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Google to debut Android Honeycomb OS on Feb 2

 The search engine giant Google Inc is planning to launch the latest version of its popular operating system Android Honeycomb on Feb 2, 2011 at a special event in its headquarters.

The new version Android 3.0 Honeycomb is exclusively made for tablet PCs that makes it an much anticipated operating system of 2011. Earlier at 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google showcased its exciting features and advanced specifications.

On Friday, Jan 28, Google sent out invitations to journalists for their special event. The invitation also includes the new logo for the operating system - an Android-like honeybee. Honeycomb launch will pave way for the emerge of several tablets running on this platform. The much awaited gadget is Motorola Xoom tablet, which is regarded as a Apple iPad killer.

Android Honeycomb features:
  • Totally revamped User Interface
  •  High-performance 2D and 3D graphics
  •  Multiple home-screens
  •  Multicore processor architectures support
  •  Redesigned widget gallery
  •  Exciting multimedia features
  •  New types of connectivity
  •  Enhancements for enterprise
  •  New web browser (looks like Google Chrome)
  •  Google eBooks application with flipping animations
  •  New Gmail Application
  •  Google Talk with video chat support (works on all OSes!)
  •  Google Maps 5.0 with 3D panning

Android Honeycomb will help tablet manufactures to create better products with attractive features like multi touch and video chats. Currently most of the tablets run on Android Froyo or other operating system which were basically developed for smartphones.

Currently, more than seventy percent of tablet market is controlled by Apple iPad. But with the launch different Android tablets like Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, Asus etc, Apple has been facing intense competition and their market share decreased in last three months. Now, the technology giant Apple is planning to launch iPad 2 with dual cameras and powerful processor.
via oneindia 

Google has forked Android

The last thing I wanted to see was Android to split into two “official” versions. Well, guess what, for all intents and purposes that’s what’s happened. Ack!

It’s bad enough that Android has multiple current versions. Then, Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK (Software Development Kit) Tech Lead, announced “Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a new version of the Android platform that is designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets.”

I asked multiple people at Google if they could expand on this news. None of this could.

So, I’ll spell out what I think is happening here. We’re seeing an Android fork. There will be one line for smartphones, the current Android 2.3, Gingerbread, line, and the forthcoming Android 3, Honeycomb, line.

According to Ducrohet, besides Android’s common features set—multitasking, notifications, and widgets—Honeycomb will have a new UI (user interface) framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices; high-performance 2D and 3D graphics using a built-in OpenGL (Open Graphics Library); support for multicore processors; rich multimedia; new Bluetooth APIs (application programming interfaces) and enterprise enhancements such as encrypted storage and password expiration. That’s all great, but really do we need to split Android into two parts to do this?

If you look at the Android Honeycomb highlights, it becomes even clearer that Honeycomb is going its own way. There is some good news for developers who don’t want to re-do their Android 2.x work for Honeycomb. As the Web page states, while “The new UI brings fresh paradigms for interaction, navigation, and customization and makes them available to all applications—even those built for earlier versions of the platform. Applications written for Android 3.0 are able to use an extended set of UI objects, powerful graphics, and media capabilities to engage users in new ways.”
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Dual-Boot Windows Phone 7 and Android on the HTC HD2

You may have heard that the HTC HD2 can be hacked to run both the Windows Phone 7 OS and the Android OS. But now it can run both...at the same time!

Ok, not really at the same time (I'm sure you're imagining some sort of crazy WinPho7-Android mash-up), but from the same partitioned SD card.

The cool kids over at xda-developers have put up a tutorial on how to partition an SD card to run both Windows Phone 7 and Android. It's not exactly a one-step process, so they also went ahead and made a video:


[via pcworld]

Samsung Vibrant gets Android 2.2, after evil delay

After facing mounting criticism for its extremely slow pace of upgrading its T-Mobile Vibrant phone, Samsung is finally ready to deploy Android 2.2 to the device.

Samsung has become legendary for the amount of time it has taken to make Android 2.2 available for its line of Galaxy S Android phones, while rolling out numerous new phones with Android 2.2 pre-installed.


But none caught as much attention as the Vibrant, after rumors picked up that Samsung was intentionally preventing T-Mobile from releasing the update in a bid to spur sales for the Vibrant 4G, which is more expensive and has Android 2.2 natively built in. The story went that by not having Android 2.2 available, customers would avoid the Vibrant and be willing to spend more to buy the Vibrant 4G, even if they didn't have 4G coverage in their area.

A quote from an anonymous T-Mobile tipster to the website AndroidSpin grew viral. "Samsung has NOT allowed us to push the update OTA for 2.2 because they feel it will decrease the value of the upcoming Vibrant 4G," said the source.

Samsung denied the allegations, saying the upgrade was technical in nature and was the subject of ongoing testing. Conveniently enough, though, the company announced a rollout schedule just days after the rumors began circulating.

Now, it says Vibrant customers will be able to grab the upgrade next week. A handful began receiving upgrade notifications last Friday, or 9 days after the intentional upgrade-blocking rumor was posted.

Excellent K-9 mail app for Android keeps your messages on a leash


Google's conventional e-mail client for Android has always felt like a second-class citizen compared to the company's GMail application. It has a very limited user interface, lacks basic features like support for moving messages between folders, and isn't particularly reliable. Google has been slow to address the program's weaknesses and doesn't seem to notice most of the complaints.
Fortunately, there is a good third-party fork called K-9. It's not particularly pretty, but it's highly functional and well-maintained. K-9 is based on Google's original Android mail client and is similarly distributed under the open source Apache license, but it's got a whole pile of additional features.
K-9 supports IMAP IDLE for push messaging. It also gives the user fine-grained control over push and polling message retrieval behavior, with various configuration options that can be set per account and per folder. It also gives you a bit more control over notifications, including the option to have a separate notification tone for each account. You can also configure a "quiet time" range during which you don't want any intrusive notifications.
The K-9 message list view is a lot more sophisticated and configurable than that of the default mail client. You can, for example, configure it to show a short excerpt of the message text. You can also hide the selection checkboxes and the star icon that is used to mark favorite messages. When the checkbox is hidden, you can still select a message for a batch operation by dragging it to the right in the list view—making the checkbox appear temporarily.
You can individually adjust the font size of many different user interface elements across the account list, folder lists, message lists, and the messages themselves. There are also several different options for the date format that shows up in the message views. K-9 has two different "themes" which basically allow the user to choose between a light color scheme and a dark color scheme.

