videos

Droidrover uses Nexus One to control NASA rover [Video]

We love Android, we love remote-control toys, and so this Droidrover project presses all the right buttons.  You can't really describe it as a toy, though; it's actually the handiwork of several of the team at NASA Ames Research. Basically, they're remotely-controlling a Senseta rover from a Google Nexus One, with an Arduino and Bluetooth in-between.  The Arduino and Android pairing apparently makes for a much smaller controller bundle, which in turn means the rover is lighter, more manoeuvrable and uses less power.  It's also a reasonably priced alternative; including a Nexus One, it all came to under $600 (though that doesn't include the rover itself). [youtube XxhBE7ghcxk] [Thanks mdNomad!]

MIUI Android ROM overhauls UI with iPhone/TouchWiz/Sense inspiration [Video]

Take a pinch of iPhone, a dash of Sense, a sprinkling of TouchWiz and mix it all up in Android, and you might get the MIUI ROM.  Currently wowing with its combination of slick icons, straightforward multitasking and general visual niceness, the new ROM completely overhauls the UI. More information at xda-developers together with download links, and the Android Community guys are already talking about MIUI here.  Anybody tempted? [youtube Or-9T44Bt7M] [Thanks Ewdi!]

Samsung Galaxy Tab official demo video released

We've spent no small amount of time shooting video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but it seems the South Korean company themselves wanted to get in on the action too.  A new demo video has been released - claiming to "objectively present" the 7-inch Froyo slate's capabilities - that runs through the key functionality without resorting to the type of hyperbole you might expect from a certain fruit-themed manufacturer. That includes the Keyboard Dock in action, the custom email and calendar apps Samsung has produced for the Galaxy Tab, and Flash playback in the browser.  There's also some time spent on wireless HD streaming, too.  Still no pricing or specific release dates, but we're getting pretty excited about this 3G tablet. [youtube tAbsmHMAhrQ]

Orange San Francisco budget Android phone unveiled [Video]

Orange UK has outed its latest Android smartphone, the somewhat bizarrely named San Francisco, and they're targeting the budget-minded masses this time.  The Orange San Francisco will cost £99 on the carrier's "Dolphin" pay-as-you-go plan, which gets you a 3.2-megapixel camera, capacitive touchscreen and Android 2.1 Eclair. There's also WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and GPS, along with 3G+ and an FM radio, while storage is a scant 150MB of internal memory and then whatever you slap into the microSD card slot (a 2GB card is included in the box, but the slot will support up to 32GB).  The whole thing measures in at 116 x 56.5 x 11.8 and weighs 130g, and Orange reckon you'll see up to 4hrs talktime or nine days standby. Unlikely to set the world alight, but the Orange San Francisco certainly adds to the options for entry-level Android devices. Update: Orange tells us the San Francisco uses a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 OLED display, which makes it a whole lot more interesting at £99. [youtube -vhx9AeD1x0]

*Spark Android homescreen app takes on Sense & MOTOBLUR [Video]

