Mar 3, 2011

Video - Myriad 'Alien Dalvik' runs Android apps on any phone... starting with MeeGo

You know that N900 you keep around, just because. The one that's been hacked so many times you call it "leatherface?" Well, it's about to get a lot more flexible. Built upon the app quickening Dalvik Turbo,OHA member Myriad just announced Alien Dalvik with the promise of running "the majority" of unmodified Android apps on non-Android platforms "without compromising performance." A bold claim, no doubt. Myriad will be backing this up at Mobile World Congress starting next week with plans to release it later this year on MeeGo. But why wait until then? You can see it demonstrated right nowrunning on a Nokia N900 in the video after the break (it's running Google Maps in the picture above). Hey Mr. Elop, you want to build, catalyze or join a competitive ecosystem? Maybe this is your solution. 

Video - MobileNotifier: iPhone alerts improved

If you haven't jailbroken your iPhone yet then MobileNotifier might just push you over the edge -- a place you're probably already teetering upon given Apple's pathetic push notification implementation. MobileNotifier beta v3 is a free open-source rewrite of iOS' notifications from Peter Hajas (lead developer) and Kyle Adams (UI and UX). Perhaps the biggest feature of MobileNotifier is the addition of unobtrusive alerts that appear at the top of your existing app. Unlike Apple's interfering popups, MobileNotifier alerts can be ignored, leaving them on the display without inhibiting use of the device. You can also take immediate action on alerts or tap them away for later. Pending alerts can be found in the AlertDashboard -- the previously unused area above the app switcher, accessible with a double-press of the iPhone's home button. Pending alert counts are also displayed as a line item on the Lockscreen. We've been running MobileNotifier for a few hours. While it's not perfect (opaque windows?) we have no plans to remove it either. At least not until we see what Apple has in store for iOS 5 which, with any luck, will be revealed on Wednesday for a summer launch. Another screenshot and demo video can be found after the break.

Video - Apple iPad 2 detailed Advertisement and specifications!

Well first of all there will almost certainly be a tonne of marketing bulls**t from Apple centered around the iPad 2 and I'm willing to bet you will be hearing the word 'magical' a lot in the coming couple of weeks. That aside you are probably also going to be hearing and seeing a lot about how thin the device is and to be fair it is very thing, just 8.8mm thick. It's also lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 1.3 pounds instead of the hernia inducing 1.5 pounds of the original iPad,
But what about the actual hardware? Well on that front we have a new chip powering the whole thing, the A5. It's a dual cored job, which Apple are saying is twice as fast as the chip in the original iPad and with nine times better graphics performance. In other words it's pretty sweet. Hit read more for details and the video!

NVIDIA Tegra Zone officially launched, takes Android to new dual-core heights

It's March now, which in NVIDIA land means no longer just talking about Tegra Zone, but actually activating it and letting users see what all the fuss is about. For those who've not yet heard of it, the Tegra Zone is an Android application that curates and highlights content that would most benefit from having the dual-core power of that Tegra 2 chip within your device. At launch, that means a hand-picked selection of games whose makers have gone the extra mile and thrown in additional geometric detail, heavier computation loads, and higher-resolution textures specifically for Tegra 2 smartphones and tablets. The snazzier, more interactive games will still be sourced from the Android Market, the Tegra Zone is no more than a portal unto the vast world of Android content, but it's hoped that its presence will help convey the full value of owning a dual-core mobile device. Even if that value will go down considerably when NVIDIA introduces its quad-core SOC in August -- but, one super chip at a time!

Bentley Collection iPad, iPhone, and BlackBerry cases are made of rich, non-Corinthian leather

Bentley Collection iPad, iPhone, and BlackBerry cases are made of rich, non-Corinthian leather
If you'd like to give your iPad the same cosseting your posterior receives when you slot into the sport buckets in your Continental GT then you, good chap, are in luck. Bentley's "luxury leather partner" Ettinger, which ensures no surface of the vehicles is bereft of animal hide, is releasing a line of gadget cases to cover your iPad, iPhone, or BlackBerry -- though it's unclear exactly which model for the latter. Prices? You're looking at £45 for either of the phone holsters or £89 for the iPad-sized model. That's about $73 and $145, respectively, and a lot of cash for a little hide. 

