20
Oct
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Since last night's announcement, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Galaxy Nexus. One of the most mysterious features of Samsung's latest Nexus device is its onboard barometer. Many have been questioning why Samsung would include a barometer in the Nexus' sleek chassis, citing possibilities from more accurate weather prediction to simple altitude detection (which is partially true).

In a Google+ post today, Android Engineer Dan Morrill gave us the scoop on what the barometer is actually for, and it's more interesting than you might think.

19
Oct
1a396244-d4d3-4752-a304-3632cd3dd4d4

Let's get the preliminary question off the plate first: who is Matias Duarte? Well for one thing, he oversaw the designing of a few small projects such as webOS, Sidekick OS, and Helio (the little carrier that could... be bought out). And, oh yeah, he also played a large part in Honeycomb's development.

Yesterday he sat down with Joshua Topolsky of This is my Next (soon to be The Verge) to discuss the "philosophy" of Android and, more specifically, Ice Cream Sandwich.

19
Oct
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Since I'm seeing questions inquiring about Android 4.0's source code drop every 5 minutes here and there, I thought it would be a good idea to point out this blurb in a recent post by an Android engineer Dan Morrill, aka morrildl:

  • To reiterate, these servers contain only the ‘gingerbread’ and ‘master’ branches from the old AOSP servers. We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices.
  • 19
    Oct
    Swype

    A new beta version of Swype for Android, version 3.26, has been released, with the chief improvements being automatic updates, 11 new languages, a refined key layout, and enhanced settings in help. Now that they've nearly doubled the number of supported languages, the Swype package has been broken into four: one each for the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, and one for all regions.

    Undoubtedly the most substantial improvement to existing Swype users: automatic updates.

    19
    Oct
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    Last Updated: November 22nd, 2011

    Update: Unfortunately, Verizon pulled the ads. When we asked them why, their official response was: "The ads were pulled because some of the professional service agreements have expired."

    Bummer.

    It's no secret that Verizon's LTE network is the fastest and largest mobile data network in the U.S. (can't say it's the most reliable though), but to make sure every Tom, Dick, and Harry knows about this, the company has rolled out a batch of LTE commercials featuring slogans such as "Instant Results," "Just Like That," "What You Want.

    19
    Oct
    image

    The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is, if nothing else, a unique breed of tablet, conveniently offering the functionality of a netbook at your whim, with the addition of a handy keyboard dock. It is, no doubt, a capable piece of hardware, but (in my opinion) it seems a bit awkward and bulky. Of course, upon its release, speculation about its successor began almost immediately. Several months later, ASUS has released a teaser video that gives us a few hints about the next Transformer.

    19
    Oct
    wm_217756

    We've been hearing rumors of the Droid RAZR for some time now, and it's finally official. Like previously suggested, this is a super-thin, ultra-light powerhouse of a device, with some pretty impressive features tucked away under its sleek, stainless steel frame:

    • 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display
    • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8MP rear shooter, front facing camera
    • 16GB built-in storage, 16GB microSD card
    • Android 2.3.5
    • 7.1mm thin, 127 grams
    • 1800mAh battery
    • Made with Kevlar fiber
    • Gorilla Glass
    • Motorola Splash Guard
    • Webtop cabpable
    • 4G LTE
    • Bluetooth 4.0

    Update 10/19/11: Two official videos of the RAZR:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9Sz3Cn101Y

    wm_217755 wm_217756

    The Droid RAZR packs some new software features, as well, like Motorola Smart Actions, a Tasker or Locale-like automation system that can toggle radios, adjust brightness, clock speed, and more, all of which are user definable and will activate given a certain situation.

    19
    Oct
    kindlefirerootcomp

    It looks like the HP Touchpad isn't the only tablet to have a bounty placed on its head - Kindle Fire Forum is now offering a substantial reward to the first person who's able to provide a reliable, reversible root method, or either a Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich port for Amazon's Android tablet.

    kindlefirerootcomp

    The forum is offering a prize of $200 for a root method, and a whopping $800 for a "Basic" Honeycomb or ICS port.

    19
    Oct
    10-18-2011 7-26-11 PM

    Update: This post has been updated with links to a deeper look at each feature. Enjoy!

    Holy crap. The Samsung/Google event ended just a little while ago, and I have to say, I'm pretty overwhelmed by the amount of awesome that I just experienced. The Galaxy Nexus is official, as is its counterpart OS: Ice Cream Sandwich. There is no doubt that ICS is the most polished version of Android to date.

    19
    Oct
    230_Galaxy_Nexus_SignuUp

    It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.

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