Those of you who came to Android from Windows Mobile likely are familiar with SPB Mobile Shell. And the boys and girls from St. Petersburg are back with Version 5.0, which will be released on Android in the coming months. This isn't a ROM-integrated like HTC's Sense UI, and that has advantages. Because it's not as deeply rooted in the Android ROM, SPB can push out an update whenever it pleases, just like any other application.
Really, you need to watch the video to see what all it can do. Keep in mind that what you're seeing is a beta application, so the animations will get smoother. More after the break.
Had a nice sit-down this morning at Mobile World Congress with Dataviz, maker of Road Sync and Docs to Go. (For the uninitiated, think all the power of Microsoft Office, for a fraction of the price.) The story of the day was document sync, both local and in the cloud.
Version 2.0 for Android currently is free for the trial, and temporarily reduced to $9.99 for the premium version. But we got a sneak peek at the new desktop sync capability, which should be released in the coming months. Basically, you plug in and it syncs files to and from the storage card. (After you manually mount it.) But it was the cloud sync solutions we saw -- over Microsoft Exchange and Google Docs -- that really has us excited. It's also coming for Android but not yet ready for public consumption, but you can check out how it works over at TiPB.
Anyhow, CEO Eric Schmidt discussed how Google has a new philosophy called "Mobile First" to go along with its "Don't Be Evil" mantra. Basically Google believes that Mobile devices are the future and so they always will have a very early focus on mobile versions.
To show off its expanding mobile platform, Google showed off three new upcoming features: Flash on Android, support for German in voice search, and text character recognition (and then translation) inside Google Goggles. Emerce.nl bravely and justly bucked the photography ban and recorded the demos of all three. Catch our favorite - the OCR - above and the other two over at Emerce. Thanks, Erwin!
Yeah, yeah. another teaser showing Adobe Flash on Android. We get it. We're as tired as seeing them as you are and are ready to see Flash 10.1 roll out. And the folks at Adobe assure us it's coming. They're just not saying when.
The good news is that that that we've gotten our hands on it, we're a little less fearful than we might have been earlier. We're not totally on board, and we can't wait for you guys to get yoru hands on it. But power and processor taxing issues aside, Flash ran pretty well -- not great, but OK -- on the Droid we played with, and Adobe AIR was even more smooth. So hang in there, people. It's coming. It's coming. Videos after the break.
BGR is hearing that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, a device that should already be available, is definitely headed to AT&T. Absolutely positively. As in 100% certain. As in take it to the bank. BGR also states that the Xperia X10 will be available for $199 or less (on new 2-year contract) and hit AT&T in an April/May timeframe.
So for those keeping score, it looks like SE got a big carrier to endorse the X10, settled on a price that would ensure success, yet somehow still managed to bungle the release date. Available in April/May? Are you kidding me? How is it not ready! With SE's current pace, we might not see the Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro til next year.
If you're the type of person who can't miss a detail and love to see a company's presentation yourself, first of all, we totally understand and second, you're in luck because HTC has posted their entire MWC press event on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. You'll get to see the three new HTC devices (Desire, Legend, HD Mini) get introduced and the usual theatrics that come with it (like an impromptu stress test).
If you can't get enough of the HTC Desire & HTC Legend (and really who can?) HTC has put out some promotional videos showcasing both devices in cute sketch to reality animation. They both feel like those new HTC ad spots and to us, that's a very good thing.
HTC has also posted some "First Looks" on the HTC Desire & HTC Legend, showcasing the bulletpoint features such as the updated Sense UI, unibody design for the Legend, and anything else that makes these devices special. It's a good overview of the highlights but of course, you should probably take a look at our own hands-on with the Desire and Legend to get a better feel for the devices.
We were perched in the balcony this afternoon for Google CEO Eric Schmidt's keynote address at Mobile World Congress. For those of you following us on Twitter (good boys and girls), you already know what went down. For those who don't, hit us up after the break.
