Android Phones, Info and Apps

TAG | Android 2.2

Are you among the people, who have received the long-waited Android 2.2 FroYo on your Galaxy S handset or you are still waiting it? But no matter if you have the FroYo or not, do you still experience some lag issues or you’re not satisfied with the speed of your device? If the answer to these questions is positive, then the new custom ROM from Kalpik from XDA-Developers might be the sweet candy for your Galaxy that you’ve wanted.

The new Android 2.2.1 XXJPU ROM really boosts up your Galaxy S phone with performance improvements in the following areas:

  • 339MB free RAM because of reduced drivers footprint
  • improved UI speed
  • improved browser speed
  • reportedly improved GPS and video player
  • OTA (over-the-air) updates, however it is not known if this version will receive any.
  • ability to change lock screen wallpaper
  • Swype version 2.9.51.13071 with the following languages: (spelling by XDA) US English, UK English, Netherlands, Francais, Deutsch, Italiano, Polski, Portugues, Espanol, Turkce and more (reportedly Ukrainian or Korean)

So if you are into installing custom ROMs and you would like to get the maximum speed and performance out of your Galaxy S, then download this ROM and give it a try. If you haven’t rooted your handset but you are willing to try something new, or are still running on Android 2.1 and would like to try the FroYo, dive in and install this custom ROM. But please remember, that this is a leaked and modified firmware update and Android Mobiles does not take responsibility for any damage to your device. If you are unsure how to root and install custom ROMs and what exactly you are doing, then it is better to wait for the official update from Samsung.

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We’ve seen the power of the Tegra 2 platform in many tablets but until now no one has integrated it into a mobile phone. There were rumors that the second Android phone – Nexus S will be running on Tegra 2, but they came out to be wrong. However, another phone will keep a Tegra 2 chip inside its body – LG Optimus 2X (which was formerly known as LG Star). At first it will be present only on the Korean market in January next year and after that followed by the Asia and European markets.

The specifications of LG Optimus X2 are quite impressive and if it wasn’t the small screen, everyone could think that these are the specs of a netbook. As already mentioned, the core of the handset is 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, supported by 4-inch WVGA screen, 8GB internal memory (which can be expanded via the microSD card slot with up to additional 32GB), 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing one for video calling, HDMI mirroring, 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 video playback and recording and 1500mAh battery. At first the device will be offered with Android 2.2 FroYo as its OS but later on LG promise that you’ll be able to upgrade it to the just announced Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

All these specification look really fantastic and I’m sure that LG Optimus X2 will mark the start of a new era in the mobile phones’ life. Having a 1GHz 2-core processor in your pocket is really amazing. I remember the time 10 years ago when I had my first Pentium PC running at 400MHz – it was so big and noisy and now my mobile phone is times faster and smaller. All that’s left is to wait for the final price and head to the stores as soon as the LG Optimus X2 is released.

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We’ve seen many Android smartphones with different hardware specifications – processors, display kind and/or size, RAM, ROM, hardware keyboard and so on. But all the phones have one and the same form factors – either a chocolate bar or a slider with hardware keyboard underneath. The Korean manufacturer Samsung has decided to break the ice and bring us back in time when the clamshell factor was trendy, introducing their newest Android device – W899, targeted at the Asian market.

W899 has a stylish rectangular form, similar to an ordinary chocolate bar and at first glance you will think that this is the form factor of the handset – but you are wrong. The most interesting and never seen before thing in W899 is that it has two 3.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen displays. One of them is positioned like the ordinary display of a clam-shell handset and the second one is placed on the back side of the lid. So you will have a display at your disposal when the phone is opened and when it is closed. It’s an interesting concept but whether it will be success or not – the sells will show. The rest features of W899 include multitouch support, Android 2.2 FroYo OS, 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-facing one for video calling, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and only 512MB internal memory.

It’s not clear yet if Samsung will release W899 to the rest of the world, but if they do, it will surely be part of the Galaxy family. As for the Asian market – still no info about price and availability.

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It seems that the famous notebook (and recently handset) manufacturer has decided to step into the Android device market, introducing two new tablets – a 10-inch one and a 7-inch, together with a mobile phone/tablet, having a 4.8-inch display.

