That blurry little slice of heaven you see here is the Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G Touch, Esq. (See what we did there?) And it apparently is in the hands of Android Central Forums member Atomicvoice, who managed to get one out of his local Sprint store today after they called and told him to come pick it up.
Nobody's saying which store this was. But if you can't possibly wait another 15 hours or so, it might be worth a phone call or two.
A lot of cool things can be found when you tear apart code and start digging around. This is the case when the Webtop code for the Motorola Droid Bionic got busted open, and some device code-names were discovered. Besides a few we already know -- the Olympus, Sunfire, and Targa are the Atrix, Photon, and Bionic, respectively -- we see "common," which we assume is a generic term used to cover all devices with Webtop enabled. And now we see "edison." A quick search of the Internet and the various sites in China that usually have information about this sort of thing turns up a blank, so we're pretty sure this is the first mention of a Motorola Edison to be found.
As for what the Edison may be, there are a couple logical choices -- the Atrix should be seeing a refresh (the MB865), and of course we can't forget what was leaked out as the Droid HD -- a Photon-esque shaped device that's thin and has some sort of SIM card slot on the side. And then again, it could just be a name that was tossed around and then scrapped; we've seen that a time or two as well. There's always something new and better on the horizon, but we can't help but get interested when we see it in black and white.
Google has launched a new developer portal where it can share news about events and updates, as well as offer examples and use cases for developers of all their products -- including Android. To get things started, Google just released the Google+ API and has shared a couple methods to retrieve public data from Google+. Initially, the API will only collect public data, which should alleviate any privacy concerns and give the folks in Mountain View some time to get a secure method worked out for data that isn't shared with the world.
You might be asking what all this API mumbo jumbo means for you and I. Think of it as code that developers can use in their programs, across various platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Android, even ChromeOS. They can plug this code into their programs and collect data and display it however they like. This means the third-party applications, like Twitter clients, will be able to hook into Google+ like they currently can with Twitter or Facebook. As we've seen so far with Google+ itself, this will take some time to get a viable solution worked out; one that addresses users privacy, yet makes things easy for web and mobile developers to use. We're looking forward to see how this all develops, and of course to see what enterprising developers can come up with. For more information, visit the links below.
O2 UK has let it be known that HTC's soon to be released Sensation XE, with Beats Audio support, will be launching on its network before the year's end. Writing on the carrier's official Twitter feed, an O2 rep said: "Liking the look & listen of the HTC Sensation XE - it's coming to O2 later this year!"
The Sensation XE is a re-vamped version of HTC's current flagship, with a faster 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and a larger battery, alongside the aforementioned Beats support. Yesterday Phones4U revealed that it'll have a short period of exclusivity on the Sensation XE in the UK, starting on October 1. O2, however, isn't offering any release dates or pricing details for the device just yet.
Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that it'll be releasing a software development kit for its PlayStation Suite starting this November, with the newly-created games becoming available from spring 2012. Using Microsoft's C# programming language, the PS Suite SDK will allow developers to create games for PlayStation-certified Android devices, as well as the upcoming PlayStation Vita console.
Sony adds that its looking to "further accelerate the expansion of PS certified devices" in the future. Right now the PlayStation Suite is only available on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, however Sony's new Tablet S and Tablet P are to launch with the service in the weeks ahead.
The full press release from Sony can be found after the jump.
Verizon has just announced that they have partnered with FuzeBox, and will be featuring Fuze Meeting as part of the BSA (Business Solutions Alliance) program. If you're unfamiliar with Fuze Meeting, it's an online collaboration tool that provides virtual meetings via computers, tablets, and smartphones. As Michael Toto, director, Enterprise and Government Partnerships at Verizon Wireless says:
As tablets and mobile devices continue to advance their capabilities and get adopted as de facto tools in the business environment, video collaboration is becoming mainstream for diagnostics, analysis, transactions and many other drivers that companies rely on. FuzeBox is delivering a perfect meeting place for the two technologies, offering high-quality, user-friendly solutions to a wide range of industries and customers, and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network ties them all together.
And he's right. With new high-speed cellular data networks come great ways to be even more productive on connected devices. With rising fuel and travel costs, many businesses have turned to online meetings instead of flying folks cross-country to work together. Here at Android Central, we conduct most of our internal business this way, and it's high time that mobile gets in on the action.
Be aware though, this isn't a tool for the average consumer. A quick look at the Fuze Meeting pricing page shows that this tech doesn't come cheaply. But it's still far more cost effective than the alternative, and should be a heavy hitter for Verizon's BSA. We have the full press release after the break, and you can learn more at the link below.
Boost Mobile's getting an update of an old Sprint favorite when the Samsung Transform Ultra lands on Oct. 7 on Boost's website. It'll run $229, plus tax.
Touchscreen (nobody's saying how big)
Full QWERTY Keypad
3MP rear camera with video
VGA front-facing camera
Wi-Fi®, GPS and Wireless Web enabled
Front-facing VGA camera
Easy access to Gmail™ and Google Talk™
Speakerphone with voice-activated dialing
Supports microSD® cards up to 32GB (2GB card included)
Voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling
Boost is also tweaking its data plans. Starting Oct. 6, it will add an additional $5 monthly charge for unlimited data and messaging services offered on Android-powered devices. Current Monthly Unlimited customers get to keep their plans until they upgrade their phone.
