All Cellular South to the list of regional carriers that are getting the HTC Merge. The Southern carrier just announced that it'll be getting the 3.8-inch Android 2.2w phone with a killer sliding keyboard. Also, the Merge will come preloaded with the Amazon Appstore (presumably in conjunction with the Android Market).
The Merge will be available sometime in April. No price has been set yet. Full presser's after the break.
For our complete exclusive preview of the HTC Merge, please see the following stories:
Now that Amazon's unleashed its cloud-based music service (the short version: you upload your music and can play it from anywhere), you've got a choice to make: Which plan to choose? Here's the breakdown:
5GB - FREE!
20GB - $20/year
50GB - $50/year
100GB - $100/year
200GB - $200/year
500GB - $500/year
1000GB - $1000/year
But, wait, there's more. Amazon's currently bumping you up to the 20GB plan with the purchase of any album from its MP3 store. Buy a 69-cent album and get $20 worth of data storage for a year. Can't beat that.
So let's hear it, folks. Which plan are you looking at?
The first thing most people want to do after they root their phone is remove all that extra software the carriers have forced upon them. The HTC Thunderbolt comes with it's fair share of carrierware, bitbops and golf games -- getting rid of the Thunderbloat is a reason to root in itself. Again, we see Android Central forums admin and Podcast co-host Cory Streater jump in to make your lives easier. He's written a tutorial using Root Explorer that's easy enough for anyone to follow, and will soon have all those apps nobody loves gone for good.
This one came out of left field -- Sony Ericsson is going to offer their 2011 Xperia line with an unlockable bootloader via the fastbook command. They say only SIM unlocked versions of the Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, Xperia Pro, and Xperia Neo will be eligible, so carriers should be happy as well as developers and advanced users. The big question of how this will affect the CDMA Xperia Play on Verizon is unanswered, but I hope they have an equivalent solution. They also go over warranty concerns and possible additional costs for service at their blog, so be sure to read the source link to get those details.
This is a big turnaround from their policy with the Xperia X-10, which will remain locked due to legal reasons. It shows that Sony Ericsson is listening to their end users and allowing the owners of their oh-so-sexy hardware complete control of it. Let's all hope other manufacturers see the benefit in this and offer similar solutions. Now to decide between the Arc or the Neo as my next phone. [Sony Ericsson Developer Blog]
Many ROM developers were just waiting to pounce on this as soon as it went live and now, it has. Yes, HTC fought it but ultimately released the kernel source for the HTC Thunderbolt. If you're looking to build a custom ROM for the Thunderbolt then you're already late to the party. Hit up the HTC Developer center and grab the 87MB file now. Everyone else, sit tight -- and keep your eye out for some new ROMs coming your way soon. [HTC Developer Center]
It has been rumored for a while now that Google would launch a cloud-based music service; well, it appears Amazon got there first.
Amazon has just quietly launched one of its biggest products yet, called Amazon Cloud Player. It provides users with cloud storage of their music, which will then play on any computer or Android device.
To enable the service, go to Amazon.com/Clouddrive to get started. You'll have to enable it on your Amazon account and then update your Amazon Mp3 app, which will enable streaming of all music located on your new Amazon storage.
Amazon is currently providing users with 5GB of free storage with the ability to buy additional storage:
20GB - $20/year
50GB - $50/year
100GB - $100/year
200GB - $200/year
500GB - $500/year
1000GB - $1000/year
This is a big one folks. It's a developing story, so stay tuned for any more details. If you don't have the Amazon MP3 app, look for the link after the break.
Update: Digging through the FAQ on Amazon's site, we came across this interesting tidbit:
Do my Amazon MP3 Purchases count against my storage quota?
Any Amazon MP3 purchases that you elect to store on your Cloud Drive at the time of purchase do not count against your storage quota. You can see all the MP3 tracks that are not counted against your storage quota in the Your Amazon MP3 Purchases list.
Previous Amazon MP3 purchases that you manually upload to your Cloud Drive are counted against your storage quota.
More great news as long as you buy from the Amazon MP3 store, you won't be charged storage space.[Amazon]
MiKandi, Android's unoffical porn store and one of several alternatives to the Android Market, announced today that they have enabled in-app billing support for their app store. The new method is powered by "MiKandi Gold," their virtual currency system and developers will have the flexibility to charge between a penny and $50 for content.
