Galaxy Note-Like Devices Hit WiFi Certification?

Just as with the Galaxy S II, us Americans are just now getting a taste of the Galaxy Note while other parts of the world have had it for months. Well it looks like a variant or a successor may be headed out of Samsung’s camp as devices with similar model numbers have passed WiFi certification.

First of all we’ve got the GT-N8000 that has been at the WiFi cert for a while. Compare that to the Galaxy Note’s GT-N7000. Beyond that, two other devices – the GT-N8010 and the GT-N8013 – have also gotten their stripes for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n.

It’s a bit earlier than Samsung’s usual  time frame to introduce a sequel to a device but anything could be going down soon. And as you know, Samsung usually has a strong outing at Mobile World Congress so it’s entirely possible that we won’t have to wait past February to see what they have cooking up. [WiFi Cert 12 via PocketNow]

Hands On Video: New ASUS Transformer Prime 700T – Full HD Screen and Ice Cream Sandwich

When we were invited to check out the all new and super high-def ASUS Transformer Prime 700T (previous version was TF201) for ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity. Ever since ASUS took the lid off their all new and improved Transformer Prime a few days ago, I was curious to see if performance would suffer because of the new HD display. Pushing 1920×1200 pixels (technically, a little higher than regular ‘ol 1080p) across the screen is no easy task and whether it was the Tegra 3 processor or Ice Cream Sandwich (most likely a combination of both), one thing is for certain — the new T-Prime flies. There was absolutely zero lag when navigating the homescreen and app drawers and while I didn’t get to run any benchmarks on the device (that will come at a later time), I was able to load up a few games like Sprinkle and Showdowgun for a quick test run. If you’re curious to see how it all went down, check out the hands-on video below.

Waterproofed Devices Coming Soon To US – Liquipel Can Waterproof Your Current Device Right Now

Waterproofed devices made a big splash at this year’s CES with companies like Fujitsu showing off smartphones and tablets that could be completely submerged in water all while never missing a tweet or status update.

A few months ago, we told you about Zagg’s new venture in HzO, a company with waterproofing technology that protects a device on a molecular level, shielding sensitive internal components by blocking the harmful effects of moisture and liquid. Now, I don’t understand all the technicals behind it (I don’t need to) but I immediately went for my wallet, ready to give Zagg a fist full of cash. The only problem is during CES last week, Zagg revealed that the process wouldn’t be as simple as shipping off your current device for weather proofing and instead would be shopping around for big name device manufacturers (like Samsung and Apple) to incorporate their technology in upcoming devices — some of which could debut later this year.

That’s all fine and dandy but what about the smartphone currently in your pocket? Well, Zagg wasn’t the only company showing off their waterproofing skills at CES. Another company called Liquipel stepped into the ring with some waterproofing tech of their own and unlike Zagg, it’s not only available right now but pretty affordable as well. For only , you can ship off your device to Liquipel who, after a few days, will ship your device back to your completely waterproofed.

Unfortunately, due to an “overwhelming response,” it seems Liquipel’s site has been overloaded with order requests. I’d imagine the process takes sometime so lets hope everything gets situated. In the meantime, I’ll continue watching their demo videos like the one below and wonder what could have been…

[Liquipel | HzO | Pocket-Lint via BriefMobile]

Cellular South’s HTC Hero Upgraded to Android 2.1

Some of you Cellular South customers were disappointed that the regional carrier missed their “first half of 2010” window by nearly a month now, but a few weeks never hurt anyone. You can now download your upgrade to Android 2.1 for manual installation (sorry, folks: no OTA to be had here).

cell-south-hero

Be sure to stop by Cellular South’s Facebook page to get instructions on how to apply the update that you can get here. [Note]: The upgrade includes MMS support, but you must add MMS to your account online for .99 per month. Also note that you can have the update applied in-store, but you’ll incur a charge of .

