Archive for July 13th, 2010

Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

Tags: ,

Google just released App Inventor for Android, a web based application builder that will help aspiring young developers create Android applications with just few drags and drops and no need to learn Java or type one line of code. There are plenty of tutorials and samples to help set up your system and start building the first app. Google also set up a Google Group to share experiences or get help. The builder is web-based but it requires an Android phone connected by USB to your Windows or Mac computer.

This is a great tool for education and this is what Google wants this to be used for. There is a form to fill out to get access where you are asked to mention your school or affiliation, as well as other information. It would seem that the App Inventor team will review and approve applications; access is not open yet.

I find it strange that early posts about App Inventor (Gizmodo, TechCrunch) seem a little worried that it will pollute the Android Market. After reading all the tutorials and help, I could not see anywhere mentioned that you can publish created apps in the Android Market, and there is nothing about linking the tool to an Android developer account. Just because you make an app, doesn’t mean it gets published in the market.  App Inventor would be primarily used in classrooms to spark interest in software development. Young app developers will be able to create, test and share apps with the class or school. A great idea that will help to nurture the talented Android developers of tomorrow.

“The educational perspective that motivates App Inventor holds that programming can be a vehicle for engaging powerful ideas through active learning. As such, it is part of an ongoing movement in computers and education that began with the work of Seymour Papert and the MIT Logo Group in the 1960s.”

Here is a short video of App Inventor in action:

Click here to view the embedded video.

NOTE: App Inventor for Android originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

Tags: , , ,

As many of our readers here at Android Guys know, Project Emerald is something of an obsession for me as a writer and T-Mo Android user.  The number one question of course is “what in the world is Project Emerald?!?!” Is it a tablet?  Is it a new Sidekick?  Is it the long awaited superphone to put T-Mobile back on the map with Android users?  My goal with this article is to bring together everything we know about Emerald so far, and try to make sense out of what it could be.  Read on after the break to get the latest updates on what we know about Emerald.

My journey with Emerald started way back in May when T-Mo News first broke the information that T-Mobile was working on a secret project called Emerald.  After some digging of my own, I made the prediction that the Emerald was going to the Samsung Galaxy S.  I based this prediction on two different sources that gave confirmation that Samsung would be releasing the Galaxy S on T-Mobile.

As we all know now, Emerald is NOT the Galaxy S, now known as the T-Mo Vibrant, but we did get the Galaxy S info right with the exception of the front facing camera, so on that one I can kind of grin and take a partial win.

The next information drop on Emerald came just a few short weeks ago when our own Scotty Brown got some inside info from a T-Mo rep at the HTC Seattle event. According to this rep, T-Mo was working with HTC to create the world’s first dual core processor super phone, complete with a 4.3 inch screen and front facing camera.  The screen would be sporting a tech that we supposedly have never seen before. Also, it was going to be running “Android 3,” which we assume means Gingerbread.  In essence, a groundbreaking EVO-like device but with more horsepower.  When Scotty asked the rep if this dual core handset was Project Emerald, the rep stopped talking and ended the conversation.  Scotty Brown’s impression was that the rep felt like he may have said too much.  This is conjecture of course, but the conversation did end abruptly when Emerald was mentioned.

While Scotty was getting that info, we were getting some interesting information on a handset called the HTC Vision.  On the Android Guys Thursday Night Summer Extravaganza Podcast, I had already made the call that the HTC Vision was indeed this EVO-like device, and could very well be Project Emerald.

Which brings us up to this week, which has brought a torrent of info about T-Mo, the Vision and Emerald itself.

Let’s start with the HTC Vision information that dropped recently.  First,  of which is the image which leaked out of Croatia Engadget posted a leaked image (see left) of the device (which we discussed as well).  Endgadget reported that the Vision will have a 3.7 inch display, run Android 2.1, have a 1gHz processor and is indeed coming to T-Mo in the early fall.

From this report, there we can infer that the HTC Vision is not the fabled Project Emerald, for the following reasons:

  • A 3.7 inch display – not the 4.3 inch display the T-Mo rep mentioned.
  • Said display does not look to be something “we have not seen before.”
  • 1 gHz single core processor phone
  • Being released in September, which contradicts what we heard in our next info drop on the subject:

2 days ago, Android Spin released a leaked T-Mo roadmap for the remainder of 2010:

This roadmap gives us two important pieces of info about Emerald and the HTC Vision.  First, we see that if the HTC Vision is releasing in September, it cannot be Emerald.  Indeed, if that is the case the HTC Vision is going to be renamed the “Vanguard” when it launches on T-MO.