How Android Imitates Windows

Google thought it could make the mobile world a better place with the Android software. The recipe for revolution was simple: Provide a highly capable software platform in a very open development model, and then watch as handset designers and service providers jostle to squeeze every ounce of potential goodness out of this inviting solution.
Sounds great in theory, only it hasn't exactly worked out that way.

Back to reality Instead, profit motives on several levels of the mobile food chain have created a messy political picture. Consumers should be enjoying the fruits of a rapid release schedule but are often stuck in a purgatory of old software -- created by the very openness that was meant to keep them all up to date.

You know how millions of users, both consumers and corporations, are still using Windows XP despite the best efforts from Microsoft to sell them Vista and then Windows 7 to replace that old, crusty operating system? Google is experiencing the same thing, only on a much quicker schedule.

Microsoft made a commodity out of the PC, so you'd get roughly the same Windows XP experience running on a Dell laptop or a Lenovo desktop. But then Windows was just Windows -- why would you go through the hassle of upgrading when the old one worked well enough?
And now Google is stuck in a similar no-upgrade loop for similar reasons. The big losers are Android buyers.

Ruling with an iron fist -- or not
Apple
keeps the vast majority of its mobile users on version 4 of its iOS software. The company works with a limited (albeit growing) number of networks and controls both hardware and software in-house. This gives Apple tremendous power to update your handset's software as it deems proper. Bug-fix releases and major new features get pushed out like clockwork.

By contrast, Google can only publish bleeding-edge software and then hope that the rest of the ecosystem works it all out. For example, Samsung reportedly has a 2.2 version of Android ready to go for the Galaxy S version it ships out to Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile, dubbed the Samsung Vibrant. But the handset is stuck with version 2.1 and its much-inferior performance because Samsung supposedly feels that an upgrade would dilute the value of the upcoming Vibrant 4G+ model, which may run either 2.2 or 2.3 and will use that fact as a selling point over the older and probably cheaper Vibrant.

Google has given the handset makers and service providers enough rope to create a big, tangled mess. For the most part, even major version updates don't matter much and users should be able to get along just fine with older software. But it's borderline irresponsible to deny upgrades for reasons of politics or planned obsolescence when a simple software push breathes new life into an otherwise obsolete model. That's the case with Android 2.2, and Google can't do a darn thing to make its partners run those updates.
image via gottabemobile
 read full @ msnbc.comimage

Motorola’s First Android Tablet to Retail for $800

According to information leaked from an anonymous Verizon employee, Motorola’s Xoom, a tablet running the long-anticipated Android Honeycomb, will sell for $800.

We got a good look at Xoom during CES this year. It is unique for several reasons.

First, it, along with the Droid Bionic and a lineup of other smartphones, is one of the first Verizon 4G LTE devices.

Second, the tablet is one of the first that will be running Honeycomb (Android 3.0), the tablet-specific fork of the Android mobile operating system. While we’ve seen Android tablets running version 1.6 and even 2.2 (Froyo), this will be the first instance of an intentional and elegant Android approach to the tablet form factor.

In addition to the new OS, Xoom features a 1080p screen resolution, front- and rear-facing cameras (2MP and 5MP, respectively), an HDMI output, and an accelerometer.

Motorola also says the device “delivers console-like gaming performance on its 1280×800 display, and features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications. It also features Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction and delivers access to over 3 million Google eBooks and thousands of apps from Android Market.”

The first 3G and Wi-Fi-enabled Xoom units should be available around the end of Q1 2011, and according to new reports from Android Central, the minimum advertised price for the units will start at $800 — a hefty price tag compared to other gadget options currently on the market.


via mashable

Sidekick reborn as Android-powered Sidekick 4G

The Sidekick was one of those mobile gadgets that everyone knew about, but not everyone used. It was powered by Danger, which Microsoft picked up and then used for the KIN, but T-Mobile always had the rights to the Sidekick name.
Well, this morning the Sidekick was re-launched, at a press breakfast but this time it will be powered by Android. So far there’s no word on pricing or official launch date (first half of 2011), but what we do know is that it will run on T-Mobile’s 4G network.
via Zdnet

Nexus S To Receive SMS Bug Fixer


That Android SMS bug that took the world by storm a couple of weeks ago will be fixed on the Nexus S in the next few days. No longer will the 0.4% of you have to worry about the sexts to your office assistant landing in the hands of your mother-in-law. This is of course coming from Samsung’s Galaxy S support account, so it could be 8 months from now. (Kidding!)
Via: Phandroid

T-Mobile to Sell Samsung Galaxy S 4G Android Smartphone

T-Mobile USA formally unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, an Android 2.2-based smartphone with Samsung Mobile's elegant Super active-matrix organic LED touch-screen technology.

At a press event in New York City, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm promised the Galaxy S 4G "will be the fastest smartphone running on America's largest 4G network" when it appears later this year.


Specifically, he claimed the Galaxy S 4G could reach peak download speeds of 21M bps, which would make data-hungry applications that serve video and gaming quite zippy.

T-Mobile declined to announce a launch date and pricing for the new handset, though the company's 4G plans start at $10 per month for 200MB.

Humm said T-Mobile hoped to unleash twenty-five 4G devices in 2011. These include the Galaxy S 4G, the Vibrant 4G, which includes full HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) connectivity (up to 21M bps), the Dell Streak 7 tablet-phone hybrid, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, based on the Android 3.0 operating system tailored for tablets.

T-Mobile expects these devices to be fueled by its faster HSPA+42 (42MB per second) network, which will be available to 140 million Americans in 25 cities by midyear.
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HTC Evo Shift 4G (Sprint) Review

The good: The HTC Evo Shift 4G has a solid design with a comfortable physical keyboard. The Android 2.2 smartphone is 4G capable and can be used as a mobile hot spot.

The bad: Lacks a front-facing camera and HDMI port.

The bottom line: For those who crave a physical keyboard, the HTC Evo Shift 4G is a solid choice with a more wallet-friendly price than its 4G competitors, and it doesn't sacrifice too many features.


