Author Archives: Samia Perkins

Guidelines for Device Updates Announced by Google for Android at Google I/O

Another huge move by Google that made the audience completely lose it was the announcement that they will soon be working with carriers around the USA and the UK to create guidelines for device updates. So why does that matter? Why should you care? This means that you'll now be able to KNOW what if your device will be getting updates in the future, instead of having to guess when the newest Android version will be coming to you, or even if it will before the end of the device's lifespan. In other words, this is basically the best news ever!

7digital for Android, Now With MP3 Downloads

7digital has launched a new version of its Android App today, which allows you to download music to your device. Previously, you needed to download music on your computer, and then sync your device, but now you can purchase music directly from your Android, as well as accessing any tracks you previously purchased with no need to connect.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer $399 at Target [UPDATE: Now $40 Cheaper!]

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer has showed up on Target's website, at the low low price of $399. This is the 10.1" tablet with 16GB hard drive, and 1GB memory. This market-defeating price is lower than the competition and the product is just as good as the competition - at least that's what they're hoping you'll think! This slate has been causing quite a stir, what with running Honeycomb, sporting a dual core, and having a great build quality - having the Asus A500 on hand right this moment we can say right now that a more fashionable cousin would be right up our alley, and the Transformer fits that bill like no other. Target, here we come!

Droid Incredible 2 Review

Last April, when we reviewed the original Droid Incredible, we said, "the Droid Incredible is HTC’s best-specified Android handset on the market". At that time, it was a flagship. The Incredible 2, while a very nice phone, is now more of a mid-level device. It has a great camera, takes decent video, and a nice size 4 inch screen. It also has very good battery life, lasting all day with some to spare. Keep reading for all the details, speed tests and benchmarks. The shape and size of the Incredible 2 is similar to the HTC Incredible S, now on sale in Europe. It has the same molded plastic chassis as the Incredible S, and the original Incredible. The construction feels solid and high quality, the display looks lovely and bright. This Droid also has a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, though it is the newer MSM8255 model. It has 1GB of ROM space, and RAM is 768MB. The GPU is the Adreno 205. The four inch touchscreen is a WVGA, Super LCD. The main camera is 8 megapixels with dual-LED flash and autofocus, along with 720p HD video recording capability. There is also a front-facing camera for video chat, but it is only 1.3 megapixels and is fixed-focus. It will do the job it's intended to do, but not more. This phone is labelled a World Phone, with both CDMA and EVDO Rev.A connectivity for North America, and HSPA connectivity for use abroad. This phone does not have the optical joystick seen on the Incredible, here you're relying on all touch-screen controls and the four Android capacitive buttons below the display. The standard four buttons are HTC's trick rotating buttons, which turn 90-degrees when the phone is turned - a cool feature. The tapered sides on the phone make it feel a bit thinner than it actually is, and in my opinion anyway, make it very comfortable to hold. Software and Performance We really would have liked to see Gingerbread on this phone, but as of now we are looking at Froyo out of the box. However, there is likely to be a software update coming down the pike. HTC Sense keeps things running nicely, feeling fresh, and keeps us from being too disappointed. The single-core Snapdragon processor means this phone is not a dual-core beast like the Motorola Atrix or LG G2X, but it does well enough. Unless you are planning to run dual-core intensive apps or games, the Snapdragon will keep things cooking along nicely. Included also is 3G Mobile Hotspot functionality, Flash Player 10.2 support, and SRS WOWHD pseudo-surround sound processing, which adds some extra depth to audio, but isn't exactly Dolby. Benchmarks and Speed Tests Benchmark-wise, in Quadrant the Incredible 2 scored 1509. SunSpider – the test of JavaScript performance in the browser – came in at 5982.5ms. Camera The DROID Incredible 2′s main 8mp camera is quite solid. Stills are clear and crisp, at least in daylight conditions. There are also some cool features in HTC's camera UI, like Distortion, Vignette (focuses on the foreground), Vintage, Grayscale, Sepia, Solarize, and Posterize. Below are some examples taken with the phone: [caption id="attachment_31664" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Regular camera, no effects"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_31666" align="alignnone" width="322" caption="Vignette"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_31667" align="alignnone" width="322" caption="Posterize"][/caption] The color accuracy is good, and the flash is strong, giving a decent picture even in low light. The front facing camera is just adequate, but it does the job it's intended to do. Here's a quick shot taken with it, you can see the quality difference: The 720p HD video looks good, adjusting well in low-light situations and looking smooth and jag-free (unless you pan quickly, then you get blur and tearing). 1080p would be nice, but that isn't realistic with the single core Snapdragon. Here is a quick video taken with the camera, my daughter filling you in on the important subject of "skunk safety". She is an excellent test subject, because she never stands still. [youtube GvdqwT7WQf8] Phone and Battery Call quality was good, I didn't have any problems hearing callers or vice versa, even in windy conditions. No doubt the integrated noise-cancellation system helped. Of course, you do not have the 4G LTE connectivity that you would get with the HTC Thunderbolt and the DROID Charge. The DROID Incredible 2 gives you a full day's use on a single charge. That’s pretty much average for a current-gen smartphone, and of course you can extend runtimes by turning off some of the social networking integration or cutting back on how frequently they check for updates. Wrap-Up Priced from $99 (on Amazon) for a new, two-year agreement, and going up to $199 (for exisiting customers on contract), the DROID Incredible 2 by HTC is a cheaper option than Verizon's 4G LTE smartphone collection thus far. The technology it's based on, a single-core processor with 3G along with Froyo, is on the way out, so this phone may begin to feel dated fairly quickly - especially as devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II come out and demonstrate that a dual-core processor doesn't mean you have to sacrifice battery life. As a mid-range handset, the Droid Incredible 2 is a solid choice. HTC Sense running on top of Android 2.2 Froyo makes the OS feel fresh regardless of the fact that it's not the most current look at Android. The Incredible 2 may no longer be the flagship phone the original Incredible was, but for the price it is a good, mainstream handset with a fast-enough processor and decent battery life. The 8mp camera is a major plus as well. Overall, this phone will have everything you're looking for in a mid-range smartphone. If that is what you are looking for, the Droid Incredible will not disappoint.

