Good news for those of you who paid your 99 cents for Duke Nukem 3D (check out our review) only to be greeted with a few ads in the game menu -- they're gone. Finished. Kaput.
It's an interesting argument -- should an app that you paid for (albeit less than a dollar) have ads as well? Or should it at least warn you up front? (That seems a bit much.) Maybe it's double-dipping. Maybe we're just used to seeing ads. (Lord knows we have enough around here.) Regardless, Duke's killed 'em. Huzzah.
Because PR messages too often are, well, borked on Facebook, we instead point you to the most recent statement from LG on, erm, Facebook, regarding Ice Cream Sandwich updates and the fact that the Optimus 2X will indeed be updated to Android 4.0. It reads thusly:
LG firmly denies the rumors that claim LG will not be providing the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS update for the LG Optimus 2X. These rumors are NOT true. LG is currently in the process of planning the ICS OS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones. Detailed information on the ICS OS update schedule for specific models will be announced, once the ICS OS is publicly released by Google. Please stay tuned for more updates from LG.
Thank you very much.
To repeat: We're still just two weeks out of the ICS announcement, and the ICS code has not yet been made available (publicly, anyway). Let's all exercise a little caution when we see someone supposedly saying a phone will or won't be getting an update. Unless you're reading LG, of course.
Pop quiz: Which one of the following is true about the upcoming maintenance update for the Motorola Droid Bionic:
It'll likely be out by the end of the year.
It'll likely be out by Christmas.
It's coming in the next 30 to 60 days.
Nobody really knows when it's coming.
You're right. It's a trick question. Moto Matt, everybody's favorite Motorola support forums manager, this afternoon dropped the following regarding the Bionic:
I know everyone is eager for updated software. We have been working diligently on a software update for DROID BIONIC and have a version in the testing stage; we expect to deliver it to users in 30 to 60 days. The update is targeting issues identified through owner feedback and we’re confident it will improve device performance.
Presumably we'll see one of those "soak tests" when things are really ready to roll. Stay tuned.
If you got your hands on a shiny new Atrix 2 last week and you're feeling a bit adventureous, XDA forum member Jimmy273 has compiled a pretty straightforward manual root method to achieve coveted superuser access. Jimmy273 makes it very clear that he cannot take full credit, as he simply translated the root method for the Bionic originally created by p3droid over at the MyDroidWorld forums. Full instructions and all the necessary files are available at the source link, as is the file for the one-click method, which is said to work just fine.
Unleashing their first LTE smartphone today is Bell. Which device? The HTC Raider or as it is known in the US -- the HTC Holiday / HTC Vivid. Bell customers can pick up the 4.5-inch qHD super LCD device running Android 2.3.4 with an 8MP camera, 1080P video recording and a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor for only $150 on a three-year contract, $550 on a two-year or $575 on a one-year. Not fond of contracts at all? then Bell wants $600 from you for the device which is in stores now. Before you get too excited though, make sure to check Bells LTE coverage.
Motorola Xoom 2 leaks are nothing new, but now we have the first hints of when the device may launch in Europe, along with tentative pricing information. A leaked Irish Carphone Warehouse ad obtained by Engadget shows the Wifi-only 8.2-inch Xoom 2 with a price tag of €399.90 ($545, £350). Given the ad's festive focus, a launch before the end of the year also seems to be on the cards.
Specs-wise, the ad doesn't reveal anything we didn't already know -- there's Android 3.2 on-board, along with 16GB of storage. No mention of CPU or RAM, but we've heard of a 1.2 GHz dual-core chip and 1GB from earlier leaks. All standard stuff. The price is the most interesting thing by far on this new flyer, though, and we're sure a few Europeans will be tempted by the €400/£350 price point over the holidays.
HTC's monstrous 4.7 inch, Beats filled Sensation XL has made it's debut today in the UK, in both subsidised and sim free fashion.
Available on contract from Three, the phone will be available for free with a new two-year, £40 per month contract which includes all you can eat data. For those of you who fancy some Beats action but not the contract, Clove are also offering the device from today sim free and unlocked for £486.
The XL comes out of the box running Android 2.3.5, Sense 3.5 and packs a 1.5Ghz CPU. But don't forget about the Beats though, and those Beats headphones. Check out our hands on with the device at its launch in London at the link below.
