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4 years ago

SBF files for the Droid Pro and Droid 2 Global available, get them while you can

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the all seeing droid eye

Not that we condone this sort of thing (I'm just the messenger here, Motorola!), but if you're looking for the SBF files for the Droid Pro, and/or the Droid 2 Global, they are now available.  There's no telling how long they will stay available, so think fast and act faster and grab them if you need them (see source links).  SBF files are used to roll your Droid handset back to factory fresh condition, and can be a lifesaver when you've went just a bit too far and angered the Droid enough that it refuses to wake up from it's dreams of human termination.  Or whatever it is that Droid's dream of (I'm still betting termination is in there somewhere).

These files come direct from the TBH fellows, and while some may not agree with their business model, nobody can deny that they know what they're doing.  Grab 'em while they're still there. [MyDroidWorld (Droid Pro); (Droid 2 Global) via DroidLife]

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4 years ago

Tired of the wait for Froyo on your Epic 4G? Try this

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Sprint Epic 4G

The new year has come and gone, and the Epic 4G still doesn't have an official Froyo build from Samsung and Sprint.  They tried to meet their goals, but things happen and at least Samsung has let us know they still want everyone to have a "simple/reliable upgrade".  That's good news, because we want you guys to have a simple and reliable upgrade as well.  But in the meantime, all who have turned to the dark side of root can take matter into their own hands.  Epic 4G forums moderator ragnarox has taken the time to whip up a very comprehensive guide using some popular hacks that not only will get you your Froyo fix, but will put Samsung's rfs file system to bed and replace it with the much snappier, and more reliable ext4 file system

Samsung keeps their phones pretty hacker-friendly, and with instructions this detailed it might just be time to give it a go.  Hit the source link, have a read -- and ask ragnarox any questions you might have -- then decide for yourself if you're finished waiting.  [Android Central's Epic 4G forums]

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4 years ago

Quick look at the LG Optimus U

LG Optimus U

The LG Optimus U is the latest in the Optimus line to show up, this time making the rounds on US Cellular.  I've make no secret that I'm a big fan of what LG has done here -- they have brought quality Android phones to market, with current (Froyo, build FRF91) software, and all at great pricing.  The specs match the rest of the Optimus line, and while not the top of the line we see in some other phones, they are enough for an enjoyable experience: 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7627 CPU, 512 RAM, 170 MB application storage, 3.1 inch capacitive HVGA screen, 3.2 MP camera, and the usual range of radios and sensors that make Android work.

We've looked in-depth at LG's Optimus line before, and things haven't changed.  The Optimus U sticks to the basics, and does what it does well.  With the Optimus U comes a sleek tapered profile, and a dedicated voice search/voice action button.  After using it for a while, I've had a revelation -- all phones need this.  Call quality was just fine, not outstanding, but not terrible, and battery life was excellent for an Android phone.  If you're not looking to play the latest 3D games, and are more interested in a very pocketable, quality built phone, this one is for you.  Often, having everything work properly makes up for the fact that the specs aren't high end, and the Optimus U is proof.

Hit the break for a video overview and some pictures of the hardware itself.

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4 years ago

Nexus S gets a custom kernel treatment and now trots along at 1.2GHz

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Nexus S -- Nenamark score  Nexus S -- Quadrant

Take the Nexus S, add a little whiskey (Team Whiskey that is) to the kernel, and you get a step closer to warp speed on your phone.  On the left is the outcome of a Nenamark benchmark run, and to the right is our old friend Quadrant, minus the graphics scores to quell any cries of tomfoolery.  All because Team Whiskey cranked out the first 1.2GHz overclocked kernel for the Nexus S, and even the beta tests are blazing fast.  Bluetooth hasn't been worked out yet, but everything else runs awfully darn well, and it's as easy as flashing from Clockwork recovery or Rom Manager.

Real world usage?  It's fast.  If things like this are part of the reason you bought the Nexus S, hit the source link and give it a try.  [XDA-Developers]

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4 years ago

Samsung Nexus S review

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Google's latest developer phone brings Android 2.3 Gingerbread and new hardware, but is it the right choice for the average consumer?