But let’s first begin with the big boy – a 10-inch tablet that is expected to be released in April, featuring “full Android tablet experience” whatever it means. But we all hope that Acer will integrate Android 2.3 Gingerbread into it. The tablet will have a 1GHz dual core processor, 1280×800 pixels resolution, Flash 10.1 support (so at least Android 2.2 installed), HDMI output and a 4MP camera. The body is just 13.3mm thick and is made of aluminum. Sounds pretty good and if combined with a pleasant price, this tablet will definitely be the favorite toy for many people.

But what if you are not into those big 10-inch tablets and would like something smaller, that you can put into your bigger pocket or in your ladies handbag? Acer have prepared something for you, too. They will release a 7-inch tablet as well, expected to hit the markets again in April. It will have again a double-core Qualcomm processor, but this time running at 1.2GHz frequency, Flash 10.1 support, resolution of 1280×800 pixels again (pretty nice resolution for a 7-incher), Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity (let’s hope it won’t be locked to certain carriers), 5MP rear camera and “HD” front-facing one for video calls and last but not least – DLNA support. It is supposed that the 7-incher will be running on Android 2.2 FroYo.

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There were some rumors around the web about the new upcoming Android flagship of Sony Ericsson – Anzy X12. According to the leaks from last weeks, it should have been packed with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. But now there is some additional information, which the guys from Mobile-Review has posted, which reveals that X12 will come equipped with Android 2.2 instead of Gingerbread. It’s a bit odd decision for SE, but maybe this is their policy – they released X10 family with Android 1.6 and update to Android 2.1 is just on its way now (when most people are looking forward to Gingerbread already). And now releasing a new device with FroYo – probably SE should revise their OS policy and make their users happy, releasing the new versions of Android a bit more faster, otherwise they could face a drawback in sells.

Taking a look at the rest of the rumored specifications, Anzu X12 should have the Qualcomm MSM7230 (code named Scorpion) processor, running at frequency of 800MHz. Probably many of you would say “Why are they going down from 1GHz in X10 to 800MHz here?” but I’m sure that  our overclock-oriented readers will be happy with this processor. Some time ago the guys at XDA developers have managed to overclock the Scorpion processor in T-Mobile G2 to the astonishing 1.9GHz frequency, making about 2800 Quadrant score. The rest rumored specs include a 4.3-inch screen at resolution of 854×480 pixels and breathtaking 12MP video camera (my 700$ DSLR is not that much). Stay tuned for more information about Sony Ericsson’s new handset.

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Nov/10

21

ViewSonic 10” G tablet for 399$

The Black Friday is close and we are tempted by many interesting hot deals by almost every corner and website. Mobile phones, TVs, computers, tablets are offered a lot cheaper and this makes the Black Friday the perfect day for some shopping. If you are about to buy an Android-based tablet and you are not keen on Samsung Galaxy Tab or it is too expensive for your taste, then you might like ViewSonic 10-inch G tablet.

If you look at the hardware specifications of this tablet, you will be nicely surprised by the things it offers, considering the low price. As already said, it has a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen display, running at resolution of 1024×600 pixels, 512MB RAM, internal memory of whole 16GB, USB and HDMI ports, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi networks support, Bluetooth 2.1 and 1.3MP web camera. A good surprise is the core of the ViewSonic’s tablet – Tegra 2 chip. The operating system is Android 2.2 FroYo, so everything in this tablet is really up to date – hardware and software.

ViewSonic 10” G tablet will be available in almost every consumer electronics store, but if you are not keen on queuing in the stores or you’re too busy to go there, you can order it online. Whatever option you choose, the price is one and the same – 399$

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These days there is some wave of cheap Android phones being presented. LG Vortex is not an exception. It is one of the many LG devices that were announced recently and is headed directly to Verizon stores. An interesting thing about LG Vortex is that although it comes equipped with Android 2.2, it lacks many of the features that it is expected to have. Another thing that needs our attention is that the handset is running Bing as its default web browser and Google Maps is changed with Bing Maps. This is because of the contract between Verizon and Microsoft which compels the carrier to integrate Microsoft’s services in all entry-level mobile phones and Windows Phone 7 handsets.

The most important hardware features of LG Vortex are Android 2.2 FroYo OS (as already mentioned), a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, running at resolution of 320×240 pixels (here we should point out the low resolution for the size of the screen, which will result in pixelized picture), microSD card slot, 600MHz processor (this has been achieved by overclocking it, so it is possible to have some issues and problems in heavier applications), 170MB internal storage, 1500mAh battery, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, FM radio, a-GPS and all the standard sensors – accelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor and digital compass.

