We'll still never understand why Canadians put up with three-year contracts. But we're definitely feeling a $149 Motorola RAZR on the only Canadian carrier to, erm, carry it. No mention of two- or one-year pricing. Trade-offs, we suppose.
By the way ... As if there wasn't enough going on today, our CrackBerry cousins are in the middle of their DevCon conference in San Francisco, where the topic of BBM on Android came up. RIM VP of developer relations Alec Saunders and Chris Smith, senior director of the BlackBerry Developer Program, pretty much shot it down -- for now -- with the former saying he "wasn't aware of it" and the latter saying "there are no plans for it."
Usually when a company says it "currently has no plans" or "we have nothing to announce at this time," it means full well they're working on it. But it's also worth mentioning that fake screenshots are fake, trollers gonna troll, our our boys on the ground at DevCon know their stuff. Keep calm and carry on.
Sure we all know that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. local time Wednesday in Hong Kong, but what time is that for you? Confusion always sets in around event times, so we wanted to make this super simple for you.
A new software update for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is rolling out in Europe and the Middle East, according to reports from Xperia Blog and XDA. The new software version 4.0.2.A.0.42 brings Android 2.3.4, along with a handful of bug fixes for SE's Gingerbread-powered 4.2-incher.
The update isn't yet available in the UK, but seems to now be rolling out via the Sony Ericsson PC Companion in mainland Europe, India, Pakistan and Egypt, in addition to Nordic countries, which got the update first a couple of weeks back. If you've recently received the update on your Arc, be sure to let us know in the comments.
As a lover of my couch, I didn't get too worked up with the MOTOACTV announcement. What did pique my interest, however, is the Smart Actions function that comes preloaded on the Droid RAZR. Motorola says that this nifty little feature is going to improve your battery life by 30%, which is great, since we won't be able to buy an extended battery for the device. Smart Actions will decrease processor speed, slow down data, and dim your display when the battery is approaching crisis levels.
But Smart Actions' purpose isn't solely battery related. For example, as you'll see in the video, it allows you to program a website to open when your alarm goes off. Now that's pretty cool.
A representative for Motorola said that the company hopes to include this on all future devices, but no word on whether or not it can be ported to existing Motorola smartphones.
Back in April we wrote about an innovative keyboard called A.I. type that really impressed us with its ability to predict text. It was in beta back then but has graduated recently with some exciting new features, including customization of the bottom row keys and improvements to the prediction engine.
If you're not one of the 100,000 beta testers, A.I. type is a keyboard that specializes in contextual text prediction to make your mobile experience smoother. It learns your writing style and most used words so the more you use it, the better it will be.
Here are some of the key features:
Suggests your next word
Completes your current word
Corrects your spelling as you type
Auto-corrects typos when you hit the spacebar
Automatically learns your most-used words and writing style
Supports skins and allows for individual skin customization
Includes a layout for undo/redo/copy/paste/navigation
There is a free version that allows you to take advantage of their text prediction for 10 days. If you find that you can't live without it, upgrade to the Pro version for $4.82. Please find links to both versions after the break. The developers are always working on new features and would love to hear any kind of feedback you may have.
Have you used A.I. Type keyboard before? If you would like to sing out how much you like it or suggest a feature, check out our Android App Forum.
One straps to your wrist, plays music and tracks your workout. The other does the same for almost half the price. OK, OK. So the $249 price (for the 8GB model) of the MOTOACTV is going to be a bit much for some to swallow. We get that.
But here's the thing: It actually goes one further than the iPod Nano and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. So you can see who's calling. Or what messages are coming in. All without having to dig out your phone. We know some of you have been wanting this. Right?
We're all waiting patiently for the Nexus event coming in a few hours, but Apple had a little event of its own recently, and has released the latest version of their mobile offering -- the iPhone 4S. We're all Android fans here, but we can't deny the appeal the iPhone has to many people and the impact it has on the mobile space. Plenty of smartphone geeks love the iPhone, including our good friend Rene Ritchie who cranked out one hell of a review for the iPhone 4S. You really should read it, even if you have no interest in Apple products, because it showcases the other side of the smartphone buying public. Most iPhone buyers have no interest in specs, or a long list of features, or even a change log -- they just like it to work as promised right out of the carton.
Rene does an excellent job covering the improvements, like the redesigned antenna and beefed up CPU, as well as the areas where it's still a bit behind the curve -- lack of RAM and no LTE support. And of course, he takes Siri out for some tests, as well as other new features like iCloud and AirPlay mirroring. After reading through it, I think this is surely the best iPhone yet. Even if I would have no interest in using one, I would recommend it to more than a few people I know. Let's face it -- the smartphone race has basically come down to two major players, and we should care about both of them. We can pick on Apple users tomorrow, but today let's take a minute and see what so many out there enjoy.
I was able to get my hands on a Droid RAZR and duck out long enough to get a video walk-through, and I'm really glad I did. Photos can only do this device so much justice, but when you get to hold it in your hands, you'll really be able to see what Motorola and Verizon are bragging about.
While it may not be clear in the video above, the screen and size are the real stars here. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display is vivid, rich, and super vibrant, and the phone itself is mind-blowingly thin and light. It's unlike any other LTE device on the market today, and is a true gamechanger in 4G technology.
Check out all of my initial impressions here, and let's all bide our time wisely until the Droid RAZR's "early November" lauch.
The second-annual AnDevCon is just a few short weeks away in San Francisco. And you've not yet registered, you've got until Oct. 21 to save $200 off total for the three-day passport and pre-conference workshops.
What's on tap at AnDevCon, you ask? How about a keynote address from Google's Chet Haase and Romain Guy? Or American Express' David Baldie and Andrew Peret. Or Motorola's Ruth Hennigar. Or Amazon's Sam Gigliotti. Or HTCDev's Dario Laverde and Bruce Jones?
Needless to say, it's going to be a packed three days. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Get the whole rundown on AnDevCon II at the link below.
Here's a bit of news that a few of you aren't going to like hearing -- the Motorola Droid RAZR will ship with a locked bootloader. According to the official Motorola Mobility Twitter account:
The bootloader was locked per the carrier, in addition to meeting security, safety and regulatory guidelines.
We're not quite sure where regulatory guidelines come into play here, but we understand the carrier wants it locked as well as the safety aspect (even if we don't agree). Luckily, it looks like Verizon will be offering another phone for those of you who want to unlock and fool around with the inner workings of your Android phone's software, and we should see it in about eight hours. Android -- something for everyone.
For our friends up north: Rogers will have the exclusive on the Motorola RAZR. Said to be available in time for the holidays, no pricing was announced. But figure it'll go a bit cheaper than the $299 two-year U.S. offering, thanks to the Canadian standard three-year contract, right? Otherwise, same slim, fast phone as was just announced.
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