Android 2.0

Inside the Mind of Google: Google Visual Search for Android [Video]

As I was watching CNBC yesterday, I happened to come across a show that interested me a good deal; "Inside the Mind of Google". At first, I didn't think much of it, but been about Google, I kept on watching, but well into the show, something really caught my attention: Google Visual Search for Android. When I heard Maria Bartiromo saying “Google is working on Google Visual Search, a mobile application that lets users take a picture of a location from their Android-powered smartphone and trigger a Google search that pulls up information associated with the image." My mind just went crazy thinking of all the possibilities that this could open up. As you will see on the video below, the person testing GVS takes a picture of the Santa Monica Pier entrance and voila! The service gives him within seconds, an audio-visual narrative explaining the image. The GVS is not ready for Prime time just yet, according to Google, but it is coming to Android, and have no doubt about it. I didn't record the show, but I found part of it on youtube, enjoy. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6tT3JGV1iY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

A Few Updates to the Android SDK are Released

To all those interested on any available update to Android, especially to all developers, there are a few updates to the Android SDK. And Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK Tech Lead at Android Developers wants you to know about these new updates. As you can see on the image above, there were updates to multiple components of the Android SDK last Thursday: Android 2.0.1 revision 1, Android 1.6 revision 2 and SDK Tools, revision 4. Let's begin with Android 2.0.1, which is a minor update to the mobile OS (Android 2.0) running on the Motorola DROID. This update includes several bug fixes and behavior changes. If you like to know more about this update, check the Android 2.0.1 release notes. Next is Android 1.6, revision 2, which includes fixes to the compatibility mode for those apps that don't support multiple screen sizes. For more on this update, read the release notes on the Android 1.6, revision 2 here. And now, let's talk about the SDK Tools, revision 4, which is also a minor update, with mostly bug fixes in the SDK Manager. There's also a new version of the Eclipse plug-in that embeds those fixes. For more info on the details, check the links of the SDK Tools revision 4 and the ADT (Android Development Tools) 0.9.5 release notes.

Motorola Sholes XT701 Running Android 2.1 Heading to China Unicom?

It would appear that Motorola is on a roll lately, we just had some leaked images of a Motorola Sholes caught in the wild. Then a DROID look alike, that might end up been a fake, which many believe that is probably a Samsung Omnia 2. And now China Unicom adds a Motorola Sholes XT701 into the mix to make things more exciting. So, according to Androidin, this is the Motorola Sholes XT701, which will be sold by China Unicom in that country. And apparently, will have a 5-megapixel camera instead of the 8-megapixel reported on the leaked pictures. The XT701 is also said to have a 3.7-inch touchscreen and no hardware keyboard. Supposedly, the Motorola XT701 has an FM radio and will run Android 2.1 (check image above), it'll have a 3.5 mm headphone jack and flash. It is also said that the handset will be capable of recording in high-definition, but that's something nobody is sure at the moment. The truth is that with the number of knock-off devices circulating in China we have to be a little suspicious about rumors and leaks like this. There are two more shots below so you can check this phone a little better. And don't forget to let us know what do you think.

Leaked Images of the Motorola Sholes Caught in Wild

Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball - well, I guess everyone feels like that sometimes - to see if rumors or leaked images are real, and for other things too. Well, the folks over at Mobile01 don't have a crystal ball but they got their paws on some images of the mysterious Motorola Sholes. Not only that, but they got some info on the specs as well. The device, which is apparently the Sholes, will have a touchscreen of 3.7-inch and 854 x 480 resolution. Also, it will sport an autofocus camera with Xenon flash and 8MP to compete with the camera on the Sony XPERIA X10. It will also have one feature that many of you will really love, an HDMI output. Which should be the first in an Android phone that we might see. Unless ZiiLabs gets their product out to the public first. It is believed that Android 2.0 will be running on this new device from Motorola, but by the time it comes out, it might get an even higher version of the free mobile OS from Google.

HTC Hero Caught in Wild Running Android 2.1 with new HTC Sense UI

Recently, Sprint Hero users received good news about a maintenance release update from the carrier, as you might remember. But unfortunately, no update to Android 2.0. Well, do not loose hope just yet, it would appear that there's something better cooking up. As we all know, HTC has promised an update to Android 2.0 to all Hero users, but so far, no update from HTC has been outed. But hope has reached new levels now that there are some images of a HTC Hero running Android 2.1, as you can see on the images above and below. Apparently, HTC is working on an update for the Sense UI to release it for all its Android smartphones, instead of reworking it just for the Hero. Android 2.1 is tipped to arrive before the end of this year as a minor update to Eclair (Android 2.0). There seems to be new shortcuts to different wireless connections, and a new control bar added to the homescreen. [Via SlashGear]

Google Maps Navigation Now Working Outside the US, Little “Hacking” Required

As most of you - if not all - already know; Google has officially announced that those who are using Android 1.6 or higher will be able to use Google Navigation Maps Beta. But unfortunately for Android users outside the US, they cannot use this navigation feature. Until now, that is, the bad news, at least for some users, is that you have to hack into your smartphone to get this. The folks over at Electricpig have a Google Maps Navigation version that will work on non-US Android handsets. As you can see on the image above, they have it working on their HTC Magic, across the pond in the United Kingdom. There are still a few kinks though, so if you live outside the US and want to try this, be warned. They have also put out an easy to follow tutorial on how to go about and do this hack. But remember that any hack (small or big), is always at your own risk. Here's what you need in case you want to go ahead with it: First, an Android 1.6 phone, one microSD card and microSD card reader or USB cable. For the full tutorial, you'll need to check their site, so click here to get there. If you live outside the US and have this already on your Android phone, let us know in the comments. Chris, are you reading this? Let us know if you have Google Navigation Maps Beta working on an Android smartphone.

