Android OS

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Android 3.2 To Add New 'Zoom' Mode For Viewing Non-Honeycomb Apps

In a world void of many Honeycomb-specific apps, we often turn to small screen variants in order to fulfill our on-the-go needs. While many of the apps designed for phones work and scale appropriately on the large screen, it often to leads to odd placement of objects, tiny buttons to tap, and other inconveniences that end up being less-than-ideal. Fortunately, Google incorporated a solution to this problem in Android 3.2 (Honeycomb): "zoom mode."

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Currently, when you run an app designed for phones on a Honeycomb tablet it stretches everything to fit the screen. With the new "zoom to fill" option, it will instead run the app in MDPI resolution (320*480) and upscale everything - effectively running the app at 200% its original size.

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Android-Powered Tablets Take 34% Of The Global Market In Q1

When it comes to tablets, the iPad has dominated the market since it first became available back in early 2010. However, Android has been making slow strides towards the top, taking bigger bites out of iPad sales every quarter, and the figures just announced by IDC speak no differently.

In the first quarter of 2011, Android accounted for 34% of global tablet sales, which is up 8.2% from the previous quarter. It's not all good, though, as the tablet market as a whole dropped by 28% during Q1. However, IDC sees this as merely a hiccup in terms of sales and expects the market to continue rising, estimating that the global tablet market will hit 53.5 million units this year.

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HTC: EVO 3D, Sensation 4G (And Global) Bootloader Unlock Will Roll Out In August - Sort Of

HTC has finally laid out a timetable for the release of software updates on phones that will allow the unlocking of device bootloaders. It sounds like HTC will be utilizing a system similar to Sony - which uses a web-based tool as part of the unlock process. Why? HTC states that while the OTA software update allowing unlocking will start rolling out in August, the actually ability to unlock phones won't be ready until early September. So, at the earliest, your EVO 3D or Sensation 4G will be unlockable in about 2 months.

Unfortunately, there's another caveat: HTC hasn't exactly made it 100% clear that August is the date for the release of said software update for the EVO 3D and Sensation 4G.

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Incredible 2 Joins The CyanogenMod 7 Nightly Club

Get it while it's hot, kids - the DROID Incredible 2 is officially merged into CyanogenMod, and the nightly builds are now being pumped out (direct link here). These nightly builds may contain bugs, dragons, and other potentially annoying/broken things - so flash at your own risk. Your Dinc2 will also need to be fully unlocked, meaning you'll have to use the AlphaRevX Beta 2 software, which you can learn about in this post. And you'll need a custom recovery, which you can find here. So, you do need to do some work before you can get your CyanogenMod on.

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HTC Thunderbolt OTA Update 1.70.605.0 (Froyo) Rolling Out Now, Fixes Reboots, Enhances Data Connectivity, More

Would you look at that - only hours after we leaked the long overdue update that, most importantly, fixes reboot issues, Verizon opened the flood gates and is now pushing the 74MB download over-the-air to HTC Thunderbolts all over the country.

wm_IMG_20110708_173935 wm_IMG_20110708_175028 wm_IMG_20110708_180308

The update version number is 1.70.605.0 and, unfortunately, it's not Gingerbread (remember how we told you that the June 30th Gbread rumor had to be fake?). The full list of improvements can be found in this PDF document, which I will include below for convenience:

Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a new software update,
Build Number: 1.70.605.0 Baseband: 1.39.00.0613w, 0.01.69.0613w_1,
for your ThunderBolt™ by HTC.

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HTC: Our Testing Has Gone Well, So We Will Begin Rolling Out Gingerbread For The Desire By The End Of July

Ah, what a turn of events the HTC Desire has seen as of late. It went from not getting Gingerbread, to okay, we'll give it Gingerbread, to testing, and now, to will be released by the end of July.

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According to HTC's official Facebook page, the update should begin rolling out by the end of July - but we all know how these things work. I'm sure it's coming, but I wouldn't hold firm to any single date until you actually see the update on your device.

Of course, this also brings up one question: what has been sacrificed to allow Gingerbread to actually fit on the device?

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[Updated With Screenshots] DROID Incredible 2 Gingerbread OTA Documentation Found On Verizon Site, Update Imminent

Well look at what we found. It seems the Dinc2's Gingerbread update is on the way, and should be arriving soon - very soon. This update differs from previous leaks (though it is still Android 2.3.3), here's Verizon's breakdown of the new features:

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We're not sure when this update's coming, but when Verizon tosses up these support pages, it's usually a good sign that an OTA update has been given the green light. Let's hope it doesn't take them too long. Please note, when this update does come around, it will remove root access from your phone if you're rooted - and there's no way to get it back at the moment.

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Nexus S Build GRJ90 Is Android 2.3.5, World Keeps On Turning

Well, well, well - looks like there was more to yesterday's Nexus S GRJ90 leak than originally met the eye. Though the update doesn't contain many changes, the bigwigs at Mountain View apparently deemed it substantial enough to warrant a new version number: 2.3.5.

Again, the update includes:

  • Fixes for the Nexus S 4G's signal reception issues
  • A 4G settings widget for the Nexus S 4G
  • TTY (teletypewriter) support
  • NI push support
  • The NFC secure element, which is critical to Google Wallet

So there you have it - assuming that Droid Life's sources are credible (and given the blog's track record, I'd say they are), you'll be able to refer to the update that should be hitting your Nexus S 4G next Monday not only as GRJ90, but also as Android 2.3.5.

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Google Updates Android Platform Distribution Chart Again - Eclair On The Decline, Gingerbread Continuing To Make Headway

As is its wont at this time of the month, Google has updated its Android platform distribution chart, and while there aren't any real shockers to be found, it's still nice to see which versions of Android are most popular.

Distribution table Distribution chart

Let's start from the top of the table: as should be expected, the number of devices running Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and 1.6 (Donut) is steadily dropping, as more and more users upgrade their devices or receive software updates. 2.1 (Éclair) is continuing to loose headway, with 17.5% of Android users running it.

Moving on to more modern versions of the OS, Froyo (Android 2.2) is still the king of the hill where stats are concerned, claiming 59.4% of users.

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Comcast XFINITY TV App Updated With Honeycomb, Gingerbread Support - And It Looks Great

Do you have Comcast XFINITY cable? If not, this app may have you considering a switch of providers. The Comcast XFINITY TV app has been around for a while, but a lack of Gingerbread and Honeycomb compatibility has left many users frustrated - and drooling. Why? Because this app is awesome. Take a look at these Honeycomb screenshots taken from a XOOM:

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Sorry to take up a big piece of your screen real estate, but those images need to be seen full-size to really appreciate the layout. So, if you're not familiar with XFINITY TV, it's basically a near-total remote and DVR interface replacement that runs on your Android device.

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