[via Android Central]

First Look: LG Viper 4G LTE for Sprint [CES 2012]

Sprint’s LG Viper 4G doesn’t have a release date or pricing, but we had the opportunity to get a first look at one of the first LTE devices for the carrier here at CES. The phone is an amalgamation of many of the top features from recent LG releases, from its LTE radio to the super bright NOVA display. We first saw the screen technology on the LG Optimus Black, which debuted at last year’s CES. The display measures in at 4.0-inches and rests atop a casing produced from mostly recycled materials, furthering Sprint’s eco-friendly agenda. The handset looks compact for a device with a screen of its size and feels solid, if not a bit stout. Inside we find a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.


The device offers a number of firsts for Sprint, including the ability to shoot both 720p HD and full 1080p HD video with its 5MP camera. A 1.3MP camera is found around front for video conferencing. One first the Viper won’t offer is the inclusion of Ice Cream Sandwich. Given the recent release of the new Android version to OEMs, Sprint and LG will launch the phone with Android 2.3.7. The window remains open for an eventual Android 4.0 appearance. Check out our video above for the full rundown.

 

Android Game: Divide & Conquer

The Android Developers Blog has not only released a new game for Android devices but they’ve open sourced it so developers can see the various APIs and tools used in a real world application. The backstory of the game’s development is pretty funny: Karl Rosaen remembered playing a simple childhood computer game but couldn’t remember the name of it. So he built it, showed it to someone and they said, “That looks like Jezzball!”

Ah, Jezzball… the name of the game for which Karl Rosaen had been searching for oh so long. I feel for his pain as I too loved this game but never would have guessed the name. If you didn’t play Jezzball as a kid, you really missed out.

Here is a video of the ORIGINAL Jezzball, Windows 95 version:

The game was recreated for Android and if you don’t feel like watching the video, the idea is to partition of balls that are bounding around by dividing the box in quadrants. Each level you pass adds another ball to the game.

Here are some screenshots from the actual Android game:

And for you developer types, here is what the Android Developers Blog says you have to learn from all of this Developing and Conquering:

While this game isn’t going to win any awards for cutting edge graphics, it demonstrates use of several Android features and APIs:

  • custom drawing and animation
  • touch input based gesture detection
  • overriding the default behavior of the back key in some situations (to pause the game)
  • creating custom Dialogs
  • configuring an application to be full screen with no title or status bar
  • use of the preferences framework
  • use of the vibrator API

DivideAndConquerView is a custom View that implements its own onDraw method using the Canvas methods, and gesture detection using onTouchEvent and a helper class DirectionPoint. It keeps track of the state of the game using BallEngine, and reports relevant events back to the main activity of the application, which, in turn, keeps track of and controls the state of the game. The application is configured to be full screen in its AndroidManifest.xml file.

[Via Android Developers Blog]

Sprint Galaxy Nexus With LTE and 1.5GHz CPU Pops Up in CNET Ad; Is This Their CES Announcement?

Someone at CNET will be in a wee bit of trouble soon, it seems. An ad popped up on their site showing off the Galaxy Nexus, “the first 4G LTE phone from Sprint.” And there goes the beans.

Not only do we know they’re bound to get it, we know that it’ll be the first phone available for an LTE network that will be up in four initial cities sometime in the middle of this year. It will also have a 1.5GHz dual-core chip – I wonder what that’s all about.

Sprint has a big showing at CES this year and they were so close to keeping the lid on whatever announcement they were going to make. They still are, really. But there’s a high possibility that this could be the reason Sprint’s setting up in a big way in Las Vegas next Monday.

The fact that CNET has advertising campaign materials ready does lead us to believe that any announcement will be made sooner rather than later but that’s all just speculation. As for you AT&T and T-Mobile users, we’re sure something will come along in due time. Hang in there, k? [via Engadget]

T-Pain’s Own Nappy Boy Entertainment Presents Booty Symphony for Android

Here is another story you guys can whine “slow news day?” about. T-Pain, the fine purveyor of all things auto-tune, and his Nappy Boy Entertainment have just launched a new Android app called Booty Symphony. What exactly is a Booty Symphony? I’m not quite sure, and the internationally-clad ladies in the below video aren’t doing much to shed light on it either.

