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2 years ago

Droid Incredible 2 gets an update for bugfixes

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Verizon's HTC Droid Incredible 2 is getting an over-the-air update today that brings the following improvements:

Security features:

  • Includes Google BT/DigiNoTar security patch
  • Includes Google security page for upgrading ibping to 1.2.46
  • Includes Wifi password security patch

Device features:

  • Support local video playback when in Airplane Mode
  • 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) support
  • Improvements to clock and alarm features
  • The "Disable while roaming" section will work accurately when roaming in Canada
  • Update Sync & Connect configuration to enable Push e-mail sync during off-peak hours

Hit Menu>Settings>About Phone to check for the update now.

Source: Verizon (pdf); More: Droid Incredible 2 forums
thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

More 'Xperia Arc HD' photos leak, along with rumored specs

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Another week, another 'Xperia Arc HD' leak. The latest batch of pictures showing the device codenamed "Nozomi" come from GSMArena, and are of considerably higher quality than what we've seen so far, showing the phone from quite a few different angles. The photos confirm the presence of a dedicated camera button and HDMI connector (just like the original Arc), along with a curious capacitive button setup. It seems that the phone's button labels sit below the screen in an illuminated cut-out area, while the capacitive area just above it consists of three glowing dots.

The original source also reports a familiar list of rumored specs -- a 4.3-inch, 720p screen powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip, with 1GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, and no SD card slot. Camera-wise, GSMArena reports a 12-megapixel rear sensor, and we can see what looks like a front-facing camera above the screen, too. The phone's also said to be running Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread rather than the shiny new Ice Cream Sandwich, but that shouldn't surprise anyone given that the ICS source has been available for less than a month.

Hit the source link for the full compliment of photos from various angles. Hopefully we'll get to see more of the Arc HD (or whatever it's called) at CES or Mobile World Congress in the months ahead.

Source: GSMArena

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2 years ago

Samsung Stratosphere Review

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We live in a world of large displays and touchscreen keyboards. As phones continue to evolve, it seems as though physical keyboards and smaller screens are fading out. Not everyone is enthralled by this notion, however. There are many who still prefer to text or write an email with physical keys. Why should those users be left out of cutting edge technology such as 4G LTE? Enter the Samsung Stratosphere. It boasts a beautiful 4-inch screen, a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard and runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE service. On top of all that, it is a cheap alternative at $99 when compared to the rest of Verizon’s 4G LTE lineup, which run from $199 - $299 with a 2-year contract. It is a beautiful device that runs very smoothly and should be a consideration for many this holiday season. So let's dive in to see how the Stratosphere stacks up.


Overall, the phone is smooth. It gives QWERTY keyboard lovers the chance to have a great experience on Verizon’s blazing fast 4G LTE. Camera shutter lag is very quick. Battery life is surprisingly solid on LTE. Price at $99 is significantly cheaper than alternative LTE devices. 


Due to the sliding QWERTY, it’s a bit heavier than what we’re used to from the Galaxy S line. Camera quality, both for photos and videos, leaves something to be desired. 


The Stratosphere performs like a high-end device while costing like a mid-range one. It’s being overshadowed by Verizon’s flagship devices, but I suspect for many it will be more than adequate, and for some, perfect, for what they’re looking for. It’s great for someone looking for either a physical keyboard or an LTE device that doesn’t cost at least $200. At 4-inches, which is considered by many to be an ideal screen size, Super-AMOLED looks beautiful. Of course, since it does only cost $99, something has to be sacrificed. The cameras leave a lot to be desired. 

Inside this

More info

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2 years ago

NTSB recommends that states ban all driver cell phone use

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The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states ban the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices by drivers of vehicles, except for in an emergency. That doesn't mean you have to immediately stop using your Android smartphone for navigation or music playback -- there's still some legislating that needs to be done for that to happen. But a recommendation from the NTSB certainly holds some water.

Here's the crux of the recommendation:

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

The recommendation stems from a crash in Missouri in 2010 that involved a pickup truck, two school busses and a teenage driver who apparently had sent 11 text messages in as many minutes before the crash, which killed two and injured 38. 

It's tough to say that phones don't distract drivers -- they most certainly can. But is a blanket ban too much? And would it even be effective?

Source: NTSB; via Associated Press

Would you support a blanket ban on smartphone use in cars?

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Huawei Honor

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We have seen some manufacturers talk about what goes into bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to their devices, but Huawei has skipped the talking part and gone right for the releasing part. Subtly on their site they released a demo ROM for the Huawei Honor. Of course we had to take it for a spin and see how it all played out, so check out the video above to see some of our thoughts!

Release-ready? Probably not, as it could use a little more polish and needs access to Google Apps, but it sure is nice to see the support for ICS so early on such a powerful device.

