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Archive | December 6, 2010

Boxee Box gets UI change improving local media access

Boxee Box is an amazing box, with very good support for both web content and local content as well (Check our full review here). The problem is, with the latest UI change version 1.0, Boxee angered many customers by giving a higher priority to web content over local content. The protests didn’t take long to flood Boxee Box’s forums and the development team already started to make amends. The first changes were announced and include the capability to set your default behavior (watching more online content or more local content), easier sort through large collections ;), A-Z navigation trough your local content, Watched / Unwatched toggle and hourly folder scanning.

The update is scheduled to release some time this week (or this month considering Boxee’s understanding of week) but it is an excellent news for those who don’t care that much about web content. The new firmware will also included a bunch of bug fixes demanded by the customers.

In case you are eager to check with Boxee’s progress on future software releases, go here to see what bugs are/will be fixed to date.

Check for the UI sneak peak screenshots after the break. Read More…

Google eBooks is launched, Nook is also compatible

As we initially announced, Google eBook store is here, but it suffered a change of name and personality. Instead of Google Editions, it is now name Google eBooks (presumably even Google needs some SEO so they can be found easier through the search engines 😉 ). In a radical departure from their competition, Google eBooks doesn’t rely on a unique in house designed eReader (see Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook) but instead their content is available in any browser with javascript enabled. Beside that, Android already has a compatible application (you guessed that Android will be first, right?) and iOS devices got theirs as well.

In terms of content, Google claims to have around 300,000 copyrighted books and publications and a much larger number of free books. The DRM used is ACS4 so Kindle owners are out of luck. However, there are always work arounds for your legally purchased books, aren’t they? I still think once you paid for a book, you should be allowed to remove its DRM as long as you will do it just so you can use it on all your devices, not distribute it.

A very interesting news is that any dedicated eBook reader supporting Adobe eBook platform is also compatible with Google eBook store so devices as Nook and Nook Color (see our full reviews) are also compatible. Check here for a full list of devices that are compatible with Google eBooks. Also on the list are Kobo eReaders, Sony devices, but as we said, no Kindle. In order to transfer books bought via Google eBook store on your eReader, you’ll need to install Adobe Digital Editions.

Check after the break for an introductory video clip from Google. Nook Color is currently available for order at Barnes and Noble or from Walmart. Read More…

How to root Nook Color, side load apps, review and gallery

I got my Nook Color, not too long ago, posted the full review and of course I couldn’t resist to root it as soon as a method was discovered. The smart guys from XDA Developers and NookDevs put everything together and all the credit goes to them. I’ll post a short How To detailing some of the issues I personally had during the rooting process together with a gallery of screenshots detailing the new Nook Color look and some applications I personally tested and installed on the rooted Nook Color.

Note: If you updated to BookColor firmware 1.0.1, there is an updated (and automatic method) method using Auto-Nooter. Read the detailed process here.

Update: Auto-Nooter 3.o.0 just became available and enables root for Nook Color version 1.1

Update: We just posted our rooting tutorial for Nook Touch

The root method described here works for Windows 7 and this is the platform where I actually performed it. Here are the steps:

Activity 1: Prepare the micro SD card to use in the process

1. Get a microSD card, at least 64MB size that you are willing to repartition/reformat. It might be hard to make it usable after that, so be sure you want to do it. I used a 4GB microSD and it works well.

Read More…

Android 2.3 is here, improved APIs developer site and video

Google just launched the Android 2.3 developer website and posted an interesting video (check it after the break) for developers.

Included is a description for the new Android 2.3 APIs including goodies like: VOIP via SIP protocol, gyroscope, Near Field Communication, gravity, and barometer and, something good for video-conferences,  multiple camera support and also a bunch of other improvements like a new task manager, a new download manager, longer battery life through an improved power management, improved support for larger screens  – good news for Android tablets, etc.

Just in: Nexus One devices are currently getting the 2.3 update!

Check the Android 2.3 developer video after the break. Read More…