Second, and more intriguing, is that Emerald is indeed a HTC device.  Look at the graphic in November.  Do you see the very top phone listed?  Yep, it is called “Emerald” and has the HTC logo above it.  This image gives us some visual confirmation that perhaps we are on the right track with the info that Scotty Brown got in Seattle, that Emerald could indeed be the world’s first dual core smartphone.  Getting excited yet?

But wait a second!  How do we know that Emerald is a phone? Hasn’t it been said that HTC could be working with T-Mo to release an Android-powered tablet?  Couldn’t that be what Emerald is?  Not according to HTC!  In a July 9 article on Pocket Lint, the following quote nixes that possibility:

“Eric Lin, the company’s global PR and online community manager, told Pocket-lint: ‘We are always looking at it, but, right now, the whole idea is that in order to be successful with a tablet, you need to have something compelling. And not just a compelling form factor.’

“And that means HTC is happy to sit back and see what the rest of the market does first…”

HTC’s Global PR Manager says they are not releasing a tablet any time soon, so Emerald has to be a handset.  Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

So with all the information that we have listed above, we arrive at what we know (or think we know) about Project Emerald:

  • Being released in November
  • Release date matches up with the dual core superphone info that Scotty Brown heard from a T-mo rep.
  • 4.3 inch screen with a technology that we have not seen before.
  • World’s first dual core phone, possibly running on the qualcomm dual chipset.
  • One of the first Gingerbread phones on the market. (We assume that’s what the T-Mo rep meant by “Android 3.”)
  • Definitely a HTC Product.
  • Not a tablet.

Another  open question is whether Emerald may be a “Sidekick” branded handset, though we do have some clues.  T-Mo recently stopped selling the old Sidekick models they had in stock , making some believe that they are clearing the way for a new Sidekick to be released.  Could the Emerald superphone be named “Sidekick”? It’s a possibility, but the name would be the only thing that this phone would share with other Sidekicks, since Team Danger has long since gone to Microsoft to work on the doomed Kin device.  T-Mo still owns the name Sidekick, so they can paste it onto anything want.  Either way, I do not think the Sidekick branding will come into play here, as the phone’s real appeal will be its powerhouse specs if they prove to be true.

In part two of this article, we are going to take a look at the rumored specs of this super device that T-Mo is working on, speculate about what the screen tech could be, and consider whether it will help T-Mo get back into the Android game in a big way.  Look for it soon!

NOTE: Romancing the Stone: The Project Emerald Saga originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

AndroidGuys is looking for summer interns! Check out bit.ly/AGinterns

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Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

Tags: , , ,

As many of our readers here at Android Guys know, Project Emerald is something of an obsession for me as a writer and T-Mo Android user.  The number one question of course is “what in the world is Project Emerald?!?!” Is it a tablet?  Is it a new Sidekick?  Is it the long awaited superphone to put T-Mobile back on the map with Android users?  My goal with this article is to bring together everything we know about Emerald so far, and try to make sense out of what it could be.  Read on after the break to get the latest updates on what we know about Emerald.

My journey with Emerald started way back in May when T-Mo News first broke the information that T-Mobile was working on a secret project called Emerald.  After some digging of my own, I made the prediction that the Emerald was going to the Samsung Galaxy S.  I based this prediction on two different sources that gave confirmation that Samsung would be releasing the Galaxy S on T-Mobile.

As we all know now, Emerald is NOT the Galaxy S, now known as the T-Mo Vibrant, but we did get the Galaxy S info right with the exception of the front facing camera, so on that one I can kind of grin and take a partial win.

The next information drop on Emerald came just a few short weeks ago when our own Scotty Brown got some inside info from a T-Mo rep at the HTC Seattle event. According to this rep, T-Mo was working with HTC to create the world’s first dual core processor super phone, complete with a 4.3 inch screen and front facing camera.  The screen would be sporting a tech that we supposedly have never seen before. Also, it was going to be running “Android 3,” which we assume means Gingerbread.  In essence, a groundbreaking EVO-like device but with more horsepower.  When Scotty asked the rep if this dual core handset was Project Emerald, the rep stopped talking and ended the conversation.  Scotty Brown’s impression was that the rep felt like he may have said too much.  This is conjecture of course, but the conversation did end abruptly when Emerald was mentioned.

While Scotty was getting that info, we were getting some interesting information on a handset called the HTC Vision.  On the Android Guys Thursday Night Summer Extravaganza Podcast, I had already made the call that the HTC Vision was indeed this EVO-like device, and could very well be Project Emerald.