Video - Intel waves around Razer's Sixense motion-sensing sticks, plays Portal 2 on the big screen

For any new peripheral to succeed in the market, it needs a killer app. Seems like Razer found one -- at Intel's press conference at CES 2011, it got to demo Portal 2 with its Sixense motion controller. We were on hand to see it in action, and it looks like the game's tailor-made to take advantage of your precision arm-waving; moving the right stick controls a tractor beam that emanates from the Portal Gun, such that your protagonist can reach though those game-twisting wormholes without sticking her neck out. But don't take our word for it -- see for yourself after the break! 

Toshiba's 4K glasses-free 3DTV prototype

Toshiba 4k glassless 3DTV prototype
We recently came across Toshiba's prototype 4k glassesless 3DTV. The LCD panel looks about as far away from production as any we've seen with its billet aluminum enclosure and red rope restricting access. The set can only display 4K in 2D mode, which is a-ok with us, and the only demo content was a 3D render of Final Fantasy that was impressive from its three viewing positions. Of course three viewing positions isn't exactly what we'd call practical for our home theater, and the 3D quality wasn't on par with what we've seen from active shutter 3D but it does show solid evidence that Toshiba is making some advancements towards the inevitable. Now, we sit back and wait to find out if we can afford it.

Samsung debuts world's slimmest 3D Blu-ray player, three others that'll get the job done

Just a year after the BD-P4600 claimed the title of world's slimmest Blu-ray player, the outfit has introduced the BD-D7500 to take that crown and waltz all over Las Vegas. Introduces here at CES, the D7500 measures just 1.1-inches deep, and also includes 2D-to-3D conversion capabilities, 1080p upscaling, inbuilt WiFi, touch sensor control, DLNA streaming and support for Samsung Apps / Hub. Those not content with sliding this thing under their television can also mount it on a wall, but it's on you to figure out the wiring situation. Moving on, there's the BD-D7000 -- a cube-like, slot-loading 3D Blu-ray player with most of the exact same features in a different form factor. Speaking of which, the BD-D6700 is another slimster, coated in silver and offering twin HDMI outputs and support for Android / iPhone control. Finally, the BD-D6500 deck is slim and trim, boasting 3D playback, inbuilt WiFi, a slot-loading mechanism and support for Samsung Apps and Hub features. Sadly, Samsung's not dishing out any pricing details, but all of 'em will be available to procure sometime between tomorrow and July 31st, 2011.

SanDisk reveals $1500 128GB Extreme Pro CF card, Ultra / Cruzer Edge USB drives

The world's fastest high-capacity CompactFlash card? Yes, please! SanDisk has just taken the CF game to an entirely new level, doubling the capacity of its current highest Extreme Pro offering by dishing out a 128GB model. The Extreme Pro is definitely the card of choice for the high-speed cameras here at Engadget HQ, and for those who've outgrown their twin 64GB setup within their D3S, you can soon pop in a pair of these bad boys for a nominal fee. The card touts performance as high as 100MB/sec (write), a Power Core controller and a UDMA-7 interface, perfectly suited for capturing hours of 1080p footage. Oh, and speaking of that nominal fee -- it's expected to hit retail "later this year" for $1499.99. Yeah, a grand and a half. But hey, you get what you pay for. In less enticing news, a pair of new flash drives are also being launched this evening, the SanDisk Ultra and Cruzer Edge. The Ultra offers transfer rates as high as 15MB/sec, ships in capacities ranging from 8GB to 32GB and will cost between $44.99 and $109.99. The Cruzer Edge reaches from 2GB to 16GB and will set you back between $12.99 and $79.99.

Tegra 2-equipped Samsung Galaxy S II is coming

We've confirmed with our own sources what was almost an established fact already: there will be a version of Samsung's 4.3-inch Galaxy S II Android smartphone relying on a dual-core Tegra 2 chip for its processing. The second-gen Galaxy S launched at MWC this year with Samsung's own Exynos dual-core solution at its heart, but it seems that yields of that chip haven't been good enough to sate the expected high demand for the handset. So, in steps NVIDIA with its soon-to-be-ubiquitous Tegra 2 -- which runs at the same 1GHz as Exynos and offers comparable performance -- to fill in the supply gap. The decision as to which part you'll get in your next Samsung smartphone will depend on which territory you're in, with Americans and Brits likely to get first bite at the Exynos cherry.

