AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note Unboxing and Initial Hands On Review [Video]

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note back in September, we all wondered when the U.S. would get this bad boy. It may have taken longer than we wanted, but hey, better late than never right? You will have your chance to buy one in either carbon blue or ceramic white starting this Sunday at AT&T for $299.99. Of course if you pre-ordered, you will receive it today.

The AT&T version features a 5.3-inch (1280 x 800) Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, 16GB internal memory, microSD for up to an additional 32GB, HDMI though MHL/USB 2.0 port, NFC, 4G LTE, HSPA+ at 21.1 Mbps, 2500mAh battery, and Android 2.3.6. It’s definitely big, but it’s also fairly thin at 9.65mm while weighing 183 grams.

We will do a full review, but I’m not sure you should even wait for it. Just go and buy it and be prepared because everyone will be starring at you with envy. How can you not be the most popular person at any party with the Galaxy Note?  Here’s my initial hands on.

Baseball Superstars 2012 Brings HD Graphics, Updated Batting/Pitching Moves and Improved Gameplay

If any of you are avid Android gamers I am sure you are familiar with the game developer Gamevil. In case you aren’t familiar, Gamevil is responsible for bringing us uber popular game titles such as Cartoon Wars, Air Penguin and both the Soccer and Baseball Superstars series’. Just yesterday, Gamevil released their latest title in the Baseball Superstars series and this time it’s in HD. With a series that has already received over 30 million downloads you can expect the newest release to be better than the rest.

I think stepping up to the plate and releasing the game in HD was a wise move on Gamevil’s part. With the quality of displays we are seeing on devices these days, its a bummer when you download a new app or game and it can’t even utilize your device to its fullest potential. Good call Gamevil!

Other than improved gameplay and HD graphics, Baseball Superstars 2012 brings other additional features such as:
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Galaxy S II i9100 Sees Another Official ICS 4.0.3 ROM Leaked

It appears that the Galaxy S II i9100 is seeing yet another official Android 4.0.3 ROM leak. This time we are seeing the I9100XXLPH build from February 9th. It still has Android 4.0.3 with TouchWiz intact but builds improvements upon the previously leaked build we told you about on February 3rd. While the XXLPB improved upon the battery life from another previous build before that, this new build is said to improve battery life even further. It also brings the following to the table in regards to the previous LPB build:

  • Interface: Kind of 3D effect when scrolling.
  • Battery: Lot better than early ones.
  • Faster: Feels the same as LPB
  • Touch: Not so good as LPB.
  • Overall: Better score in our eyes than LPB .
  • Facelock: Same as LPB working fine.
  • Task: Same as version LPB.

According to the forums it’s rumored that this is the build that is the precursor to the official update coming forth. If this is true then the rumored timeline that the S II would be seeing ICS on March 1st is shaping up to be true. While there still may be some hiccups in this test build it’s being reported that this is good enough to be used as a daily driver. If you test this hit us up in the comments below to let us know how well it runs.

 

source: SamMobile
via: pocketnow

Google’s 2009 Patent for Notification Pull Down Bar Still Pending

When Apple introduced their “new” and “innovative” Notifications Center in iOS 5, Android users everywhere were scratching their heads. Android had already featured the notification bar, and Apple had clearly put their own spin on an already existing idea. Everyone was wondering why Google didn’t have a patent on this great idea, and as it turns out, they do. Apparently, patents take a long time, since US 2009/0249247 was filed in January 2009 and is still pending. We can all rest assured that Google was watching its back. If this patent is approved, there just may be another lawsuit on the horizon.

Here is Google’s explanation on the notification feature:

This document describes systems and techniques that may be used to alert a user of a mobile device about an event, such as about the presence of a recently-received message, e.g., an e-mail, voice mail, or text message, or other form of event such as a change in song on a music player running in a background state. In general, when a message is first received (or another event is triggered), a portion of the message may be provided in an area that is outside the main area of a mobile device display, such as by scrolling information about the message through a traditional status bar area of the device. A status bar area is the typically-static area on a device that displays information such as bars for wireless signal strength, a remaining battery life indicator, an icon that shows the network over which wireless communication is occurring, and the like. The main area or zone of the display is generally the central, largest area of a display where active programs are displayed, while supplemental elements are typically displayed around the periphery of the main area or over the main area in pop up windows or similar graphical elements.