If you want the latest Android phone on the market, head to your nearest Best Buy to pre-order the Motorola Devour. Best Buy just kicked off pre-sales for the Devour today and the Devour will fully launch on February 25th (like expected). You're required to purchase a $50 Best Buy Gift Card (which can be used towards the Devour) to reserve your spot but since there hasn't been a firm price set yet, we're not sure exactly how much it'll end up costing you.
With Best Buy you don't have to deal with any mail-in-rebates, all discounts come in the form of an instant rebate. But even with Best Buy, the Devour sadly doesn't come with Megan Fox, so we guess Motoblur will have to do.
Verizon is doing their BOGO thing (buy one get one free) for the Droid & Droid Eris again. But unlike the previoustimes, you can actually score a Droid for free (and not just the Droid Eris). Pretty good deal if you ask us but with so manynew Android phones on the horizon, is it smart to buy now?
Spent some quality time today with the folks from HP, who gave us some face time with their new Android-based netbook, the Compaq Airlife 100. As you'll hear, it has an advertised 12-hour battery life and basically brings the complete Android experience to an instant-on form factor complete with the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 16GB solid-state drive.
It's full Android, so it's full touch on the 10-inch screen, and it has the usual access to the Android Market. It also has a launch bar at the bottom for frequently used apps, which was handy. Peep the video after the break.
Rejoice Canada. The Motorola Milestone is finally officially available on Telus! It's going to be interesting to see if the Milestone can take off in Canada without having the marketing push that Verizon had with the Droid. We're definitely hopeful because even with new Android devices around, the Milestone is an amazing device. It'll be available for $199 with new 3-year contract or $599 without contract.
Oh and we almost forgot, you can unlock the Telus Motorola Milestone for use with AT&T 3G.
Here's a quick look at Opera Mobile on Android. And it looks, well, like you'd expect Opera Mobile to on Android. It's nice and fast, thanks to the major compression going on, and it'll make a nice addition to Android's browser arsenal. Problem is, you can't get it. We've mentioned before that Opera Mobile's only available to manufacturers and carriers: Basically it has to be cooked into the ROM. And so it remains, which is too bad.
The good news is there's still Opera Mini, which can be found in the Android Market. But we'd love for the big brother to make it onto our phones some day.
The E110 (which we've seen) is a budget minded phone targeted for the lower end. It has a 2.8-inch touchscreen and 3.2-megapixel camera but disappointingly runs Android 1.5. The E110 also comes with a new Acer-built UI. It'll be available in March in black or dark blue options.
The E400 (pictured above) is easily more compelling. It packs a 3.2-inch screen with a 3.2-megapixel camera and is powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm Processor. Most importantly though, it runs Android 2.1. The E400 will be available in April.
Hit the jump for more pictures of the Acer E400 & E110 Android phones!
Skype and Verizon Wireless are embracing one another and taking a step into the future together. Skype and Verizon Wireless just announced that they'll be partnering up to deliver a full Skype experience for Android devices (and Blackberry) on Verizon Wireless. Here's what you'll be able to do with Skype on Verizon Wireless:
make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user around the globe on America’s most reliable wireless network
call international phone numbers at competitive Skype Out calling rates
send and receive instant messages to other Skype users
remain always connected with the ability to see friends’ online presence
The current plan is to launch in March on the Motorola Droid, Motorola Devour, & Droid Eris (among other Blackberry phones). Skype will come pre-installed on those devices, fully integrated. This is huge because it kind of, sort of enables users to use Skype in lieu of Verizon Wireless for phone calls, potentially saving users a ton of money. If Verizon just offered a data only plan for Android devices, it'd be even more amazing.
We're not sure how this Skype+Verizon Wireless deal works out for the rest of the industry because there are other Android devices on other networks. Will they receive the same application that Verizon Wireless Android devices would? Would the other carriers allow the same functionality? We'll see soon.
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