MK808 mini PC gets Android 4.2.2 Beta Firmware

Last week, Geekbuying announced the first release of Android 4.2.2 for MK808, with support for MK808B coming soon. They warn users that it’s still beta since this is the first time Android 4.2 is available on Rockchip RK3066 mini PC, however I could not find user’s complains in the comments section, but at least one users in ARMTvTech is disappointed by this release. You’ll find three download links: Android 4.2.2 for MK808 (dropbox) – Currently unavailable due to heavy traffic Android 4.2.2 for MK808 rooted (Gdrive) – Same version as above but rooted by deadhp1 RKBatchTool  1.5 (dropbox)- Windows tool to perform the upgrade. Currently unavailable but there are alternate links. Once you get the files, you can follow the instructions showing how to upgrade MK808 firmware, or watch the video showing the upgrade process. MK808 is another device I don’t own, so I haven’t been able to try it […]

Rockchip Shows Off RK3188 Quad Cortex A9 Processor and Miracast Dongles

There has been some leaks about Rockchip RK3188 processor, and Cube Pea tablet based on this SoC, but no device are available for purchase to date. Rockchip is currently at CES 2013 showcasing their solutions, and they are showcasing RK3188 tablet development platform at the show, but no RK3188 tablet as final products should only start to be available in March. Charbax is at CES 2013 now, and could ask a few questions about Rockchip upcoming SoC. RK3188 is a quad core Cortex A9 processor clocked up to 1.8-2.0 GHz, manufactured using 28nm HKMG process technology. The SoC features a quad-core Mali-400MP GPU,  1080p video decoder & encoder, and they can easily provide 4G/LTE support. RK3188 should be 20 to 30% faster than Nvidia Tegra 3, and have the same performance as Samsung Exynos 4412. Rockchip representative also stress that performance/cost ratio will be better than (Chinese) competitor basing their […]

New Features in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

As Google unveiled Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet, they also announced Android 4.2, the latest version of Google operating system, that brings the following new features. Photo Sphere Camera Going beyond panoramic photo shots, photo sphere allows you to generate a 360 degrees panorama by taking pictures in all direction, up, down, right and left. Head over Google maps to see a few examples. Keyboard with Gesture Typing You can now just glides over the letters you want to type, and the new improved keyboard will find the word you want to type. The keyboard is also said to be able to anticipate the next word allowing to type a full sentence by just selecting suggested words.  Google also claims text-to-speech capabilities and voice typing have been improved, and you don’t need an internet connection to type with your voice anymore. Multiple User Profiles This is the most […]

5 Must Have Applications for Android mini-PCs and Set-Top Boxes

There are now many cheap Android mini PCs and media players running Android. The hardware is usually OK, the firmware is good enough most of the time, but I find the software lacking. Here are 5 Android apps that should improve your Android TV experience. ES File Explorer File Manager Android media devices often come with a custom file manager, but I found it lacking features (e.g. SAMBA/CIFS, directory copy…), or something features are present but not really working. ES File Explorer File Manager is a free app that can help you exchange files between your internal storage, SD card, USB mass storage devices, a Network Attached Storage, Bluetooth Devices, FTP servers and even Cloud based services such as Google Drive or Dropbox. I mainly use this app to play videos from a Windows share (SAMBA/CIFS) in a PC or a NAS. MX Player mini PCs (aka HDMI TV Sticks) […]

Android Transporter Enables WiFi Display Mirroring (similar to Miracast) of Android Devices

E.S.R.Labs is a German embedded software company mainly working for the automotive industry. But this time, they’ve started to work for the consumer market with Android Transformer, a software solution that can mirror an Android display to another Android device display via Wi-Fi in a similar fashion to what WiFi Miracast will do. Eventually, the company plan to make Android Transporter compatible with Wi-Fi Miracast, but in the meantime they rolled out their own solution by taking advantage of H.264 hardware encoders and decoders on Galaxy Nexus S and the Raspberry Pi. If they use standard APIs, I assume any hardware running Android that with H.264 hardware encode/decode should support their platform. I hope it will be work on (or be ported to) CX-01 mini PC which can be bought as low as $40 inc. shipping. It would make an even cheaper hardware than the Raspberry Pi (Up to 33% […]

Texas Instruments Wi-Fi Miracast Wireless Display on OMAP 4470

A few days ago, Texas Instruments announced a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast Video Streaming Solution based on OMAP4470 and WiLink 7.0, and they said in their press release that they would demo the platform at Computex 2012. Charbax is currently there, and shot a video showcasing different use cases possible with Miracast such as multi-tasking while streaming and mirroring. This technology looks very promising, especially since existing devices based on OMAP4470 will be able to support it with just a software update. You’ll also need to have a Miracast compliant TV, but eventually you should be able to buy a Miracast HDMI dongle for your TV (instead of buying a new TV), which is basically the board used in the demo except they use cables. This technology could be a threat to the MHL standard. The only advantage of the latter is that you don’t need power supply as it will […]

Texas Instruments Unveils Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast Video Streaming Solution Based on OMAP 4

In my previous post, I wrote about Marvell announcement of its new 802.11ac chipset (Avastar 88W8897) that will be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast.  But it’s not the only company for such solution, as Texas Instruments has also announced the availability of a complete solution for mobile devices designed to support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast, based on the Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi Display Specification that enables users to reliably display high definition content from a mobile device onto a larger screen over a secure, low-latency, wireless network connection. The Miracast certification program defines a standards-based solution for streaming video and audio content over a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi Direct wireless network. TI solutions will leverage OMAP processors and its WiLink connectivity solutions to provide a Miracast platform. This new solution will be available later this year to power mobile phones, tablets, HDTVs, projectors and audio receivers. Texas Instruments solution will provide the hardware and software resources […]

Marvell Avastar 88W8897: Wifi 802.11ac, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 Chip

Marvell has announced the Avastar 88W8897, a low-power radio chip supporting 802.11ac, near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth 4.0, aimed at mobile and HD multimedia devices such as ultrabooks, tablets, gaming consoles and smart TVs. Marvell claims the 88W8897 SoC enables a rest of bill of materials (RBOM) footprint reduction of 40-to-50 percent and cost reduction of 75 percent compared to previous wireless solutions. Key features of Marvell Avastar 88W8897 chip include: Wi-Fi 802.11ac – This standard increases bandwidth available over the Wi-Fi link (theoretically up to 1 Gb/s) with throughput up to 867 Mbps for the 88W8897. This kind of throughput allows reliable high-definition (HD) video streaming, tunneled direct link setup (TDLS) and high-speed wireless backup and sync for mobile devices. NFC – NFC allows consumers to pay for items with the tap of a phone via mobile commerce and point-of-sale (e-wallet) applications. It can also enable one-tap pairing […]