Review: Debuting just before CES 2011, the HTC Evo Shift 4G is Sprint's third 4G smartphone and also the most affordable one in its lineup. At $149.99 with a two-year contract, it's $50 less than the Samsung Epic 4G and the HTC Evo 4G and sure, the cheaper price comes with some trade-offs--smaller display, 800MHz processor (versus 1GHz), no front-facing camera or HDMI port--but the Evo Shift still has plenty to offer. Running Android 2.2, the smartphone has 4G support and solid performance. It also combines an easy-to-use physical keyboard in a more compact and solid design. If you're counting your pennies or prefer your devices on the smaller side, the HTC Evo Shift 4G is a great alternative to the Epic 4G.
Design
The HTC Evo Shift 4G takes some style cues from its eye-catching, touch-only sibling, the HTC Evo 4G, but the Shift stands out on its own, as it combines high-quality look and feel. At 4.6 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and 5.9 ounces, the slider smartphone is much more comfortable to hold than the larger and wider Evo. In addition, the soft-touch finish and aluminum accents give it a more premium feel than the Samsung Epic 4G, which felt a bit plasticky and slick.

The HTC Evo Shift 4G is more compact and solid-feeling device than the Epic 4G
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Fewer than 0.5% of Google Android users run Gingerbread, while 51.8% are on Froyo


Only 0.4% of Android users are running the newest version of Google's mobile operating system, known as Gingerbread.

That's a pretty low number considering the millions of Android smart phones and tablets that have been sold. But the number, released on Google's Android Developers website, makes a bit of sense considering Gingerbread -- also known as Android 2.3 -- is available only on the Nexus S smart phone from Samsung, and sold only in Best Buy stores.

Froyo, the build of Android released before Gingerbread, accounts for 51.8% of Android phones in operation, Google said.

And Eclair, the version before Froyo, is run on 35.2% of Android devices, the Website reported. Android users running version 1.5 and 1.6 of the OS make up 12.6% of the phones in operation, Google said.

The update rates for Android users is held back, in part, by the fact that Wireless carriers and not Google control when a specific handset can get a new version of Android. Many older handsets have yet to recieve software updates and likely won't.

On the other hand, Apple's iOS is pushed to iPhones by the company itself and not by AT&T.

CEO David Lieb of app maker Bump Technologies said last week that 89.7% of iPhone and iPad customers are on iOS 4, a far larger percentage than any one release of Android.
source : LAT

Amazon to Have Final Say in Pricing for their Android App Store

Here is something that might give developers considering the Amazon app store reason for concern: according to Business Insider, content makers can only suggest a retail price when submitting their applications, and Amazon will make the final decision on how much any particular app will cost. While ultimately it may turn out to be not such a big deal (we expect Amazon to honor suggested pricing pretty closely), it will no doubt have many second guessing the third-party app selling solution.


Obviously, the biggest impact could be on the actual developer. Amazon has agreed to give 70 percent of revenue generated or 20 percent of the suggested retail price, whichever is greater, back to the developer. This provides some protection in case Amazon decides to run a sale or promotion giving away an app for cheap or free, but if the retailer makes it habit of cutting app prices the 20 percent deal no doubt will see smaller profits than selling an app at its suggested price with a larger percentage cut for the developer.

We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out, but for now we remain cautious about Amazon’s venture into the world of apps.

[via TalkAndroid]

Motorola Atrix 4G May Be Coming March 1

Motorola's Atrix 4G was unveiled less than two weeks ago, but the dual-core handset served by AT&T now has a March 1 landing date.

Android Central uncovered this leaked internal AT&T screen showing March 1 as the launch date for the device. That would mesh would AT&T's promised to launch it in the first quarter this year.

However, one may be forgiven for taking the actual landing date with a grain of salt, as the blog noted that March 1 falls on a Tuesday this year and AT&T typically launches phones on Sunday.

Another missing piece of intel is the price point. EWEEK expects the high-end handset will set customers back $200 to $250 on contract.
Read eweek
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha introduced the Motorola Atrix 4G Jan. 5 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The device, which Jha boasted would be the "most powerful smartphone," will incorporate a 2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, making it more powerful than the standard high-end Android handsets fueled by 1 GHz chips today.

The Atrix 4G, which will easily be the most interesting Android handset AT&T has a 4-inch, quarter high-definition screen and is powered by Android 2.2.

The device even flashes biometric security via fingerprint reader to safeguard users' content, making it useful as a corporate handset option.

However, the handset's most attractive feature could well be its capability to port its content to a desktop or laptop computer.

An Android or iPhone, which would you pick?

After several months of rumors, the Verizon iPhone was finally announced Tuesday.


Would you get it?
I'm a Verizon customer with a 2-year-old BlackBerry that just rejected the latest Facebook upgrade because my phone is antiquated by smart phone standards.

My upgrade is next month, prime time for the iPhone on Verizon's network. But, until the announcement, I was set on an Android phone. Getting another BlackBerry wasn't something I ever considered because it's been left in the dust by developers.

I don't buy a new phone every year, so I consider this a serious investment. Here's what I've considered with getting an Android device:

Android use has been growing.

TechCrunch reported recent ad impressions from Millenial Media, a network that reaches 81 percent of the U.S. mobile Web. Millenial measured Android operating systems at 46 percent to Apple's iOS of 32 percent.

Millenial is the third-largest mobile ad network, behind Google AdMob (Google runs the Android market) and Apple iAd. Those are significant numbers.

However, many of the bells and whistles I looked at on Android phones, such as turning my phone into mobile WiFi for my laptop, is on Verizon's iPhone.

My unanswerable question is: would the numbers from Millenial be different if Verizon had carried the iPhone at the end of 2010?

Android being an open market compared to Apple's closed one is a solid argument in Android's favor, but why are some apps coming to iPhone first?

Skype came to iPhone before Android despite the popularity of Apple's FaceTime, and the popular photo editing application Instagram gathered fame on the iPhone before announcing it would develop for Android. Some would argue Vignette for Android is just as good, however.

Some apps I'm interested in are developed because the developer has the iPhone (such as the Nieman Journalism Lab).

The iPhone has excellent branding and a loyal customer base. I've never owned an Apple product besides an iPod, so I'm not in that demographic.

For me, it boils down to this: The apps I want are mainstream enough to be offered or are available only for iPhone. If the data plan (not yet announced as of Thursday) is comparable, I'll get the iPhone. But if the data is too pricey, I'll be happy with an Android.

Which would you get?
The iPhone or an Android phone from Verizon? Add your Reply in Comments:

Android 2.3 getting music synchronization service?


