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[Update: Study Seriously Flawed] After 45,000 Page Loads, Extensive Study Determines Android's Browser Is 52% Faster Than iPhone's

Update: After getting a lot of initial press, experts are weighing in and crying foul with the methodology of this study. Apparently the custom app the researchers used relied on Apple's UIWebView, which doesn't utilize recent optimizations made to the actual Safari browser.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball says:

"That's not to say it isn't interesting that Android's WebView for apps is faster than iOS's UIWebView for apps, but it just isn't true that these results are indicative of anything regarding Mobile Safari's performance.

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[Update: Back To $599.99 Now] HTC Thunderbolt Now Live At VZW's Site, Shows Off-Contract $444.99 Price. Wait, What?

After months of anticipation and weeks of delays, we kind of lost faith and thought this day would never come. However, the HTC Thunderbolt just went live on VZW's own site, including free overnight shipping, which means you can get your hands on the first LTE phone by the 18th (unless you go to a local store, of course).

Just as @VerizonWireless tweeted yesterday, the 2-year contract price is $249.99 (which is not nearly as good as the $179.99 Amazon or the $199 Wirefly deals, but much better than the post-20th $299.99 Best Buy rip-off), 1-year is $319.99, but when I saw the month-to-month off-contract price, my eyes almost popped out of their sockets.

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Call To Developers: Cloud Data Backup Capabilities Have Existed In Android Since Froyo, So Why Is No One Using Them?

While we love apps like Titanium Backup that make restoring your data relatively easy when you upgrade phones, buy a tablet, or switch to a new ROM, what if they weren't even necessary? What if all of your apps' data could be stored in the cloud? This would not only make backing up and restoring easier, but it would save you a big chunk of SD card storage, right? It turns out that these capabilities have been present in the Android OS since the arrival of Froyo last year.

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Samsung Set To Deliver Android's Answers To The iPod Touch - The Galaxy Player 4 And 5

While it may not grab the headlines of the iPhone or iPad, Apple's iPod Touch has been a very successful "kid brother" of sorts to their touchscreen smartphone and tablet. I often wondered if we would ever see an Android-powered equivalent to the Wi-Fi-only media device. Today Samsung announced that they will be giving customers just that with their upcoming Galaxy Player 5. A smaller (by 1") version, the Galaxy Player 4, will be released simultaneously

The media player runs Android 2.2 'Froyo' with Samsung's Touchwiz UI, and 1GHz Hummingbird processor.

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Video: Angry Birds Rio To Lose Pigs, Add Boss Fights

A video of Ville Heijari, a Rovio "Bird Whisperer" (aka representative), showing off the gameplay of the upcoming Angry Birds Rio popped up on YouTube this morning. While the gameplay looks like much of the same kamikaze fowl-smashing action we have come to know and love, there are a few new additions. The evil pigs and stolen eggs are gone, animal poachers are in, and you now have boss fights.

The Rovio employee described the upcoming game as featuring "no eggs, no pigs, but just pure anger." He promises many episodes lined up for 2011, inferring that the game will be continuously updated with new levels.

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HTC Flyer Tablet Launching Mid-April In UK, Clove Taking Pre-Orders For £500

While there are certainly tablets on the way that are more anticipated than the Flyer, HTC's 7" slate is coming nonetheless - and now we know when. It will launch "mid April," according to UK site Clove, which is now taking pre-orders for the tablet. Accessories that will be available for purchase along with your flyer include a spare digital stylus (£40), a Micro USB to HDMI cable (£24), and a car charger (£17).

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Device Info For "HTC Shooter" Pops Up On GLBenchmark - It's Possibly The EVO 3D

Site GLBenchmark showed a very interesting log of a phone, dubbed the HTC Shooter, checking in recently. As this is the device's development codename, the speculation is that this could be Sprint's sequel to the EVO - the EVO 3D - that we will likely hear about at CTIA next week.

As you can see in the screenshot taken below, the Shooter sports 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution (the same as the Atrix) and is running Android 2.3.2 'Gingerbread.' The model is listed as PG86100 and it is clearly setup for Sprint's network.

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[Review] AutomateIt Allows Your Phone To Take Care Of Itself

If your Android device relies on your interaction with it in order to do things, you're seriously missing out. There are several options that allow you to cut the cord, so to speak. The popular options have long been Locale and Tasker but, as you can see from their market pages, you have to be fiscally dedicated to the tasks they perform. In addition to that, these applications (Tasker especially) can be somewhat (read extremely) intimidating in the level of control they give you and the sheer volume of options at your disposal.

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Samsung Teases 8.9" Galaxy Tab In Video, Thickness Estimated Again

Samsung is doing all they can to release just enough information about the upcoming 8.9" Galaxy Tab to create some buzz ahead of its announcement next week at CTIA. After several promo images surfaced on their Facebook page, they have now released a short video.

As you can see below, the video consists mostly of people (I'm guessing Samsung employees), in micro-edited sound bites, talking about how great something is. Then for the last few seconds you get some nano-edited images flashed across the screen of the upcoming mid-sized slate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPmHomARu84

After the last Facebook teaser, an overachieving tipster analyzed the image and estimated the measurements based on the headphone jack.

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No More Rumors, It's Official: Wi-Fi XOOM Will Be $599 Starting March 27

It's another day, and we have yet another bit of news about the Wi-Fi-only Motorola XOOM. Only, this time, the news is nothing less than concrete and final, as Moto themselves announced that the carrier-free version of the the 10.1" beauty will be hitting store shelves on March 27 for $599.

The manufacturer lists the retailers who are lined up to carry the slate later this month, including:

  • Amazon.com
  • Best Buy
  • Costco
  • RadioShack
  • Sam's Club (select locations)
  • Staples
  • Walmart

While they tell us it will have a $599 price tag, we would recommend keeping an eye on Costco and Sam's Club (if you have a membership already), as they generally sell their goods at lower prices than other retailers.

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