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Gingerbread Test Build for ThunderBolt Leaked

A buggy test build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread appears to have been leaked from our favorite source for all things HTC oddity: 911HTC! They’ve got a big fat build by the name of Mecha GINGERBREAD S Verizon WWE 2.01.605.0_ Radio_0.01.69.0501r_ _NV_8K_1.41_ – all that make sense to you? It doesn’t have to! All you need to know is that Gingerbread is more than likely on its way to Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt, and by the looks of it, it’s coming soon!

Before we continue I’ve of course got to warn you that ROMs in test stages such as this are often beyond buggy to the point where should you use them you really ought to prepare yourself for something rather broken. Be sure to back up your current build if you plan on working with this one, Read the rest of this entry

Samsung Exhibit 4G hits T-Mobile June 8

We first heard about the Samsung Exhibit 4G a few weeks ago and it looks like we’ll be seeing the mid-range offering hitting T-Mobile shelves on June 8. Dealer price is set at $325, but you’ll be paying less (and note the $50 rebate).

The Exhibit 4G features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 3MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera and is also HSPA+ capable; it will be able to reach speeds exceeding 21mbps. Read the rest of this entry

Google Announces Chromebook: MacBook Air Alternative?

Samsung series5 backleft 640x458

Google is aiming for the low end user by stripping a laptop down to its bare essentials, adding built-in world mode 3G wireless connectivity and calling it Chromebook.


Chromebook with the 3G option will have 100MB free data per month from Verizon Wireless and a boot time of 8 seconds. It will support “the latest web standards and Adobe Flash,” there is no hard drive, or any local storage for that matter, but there is a 4-in-1 memory card reader. The ultra-cheap notebook will run Chrome OS – essentially a browser-based operating system where all of your data and applications are stored in the cloud. The login credentials of the notebook are simply your Google account details and Chrome OS will keep your data synchronized to the cloud so that you can simply login to any other Chromebook and have the exact same experience. Chrome OS will update automatically, just the same as the Chrome browser does so there won’t be anything to patch, download, or otherwise worry about updating. The 12″ Samsung model (pictured) is the sleeker design of the two – Acer is making one as well – and is not too much heavier than an 11″ MacBook Air with a significantly longer 8.5 hours of battery life.

It’s a pretty safe bet these are the same notebooks that Google will be offering to students for the dirt cheap price of $20 per month, including “hardware and online services.”

Acer and Samsung will each have a Chromebook available from June 15th at Best Buy and Amazon’s Chromebook Store.

What do you think? Would you ditch your main machine in favor of a web-based, data in the cloud, $20 a month Chromebook? This certainly seems attractive as a second machine, but Google will have to pry my 11″ MacBook Air from my cold, dead hands. The most exciting thing about this is how it will stir up the market, including Apple to boost the adoption of cloud services and 3G/4G wireless connectivity built in to all devices.

via Chromebook

What’s Google TV’s Key Selling Point?

At the I/O Conference this week, Google said that it will be bringing Android 3.1 to Google TV later this year. In addition, the company said that developers will finally have the SDK they need to start deliveringGoogle TV-based applications.

For those who currently own Google TV-based devices, like the Logitech Revue, that’s good news. Right now, those folks are using a platform that, by and large, has done little to justify its price. Worst of all, for months, it seemed that Google had turned its back on the platform, allowing it to languish on store shelves. Read the rest of this entry

Google I/O 2011 T-shirt puzzle solved, reveals the droid you’ve been looking for

Google always has some fun with its I/O t-shirts and this year is no exception. There was a hidden message in the shirts, which appeared to have some sort of binary or Morse Code on the back. You can take a look at the shirt below and see if you can decipher it before continuing after the cut for the answer.

Putting the dots and dashes in line and considering the line breaks to be spaces, it turns out to indeed be Morse Code. After plugging it into a Morse Code translator you will find that the message is actually HTTP://GOO.GL/A4C639. An interesting note about the URL is that the “A4C639” is actually the HEX value for the Android green color.

Plugging in the URL in your browser, you will find that it forwards you to a page that invites you to Androidify yourself with the limited edition Google I/O 2011 t-shirt. Google sure knows how to have some fun. You should check out the ‘Android Eats Apple’ wallpaper that was displayed on the big screen during the first day’s keynote.

[via MobileCrunch]

HTC bringing a Sensation successor with NFC in Q3 2011?

HTC NFC enabled phone mockup

Rumors are always just rumors, but a current one flying around the Internet has an unnamed HTC sales manager outing a 4.3-inch successor to the HTC Sensation, with NFC capabilities, to hit in the third quarter of 2011.  Yes, a new phone will be better than an old phone — shocker — even though this particular old phone hasn’t even hit the shelves yet.