Nexus S review shot

One of the biggest gripes many of us have about Android is the way manufacturers and carriers change the software.  Whether it's an OEM skin in place of the stock launcher and desktop, or value added extras like Sprint TV or V-cast, or even the removal of core Google services like search and maps -- the first thing many new phone owners want to do it remove the "bloatware."  Enter the "Pure Google" phones.  The name Nexus gets us plenty excited because we know we're in for a pure Google experience, and the Samsung Nexus S is no different.

But is it a good choice for the average Joe?  Join us after the break, and follow along as we have a look at the latest additive-free Android phone.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod-6.1.2 for the Evo 4G -- support for newer hardware

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CyanogenMod for the Evo 4G

Are you rockin' one of the newer revisions (some 003 and all 004 versions) of the Evo 4G, and want some CyanogenMod loving?  It looks like the man himself has got you hooked up, and it's only a flash away.  You'll need to be rooted (of course) and we can help with that -- head into the Evo 4G hacking forums, do a bit of reading, and holler if you need some help.  The fellas in there may seem a little gruff, (looking right at you Jerzy, igotsanevo4g, d3xn2o and company ;p ) but they have a heart of gold and the wits to match.  They'll get you up and running and point you towards the right path. 

This one isn't Gingerbread just yet, give the CM team some time, but as far as custom ROMs go, it's the creme of the crop.  So what are you waiting for?  Fire up Rom Manager and go! [@cyanogen via Android Central forums]

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4 years ago

HTC releases source code for the latest Evo 4G maintenance update

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HTC Evo 4G source code

For you coding types: HTC has released the source code for the latest maintenance update to the Evo 4G. That's the one that added the Swype keyboard, Kindle and Blockbuster apps, and NOVA stub app, among other things. We knew there were at least a couple version of the update (for different hardware versions), but it looks like there might have been a total of three (or is one an older update?). HTC's also released updated USB drivers, which is darn nice of 'em. As is the usual, most of us don't need to worry about any of this -- this is kernel source code and what not. But for everyone else, get it all at the source link. [HTC Developer Center]

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4 years ago

New hardware GPS fix emerges for Samsung Vibrant

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By now, we are all aware of the GPS issues that have plagued the Galaxy S series of phones since release. In that time, several supposed fixes have emerged, including one directly from Samsung. How effective these methods have been isn't exactly clear as they have all had mixed results. Now, a more direct -- albeit complicated and risky -- method for fixing your GPS issues on the Vibrant has emerged over at XDA Developers, with relatively high success.

This method involves actually altering the internal components of the phone, particularly the GPS antenna and it contacts. You will also need to be running the JI6 modem or later, and your phone will have needed to be manufactured prior to October.  Let us be very clear that this method involves breaking the Vibrant down completely.

*Be advised that this method can will void your warranty, and if you goof anything up you will likely brick your phone permanently.*

If you feel comfortable with this after adhering to this warning, head over to the source link for the full instructions at your own risk! [XDA Developers] Thanks, r3g!

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4 years ago

Blur 3.0 update for the Droid 2 leaked and customized

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Droid 2 leak

If you have a rooted Droid 2, you're going to love this.  Team BlackHat has released version 3.0.0 of Froyo for the Droid 2, completely deodexed, with Busybox installed, rooted and ready to go.  This one is available to all, for free and you can grab it at the source link.  Better hurry, you know how Motorola feels about this sort of thing.  For those of you who have the TBH app, just use it to grab this one instead.  It's in update.zip format, and is ready to flash from either ClockWork Mod or SPrecovery. 

Once you get it up and running, let us know how it's working out for you in the Droid 2 forums. [MyDroidWorld]

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4 years ago

Gingerbread is on the Droid Incredible? But of course!

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Gingerbread on the Droid IncredibleGingerbread on the Droid Incredible? Don't sound so surprised. Now that the source code has been made publicly available, everyone and their mother (hi, Mom!) is compiling a beta build for their favorite device.

For the most part, though, remember that these builds aren't really ready to be your daily driver -- though they're definitely getting better day by day.

That brings us back to the DInc, and this ROM from r2DoesInc. You'll get the basic Gingerbread experience, with a few tweaks. The camera's working, though GPS and video recording aren't. Be sure to check out the full changelog and instructions at the source link for the full rundown. It's a hodgepodge, to be sure, but an impressive one.