Here’s an interesting find. Blog GizmoFusion has been sent an image of Android 2.3, Gingerbread, displaying an interesting option, “Sync Music.” The option is visible in the Google Account options, indicating that the Big G may have some type of music synchronization service, that will be linked to your Gmail account, in the works. While it isn’t all that hard to get music files onto an Android handset, the process certainly could use some streamlining — cloud-based services are always a bonus. Hopefully, Google will clue the Android-loving world in on what they’re working on soon, but until then… it’s anyones guess.
Read via bgr

LG: WP7 falls short as carriers tire of "too much Android"

In an interview with Pocket-lint, LG, marketing strategy and planning team director James Choi said of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, "from an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected."


Choi added, "LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning. What we feel is that it is absolutely perfect for a huge segment out there. What we feel is that some people believe that some operating systems, mainly Google, are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use.”

"One of the problems," the report noted, "is that some believe that the OS is so easy to use that it’s a bit boring."

Choi himself said that, "for tech guys like us it might be a little bit boring after a week or two, but there are certain segments that it really appeals to. We strongly feel that it has a strong potential even though the first push wasn’t what everyone expected”.

Microsoft has been cagey in talking about the launch of Windows Phone 7, even as its own developers "suggest that you think of Windows Phone 7 development as a hobby or a learning experience."

Microsoft itself has described the Windows Phone 7 launch as "inline with our expectations," even while describing shipments that could only barely fill out global channel inventory.

LG still strong on Microsoft

LG appears to be the first licensee to openly call Windows Phone 7 a serious disappointment, but it isn't ready to abandon Microsoft yet because it has few alternatives, lacking even its own recognizable mobile platform in contrast to Samsung's Bada, RIM's BlackBerry, or HP's Palm/webOS.

The phone maker was led down a rabbit hole in 2009 with Windows Mobile 6.5, a year when LG took over the lead role in promoting Windows Mobile in what the Washington Post described at the time "an enhanced partnership" with Microsoft.

"Microsoft said it will also be working closer with LG, a company it had agreed to a partnership with in advance. LG is committing to developing 50 new Windows Mobile phones by the end of 2012 and both companies, Microsoft and LG, are committing to increasing their investment in Windows Mobile by five-fold," the report said at the time.

After Windows Mobile continued to collapse in 2009 and was replaced with Windows Phone 7 in late 2010, LG continued to support the new platform as a top licensee, even as its chief executive Nam Yong stepped down due to big losses; LG had erased 30 percent of its mobile share over the previous three years.

Motorola i886 runs some form of Android -- without a touchscreen?

Motorola announced the i886 iDEN handset for Sprint Nextel on January 10. It is one of Motorola's first rugged handsets with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. After spending several minutes using it, it is clear that the operating system is based on Android. The i886's inner menu systems show that it is running Android.


From what we can tell, the i886 appears to be using a J2ME virtual machine to enable Java applications to run on on top of the core Android platform The i886 doesn't have the Android Market on board, nor many of the native Android applications (which are designed for use with touch screens).

Neither Motorola nor Sprint has previously mentioned anything about the i886's software, other than to call it "proprietary." It does have access to a GetJar application catalog, but without a formal explanation from Motorola/Sprint, we're left with many, many questions unanswered.


[phonescoop]

Android tablet boom

Android-based tablet PCs promise to be this year's big winner. We look at what is coming.

It was inevitable that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early 2011 would have a fair share of Android-based tablet devices on show. We look at some of the Android devices that will very likely be heading our way this year.

Most of the devices here will run Honeycomb, Android's 3.0 release, which has already been earmarked as being specifically designed for tablet PCs.

Motorola

Motorola put in its comeback bid with the XOOM tablet. Once a mobile powerhouse, Motorola is pinning its hopes of a return on Android and its 10.1-inch screened XOOM is the company's first big move. Under the screen the XOOM will run a 1Ghz dual-core processor and include built-in 3G support. 4G LTE support is also an option for networks with that capability. The widescreen XOOM will also pack in a 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video and 32GB of on-board storage.

Asus

A tablet PC from Asus has been long predicted. The Taiwan-based PC maker is credited with kicking off the netbook market a couple of years ago and has been working on a follow-up to its EEE PC for many months. At CES, Asus showed off the EEE Pad Slider and the Transformer tablets. Both of these are slightly different to many of the tablet PCs on the market in that they include a physical keyboard. As the name suggests, the QWERTY keyboard slides out from under the Slider version while the Transformer includes a dock and external keyboard and touch pad. Both will also be built around Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor.

Toshiba

Toshiba also has an Android tablet PC in its future. Toshiba's tablet will sport a 10.1-inch screen and, like the Asus tablets, will be based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor. The tablet will run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) when it is eventually released.

Acer

Acer was relatively quick to jump on the netbook wagon with its Aspire, but they have been relatively slow in releasing a range of tablet devices. At CES Acer showed off its Iconia Tab A500 tablet which sports a 10.1-inch screen. Multiple USB (full-size and micro) ports are to be included as is a docking connector.

OLPC

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has long been active in the ultra-portable PC market, albeit rather controversially. Now Marvel Technologies, the makers of the XO hardware, has confirmed that an Android-based OLPC tablet is close to being released. The XO-3, as the tablet will be known, will sport an ARM processor, the Armada 610, which will reportedly reduce power consumption to just 1W.

Tether Internet on Android Mobile Phones

Did you know that you can tether Wi-Fi Internet on your Android mobile phone to run it on a PC or laptop?

Well if you haven’t let me tell you that Android 2.2 Froyo has an inbuilt Internet Tether Software that enables you to serve your phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot.


Earlier versions of Android do not have inbuilt Wi-Fi tethering options but don’t get disheartened because there is application which can replace that.

You can download these apps from Android Market and install it on your mobile phone. Once installed, get it activated and enter your 3G settings or even GPRS would work. Once you have done this your phone would be ready to serve as net modem on your computer.

PDAnet

PDAnet is a premium Wi-Fi tethering application on Android Market, but Premium I mean that it is not free and you would have to pay $25 for it.


It is a very easy to use application, you can download it from Android Market and its unique internet tethering facilities will allow you to access internet on portable computers.

It doesn’t require you to configure root of your phone therefore there is nothing to worry about.

Android Tether

Well although there is a free version of this application available but it is always recommended that you go for Android Tether Pro which costs around $13 because it give more security to your network and features too.


It is a great tool to tether internet and access it on various devices. You would need to install this application on both computer and phone to make it work. It supports only USB data transfer and not Bluetooth.

