4 years ago

Sony Ericsson offering a bootloader unlock solution on 2011 Xperia line


Xperia Arc

This one came out of left field -- Sony Ericsson is going to offer their 2011 Xperia line with an unlockable bootloader via the fastbook command.  They say only SIM unlocked versions of the Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, Xperia Pro, and Xperia Neo will be eligible, so carriers should be happy as well as developers and advanced users.  The big question of how this will affect the CDMA Xperia Play on Verizon is unanswered, but I hope they have an equivalent solution.  They also go over warranty concerns and possible additional costs for service at their blog, so be sure to read the source link to get those details.

This is a big turnaround from their policy with the Xperia X-10, which will remain locked due to legal reasons.  It shows that Sony Ericsson is listening to their end users and allowing the owners of their oh-so-sexy hardware complete control of it.  Let's all hope other manufacturers see the benefit in this and offer similar solutions.  Now to decide between the Arc or the Neo as my next phone.  [Sony Ericsson Developer Blog]

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4 years ago

Rooting the HTC Thunderbolt on a Mac [From the Forums]


HTC Thunderbotl

Have a shiny new HTC Thunderbolt, itching to be rooted, but only have a Mac with which to do the deed?  You're in luck -- our very own Cory Streater happens to love his MacBook Pro, and he's the type who can't sleep well when he has an unrooted Android laying around.  He's taken the time to work up an excellent tutorial, complete with a single download for all the needed files.

If you're looking for a way to root with your Mac that doesn't involve Boot Camp, you can stop.  Just point your browser to the Thunderbolt hacking forums and start reading.  [Android Central forums] Thanks, Cory!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Gingerbread on Droid X


Gingerbread on the Droid X

Android 2.3.3 leaked out for the Droid X and Droid 2 earlier tonight, and we just had to take it for a spin, especially given that it has an all new skin atop it. We even hesitate to call it Blur, because it's definitely better than the old Motoblur and not-a-Blur from days gone by.

There's a proper dock now, with three customizable icons. That's right, you can put whatever you want in there, which is the way it should be. But by default, Motorola gives you the phone dialer, e-mail and text messages, which is much better than the dialer and contacts we had before.

The app drawer also is greatly improved. You can now make groups of applications within the drawer. And the first thing we're going to do with it is make a group of icons that excludes all the VCAST stuff that's on the phone, and maybe the stub apps for NFS Shift and Madden 2011. For those of you who don't root and kill unwanted apps, this is a nice, safe way to get the bloatware out of sight.

The menus have a new look, too, which is OK by us.

Anyhoo, peep the video after the break. We're going to give it a go for a few more days, but our initial impression is pretty good. Give it a shot, or sit back and wait for the over-the-air update, whenever that is. More on the update in the Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Official Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM leaks out for Samsung Galaxy S


Gingerbread on the Galaxy S

The race is on to see which device will be the first to get an official upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a new ROM has leaked out for the Euro version of the Samsung Galaxy S (that's the I9000 for you folks playing at home). It's not actually being pushed out just yet, but reportedly it's what you'll get if your phone gets sent in for warranty work.

And, no, this isn't what those of us in the states are waiting on -- you'll need the the official upgrade from your respective carrier -- or the Froyo update, first, if you're still waiting on that.

The the full walkthrough of the leaked Gingerbread ROM after the break, and get your download, plus full instructions, at the source link. [XDA Developers]

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4 years ago

LG Optimus 2X gets ClockworkMod recovery


Optimus 2x

The LG Optimus 2X (see our hands-on) gets the next step of the hacking treatment, a custom recovery.  Paul O'Brien has built ClockworkMod recovery, and packaged it up with an easy installer for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers.  The project is still marked as beta, but the few issues seem to be centered around the installer, so advanced users may wish to just manually copy and dd the recovery image themselves.  Having said that, unlike some other hacks that spring up from time to time, Paul is actively working with the few folks having issues, so I feel good about recommending this one.

I realize that few of us here in the states will be getting an Optimus 2X, but AT&T and T-Mobile will be releasing some very similar devices, so we're keeping an eye on this one in hopes of an easy port.  Visit the source link for downloads and installation information. [MoDaCo] Thanks for the tip, Dan!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Cricket LG Optimus C


Cricket LG Optimus C

There's the Optimus One. And the Optimus M. And the Optimus S. And the Optimus T. And the Optimus U. And the Optimus V. And the LG Vortex on Verizon. And now, we present the LG Optimus C on Cricket, fresh off the show floor at CTIA. 

