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HTC Thunderbolt “test builds” of ICS could be coming next week

Well folks, we have some tasty good news for those that still might be rocking the original 4G LTE-powered HTC Thunderbolt. It looks like HTC is about to start taking the same update approach as Motorola and a few others, and will be supplying "test" or beta builds to select few lucky customers of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense UI 4.0 like we saw at MWC. More details after the break regarding this possibly real news.

Desktop favorite VLC now available for Android

If you're as adamant about your desktop computer as you are about your Android phone (and if you're reading this, then odds are pretty good you fall into the latter category) then you've probably heard of Video LAN Player, colloquially known as VLC. The Swiss army knife of desktop media players has been on its way to Android for quite some time, but you can try out an unofficial build of the open-source video app now. This version is compiled using published code from the Linux desktop version - a more official app from VideoLAN.org is planned later this year.

Chrome for Android updated, no longer works on some custom ROMs [Update]

Oh yea! Chrome for Android Beta just received an update from Google over in the Android Market. At first glance we aren't seeing anything particularly new, not to mention they weren't nice enough to provide a change log for the update. Most likely the update just brought minor bug or performance fixes although we do have some bad news. The update is causing issues and Chrome for Android is no longer working on custom Android 4.0 ICS ROM's such as CyanogenMod 9.

Sony offers official ICS Beta ROMs for Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray phones

Now that's more like it. After promising an Ice Cream Sandwich update to all 2011 Xperia phones, Sony is putting its money where its mouth is and offering early access to the beta software to the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray. All three have an official Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, and anybody can download the software and install it at their leisure - though it's recommended for "advanced developers only". Sony offered a few alpha ROMs before, but I've never even heard of an Android beta program quite this ambitious. Bravo, Sony. Bravo.

Brick Force combines Android and PC platforms for Minecraft-inspired FPS

Indie smash hit Minecraft taps into that part of your brain that loves playing with Lego: simple tools, endless possibilities. Of course, one of the most fun parts of building blocks is completing your edifice, waiting about three seconds... then blowing it to smithereens. For that essential experience, look to Brick Force, a new game combining the building elements of Minecraft with the fast-paced shooter action of games like Team Fortress and Counter-Strike.

Android Community App of the Week: Nova Launcher Beta

There's a lot of options out there when it comes to third-party Android launchers, AKA homescreens. But when making the jump to Ice Cream Sandwich (whether through a new device or an updated ROM) all of them seem to leave something to be desired. I've tried out all my favorites on my Galaxy Nexus over the last two months, and the one I keep coming back to is Nova Launcher. It's not that other launcher's don't work - it's that Nova Launcher works better. This modified version of the open-source stock launcher comes from a familiar face: TeslaCoil Software, maker of the popular lock screen replacement Widget Locker.
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