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Archive | January 5, 2011

Google Android Honeycomb 3.0 demoed – Video

Google just released a little video demo of their new Android 3.0 codename Honeycomb OS oriented toward tablets. Nothing really to say for now except I wish this would be available at some point on my beautiful Nook Color.

The UI is beautiful but I am afraid it will require dual core processors. Other than that, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

How to stream 1080p HDMI PC to TV – Warpia StreamHD SWP120A

We keep talking about media streamers, HTPCs, connected TVs and so on but some of us seem to ignore that wireless HDMI streaming is here and can offer the best of both worlds, easy to interact with a notebook and sharing the content on the big TV. At this year’s CES, Warpia announced just such a solution  – StreamHD SWP120A that claims to stream your computer’s output to your big screen TV in full 1080p and 5.1 Surround Sound glory.

The package contains a small USB stick which is the transmitter and a somewhat larger box for the receiver. The range is around 30 feet which should be enough if you are in the same room as the TV. Price wise, the MSRP is $169.99, currently at Amazon for $159.99. Expect a review as soon as I can get my hands on a sample unit.

Microsoft confirms Windows 8 will support ARM processors, ARM Office also demoed

Apparently we were right – Microsoft just announced in a press release at CES 2011 that Windows 8 will work on ARM processors and we are not talking about Windows Embedded but about the full Windows 8. No date is given for the release of the new operating system but the news is amazing nonetheless. The x86 SoC architectures developed by AMD and Intel will continue to be supported and ARM chips coming from NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments will be supported as well.

Microsoft also demoed Microsoft office running natively on ARM processors.

This is amazing news and we can expect at some point Windows 8 ARM tablets with excellent battery life or maybe dual-booting devices with Android / Windows 8 installed.

How to install Amazon.com mobile app on rooted Nook Color – fix for “Requested item could not be found” message

If you look for Amazon.com application on an Android tablet, specifically in my case on the rooted Nook Color, you might find out that for some reason it is not available, even if it is freeware. One other possible way is to install a 3rd party Android Market like the one from AppBrain. Amazon.com application is available from AppBrain Market, however if you try to install it, it still won’t work, producing an error message “Requested item could not be found”.

While personally I have no idea why the application is filtered – it might be a device model issue, a location issue or an Android version issue, one possible way to install it is by side-loading the application on your rooted Nook Color.

If you hadn’t root it yet, you can follow our extensive tutorials to do so.

Now, if you are able to side-load Android apps, you can download the latest version of Amazon.com mobile apk from here (at the date of writing, the latest version is 1.0.6), unzip it and install it with a file system explorer (I recommend Astro).

You can then sign in, access latest deals, recommendations, your shopping cart, search, etc.

I tested the application and it works correctly on the Nook Color with Android 2.1, however since it is the official Amazon app it should work fine on any other Android device. Jump after the break for the screenshot gallery. Read More…

Amazon Android App Store to focus on tablets, check for quality

Amazon is launching its own Android App store, run side by side and in competition with Google’s own Android Market. The main differences between the two stores will be that Amazon’s store will test the applications submitted for about a week before approval, in contrast with Google that doesn’t perform any testing unless there are complaints. This should filter out some malware / spyware currently in Android Market, and, to be expected, the applications will be tablet oriented which should give an easier way to filter the applications that work correctly on the larger screen.

The ration between Amazon’s commission / developer’s payment is the standard 30 / 70 the developer getting the 70% of the selling price and with Amazon setting the price for each app, an unusual mechanism in my opinion.

The purchases will be performed via one’s Amazon account so I expect the transactions to be smooth. It will be interesting to know how Amazon will handle the refunds.

Now, I can’t wait until the store will be launched so I can test the new store on my rooted Nook Color (see how-to instructions here).