Easy Tether

This is similar to Android Tether in many respects; it has a free version and supports only usage via USB. You can download the free app but since the premium Easy Tether is not too costly, it is recommended you go for Easy Tether Pro.


The paid version of this application costs approx. $10 and comes with a lifetime upgrade facilities, it’s a great deal.

Tether for Android

This application is bit different and complex from other applications via which you can tether internet on an Android device to access internet on a computer or a laptop.


Tether for Android is expensive and costs somewhere around $30, although it has a high price tag it support data transfer speed of up to 7 Mbps.

It is the most advanced and beneficial application for those subscribed to high-speed 3G plans.

Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether

It is a free application that will utilize your Android Internet to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot. With this free app you can access internet on your portable devices easily, very interesting application.

With this app you can access Internet on mobile phones as well.

Google Goggles on Android updated to read print ads, solve Suduko puzzles

 Google Goggles on Android received an update to 1.3 on Monday. In addition to speed fixes for barcode scanning and the ability to recognize magazine print ads, Google Goggles can now give Sukoku players a cheat ... or rather, treat.


Here are the changes, as noted in Google's blog post:

Barcodes

In Android version 1.3 of Google Goggles, scanning barcodes is much faster. It should take only a second, the company said. Once you do that, Goggles will give you the resultant bar code, which you can then tap to read product reviews, compare prices, and even check in-store availability.

Print ads in magazines and newspapers

Take a picture of a newspaper or magazine ad from an issue August 2010 or newer, and Goggles will recognize the ad and return seach results about the product or brand. Since they put in that line about August 2010 or later, that means someone (or more than one) at Google must have been spending time scanning ads into a database, from August of last year, onwards. Not the most interesting work, we would think.

Sudoku

The final gimmick added to Google Goggles is the ability to solve Sudoku puzzles. We have never been that great at Sudoku, but we tried the new feature on a puzzle, and not only did it recognize the puzzle as a Sudoku game, it solved it as well. Admittedly we had it set on "easy mode."

Watch a video on the Sudoku solving feature below.

Free Dungeon Hunter HD Game for Android


Download free Dungeon Hunter HD game your Android smartphone. This is a RPG role-playing action game developed by Gameloft for Android device.

Dungeon Hunter HD is a 3D epic quest set in a dark fantasy world:
  • Discover the enormous world of Gothicus and achieve different types of quests and missions: explore, kill, protect, find special items… 5 faeries, each with their own personality, will help you, providing protection, powers and advice.

  • Create your own character: choose his class from Rogue (to act stealthily), Knight (to use the blade as your favorite weapon) or Mage (to perform the most powerful magic).

  • Evolve and progress along your adventure. Gain experience points by killing enemies or succeeding in certain quests, and choose how to distribute them according to the skills you want to favor.

Get the download link: Dungeon Hunter HD Download

World’s Most Powerful Android Smartphone coming to AT&T

Motorola Electronics US has announced the launch of the Motorola Atrix 4G that world’s most powerful Android smartphone, will available in US-based wireless carrier AT&T.

The Motorola Atrix 4G comes with a:
  • dual-core 1GHz Tegra processor,
  • 4-inch QHD touchscreen display,
  • 5 MP camera with LED Flash and a front-facing VGA cam for video chats,
  • Runs Google Android 2.2 Froyo. 
Other features of the new Motorola Atrix 4G Android phone include:
  • Large 1930 mAh battery,
  • 1GB RAM,
  • 16 GB internal memory,
  • Bluetooth 2.1 and
  • Wi-Fi.

This world’s most powerful Android handset will be available in the end of first quarter of 2011.
[via androidgoo ]

Dell Launches Streak 7 Android Tablet and Venue Phone

Dell, a company known for its desktops and laptops, recently launched an Android 2.2-based tablet called Streak 7. The tablet computer has a seven inch multitouch screen, dual core 1GHZ NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, rear-facing 5MP camera, and 1.3MP front-facing camera. It weighs 450 grams.

There is no price tag yet on the Streak 7 but Dell stated that it will be available through T-Mobile. Guests of the CES 2011 had the chance to have the firsthand experience with the said device. It is expected to be available in the U.S. through T-Mobile retail stores, its only store, and from Dell.

The Streak 7 gives the user access to online contents such as television shows, movies, videos, and more. It uses Dell’s Stage software that gives users a simpler and faster way to access their favorite contents. It also has Qik Video Chat, which is a video calling service. Dell announced that later this year people can sync their contents to Stage so that users can keep their Dell Stage-equipped devices synchronized via their home network.

The Streak 7 replaces the Streak 5, which has a five-inch screen, 5MP auto-focus camera, and an 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 processor.

Dell also unveiled the Venue, a smartphone based on the Google Android software. Last year Dell released a smartphone based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile OS.

How to import contacts into android phone

Export contacts from Outlook or Outlook Express (or any other application) to csv format and then import to gmail. That should do it for most users.

If you have your contacts on an old GSM phone, you could export them on to the SIM card and then import them to your new phone.

Google Contacts

While you are there, try the “find duplicates” functionality. You can also add contacts into groups. The groups show up on your phone too after the sync.

Now on your android phone, browse to Contacts>Settings>Display options>Select “Only contacts with phones”, and also Google>Select all groups.

If you want to pull social contacts too, install the Facebook and Twitter apps and select to import data from all contacts. You should then see pictures and other address data added to your contacts auto magically.

How to Blacklist or block a phone number

Edit that number in contacts.
Select “Send calls directly to voicemail”.

Yep, its that easy!

Update for 2.2:  

Settings -> Call settings -> Blacklist



20 handy Android 2.2 tips and tricks

Google's Android 2.2 update, also commonly known under its development pseudonym of FroYo, is gradually finding its way onto more and more Android phones with every passing day.

Google and the networks of the world are slowly updating their handsets so the latest version of the mobile OS, with Android 2.2 bringing many new features - plus well known performance and battery life enhancements.

So now Android 2.2 is out and spreading, it's time to delve a little deeper under the bonnet and put together a few tips for getting the most out of your newly refreshed and invigorated phone.

What else can you do with it apart from send text messages and look at women applying their make-up on YouTube? This little lot, for a start. Read on for your top 20 Android 2.2 tips.

1. Edit your Android Search button settings

Google's Search box will, by default, search the internet and your phone for any text you enter. If you'd rather it just searched your phone, press the 'G' icon and change where Google looks for stuff. Also, under Menu > Settings > Search you're able to add or remove items and search locations from this list. Makes searching for apps by name much, much faster.