Which brings us up to this week, which has brought a torrent of info about T-Mo, the Vision and Emerald itself.

Let’s start with the HTC Vision information that dropped recently.  First,  of which is the image which leaked out of Croatia Engadget posted a leaked image (see left) of the device (which we discussed as well).  Endgadget reported that the Vision will have a 3.7 inch display, run Android 2.1, have a 1gHz processor and is indeed coming to T-Mo in the early fall.

From this report, there we can infer that the HTC Vision is not the fabled Project Emerald, for the following reasons:

  • A 3.7 inch display – not the 4.3 inch display the T-Mo rep mentioned.
  • Said display does not look to be something “we have not seen before.”
  • 1 gHz single core processor phone
  • Being released in September, which contradicts what we heard in our next info drop on the subject:

2 days ago, Android Spin released a leaked T-Mo roadmap for the remainder of 2010:

This roadmap gives us two important pieces of info about Emerald and the HTC Vision.  First, we see that if the HTC Vision is releasing in September, it cannot be Emerald.  Indeed, if that is the case the HTC Vision is going to be renamed the “Vanguard” when it launches on T-MO.

Second, and more intriguing, is that Emerald is indeed a HTC device.  Look at the graphic in November.  Do you see the very top phone listed?  Yep, it is called “Emerald” and has the HTC logo above it.  This image gives us some visual confirmation that perhaps we are on the right track with the info that Scotty Brown got in Seattle, that Emerald could indeed be the world’s first dual core smartphone.  Getting excited yet?

But wait a second!  How do we know that Emerald is a phone? Hasn’t it been said that HTC could be working with T-Mo to release an Android-powered tablet?  Couldn’t that be what Emerald is?  Not according to HTC!  In a July 9 article on Pocket Lint, the following quote nixes that possibility:

“Eric Lin, the company’s global PR and online community manager, told Pocket-lint: ‘We are always looking at it, but, right now, the whole idea is that in order to be successful with a tablet, you need to have something compelling. And not just a compelling form factor.’

“And that means HTC is happy to sit back and see what the rest of the market does first…”

HTC’s Global PR Manager says they are not releasing a tablet any time soon, so Emerald has to be a handset.  Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

So with all the information that we have listed above, we arrive at what we know (or think we know) about Project Emerald:

  • Being released in November
  • Release date matches up with the dual core superphone info that Scotty Brown heard from a T-mo rep.
  • 4.3 inch screen with a technology that we have not seen before.
  • World’s first dual core phone, possibly running on the qualcomm dual chipset.
  • One of the first Gingerbread phones on the market. (We assume that’s what the T-Mo rep meant by “Android 3.”)
  • Definitely a HTC Product.
  • Not a tablet.

Another  open question is whether Emerald may be a “Sidekick” branded handset, though we do have some clues.  T-Mo recently stopped selling the old Sidekick models they had in stock , making some believe that they are clearing the way for a new Sidekick to be released.  Could the Emerald superphone be named “Sidekick”? It’s a possibility, but the name would be the only thing that this phone would share with other Sidekicks, since Team Danger has long since gone to Microsoft to work on the doomed Kin device.  T-Mo still owns the name Sidekick, so they can paste it onto anything want.  Either way, I do not think the Sidekick branding will come into play here, as the phone’s real appeal will be its powerhouse specs if they prove to be true.

In part two of this article, we are going to take a look at the rumored specs of this super device that T-Mo is working on, speculate about what the screen tech could be, and consider whether it will help T-Mo get back into the Android game in a big way.  Look for it soon!

NOTE: Romancing the Stone: The Project Emerald Saga originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

AndroidGuys is looking for summer interns! Check out bit.ly/AGinterns

You May Also Enjoy…


Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

The development team calling themselves unrevoked discovered an executable binary called skyagent in the HTC EVO and the Sprint Hero. A second executable binary called hstools was also found in the HTC EVO. In addition to other capabilities, both binaries allowed access to the root of the phones’ file sytsems.
File this in the “this isn’t exactly new but now we know how it all went down” category. The skyagent binary could be used as a backdoor into each phone “allowing control of the device without the user’s knowledge or permission.” Skyagent was executable by any user without requiring elevated permissions. Once skyagent was invoked it would listen for commands over a TCP port on “all interfaces, including the 3G network.” The commands that unrevoked discovered are:
  • sending and monitor user tap and drag input (“PentapHook”),
  • sending key events (“InputCapture”),
  • dumping the framebuffer (“captureScreen”),
  • listing processes (“GetProc”),
  • rebooting the device immediately,
  • and executing arbitrary shell commands as root (“LaunchChild”)

It was skyagent that unrevoked used for their 1-click root method that can be found at unrevoked.com

Likewise, hstools was another executable binary that could be used to pass command input to the phone with root permission. Hstools was exploited by unrevoked after skyagent was removed by the EVO launch-day OTA update.

