Mar 18, 2011

Flash 10.2 hits Android today, Adobe hopes for viewable 720p playback in a matter of weeks

Today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will hit the Android Market for devices running Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and by now you're probably familiar with what it brings -- increased performance for dual-core smartphones running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3, and the promise of seriously sped-up Flash content and better battery life for Android 3.0 tablets (not to mention Flash, period). Well, we've already spent a full day with the latest build of Flash 10.2 for Android and quizzed the company thoroughly about the release, and there's actually a surprise to be had today, and more coming soon.

First off, you don't absolutely need a dual-core phone to take advantage of Flash 10.2 -- Adobe VP Danny Winokur told us, and we confirmed in testing, that there are slight performance improvements on earlier devices too. With our trusty Droid 2's 1Ghz OMAP3 chip, we saw a slight but noticeable boost in framerate when playing a YouTube trailer at 480p, which admittedly only took took that particular video from "unwatchable" to merely "fairly jerky." With the Tegra 2-toting Motorola Xoom, however, 480p videos ran perfectly smooth, even as the tablet had trouble rendering 720p content as anything but a series of images. However, Adobe says even that will change soon, as this beta release doesn't take advantage of full hardware acceleration -- it's actually turned off right now. Though the Tegra 2 is natively decoding video, Adobe told us that hardware rendering and compositing will be added in a subsequent release, and when they are it "will bring 720p playback to a really smooth, enjoyable level." The other work-in-progress is Flash integration into Google's Honeycomb browser, which presently has trouble detecting finger taps when Flash isn't played full screen, but which will -- Adobe hopes -- play exactly the same inside and outside the browser when work on Flash 10.2 is complete. Sounds promising, no? Then why not download it yourself and give it a go?

T-Mobile G-Slate and G2X dual-core smartphone coming on April 20th?

T-Mobile must be feeling a tinge of regret for hooking up with the Korean hardware manufacturer lately, as TmoNews reports both the G-Slate tablet and a new G2X smartphone (believed to be the US moniker for the Optimus 2X) won't be coming Stateside for at least another month. Neither will be exactly late, mind you, since both feature dual-core Tegra 2 chips and the G-Slate runs Google's freshest Honeycomb software, however a launch date of April 20th does put LG a step behind its direct competitors. Motorola has already rolled out its own Xoom and Atrix alternatives, while Samsung is making noise about its new Galaxy devices, which might well beat LG's wares to the market. Rumor is we'll get an official date out of T-Mobile at CTIA next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Motorola Milestone achieves Android 2.2 milestone at last, Froyo update ready for download

The road to Android 2.1 may have been a long and treacherous one for Milestone users, but the one to Android 2.2 wasn't even certain of reaching its goal. Thankfully, Moto has managed to conclude its "exhaustive testing process" and is now making a Froyo firmware update available to Milestone users wishing to step their software up a notch. Flash Player 10.1, a faster browser and mobile hotspot capabilities await the intrepid updater, but Motorola warns that any DRM-locked media you have on your SD card will be lost. Weirdly enough, there's also a caution that "users may experience some adverse effects associated with the upgrade which could include slower operation of some phone functions and applications." Once you've read and understood all the warnings, smash the source link to download the new software.

Video - Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play ad: gross human thumbs stitched onto robots, drugged clubgoers, not much more we can say

Is this the creepiest ad ever produced to introduce a new video game console? That's a high bar to pass -- but is it the creepiest ad for a new smartphone? Perhaps. The minute-long spot for Sony Ericsson's upcoming Xperia Play called "The Donor" appears to explain the backstory behind its last ad, relaying the tale of a young gentleman who was clubbing with friends, met an attractive woman, took her home, and woke up the next morning to discover that his thumbs were stone cold gone (notice the dirty, poorly-bandaged stumps on the table as he tells his tale of woe to a local law enforcement official). Cut to the next scene, where we've got our cute, lovable Android bot waddling around town... oh, and he's got human thumbs crudely sewn onto his arms. Go ahead, recoil in horror, vomit in the trashcan next to your desk, then cue the inevitable increased desire in owning this phone. Follow the break for the video, if you dare.