Vizio Apps to add Hulu Plus and BLOCKBUSTER streaming

Starting roughly in 2009, the TV / Blu-ray sets are not only for playing local content or cable / satellite channels but can also offer a large number of web clients with Netflix the most important driver. Vizio is also in the game and just announced an update to their streaming software that includes the long awaited Hulu Plus and Blockbuster On Demand. Initially, the new software will be released to their connected TVs and soon after that to their connected 3D Blu-ray Players. Through the year of 2011 VIZIO streaming platform will also be updated to support additional web clients for services as BigStar, Vimeo, Skype, MOG, OnLive, Namco Bandai Games America, etc.

Skype is particularly interesting because it will require some sort of audio / video equipment to buy.

VIZIO web clients already include popular streaming services like Amazon Video On Demand, Facebook®, Flickr®, Netflix, Rhapsody®, Pandora®, Twitter™, VUDU®, and Yahoo!® TV Widgets, Fandango®, iMemories®, MediaBox™, My-Cast®, TuneIn Radio™, Web Videos, Wiki TV and Yahoo Fantasy Football .

Logitech Revue root process available – full access to the Android Market, file system and ADB mode

The proof that everything can be rooted these days is enforced again by the new root process revealed by the smart people behind GTVHacker. While the process is certainly not for the faint of heart because it requires soldering skills, the end result is a complete access to Logitech Revue file system and allows side loading Android apps to the box.

In order to gain root access, you’ll need physical access to Revue’s UART1 port – something like the service serial / USB port for firmware updates on some TV sets. Once you create your own serial interface, you can connect to it, start a terminal and happily write scripts. All this process is possible because fortunately Logitech did not disable their UART ports and root shell is accessible in recovery mode. You can bet though that for the next generation of boxes, this back-door will be closed.

The only tools required are a USB->TTL or similar board like an Arduino in tristate mode, a 1 to 2 GB USB memory stick, wires and of course, basic soldering skills.

Currently GTVHacker team is able to have ADBD Running for adb access, can create custom boot logos and Flash Plugin Update to allow previously blocked content providers.

Read more on GTVHacker website or a detailed step by step process. Check the video after the break. You can see that Android Market and Android apps are available and working fine.

Warning: The process will only work if your Logitech Revue is in the factory condition with the initial software version installed.

Read More…

VUDU to start streaming 3D movies next week – Boxee Box on the list

VUDU just announced in a press release that it will start streaming movies in all 3D splendor starting next week on a variety of Blu-ray media players / streamers from various manufacturers like Funai, LG, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, VIZIO and Boxee!!! Movies like Bolt, Chicken Little, meet the Robinsons are on the list to get the new 3D treatment and the prices for the new content will set you back approximately $2 to own and $1 to rent.

What is a good news though is that Boxee is also on the list, confirming the Boxee team promise of getting VUDU support by next week. Now, there is only Netflix left and I am a happy camper. Sony PS3 gets the new VUDU as well.

Jump after the break for VUDU’s full press release. Read More…

Samsung Infuse 4G to feature huge 4.5 inches Super Amoled Plus, heads to AT&T

While it no longer serves any purposes to talk about an iPhone killer, with Android headsets having an almost equal market share and leading in new adoptions, we can’t stop drooling at the pure coolness of a 4.5 inches Super AMOLED Plus that Samsung will use in their just announced new smartphone Samsung Infuse 4G.

Hardware wise, Samsung Infuse 4G is built around a Hummingbird CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, a huge and gorgeous 4.5 inches Super AMOLED Plus display we already mentioned, an 8 MP back camera and a 1.3 MP front camera for video conference, and also apparently very thin, the new smartphone will be the crown jewel of AT&T phones collection.

Talking about data speed, the network used is the HSPA+, similar with T-Mobile 4G technology.

There is not yet know what OS version Infuse will ship with, but we can expect Android 2.2 with a later upgrade.

The new Super AMOLED Plus display builds on the previous Super AMOLED technology improving the pixel count, contrast, brightness and outdoor visibility.