DROID Bionic Bug Fix Starts Rolling Out, Be on the Lookout

We have gotten word from a couple readers that the long awaited DROID Bionic update is starting to roll out. This new update will bring the device up to build number 5.5.893 and should clear up a whole slew of issues. If you own a Bionic, be on the lookout for the update message in your notification bar. If you want to see if it is available to push to your device, you can always check by pressing menu-settings-> about phone-> system updates.

Kudos Jim and Chris!

 

 

 

Day 5 Of Google’s Ten Billion App Download Celebration, 10 New Apps (9 Actually) for .10 Cents Each.

Well it’s day 5 of the celebration, and we have ten more apps to chose from, or all if you want. So without any further delay here is the list for this fine Saturday.

Well it seems that Google is going to throw an app from day 1 back into the mix. I can’t complain, I have Asphalt 6, and love it. I see four apps on this list that I am going to take full advantage of, how many do you see? Let us know what you liked in the comments section.

 

Anger Meter Maxed: ASUS Transformer Prime Now on the Delayed List?

Here we go again guys (I am cringing as if I’m about to get punched in the face). Word has it that a Phandroid reader who placed a Transformer Prime pre-order from online retailer NCIX, received an email stating that the device has been delayed with no ETA. Apparently the device has Wi-Fi issues and might not arrive before Christmas. Talk about another major let down. The email received from NCIX reads like this:

“Unfortunately, we just received word that the ASUS Transformer Prime has been delayed worldwide and will most likely not be available before Christmas. ASUS feels the WiFi range does not currently meet their standards and has delayed all shipments worldwide. At the moment there is no ETA and no information on available quantities on the first batch.”

I know this sounds too horrible and coincidental to be true, but after reading corroborating comments from the Phandriod article, it seems too widespread not to be. So if you were one of the proud who placed a Transformer Prime pre-order you may want to go check your inbox to see if you have any bad news. If you do, feel free to let out your frustrations in the comments below. We will continue to keep a close eye on this one and let you know how things pan-out.

And thanks for not hitting me. Although I come bearing bad news, I am only the messenger. #epicbummer

[via Phandroid]

 

 

Panasonic Reveals Water/Dust Proof 4.3-Inch OLED Phone, Destined for European Markets

A few weeks ago, we told you about Panasonic’s goal to take on smartphone markets outside of Japan and ultimately reach annual sales of 7.5 million units by 2015. Their first attempt will be in the European markets with a new 4.3-inch OLED smartphone that was just announced. Not many details were given other than it will be an ultra slim, D-shaped device that is water and dust resistant. It seems like if they want consumers to get excited about the device they would at least give us some detailed specs to go along with these mediocre pictures.

According to the press release, ambitions are high and Panasonic hopes to push this phone worldwide and ship 5 million units in the next fiscal year. With all the great devices available these days, Panasonic is really going to have to hit a home run if they don’t want to be disappointed. Take LG for example. Like Pannasonic, they have been quite successful with consumer electronics but have not quite been able to harness the mobile device market just yet. Only time will tell I guess.

As soon as we get some specs (let alone a name) we will let you know more. Join us after the break for the full press release.


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HTC Desire HD and Incredible S Get Updated to Sense 3.0, Wildfire S Gets New Lockscreen

Even with releasing their new phones (like the Rezound), HTC is showing some love to their older ones. Multiple users have reported that the Desire HD and Incredible S have both received updates to Android 2.3.5 with Sense 3.0, which puts them right up there with the likes of the Sensation and EVO 3D. Before this update, people were stuck with having to root these devices if they wanted these features. The Wildfire S also received some love. While it did not get bumped to 3.0 (it has Sense 2.1), it did receive the Android 2.3.5 push with the Sense 3.0 lockscreen.

While there is no word if the Incredible 2 will receive this update in the future or not. If you have any of these three phones however, and haven’t received the update just yet, head to Settings>About Phone>Software Updates to see if it’s available. For those that have it, what do you think? Is it amazing?

