Carriers release them, then Android hackers crack them open -- as we see today with the HTC Wildfire. Paul O'Brien (a name we all should know by now) once again circumvents the protection schemes carriers and manufacturers put in place and has rooted the HTC Wildfire. The method (see source link) doesn't look very difficult, providing your Wildfire has a bootloader version of 0.80 or lower, and a ROM version of 1.14.xxx.x or below. You can check this by booting your phone while the back key is held -- the 'HBOOT -' line needs to be 0.80 or lower.
We're all happy to see Android gurus rooting even the less popular devices, but it raises the question -- should handset makers and cellular carriers really spend the time and money to put these restrictions and roadblocks in place? So far, it isn't working too well and the model that Google used with the Nexus One (making the phone easily unlocked, but then branded as such permanently) seems to have worked well for both sides. Maybe the money could be instead spent on tools to find those who abuse or otherwise cause a ruckus on the network vs. the losing war against opening the software on the new devices. Guess that's why I'm not in charge of anything :p. [Modaco via Twitter]
Youtube mobile just got a face-lift, bringing a good many cosmetic and functionality changes along with it. Youtube use on mobile devices is growing at an amazing rate -- playbacks were up 160% in 2009 according to the folks at Youtube, so it's great to see changes making their way to the mobile site. What exactly got changed you ask? According to the Youtube blog:
It's really fast.
The user interface incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements, making it easier to access videos on the go.
It incorporates the features and functionality you’ve come to expect from the .com site, like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists, the ability to designate “favorite,” “like” or “unlike” videos directly from your device.
As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.
In my opinion, numbers 1, 2 and 3 are spot-on. We'll keep an eye on number 4, but it only makes sense to keep improving things. Hit the break to see a video and a couple more screenshots of the new site, then check it out on your Android phone at m.youtube.com. [YouTube Blog]
Looking to pull the trigger on a white Evo 4G from Best Buy? Our pal Jeravicious in the Android Central Forums got his, and it's unboxed it for all to see. It's quite the looker, indeed. Check out his video after the break. [Android Central Forums]
Yes, the official Verizon and Motorola sponsored Droid X scavenger hunt has begun. Remember that @DroidLanding twitter account we talked about a couple weeks ago? Of course you do, we're all trying to decipher the up-until-now vague hints and clues they've been dropping. Things are a little clearer now, as Verizon has released the official sweepstakes rules for the treasure-hunt style giveaway, which started yesterday at Midnight. The tweets should start getting a little less cryptic, eventually becoming actual GPS locations of the prizes. Did we mention the prizes? How does 21 brand spanking new Motorola Droid X phones (valued at $569.99 each according to the rules themselves) sound? Yeah, I thought so -- sounds good to me too.
If you haven't already, make sure you're following @DroidLanding on Twitter, and follow the jump to read the official rules. [Verizon]
Remember that July 21 date for the release of the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant on T-Mobile? It looks like that's not gonna happen. Instead, some leaked documents say that the phone will actually be available on July 15 -- a full week or so early. Maybe T-Mobile decided to get in on the party a little early to time with Verizon's Droid X launch, or maybe they just love us more than we thought. Either way it looks like you 'll have an opportunity to get some 4 inch SAMOLED goodness in your hands a week sooner than we all expected. [Tmonews | Engadget]
It's the not-quite-4G, but still fast as hell HPSA+ network that T-Mobile has been working on recently, coupled with an HTC Android powered smartphone, and it's coming in September -- according to a spokesman at Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA's parent company), that is. Rumored to be the HTC Vision (pictured), the device will be able to hit the full 21 Mbs speed that so far has only been possible on aircards. While HSPA+ isn't technically 4G, it 's pretty darn fast and can be put in place without any new hardware (except for that one tower T-Mo needs to build in the WV panhandle!), and seeing it debut on a qwerty slider running Android should make more than a few of us happy.
BAM! this is what we've all been waiting for since we first saw Froyo and Sense 2.2 running on the HTC Desire. Android wizard udk over at xda-developers has released the first version of a Froyo-based HTC SenseROM. Before Evo and Incredible users get too excited, there's the little problem of a Froyo capable radio image, so don't even think about trying to flash this. But for all you folks using the Desire, what are you waiting for? Just be sure to come back with tales of wonder -- and pictures. In the meantime, work has already begun getting this ported over to the Nexus One, and I'm sure the capable Incredible and Evo developers are hard at work to satisfy the CDMA bloodlust that's sure to spring up. [xda-developers] Thanks Max!
So the lads and lassies at Laptop Mag are doing their Battle of Champions as a follow-up to the Smartphone March Madness tournament. And in the finals just happen to the Palm Pre Plus and the Droid Incredible. It's Verizon vs. Verizon, smartphone vs. (erm) smartphone, slider vs. slab. Vote early, vote often, and vote below.
We had a post all about finding the Intercept available for pre-order at the Sprint evp site ready to go, and then the press release rolled in. Sprint has announced that the Samsung Intercept, the successor to the venerable Samsung Moment will be available Sunday, July 11, for $99 after rebate two-year agreement. It's not the beast of a phone that the Epic 4G will be, but it certainly looks like a solid mid-level handset and at just under a hundred bucks comes at a decent price point. Hit the break for the full press release from Sprint.
Qik has announced that more than 25,000 video chats are taking place each and every day through its servers. That's a lot of video chatting. In the same breath, they also announce the new version of their Android app with some improvements concerning connectivity and account activation. They have also disabled the automatic archiving of the video chats.
Personally, I haven't used Qik yet for any video chatting, preferring Fring (because I know people that use Skype and I don't know people who use Qik). How about the rest of you? Let us know in the comments how you feel about Qik, the new update, and if you're one of the over 25,000 daily chats. [via the Qik blog]
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