Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gtalk Getting Video and Voice Chat

Many of us have been waiting for an official Google video chat service and that time is finally (almost for all phones other than the Nexus S) here!!! The Nexus S will be receiving the Android 2.3.4 update which includes full video and voice chat for Gtalk, allowing you to chat with friends using their phones, tablets, or computers. Other devices will eventually get this feature as Gingerbread rolls out to older phones.  Hopfully they will skip the Android 2.3.3 updates that most had scheduled and go straight to 2.3.4. Ahhh the advantages of having a pure Android phone like the Nexus S.  The service will work on WiFi, 3G, and 4G.  Any Nexus S user want to share their initial impressions? Lets hope it doesn't take another 3+ Months to see this get pushed out to older phones.

Update: Don't feel like waiting for the update to be pushed to your phone? Download the manual update below.  Make sure that you are running 2.3.3 already and have the i9020T (AWS equipped model) since that is the model the update is intended for unless you know what you're doing and want to be adventurous. If this isn't making sense to you, just keep checking for you update in settings and play it safe, its on the way.

Manual 2.3.4 Update


White iPhone 4 Finally Arrived

Not too much to say here but the long awaited white iPhone 4 is now available while supplies last. Has this been the flavor iPhone you've been waiting on?

Source: Boy Genius Report

Monday, April 11, 2011

Skype Video Chat for HTC Thunderbolt

Verizon showed it off, made promises, but did not deliver Skype with video calling upon release of its first LTE 4G phone the HTC Thunderbolt. But the file has been leaked and is waiting for you to download and install! Reports so far state that it runs well on 4G/WiFi and decent on 3G. I just did a test call from my laptop to my friends Thunderbolt and it seemed to work pretty well. I was really impressed with the sound quality.  Unfortunately the app only works for the Thunderbolt (tried on my Evo to no avail), but this is still a good thing for all of Android.  Just like the original (video call-less) Skype app for Android started as a VZW exclusive and was later released to all Android handsets, the video enabled version will eventually be available to all as well.  Hopefully some skilled developers and hackers will make that happen sooner than Skype or more accurately Verizon has planned.  Download the app from one of the links below and give it a try!

Thunderbolt Skype App [mirror] [mirror2]

Source: Droid Life


Acer A500 Android 3.0 Honeycomb Tablet

This is why my Xoom was returned, well not exactly why but a big part of it. More Android 3.0 tablets are on the way and I'm going to wait until more manufacturers have shown their hands. Acer just officially announced their A500 Honeycomb tablet. The A500 have very similar specs to Motorola's Xoom but is $150 cheaper, thinner and has a standard USB port making it compatible with common USB mass storage drives (and in my opinion making it a more capable laptop replacement/sidekick). They also, very wisely, included a reset button; having no way to force reset my Xoom when it froze was very frustrating and I couldn't just pop out the battery like I do on my Evo. The tablet is available exclusively on pre-order from Best Buy for $450.

Specs and box contents below:

What's Included

  • Acer Iconia Tablet / 10.1" Display / 16GB Storage Memory / NVIDIA Tegra Processor
  • Lithium-ion polymer battery
  • AC power adapter
  • USB cable, charger and plug
  • Dust-resistant bag
  • Owner's manual

Product Features

  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
    Features a 1.0GHz processing speed.
  • 1GB DDR2 memory
    For multitasking power.
  • 10.1" WXGA high-definition touch-screen display
    With a wide viewing angle, 16:10 aspect ratio and 1280 x 800 resolution to showcase movies and games in stunning clarity.
  • 16GB eMMC on-board memory
    Offers spacious storage.
  • NVIDIA GeForce graphics
    For lush images. Micro-HDMI output for connection to an HDTV.
  • Built-in 2.0MP webcam
    Makes it easy to video chat with family and friends. The rear-facing 5.0MP camera with autofocus and single LED flash allows you to capture and playback video.
  • Digital media card reader
    Supports microSD up to 32GB and Secure Digital High Capacity formats for storing or transferring media.
  • High-speed USB 2.0 port
    For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
  • Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
    Connect to the Internet without wires.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    Easily link with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as a mobile phone or MP3 player.
  • Weighs only 1.7 lbs. and measures just 0.5" thin
    For lightweight portability. Sensors include G-sensor, E-compass, L sensor and gyrometer.
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system
    Provides a stable platform.

Source: Best Buy


Monday, April 4, 2011

Xoom or Wait?

So after a long tablet-deprived wait I finally got my hands on a WiFi-Only Motorola Xoom.  In exchange for $600 bucks the Wifi Xoom is basically identical to its Verizon 3G/4G enabled counterpart. The Xoom has a  1Ghz dual core Tegra 2 processor, front and back cameras (5MP shooter on back with a front facing cam for video chat), Android 3.0 Honeycomb (Google's newest version of Android optimized for tablets) and a 10.1" Display.

I immediately fell in love with the Xoom, but after a few days that all changed because of glitches and bugs.  I really liked having an Android tablet and would strongly recommended checking out the Xoom, but I returned mine.  There are just too many other Android Tablets on the horizon.  HTC, LG, Samsung, Asus, and Acer all have some pretty competitive tablets coming in the next few months; not to mention tablets from HP (Palm) and Blackberry.  The Xoom's quirks and bugs will be resolved in the coming weeks undoubtedly, but the Xoom is only the tip of the Tablet-iceberg.  Many more options are coming and I will be holding out to explore them.  More competition means more variety in features and hopefully more competitive pricing. So the big question for those looking for and Android tablet is Xoom or Wait?

Check out my video review of the Xoom below. Let me know what you think

Motorola XOOM Tablet Specs
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Larger and higher-resolution display in smaller form-factor, first tablet with Honeycomb software, dual-core 1GHz processor, and a wide range of docking options
249.1mm (h) x 167.8mm (w) x 12.9mm (d)
10.1” 1280x800 resolution
~25 ounces
1GHz dual-core processor
Up to 10 hours video playback
3.5mm, micro USB 2.0 HS, Corporate Sync, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID
802.11n b/g/n
Email (Corporate Sync, Google Mail, POP3/IMAP embedded) , WebKit w/ Flash
HD capture/playback/streaming, H.263, H.264, MPEG4
5 MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash/2MP front-facing webcam
32GB on board user memory, microSD card support after future software update, 1GB DDR2 RAM

Some of the upcoming Tablets that I am waiting to see:

HTC Evo View 4G/HTC Flyer

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Asus Eee Pad Slider