To those of you lucky enough to get your Droid Xearly (all 170 of you need to play the lottery this week!) Verizon has now set up the system so you can activate that monster. As of Friday July 9, provisions were put in place to allow activation according to Verizon internal documents leaked out to DroidLife. You can activate over the web at your MyVerizon page, or OTA by dialing *228 and selecting option 1. Now quit slacking and get that speed demon activated, then hit the forums to tease the rest of us for 5 more days :) [DroidLife]
Images of the unreleased Motorola WX455 have shown up today online, with very little fanfare. If the rumors about it's specifications are correct, we can see why. Supposedly it's a pretty anemic offering, and beside the recent onslaught of superphones like the Galaxy S series and the Motorola Droid X, it's hard to get excited over a mid- to low-end handset. Speaking of specs, all we can be sure of is what you see -- it's running Eclair, has a weird mix of capacitive buttons and some sort of physical pad, a smallish touchscreen, and headed to Verizon. Rumored specs also include a camera (megapixels unknown) with no flash, and a 1170 mAh battery. It should also sport the standard Android array of radios and sensors; GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, compass, etc., but that's just an educated guess.
We've talked about the validity of low end Android models on the last couple of podcasts, what do you guys think? Yea or nay to the entry level stuff? [Engadget]
HTC has released an update to its HTC Sync software for the HTC Aria, and along with it comes the ability to install third-party applications and enable mobile network sharing. Hallelujah! While this isn't nearly as handy as installing the applications directly from the phone, it's a huge step in the right direction. The addition of mobile network sharing is a huge boon as well, just remember to keep an eye on your data usage if you've switched to one of AT&T's new plans.
HTC Sync is also a great way to sync calendar events and contacts with Outlook (or Outlook Express/Windows Live Mail) on your Windows PC. Sorry, Mac users, you can sit over here with us Linux guys and grumble. Hit the source link to check out the requirements and download the software -- you'll need your device serial number, click and enlarge the pic to the left for help finding it. [HTC Aria Product Support] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Update: As Spary points out in the comments below, there was an apparent SNAFU at HTC and this update does not enable sideloading, nor does it change any settings on the device itself. HTC has reached out to Engadget and apologized for any confusion, and says their website will be updated with the correct information Monday. Felt good for a couple hours though!
There has been some chatter lingering around in regards to the Droid X and its bootloader, and sadly it appears as though they have locked this one down. So, what does that mean for the average consumer, well nothing really. Those who will be affected by this information are those interested in the extra tweaks, along with the ability to create and flash custom ROM's. Root access should still be obtainable so you will be able to use all those fun applications that require it, which is a big plus to many. Hopefully the Droid X isn't as hard to crack as the Motorola Milestone -- for which they are still trying to figure out a good solution. Now all you Droid owners who were looking for an upgrade, still interested? [via Droid Life]
Finding a parking spot just got a little easier, thanks to Google's new Open Spot app for Android. The concept is simple enough, fire up the app to see what spots are near (.9 mile radius) you, and the color of the pin tells you how long it's been since someone marked it. Red means 'freshly-marked', orange pins mean the spot was marked 5 minutes ago, and the yellow spots are older than 10 minutes -- after 20 minutes they disappear.
Speaking of marking the spot, the application is driven by the idea that you mark open spots you find, and lady karma rolls back around to help you find one when you need it. And before you let those devious ideas loose, Google claims to have their own method of dealing with 'greifers' -- people who mark spots when there are none. As of now, this app is Android only; no word on a web version or cross platform availability, but I imagine that this won't stay exclusive for too long. Hit the jump for the download links. [Google OpenSpot via TechCrunch]
Yeah, so by now Fring users likely have noticed that Skype access has been pulled. And, you guessed it, we have the iPhone to blame. Fring recently updated its iPhone version, which allows cross-platform chatting (see our demo with Rene from TiPB) and sure enough, the gathering horde borked it for the rest of us. Here's Fring's official response, from its forums:
This is absolutely amazing. Since the release of our latest iPhone version yesterday we have seen a huge jump in fring video calling.
So, to free up some room for more fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to Skype. Be patient, we'll have some more updates soon.
These things happen, but surely just about everybody saw it coming. Anyhoo, hang tight, folks, and hopefully Fring will have things up and running soon enough. [Fring via Android Central Forums] Thanks to everybody who sent this in.
NTP is once again suing over patents they hold for the wireless collection of e-mail data, charging Google, Motorola, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Apple with infringement. (Seems they forgot carrier pigeon breeders and pilots who fly banner ads). Many of you will remember the drawn out affair between NTP and RIM, which ended in 2006 with a mega-million dollar judgment in NTP's favor, or their subsequent fight with Palm that quietly disappeared for unknown reasons a year later.
