very easy to use – just tap Enable and go!

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Add Extra Quick Controls and Load Desktop Sites Without Root Thanks to Browser Plus



One of the cool things about Ice Cream Sandwich is the fact that you can maximize your screen real estate while browsing the internet and still have functionality thanks to the quick controls. A quick check of the feature in the labs tab under settings and you are good to go. However if you are using it, what you see is what you get. You still have a browser that loads mobile sites with controls that cannot be customized. Don’t get me wrong I still think that the browser found in Android 4.0 is one heck of an upgrade versus any previous iteration but for me, not being able to customize the controls or load desktop versions of web sites goes against what Android is about. That is, being open, easily customizable, and amazingly quick.

Browser Plus looks to do just that while taking ICS’ browser to that next level, giving you both the ability to add extra settings in the quick controls and to render desktop web pages without having to root your device. You can change the browser User Agent String under settings in the advanced tab to do that. As far as I know this works on Android 4.0.1 and above with more devices running Ice Cream Sandwich slated to be compatible down the road; like the Nexus S. So for those of you wanting a little bit more customizability for your browsers can hit the break below to check out the market link or QR code, enjoy!
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Galaxy Nexus Gets Its Own 4G LTE Toggle Switch/Widget From Team BAMF

And the race to bring a 4G LTE toggle function to the Galaxy Nexus is well under way as Team BAMF emerges with the capability for the Galaxy Nexus device.  These are the same dev’s who brought you the toggle button for the HTC Thunderbolt.  Your device has to be rooted and it’s being touted that the function works well on most of the ROM’s available for the G-Nex.  Note that they’ve had some difficulties getting it to work properly on a stock rooted Nexus, so be cautious.  If you’re ready to check it out you can follow the simple instructions below.  
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