This is yet another variant of the Optimus One, which is an above-average mid-range Android smartphone. You have Android 2.2 running with a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera with a 1500mAh battery. The physical buttons are a tad different than what you'll get on the other versions, but all in all it's mostly the same experience. More pics and hands-on video are after the break.

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4 years ago

Sprint Epic 4G gets a rooted version of EC05 Froyo update


Epic 4G

The EC05 Froyo OTA is slowly trickling out for the Sprint Epic 4G, but users who like to tinker don't have to wait any longer.  Android Central forums adviser Paul627g has worked up a flashable version that's pre-rooted and ready to go.  You'll need Odin, the Windows drivers, and a few minutes time, but the payoff is worth it in the end.  To make it even better, there is no data wipe required whether you're currently running Eclair or one of the leaked/official/pulled previous Froyo updates.  Nice work fellas! [Android Central forums]

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4 years ago

HTC Thunderbolt gets an easy root option


Find the latest HTC ThunderBolt accessories

HTC Thunderbolt

Developers have packaged the lengthy and cumbersome HTC Thunderbolt root process into an easy to use application that runs from your computer.  You get the same root, using the same methods, without the work and potential for user error.  There are a few caveats though -- you'll need to be using Windows, have a Tbolt with a firmware version lower than version 1.12.605.9, and there's the potential for a bug that will force you to head to IRC for a fix.

Not much feedback about this one yet, but we've set up a discussion thread in the Thunderbolt hacking forums, so if you have taken the plunge, thinking about taking it, or just have questions there's a place to do it.  This certainly looks like some nice work, hats off to dbzfanatic for the program! [XDA Developers] Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Wifi-only HTC Flyer, coming this spring to Best Buy


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Best Buy just dropped the news that it'll be selling an unbranded, Wifi-only HTC Flyer Android tablet sometime this spring. That's good news for those of you who are looking for some contractless tablet love. And we got ourselves a little time with the device tonight at a CTIA after-hours event.

For all intents and purposes, it's an HTC Flyer, same as we saw unveiled a month ago at Mobile World Congress. The advantage here, of course, is that you're not beholden to a carrier for a two year contract. On the other hand, you have to rely on having a Wifi signal, but for many of us that's not a problem.

Still no word on when it'll be available, other than "this spring," and they're not budging on how much they'll be selling it for. So stay tuned.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G


OK, all you boys and girls out there itching to get your hands on a T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. You can't have it yet, we got our fat little fingers on it for you. And for those of you unfamiliar with the Sidekick experience (that'd be yours truly), it's an ... interesting experience.

The flip-up screen has a nice spring to it, and the keyboard is just shy of being excellent. What's not excellent is that the usual Android buttons are at the four corners (three, actually) of the device, meaning you're doing to be doing some reaching to get back to the home screens.

The software is an interesting mix of Android -- there's much that familiar -- and Sidekick special sauce. We're going to need some more time with the software to get a grip on it, but it's not the worst thing in the world. When it comes to pricing, we're looking at $99 - $149.99 depending on your data plan chosen and fussing with mail-in-rebates. Jump on past the break for some images of the Sidekick 4G

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4 years ago

HTC View 4G Hands-on!


HTC's 4G Sprint Tablet brings clever UI to tide you over before the Honeycomb update 

HTC View

We just got back from our time with HTC taking a look at their latest tablet - the HTC View 4G for Sprint - something we've seen in an unbranded-version before as the HTC Flyer. The HTC View 4G is a 7" tablet at 1024x600 resolution, weighing in at 14.88 ounces with 32g of internal memory, 16g of RAM, and a microSD slot if you'd like to add more. On the rear we have a 5 megapixel shooter with 720p HD video capabilities and the front sports a 1.3 megapixel camera. The whole thing is powered by a beefy 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and, of course, it's capable of running on Sprint's 4G WiMAX network. Its rocking Android 2.3 but will get an update to Honeycomb at some point in the future.

