In the latest chapter in the ongoing Galaxy SGingerbread saga, Samsung Finland has updated its official blog with the news that Finnish Galaxy S owners (and other Europeans too, presumably) will get the update in "mid-April". Samsung adds that the Gingerbread update currently in the final stages of testing.
This more or less jives with what we've heard from British carrier Three, which expects to push Gingerbread to its Galaxy S customers in the "next couple of weeks". If you can't wait the extra seven days (or longer, depending on your carrier) and you're feeling brave, you could always check out the leaked Galaxy S Gingerbread build which we reported a couple of weeks ago.
With The Masters golf tournament starting today, it's nice to see that an official app has been released for anyone looking to keep up to date on the action. The Masters app has some nice features added to it, and it even works on the Motorola Xoom -- although it's not fully optimized for it.
Real time scoring - Interact with the live Leader Board, which features up-to-the-minute scoring and video highlights of the greatest moments on the course
Course overview - Detailed course information with imagery, flyover videos, and par and yardage for each of the Masters Tournament’s prestigious 18 holes
Live radio - Live streaming radio coverage from Augusta National
Comprehensive news coverage - Pairings, tee times, player information, alerts, and all of the latest news and updates from the Masters Tournament.
If you're not able to catch The Masters at home or just want to check out the app while taking it all, the official app is available in the Android Market right now for free. Jump on past the break for the download link and images of it on the Motorola Xoom. [Android Central Forums]
We broke the news yesterday, and today T-Mobile confirms: the LG G2X will be available online starting April 15 for $199 on contract and after $50 rebate or if you prefer, $499 with no contract. You'll be able to pick one up in stores starting April 20. Who's ready for some 4-inch dual-core goodness? [@TMobile]
We reported in late March that popular PlayStation emulator PSX4Droidhad been pulled from the Android Market in an almost Apple-like manner, and now the developer has fired back. ZodTTD has decided to host .apk downloads right on his own website and has also made the app free for anyone to download. In addition, it seems Google has placed some holds and restrictions on his developer account, which is making it difficult for him to put more apps on the Market and profit from others he already has.
This entire episode as a whole has not been good for the Android ecosystem as being free of Apple's arbitrary restrictions on applications in its own AppStore has been one of the incentives to develop apps like emulators for Android. There are legal uses for emulators and the ROMs they run so it makes the issue even more confusing. In the meantime, ZodTTD, might we suggest the Amazon AppStore? [ZodTTD via Engadget]
Well, well, what have we here? An all-new, hot-off-the-press, get-it-while-it's-hot look at the upcoming (and still not actually announced) Incredible 2 on Verizon. From what we can tell, the body's exactly the same as we saw on the HTC Incredible S at Mobile World Congress (see our hands-on here). Same rounded corners, same plateaued battery cover (which we still really like). But this one's all done up in Verizon duds, and that makes us all tingly inside.
Flip it over, and we see the same 8-megapixel camera with dual flash, and the ever-comforting "with Google" logo.
We also get another look at the HTC keyboard (which remains one of our favorites), confirmation that indeed we're dealing with ADR6350, for those of you who keep up on your HTC code numbers, and this one's running Android 2.2.1 at the moment. Whether it'll launch with that, well, we'll see (and keep our fingers crossed for something a tad newer).
And speaking of release dates. Nothing official, of course, but that leaked Verizon roadmap we saw a week or so ago mentions April 28. That said, we've heard that roadmap might already be out of date, and we might be treated to a phone or two a little sooner rather than later. Will the Incredible 2 fall into that category? And is that actually its name? We'll just have to see.
We've got a nice little handful of Incredible 2 pics after the break, if you're into that sort of thing.
Look what we have here -- why, that's the as-yet-still-unannounced Motorola Droid X2. We don't have a whole lot of new information to go with, but it matches up with previous leaks (here and here), and we see it's running Froyo -- Android 2.2.2, to be exact -- though that may very well change before this one gets on the shelf. It carries the same Droid X styling as last year's model, complete with the physical buttons and humped back, and we see HDMI out beside the microUSB port. Around back we see an 8MP shooter with a dual flash setup, and the words "HD Video". Still no sign of LTE on it, but we wouldn't rule it out completely just yet. This all matches up with what we heard before regarding the Droid X2's specs.
'Quality and consistency continue to be top priorities,' says Google's VP of Engineering
Andy Rubin -- the father of Android -- has taken to the Android Developer blog to shed a little light on what's happening regarding Honeycomb, any changes in Google's open-source policy, and fragmentation. The post is titled "I think I'm having a Gene Amdahl moment," referring to the former IBM exec who coined the phrase "fear, uncertainty and doubt" -- aka FUD. You'll definitely want to read the entire post, but we'll break it down here:
"We don’t believe in a 'one size fits all' solution. ... Quality and consistency continue to be top priorities."
"As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices."
"Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs. There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture."
"We continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready."
Again, those are just bullet points cherry picked by us. Read the entire post. And then take a deep breath and read it again. And while you might not like the answers -- or maybe you don't think really Rubin answered anything at all -- Rubin, and by extension Android and Google, did one thing we called for in last week's Android Central Podcast: cast a little transparency on what's been a bit of a murky period for Android's "open" nature. [Android Developer Blog]
If you're on T-Mobile and are looking for an above-average mid-level phone off contract, check this out: The above screenshot we just received tells us the T-Mobile Optimus T (that's Magenta's version of the LG Optimus One) will soon be available from Radio Shack for $175 -- without having to sign a contract. That's about $65 off the current no-contract "retail" price and is a deal we can get behind.
It doesn't appear to say what kind of data plan you'll need. But, again, you won't be tied down to a monthly contract. So if you want out, you get out. That's the way it should be, folks. Thanks to anon, who submitted via the official Android Central App.