Regarding the price, the mobile phone will be sold … for free on a 2-year contract after a 100$ rebate, which you will get in the form of a debit card. The release date was set to October 29. So if you are looking for a free entry-level Android device, head to the closest Verizon office and get your LG Vortex.

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The famous display manufacturer, which has been on the display market for more than 20 years, has decided to go further and enter the market of tablets with a whole series, called ViewPad. It was often neglected in the news around the web because of the buzz around Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, but now it is time to pay some attention to ViewPad as well.

These days ViewSonic has announced the prices and release dates of their ViewPad 7 and ViewPad 10 Android-based tablets. The smaller of the two – ViewPad 7 features a 7-inch touchscreen display running at resolution of 800×480 pixels, support for 3.5G band connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g – unfortunately no “n” support, a 3MP camera at the back and a 0.3MP one on the front for video calls and last but not least – Bluetooth support. The integrated memory is 512MB but it can be expanded up to 32GB using the microSD card slot, and the promised battery life is 10 hours. On top of all this there will be Android 2.2 FroYo. ViewPad 7 is expected to hit the markets in late Q4 of 2010 for a price of about 479$.

The bigger brother – ViewPad 10, as the name suggests, has a 10.1-inch display running at 1024×600 pixels resolution, but that’s not all the differs it from ViewPad 7. It has 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB integrated memory, 16GB SSD hard drive and microSD card slot. It also features a G-sensor and multitouch support and 1.3MP front-facing camera with integrated microphone. The interesting thing about ViewPad 10 is that it is dual-boot – you can run either Windows 7 Home Premium or Android (unfortunately) 1.6. The tablet will be available in Q1 2011 for a price of 629$.

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These days there are some good news about Google services’ users, including the FroYo ones. Google has released an update for Google Maps, version 4.6. It features a new design of the Place page reviews and many more options to filter your search results, Latitude is also updated, including a real-time update.

The updated design of Place’s page is done in such a way, that it combines “Around the web” reviews and Google users’ reviews share one and the same design, so you don’t have to get used to 2 different UIs. As for the filter changes – previously it was possible to filter the search results only by distance and/or ratings but now you can filter them by “Open now”, “Neighborhood” and “Related searches” as well.

The updated version of Latitude offers much faster and more often update, so Google hopes that more people will start using this social feature of Android. In this way you will be able to see where your friends are right now and join them in the party. A great feature, but you and your friends should be running Android 2.2 on your mobile devices. I wonder what would be the impact on the battery life if using the GPS all the time.

The other news from Google are about Android 2.2 and Google Docs. Now it is possible to remotely control a device via Google Docs and an ordinary web browser. Being an admin, via the web browser you can remotely:

  • Remotely do a data wipe of lost or stolen devices
  • Lock idle devices after some inactivity
  • Require a password on each device
  • Set minimum length for passwords
  • Require passwords to include letters and/or numbers
  • Withdraw access to company information when an employee leaves it, without the need to entirely wipe the whole phone.

In order to be able to use all these features, the devices should have Google Apps Device Policy installed. It will be available on the market in a few days and it will be free for users within Google Apps Premier and Education Edition products.

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Oct/10

26

Huawei presents 2 new Androids

The not-so-famous manufacturer of mobile phones Huawei has presented 2 new mobile phones, running Android. Many of their devices are sold around the world rebranded by different mobile carriers. Usually their devices are ranged in the low or mid-low segment, but these new handsets break the trend.

The first of the two – Ideos X6 looks very similar to Motorola Droid X. It features a large 4.1-inch WVGA display running at resolution of 800x480px, made by Toshiba, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2GB ROM, 512MB RAM, HSPA+ data connectivity, a HDMI output, 5MP camera capable of recording 720p HD video and last but not least – the usual sensors and connectivity hardware like WiFi, GPS, FM radio and orientation sensors. All this will be under the control of Android 2.2 FroYo OS.

The other device – Ideos X5 is targeted in the middle class handsets. It is also running Android 2.2 and has HSPA+ connectivity,  5MP camera, and all the sensors and connectivity abilities. A difference between X5 and X6 is that X5 has a bit smaller display – 3.8 inches, but it is still quite big, having in mind that HTC Desire has a 3.7-inch one.

Both devices will run the stock version of Android, without any makeover with skins like Motoblur or HTC Sense. The handsets are expected to show on the shelves in the first quarter of the next year in Hong Kong, but still no word if they will be available to the rest of the world.

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