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3 years ago

Nexus One's Android 2.3 Gingerbread update promised 'in the coming weeks'

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Nexus One with Gingerbread

OMG! The Nexus One will get its over-the-air Gingerbread update in a few weeks, according to the GoogleNexus Twitter account. In a few weeks?!?!? That means we should repeatedly hit the software update button starting now, right? RIGHT?!?!

We know, we know. Patience is not your strong suit. But an interesting thing happened as the Android 2.3 code was released last week: Google said the AOSP code can't just be compiled and slapped into a working build for the Nexus One and the Nexus S. Of course, that didn't stop anybody, and we've had builds running since last Friday night -- and some of them are getting pretty darn good. But let's give the boys and girls at Google a little time to get things right (and, perhaps, enjoy their holidays?) before pushing anymore code, m'kay? [Twitter]

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3 years ago

Samsung Captivate case review: Body Glove Snap-on Case

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Body Glove Snap On Case 1

The Body Glove Snap-On Case is an interesting, multipurpose accessory choice for the Samsung Captivate. It has some great features as well as areas that could use improvement.

The Good: The Snap-On Case feels good in the hand. Its textured material feels better than a lot of the plastic options on the market, as well as provides solid protection for the phone. This is also a lot more than a case as it has an attachable clip and kickstand. The kickstand is built into the clip so no need to worry about looking after two detachable parts. The knob can also be removed if you don't want to sport the extra additions, which makes this case extremely flexible. 

The not as good: It's a snap on case, and because of that it is more difficult to put and keep together than other cases. You need to push the two parts together pretty hard to make them stick. Even after it was together, I wasn't sure it was going to stay connected. It should be noted, however, that the parts have not separated after heavy use.  

Overall, it's a solid case if you're looking for a multipurpose accessory. It feels good once it's put together and is pretty robust once snapped on. If you have a Captivate and are looking for a case with a kickstand and clip, consider the Body Glove Snap-On Case, available from the Android Central Store, for $24.95. See more pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Swype reopens beta program for all!

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Swype for Android

You read that right, folks. For those of you waiting to officially get in on the Swype keyboard, you'll wait no longer. The beta program has opened up to anyone able to type in a little user information. That means you can be up and running the official version of Swype in just a couple of minutes -- including the new and improved "micro" version -- without worry of being hassled by the man. Hit up the source link to get your Swype on. [Swype] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

SPB Mobile Shell for Android looking for a few brave beta testers

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SPB Mobile Shell for Android

It's been 10 long months since we saw SPB Mobile Shell for Android. That's right, the same SPB who used to make Windows Mobile usable. And long after we got a look at it at Mobile World Congress it's ... still not available. But you can now sign up for a private beta, and possible get a look at a whole 'nother UI for Android. Be sure to check out our hands-on from February, and there's all new video after the break. [SPB Mobile Shell for Android]

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3 years ago

NEC is bringing a whole mess o' Android to CES, including dual-screen tablet

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NEC at CES

To say that there's going to be a boatload of Android tablets in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks would be the understatement of the year. We know Motorola's bringing the Honeycomb thunder, and it appears that Japanese staple NEC is going to have more than its share of the little green guy.

To wit:

  • Dual-screen Cloud Communicator Tablet
  • Single-screen Cloud Communicator Tablet
  • Personal Products' Mobile Notebook
  • "Andronavi" marketplace, including Japanese Manga and photography. (More on that at us.andronavi.com.)

So, yeah, there's going to be a wee bit of Android at CES. We strap it on in two weeks, folks. Full NEC presser is after the break.

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3 years ago

Android mascot sneaks into iPad ad

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Android in iPad ad

The Android robot has found a way to sneak into an iPad ad. The advertisement is actually for an iPad app about the history of Switzerland. 

The voiceover is heard talking about Switzerland and as soon as he mentions a rebellious, peasant army, an Android soldier can be seen wielding a sword in the crowd.

The designers of the ad definitely have a sense of humor to put the robot in an ad for the iPad. Enjoy the video after the break! [PointGPhone]

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3 years ago

Google reminds us that rooting and openness aren't always at odds

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wide open

You hear a lot of talk about rooting, especially when a new or difficult handset gets rooted.  But what many of us forget, especially those new to Android, is that rooting, and having to root phones has nothing to do with openness.  A post on the Android Developers Blog reminds us that they are pretty much the opposite of each other.  Rooting is, well we've tried to explain it several times and settled with a nice little page about the whole root deal right here.  It explains it much better that a few words here will, so it's worth a read.

The Nexus S, and the Nexus One are a bit different.  Google specified that these phones have their hardware open to the user.  With a few commands, you can set the bootloader to allow the installation of custom software -- "fastboot oem unlock".  After that, you can pick and choose what you want running on your phone.

Nick Kralevich, an Android Security engineer, sums it up nicely:

"Legitimately gaining root access to your device is a far cry from most rooting exploits. Traditional rooting attacks are typically performed by exploiting an unpatched security hole on the device. Rooting is not a feature of a device; rather, it is the active exploitation of a known security hole."

The way things are now, carriers have forced users to choose between device openness and perceived security.  We can only hope this changes one day. [Android Developer Blog]

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3 years ago

Google reportedly to delay CES launch of Google TV devices

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Logitech Revue

The launch of the Google TV couldn't exactly be considered the smoothest. And The New York Times is now reporting that Google is taking the criticism very seriously and has told partners like LG and Toshiba to delay the launch of devices using the software. Samsung, which was rumored to be preparing to integrate Google TV heavily, seems to be determined to launch its devices anyways.