2. Stick a load of search widgets on a screen

If you're stuck for ideas on what to put on all your Home screens, why not build your own search super screen? One search bar for web, one for apps, one for contacts - easy.

3. Pull up for numeric Android keypad

If you're using the generic, unskinned Android 2.2, the keyboard now lets users swipe up to select numeric characters and apostrophes, rather than having to navigate to a separate screen. Not quite as intuitive as HTC's custom keyboard as found on the Sense-enabled HTC Desire version of Android 2.2, but a big improvement on the stock keyboard of old.

4. Power button ends calls

Under Settings > Accessibility there's a tiny new change - the option to use the power button to end a phone call. Very handy - if your phone doesn't already support that.


5. Enable Flash in your Android browser

The big selling point of Android 2.2 is it compatibility with Adobe's Flash 10.1 player. HTC has built the app into its Android 2.2 update, while the "vanilla" Nexus One FroYo requires Flash to be installed as a separate download from the Android Market. Just remember it'll need to be activated in the browser settings - if you want Flash, that is.

6. ...then turn Flash off again

Once the novelty has worn off, you may find Flash 10.1 to be a bit of a burden, what with the way it can slow down page scrolling on even the most modern of Android phones. The toggle option is found in the browser settings, where you can choose to have Flash plug-in content only activate "On Demand" when you click on it.


7. Enter a numeric pin

FroYo lets you specify a pin number to lock and unlock the phone, if you're not won over by the previous version's shape-based locking system. Stick in your choice of digits under Settings > Security > Set up screen lock.

8. Update your apps

Another of FroYo's big new additions is the option to save your apps to SD card. But remember this option is not universal - it requires the app developer to specifically add the option to their app. Don't blame yourself when you can't save something to SD card, it's the developer's fault.

9. Shuffle apps to SD card

Also, don't panic when you're not asked where to save an app when downloading it from the Android Market. That's not how it works. You can only install apps to your phone initially - then move them to SD card separately. Do this by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications and clicking on the app. If the developer has enabled it, now you can shuffle it to your memory card.



10. Install SDMove

SDMove is a tiny Android app that fills the above gap. It lists your apps, letting you see at a glance which ones can be moved to SD card and which can't. If you've got a heavily loaded phone, it could save many seconds of annoyed fiddling.

11. Don't install your most-used apps to SD card

Also worth remembering is that your SD card is not available to your phone while it's plugged in via USB - so any apps on your SD card won't be accessible while your phone's charging. So don't put anything too important on there, else you'll end up having to copy it back to use it while charging via USB.


12. Tether, don't hotspot

As cool as it may well be to use Android 2.2's network-hammering wireless hotspot facilities to share your 3G connection with your laptop, it'll guzzle the power out of your battery like a dog sucking the jelly out of a pork pie. So use the alternative Tethering option - and connect your laptop via USB. Not as futuristic, but works better - and means you don't have to mess about with WPA2 encryption settings on both devices.

13. Film something that happens at night

Android 2.2 lets you completely ruin your battery by keeping the camera's flash running constantly. HTC utilises this to provide a flashlight app, but it also means you're able to use your phone to record hedgehogs eating slugs at dusk.

14. Activate swearing recognition

You're now able to swear at your phone, and it'll know about it. Google's allowed rude words to be interpreted by its voice-to-text tools in Android 2.2. Go to Settings > Voice input & output, then deactivate the 'Block offensive words' checkbox. Handy if your late night web browsing requires explicit terminology and hands-free operation, for whatever reason.


15. Uninstall your Task Killers

There's no point bothering with a task killer of any sort on Android 2.2, as Google has changed its code to stop apps killing other apps. There's a manual override hidden in Settings > Applications > Manage Applications, where you're able to Force Stop a running app if you must. But it'll be easier and less stressful to simply surrender control and learn to trust Google.

16. Use Exchange ActiveSync

Android 2.2 now has enhanced auto-discovery options, making it possible to activate Exchange-based email systems by simply keying in your username and password - plus there's a remote wipe option for binning everything when you leave your phone and all your sensitive emails in a taxi or East End lapdancing club.

17. Enable Android auto app updates

Another milestone FroYo feature is the chance to have your downloaded apps update themselves. But the default option is to ask the user to update manually, for some odd reason. So no, your phone isn't broken - activate auto-updates by opening the Android Market and pressing Menu, Downloads, then opening up each installed app and ticking Allow Automatic Updating. It's a pain you have to do this for every app - but still easier than updating everything manually.


18. Turn off app update Notifications altogether

If you're happy with what you've got and would rather not be woken up at 4.35am to be told there's a minor incremental update to the Foursquare app now available, switch off app update notifications completely. From the Android Market home page, press Menu > Downloads > Menu and hit the Notifications toggle.

19. Manually update the stragglers

There's one quirk to this new auto-update feature that may appear like it's a bug - but it's not. Android 2.2 will refuse to automatically update any apps that have changed their permission settings, so you'll have to do those yourself. It's a security feature, so that the innocent wallpaper you installed can't suddenly request access to your location and web history without you first clicking the appropriate disclaimer.

20. Install Chrome to Phone

Google's new Android 2.2 exclusive feature is a clever, if slightly pointless, demo of Google's mobile powers. Install the app, install the Chrome extension, then hit the phone icon to ping URLs to your phone. Not sure what the point of it is when Android can do maps and internet perfectly well by itself, but it sure is impressive.

6 Of The Best Android Games of 2010

The Android Operating system has had a great start, since its launch over 5 years ago, which is in part thanks to the open architecture. It is architecture like this which has attracted developers to the platform and manufacturers to produce many more devices based on the Android Operating system. Android from a users perspective is seen as firstly a phone as well as an Internet browser, Multimedia and App’s device. The two reasons coupled together has created a huge developer market. Developers around the world learned the basics of the SDK and in no time have created many quality apps, all within short succession of one another. Here we will concentrate on the very best games, which we have seen released during 2010. Though they are numbered, they are all good and it was difficult to rank some above others. Please use this piece as a guide for the best Android Games of 2010 so far.

1. Angry Birds, has been voted one of the best smartphone games with more than 7 million downloads on Android alone! The aim of the game is simply to fire birds at green pigs to recover your eggs. There are around a hundred levels which vary in difficulty. Warning: This game is highly addictive, and well worth a download.

