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Android 3.0 Honeycomb emulator has traces of smartphone support

Thought Honeycomb was just for tablets? Well, it’s not! Sure, tablets might be Google’s main thrust with the release, but we’ve been able to dig up enough evidence in the preview SDK’s emulator released yesterday to suggest that these guys are still keeping their eyes on the smartphone prize.

Here’s how it works: the emulator can be set to load at an arbitrary screen resolution. By default, that’s WXGA, 1280 x 768 — perfect for tablets, but obviously a wee bit large for even the biggest smartphones. Well, it turns out that setting the emulator to WVGA (like you might find on a modern mid- to high-end smartphone) triggers a moderately different shell UI that lacks most of the whiz-bang home screen stuff Google’s shown on the Honeycomb tablets. In fact, the default launcher crashes out entirely, which means you need to install a replacement (Launcher Pro works nicely) just to play around.

Once you get in, it’s pretty raw, but you immediately notice that the emulator’s got some traces of smartphone support. Notably, the status bar reverts to a more smartphone-friendly form, albeit one with pre-Gingerbread background coloration and incorrectly-inverted font colors. The lock screen (pictured above) is back to its old form, not the webOS-esque circular lock in the Honeycomb tablet UI. The browser — which has been completely revamped in Honeycomb — works, though without visible tabs; Google might be thinking that they’d take up too much real estate on a screen this small.

Again, you can’t glean much here, but it’s interesting primarily because the emulator knows to revert to a smartphone UI layout at the lower resolution — a possible sign that Honeycomb will be a true dual-mode, dual-purpose platform from day one. And even if it isn’t, it looks like they’re setting themselves up for a two-UI strategy down the road.


HTC Flyer spec sheet leaks with Android 2.3, stylus and 7-inch screen?

Wondering what sort of goodies might be inside HTC’s upcoming tablets? Norwegian tech site Amobil isn’t — they claim to have a pair of inside sources spoon-feeding them all the pertinent details. For the rumored HTC Flyer — which may or may not be pictured at right — that includes the same 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 chip you’ll find in several high-end handsets, 1GB of RAM, as well as a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and a rear 5 megapixel imager, and a piddling 4GB of flash storage to hold all your apps (which sounds a little fishy to us). There’s also allegedly 3G for data and Skype calls, an HDMI port, DLNA support and a bonafide stylus to write with, though it’s not clear whether we’re rumoring a fancy N-Trig display or simply a pack-in capacitive pen.

Though Amobil’s sources say the tablet will be sadly limited to Android 2.3 out of the gate, it will allegedly have a brand-new tablet version of HTC’s Sense UI designed to provide a “desktop feel,” which might be a nice pairing for the “HTC Sensation” trademark presently floating about the internet. If so, don’t expect that UI to be limited to a single slate, though — the last part of this oh-so-juicy rumor is that HTC’s also supposedly got a 10-inch LTE tablet (perhaps the Scribe?) arriving in the second half of the year.


Triple-display Flip phone powers our dreams with Android (video)

This one’s only a concept so don’t get your hopes up, but we’re loving the design here, called the Flip from designer Kristian Ulrich Larsen. It’s a triple-display handset running stock Android that pops out like a tent, collapses into a standard (if curved) slate, and even folds out like a little book. Each screen is said to be Super AMOLED hiding behind Gorilla Glass, with steel mesh acting as hinges — and there’s a full QWERTY keyboard somewhere in there too. Is it magic? No, it’s just a render, but we’re hoping that something like this becomes rather more physical in the not too distant future. Until then, enjoy the dreamy video after the break.


Apple iPad 2 camera icons appear in iOS 4.3 Beta 2

The expected dual-camera inclusion on the upcoming second generation iPad is now all but a given with further icon-based evidence fuelling the iPad 2 features fire.

Spotted in the recently released Beta 2 model of iOS 4.3, iPad-bound application icons for Apple’s video calling FaceTime technology, the familiar Camera application and the currently Mac only PhotoBooth software all point strongly in the direction of the predicted rear-facing camera and video recorder joining a second, lower-res front-facing offering.

Whilst the iPad 2 inclusion of dual-cameras and FaceTime capabilities will allow second generation Apple tablet adopters to hold video conversations with iPhone 4, latest generation iPod Touch and certain Mac owners, the arrival of the current Mac OS X-based PhotoBooth App will enable the morphing and adaptation of images caught by the device’s pair of snappers


Froyo is now on more than half of all Android devices, Gingerbread makes an appearance on the charts

A recently updated version of the Android Platform Versions pie chart is showing that Android 2.2, aka Froyo, has now made its way to a little over half of all Android handsets. Android 2.1 still takes up a large chunk of the chart at 35.2%, which is expected considering all of the Galaxy S devices still running Eclair.

So what’s the most noteworthy thing about this chart? Well, Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, has finally appeared. As of now, Gingerbread is only on .4% of Android handsets.

Being that only one phone, the Nexus S, has Gingerbread right now, we can expect that .4% figure to rise steadily as the year goes on and more updates are released. To me, it seems pretty likely that we will all soon be hearing about Gingerbread for our respective devices, since Android is already talking about an OS to be named Ice Cream Sandwich.