 

[via Android Central]

ASUS Transformer Prime Now Available For Pre-order In The UK

So you’re coveting that oh-so fast quad-core tablet, but loathe the waiting period before getting your gritty mitts on one? Well kids, you’re one step closer to owning the ASUS Transformer Prime. Clove UK has just announced they’ve begun taking pre-orders of the 32GB and 64GB variations of the attractive tablet for the not-too unreasonable price of £550 including VAT. You can check the link below for more details. I’m sure many of you will.

[via Clove Blog UK]

Google Includes New Movie Search Enhancements

Those developers at Google are certainly on a roll. They just keep throwing one enhancement after another– and now they come with another cool and nifty feature on deck. They’ve just made it even faster and easier to discover movies, showtimes and theaters– all from your smartphone! When you search for movies or your favorite theater like AMC Loews in New York City on 34th Street on Google.com from your phone, you’ll see interactive results for movies in a new swipeable ribbon, with the most relevant information displayed at the top of the page. All of this is developed to help you quickly browse what’s playing in theaters now– no need to wait for a page to load or to use the back button.

To learn more about a movie, it’s a simple process. You tap the movie title to find details like the full summary. You can even view the official trailer and buy tickets directly from your smartphone by tapping on underlined showtimes!

Be sure to give this neat new feature a shot on your Android smartphone. All you do is visit Google.com, search for movies or your local theater and see the cool addition in action!

[via Google Mobile Blog]

Amazon Kindle Fire review: Is it for you?

Amazon recently jumped into the tablet game with a vengeance. With decent specs, their name, and a price tag of $199, there’s no question they are going to sell a lot of these. The question is if you should jump in on the craze? Here is my full review, but you can also checkout my initial hands on video.

Design:

The Kindle Fire shares the same designer as the BlackBerry PlayBook so it’s no surprise they resemble each other. The Fire is solid, but pardon the pun, it feels like book in respect to its weight. It weighs a whopping 413 grams which is 68 grams heavier than the similar sized Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Even with the extra weight, I will say its comfortable in the hands. You won’t find any physical buttons, except for the power button, which is at the bottom. I found this to be odd as very few devices place it there, so I had a hard time getting used to it. The speaker placement is at the top (when holding it in portrait mode), but when watching a movie the speakers move to the left side which isn’t a big ideal.

Hardware:

The Kindle Fire has a 7-inch (1024 x 600) IPS display, 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB for storage (about 6GB usable), 4400mAh battery, microUSB, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, and WiFi. You won’t find a camera or a microSD slot for extra storage. The lack of a camera is not a problem, but the lack of being able to increase storage is a big issue.

Battery:

The 4400mAh battery performs adequately. You will need to charge it once or twice a week depending on how much you use it. You will get roughly 7 to 8  hours of video or reading time, which is not as good as the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, but not all that bad.

Performance:

The lack of memory is an issue with the Kindle Fire. 512MB RAM is simply not enough as it can hesitate at times. I have seen other devices with the same memory perform better, so it’s possible the forked Android software is a factor. I think most consumers won’t have too many complaints though. The real question will be how it performs after 6 months of usage. Many lower end devices seem great out of the box, but over time can get bogged down. I suspect that this will be an issue, especially with the lack of memory and the fact that it shows sluggishness so early on.

Software:

The software is what separates the Kindle Fire from other Android devices. Amazon doesn’t promote “Android” at all, and most people won’t know it’s an Android device unless someone tells them. You may have seen UI skins like Sense, Touchwiz, and Blur (I didn’t call it that), but this is a complete fork job of the Android OS. There isn’t much to customize on the main screen except for your favorite apps, which are shown at the bottom. The top of the home screen has a horizontal display of icons for Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps, and the Web. The Fire is simple enough for anyone to pick up and figure out how to open up a book, watch a video, or checkout apps. This was really key for Amazon and they nailed it. A lot of Kindle Fire purchasers are going to be new to this type of technology and this UI won’t be daunting.

