02
Jan
2011-10-21-17h07_013
Last Updated: March 6th, 2012

We know, we told you our holiday giveaway series would feature some of our largest contests to date. And it did - we gave away over a dozen tablets and nearly as many phones to our readers. But we thought we'd start the new year off with our biggest giveaway yet (an international one, to boot) - 10 Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones, courtesy of our amazingly generous friends at AVAST Software.

02
Jan
unnamed

After getting a glimpse of Avast's new mobile security solution a few weeks ago, I just had to dive in and give the app a full review. Avast, the long-awaited marriage of Avast and IT Agents' Theft Aware (see our review), certainly doesn't disappoint. It has an insane number of features, all of which appear to work perfectly, and it sounds like things will only be improving with time.

And did I mention the full-featured, root-enhanced app is completely free with no paid version in sight?

02
Jan
image

The minds behind CyanogenMod have done it again, bringing nightly updates to several LG Optimus variants, and adding official CM7 support for the Epic 4G (not to be confused with Sprint's Galaxy SII variant).

Among the newly-supported LG devices are the Optimus 3D (p920), Hub (e510), Pro (c660), and Black (p970) (which is technically seeing the return of nightlies). It may be worth noting that the Optimus Hub and Pro both received RomManager support tonight, making it excessively simple to get CM goodness on the devices.

02
Jan
PR-ASUS-Eee-Pad-Transformer-Prime-front-Amethyst-Gray_thumb1

Forget about GPS issues, it looks like ASUS has a bigger problem on its hand with the Transformer Prime: a locked/encrypted bootloader. Like with other devices, as soon as the development community found out about this, there were some rather irritated people. The typical backlash against the company has now started on popular social networking sites, along with a petition that has managed to get over 200 signatures in just a few hours.

02
Jan
2011-12-27 15h35_21

If your new year's resolution is to kill more time playing games on your Android device (that's mine, anyway), then Gameloft is all ready to give you the hookup beginning on December 29th, when all of their games will be dropped down to mere $0.99 in the Market. The one exclusion to this deal is Modern Combat 3 - it will, however, go on sale for one day (though they didn't mention the price).

31
Dec
htc-thunderbolt-official

2011 was a great year for Android - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was announced. The Galaxy Nexus was released. A whole truckload of Android tablets came out. The first 4G LTE smartphones appeared. But there were some significant speed bumps as well. Here are, in no particular order, the five things in the world of Android in the last year that really got our hopes up, but ended up being a little disappointing.

31
Dec
hardware_vs_software_buttons

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Did You Get An Android Device For The Holidays?

In tablets, having buttons on-screen rather than built into the body is standard operating procedure. On phones, however, there's really only one that eschews physical buttons for software, and that's the Galaxy Nexus. Still fuzzy on what I mean? Take a look at the comparison shot below, lifted from our review of the Galaxy Nexus:

hardware_vs_software_buttons

On the left, the Galaxy Nexus, with its three software buttons displayed on-screen.

30
Dec
1323159175_f2209

Adding to the ever-growing list of knockoff devices found overseas, Nexian (an Indonesian mobile phone manufacturer) brings us the Android Magic A893 – a device that looks awfully similar to the iPhone, but which packs Android 2.2 Froyo and rings in at IDR 1,599,000 (about $175 USD). To get a better idea of the device's eerily familiar form factor, check out this unboxing video:

And here are the device's (less than magical) specs:

  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • WCDMA 2100MHz and GSM 900/1800 MHz compatibility
  • HSPA/EDGE/GPRS
  • 3.5" HVGA multitouch display
  • VGA front shooter and 2MP rear camera
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5G Connectivity
  • 8GB Internal memory

2011-12-29 13.48.24 (2)

To the Magic's credit, the inclusion of interchangeable back plates is a nice touch, and the fact that the device (allegedly) has a capacitive display may put this device slightly above other knockoffs you may have seen.

30
Dec
image

Just after expanding Nightly support to Samsung's Epic 4G and a slew of LG handsets, the CyanogenMod team has brought nightlies to a handful of Xperia devices, including Coconut (the Xperia Live with Walkman), Iyokan (the Xperia Pro), and Satsuma (the Xperia Active).

image image image

In a Google+ post earlier today, CyanogenMod announced that CM7 support had arrived for multiple new devices, throwing out a special hint to Xperia users.

30
Dec
Droid-4-Front

What do you get when you take a Droid Bionic, slap a keyboard on it, and give it the bloat (physically - not bloatware) treatment? The Droid 4! This phone was originally said to be like the "Droid RAZR with a keyboard," but we see nothing RAZR about this behemoth. We'll start off gently - but brace yourself, it gets pretty ugly.

Update: Just realized that this is a dummy unit (not sure how I overlooked that the first time around), so that means it may not the exact size of the actual Droid 4.

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