We were really impressed with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active when we had a first hands on with the device last week. All that was missing was a launch date less vague than "later this month." Now it seems that at least one British retailer has the device up for pre-sale.
Play.com are listing the Active at £239.99 ($390) SIM free and unlocked with a release date of September 30.
Remember too that for the money you get similar specs to the Xperia Arc, 2.3.4 out of the box, and a phone that you can drop in your beer on a Friday night at the bar and still use to call for a taxi home.
The Motorola Admiral's floated around in name only for a while now, but that ends today. This leaked screen shot points to it being part of Sprint's Direct Connect stable, with Android 2.3, a 3.1-inch display, QWERTY keyboard, a huge 1860 mAh battery that should last forever with that little screen, 5MP camera and a 1.2MHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor. If that's not the fastest little device in the West, we don't know what is. Toss in mil-spec ruggedness and this thing's likely to be a lethal weapon in itself.
We just got our hands of a copy of the latest Sprint Playbook, and while we were hoping for some more info about the LG Marquee and Kyocera Milano, what we found was a bit, well, different. It seems that in order to stay competitive with Verizon and AT&T (Sprint's words, not ours), some changes are going to be made to several of the perks everyone on Sprint takes for granted.
For starters, the Sprint Premier program is coming to an end. Current members will be hearing from Sprint sometime after Sept. 16 with all the details, but the short version is starting at the beginning of this month, enrollment in the program stopped, and you'll have to use your current (and final) Premier upgrade on or before Dec. 31, 2012. In addition, the other smaller but just as appreciated perks like accessory discounts and annual anniversary gifts end Dec. 31, 2011. Employees have been instructed how to let everyone down easy, but this will sting no matter how you slice it.
Next up, is a major change to Sprint's 30-day=satisfaction guarantee -- it's getting cut by 16 days. Like we've seen other carriers do, Sprint will now be switching to a 14-day return policy. They will still return everything but the restocking fee, you just have a couple weeks less to make up your mind.
Finally, starting Oct. 2, the "New For You" upgrade time is changing from 22 months, down to 20. Cutting the time down by two months is nice, but will hardly take the sting of losing the yearly Premier benefit away.
Nothing good can last forever folks, and as Sprint reminds us, they have to do something to stay competitive. In the end, it's a business and sometimes you have to rob from Peter to pay Paul. We have some relevant pages of the Playbook after the break.
Most important is the display: the Marquee's 4-inch NOVA display is a stunner, and LG seems to think it can compete with the likes of SAMOLED Plus. Well can it? You'll have to see it for yourself, but in a word: gorgeous. It's super bright, super sharp, and the colors look fantastic. It's noticeably smaller than its 4.3-inch (and now 4.5-inch) brethren, but we won't complain: it feels right.
Another thing to look out for is the "pocketability" of the Marquee. It's super thin and super light. Yeah, light is becoming the norm these days, but it's always refreshing when you can drop a smartphone in your pocket and not know it's there.
No, it doesn't have a dual or tri or quad core processor, but from an initial spin around the UI, everything seems pretty smooth. No stuttering, no stammering, and no hesitations. Sure, that could change once you put it through its paces, but until we do so, don't count the Marquee out.
Here's our first look at Sprint's latest entry-level Android smartphone -- you know it as the Kyocera Milano. It's available now for a mere $49 on contract, and for that you get a 3-inch display, Android 2.3, a 3.2MP camera and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It's got a fairly beefy 1490 mAh battery, with 512MB of RAM and ROM, all powered by Android 2.3
The QWERTY keyboard feels decent enough, albeit a tad small compared to the 4-inch monsters we've been using. But the smaller screen size allows for quicker operation, so while it might not be a dual-core device, it's probably going to be quick enough for anyone on their first Android phone.
We've got a few more pics and video after the break.
Pardon a little gushing folks, but as any long-time Android users know, Robo Defense is one of the real OG games for Android. And the folks at Lupis Labs haven't forgotten it, as it just got another great update with a new level, a new tower, and new achievements. There might be newer games on the Market that take advantage of things like Tegra instructions, or need a dual-core powerhouse to run well, but I wanted to take a second and remind everyone about an old favorite.
Robo Defense runs on any device with Donut or higher, and if you have bought the game you'll have an update waiting for ya in the Android Market. If you haven't tried it, the link to the free trial is after the break -- check it out and remember how we used to game on our phones. You'll probably still enjoy the hell out of it.
With many folks awaiting the inevitable release of Gingerbread for the Samsung Infuse 4G, AT&T decided to go ahead and mess with our emotions a little by releasing a 14.5MB maintenance update. Our inboxes became rather busy, that is -- until everyone who had installed the update realized it wasn't Gingerbread at all. The update, doesn't appear to of have had any major changes in it. In fact, most are wondering what exactly it did. Look on the bright side though, maybe it was a primer for better things to come.
There's some poetic justice in that the HTC Merge -- US Cellular's version, anyway -- is getting its Android 2.3 update when you consider that the phone nearly died on the Verizon vine. But Gingerbread it now has, at least for you folks on the beloved regional carrier.
You're getting Android 2.3.4 (build 3.05.573.1), and with it all the updates and improvements that some of the most high-profile phones of the past nine months or so don't even have. Well done, USCC!
Update: There have been some issues with the download link for the Merge update, and US Cellular says they are working closely with HTC to rectify the situation on their Facebook page. If you have experienced and issues, know that they are being worked on and USCC will let everyone know when things are back on track.
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