Archive | January, 2011

Nook Color Bluetooth adapter used for the first time

Today marks an important step for the full transformation of Nook Color into a cheap and stylish full featured Android tablet. User occip from XDA Developers managed for the first time to use the embedded Bluetooth device that all the Nook Colors have embedded but turned off by default.

There have been some questions about the Bluetooth capability of the Nook Color devices but now that we know the hardware is there and can be used, more functionality will surely come, including usage of Bluetooth headsets for Skype users, maybe even Bluetooth enabled GPS usage using external GPS adapters, etc. The possibilities are endless.

The process is not for everybody to use though, being available only on Android Froyo (2.2) builds and tis functionality is still very buggy. Currently, Nook Color comes with Android 2.1 by default and the update is a complicated process. However, B&N promised Froyo update sometime in the following month so, we might have microphone input / GPS via Bluetooth devices sooner than expected.

Nook Color has been rooted for some time transforming into a full fledged Android tablet. We have a number of articles explaining the process in detail.

Opera for Tablets announced, demoed on a Samsung Galaxy Tab Android device

Tablet users rejoice: A new optimized browser was announced by Opera, a browser that aims to enhance user experience while using a screen larger than a smartphone.

Initially demoed on a Samsung galaxy tab Android tablet, the new Opera browser will be officially announced during the upcoming CES 2011 show. Among the features detectable in the video we can see the now mandatory pinch and zoom, the standard Opera home-screen with favorites thumbnails, etc.

Check the following video to see the new browser in action and read the press release after the break.

Read More…

Fluxx AC Ryan media player / streamer launches with 1080p, browser, games and widgets

If Boxee Box (full review here) doesn’t work for you for whatever reasons, there is no shortage of media players / streamers coming on the market in 2011 and as the technology goes, they’ll just get better and better. The latest addition to the pack is the AC Ryan Fluxx media player / streamer and it looks rather impressive. Built around an Intel®Atom™  CE4150 processor, the box packs some heavy punches supporting an Internet Browser, Games, Widgets, Social Media clients, UI customization, SATA internal storage, SD expansion ports and Gigabit Ethernet.

AC Ryan Fluxx will also play your local content supporting a large list of video codecs like AVI / MKV (uncompressed & compressed) / TS / TP / TRP / M2TS / MPG / MP4 / MOV / M4V / VOB / ISO / DVD-ISO / IFO / DAT / WMV / ASF / RM / RMVB / BD-ISO / FLV / QT, audio formats like MP3 / MP2 / WMA / AAC / FLAC / WAV / OGG Vorbis / PCM / LPCM / MS-ADPCM / LC-AAC / HE-AAC / COOK / RA-Lossless / MPEG-1, -2, -4 and of course UPNP / DLNA support so the box will certainly make a dent in the sales of more established manufacturers. For an early look, the box will be available during upcoming CES 2011 show at Bellagio hotel in Vegas.

Check the full specs after the break. Read More…

Vizio VIA Tablet and VIA Phone Details

Vizio recently offered a sneak peak about an upcoming Android tablet during Rose bowl break. Now, they came back offering more details about two upcoming Android devices, a VIA Android tablet and a VI Android smartphone in their recent press release.

  • The smartphone, called VIZIO VIA Phone is built around the now standard 1 GHz processor and a 4″ high-resolution capacitive touch screen. network wise, the devices sports both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a MicroSD card slot for memory expansion (cool) and HDMI output with HD video playback (even better). Front facing camera for video conference is a given as well as the back camera for HD recording.
  • The VIZIO VIA Android Tablet is also built around a 1 GHz processor, the screen size is 8″ this time, also capacitive, the networking system has both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a MicroSD, HDMI output with HD video support and a front-facing camera. No back camera for the tablet but the 8″ size makes it ideal for web surfing and reading.