2. Pocket Racing trumps the second position. Pocket racing brings classic arcade style racing to new heights and this one is really polished to give you hours of racing and if you complete the game, there are literally hundreds of other racing games, none quite as good as this one though.

3. Robo Defense is the successor to the well known Tower Defense game. If you have some time to spend on this exciting strategy game. Plan how you will stop the enemy with turrets of varying abilities. Robo Defense is one of the most addictive Android games.

4. Zenonia is RPG. When we say RPG, you might think of World of Warcraft or Zelda. This game is the Zelda series cloned and renamed Zenonia. With all the advancements in the graphics, as a result of technological advancements over the years the game play and effects have really benefited making Zenonia a great remake. I have no doubt that this game will give you countless hours of fun developing your little heroes throughout their difficult journey.

5. Prism 3D is not just another generic puzzle game. It has complexity not common in the simple “Tetris like” or “marble madness like” games. The game uniquely provides access to other players maps, adding endless customization to the user experience. If your not satisfied with that then you can create your own levels with ease.

6. Last but not least, is Panzer Panic. A fantastic little battle game, command your tanks and destroy the enemy with this time passing game, these little cartoonish tanks crawl around your screen, their guaranteed to provide much entertainment, or distraction from work?

A characteristic all of these games possess is simplicity and an action theme – this seems to be the recipe for a successful mobile game and there are certainly many other games that are on par with these ones, perhaps even better, get on Android Market and find your favorite game.

5 Google Android Tips Every User Should Use

Google Android is a very capable mobile Operating System. In this article I offer 5 tips that can help users get the most out of their Android Devices. Each tip is simple to implement and offers added functionality to Google device users.



Tip #1 - Use MPEG-4 H.264 Whenever Possible

Google Android has built-in hardware for video playback acceleration. Specifically the hardware is meant to give MPEG-4 H.264 file playback a much smoother return on your display. You can find the settings for MPEG-4 playback on the standard Google Android "Video Player" which unfortunately has to be downloaded from the Android Marketplace, as Android does not come equipped with a video player. On the other hand the Video Player is free and downloads in a matter of seconds.

Tip #2 - Use The Hard Search Key Whenever Possible

The little symbol on your Google Android front screen that looks like a magnifying glass will quickly bring you to the Google Search Page, which is a great feature for quick online searching, however the key can also be used for even further convenience. For instance, if you're on any Google built website, such as YouTube you can click on that same option and the program will then search that Google owned website for any search term you type into the search box that appears.

Another great function of this feature is that it is a specific box for each app, for YouTube it may be just a typical search box, whereas for Google Maps you will be prompted for information pertaining to that program such as address, city, state, zipcode, etc.

For quick launch search functionality that's specific to Google webpages there really isn't anything better than the included search functionality of Google Android.

Tip #3 - Shop Using ShopSavvy

Google Android features a free downloadable program (from the Android Marketplace), known as ShopSavvy. This program allows users to scan barcodes (using their device's camera) on any product at the stores they visit and then using their device's data connection they can connect to find local stores that carry the products that have been scanned, including the prices available at those other local stores.

If you're a big price comparison shopper this is a must have application, and with no cost to download what do you have to lose?

Tip #4 - Buy a MicroSDHC Card

I know this seems simple enough, but alot of users don't buy memory cards, and they only cost about $20 for an 8GB MicroSDHC card from Kingston Technologies. Needless to say these cards have some great purposes. For instance the expanded memory can be used to backup your important files, to add more music that's easily uploadable and swappable from your PC, and to install programs directly on your memory cards leaving your device with more on-board memory and thus faster program capabilities (since your device isn't bogged down with installed apps and less left over memory).

Memory cards are cheap to purchase, offer more data sync abilities, and typically come with life time limited warranties. Worth getting if for no other reason than a memory card allows you to more easily share your information with your PC and your friend's devices as well.

Tip #5 - Learn To Use Shortcut Keys

If you want to take advantage of special characters, delete entire lines of text, use only capital leters, or other functions it's important that you learn how to do each of those with ease using device shortcut keys. Below is a list of several popular options I use on a regular basis.
  1. Insert special character: Press ALT + Spacebar
  2. Highlight text: Press Shift and roll Trackball
  3. Turn on all caps: Press Shift Twice
  4. Delete entire line of text: Press ALT + Delete
  5. Move cursor to end or beginning of text: Press Alt while scrolling Trackball
  6. Insert a Tab space: Press Alt + Q
Conclusion

The Google Android mobile Operating System is still in its infancy, but the number of operations that can be mastered are already numerous and will surely continue to grow as new updates become available. Whether you want to use Android Apps to serve your everday needs or just learn some simple tips to help you more easily navigate your device I hope the information above gave you a little more insight into your device's capabilities. I'll continue to post more tips and tricks in the near future. Stay tuned.

How to update your Galaxy S with Android 2.2

It’s not as easy as an over-the-air update, but with a bit of patience, you can get Android 2.2 on your Samsung Galaxy S.
Samsung Galaxy S

At last! The official Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Galaxy S has finally arrived for Optus customers, bringing some much-needed Froyo love like Adobe Flash 10.1 support and voice commands to the table (Exchange support and Wi-Fi tethering were already included in 2.1) – not to mention the ability to run Skype!

To get your hands on the updated firmware, you’ll need to pull it down using the latest Samsung Kies desktop software (Windows only) version 1.5.3.10301_102, which you can download from here.

Once you’ve installed Samsung Kies, connect the Galaxy S to your computer and wait for the program to recognise it. If this is the first time you’ve connected the Galaxy S to your computer with Kies, it will download all of the drivers for Kies to recognise it. If all goes well, a pop-up will appear saying that a new firmware update has been found for your phone, in which case just follow the prompts and be on your merry way. Just make sure you undo any lag fixes like Ryanza’s OCLF or Voodoo before you apply the firmware update, otherwise you run the risk of bricking your phone. If that previous sentence sounds like gibberish, then you can just ignore that part!

If you’re not so lucky, you’ll get a message saying: “this device’s version cannot be updated”. This means that you’re not running the stock Optus Galaxy S firmware for whatever reason – either you’ve flashed it to a different firmware version yourself, or you sourced the Galaxy S overseas or from another carrier. The easy way to check is by going into Settings > About phone > and seeing what the build number says right at the bottom. If it doesn’t say ‘I9000HKAOPS’, then you’re not running the stock Optus build.