The HTC View 4G includes the latest version of Sense - the main differences from what we've seen before is primarily eyecandy: when you rotate homescreens they fly out and look closely at the gallery after the break - they show you a little gear on the flip-time clock. Cute. More utilitarian is the new lockscreen mechanism: you can drag the circle over one of 4 icons to launch directly into that app. We're also fond of their app-dock on the bottom, which you can configure with your favorite apps with some simple drag-and-drop.

The real story - to us anyway - is that the View includes HTC Scribe technology, which lets you use a special capacitive stylus for taking notes and sketching on the screen. Check out our first impressions of HTC Scribe here. In the meantime, you've got two things to wait for while you look at the images after the break: our pending video and an actual release-date and price - all we know so far is "Summer."

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Sprint HTC EVO 3D; Update: Video!


The venerable EVO gets a boost with a higher-resolution screen and 3D recording and playback

Sprint HTC EVO 3D

How do you follow up one of the most popular, most successful, biggest and fastest phones of 2010? In the case of the recently announced Sprint HTC EVO 3D, you give it a higher resolution screen, 3D recording and playback capability, and you open up a whole new world of user generated content. Oh, and you make it even faster and more powerful.

That's the EVO 3D in a nutshell. It's based off the wildly popular EVO 4G. But it's gained a qHD (960x540) touchscreen in the same 4.3-inch space. And it's sporting the first dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, at 1.2GHz. Worried about battery life? It's got a 1730mAh power source -- the largest stock battery we've seen.

In the hand, it very much feels like an EVO 4G. It's lost the kickstand, but we can live with that. The battery cover has a nice texture to it, and you don't feel like the phone's going to go flying out of your hand, an important safety measure as it's still pretty sizable (it's actually a tad longer than the EVO 4G) and weighs six ounces. It's gained a physical camera button. We've been fans of them for a while now, and the EVO 3D's is about the best we've seen. It's round and textured, and you're not going to be hunting for it. Next to the camera button you have a toggle switch for the 2D/3D camera. In 2D mode, video shoots at 1080p. In 3D, it's at 720p resolution.

The 3D content plays back as smooth as you'd expect. And while 3D's still kind of gimmicky, it's also not the worst thing in the world. And if you never watch 3D content, you'll likely have a perfectly fine experience with the EVO 4G.

Anyhoo, you're definitely going to want to give it a shot when it's released later this year. In the meantime, hit up our hands-on pics after the break.

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4 years ago

Motorola bootloader still encrypted, developer comes clean


neolod admits the truth

The bootloader on your Milestone or Droid X is just as locked today as it was yesterday, and it looks like it will stay that way.  Android developer Nenolod admits he was lying when he claimed to have the keys to the Motorola sholes platform bootloader, and just did it for the lulz. 

What can we say?  Things like this happen, and all you can do is remember the names involved and stay far away from their "work" until they disappear.  We certainly will.  Hopefully nobody bricked any phones toying with this one.  [@clockworkmod]

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4 years ago

More details of Sprint Epic 4G Froyo update leaked


Epic 4G update

One of the people "close to the matter" has given us a bit more information about the scheduled update to Froyo for the Sprint Epic 4G.  Besides the lovely picture you see above, we have the text from the instructional page that you'll be seeing tomorrow (March 21) at Sprint's website.  While this may be old hat for many of us, I'm sure that others will benefit, and more evidence that it's coming is always a good thing.  Hit the break for the rest, and remember, the Android Central Epic 4G forums can answer most questions that Sprint doesn't.  Thanks Anonymous!

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4 years ago

Key to Motorola's locked bootloaders found, posted on Twitter [update -- or not]


Droid X

This one's still trickling in, but it appears that the keys needed to bypass the bootloader protection used by Motorola have been uncovered, with proof posted on Twitter.  This means developers should be able to build true custom .sbf files and sign them so that they can be flashed via the locked and encrypted bootloader on select Motorola devices.  And presumably, Motorola has its cease-and-desist macro at the ready. Holy shades of Sony v. Geohot, Batman, this is going to get interesting!

To you and I, these aren't of much use.  I'm sure the people that needed them are already hard at work, and soon we will see the benefits.  In the meantime, hit the source links to keep track of the progress.  [@nenolod; nenolod.net]

Update: Turns out this was all a hoax.  Nothing to see here folks.  Look here for details.

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