Where the event that is being noticed is a message, the scrolling notification for the message may include, for example, an identifier for the sender of the message and a snippet from the message, such as the first few words in an e-mail or a subject line from an e-mail. The alert may also include an icon showing the type of message, such as an envelope for an e-mail message. Where the alert is not a message, the scrolling notification may include other descriptive or suggestive text or graphics, such as the title of a song, the status of a device parameter that is being reported, the identity of an item (e.g., a physical good or a computer application) that currently became available at an on-line marketplace, and other such information.

source: Google Patents
via: phandroid

[Leak] Motorola Atrix 3 smiles for the camera with alleged Tegra 3 and 2GB of RAM

With dual-core processors being so 2011, it’s no surprise that we keep seeing leaks of supposed quad-core devices. The latest comes from Motorola and it’s the Atrix 3.  As you can see in the picture, it’s buttonless so expect this to launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Other rumored specs include a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 720p display, and a 10MP rear camera. One other rumored spec, and the best one as far as I’m concerned, is a 3300mAh battery, which is what the DROID RAZR MAXX sports.

Whether this is real or not, we don’t know for sure, but it’s certainly not a ridiculous notion that Motorola would be working on the 3rd edition of the popular AT&T device.

source: concept-phones
via: androidcentral

 

 

Kindle Fire Study: Bad Usability, Great Sales

The folks over at Human Factors International, a company that specializes in user-centered design training and consulting, have published an interesting white paper about the increasingly popular Kindle Fire. Written by the CEO Eric Schaffer, the basic premise of the document states that even though the Fire has some fundamental usability issues with its user interface, it’s still a success for other reasons. What usability issues, you ask?


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Amazon Rises to 14 Percent of the Tablet Market Share

While we all know how popular the iPad is, Amazon is stealing the show with their rapid rise in sales. Research firm IHS iSuppli has released shipping data from 2011. The Kindle Fire rose to 14 percent of the tablet market share in the fourth quarter, pushing it to second place. Following Amazon is Samsung in third place, Barnes and Noble in fourth place, and Asus rounding out the top five. Apple still has the lion share of the market at 57 percent, but they have dipped down from 64 percent in the third quarter.

IHS iSuppli reports that Apple lost some of those sales to themselves, with some customers opting for the iPhone 4S instead of an iPad. However, the Kindle Fire is popular because it is much more affordable at $199 than the iPad. While it is noted that these numbers are for shipments, not for actual sales, it’s still enough action for Apple to sit up and take notice.

The release of the iPad 3 will shake up the tablet  market once again, but with the cheaper price and good functionality of the Kindle Fire and other Android tablets, the future is wide open for competition.

source: IHS iSuppli
via: Tech Crunch 

Skype for Android Update Brings Improved Interface and More

Skype for Android has just been updated to version 2.7.0.907, and brings an updated calling interface, performance improvements, bug fixes, and continues to add video calling support for more devices with the addition of support for Sprint’s Samsung Epic 4G Touch.

The market page lists the following:

What’s in this version:

  1. Improvements and new features:
  2. Calling interface updated
  3. Improved quality
  4. Enabled video calling for Samsung Epic 4G Touch

Here’s what the new calling interface looks like. Minimalist and classy.


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FCC Approves Acer Iconia Tab A510

The highly anticipated Acer tablet, the Iconia Tab A510 has received approval from the FCC. The tablet is scheduled for release sometime in April, and is headed for Europe. The 10.1″ tablet is equipped with a quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a resolution of 1280 x 800 and comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iterations. Input and output candies include a microSD slot, mini-HDMI and mini-USB. Keep posted to TalkAndroid for an official release date! Lucky Europeans.

source: phandroid