So far the only Android phone to have NFC on-board is the Nexus S, and that’s because Google wanted it available for developers.  NFC technology is something Nokia’s been doing forever, yet still hasn’t caught on for most of the world.  Maybe a bigger push from Google will have the same result that putting a front facing camera on the HTC Evo 4G did, and bring it mainstream.  Or maybe not — consumers, especially us American ones, are pretty fickle.

Finally, there’s been a bit of speculation that this will be the next Nexus phone.  While that’s possible, and the time frame fits, I think it’s way to early for anyone to be jumping to those conclusions.  But if it is, and has a similar curvaceous unibody design, tell me who to throw my money at now please.

Google sued over Android location tracking

Google’s legal team will be earning their keep once more, with the search giant again in hot water over privacy concerns. Hot on the heels of the Apple iPhone tracking lawsuit comes similar charges leveled at Google, with two Michigan women suing the company for $50m and the cessation of sales of devices with software that can track user location.

According to the class-action suit, filed in Detroit, Google’s use of location tracking systems puts its “users at serous risk of privacy invasions, including stalking.” Google has declined to comment on the case, but Android does give users the chance to turn off location reporting as part of the initial setup of handsets (and then again in the settings pages).

Researchers highlighted Android’s collection of location data last week, with handsets running the OS reporting back their position to Google on several occasions every hour. Apple was challenged with the same allegations, and earlier this week released a Q&A attempting to explain how in fact the iPhone was logging the location of cell towers and WiFi hotspots, not its own position. That data, the company argued, allowed it to speed up positioning fixes in mapping apps and other LBS.

Acer ZGB Chrome OS notebook details emerge

Google has been working on Chrome for a while now and has sent out notebooks to reviewers in the past to check out the OS. The machines that went out weren’t about the hardware at all, the OS was the focus. There are doubts as to whether or not Google will be able to offer a compelling notebook OS that consumers will be interested it. Those same doubts were around when Android first surfaced and eventually the Android OS bloomed and is very popular today. Google undoubtedly hopes the same will happen with Chrome.

Last week we learned that Google OS notebook would be offered by subscription at up to $20 monthly rather than for straight purchase. Whether this will be only for notebooks straight from Google or for all machines running the OS is unknown. A notebook from Acer has surfaced again called the ZGB that runs Chrome. The machine was spied in a bug repot that was filed a few hours ago by Macles. The report offers up a bit of info that allows insight into the hardware the machine might run.

We know the screen resolution is 1366 x 768, which is common. The last line of the report offers insight into the hardware inside the machine that we didn’t have before. The line lists a LVDS to HDMI encoder by Chrontel that is used to support HDMI out in Intel Atom-based notebooks. Macles points out that the AMD fusion APU supports HDMI directly so Intel Atom is the only hardware around right now that uses that encoder. It seems we are looking at nothing but another of the same notebooks with Chrome as the only differentiator.

[via Macles]

Google Introduces Google Docs App for Android

Those of you who have been wanting an actual app to manage your Google Docs from your phone, your wait is over! Google has released Google Docs app for Android today to give you full control from the palm of your hand. Open and edit your documents on the fly with the built-in editor, and uploading content from the phone and sharing with your contacts all became even easier. It even includes OCR so you can snap a picture and have Docs create a text document within the app. You can also add widgets onto your homescreen to snap a pic, create a new doc, or jump to “starred” documents.  Scan the QR code below or hit the market to download.

Google and DOE at work on electric car charging network map

I live in Texas where things are more rural in many areas. That means that we tend to drive longer distances than the people that live in cities around the country do. The heat in the south and humidity along with longer driving distances combine to make the use of EVs more of a challenge for drivers and the sale of EVs more challenging for car markers. One of the big issues in the minds of a lot of people that are considering the purchase of an EV is where they will charge when away from home.

You can just plug in when you are at home and charge the EV up. When you are at the mall shopping and need to charge things are not that easy. You have to be able to locate a charging station nearby and find your way to it and that can be hard if you aren’t familiar with the area. Google and the Department of Energy are working together to build a definitive map of the EV charging infrastructure around the country that is not vendor or brand specific. That means instead of the apps on the market that only show charge stations for their network, the Google/ DOE network would show any charging stations.

The project will use a GPS database system and maps. That would mean that not only would you be able to find a station in the city to charge up, you would be able to use Google maps to find your way there. Other partners on the project include makers of charging stations for EVs like Coulomb and retailers like Best Buy that have charging stations installed in their parking lots. Being able to find charging stations in the area where the driver lives is a big step towards making the use of an EV more palatable for drivers.

[via CNet]

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