Honeycomb. Need we really say any more about this week? To say it was news filled would not do it justice, there was device leaks, Tablet updates, and plenty more that was all crammed into just a couple of days. If you think you have missed any of it, which you probably did, let's take a look below at what that may have been.
Not too much new here, but Sprint's giving its employees a few more instructions regarding the upcoming $10 increase to all smartphone plans. The main thing to take out of this is that if you're currently under contract, the tax "premium data add-on" won't go into effect just yet. But you will be subject to it if you:
Swap to another smartphone
Upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone
Add a new line with a smartphone
Reactivate a smartphone
Sprint considers Android, Palm, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile to be smartphones, of course, along with its Samsung Instinct line.
Nobody likes seeing rate increases, of course. But if that's what Sprint has to do to keep the lights on, then so be it. But we'd rather Sprint swallow the pill and price its "Simply Everything" plan at $110, and not continue to artificially advertise it at $99 instead, with the "Premium data add-on" hiding the real cost. Thanks, Lovo!
While nobody is quite sure why (none of us, anyway), the Honeycomb SDK preview seems to have gone AWOL for most everyone looking for it. We started to get tips and questions Saturday evening, then some chatter showed up about it in the Android-Developers Google group, and our friends over at Android Community noticed the same thing. At first, you could uninstall the whole SDK and reinstall it all at once as a work-around, but now even that doesn't seem to be working. Guess about what's happening all seem to center around Google's event on Feb 2, which should answer a lot of our questions about Honeycomb. Phil will be there, and all of us will be watching and we'll keep you updated as it happens. [Android-Developers; Android Community]
This one just keeps getting better and better. First, photos were posted of Android 3.0 Honeycomb booting on the Nook Color, then the developer posted a video of Honeycomb booting, and now a new video has surfaced that shows Honeycomb in much more action on his, erm, "e-reader."
Since the first video, dev deeper-blue now has graphics acceleration "more or less working." While still an early build with laggy touchscreen response, he obviously has gotten a lot working in the mere four days since the SDK preview was released! [xda-developers]
We've seen a number of rumored launch dates come and go for the HTC ThunderBolt -- the upcoming LTE Android smartphone on Verizon. But rumor after rumor has offered little in the way of proof. But we now have some evidence that appears to connect a few dots -- dots that we've been discussing in the Android Central Forums for a day or so now. Check this out:
We were sent the screen shot you see above earlier this week. Note that it's a Verizon device, with an in-stock date of Feb. 14 (1). Now note that the model is listed as BBY60LD (2). Best Buy does that so we can't (easily) know what device is listed ahead of time. That doesn't tell us much, now does it? But don't worry about it. It's a red herring.
Now look at the number we've circled at the top left (3) -- 044476816574 -- With us so far?
Later Friday, a video hands-on of the Thunderbolt appeared on YouTube, purportedly made by someone at HTC. The video has since been removed, but not before Android Central Forums member paulmike3 noticed that number -- 44476816574 -- on the proof of purchase attached to the box from which the ThunderBolt was pulled. It's grainy. It's blurry. But it's definitely there. And it's more than a coincidence.
So you've got the number on the Best Buy leak. And you've got it on the ThunderBolt box proof of purchase. We've connected some major dots here, and it indeed looks as if Best Buy plans to have the HTC ThunderBolt in stock on Feb. 14. Happy Valentine's Day.
At times it almost feels as though there should be a reward for finding just the perfect application in the market. With more than 100,000 apps, and more being added every day, it can be a bit of a challenge. But that's where we come in. Let's take a look at what some of us run as our favorite applications for this week, and just maybe you will find some of them useful!
Have you been looking for the sweet weather widget from the LG Optimus 2X? I know a lot of you have, and thanks to XDA member Sony_Ericsson_X10 we now have it -- almost. He found that the weather-only portion of the Today Briefing widget inside the Optimus 2X system dump looked exactly like the widget we all want, and it works without any elfin magic. To take it a step further, the widget has already been edited to remove the black background if that's how you like it, so be sure to try them both. That's the edited version you see above.
Installing needs no magic either -- just download it and install, or use the Sideload Wonder Machine. There is one caveat, however. The widget will take one full screen unless you use a home replacement that allows for widget resizing. We recommend Launcher Pro or ADW Launcher pretty equally, and both will resize it just fine. Hit the source link for the downloads. [XDA-Developers via @macprv]
What a week. Android news has been hopping and as we head on into the weekend make sure you folks check out whatever it is that you may have missed out on. We've got some contests happening that will need to be closed down soon plus, hit up the Android Central podcast if you've not had a chance to do so as of yet. Make sure you jump on into the forums as well at some point this weekend. Lots of discussion happening and as always, more is welcome.