Now that all of us HTC ThunderBolt users have a few days of official (and theoretically unborked) Gingerbreads under our belts, it's time to check in on the state of the union. How're things going? Everything fixed that was supposed to be fixed? Are rainbows shooting out of your headphone jack?
Let us know in the commentes, and be sure to hit up the forums, where we're talking life post-GB.
If you use Google Reader to make all your RSS feeds a little more sane organized, be ready for a pleasant surprise. Google has begun the rollout of the new look and feel for the reader website, and everyone should expect it by this evening. Go on and hit F5 for a while, we'll wait (have to admit, I did just that). The new look lines up with the rest of the updated Google service websites, including the black omnimagicbar across the top and your Google+ notifications baked right in to the upper left corner.
Speaking of Google+ and integration, the new Reader allows you to +1 and share stories right from the stream. This is an easy way to share with friends, and should work much better than the previous friending, following, sharing, and comments methods, which have been removed in favor of the new integration.
It works the same as the +1 button does anywhere -- click it, and you're given the option to share it on Google+. Type in your message, and the magic happens.
We're big users of both Google Reader and Google+ around these parts, and we're excited about the new look and the new + integration, but the last little tidbit Alan Green (Google software engineer) threw out on the official announcement is the best of them all -- expect a new Android app shortly. Sweet.
Samsung recently gave more details on the availability of the Galaxy Note across Europe. The device launched over the weekend in Germany, and will roll out across the UK and mainland Europe between now and Nov. 25 on a variety of carriers.
Here's your country-by-country breakdown:
Germany (out now) - Vodafone, DT, O2
Netherlands (Nov. 1) - KPN, Vodafone
Belgium (Nov. 1) - KPN, Vodafone
United Kingdom (Nov. 2) - Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U, O2
Having been previously announced as arriving 'in time for the holidays', T-Mobile has now given more firm dates for the T-Mobile myTouch and myTouch Q availablity. Planned roll-out will start happening on the T-Mobile website come Nov. 2, with Nationwide availability happening on November 9th, No matter which device you pick, each will cost $79.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying classic voice and data plan. Shared specs include Android 2.3, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera with 720p video.
British network Three has announced that it's now stocking the Samsung Galaxy W, Sammy's latest mid-range offering, with a 1.4 GHz chip and a 3.7-inch Super LCD display. On the software side of things, you've got Android 2.3 Gingerbread, along with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 UX.
Three customers can pick up the Galaxy W for free on 24-month contracts of £22 or more per month, or on Pay As You Go for £249.99 (~£400) up-front.
So here's our first look the HTC Rezound -- aka the HTC Vigor -- on Verizon, which we're fully expecting to see officially unveiled Thursday in New York. (We'll be there, by the way.) JohnBoy shows us what we pretty much expected -- it's an HTC device with a fairly cool looking battery cover, Android 2.3.4, Sense 3.5, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, Wifi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0.
The differentiator here, of course, is that it's a Beats Audio device, so you'll be able to rock out on that sweet ELO or whatever it is the kids are listening to these days.
The past 11 months have seen Sony Ericsson recover from the disappointments and frustrations of its early Android efforts, releasing a solid line-up of well-designed Gingerbread-based phones in a range of different form factors. SE’s market share might be dwarfed by rival Android manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, but there’s no doubting the quality of its 2011 Xperia series.
So as we enter the final stretch of the year, Sony Ericsson brings us a refreshed version of its earlier flagship device, the Xperia Arc. The Arc S is mostly identical to its little brother, save for a fresh coat of paint and a faster, more efficient 1.4 GHz CPU. It’s still an Xperia Arc, and as such, just about everything we said in our original Arc review still stands. For that reason, we’re going to take a slightly different approach in this mini-review, focusing on the enhancements that’ve been made to the Arc’s hardware and software, and seeing how it measures up to other competing handsets. Join us after the jump to find out what we thought.
Thin and light phone with great aesthetics, fully-featured software and one of the best cameras around.
Not a massive upgrade over the original Arc, build quality's a little plasticky, 3D panoramic feature is temperamental.
It's not the fastest high-end Android smartphone out there, but the Xperia Arc S has a lot to offer, and at a lower price point than most dual-core handsets. If you want a premium Android device without an excessive price tag, the Xperia Arc S is a solid bet.
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