C Spire Wireless, the former Ceullar South that you're seeing in a smattering of TV commericials now, just announced availabilty of the Motorola Milestone X2. That's the same as the Motorola Droid X2 on Verizon that we reviewed back in the summer. Same 4.3-inch display, same 1GHz dual-core processor, same 8MP camera, no Droid branding. It's running Android 2.3 and has Swype on baord. C Spire's offering it up for $99 (after $50 rebate) on two-year contract.
We've seen leak after leak of the Sony Ericsson Nozomi (aka Xperia Arc HD) over the past couple of months, but now it seems we may have some early details of the device's American cousin, the as yet nameless LT28at. A Bluetooth SIG listing for the phone, spotted by XperiaBlog, suggests that it'll sport an impressive list of specifications. Apparently the LT28at will ship with a 4.55-inch 720p Sony Reality Display, a stonking 13 MP back-illuminated camera and LTE support, presumably on AT&T.
The Bluetooth listing doesn't mention AT&T by name, but Sony Ericsson has historically added the "at" suffix to its AT&T devices, so we think it's safe to assume this one will be headed to AT&T's LTE network rather than Verizon's. Equally, no CPU is listed, but given the way SE likes to streamline things across its product line, our money would be on the LT28at using a 1.5GHz dual-core chip, like the Nozomi.
However, the most unique thing about this phone is its purported camera setup -- 13MP is just insane for a smartphone camera. Sure, megapixels aren't everything, but SE has a great track record with its Exmor R sensors on devices like the Arc and the Ray. XperiaBlog managed to dig up a few example shots from the LT28at on Picasa (check the source link), and even after compression the pictures are pretty impressive.
Here's hoping we'll get to see more of the LT28at in the flesh at CES in just a few weeks time.
The largest newspaper publisher in the United States has decided on the mobile tech its reporters will carry -- and it's not good for Android. Gannett newspaper division president Bob Dickey, in an internal memo published by the independent Gannett Blog, announced that the company had purchased thousands of iPad 2s and iPhone 4Ss, which will reach newsrooms in January.
What's that have to do with Android, you ask? When I left the employ (yes, voluntarily) of Gannett a little more than two years ago -- well, let's just say the sites I write for now were better equipped to cover news on the run back then than a honest-to-goodness "real" newsroom. In late 2010 or early 2011 (can't remember which), my former editor decided to get everyone who wanted one a Motorola Droid X. That was done at the local level though, on a pretty small scale. The purchase of thousands of iPads and iPhones on a national scale is a pretty big deal, and pretty disappointing to this newsroom survivor who makes his living off Android now.
Update coming that will make signal appear to be better
It's not every day that smartphone users want to be lied to. But in the case of signal strength, we'll apparently make an exception. Verizon has told Computer World that in the case of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the LTE signal is being received and reported accurately. Too accurately, actually. So accurately, in fact, that if you appear to have a worse signal and more 3G/4G bouncing with the Galaxy Nexus, it's probably because your other LTE phones weren't as accuate as the Galaxy Nexus.
So, as Verizon told Computer World, it will make the Galaxy Nexus report signal strength a little less accurately as to ease our minds and be more in line with its other LTE devices. And so long as the phone at least appears to have a better connection, we're apparently OK with it.
This isn't an unprecedented move -- Apple did pretty much the same thing with the iPhone 4. While we're not disputing that things have appeared to be a bit off -- our own Verizon review unit definitely has appeared to be more wonky than our other 4G devices -- there's probably a little bit of the internet microscope at work here, too. Verizon (and every other carrier) is always working on improving connection, even after a phone is released. It's why we see new radios in updates all the time.
Anybody want to put money on what the next bug of the week is going to be?
A final notice everyone -- if you have some projects sitting around in App Inventor, and would like to keep them, either for some crazy time-capsule experiment or in the hopes of migrating them to MIT's App Inventor project, you've only got a handful of days left. Come December 31, Google will be taking the whole kit and caboodle offline, and projects that haven't been downloaded are lost forever.
Getting them is easy, just log into appinventorbeta.com and hit the "Download All Projects" button as shown above. Keep them safe, and when MIT gets things back up and running in 2012, you're ready to go. For more information about MIT's implementation, have a look at their Learning Center.
