Drooooiiiiidddddd... It's a sound plenty of us know and love, and we realize that along with it comes some serious bloatware from the folks at Verizon and Motorola. The Droid 3 is no exception. Of course, that's when the Android Central forums shine -- we'll help you twist and wrangle all the "value added" applications right off your D3, and get it set up to your liking. Cory, our fearless forums leader and world-famous midnight tinkerer, has worked up quite the masterpiece for doing just that for your D3. It has all the directions spelled out for easy understanding, and full lists of what you can and can't get rid of -- as well as an explanation of what each one of them are. Top it off with a complete walkthrough using Root Explorer (no need for a wire or a computer) and it's a thing of beauty. Make sure your D3 is charged up, and hit the forums to take care of business.
Finally the Motorola Droid Bionic is available, and knowing you, Mr. Excited, you were first in line to grab one at the local Verizon store, huh? Well, you may have been in shock when you noticed how much LTE can affect your battery, or you are a conservative type with the battery and would rather turn it off when not in use, and luckily doing so can be quite simple. A few quick clicks and your LTE can be turned on and off, let's check out how.
Scroll to wireless and networks
Select mobile network
Click on network mode and select CDMA Only
Want LTE back, do the same and select CDMA/LTE instead of CDMA only and you are all set.
For many of us, half the fun of getting a new Android phone is digging in and trying to break it make it our own. The Droid Bionic is no exception of course, and folks are having a blast getting methods all sorted to root and customize the Bionic, unlocking it's full potential. I love it when new phones come out, this is the kind of stuff an Android geek lives for.
But the other side of the coin is that we often need a way to get things back to normal, whether it be because we changed our minds or might need a little hardware warranty work done. We're not going to get into the moral argument of what your responsibilities are once you decide to root (we have forums for that), I just wanted to let you guys know that the latest version of Pete's Motorola Root Tools allow you to fully unroot your Droid Bionic -- as in no leftover bits left behind. I asked the man himself, and sure enough, his tool gets in the system and removes all binaries, returning your phone to a fully unrooted state.
This is important. Some previous methods to unroot phones left the su binary behind and only removed the visual traces of being rooted -- leaving your phone a bit unsecure. Pete has you covered here, though. The same tool you use to root your Bionic will unroot it, and do it the right way. Remember, it won't restore bloatware that you've removed or restore settings you may have changed, you'll have to sort all that out beforehand. Until we can dig up a factory .sbf file for the Bionic, this is the best solution. Just use it wisely, and be sure to thank Pete if it saves your bacon. Grab the latest version of the tool and read the particulars at the source link.
Vodafone UK has updated its "coming soon" page with details of the Samsung Galaxy Y, a new budget device that was unveiled as part of Sammy's shake-up of its Android device line-up a few weeks ago. The Galaxy Y seems to be an updated version of the Galaxy Mini, which we reviewed earlier in the year. Packed into its tiny 3-inch chassis is an 823MHz CPU, which runs Android 2.3 and TouchWiz 4.0. Unfortunately the Galaxy Y's screen hasn't received much of an upgrade from the Galaxy Mini -- according to the official spec list, it still runs at an eye-punishing QVGA (240x320) resolution
No word on pricing or availability yet, but you can probably expect this one to be free on most contracts, and reasonably cheap on its own.
If you've picked up a Motorola Droid 3, and love to tinker with things, listen up -- files have surfaced that will allow you to restore your D3 to a "factory-like" state and, more important, recover a unit that won't boot up. We have to be clear here -- this is not a standard stock .sbf file. If you use these files, you will no longer be on Motorola's upgrade path. This is for emergency use (or for hackers to fiddle with) only.
Now don't get scared off. While nobody is 100 percent sure, it looks like this is a copy of the software that Droid 3 soak testers were using, and it was pulled back for some reason or another by Verizon and Motorola. They aren't some files cooked in a random hackers basement, they are signed by Verizon with production keys. The only known drawback to using them is that you'll not be likely to get a future OTA update because you're running the wrong version -- which beats the heck out of a bricked phone you can't use.
Like all things Motorola, they might not be valid links forever. If you love your Droid 3 enough to dig inside and try to break it, go grab them and squirrel them away for a rainy day. Visit the source link and read all the details, and if the day comes when you need them, you're covered.
Sometimes the FCC gives you juicy nuggets, and other times it just confirms what you already know. This is the latter, with the HTC PH98100 -- otherwise known as the HTC Vigor, which is headed to Verizon in all likelihood -- getting its testing on for the feds. Not much else to glean here, other than an LTE radio is confirmed, but have at it.
Can't have a high-profile launch without a high-profile teardown, and the folks at iFixit have done their thing with the Motorola Droid Bionic. There's really nothing of any great surprise in here, though it's certainly confirmed that there's 16GB of internal storage (it's a SanDisk SDIN4C2-16G chip, if you must know), even if you can't access it all.
We're already getting angry e-mails over this one. Just about every spec sheet everywhere on the Motorola Droid Bionic states that it has 16GB of on-board storage in addition to a 16GB microSD card. And that's true. But you don't get to play with it all.