Android homescreens can end up pretty personal places to swipe around, as users build up their preferred layout of widgets and shortcuts, but now Hiplogic wants to make things even more unique.  Their new *Spark homescreen system borrows some of HTC Sense, MOTOBLUR and other Android UIs, pulling in weather, social networking sites and news into a single, geo-aware place. There's Facebook and Twitter integration, together with headlines and automatically-updated weather forecasts.  Right now it doesn't look hugely different from the carrier-loaded UIs we've seen, but Hiplogic reckon they've got more content partnerships and functionality in the pipeline that might just brighten things up for *Spark users.  Apparently that includes Astrology.com, CBS, Disney, EA, ET, Sky and others. The main benefit, of course, could be that by keeping your UI separate from the underlying Android OS, you're likely to get quicker platform updates rather than face delays as manufacturers tweak their systems to suit each new ROM. [youtube l0L0ehJd8os] Press Release:
HIPLOGIC LAUNCHES *SPARK, THE ULTIMATE ACTIVE HOME SCREEN AND MOBILE USER INTERFACE THAT IMPROVES CONTENT DISCOVERY AND IMMEDIACY *Spark – A Free Mobile Download – Delivers a Next Generation, True Multitasking Social Networking and Media Content Experience in One Simplified View September 14, 2010 (DEMOfall)—HipLogic Inc. today announced *Spark, a next-generation Mobile 2.0 platform that gives smartphone and mass market phone users the ultimate active Home screen experience. *Spark proactively updates content and social streams via real-time push notifications delivered directly to the home screen in a clean and organized format. *Spark beta is currently available for free download at www.sparkmyphone.com. *Spark leverages HipLogic’s mobile 2.0 technologies to bring application mash-ups to users’ Home screens, allowing users to view and engage with the following widget-style “Modules”: · Weather Module – Geo-aware module that displays current temperatures and extended forecasts for multiple cities · Headlines Module – Real-time streaming of breaking news, sports, finance, entertainment, etc. Users can click to read the full story or share via Twitter, Facebook or SMS · Status Module – Makes it dead simple to update Twitter and Facebook status, individually or simultaneously, directly from the Home screen · Stay connected with *Spark’s Twitter and Facebook Social Streams Module, delivering real-time Facebook and Twitter streams to the Home screen “*Spark is like the love child between the iPhone’s intuitive interface and the powerful, personalized, multi-tasking engine of Android,” said Mark Anderson, CEO, HipLogic. “*Spark is a geo-aware, socially integrated, interactive interface for your Smartphone. *Spark’s News, Social, Weather, Sports, Entertainment, Alerts & Other Programming is rich, active and ever expanding. You can turn on or off what you like, re-arrange your modules, add feeds and discover new content all from your phone’s Home screen.” HipLogic plans to release new modules for *Spark that further leverage its content partnerships. HipLogic has content relationships with media companies like Astrology.com, CBS, Disney, EA, ET, Sky and others. “*Spark will save users a lot of the time they’re currently wasting launching separate weather, news, browser, messaging, and social network apps every time they want to check their friend’s most recent posts, tweet a status update, or access current news, sports and weather, entertainment, and other information. Just imagine how much time having all of your most important information and friends’ social updates on your Home screen would save you in a single day,” says Matt Marshall, executive producer of DEMO. “And HipLogic’s plan to add new *Spark modules monthly makes the future of this new mobile social broadcasting & live information aggregation tool even more enticing.” *Spark delivers the following benefits to consumers: · Cleans up your Home screen, removing app clutter and enabling quick scrolling and personalization plus easy access to phone and browsing functions. · Provides a simple, elegant, and social mobile user experience (combines all a user’s essential social information on one Home screen. · Brings live Home screen “push” notifications to all phones (i.e. specified information and updates find you rather than you searching for it). · Proactively delivers live news, sports, entertainment & other targeted content to the phonetop through free modules (app-like widgets that deliver specific content). · Enables cross-posting to Facebook, Twitter, and SMS – update status / news / events / etc. across the three communication channels with a single click. The *Spark beta is available for free download via Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store, plus operator and 3rd party app stores.

HTC launches Desire HD and Desire Z: we go hands-on

As expected, HTC launched their new Desire HD and Desire Z at an event in London today, the company's latest European Android smartphones.  Both packing UMTS/HSPA, the Desire HD basically scales up a regular Desire with a 4.3-inch display and 8-megapixel camera, while the Desire Z gets a flip-out QWERTY keyboard and 5-megapixel camera. Both run Froyo 2.2 with HTC's new version of HTC Sense; that has a new companion site, HTCSense.com, from which users can remotely track and wipe their smartphone, make it play a ringtone loudly (to help you find it when it's lost down the back of the couch) and even see backups of all recent SMS and email conversations.  The transfer is two-way, too, allowing you to squirt information (such as directions) back to the phone from the online interface. HTC Desire HD live: [vms 5e77550897e25711e1d9] Both devices use full metal cases, with HTC eschewing a full battery cover and instead going for a pop-off hatch as with the HTC Legend.  Each gets 1.5GB of onboard storage and a WVGA display, dualband UMTS/HSPA, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, AGPS/GPS and 720p HD recording. HTC Desire Z live: [vms dd424a57127423d276bb] For our hands-on impressions, check out the articles over at SlashGear for the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z. [gallery] Press Release: HTC UNVEILS HTC DESIRE HD AND HTC DESIRE Z WITH NEW HTC SENSE AND HTCSENSE.COM HTC Sense integrates a variety of multimedia and location-based enhancements and introduces HTCSense.com, a series of new connected HTC services LONDON, UK – September 15, 2010 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of smartphones, today unveiled a new HTC Sense experience with the new HTC Desire HDTM and HTC Desire ZTM Android-based smartphones. The new HTC Sense experience continues HTC’s strong focus on the customer, placing people at the center by simply making its phones work in a more personal and natural way. HTC Sense introduces a number of key innovations including a series of connected services called HTCSense.com that enhance people’s mobile experience on HTC phones. “We’re excited to be taking the HTC Sense experience beyond the phone to a whole new level with a series of connected HTC services we call HTCSense.com,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “Our customers will value the holistic approach we’re taking to enhance their mobile experience. This customer-first philosophy has resonated with people buying HTC phones and this drives us to continue introducing new innovative smartphones like the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z.” “As a key Android partner and smartphone brand, HTC continues to bring new innovation to the platform,” said Andy Rubin, VP engineering at Google. “Android is about choice and the new HTC smartphones continue to provide customers with powerful choices and flexibility.” HTC Sense The new HTC Sense experience offers a variety of enhancements that improve how people capture, create, share and access multimedia content. With a newly created camera experience, people can record HD videos or capture and edit images with a variety of fun camera effects. With HTC Locations, a new differentiated online mapping experience, people have instant, on-demand mapping without download delays or incurring mobile roaming charges. HTC Sense also includes a new integrated online e-reading experience utilizing a new e-book store powered by Kobo and a new, mobile-optimized e-reader that includes the ability to highlight, annotate and quickly search for definitions or translate unfamiliar terms. HTCSense.com With the new HTCSense.com service, people can simply manage their mobile phone experience from their HTC phone or personal computer. For example, people can easily locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly, even if it is set to silent, or to flag its location on a map. If the phone’s been lost or stolen, users can remotely lock the phone, forward calls and texts to another phone, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or even remotely wipe all personal data from it. HTCSense.com makes it easy to setup a new HTC phone or access archived mobile content such as contacts, text messages and call history from a PC browser. People can also customize their phones with exclusive HTC content like wallpapers, HTC scenes, sounds or plug-ins. HTC Desire HD HTC Desire HD showcases outstanding multimedia content with its bright 4.3” LCD display and Dolby Mobile and SRS virtual sound and is the first to be powered by the new 1GHz Qualcomm 8255 Snapdragon processor. The HTC Desire HD enables 720p HD video recording and includes an 8-megapixel camera with dual-flash. Building on the unibody heritage of the HTC Legend, the HTC Desire HD is sculpted from a block of solid aluminum and exudes the air of quality and strength that HTC has come to be known for. It also includes the new HTC Fast Boot that enables people to quickly make a call or check emails by shortening the time taken to complete the power-up sequence. HTC Desire Z For people constantly on the go, HTC Desire Z makes it quick and easy to stay connected with friends on Facebook and Twitter or with colleagues and customers at work. HTC Desire Z features a unique ‘pop hinge’ that opens to reveal a QWERTY keyboard for fast, convenient typing. HTC Desire Z’s keyboard also includes a variety of keyboard shortcuts and two customizable keys for providing instant access to common functions without the need to open menus. HTC Desire Z also includes 720p HD video recording and a 5-megapixel camera with automatic flash. It is the first phone to utilize the new 800MHz Qualcomm 7230 processor for improved performance and battery life and also includes HTC Fast Boot. Availability The new HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z will be broadly available through mobile operators and retailers across major European and Asian markets from October 2010 with the HTC Desire Z shipping in North America later this year.