Not content with merely releasing the Android 3.0 SDK, Google's invited a smattering of press to its Mountain View campus on Feb. 2 for a closer look at Honeycomb. Didn't get your invite? That's OK, because the entire shindig's going to be streamed at YouTube.com/android.
The event starts at 1 p.m. EST, 10 a.m. PST, and is expected to last about an hour and a half.
It should be interesting to see just how much more Google shows us of Honeycomb; they've slowly been lifting the veil since CES earlier this month. Will we see more for tablets? Honeycomb for phones? We'll find out Wednesday. [via Engadget]
The turn-around time between source releases and dev community releases seems to be shrinking more and more these days. Just two days after Google released the Honeycomb SDK Preview, dev deeper-blue now has a (very early) port of it running on his Nook Color.
Originally describing it as a "zombie" without any touchscreen or hardware acceleration, he later reported that he has the touchscreen working and hopes to work on acceleration over the weekend.
While this won't be able to escalate into full-blown Honeycomb on the Nook until after Google releases the full source (presumably sometime after the release of the Motorola Xoom), this could be quite a treat for those itching for the buzz of Android 3.0. [xda-developers]
Angry Birds Rio, a combination of what's surely the most popular mobile game of all time with an upcoming Hollywood animated feature, is said to be hitting "app stores everywhere" in March 2011, just in time to play on your Motorola Xoom. Based on the game trailer (you can see it after the break) it looks like our feathered friends have made their way to Brazil, and have some sort of wildlife exploiting Cockatoo to battle it out with this go 'round. Not much to go on, other than 20th Century Fox backing the project and tie-ins with their new animated feature Rio due in April 2011. We'll know more in six weeks or so.
In the meantime, watch the trailer and speculate like the rest of us! [@RovioMobile]
Videocam Illusion for Android is a camera effects application that works with the video camera on your Android phone. We've seen similar apps that manipulate still pictures, and while they're really fun and useful, Videocam Illusion takes it to the next level by adding effects on-the-fly to live video you shoot from your phone. You can shoot up to 480p (720x480) video through the app, and the free version has four filters, four effects, and two masks to choose from. You can also shoot video at 1.33x speed.
The paid version has 18 filters, 13 effects, six masks, and your choice of five different recording speeds. They both work really well, saving the video to your SD card in .mov format for easy playback on your computer. And since stock Android doesn't playback .mov files, the Videocam Illusion app includes a player to preview -- and show off -- your masterpiece. There's a video demo, some screenshots, as well as the download link for the free version after the break.
Have an AT&T Dell Streak and haven't hacked the hell out of it yet waiting for Froyo to finally arrive? Looks like we might have some good news for you, via the latest Best Buy Employee News.
You've been asking and now there's an answer! The Dell Streak will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 2.2 on Tuesday, Feb. 1. This information should help generate excitement with customers who have been asking for the update. You've been asking and now there's an answer! The Dell Streak will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 2.2 on Tuesday, Feb. 1. This information should help generate excitement with customers who have been asking for the update.
You know how it goes with OS updates -- we'll believe it when we see it. But the poor not-so-little 5-inch tablet may finally see Froyo in the U.S. next week -- and none too soon, with the Dell Streak 7 on the way. Thanks, Mr. Snuffleupagus!
Only three days left to enter to win a Motorola Xoom!
The Motorola Xoom is looking to be the Android tablet to beat so far -- check out of first look at CES. And if the rumors are correct, it could well be launched in the next few weeks on Verizon.
And that means it's time to give one away. We're teaming up with Wyse Technology, developer of the Pocket Cloud app, to deliver one unactivated -- and free -- Motorola Xoom tablet, running the Honeycomb version of Android. Hit the break for the full details and instructions on how to enter.
When speaking of the Motorola Atrix 4G we kind of have to point out that while the device was shown off at CES it was not fully completed. Changes to the device before and post-launch are to be expected just like any other and Motorola has one rather significant change coming for the Atrix 4G.
As it is today and right into presumably shortly after launch, the Atrix 4G does not have 1080p video recording ability. That's not because it can't do it, it is powered by the dual-core Tegra 2 so it can when Motorola enables it to do so. According to the Motorola website, you won't have to wait all that long to have the ability enabled. Sucks that it won't be there at launch but its still great to know it will be there eventually. [Motorola via Engadget]