Motorola Enjoying Stronger Brand Loyalty than Apple?

Yes, you read that right, many dare not to believe, but according to a survey from YouGov’s BrandIndex, that's exactly what's going on as of lately. YouGov is a market research agency founded in May 2000, it uses the Internet and information technology to collect "higher-quality in-depth data for market research and public consultation." Either the Motorola DROID advertising campaign was very successful, or was frightening enough to have this effect on men 18+. At least that's what the survey shows, as you can see on the image above. Now how exactly does YouGov measure all this? Well, we are not sure, but below is how they try to explained it:
BrandIndex is a daily measure of public perception of 850 consumer brands across 34 sectors, measured on a 7-point profile: general impression, ‘buzz’, quality, value, corporate reputation, customer satisfaction and whether respondents would recommend the brand to a friend.
Oh, okay, so pretty easy right? Right...Okay, so there you have it folks, whether you believe this or not, the truth is that, Android is here to stay, and the latest smartphones sporting the free OS from Google are cool, especially the Motorola DROID. So maybe there is truth on this, and now many people are loyal to Motorola not just for the DROID but also the CLIQ. And not just them, but all of us expect more and better devices from Motorola now. [Via Engadget]

Google Maps Navigation Available for Android 1.6 as an Update, no Rooting Required

Recently, the folks over at xda-developers.com had figured out a way to make Google Maps Navigation Beta to work on a T-Mobile G1 by hacking into it. This time Google has officially announced that those who are using Android 1.6 or higher will be able to use Google Navigation Maps. As you already know, Google Maps Navigation is an internet-connected GPS system with voice guidance and automatic rerouting, that runs off your mobile phone. On this update you'll find the new Layers feature, which lets you overlay geographical information on the map. You can also view My Maps, Transit lines, Wikipedia articles about places, and more. Google wants you to have a happy Thanksgiving, so if you are traveling, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of Google Maps Navigation in your car. Is still missing some 2.0 features, and it still works only in the US, but many will be happy to have this helpful feature on their Android phones. Enjoy!

UK to Receive the Acer Liquid A1 in late November

Back on the first week of this month, we talked about a new Android phone named Acer Liquid A1, which was believed to have the same Snapdragon processor as the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10. But over at the::unwired, Arne Hess - who played with one - put together a “preview” review of the Acer Liquid confirming the processor, and concluding that it was underclocked. Now we have news that Acer have confirmed that the Liquid A1 - which is Acer's first Android smartphone - will arrive in late November. But in the UK at first, which is unfortunate for those who like to get their hands on this phone here in the American Continent. According to retailer Clove - who is taking orders for this Acer phone already - Android Donut (1.6) will run on the Liquid A1, instead of the Eclair (2.0). After reading that last sentence, the good news is that according to Clove's site; the Qualcomm Snapdragon based smartphone will not be underclocked. Last time we heard about this Acer phone, the bad news was that the processor would only run at 768Mhz. Apparently, unless there is a mistake on Clove's site, Acer had a change of hearth, which translates into happiness for the potential buyers of this Android smartphone, which by the way, will be priced at £286 pre-tax ($479). According to Clove, the following are the features of the A1, as well as the contents of the A1's box: Features of Acer Liquid A1 * Qualcomm 8250 1GHz processor * Andriod 1.6 (Donut) Operating System * Slim design just over 12.5mm thick * 3.5" WQVGA Touchscreen Display * Quad-band GSM / Dual-band HSDPA * Tri-band 900/1900/2100 MHz * 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM * 5 Megapixel Camera * Bluetooth 2 with EDR What's in the box of Acer Liquid A1? * Acer Liquid A1 * Battery * Mains Charger * Data Cable * Software CD * Quick Start Guide

Another Video Demo for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Working its Magic

As if one post on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 isn't enough for one day, we bring another one, this time, for your viewing pleasure. And lets be honest, neither one of us can't get enough of this Android-powered smartphone. So lets get on with it. By now most, if not all of you already know that the SE XPERIA X10 will be available in the UK right around Valentine's day. So there will be a lot people falling in love with, or over this new Android phone on February. When Chris had a hands-on with this SE phone in London, the speed was not up to par with a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But this time, as you will be able to notice on the video below from HDblog, who apparently had access to a newer prototype, the speed has been drastically improved. The company’s homegrown apps; Timescape and Mediascape now run snappier. But I don't want to bother you with more of this, so just go on and enjoy the video below. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m19Lu-JUW1Q&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]
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