DROID Incredible 2 Hands-On

The DROID Incredible 2 finally came into my hands today, and after reading Vincent Nguyen's hands on over at SlashGear, I was anxious to put it through its paces. This DROID has a 4-inch Super LCD WVGA display, and runs Android 2.2 Froyo. It looks great, and is super thin, feeling good in the hand. The case is matte plastic, giving the phone kind of an industrial look, and feels solid. This is a 3G handset, so no 4G LTE here, and also a single core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon. It runs smoothly, and responds quickly, so unless you want to run dual-core intensive apps, the 1GHz will do fine. It also has great battery life. I used it heavily all day, including watching some video, and still had battery to spare by the end of the day. The device also features a 3G Mobile Hotspot with which you can connect up to 5 Wi-Fi enabled devices. There is an 8mp rear camera with dual LED flash, and a 1.3mp front facing camera for chat, and also 720p HD video capture. Though the Incredible 2 runs Froyo, with the original Incredible being tipped to get Gingerbread, this one likely will also. And with Android 2.3.4 now due out, that seems more likely than ever. And with this device going for $99 on Amazon (with a two year Verizon contract, of course), it looks like a great deal. The Incredible isn't meant to be a flagship handset, but it is a very solid mid-range device. I'm certainly enjoying trying it out. Video taken with the Incredible 2 camera: [youtube j4dq9i_yREo] Look for the full Android Community review coming very, very soon. Meanwhile, check out the unboxing and hands on video from Vincent Nguyen. [vms 8c718b84cae0a0799dcf]

New Design for Android Community – Let Us Know What You Think!

We have been working around the clock on our new site design and layout for Android Community, and we want your feedback! We want to make the new design as clean, intuitive, and functional as possible. So take a look around at the new design, and then head over to our Facebook Page and let us know what you think. Leave a comment inside the post (not anywhere else or it won't be counted) letting us know what you think we could do to make the design or layout better.
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