Thankfully, you don’t have to faff about flashing back to the stock ROM just so you can upgrade to Froyo. Just download the Kies Registry Patcher from XDA Developers, and, with Samsung Kies shut down, use the ‘Spoof Product Code’ box to select ‘OPS’. Click ‘Write Registry’, then open Samsung Kies again and connect your Galaxy S – it should now say that it has found a firmware update for your phone.

Hacker bonus points
Unfortunately, one of the things that the Froyo update doesn’t fix is the lag problems from Android 2.1. The best way to boost system speed is with SpeedMod, which you can download from here. This mod also roots your phone in the process. I’d recommend using the k9a-256hz mod, and make sure you download the file that doesn’t end with ‘CWM’ or ‘dev’.

To flash this to your phone, you’ll need a Windows program called Odin, which you can download from here. Unzip the speedmod file, then put your Galaxy S into download mode by turning it completely, waiting 15-30 seconds for it to go completely off, then press and hold the volume-down, home and power buttons simultaneously. You’ll see the Android robot in a yellow triangle with the words ‘Downloading… Do not turn off Target!!!’ on the screen.


Make sure Samsung Kies is closed, then open Odin, and connect the phone to your computer. Click the ‘PDA’ button, and select the unzipped speedmod file, which should end in ‘.tar’. Then click Start, and wait for the flash to finish – your phone will reboot, and it will say ‘PASS’ in Odin. And you’re done!

You can tinker with the Speedmod settings by going into the Galaxy’s Recovery mod: turn the phone off, and pressing-and-holding the volume-up, power and home button simultaneously, and selecting the ‘advanced ULK features’ option (below).


Enjoy Samsung Galaxy S with Android 2.2

Just Got a New Smartphone? Here’s What to Do First!

Did Santa bring you a shiny new smartphone? Congratulations! My first smartphone purchase was some five years ago and since then, I’ve learned a few tricks that are worth sharing. In fact, I asked my wife what’s the first thing she’d do with a new smartphone and she answered, “I’d give it to you so you can set it up.” I can’t do that for everyone, at least not directly, so here’s a first-day checklist for new smartphone owners.


  • Get connected to your home Wi-Fi network. Most folks have a wireless network in the home and even though a smartphone has cellular connection to the Internet, your data plan may be limited. That means you run the risk of paying overage fees if you exceed the amount of data allowed by your carrier. Even if you have an unlimited plan, it’s likely that your home network is faster than the phone’s cellular network, so connecting to your home Wi-Fi network can improve the smartphone experience.
  • Buy a second battery. Even the best smartphones can run through a battery in under a day, especially the more you rely on your device for the web, apps and phone calls. No matter what mobile device I buy, but especially with smartphones, I purchase a second battery if possible. I always keep the spare charged and I try to rotate the batteries on a daily basis as well, so they wear down evenly over time. It never hurts to get a car charger for your smartphone, either.
  • Manage up your email. While text messaging is one of the most used and popular applications of a phone, staying on top of your email on the go is a huge benefit as well. Regardless of whether you use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or some other email provider, it’s a safe bet that your smartphone will support it. Of course, some of us don’t want to be buried in mail or checking our Inbox every five minutes. In that case, check to see if your phone has a setting to schedule email synchronization for certain times: this way, you can limit the time frame that your smartphone will check for mail. Or better yet, set the phone to only check for email when you manually tell it to in your email application.

  • Install Google Voice. Although your new smartphone has a phone number provided by the carrier, consider getting a second number for free, courtesy of Google. The company will give you a phone number that’s local to you but Google Voice is so much more than a number. For Android handsets, BlackBerrys and iPhones, there’s a Google Voice app that lets you make free calls, reducing the need to use those carrier minutes. Google Voice also works as a smart voicemail system: callers leave a message which gets recorded but also transcribed. Those messages can be sent to your smartphone as texts or emails. Plus you can schedule times when you want your calls to automatically go to voicemail. There’s more to the service and if you’re unsure of its value.
  • Get some apps! One of the biggest benefits you’ll likely find with a new smartphone is how easy it is to find and install useful apps. To get you started, Ranging from simple news and weather titles to advanced apps that can shoot your location to friends and family, or apps that can control your home DVR. Watch out though: after you get a few basic apps on your phone, it’s easy to keep adding more, which put make a serious dent in your wallet!

How To Add a USB Keyboard to an Android Phone

Are those puny hardware buttons or the quirky on-screen QWERTY keyboards not quite cutting it for you in Android? As it turns out, Google’s mobile platform appears to support USB keyboards natively on some stock builds. Of course, you can’t simply attach a big, honking external keyboard to your phone and expect it to work. You have to enable USB-OTG, or USB On The Go host mode, and have the proper USB cable, says MAKE. Luckily, Chris Paget’s blog shares the steps to make this happen. The whole process reminds me of a similar project that modders got into back in 2008 with the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. I was scared of the soldering then, and sadly, I’m no closer to having a comfort level.


Chris makes the magic happen on his Droid with three parts: a car charging cable, a micro USB cable and a USB extender cable — all pretty basic parts. The charging cable is only needed for the end piece — it becomes a micro USB dongle that tells Android there’s a USB device to install, which enables USB-OTG mode for the current session. The other two cables are needed for their ends and get spliced together: one end plugs into the handset and the other accepts a male USB wire from a keyboard. Maybe I could handle the wee bit of soldering on this one since it’s only needed to short out one resistor on the micro USB dongle. I think I’ll just search for a pre-made cable to do the trick.

Armed with the proper pieces, it’s just a matter of booting up Android with the dongle in the phone. Once the handset sees the dongle and continues to boot, you simply remove the dongle and plug in a USB keyboard with the spliced cable. Android sees the keyboard, and as Chris says, “It Just Works.” A similar process was replicated and tested successfully on an HTC Hero as well, so odds are decent that many other Android phones can use USB-OTG to host a keyboard. No additional drivers were needed for either the Droid or the Hero, so keyboard support has to be built within Android itself. Of course, that means it could go away in any future Android updates, but for now, you can enjoy a full-sized keyboard on your pint-sized phone.
Image courtesy of Andrew de Quincey

Experience Youtube, the full version

YouTube released a full featured version of their app. You can now do most things you do on the site on your mobile app.

Note how the app changes views when you rotate.

Expect more of this on the android tablets and TV. Fragments will be stacked on small screens and will be shown side by side on larger screens, with the ability to collapse them.

YouTube: YouTube App