Because of the way things are partitioned, and because the operating system takes up some of that internal storage, you won't actually see 16GB of internal storage if you look at the phone's settings. Instead, you have about 3.5GB of "application storage," which is where apps install by default. Then you have 8GB of "Internal storage," on which you can save photos, movies, music, etc. Apps also can store data here as well, so you'll likely see it decrease over time. Then you have the 16GB microSD card that comes pre-installed. (It can be increased to a 32GB card.)
So, realistically, you have 27.5GB of user-accessible storage memory, and not 32GB as you might think looking at the spec sheets.
Droid Bionic, new Sony Ericsson gear and most importantly -- Football! All sorts of news hit the blogs today so if you missed out on any be sure to check it all out. If you were here for all the action and want to discuss it some more, head on into the Android Central forums and be heard!
We've been squinting our eyes at this one for a little while now. Seen in a video montage from the Radio Shack Business Summit in Dallas a couple weeks ago is what's labeled the LG Marquee. ... And that's about it. It's seen here with the stock Android UI. ... And that's about it.
Only, we keep being drawn to the buttons you see on the left-hand bezel. They're actually vaguely familiar, possibly indicating the volume rocker and "G" of the LG Optimus Black. (Read our full review.) The general shape and bezel size looks about right, too.
That's inspired guesswork on our part, however, and not yet fact. (We've left e-mails with Sprint, seeking clarification.) But it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Remember that we could possibly see a CDMA Optimus Black this month on US Cellular, and there once was a wee tip of an "Optimus B," so a Sprint version may be in the cards, too. We'll just have to see.
Update: Sprint's gotten back to us, saying, "We can’t comment on any speculation regarding devices coming to Sprint."
Check out the video after the break, as well as a close-up of the Optimus Black's buttons, and see what you think.
Just picked up your Motorola Droid Bionic, eh? After you've got it charged and ready to roll, for many the next step will be to root it and strip out the loads of carrier bloat Verizon so kindly supplies. That will be a simple affair thanks to Pete Souza and his one-click Motorola Root Tools. The Bionic and any other Motorola phone running the 2.3.4 version of Gingerbread (like the Droid 3 and the Droid X2) can be rooted with a minimum of fuss, needing only a correctly set-up USB driver and the cable that came with your phone. Pete has things set up with easy to follow instructions for Windows, Mac, and Linux so you'll be rock and rolling in no time.
Now for the big fat warnings -- currently, there is no way to roll back the Bionic to the factory state. Once done, consider this permanent until further notice. Also, word is that Motorola is well aware and will be patching this method shortly, so mind those OTA updates if you're considering the root road. Any HTC EVO 4G user can tell you tales of woe and waiting once an update was accepted. If you're clear on all this, and ready to go forward, hit the source link and have a go.
Big G has updated Google Maps to version 5.10.0, and with the update comes two features that users might just love -- the ability to see places you've rated 4 or 5 stars right on your map view, and the ability to attach a photo to a place review.
Some of us just use maps for the awesome turn-by-turn navigation, or to find that little seafood place your brother-in-law told you about with the great clam chowder, but places and check-ins are another great feature we rarely mention. With today's update, they get pushed a little closer to the front of the action, with places you like showing up right on your map so you don't forget about them. Could be awful handy for the business traveler, deadhead, or anyone who often finds themselves jaunting across the country in a different bed each night. And to help others know about those great places you visit, you can attach a photo to your review.
OK, so it's not the biggest update in the world, but it does offer a nice bump for the folks who use the places features, and is a good way to get more of us to use them. It will be interesting just how Google works places and reviews from Maps into things now that they've bought out Zagat. Grab the update from the Android Market, or we've got a handy link after the break.
If you're planning on heading to Austin for the Big Android BBQ this year (we'll be there!) this one's for you -- we're giving away two nights at the Staybridge Suites hotel for a comfy place to crash after spending the day with a bunch of Android fans. Check the details:
You're entering to win one room for two nights
The nights can be Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday Oct.1, or Saturday Oct.1 and Sunday Oct. 2
You're responsible for your own tickets to the event, and transportation
Having fun is mandatory
You'll want to be sure to check out all the details about the BBQ, and you can do that right here. It looks to be a load of fun with a bunch of like-minded people, with good food and plenty of Android talk and tips. You don't want to miss it. To enter, hit the forums and drop a line in the contest thread. We'll see ya there!
We're knee-deep into our Motorola Droid Bionic review (update: Read our comprehensive Droid Bionic Review!) but wanted to take a quick second to talk about the battery. Specifically, let's talk about the Droid Bionic's extended battery.
We're all in the midst of testing this dual-core LTE phone, hopefully will see better battery life than some of its predecessors. But an extended battery is definitely still an option, and this one bumps you up to 2760 mAh, from the stock 1735 mAh.
And the DB's extended battery doesn't add as much heft or girth to the phone as we'd feared. It does require an bigger batter cover, but it's nicely designed and while it makes the phone thicker, it does so in a pretty stylish manner and still feels pretty good in the hand. The larger battery door is nicely contoured and doesn't have nearly the same sharp lines as the extended battery door on the HTC ThunderBolt.
We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break if you're still on the fence. Check it out.
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