What good is a 4G network if you don't have more phones to run on it? That's the hand Sprint is currently playing and that has been briefly detailed in a story at the Wall Street Journal's website. The Macquarie Group tells WSJ that 300,000 Evo 4Gs have been sold, but the phone (again) is listed on Sprint's site as being unavailable, and one cannot sell what once does not have. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told the WSJ that "We thought we would have had more of a head start than we'll end up having."
Blamed for the shortages (including the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon) are the touchscreens, which are manufactured by Samsung. HTC has enlisted Sony to provide it with SLCD screens, which may help alleviate some of the shortage.
Meanwhile, Samsung just launched the Samsung Galaxy S line in the United States, spanning the four major carriers and two regionals, and we'll have to see how well it can keep up with demand there. [WSJ]
The Motorola Droid X (read our full review) finally comes out on Verizon this week. And to celebrate, we're giving one lucky reader a Droid X of his or her very own.
To win, all you have to do is leave a post in this thread in our Droid X forum and tell us why you think the Droid X is the hottest phone of the year. We're providing the phone -- you're on your own for Verizon service. (And you'll need to be in the U.S. for this one, obviously.)
The Droid X officially launches Thursday, and we'll announce our winner live on the Android Central Podcast, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday night. Good luck!
When last we saw Fring, the VOIP app was touting its popularity after an update to its iPhone client and how it had to "temporarily reduce support to Skype" because of it. Looks like there may be a bit more to this story, however, as this morning Fring took a major backhand to Skype, complaining that it's Skype that is not allowing the access.
But it gets a little weirder than that. On one had we have a pretty straightforward press release detailing Fring's side of things. And on the other is a pretty inflammatory post on Fring's blog that openly calls Skype "cowards" for "trying to muzzle the competition." (Also a line used by Fring's CEO in the press release.) That's a long way from last week, when things seemed more like a small technological bump.
We're hoping to get Skype's side of the story soon. We'll go out on a limb here and hope that this is a precursor for Skype shirking its Verizon exclusivity and finally bringing a proper app to the Android Market. But in the meantime, we're all going to have to sit back and watch this one unfold. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Update: The plot thickens, as Skype just got back to us and tells us that removing access was all Fring's doing. Here's the quote:
The HTC MyTouch 3G Slide from T-Mobile USA is the Android smartphone that has seemed to fly under the radar. Released at a time when Snapdragon processors and AMOLED screens are all the rage, the mid-range specs on the Slide disguise the performance and feel of this qwerty slider. Packing its own flavor of the touted HTC Sense UI and running Android 2.1, the Slide was a phone I was itching to get my hands on and put it through the paces. Hit the jump to see my impressions of this solid, but forgotten phone.
Ever wanted to create an Android app but just don't have the coding skills? Google's just greatly lowered the barrier for entry with the Android App Inventor. It's akin to Palm's Ares system (and we presume other development platforms? Hey, we're not coders, either) in that it's basically drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Hit a few buttons, and out spits an app.
A couple of worries about this:
The Android Market is already flooded with hundreds (and likely thousands) of crappy apps. Let's call them crapps. And this is going to make it easier to make more crapps.
This is bound to upset already established developers, right? (Let us know in the comments, folks.)
Again, crapps. There's been a lot of chatter over the weekend about how the Market's closing in on 100,000 apps (according to sites like Androlib, anyway). And we're repeat what we have to say every time these milestone stories come up: There are apps, and there are crapps. We'd rather have 10,000 quality apps than 100,000 crapps. (And never mind that the total includes ringtones, keyboards, wallpapers, etc.)
We go back to a question that asked (by yours truly) of the Android Leadership at Google IO: Is the Market ever going to curated up front? Or will it still be up to use to wade our way through the craps? Google being a search company (and the whole openness thing, too), you can imagine which way that went. But we digress.
Let's give Android App Inventor a shot and see where it goes. Certainly the idea is good, and it's worked out well for Palm with Ares. Hit up the source link to find out more, and there's a pretty video after the break, too. [Google App Inventor]
Sprint announced it has flipped the magic switch and turned on their 4G network in New York (Rochester and Syracuse); California (Merced and Visalia); Washington (Tri-Cities and Yakima); and Oregon (Eugene). This lines up perfectly with the images leaked of their summer roadmap.
Though some of us will probably never get any type of 4G service (*cough Jerry's house*), it's nice to see things look like they're right on schedule for the areas they have planned to cover in 2010. Anybody out there seeing that sexy '4G network available' icon on their Evo 4G in any of these new cities? Follow the break to see the full press release. [Sprint]
For those of you patiently (or not so much) waiting for Cyanogen and Team Douche to release a semi-official Android 2.2 ROM, it's time to get flashing. CyanogenMod-6.0.0 RC1 was posted up early this morning, with builds for the Nexus One, Dream and Magic, which should cover a good many of us. You can snag the new builds in the usual places, including the CM Nexus One and D/M forums, XDA Developers (N1, D/M) and our favorite, ROM Manager.
For the noobs out there, the CyanogenMod series of ROMs are custom built from the official Android Open Source Project files by trained professionals (professional somethings, anyway), tested and released to the masses. (Check out the full changelog here.) We swear by 'em, and you should, too. [Cyanogen]
Update: A new CM Droid ROM is now in ROM Manager and the other usual places. Huzzah!