Nokia N900 gets Android 2.2: calling, data, more [Video]

Work to put Android onto the Nokia N900 - more commonly found running the company's own open-source OS, Maemo - has already resulted in a few experimental ROMs, but now the NITDroid project reckons they've got something almost stable enough for everyday use.  Their latest release adds in voice call functionality, which most people would consider pretty important for their cellphone. Incoming and outgoing calls are supported, as are various forms of data connection, and the whole thing is based on Android 2.2 Froyo which means it's actually potentially running a version of the OS better than the actual Android device many people are living with now.  All of the Google apps are supported, and of course there's the N900's hardware keyboard to think about too.  Most frustrating, though, is the apparent absence of camera support, since the N900's optics are pretty darn good.  Still, you can download and have a play here. [youtube jVpgqTF89zU] [via Engadget]

Teased Samsung Galaxy Tab will get IFA 2010 reveal [Video]

Samsung has launched a new teaser promotion for their Galaxy Tab tablet, officially confirming the 7-inch slate's existence ahead of its debut at IFA 2010 next week.  Full details of the Android 2.2 tablet are still unknown, but Samsung has confirmed video calling - suggesting the rumors of a front facing camera were indeed accurate - together with augmented reality and Google Maps Navigation. There's also the usual web browser and ereader functionality, and the Swype onscreen keyboard will be preloaded.  We'll be at IFA 2010 next week bringing back all the details; anybody tempted by the Galaxy Tab over, say, an Apple iPad? [youtube U3Q58MEEomI] [gallery] [via SlashGear]

HTC Desire HD caught on video

The HTC Desire HD looks to be ready for its close-up now, with both images and video of the new Android smartphone leaking out ahead of an official launch.  Uwants caught an in-the-wild shot of the Desire HD running Android 2.2 with HTC Sense, while 247Android went one better and shot a video of the handset. The Desire HD has a 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera, dual LED flash and can record 720p HD video, and also shows a somewhat new, angular design language for HTC. [youtube MEJoPXmwVAE] [gallery] [via Engadget and via SlashGear]

HTC HD2 gets functional Froyo ROM [Video]

Last we saw of the efforts to get Android 2.2 Froyo running on the HTC HD2, the Google OS would load but there were some potentially deal-breaking 3G and audio issues.  Happily the xda-developers community never sleeps, and now a new ROM release delivers what looks to be a 99-percent complete Froyo experience for the HD2. HDBlog.it shot a video demo of the new ROM in action, complete with a Minimal Matte skin that provides a neatly different user experience not only to the HD2's original Windows Mobile 6.5.3 OS but what you'll find on true HTC Android handsets.  WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth (aside from the HID profile), 3G, the camera (including flash) and most other things are functional, so this sounds like a ROM you could actually comfortably live with day to day. [youtube 0raobiKRDAs]