Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

31
Oct
AngryBirds

Yesterday, I told you how to use pre-made icons to create a custom Android Phone 7 theme. Today, I'll walk you through how to create your own icons in Adobe Photoshop. I'm going to assume you have at least a basic understanding of Photoshop.

Estimated time required: 15 minutes for the first icon, and 2 minutes for each subsequent icon.

Difficulty: Low if you've used Photoshop before.

30
Oct
snap20101010_120010
Last Updated: November 7th, 2010

About a month ago, XDA-Devs member newone757 created a really great theme based on the one used in Windows Phone 7 - hence the name, Android Phone 7. He was kind enough to post the image files, a template image, and a short how-to, as well. I've taken the personalization a step further and created icons to fit my needs, and now it's your turn.

This theme was made for, and written using, a high resolution device (EVO 4G - 800x480).

29
Oct
xperia_x10

Try to contain your excitement, here: Sony-Ericsson will begin rolling out an the update to Android 2.1 (Éclair) for the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro devices starting November 1. As sarcastic as we are about being updated to an already out-of-date version, it's still a huge step up from the current Android 1.6. Major features of the updates:

Xperia X10:
• HD video recording with continuous auto-focus for high quality videos
• Upgrade of the Android platform to Android 2.1
• New back up and restore application, with extended content back up
• 5 homescreens for apps, widgets, shortcuts and folders
• Social phonebook which automatically syncs contact pictures from Facebook and shows when your friends are online

Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro:
• Improved Bluetooth functionality with support for sending and receiving pictures, contacts and more
• New backup and restore application with extended content back up
• Automatic synchronization of your contact pictures between Facebook and your phone book
• Improved ways of handling pictures, audio, text and numbers in your messages
• Upgrade of the Android platform to Android platform 2.1

Android 2.1 brings a slew of benefits on its own, so their "Upgrade of the Android platform to Android 2.1" entails an awful lot of changes on its own.

29
Oct
NPD-marketshare

Finally, some empirical evidence that illustrates what we've known for some time now: Android is growing like gangbusters. In fact, 28% of smartphones sold in Q1 2010 were Android, compared to 21% for iOS. RIM still holds the top spot with 36%, but that's a drop of roughly 12% in the past year - while iOS has fallen approximately 10% itself. In the same period, Android increased over 20%.

NPD-marketshare

In fact, it seems like Android grew at the expense of just about everyone else - excluding a minor 1-2% increase in "other".

28
Oct
d2update

Word on the street is that Droid 2 users are now receiving/pulling a minor update. The official Verizon document on the update reveals a number of improvements:

    • Improved battery life
    • Heightened proximity sensor accuracy to enable faster screen response
    • View the Weather widget in both landscape and portrait orientation.
    • Simpler setup, improved user interactions, and better notifications for Visual Voice Mail.
    • Background Email Sync during display inactivity for better user experience
    • Support for email domain suffixes containing more than three characters.
    27
    Oct
    paypal_post

    In what is certainly a grade-A dropping of the ball, it looks like somebody accidently pulled the trigger on a post at PayPal's Blog before it was time to. We say accidently because the post read:

    ... reporting from Innovate 2010. Today, Google announced that you can use PayPal to buy apps on their Android Market.

    The only thing is, at the time the post went live, no such thing had been revealed yet - whoops.

    26
    Oct
    eng_PSphone
    Last Updated: January 11th, 2011

    Remember that Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone we heard about back in August? Turns out it's not only real, but a prototype is out and about in the wild - and Engadget has landed themselves some surprisingly clear and detailed pictures of the device. Better still, it looks pretty close to the renders we saw in August - surprising, given the track record for Android rumors.

    eng_PSphone

    Between the PlayStation moniker and the slide-out gamepad, I think it's pretty clear that this beastie will be marketed as a gaming phone.

    26
    Oct
    clockr_thumb

    Yesterday, developer and XDA member zehro released his minimalist clock app, clockr. The app is actually a widget - and it really is as simple as it sounds: it's a pure-text clock.

    clockr_beta_v03

    At the moment, there are no customization options for the widget - that's coming at some point - but it looks like user hollywooder has been hard at work creating alternate themes for the clock. The upside is that there's a degree of variability in usage; the obvious downside is that you need to download and flash an .APK to change the colors.

    23
    Oct
    COD1

    Thanks to @maxisma, AndroidSpin found that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Force Recon is now available for download via GetJar. The good news: it looks pretty damn fun - it's reminiscent of PaperBoy, but with a lot more shooting and blood. But there's bad news, as well: before you get too excited, you should know that there's a decent chance your device may not be supported. I haven't looked at the supported devices list thoroughly (it's long, I'm lazy), but it looks like you need a trackball to play.

    23
    Oct
    itching_thumb

    Update: Thanks to commenter Xcom923 (below), I rebooted my phone and have it working! It's freakin' awesome!

    Meet Itching Thumb, an absolutely amazing task switcher that's very similar to the one found on WebOS. There's not much I can say that rivals what's shown in the video:

    For those who are unable to watch the video or who are unfamiliar with WebOS, it's basically a "card" system - similar to CoverFlow (but with a customizable style).

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