More: Huawei

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2 years ago

Carrier IQ gives a lengthy look into how it works

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Carrier IQ, the company that everyone -- for right or wrong -- has come to hate of late has released a document explaining in plain English how it does what it does. "Understanding Carrier IQ Technology -- What Carrier IQ Does and Does Not Do" was released on Carrier IQ's website late Dec. 12 and is a PDF that details what Carrier IQ is, how it's loaded on devices (and what kinds of devices it can be used on), what information is collected, how it can be used by Carrier IQ's customers, and how the data is protected in the process.

Let's break it down.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic major maintenance update rolling out

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Judging from the excitement in our inbox and in the Droid Bionic forums, it looks like that major maintenance update is rolling out. Here's what you get, and it's a pretty long list:

E-mail, messaging and data

  • Improved stability of data on 3G and 4G
  • Fixed lockup that could occur while browing during the handoff from Wifi to 4G
  • "Data roaming" pop-up message will display once when roaming in CDMA internationally
  • Jump to the most recent message after changing the device orientation while in message list view

Device features

  • Mobile hotspot now supports up to eight devices
  • Black screen of death fixed
  • Improved stability to avoid power cycles
  • Fix lock up and power cycles when connected to Bluetooth headset or HDMI cable
  • Improved cold SIM card activation speed
  • "Low memory" warnings when using the Laptop have been reduced
  • Improved camera autofocus for better shutter response time and better imagery
  • Location privacy message will display when using location based service setup
  • Fixed issue where device would power back up after being powered down

Lapdock

  • Improved stability
  • Display will not turn off after use
  • Calling screen will no longer be recreated
  • Reduced frequence fo the "Low memory" warning messages

You can check for the update now by going to Menu>Settings>About Phone>System Update. And hit the fourms link below to let us know if things are going better for you.

Source: Verizon; More: Droid Bionic forums

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2 years ago

Day 8 of Google's 10-day, 10-cent, 10 billion app download celebration

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Welcome to Day 8 of Google's 10-day, 10-cent, 10 billion app download celebration. We're waiting on Google to update its landing page, but note that the banner's changed from "10 Days of Offers - Top Premium Apps - 10¢" to what you now see above -- 90 percent off. Google's actually upped things to 12 apps to day. Here's what's listed:

Also: Day 1 appsDay 2 appsDay 3 appsDay 4 appsDay 5 apps, Day 6 apps, Day 7 apps

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod team dropping support for Samsung Vibrant because of 911 issues

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The Samsung Vibrant (the first of the original Galaxy S devices to hit the U.S.) is no longer supported by CyanogenMod.  According to developer Abhisek Devkota, issues with the way the radio interface layer interacts with the audio layer leads to a loss of the ability to dial 911, and this issue can not be solved without source code from Samsung.  In his own words:

We are no longer supporting the Vibrant due to the inability to dial 911. We consider the issues related to this unresolvable without source code from Samsung related to the Radio interface layer and its interactions with the Audio layers and have taken the decision to no longer support this. We apologize for the inconvenience and strongly suggest that Vibrant users use a Samsung ROM due to the 911 issues with any ROMs based on open source code.

We'll have to second his recommendation -- if you're currently using CM or another AOSP-based ROM on your Vibrant, you should look at Samsung TouchWiz based ROMs as an alternative.  Having cool open-source software on your phone is great, but not at the expense of losing the ability to call emergency services.  It was fun while it lasted though, and thanks for all the hard work gentlemen!

Source: +Abhisek Devkota

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2 years ago

RuFraud malware causes premium SMS charges for folks in Asia and Europe, apps pulled from Market

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The folks over at Lookout have warned us about a new malware threat, this time targeted at users outside of North America.  The RuFraud malware will sign up users in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, France, and Germany to a premium SMS service by hiding inside apps that pretend to be download helpers for popular games and utilities, or wallpaper apps from movies like TwilightThis particular bit of malware does not affect users in other countries.

While most of the affected applications are found on file-sharing sites and unofficial markets, some have appeared in the official Android Market.  The first batch were removed by Google after Lookout contacted them, and having only a "handful" of downloads they did not affect very many users.  Unfortunately, 13 new apps were later uploaded that had been downloaded over 14,000 times before they were pulled.  Lookout has been updated to remove and clean these apps from your phone if you downloaded them, and we expect other malware scanning applications will have followed suit.

A quick tip: It really sucks when popular applications (or Nexus phones) aren't available in your location.  We understand.  But any app that claims to be a helper to download an app that's otherwise unavailable is definitely suspicious.  Don't use them.  If the apps are free, ask your friends.  Ask on forums.  Root your phone, or use an app that disguises your location and opens the Market.  I'm not condoning piracy here, but I'm a realist -- if you're going to circumvent measures that keep these apps from you, do it the smart way.

Source: Lookout

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