With another leak filled week behind us, it is time to take a few to reflect on what exactly happened this week. We hope you were able to get yourself a ticket to the reader meet up in NYC, or loaded up one of the many leaks from this week, and still were able to keep caught up in the day to day of regular life. Below is some of what you may have missed, so take a few to check it out!
While the release date for the HTC Evo 3D is still up in the air, we know the pricing that Radio Shack will have thanks to a Radio Shack promo leaked to Good and Evo. Off contract pricing is an affordable (comparably) $500, and with a new two-year agreement the Evo 3D will cost you $200 -- unless you're trading in your Evo 4G or Evo Shift 4G, which nets you an additional $100 off. Yes, that means if you walk into a Radio Shack on the day it's released, and hand them your Evo or Shift, you can walk out with one of the years hottest new Androids for a measly $100 if you qualify.
The HTC Merge will be available for U.S. Cellular customers on May 31, according to internal documents leaked in the Android Central forums. The phone should cost $249.99 with a new agreement, and before the $100 mail in rebate. We've been closely following the Merge since we first laid eyes and hands on it way back in October of last year, and it's a great phone that should have seen the light of day much sooner than it did. Ask anyone using a G2 or an Evo Shift, they'll agree.
While U.S. Cellular's high-end Android line-up is slightly behind the curve when compared to the "big four", the Merge will join the Desire and Mesmerize to offer customers a few great choices. No word if the Merge will be available on pre-paid plans, but since the Desire and Mesmerize aren't, we don't expect it. So, what say you U.S.Cell subscribers? Anyone plan on picking up one of these? Sound off!
Once again our resident LG Optimus S expert has cooked up some goodness for the little powerhouse from LG and Sprint. Using parts of his previous work, and a mind-melding technique with a few other Optimus hackers that took weeks and many six packs to perfect, Nick7 brings you the Reborn ROM.
Built off the original VD sources, Reborn ROM brings great performance and a nice, new visual style that sets it apart from the rest of the crowd. Think a little bit Hero, a little bit MyTouch 3G, and a whole lot of overclocked kernel and you have the right idea.
Ladies and gents, this is why hackers love Android. We're just glad that they take the time to share with us all. For more information, visit the Reborn ROM thread in the Android Central forums.
Quick reminder: The HTC Flyer is now available exclusively at Best Buy, both in stores and online. It's the Wifi-only version we looked at yesterday, and it will run you $500 (with an additional $80 for the Scribe digital pen). It's 7 inches, it's Gingerbread-flavored, and it's rocking Sense. An interesting package indeed. Sound off below when you've finally gotten your hands on one.
Apps, apps and more apps! It's an appapalooza! And appstravaganza! It's appstronomical! OK. We'll quit while we're behind. But we're back with another week's worth of app picks, so slide on past the break and see what we've chosen this week.
There. We said it. But it's true. As important as the Motorola Xoom was (and is) to Android and Honeycomb tablets as platforms, it left a bit to be desired in the design department. And so it's almost fitting that Samsung, the company that brought us the 7-inch Galaxy Tab last fall -- basically an oversized Froyo smartphone -- is about to launch a little slice of sexy in the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
But the story's not that simple, is it? Join us after the break as we break down the special edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 handed out at Google IO.
We can't make this up people. According to Google, who gets to make the rules since it's their service, rooted devices are not supported by the Android Markets new movie rental service "due to requirements related to copyright protection". You'll even see a specific error message when you attempt to try -- "Failed to fetch license for [movie title] (error 49)".
So now people who root their phones, whether to get rid of the crap "open" that's forced down their throats, or to have a current version of Android, are punished and lumped in with folks who steal movies. Nice move, Google. That makes me want to buy more of your products and use more of your services, so I can be treated like a criminal just because I'm smart enough to get rid of CityID, or want a safe version of Android on my phone. And of course, I'd much rather steal movies streamed with a poor bitrate at a low resolution to my phone than use Google to search out any of the thousands of places where I could steal them using my computer. Facepalm.
Of course, the Android community will find a way around this. I already have some ideas, and I'm sure others will, too. But we shouldn't have to. And once we do, I'll download one (and only one) movie from the Market for the satisfaction of defeating this stupid move by Google, then be sure to never use the service again. Redbox doesn't care if I want to run a custom ROM on my phone, so they'll get my $4.00.
In this brave new world of dual-core, 10.1-inch, Android 3.0 tablets, is there room for a new 7-incher that's not running Honeycomb? HTC certainly thinks so with the HTC Flyer. But ever since we first saw the Flyer at Mobile World Congress in February 2011, it was evident HTC wasn't just bringing the smartphone version of Android to a 7-inch device. It's done more than that, with the usual flair and style that you'd expect.
That's not to say the Flyer's not familiar -- we've used 7-inch Android tablets before. But with the brand-new version of HTC Sense -- which is as beautiful as ever -- and the addition (if a little niche) of a stylus and some cool on-screen note-taking features, the Flyer could well carve out a little spot in the tablet market.
It's not as thin as, say, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but it's got HTC's outstanding unibody construction, and design flares that could only come from HTC. It's not a dual-core device, but it is HTC's first foray into a 1.5GHz processor, handy for pushing the 600x1024 resolution. And a full gigabyte of RAM should prove to be more than enough.
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