PlayStation Phone spied in China

Sony Ericsson’s upcoming Xperia Play handset – aka the PlayStation Phone – has turned up for sale in China.

Taiwanese website ePrice says it was tipped off to the fact by a reader on the mainland, and promptly sent one of its Shenzhen-based correspondents to go and have a look.

The result: a wealth of hi-res snaps of the gadget – model number R800i – that would seem to be shots of a genuine device. Here are three – ePrice has a lot more.

The Xperia-branded handset has all the key PSP controls, which slide out like they do on the PSP Go. The layout isn’t identical, suggesting this isn’t a fake made by grafting bits of the handheld console onto a Sony Ericsson phone. The ‘joysticks’ are made from touchp

The site says the Xperia has a 4in multi-touch touchscreen and a 1GHz CPU and runs Android 2.3. The key application is PlayStation Pocket, but with no service in place and no content to download, the app doesn’t do anything now, ePrice claimed.


LG Optimus 2X shows 1080p HD quality in video footage

There’s been a lot of talk about the LG Optimus 2X and the power it holds compared to other Android devices. We saw the LG Optimus 2X officially announced at CES 2011, then followed that up with a “Hands on” from our team at CES as well. The smartphone is really at the top of the list when it comes to specs. One of those specs is the ability to shoot 1080p HD video, which is something rare in the smartphone scene still.

Here we have a user submitted video showcasing the awesome recording capabilities of the LG Optimus 2X, and how the NVIDIA Tegra2 dual-core processor is a perfect match for it. Have a watch, but if you would really like to see it in full effect, we recommend you watch it at YouTube and switch the video mode to 1080p full screen


Nexus S scores high on Quadrant benchmarks running CyanogenMod 7

The “S” in Nexus S just might stand for Speed after all, as the boys over at Android Community put the latest Dev phone through the benchmark test with Quadrant. We already knew the phone was fast, packing the latest Hummingbird processor, but it’s nice to see just how it stands up against its peers. The Nexus S in this test was running one of the recent nightly builds of CyanogenMod 7 and didn’t have ext4 implemented, nor was it overclocked. As you can see in the graph, it blows past its predecessor, the Nexus One, by quite a fair margin.

It would be interesting to see the difference in performance from the software side alone. Froyo brought a nice speed bump to Android, and Gingerbread was said to bring even more. Add in the fact that dual core processors will soon hit smartphones left and right, and it will be benchmarks like these, along with tweaked after market ROMs like Cyanogen, that fight for the crown of being the fastest and most powerful smartphone.


Apple iPad 2 leak caught in hands-on video?

Anticipated as one of the hottest releases of the year and with the entire tech industry desperate for that first official glimpse, the iPad 2’s form factor has been leaked with a new hands-on video showcasing the device’s upcoming design.

The dummy, none functional iPad 2, believed to have been given by Apple to a Chinese accessories supplier, was spotted in the halls of the Consumer Electronics Show last week with a video (below) of the highly desirable device having just appeared online courtesy of fellow accessories manufacturer GearZap.

Fulfilling a number of rumours and expectations of the product’s upcoming overhaul, the leaked iPad 2 looks set to feature both front and rear facing cameras, seemingly confirming the inclusion of Apple’s FaceTime video calling technology, as well as a larger, more power speaker on the device’s base. Taking design tips from the latest MacBook Air model, the leaked iPad 2 features a silver aluminium rear section, noticeably thinner than the inaugural Apple tablet release and sports a slightly angled edge.

A number of expectant fans will be sad to notice the lack of the rumoured USB port inclusion in the emerging devices design.

Believed to be heading for a February 1st official unveiling ahead of an April/May release, the iPad 2 will look to build on the steady foundations that have lead the original to dominate the tablet PC market.


The Verizon iPhone

We’ve waited and waited, and now Apple and Verizon have made a million dreams come true: the iPhone is coming to Big Red. After talking up his new LTE network a bit, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed a CDMA (non-LTE) version of the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless next month. Talks started way back in 2008, and the phone has been in testing for a year — it sounds like they wanted to get this one right. Current Verizon customers will be able to pre-order on February 3rd for the standard $200 price for the 16GB model on a two year agreement, $300 for the 32GB version — everyone else can order on February 10th (see it compared with AT&T’s iPhone 4). Just to clarify and put any wild rumors to bed, the phone is Verizon 3G (EV-DO) only, no 4G data or GSM roaming. It’s not a world phone or an AT&T + Verizon phone, it’s just a Verizon phone.

Outside of Verizon connectivity, the phone is basically unchanged, although Verizon’s CDMA network doesn’t support simultaneous voice and data as with the GSM version. It does have the new antenna design we were hearing about last week, but that’s just because CMDA requires a different configuration of antennas. (Apple says they didn’t go LTE just yet because first-gen chipsets would force unwanted design decisions, and customers want a Verizon device now.) That slight modification also equates to a slight bump in where the volume buttons and mute switch — a new case might be required. Software-wise the big innovation is five user WiFi hotspot functionality, something that’s standard on Android phones, while Apple has kept the iPhone only able to tether directly to one compute

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