The problems with the Google TV have been apparent from the start, as networks and Hulu have blocked devices running the software from accessing their online content. In addition, the Flash playback on the devices has been noticed to be sluggish. Just a few days ago we reported that Google was pushing a major update to try to address some of the issues with the software, but it now seems like they have decided to take the nuclear option of delaying major product launches or announcements that were set to occur at CES next month. Hopefully Google can iron out an agreement with the networks sooner rather than later. [New York Times] 

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3 years ago

Motorola to show Honeycomb Android tablet at CES

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Motorola Honeycomb Android tablet at CES

We've all seen that prototype Motorola tablet running the Honeycomb version of Android that Google's Andy Rubin showed earlier this month -- and now Motorola has teased a Honeycomb tablet at CES next month. The Youtube video walks through the evolution of tablets, from Egyptian hieroglyphics to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. And whatever Moto's got up its sleeve is touted as the next evolution.

We'll be there for the unveiling, of course, so stay tuned., folks, and check out the video after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon to show LTE Android hardware at CES in two weeks

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HTC Mecha LTE

It's pretty much been the worst kept secret of the month, but now Verizon's gone and made it official on Twitter -- LTE devices will be shown at CES. OK, it's really not that much of a secret since Verizon said at its LTE announcement that it would show more early in the year. But semi-official is better than not. The Tweet says "Jan. 6 at #CES: #Android and #LTE - could it be like peanut butter and chocolate? YUM!"

Might one of the devices we see be the HTC Mecha/Incredible HD seen here? Perhaps. We'll be there to bring it all to you one way or another. [Twitter]

Verizon LTE at CES

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3 years ago

Gingerbread feature: Internet calling

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Internet calling in Gingerbread

One of the big changes in Gingerbread is the inclusion of a full Internet calling stack in the Android operating system.  This means that you can make and receive voice calls over 3G (or 4G or any random number of G's) and, more important, WiFi.  It works a lot like Skype or Gtalk does on your computer, and we wouldn't be surprised if it gets built into the Android Gtalk client one day.

Until then, you need a third party VoIP (Voice over IP) account, and a little setup.  Even without a clear and concise set of instructions from Google, we figured it out using the free service from sipgate after a bit of trial and error and tried to make it easy for you.  Hit the forums for the How-To.  There's a video of the new feature in action, find it after the break.

Having fun finding new and improved goodies in Gingerbread on your Nexus S or a custom ROM on your favorite device?  Let us know any thing new, improved, or just plain cool that you find!

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3 years ago

Review: T-Mobile myTouch 4G

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T-Mobile's popular myTouch line gets a showcase phone 

The MyTouch 4G

The myTouch 4G is T-Mobile's latest and greatest addition to the venerable myTouch line, which has been around about as long as Android itself has.  This go around, we have T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G network to add into the mix, and when combined with some nice specifications, this is one to take notice of. 

Of course, there's more to a phone than speed, both the network kind and the hardware kind, and the myTouch 4G is full of features as well.  Make no mistake, this phone is high-end and designed to appeal to both those looking for an easy to use model as well as folks looking for something that flat-out screams.  Did T-Mobile succeed?  Hit the break to see for yourself.

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3 years ago

Sprint flips the 4G switch for Denver and Bridgeport, Conn.

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 Sprint 4G

Owners of the Epic 4G and the Evo 4G in both Denver and Bridgeport, Conn., will finally be able to find out what they can do with 4G now that Sprint has officially flipped the 4G switch in both cities. With Verizon launching its LTE network earlier this month, Sprint might be feeling some pressure to speed up its expansion of its own WiMax network, which is now available in 70 cities. Full press release past the break. [Sprint]

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3 years ago

HTC Wildfire getting Froyo over the next couple months, Europe this week

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HTC Wildfire

Good news for you folks with the non-U.S. version of the HTC Wildfire: Your Froyo update is on the way. OK, so's Christmas. But, really, it's coming. HTC said so on its Facebook page this morning:

"We know many of you have been asking for information about an update for your Wildfire. Well, we have good news! Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) on Wildfire is scheduled to begin rolling out this week in Europe, reaching all areas of the world by February. Thanks for your patience as these updates roll out; we think you’ll enjoy the final product."

So what about the U.S. version? (That's the Alltel model you see above.) We'd expect an update in that same timetable. Repeated for any U.S. carrier with the HTC Wildfire: We expect an update in the same timetable. Don't make liars out of us. [Facebook]

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3 years ago

Samsung offering limited edition Nexus S -- battery door is peppered with Android logos

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Limited edition Samsung Nexus S.

If you've got an extra $843.50 burning a hole in your pocket, and you're looking to grab a Nexus S, Samsung and Negri Electronics have something special in store for you.  This special edition Nexus S won't leave anybody wondering where your mobile OS loyalties lie, as its battery door is plastered with Android logos -- which of course lay underneath a big ol' Google logo.

So you can either buy a regular Nexus S outright from Best Buy Mobile for $529.99, or fork over an additional $313.51 for a cool battery door.  Every other aspect of this limited edition Nexus S remains completely untouched.  You're paying for the battery door. 

My Evo has a vinyl Android sticker on the back of it, which I assume makes it a limited edition.  We'll start the bidding at $313.51.

Check out a couple more pictures after the break.  [Negri Electronics via Pockenow]

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