Video's after the break as well. [XDA-Developers]

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Review: T-Mobile myTouch 4G

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T-Mobile's popular myTouch line gets a showcase phone 

The MyTouch 4G

The myTouch 4G is T-Mobile's latest and greatest addition to the venerable myTouch line, which has been around about as long as Android itself has.  This go around, we have T-Mobile's HSPA+ 4G network to add into the mix, and when combined with some nice specifications, this is one to take notice of. 

Of course, there's more to a phone than speed, both the network kind and the hardware kind, and the myTouch 4G is full of features as well.  Make no mistake, this phone is high-end and designed to appeal to both those looking for an easy to use model as well as folks looking for something that flat-out screams.  Did T-Mobile succeed?  Hit the break to see for yourself.

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4 years ago

Nexus S Gingerbread ported to Galaxy S -- not quite ready for prime time yet

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Samsung Galaxy S running Gingerbread

Whenever a new version of Android is released, one thing you can always count on is the developer community hacking it onto as many devices as they can.  Using the kernel and system image from the Nexus S, developer supercurio of XDA Developers was able to get a (mildly) working build of Gingerbread up and running on his Samsung Galaxy S

Although it's a rather crippled build -- and it'll cost you GPS, Wi-Fi, voice, and camera functionality -- it's definitely a step in the right direction.  Every good custom ROM starts with a buggy, near useless build -- these things don't happen overnight.

Check out a video of the Galaxy S running Gingerbread after the break.

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4 years ago

Wimax ported (at last!) to Cyanogenmod for the Evo 4G

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Wimax on the Evo 4G

The Cyanogenmod series of ROMs has done a lot of great things for a lot of phones. But one feature that's been sorely missing on the Evo 4G has been Wimax data. The 4G radio uses code that hasn't been readily available, so it's been a long road getting it to work. But today, folks, it works. It's still not quite ready for prime time, but rest assured, it's coming, folks. Keep an eye out for updates soon. [via @shinzul, @toastcfh, @kyledotodonnell, XDA Developers] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

How to unlock the Nexus S bootloader

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bootloader unlock on the Nexus S

Excellent news, folks. The bootloader on the Samsung Nexus S (watch our hands-on video) can be unlocked just as the Nexus One's was. Gandalf44 in the Android Central Forums reminds us of the instructions:

  1. Shutdown the phone
  2. Hold down volume up + power
  3. Now you are in the standard recovery mode
  4. Assuming you have 2.3 SDK installed with fastboot (Google around for that info..), now on terminal/windows or Windows cmd depending on OS type "fastboot devices" to check your device can be seem via USB
  5. Assuming you device is seen via fastboot devices, now type "fastboot oem unlock"
  6. Accept ... and new bootloader is unlocked...

Why would you want to unlock the bootloader? You need access to install a custom recovery. And you need a custom recovery to install custom ROMs. And you need custom ROMs because, well, you just do. Trust us. So this is very good news indeed. If we don't see custom ROMs by the end of the day, somebody's slacking. :p More in the Nexus S forums!

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4 years ago

Nexus S Hands-on Photo Gallery; Update: Video

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Happy Nexus S day, gents and ladies. We high-tailed it over to our local Best Buy Mobile and picked one up to put it through its paces. 

The screen is curved, yes, but not enough to elicit wows from anybody. The overall feel is very Galaxy - which is to say lighter than you might expect but also, sadly, a little cheaper-feeling in the materials than we'd like. The Super Amoled screen is darn pretty and actually performs quite nicely in direct sunlight. Unlike the Nexus One, the capacitive buttons on the bottom are blissfully distant from the main screen and so mis-taps are unlikely to be an issue. What is an issue is that like all Samsung Galaxy phones, those buttons disappear when the screen is off and they're darned-tough to see in sunlight, so better get used to that new button order quickly.

Who are we kidding, the niggles pale in comparison to the speed, which comes partly from that 1GHz hummingbird processor but mostly from Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

In the box you'll find the standard fare: charger, USB cable, and a set of not-horrendous headphones. It's Google-branded, that box, though ours at least had a T-Mobile SIM in there, courtesy of Best Buy.

Obviously expect a full review of the device and a look at its performance, but in the meantime gather round for a quick photo gallery (update: and video!) of this week's "Best Android Phone Ever."

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