The app itself provides you with the opportunity to leverage a library of “booty soundboards” featuring samples of songs from some of Nappy Boy’s finest to create similar 30-second clips. Here is the tongue-in-cheek explanation of why the app had to exist:

“Smartphones have given people an incredible amount of computing power, but until now, this power has been wasted,” says creator and choreographer of Booty Symphony, Sakinah LeStage. “America is thirsty for an app that finally does something useful. Through their shared appreciation of the art of clapping, Booty Symphony was born.”

The person who creates the video garnering the most views even wins 1,000 cans of Booty Sweat energy drink. Pretty good reason right there to download the app for .99 in the Android Market and give it a try, right? Oh, there is also a free version on GetJar. Have at it.

[via AndroidGuys]

Compaq Airlife 100: Android Smartbook Passes FCC

HP had a little bit of Android to show off at CES 2010 but some things they only share with the FCC – like the Compaq Airlife 100 smartbook. Lucky for us the FCC is pretty much an open book:

compaq-airlife-100

There isn’t anything in the way of details, unfortunately. With Apple bringing a tablet to market, I think we’ll start seeing a lot more interesting form factors created and mass manufactured by the more popular, top-tier guys and an HP/Compaq Android Smartbook would be a great addition to the fam.

[FCC via Engadget]

The Future of Toddler Tablets: VINCI Tab Hands-On [CES 2012]

Towards the end of 2011 we previewed a few toddler tablets including the VINCI Tab.  Here at CES 2012 VINCI stands out with their latest social learning.  Not only have they added new applications to their learning curriculum but have a new more affordable tablet in the works.

Our last review had some great details on the overall specs and concept of what the VINCI Tab provides but now we have actual hands on video that really shows the backbone of what this product has to offer.

CURRENT

As most of us know the VINCI Tab comes with 7-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen display, 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  One feature that is NOT included is WiFi but from the company standpoint, this is only to protect the children from what content they are viewing.  In this context of a tablet and being a parent myself, I 100% agree with their decision.

FUTURE

The future of VINCI is sure to stay ahead of the competition.  This year they have a new concept of helping children learn socially by adding their new line of social gaming for multiple children at once.

The simple idea is to connect multiple VINCI devices together on one network to allow each device to connect to the host device and provide access to the game which allows the game interaction.

One downfall at CES is poor WiFi and unfortunately we were hit with a clogged network and could not see the new social games (currently three offered by VINCI) working with multiple devices.  Their new smaller device they will be offering is still in early pre-production and the unit you see in the video is just to demonstrate the social applications.  We will be sure to get our hands on the actual devices and do a in-depth look at how the software works and interacts with children.

LOWER COST

As we stated in the video, the new VINCI device, right now known as the VINCI dBlock, is smaller but more affordable.  I think this will be a huge impact on how many units ship in the upcoming months.  The physical design will be almost exactly the same as in type of screen, number of ports, and processing power but will be half the size of the current.  One other physical feature that has been modified in the design is the red handle that surrounds the device: the smaller unit that will be offered later this year will include the same red rubber-like safety feature but will have a bumper that is directly connected to the edge of the device and not a handle like the design of the current VINCI tab.

EDIT

As the current VINCI Tab does not have WiFi (stated in past press releases and in the current product specs), the new VINCI dBlock will include WiFi to allow for the social gaming connectivity.  I stated I do like how they did not include this as a standard which is intended to protect what content is on the device but I do feel that VINCI will include a parental control option so parents can lock the device down.  Having WiFi doesn’t necessarily mean the device will be connected to the internet either but we will have to wait and see how their final implementation of connectivity is integrated to each device.

Dr. Dan Yang stated that the larger 7 inch VINCI Tab will be able to connect with the new VINCI dBlock devices so I would suspect this will be an addition that will be added to update the current product line.  We will keep a close eye on this as they release more information so please check back once we get our hands on actual production devices to test.

OVERVIEW

Most of the VINCI’s complaints are price related.  I feel the new smaller VINCI device with its under 200 dollar price range will not only increase the amount of units sold but will put a competitive edge on the toddler tablet market in general.  I personally am very excited to get hands on with multiple devices to test out this new social way of learning.

Stay tuned for our next hands-on video once we receive test units of actual production hardware as we will cover the new specs and software and look into what third-parties are jumping on creating new social learning content.