Along with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sammy showed off for the first time its Media Hub service. The service will be available on all of its Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S phones and Galaxy Tab. Onboard so far: MTV, NBC, Paramount, and WB. It's a good start, but what about the service itself. Is it enough to have big names onboard and does the user experience deliver? Read on after the break to see what we thought, and watch a hands-on video.
There's this leaked Best Buy document making the rounds today that mentions activation of Verizon LTE devices "coming into the market this fall." That's exciting stuff -- though it'd be a little more exciting if we definitely were talking about Android devices.
We've been saying on the Android Central Podcast for weeks now that we're expecting LTE data cards to roll out before we see LTE-capable smartphones. (That said, yes, Verizon started pimping 4G today.) Would we love to see LTE phones by the end of the year? Heck, yeah. Is it reasonable that we'll see them "this fall"? Probably not, folks. And that's what a trusted source is still telling us. Plain and simple, no Verizon LTE phones in 2010. We'll just have to make do with speedy data cards if and when they happen.
Vodaphone has already said via Twitter that it will be carrying the HTC Desire HD, and there's a ton of speculation about other carriers and SIM unlocked versions. But the system dump leaked out today from dealer75 at XDA Developers is clearly Vodaphone-branded. Digging through the system dump we see the last frame of the boot sequence is the Vodaphone logo.
We're still digging through the files, seeing new goodies like an HTC Data Strip widget that appears to be a set of quick switches for 3G and WiFi radios, and well as a roaming indicator widget. Look for your favorite Sense ROM developer to have a boatload of new toys for you soon. [XDA Developers]
For those of you who worry about this sort of thing, Adobe has updated its graphic list of which Android devices it supports for Flash Player 10.1. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been added, and the missing Droid Incredible has been added as well. I expect the thank-you e-mails to reach my inbox shortly. [Adobe]
The Sprint Epic 4G is in the midst of an over-the-air system update -- bugfixes, mostly, and not Froyo just yet, though Samsung's Media Hub is now enabled. But if you just can't stand to wait any longer (that'd be a good many of you, we reckon), Andrew Ruffoloin the Android Central Forums has brought us the manual method. All you have to do is download a file move it to your SD card, and follow a couple of instructions. Easy as pie, and it's the same as getting the OTA update, only no waiting. Check it out at the source link. [Android Central Forums]
Update: Video of the OTA process is after the break if you're into that sort of thing.
Bash Bing for Android all you want. Go ahead. We'll wait. For we share your frustration that Verizon set it as the default search service on the Samsung Fascinate (and that's why we worked so hard to turn it off). But that's not the app's fault, no is it? Nor do we blame Microsoft. It was just doing its job -- making deals that make money. The motto that kept going through our head as we actually sat down to use Bing was this:
"Don't blame Bing."
It's that simple. It's not a bad app. It's getting a bad rap because Verizon did a bad thing to an otherwise good phone. (And we'd prefer it weren't Verizon-exclusive at this point.) Anyhoo, you get access to Bing's excellent image search. Web search is adequate, though it is different than Google (and, it should be). Voice search is OK, but slower than Google's. Bing Maps are just fine, and we're quite fond of Bing's local searches, actually. Give it a shot before you shoot it down. We did, after the break.
If you have multiple Android phones, you might now always want keep each device active. But that doesn't mean it's a paperweight. But resetting a phone brings you back to the pesky activation screen in many cases. Luckily you are able to bypass this so that you can access all the features within the phone, without having to actually activate it on your account. The diagram shows exactly how its done, but here's a simple breakdown.
Tap top left hand corner
Tap top right hand corner
Tap bottom right hand corner (above grey banner)
Tap bottom left hand corner (above grey banner)
Following these simple steps will allow you to skip the activation, and jump right back into using your device. The only downside to this is that usually upon rebooting the phone, you will have to do the same pattern, but that's only a small price to pay in comparison to the option of actually activating the device.
The Angry Birds game for Android just got an update. Repeat: The Angry Birds game for Android just got an update. OK, it's still in beta. And that means there may (and likely will) be bugs. And we don't get new levels or anything yet. But that's what being a beta tester is all about. So get your download on here (you'll have to register your phone number -- sigh) or update from the Android Market (download links are after the break), and be sure to leave some feedback for the developers here.