Our pal Derek over at PreCentral has shown off some screenshots from the webOS 3.0 emulator today received today from an anonymous source. It sure looks like great news for webOS fans, and a few things there will make Android fans do a double take.
We're not about to sit here and say anyone copied anyone else -- there's only so many ways to do things right, and it looks like webOS 3.0 is doing most of them. There's a nice full screen browser with a minimalistic navigation and control area at the top, and the virtual keyboard looks nicely spaced and doesn't force capitalization on you when you don't want it. The chat application looks very nice. It's a multi-pane interface with a big area for your message content, and we assume that your buddy list will populate the left pane. Google has done the same for the native Talk app in Honeycomb, and it works wonderfully.
The quick settings area brings up an interesting thought -- you can see the influence Matias Duarte had on both webOS 3.0 and Honeycomb. They aren't exactly the same, but there's plenty of similarity there (check out a comparison after the break). This isn't a bad thing, because they both look great. Easy access and functionality combined with sleek looks is something fans of both platforms can appreciate.
The last thing worth noting, and it doesn't come as a surprise considering HP's strong relationship with Microsoft, is that webOS 3.0 is using Bing for their maps application. Love it or hate it, HPalm will make for a strong partner for Bing maps, and Derek speculates that HP may partner with Bing in the search space as well. Anyone who has used both Bing Maps and Google Maps knows it's their loss, and I wouldn't rule out a tablet optimized webOS 3.0 version of Maps direct from Google if the market is big enough to justify it.
All in all webOS 3.0 is looking like a nice upgrade for the platform, and even I am curious to see how it runs on HP's new TouchPad. [PreCentral]
Right then, half way through the week and here we are at hump day. A lot of tablet news this week has been hitting the blogs, the Motorola Xoom has now touched down in Canada, Honeycomb on the Evo View 4G has come up and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has been getting some attention. Not to mention, the Samsung Galaxy Tab WiFi arriving April 10 for only $349. Seems we'll be doing more tablet then phone reviews soon. If you're looking to pick bones over which tablet to get, hop on into the forums for some tablet talk.
The Seidio Innocase II Surface for the HTC Thunderbolt will give you great protection for your phone, and doesn't hit your wallet too hard. It's two-piece sliding design is easy to put on and off, with a soft interior so you don't scratch your Thunderbolt while using it. The locking mechanism is nice and tight, and seems to be the improved version like we have seen for the HTC Inspire, so this one isn't going to come apart in your pocket. The case is made from a hard plastic material, and has a soft touch coating that feels very nice in your hand while using it.
All your ports and controls are easy to access, with precision cutouts that are well designed and large enough to use the buttons and ports without any trouble while the case is on. The corners and edges wrap around the front of the phone, and give enough of a lip to keep the screen off the surface of whatever its laying on. I'm especially liking the way the power button was cutout, as often hard cases leave you fumbling to hit the button -- not so this time around. There's even a cutout below the kickstand for the magic antenna button.
Possibly the nicest aspect of the Seidio Innocase Surface series is the matching Seidio Innocase Holster. It's hard plastic with a felt lined interior, and it's face-in design makes for a great way to carry your phone with no fear of bumps and scratches. The retaining clip is large and easy to operate, and while the phone is in the holster you still have access to the power button, volume rocker, and USB port. The swiveling belt clip offers a choice of carrying options, and the clips are easy to open while still having a strong grip.
While Android users have become pretty accustomed to having to root their devices in order to get screenshots to work outside of using the Android SDK, some devices have the ability to do so without root. The Motorola Atrix 4G, however, had no screenshot apps that worked on it at all. Rooted or unrooted -- they just simply did not work and returned errors when running most popular screenshot apps.
Having received my Motorola Atrix 4G just yesterday, I went looking again to see if this situation had changed and low and behold -- it had. Two apps that have the ability to take screenshots on the Atrix. One is a free app from XDA forum member mindphaze called Screengrabber. The other, called Screenshot it, is a paid app that was updated in the Android Market and now available with a free trial. Both of which work without having the need to root your device.
I tried both out thus far, and while Screengrabber is still in beta form and has very few settings available to it, it is in my personal opinion the one to have if you can get it installed since, AT&T blocked unknown source apps. Screenshot It works as advertised and has more options but the screenshots it takes are a little irregular as they seem to miss a portion of the screen when capturing. Something that hopefully the developer can fix at some point. Jump on past the break for an example of what I mean. Screengrabber can be downloaded via the XDA source link and Screenshot It is in the Android Market. [XDA and Android Market]
Just got slipped the screen you see above, and it looks like we may see the T-Mobile G2X (that's the LG Optimus 2X for those of you playing at home) as soon as April 15. That's a tad sooner than the April 20 date that's been floating around. But the sooner we get that hot little dual-core Tegra 2 phone in our hands, the better.
Oh, and there's the T-Mobile G-Slate (aka the LG Optimus Tab) mentioned as well, priced at $529 on contract and rebate. Its release is listed as being "soon."
And do note that release dates absolutely are subject to change, but it does seem that we're getting close, boys and girls. Thanks, anon!
Last night in New York City, Samsung and Boost Mobile officially announced the Samsung Galaxy Prevail. The Galaxy Prevail is a mid-level Android smartphone that will be exclusive to Boost Mobile. This new addition to Boost Mobile will cost you $179.99. With Boost's unlimited plan, you can get talk, text, and internet for only $50 a month. Not bad, not bad at all.
As a parting gift, we were given a review device to take home. Here is our first initial hands-on video with the Galaxy Prevail. Can't watch the video? Read our written hands-on here. Check back in a few days as we will have our full review.
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