Google spikes 21 malicious apps with big download counts from the Market - Android 2.2.2 and up are immune)

We're sure that the debate of a carefully controlled and curated environment like Apple's App Store versus a free-for-all like the Android Market will rage on for years to come, but here's something to chew on: Google just removed some 21 apps from the Market in the last day from a publisher going by Myournet for doing all sorts of naughty things to your device. Offenses include attempting to root your phone, uploading phone information (including IMEI) to who-knows-where, and -- most egregiously -- adding a backdoor that allows additional code to be pulled down and executed.

At least some of the apps are pirated versions of existing apps that have been re-uploaded at zero cost to the user, which makes them appealing... and the trick apparently works quite well, because the 21 managed to clock over 50,000 downloads before getting taken down. This isn't the first time malicious apps have shown up on smartphones -- far from it -- but it's probably the highest-profile case of a first-party app store being infiltrated by really bad stuff. If there's a silver lining, it's that Google was extraordinarily quick to respond once Android Police reported the situation -- the site says it took less than five minutes from the time they reached out to the time the apps actually went offline. Still, that's little consolation if you've already installed your "free" copy of Super History Eraser. Hit the source links for the full list of pulled apps. Android Central points out that the type of root exploit used in these apps was patched in Android 2.2.2 and up, so Nexus One and Nexus S owners should be fine; everyone else is left out in the cold, though, thanks to the vexing third-party update lag. 

LG Optimus 2X coming to Europe in March, a little later than planned

European dual-core aficionados were promised their fix way back in January from LG, however the Korean company's delivery schedule evidently slipped a tiny bit as we're today bidding adieu to the month of February. Good news is that LG will definitely, totally, honestly be releasing its Optimus 2X in "key European markets" this March. It'll ship with Froyo on board, however a Gingerbread update is expressly promised, which should allay fears of being left with a very powerful but outdated piece of hardware. Last time we looked, Amazon's German branch had priced this handset, to be known as the Optimus Speed in Deutschland, at just under €500, which sounds about right for its eventual unlocked price.

Apple Trialling Androidesque Lock Patterns

The picture above is not from an Android phone, no it is in fact from an iPhone. Long time Android users and long time iPhone users could be forgiven for thinking otherwise since it's never been a lock mechanism employed by Apple, at least publicly that is. The screenshot comes from an app called AppleConnect, an internal application only available to Apple employees. The lock mechanism you see here basically functions the same as the Android version. Apparently Apple are testing this mechanism on other 'internal tools' so maybe this will eventually see the light of day, but even if it doesn't it does still indicate that this is at least one Android idea that Apple finds useful.

iPhone 5 Panel Suggests 4-inch Screen?

The iPhone 5 is due to be announced this summer, at least that's the expectation amongst geeks and tech bloggers alike, and of course the rumour mill is starting to ramp up ahead of that expected announcement. One of the most persistent rumours has been that the next generation iPhone will feature a new, larger, screen than previous models. A recent picture leaked onto the interwebz would seem to confirm that as it shows what is said to be the new front facing panel of the handset. Going by the picture the iPhone 5 should have a 4 inch screen.
However, a bigger screen doesn't necessitate a bigger handset. Looking at the picture the bezel surrounding the screen is thinner than in the current models so it seems to be a case of optimizing the available space within the current handset dimensions.
A larger screen would keep the iPhone's screen competitive, in terms of size if nothing else, with other smartphones, which now regularly sport at least a 4 inch screen, if not larger.