Samsung Romania likes March 20th for Galaxy S Gingerbread update

Android 2.3 update is looking more real -- and more imminent -- than ever thanks to a Facebook post from Samsung Mobile's Romanian team a few days ago. Basically, it's sounding like the Froyo update will be online until the 20th of this month, at which point the Gingerbread update will start rolling out from the 20th until the end of March... which could ironically stand to make the Galaxy S one of the first non-Google devices to get an official Gingerbread update anywhere in the world. No word on how this timeline corresponds to dates for other countries and SKUs, but it's a good sign regardless.

Sony Ericsson Spain confirms Xperia Play for €649 on April 1st

Apparently in an effort to reduce confusion and settle the situation once and for all, Sony Ericsson's Spanish outpost has taken to the wires today to clarify the pricing and availability situation of the Xperia Play there: €649 off contract and unlocked (which works out to roughly $907) on April 1st. That more or less lines up with what we've been hearing in other European locales, though in Spain, Vodafone will have a 15-day exclusive on the white model -- other carriers will only have access to black at first, andnone of the carriers have come clean with on-contract pricing details just yet. Clearly, $900 is an enormously tough sell, but a weak dollar never helps these situations -- we'll need to wait for word on the US retail picture before we've got the whole story.

Kyocera Echo hits Sprint on April 17th for $200

Hey, that's just $100 per screen, right? Sprint has just announced that Kyocera's unusual dual-display Echo clamshell will be launching on April 17th for $199.99 on contract, though you'll be able to notch your interest early -- March 26th, to be exact -- via pre-order. As a refresher, the phone offers a 5 megapixel cam with 720p video capture, 1GB of onboard storage augmented with an in-box 8GB microSD card (expandable to 32GB), Android 2.2, and -- of course -- a pair of 3.5-inch WVGA displays that should set it apart from the crowd. We'd have liked a dual-core processor to go along with the trend here, but you can't have it all, can you?

Angry Birds Rio will be exclusive to Amazon Appstore on Android launch

Think you'll be heading to the Android Market to get your next fix of Rovio Mobile's insanely popularAngry Birds? Think again. The next installment in the aviary vengeance sagaAngry Birds Rio, will launch exclusively on Amazon's upcoming Appstore for Android. That does sound like it will eventually achieve universal distribution via the Market, but in the interim Amazon has scored a pretty big scoop in its efforts to attract users to its own app repository. We're also promised the Appstore is launching "very soon" and Amazon has just inaugurated an @amazonappstore account on Twitter to keep us abreast of when precisely that will happen.

HTC's Thunderbolt coming March 17th

After being jilted on Valentine's Day, you'd think we would learn. But having tasted the goods, we couldn't help but get suckered in by every HTC Thunderbolt launch date rumor -- only to have our hopes dashed each time its release was inexorably pushed further and further back. Now, a leaked email and an HTC regional sales manager's tweet (whose account has subsequently been deleted) claim our lust for Verizon's first 4G handset will finally be quenched on March 17th. HTC posted on Facebook that the official launch date will be announced "soon, " and four days from now would certainly qualify. 

Apple's Phil Schiller confirms: white iPhone to be available 'this spring'

The elusive white iPhone -- spotted only in the hands of Woz and occasionally in those of our own Richard Lai -- may ship after all. After hearing from Apple that it was being delayed twice in 2010, we've heard an extended radio silence ever since. Sure, we've seen hints here and there from third parties that this here unicorn was still making its way through the production line, but there's nothing quite like a direct tweet from Cupertino's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing to really rekindle some interest. In response to a question on how to obtain a white iPhone, Philip Schiller fired back: "The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!)." That's about as clear-cut as it gets for now, but we've still got a few inquiries we'd love answered. Is he talking about the iPhone 4, or the next one in the pipeline? And does he have any intention of building us up, only to let us down (let us down) once more?

An interesting picture we found of Nokia!

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to the comments section below and let your opinion be known to the author and everybody else.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...