To those of you lucky enough to get your Droid Xearly (all 170 of you need to play the lottery this week!) Verizon has now set up the system so you can activate that monster. As of Friday July 9, provisions were put in place to allow activation according to Verizon internal documents leaked out to DroidLife. You can activate over the web at your MyVerizon page, or OTA by dialing *228 and selecting option 1. Now quit slacking and get that speed demon activated, then hit the forums to tease the rest of us for 5 more days :) [DroidLife]
Images of the unreleased Motorola WX455 have shown up today online, with very little fanfare. If the rumors about it's specifications are correct, we can see why. Supposedly it's a pretty anemic offering, and beside the recent onslaught of superphones like the Galaxy S series and the Motorola Droid X, it's hard to get excited over a mid- to low-end handset. Speaking of specs, all we can be sure of is what you see -- it's running Eclair, has a weird mix of capacitive buttons and some sort of physical pad, a smallish touchscreen, and headed to Verizon. Rumored specs also include a camera (megapixels unknown) with no flash, and a 1170 mAh battery. It should also sport the standard Android array of radios and sensors; GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, compass, etc., but that's just an educated guess.
We've talked about the validity of low end Android models on the last couple of podcasts, what do you guys think? Yea or nay to the entry level stuff? [Engadget]
HTC has released an update to its HTC Sync software for the HTC Aria, and along with it comes the ability to install third-party applications and enable mobile network sharing. Hallelujah! While this isn't nearly as handy as installing the applications directly from the phone, it's a huge step in the right direction. The addition of mobile network sharing is a huge boon as well, just remember to keep an eye on your data usage if you've switched to one of AT&T's new plans.
HTC Sync is also a great way to sync calendar events and contacts with Outlook (or Outlook Express/Windows Live Mail) on your Windows PC. Sorry, Mac users, you can sit over here with us Linux guys and grumble. Hit the source link to check out the requirements and download the software -- you'll need your device serial number, click and enlarge the pic to the left for help finding it. [HTC Aria Product Support] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Update: As Spary points out in the comments below, there was an apparent SNAFU at HTC and this update does not enable sideloading, nor does it change any settings on the device itself. HTC has reached out to Engadget and apologized for any confusion, and says their website will be updated with the correct information Monday. Felt good for a couple hours though!
There has been some chatter lingering around in regards to the Droid X and its bootloader, and sadly it appears as though they have locked this one down. So, what does that mean for the average consumer, well nothing really. Those who will be affected by this information are those interested in the extra tweaks, along with the ability to create and flash custom ROM's. Root access should still be obtainable so you will be able to use all those fun applications that require it, which is a big plus to many. Hopefully the Droid X isn't as hard to crack as the Motorola Milestone -- for which they are still trying to figure out a good solution. Now all you Droid owners who were looking for an upgrade, still interested? [via Droid Life]
Finding a parking spot just got a little easier, thanks to Google's new Open Spot app for Android. The concept is simple enough, fire up the app to see what spots are near (.9 mile radius) you, and the color of the pin tells you how long it's been since someone marked it. Red means 'freshly-marked', orange pins mean the spot was marked 5 minutes ago, and the yellow spots are older than 10 minutes -- after 20 minutes they disappear.
Speaking of marking the spot, the application is driven by the idea that you mark open spots you find, and lady karma rolls back around to help you find one when you need it. And before you let those devious ideas loose, Google claims to have their own method of dealing with 'greifers' -- people who mark spots when there are none. As of now, this app is Android only; no word on a web version or cross platform availability, but I imagine that this won't stay exclusive for too long. Hit the jump for the download links. [Google OpenSpot via TechCrunch]
Yeah, so by now Fring users likely have noticed that Skype access has been pulled. And, you guessed it, we have the iPhone to blame. Fring recently updated its iPhone version, which allows cross-platform chatting (see our demo with Rene from TiPB) and sure enough, the gathering horde borked it for the rest of us. Here's Fring's official response, from its forums:
This is absolutely amazing. Since the release of our latest iPhone version yesterday we have seen a huge jump in fring video calling.
So, to free up some room for more fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to Skype. Be patient, we'll have some more updates soon.
These things happen, but surely just about everybody saw it coming. Anyhoo, hang tight, folks, and hopefully Fring will have things up and running soon enough. [Fring via Android Central Forums] Thanks to everybody who sent this in.
NTP is once again suing over patents they hold for the wireless collection of e-mail data, charging Google, Motorola, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Apple with infringement. (Seems they forgot carrier pigeon breeders and pilots who fly banner ads). Many of you will remember the drawn out affair between NTP and RIM, which ended in 2006 with a mega-million dollar judgment in NTP's favor, or their subsequent fight with Palm that quietly disappeared for unknown reasons a year later.
The late Tom Campana, NTP's founder and the 'inventor' of e-mail certainly does hold several valid patents showing the technology is his, but it will be up to the courts (with millions of our tax dollars) to determine the validity of the newest claims. Can I haz patent reform plz? The full press release is after the break. [PRNewswire]
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