Since both devices are made by VIZIO, they have a IR blaster built in and embedded universal remote control software forthe entire home theater. Android Market is also confirmed, as it is Vizio Internet Apps enabling streaming a la Netflix with stop and resume on compatible devices. Both Android devices will be shown at the upcoming CES 2011 show.

Check after the break for VIZIO’s full press release. Read More…

How to Root your Nook Color and transform it into a cheap Android tablet

The latest entry in my series of articles about rooting your Nook Color will describe how, after you root it, you can configure it to behave exactly like an Android tablet, although much cheaper. To be honest, I just returned from Costco where I found Samsung Galaxy Tab and I was able to to a comparison. While Nook Color is heavier, is thinner and looks way better in my opinion. While it doesn’t have 3G capabilities and GPS, I have an iPhone for those purposes and Nook Color tethering via the iPhone works very well.

To begin, let’s look at the prerequisites: You’ll need to have your Nook Color rooted, side-loading of the apps enabled, Android Market installed and, if you need it, tethering installed. I wrote separate articles for each process:

Update: Our tutorial for rooting Nook Touch is now live as well.

1. If your Nook Color is still at version 1.0.0, follow How to root Nook Color

2. If your Nook Color is at the version 1.0.1, follow How to root Nook Color 1.0.1 using Auto-Nooter

3. Auto-Nooter method will install Android Market by default, it is a good idea to update your Nook and follow the rooting method that uses Auto-Nooter. if you performed the root following Method 1, you’ll need to separately install Android Market. Read More…

Vizio Android Tablet to arrive this year, teased at Rose Bowl

Android tablets are the hot portable devices next to Apple’s iPad and at a 7″ size, even more so in my opinion.

The demand is rising with the increased availability of quality applications so every manufacturer wants a piece of the pie, starting with the under $99 resistive touchscreen crap to the elegant Nook Color (full review here, rooting instructions here) and of course, the expensive Samsung Galaxy Tab.

This year, Vizio, a manufacturer well known for its cheap but good quality LCD TV sets initially sold at Costco, offers a sneak preview of a Vizio upcoming tablet in a Rose Bowl chairman message broad-casted at half-time break.

In the clip (included after the break), Randy Waynick, Vizio’s sales boss holds a Vizio tablet seemingly 7″ size and streaming real time video, while talking about new ways to view games on new products.

The reference is rather clear and we can’t wait to see if any Vizio tablet will be announced during this year’s CES show.

Update: Vizio just confirmed the upcoming release of an eight-inch slate with a front camera, three speakers and Wi-Fi. Vizio will also release an Android VIA Phone with a four-inch display, a back five-megapixel camera and also a front camera for videoconferencing. The shipments for both tablet and smartphone are expected in Summer 2011 and the OS used might use Android Honeycomb (ver 2.4). Since Vizio’s main field is TVs, the surprise announcement for this year includes an under $300 3D LCD TV.

Read More…

Boxee Box Netflix support delayed again, VUDU to come next week

Although promised for the end of the last year, Netflix will only arrive sometime in January 2011, at least if the latest blog post from Boxee Box team is to be believed. VUDU will also come sometime next week, but at this point considering the lack of reliability of past Boxee announcements, we’ll take this with a grain of salt. Both services, Boxee claims are up and running in the labs and they are working to make them as smooth as possible. For Netflix, Boxee will provide a brand new version, we can only hope it is the one that is available on PS3 and LG Blu-ray devices allowing search and detailed categories.

While showing a great potential with an extremely large online services support, as illustrating in our full review, Boxee Box launch was marred by various issues including a last minute UI change, prioritization of online vs local content that angered many users, bugs and, most important, unfulfilled promises regarding Netflix / VUDU support. Actually, if you look at their web page, Netflix/VUDU support is claimed right now, which qualifies it for false advertising.

beside the lack of Netflix / VUDU support, Boxee team was actually responsive in fixing issues illustrated by the recent software upgrades.

via Boxee Box Blog