Are you an HTC Sensation owner looking to get a taste of some Ice Cream Sandwich? RCTeam over at XDA Developers released a Sense based ICS ROM, giving us a glimpse of what we can expect from Sense ICS builds. Featuring some UI changes, it appears as though the Sense dock some of us have grown to love is no longer there, it has been replaced with a more standard looking dock. The lockscreen now features the ability to launch into folders instead of just single applications, as well as face unlock and more.
Looking for something new to play around with on your Sensation? Be sure to hit the source link and let us know how it works out for you!
Toward the end of March or early April, the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray will be the first to get Ice Cream Sandwich. The Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will start getting updates in late April/early May.
That's still some months away, of course, but kudos to Sony Ericsson for being so transparent about the process.
Chinese smartphone and tablet manufacturer just hit us up to tease some new kit in 2012, promising we'll see "our smartest, fastest and most high-performing smartphone yet, taking a leap into the future of mobile communications." The announcement will come on the eve of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Huawei has yet to really break into the U.S. market, though it does manufacture the uninspiring T-Mobile Springboard tablet. And while MWC isn't a U.S.-centric show, it is a high-profile show. And with Android Central in attendance yet again, you can bet we'll have plenty of American eyes pointed that way.
Microsoft has won a partial victory in their dispute with Motorola over patents, but it's far from the outcome they would have liked. The International Trade Commission has ruled that some Motorola products infringe on one of Microsoft’s patents. The same judge found no infringement of the six other Microsoft patents. This is just like the outcome of the Apple v. HTC mess that was decided just yesterday, and while on the surface it looks bad for Moto, in reality it invalidates 6 of Microsoft's patent claims. Claims that others, such as Samsung, are currently licensing for their products to avoid. This initial ruling is still subject to the final determination by the ITC, expected to happen before April 20, 2012.
In their press release, which you'll find after the break, Motorola makes it clear that they still plan to pursue their claims against Microsoft:
Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility’s substantial patent portfolio and Motorola Mobility has active patent infringement litigation and proceedings against Microsoft in a number of jurisdictions, including the ITC. Motorola Mobility remains confident in its position and will continue to move forward with its complaints.
Like all the other legal battles, in the end it's just a matter of money changing hands. Starting with more from your hand as devices get more expensive.
By now you've heard a lot of scuttlebutt about the Ice Cream Sandwich battery bug, and how it's affected the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus. Or not. Either way, we've heard it, too. Since we happen to have several of each phones possibly affected, I decided to do a little independent research of my own. Tested were:
1 Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile) with the official 4.0.3 update
1 Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile) with Android 4.0.3_r1 built from source
If you're rocking and rolling one of these phones, devs now have some source to build new kick-ass goodies. Be on the lookout for them, and show them some love when it happens -- this sort of thing can be pretty rough on the nerves to do! If you're one of those developers and itching to get at it, hit the link to HTC-Dev and grab what you need.
We love updates. That is, we love updates when we know what they are and what they do. Such is not the case with the Motorola Droid Bionic, which is in the midst of getting an update to system version 5.9.901. Verizon's yet to post a changelog, and the OS version is still Android 2.3.4. Though AC reader Jim does note that there appears to be a new "Emergency Alerts" app, which might or might not be a part of that emergency alert system Verizon accidentally cookied off early a few weeks ago.
We've hit up Big Red in hopes of unraveling this one, and we've got more pics after the break. In the meantime, hit the forum link below to see what everyone else is seeing.
The idea of tougher, water-resistant electronics is nothing new, but this year we’ve seen rugged smartphones becoming increasingly more mainstream. Motorola has had a go at this type of product with its DEFY line, while Casio gave us the ridiculous G’zOne Commando, a phone you could probably drive a tank over. The Xperia Active sees Sony Ericsson enter this arena with a water-resistant, aluminum-framed device, aiming to strike a balance between ruggedness, aesthetics and pocketability.
We’ve been getting to grips with the Xperia Active over the past couple of weeks, so read on to find out what we thought ...
A well-built and good-looking device with speedy internals and a bright, clear screen. Water resistance works as advertised. Lots of bundled accessories.
Will be too small and too bulky for many. Paltry internal storage and tiny SD card.
It's not the phone for everyone, but the Xperia Active is well-suited to the particular niche it's aiming for. It's a thoughtfully-designed smartphone that will appeal to anyone after something a little tougher, or smaller, than what's offered by mainstream devices.
That's an international list, of course. For those of us in the United States, we'll probably be waiting on announcements from the individual carriers. Par for the course, but no less frustrating. Samsung says the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will be the first to be updated, starting in the first three months of 2012.
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