Android 2.3 Stories August 9, 2012

Google updated its Google Translate Android app today to version 2.5, and it added a number of notable features including the ability to translate text from images. When snapping an image of a street sign or anything else containing text and highlighting the text within the image using your finger, Google Translate will instantly provide a translation for devices running Android 2.3 and above (as shown in the screenshot to the right).

Other features added in the update for all users include instant translation results while typing, the ability to select a dialect preference for speech input, and support for multiple characters at once for Japanese handwriting. Google also noted it added “access network state permission to check network availability when sending requests.”

As always, the updated Google Translate app is available on Google Play now. expand full story

Android 2.3 Stories August 5, 2012

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Sometimes it is fun to take a break from reviewing the newest high-end Android phones out there to see what the other end of the spectrum has to offer. Virgin announced its new low-end phone, the PCD Chaser, which is just $79.99 without signing up for a plan.

Virgin offers unlimited data 3G plans starting at $35 a month. So, you are looking at just under $500 for a year of this phone with unlimited data. That is an incredible deal for an Android 2.3 device that does not totally suck. The Chaser comes with many of the same specs as the previous Virgin-base model, the Optimus V, including a 3-megapixel camera, 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and hardware buttons. The Chaser adds the new, lower $80 price tag and Android 2.3, which the low-cost folks will welcome. However, those who want to see Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean on their devices will lament (Virgin never updated the Optimus V, so do not expect this one to get an upgrade either).

It is still a remarkable little device that once retailed for $149 (but lately it is often on-sale for much less). The Optimus included a 2GB Micro-USB card, but the Chaser does not, which frankly is pretty petty. Although the phone has a low-end camera, you cannot take videos or still images until you buy a Micro-SD card. Lame. I was able to take some borderline decent pictures and movies once I popped in an SD Card. Therefore, this might actually be a step down from the Optimus V.

Otherwise, this fine Android device will be a good step up for feature phone users. Some notes:

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Android 2.3 Stories November 14, 2011

I’ve been playing with the EVO Design 4G for the better part of a month now, after showing off the hardware and software quickly in October. Today, we’re back with our full review of the device to answer a few questions. Is this the premier mid-range Android device on Sprint? Does it live up to its EVO name? Is this the world phone you’re looking for? But first, let’s go over some specs.

The Design 4G is packing Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)  HTC Sense, a 1.2 GHz processor, 4-inch qHD display, 5-megapixel rear-camera, 1.3-megapixel front-camera, Wi-Fi, and World Phone capabilities. So how does this hardware hold up with the software? Head on after the break for our full review.

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Android 2.3 Stories November 5, 2011

You have to wonder if someone is playing a a joke on the Verge.  Someone sent in a box cover that purports to hide a 6-inch Android 2.3 tablet that does double time as a remote control for your cable box.  If this isn’t a Punk’d-ing, the device is with cable company testers right now and will be used to control the cable box, GoogleTV be damned.

 The box calls it a “dedicated controller,” but it also seems to show the tablet wirelessly displaying its entire UI on the TV, so we’re guessing it can be used to watch and stream content in addition to serving as a remote control for one of Motorola’s cable boxes. (That would also explain the hardware power and volume buttons next to the display.)

We don’t know much specs-wise, but the box says the design is “optimized for low cost,” so we wouldn’t expect anything high-end inside. It also looks like it says something “OS” in the upper left, so it seems like a fairly custom version of Android. There’s also IR control and RF4CE, which is a ZigBee-based RF control protocol, as well as a high-capacity 4,000mAH battery

Of course “Corvair” is also a car that Chevy built in the early 60s that makes every “worst car ever” list and was the subject of the Ralph Nadar book, Unsafe at Any Speed.  We’re hoping that Motorola’s naming/branding department is playing a joke on us in this case.

Also, as Motorola gets folded into Google, this will likely get folded into GoogleTV, which is to say, cancelled…just like its namesake.

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Android 2.3 Stories October 20, 2011

Sprint has announced the Motorola Admiral this afternoon, a 3.1-inch device running Android 2.3 with a design to withstand rugged environments. The device features a 3.1-inch VGA display (Gorilla Glass), full QWERTY keyboard, 1.2 GHz processor, 4GB of internal memory, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and Android 2.3. That Gorilla Glass and full QWERTY keyboard are definitely a selling point for some.

The Motorola Admiral launches October 23rd for $99. We’ll have a full review then, so stay tuned.

Android 2.3 Stories September 29, 2011

You’d be right to argue that most smartphones double as digital cameras these days, but Panasonic’s upcoming Android handsets is in an entirely different league when it comes to snapping photos on the go. Their four-inch Gingerbread device dubbed the Lumix Phone 101P has a high-resolution camera with a 13.2-megapixel CMOS Lumix sensor with Mobile Venus Engine and water-proof body.

Lumix is Panasonic’s brand of digital cameras, ranging from pocket point-and-shoot models to digital SLRs. Other specs include a QHD display with a 960-by-540 pixel resolution, a 1GHz OMAP4430 dual-core chip from Texas Instruments, e-wallet features and digital TV tuner. The Lumix Phone 101P should launch on SoftBank’s network in Japan in November.

via TechCrunch

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