MiKandi turned heads when launched, in part from a maniacal rant about porn on Android by none other than Steve Jobs. From humble beginnings to over 500,000 downloads per month and support from 1,300 developers, MiKandi has shown that many appreciate uncensored content on their Android phones. See MiKandi's full press release after the break.
With CTIA well over we've had some time to take a look through the forums and see what's happening. As always, the forums are busy with talk of new devices, new rumors and more. If you all see any topics of interest that you feel we should shedding some light on then by all means, feel free to let us know by using the "News tip" button in there. In the meantime, check out some of the threads below and hop in there if you have something to add.
No, what we really want to do with this post is embed some Boondocks. Because while the WWDC announcement might not point to new hardware (and, by the way, it never has), the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Apple will have new hardware soon enough, and Android needs to be ready for it.
tl;dr: Apple might or might not bring a new iPhone, hilarious Boondocks clip after the break.
If you're into watching little chubby fingers play mobile video games, this video is for you, folks. Mobile games publisher, Gameloft, has posted a new compilation trailer on their YouTube account. The montage includes ten HD games for the Xperia Play. Now, we're not quite sure if these titles we'll be the more "complex games" the Sony Ericsson exec was talking about, but all we know is that they will be availabe at launch. Not a bad line-up. Chubby fingers aside, it's still pretty cool to see shooters being played with the dual touch pads -- making shooters on the go that much better. [YouTube via Twitter]
We don't know much about what, exactly, it takes for Motorola to get Verizon to sign off on an official ROM update before it can be pushed out, but we're pretty sure this isn't it. Looks like someone's sharing a bit of Atrix code, because when you try to launch the Wifi hotspot on the leaked Droid X Gingebread ROM, you're prompted to sign up at att.com/mywireless. [via Droid-Life]
Looks like the earlier rumors about a GSM version of the HTC EVO 3D were right on the money after all. HTC France mentions in its official Twitter feed that the EVO 3D will be coming to France at some point in the future. Though not specifically confirmed, this likely means the EVO 3D will also see a wider European release.
Here's a translation of the tweet in question. Hit the source link for the original French.
"You want a HTC EVO 3D for France? So do we! It'll keep the same name, too. Release date has yet to be confirmed."
Let's face it, these days not everyone has the time -- or desire to sit down in front of the TV and catch up on all the latest news. National Public Radio, or NPR if you prefer, has recently updated the Android version of its services, which allows you to listen and read news more, catered to your interests on the go. Some great changes took place within the app to make it easier than ever to take in the information you prefer most. They've updated the UI, added a new audio player and improved the whole user experience and now you can:
Read, listen, or create a playlist of your favorite NPR stories and share with friends.
Hear live streams from hundreds of NPR stations: search by location (GPS) or zip code / call letters
Listen to programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air, and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me More
The updated version is available now in the Android Market. If you frequent listening to NPR or have tried the app in the past and weren't impressed -- try the new improved version. Download can be found after the break for you all.
From the better-late-than-never department, Sprint has issued a press release officially opposing the planned AT&T purchase of T-Mobile. There have been rumors of a Sprint/T-mobile merger for more than a year, which either weren't true or just didn't pan out, but Sprint believes a T-Mobile/AT&T merger "would entrench AT&T’s and Verizon’s duopoly control over the wireless market."
I'm a T-Mobile subscriber, but at this point I don't care who I make the check out to, as this is likely the only way I'll ever see LTE where I live. Let's just hope it doesn't end up costing me an arm and a leg. Hit the break for the full press release.
You may not be familiar with the name James Gosling, but you're a fan of his work. In 1994, he practically invented Java -- the programming language, the compiler, and the virtual machine to run it all -- while working at Sun Microsystems. This not only got him elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, it helped him become an officer of the Order of Canada. If you are using a computer on the Internet, or an Android phone, you're using his work now. We can sum it all up by saying the dude is a genius of the highest caliber.
And now he's coming to work for Google. Mr. Gosling did not stay on when Oracle bought out Sun, and by all accounts didn't agree with Oracle's methods. He also gives a unique insight about the Oracle/Google patent dispute:
"During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle."
We can't be sure Mr. Gosling will be working with Android development, he isn't even sure yet what his daily routine will be at Mt. View, but whatever he touches will likely get better. [cnet news]