Video - Sprint HTC Arrive with Windows Phone 7 copy and paste

HTC also brought along a Sprint-branded Arrive to our San Francisco reader meetup, and while we're already familiar with this Windows Phone 7 slider from our time with the HTC 7 Pro it's still nice to see a CDMA WP7 device in the flesh. Oh, and the keyboard is pretty fantastic -- not only does it feel great, but the dedicated number row alone is reason for keyboard fans to give this thing a look. The best part? The demo unit was loaded up with the Windows Phone 7 copy and paste update, which is the first time we've seen it in the wild. The system worked well, but we noticed that you once you paste out of the clipboard your text is gone, so you can't multiple paste.Okay, so you can multiple paste! The paste icon just disappears after the first paste, which is super confusing. You can just swipe to the right to bring it back, though. We'd suggest Microsoft re-think this implementation a little for an update, since it wasn't clear to anyone here at first glance. Hit read more for the video.

Motorola Atrix 4G already rooted, and it's not even out yet

If you thought the lack of root on the Atrix 4G was going to save you a couple hundred bucks next week... well, we hate to break the bad news, but you're going to need to find another excuse not to buy it (more on that in a second). Long story short, the phone's already been rooted by a gentleman over on the ever-resourceful xda-developers forums, which means you can do all the normal things that require root access like enabling the standard Froyo mobile hotspot feature, using root apps like Titanium Backup (pictured above), and generally looking 1337 compared to your friends locked up in their walled gardens. Now, the bad news: the bootloader remains firmly locked and presumably encrypted given Moto's track record, so custom kernels are still just a dream -- but hey, where there's a will, there's a way. Keep the faith!

Video - Sprint's Kyocera Echo dual-screen Android phone announced

Sprint promised us an "industry first" at its event today, and it certainly delivered: check out the Kyocera Echo, the first dual-screen Android phone. That's right, dual-screen -- that's two 3.5-inch 480 x 800 displays which can be unfolded and used as a single 4.7-inch 960 x 800 surface. The screens are connected by a slick sliding liquid-metal hinge that Kyocera's filed several patents on -- the phone can be closed and used like a regular single-screen phone, unfolded all the way, or propped up into the faux-laptop configuration shown above. Under the hood there's a 1GHz second-gen Snapdragon running Android 2.2 -- we'll forgive the older software because Kyocera had to do extensive customization to add dual-screen support to seven core apps like the browser, email, and messaging. The seven optimized apps can be run on each screen individually so you can have the browser up top and email below, and several of them include useful full-dual-screen views as well. There's also a new dual-screen app manager, which is brought up by tapping the two screens simultaneously. Unfortunately, third party apps can't be run in any of the new modes and just fill the entire display for now -- Kyocera and Sprint say an SDK is coming shortly. Hit read more for details and a video.

Gmail brings Priority Inbox to mobile web app

Those of you suffering from Android envy can put your jealousy aside momentarily, because Priority Inbox is now available via Gmail's mobile web app. Up until now, the mail sorting system was available for the desktop and Android devices only, but now smart email prioritizing is anybody's game. If you didn't already know, Priority Inbox sorts emails in order of importance by learning from your actions, like how many times you read or reply to messages from a certain address. Mobile web users were always able to dig up those sorted messages with the "Important" label, but now all the good stuff is front and center. The feature is available right now on most HTML5-compatible browsers for devices running Android 1.5 and iOS 3.0 or higher, and while it may not be the great equalizer, it's bound to quell some feelings of OS inadequacy.

March 2nd Apple event is underway!

The Apple iPad event is underway right now and the iPad 2 has already been announced with a lot of new features as we have already shown you. Keep an eye on this page for further news from this event as it comes along!

Apple iOS 4.3 coming March 11 with iPad 2, includes new AirPlay features and FaceTime
Along with the iPad 2, Apple's releasing the final version of iOS 4.3, which features the Nitro Javscript engine from Safari on OS X, new iTunes Home Sharing features that let you play content from desktop iTunes over WiFi, and the updated suite of AirPlay features from the betas -- including the ability for App Store apps to share audio and video. Apple's also finalizing the new option that lets you assign the side switch to either rotation lock or mute, and it's adding Personal Hotspot support. There's also thoserumored iOS versions of Photo Booth and FaceTime for the new cameras. It'll be a free download for all iPads, the GSM iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS and the third- and fourth-gen iPod touch when it's released on March 11. When will it hit the Verizon iPhone 4? We don't know yet.


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