The late Tom Campana, NTP's founder and the 'inventor' of e-mail certainly does hold several valid patents showing the technology is his, but it will be up to the courts (with millions of our tax dollars) to determine the validity of the newest claims. Can I haz patent reform plz? The full press release is after the break. [PRNewswire]
Stop and think for a minute. We've seen seven Android phones announced for U.S. carriers in a little more than two weeks. That's just insane. The Droid X. The four phones of the Galaxy S line (hell, toss in two more if you want to count U.S. Cellular and Cellular South). The Motorola Charm. The Samsung Intercept. It's been quite the week, and that's just the hardware side.
So let's end the week right. Bar's open, and so are the comments.
For all the naysayers who didn't think T-Mobile would really sell the Samsung Vibrant a week early, well, how do we say this nicely? We told you so! Today T-Mobile made an announcement on its official twitter page stating that the device will be ready for sale on July 15, a week earlier then previously announced. This 4-inch screen powered by a 1GHz processor and equipped with Bluetooth 3.0 will run $199.99 upon release, so if you were holding out on the Nexus One in hopes of something bigger coming along, it's here! [T-Mobile Twitter via MobileBurn]
If Windows 3.1 on your Droid isn't good enough for you, how about a modern desktop OS running on your Nexus One or Sprint Evo 4G? Braniac Max from NexusOneHacks.net managed to shoehorn Ubuntu onto his Nexus One over the Independence Day weekend. Not to be outdone, a few days later it was modified to run on the Evo 4G. More details after the break. [via NexusOneHacks and GoodAndEvo]
Update: Matt wrote in to let us know that Ubuntu is running on the Droid as well. Added a video for your perusal after the break. Thanks for the tip Matt!
It's always great to see Android spreading it's robo-love to the smaller guys, and starting today Credo Mobile is carrying the HTC Hero (CDMA). The Hero, running Android 2.1, will be offered at $79.99 with a two year agreement, and plans (voice only) start at $59.99 monthly. Credo Mobile is a small nationwide carrier that uses the Sprint network for voice and data. They pride themselves on their social conscience, and in 2009 the company donated $2,680,211 to nonprofit groups from it's revenue. You can read more about Credo Mobile at the source link, and you can find out everything there is to know about the HTC Hero in our forums. [Credo Mobile] Thanks Nick!
Today is the launch of the Samsung Acclaim on US Cellular, and the nation's sixth-largest carrier has a treat for everyone coming in to pick one up -- the Acclaim (as well as other select handsets), will include Your Navigator Deluxe. Your Navigator Deluxe is a TeleNav powered turn-by-turn navigation system (very much like SprintNavigator for Sprint smartphones) that includes enhancements like comprehensive business listings and weather conditions. Many (this author included) prefer TeleNav products over the standard Google navigation because of the small extras like a personal launch page and details about your destination. In any case, more options is never a bad thing.
Check out a video overview of Your Navigator Deluxe and the full press release after the break. [TeleNav Blog]
While some of us use our phones to communicate or play awesome games, there are those who take science and spare time to the next level. Mike Partain is one of those people. Using an off-the-shelf Lego NXT robotics kit, a Motorola Droid and a whole bucketful of ingenuity and smarts, Mike has added sensors the robotics kit was missing -- camera, GPS, and compass. Hit the break to read about it in Mike's own words, a link to the source code (special thanks Mike!), and a couple videos seeing different views from the Droid's unblinking eye. [spike3 on PBase]
When we saw Martin Cooper -- the inventor of the cell phone, by the way -- on C-SPAN in March, he was telling us how he gave up his iPhone for the Motorola Droid. Fast forward to today, and he's continuing his praises of everybody's favorite smartphone operating system, this time in a Q&A with CNN. Much of it has to do with his influence on the cell phone industry, but it's the final quote that has the zinger:
"I think that the Android phones are catching up now, and the latest version of the Android phones are every bit as good, if not better, than the iPhone."
Behold, the retail box for the AT&T Samsung Captivate, which will be available July 18 for $199 after two-year contract. You'll note how the front of the box, at least, is way heavy on the "Samsung Galaxy S" and light on any mention of Android. Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily, though it certainly stands out. Same goes for the promo video that's making the YouTube rounds (and which you can see after the break). Figure with the Galaxy S launching on all four major U.S. carrier in the next month or so, this is just tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, folks. [via Engadget]
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