Unrevoked makes a point to mention that they do not believe that either HTC or Sprint had any malicious intent with regards to these two vulnerabilities. It is believed that skyagent was a debugging binary that was never removed from the phone before official release. Unrevoked goes on to praise Google, HTC, and Sprint for their efforts in patching the vulnerabilities and provides a timeline of events:

  • 31 May 2010 23:53:08 EDT: Google security notified about skyagent
  • 01 Jun 2010 03:53:30 UTC: Automated Google response
  • 01 Jun 2010 16:45:46 UTC: Response from Google Security Team
  • 02 Jun 2010 23:18:31 EDT: Sprint security contacted about skyagent
  • 03 Jun 2010 01:18:58 CDT: Sprint response
  • 04 Jun 2010: Sprint OTA update removingskyagent binary.
  • 30 Jun 2010: Sprint OTA update patchinghstools vulnerability.

Source: unrevoked

NOTE: Backdoor Found in HTC EVO & Sprint Hero, Exploited to Gain Root Access originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

AndroidGuys is looking for summer interns! Check out bit.ly/AGinterns

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Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

Tags: , , ,

The development team calling themselves unrevoked discovered an executable binary called skyagent in the HTC EVO and the Sprint Hero. A second executable binary called hstools was also found in the HTC EVO. In addition to other capabilities, both binaries allowed access to the root of the phones’ file sytsems.
File this in the “this isn’t exactly new but now we know how it all went down” category. The skyagent binary could be used as a backdoor into each phone “allowing control of the device without the user’s knowledge or permission.” Skyagent was executable by any user without requiring elevated permissions. Once skyagent was invoked it would listen for commands over a TCP port on “all interfaces, including the 3G network.” The commands that unrevoked discovered are:
  • sending and monitor user tap and drag input (“PentapHook”),
  • sending key events (“InputCapture”),
  • dumping the framebuffer (“captureScreen”),
  • listing processes (“GetProc”),
  • rebooting the device immediately,
  • and executing arbitrary shell commands as root (“LaunchChild”)

It was skyagent that unrevoked used for their 1-click root method that can be found at unrevoked.com

Likewise, hstools was another executable binary that could be used to pass command input to the phone with root permission. Hstools was exploited by unrevoked after skyagent was removed by the EVO launch-day OTA update.

Unrevoked makes a point to mention that they do not believe that either HTC or Sprint had any malicious intent with regards to these two vulnerabilities. It is believed that skyagent was a debugging binary that was never removed from the phone before official release. Unrevoked goes on to praise Google, HTC, and Sprint for their efforts in patching the vulnerabilities and provides a timeline of events:

  • 31 May 2010 23:53:08 EDT: Google security notified about skyagent
  • 01 Jun 2010 03:53:30 UTC: Automated Google response
  • 01 Jun 2010 16:45:46 UTC: Response from Google Security Team
  • 02 Jun 2010 23:18:31 EDT: Sprint security contacted about skyagent
  • 03 Jun 2010 01:18:58 CDT: Sprint response
  • 04 Jun 2010: Sprint OTA update removingskyagent binary.
  • 30 Jun 2010: Sprint OTA update patchinghstools vulnerability.

Source: unrevoked

NOTE: Backdoor Found in HTC EVO & Sprint Hero, Exploited to Gain Root Access originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

AndroidGuys is looking for summer interns! Check out bit.ly/AGinterns

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Posted by androidjunkie at 13 July 2010

Category: Android

Tags: , , ,

CEIVA Logic, Inc announced earlier this week that they have released an application to the Android Market that will allow users to send photos over-the-air from their mobile device to any CEIVA-connected photo frame.  The application is called CEIVA Snap and since CEIVA invented connected digital photo frames, we’re sure this app will be a winner.  Additional features allow users to view and store their photos on their devices all while on the go from anywhere.

Does anyone who has a CEIVA photo frame going to give this a try?

NOTE: New CEIVA Snap for Android App originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

AndroidGuys is looking for summer interns! Check out bit.ly/AGinterns

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