Is it for you:

Now its time to decide whether you should buy one or not. If the Kindle Fire was a pure Android tablet, or at least Android with a simple UI skin, I would have no issues in recommending it. My problem with it is that Amazon has decided to take Android and make their own ecosystem. Since Android is open and free, they have that right to do this, but it does cause complications for some users. For example, if you already have an Android phone, it doesn’t make sense to buy a Kindle Fire because the Android Market isn’t available to you on it. If you purchase an app from the Android Market, you will have to re-purchase the app for the Kindle Fire using the Amazon Appstore. That is if you are lucky enough to find it. There over 300,000 apps in the Android Market, but the Amazon Appstore doesn’t even have 25% of that. This is going to cause a lot of confusion for consumers.

Right now I can hear the hackers yelling out, “You can root it and put the Android Market on yourself or even install CyanogenMod.” Yes, that’s all true, but this article is for the average consumer, and the average consumer is not going to buy a Kindle Fire to hack.

Others might argue that they plan on buying the Fire for mostly reading, and apps aren’t a big deal. If that’s the case, then go get yourself a basic Kindle Touch for $99 and call it a day. The Kindle Fire is not an eReader as some have suggested. This is a tablet. As long as you can watch video, listen to music, download apps, and browse the Web it gets classified as a tablet in my opinion.

Going back to someone who already has an Android phone and who wants to buy a tablet (something more than just for reading) I can only recommend buying an Android tablet. The good news is that the Amazon ecosystem will still be available to any other Android tablet. You can still install the Amazon Appstore for your Free App of the day and you can still get access to the Kindle store for books. The Amazon MP3 store and cloud music player are also available. The one issue would be the instant video service which isn’t available in the Android Market, but you can still install it on your Android device with this apk file. The only real issue is price. The Kindle Fire costs $199, and most Android tablets are $399 and higher. There are options though, like the original Samsung Galaxy Tab which can be bought for $199. Even the ASUS Transformer is selling for $299 in certain places. Yes, that’s $100 more, but it has a 10-inch screen and better specs. There is also the Acer A100 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet A1 for $249. You might have to spend a little more, but you have the full power of Android and often better specs.

So who would I recommend a Kindle Fire to? Your Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparents might make the most sense. Basically those that don’t own a smartphone or any other “smart” device. I wouldn’t hesitate in buying one for my Mom because I know she won’t ever have a smartphone. I also can’t stress enough that if you’re only interested in books, then get yourself a Kindle Touch and save $100.

Its simple to me. If someone has an iPhone, I recommend an iPad. If they have an Android phone, I recommend an Android tablet. For Android users, I can’t recommend a Kindle Fire even though technically it’s an Android device. It has a completely different ecosystem, but since that ecosystem is still available to Android users in general, it doesn’t make sense to confuse things. It might cost a little more, but it will be easier to set up and manage your apps. If you don’t have a smartphone and don’t plan on getting one, than go get yourself the Kindle Fire and have a blast.

Androidify Rocks Some Festivity

It ’tis the season to update your avatars and Google knows it. Today they released an update to the popular app Androidify that adds brand new winter gear to the mix. They include candy canes and mittens all the way to 2012 New Years glasses. If you have the app already head over to the Android Market to update otherwise hit the link or QR code below to rock your Android festivity!
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Download the New Motorola XYBoard Wallpapers Now

In case you were wondering what the new Motorola DROID XYBoard wallpapers look like (because the DROID line always comes up with some snazzy ones), they are now available for your downloading pleasure. A couple of them are repeats but some of the new ones are pretty bitchin’. Hit up the download link below to get the whole shebang or jump past the cut to grab one (or all) of the 5 from the gallery. So.. what are you waiting for? Go get your XYBoard on!

Also, don’t forget that you can get these wallpapers on the actual device they were made for! Today, Verizon started taking XYBoard tablet orders online and will they will be available in-store on Monday, Dec. 12.

xyboardwallsDL.zip


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