Simon Walker, developer program head at Sony Ericsson, has made an interesting series of tweets suggesting the manufacturer may be about to change its stance on rooting and custom ROM development. Just as Motorola is looking at compromises on the issue of locked bootloaders, Sony Ericsson's developer boss says he's "actually in favor" of rooting "if we do it right."
One possible example of this might be the introduction of Xoom/Nexus S-style unlockable/relockable bootloaders, though Walker didn't mention any specifics, instead saying he needs to take the discussion inside Sony Ericsson before anything is decided. Still, it's promising that someone at a senior position at SE has come out in support of rooting. Hopefully he'll be able to convince his colleagues to see the light. [@simon_a_walker]
One enterprising XDA forum member has managed to snag a copy of the still unreleased Xperia Arc's /system partition via ADB, and has posted the resulting files online. The /system partition typically contains the core applications and files at the heart of any ROM.
As the Arc is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread, this system dump may help developers working on custom ROMs for the Xperia X8 and X10, both of which are stuck on Android 2.1 with no prospect of an official bump to Froyo or Gingerbread. For everyone else, there's always the prospect of grabbing a few cool wallpapers or ringtones. [XDA]
For you Sprint customers out there who are signed up for the Total Equipment Protection service, you now have a new way to keep your stuff safe. Sprint's released the Total Equipment Protection App that brings a slew of features to help locate, lock, wipe and backup your Sprint Android smartphone's contents. Particularly,
Locate lost device by sounding an alarm on the smartphone even if in silent mode, doing a real time locate via GPS technology, or viewing the smartphone’s location history on a map via a Web Interface
Remotely lock their smartphone
Erase contacts in the address book on a lost smartphone
Backup, manage and restore contacts
The app is free if you're a subscriber of Sprint's $7-a-month TEP service. You can get the app at protection.sprint.com. Full presser's after the break.
Can't say we didn't see this coming. Maybe because as soon as the HTC ChaCha was announced the fist thought that came to our collective mind was ChaCha, the questions and answers search engine. As it turns out, ChaCha Inc. is now going after HTC and their Facebook toting phone asking for financial damages and a permanent injunction to prevent HTC from selling the device under the ChaCha name.
To their credit, ChaCha is a registered trademark and they do offer search results via SMS so the relationship between a phone and their organization could be misconstrued. Suing to have the name changed may be in their favor on this one. Damages, I'm so sure about -- if anything the name likely got ChaCha Inc. some exposure rather then doing any financial harm. [Justia via PhoneScoop]
If you are like me and have been putting off filing your taxes for any number of reasons, TurboTax SnapTax is an application you will definitely want to check out. Taking all the information from your W-2 and entering it online can become a pain, especially if you have more then one source of income, but TurboTax has gone above and beyond this year, and made it extremely easy to file. Simply snap a picture of your W-2, give the application a few minutes to pull the needed fields from the image and auto-populate them into your tax forms.
From here you simply go through the information that it pulled and verify that the information is correct. Once you verify the accuracy of the information, you can pay directly through the app and then file your taxes. Within minutes you can file your Federal and State returns, and then sit back and wait for the money to be deposited in your account. While the application itself is a free download from the Android Market, filing will cost $14.99. Hit the break for a video walk through of the application (and yes, we are sorry they chose to film it on an iPhone)
It's nothing we haven't heard before, the BlackBerry PlayBook is said to be able to run Android applications. But up until now we have never really had documented proof of this. During Mobile World Congress this month, during a hands on with the device one of the employees seemed to have slipped up and stated "we'll also support Android apps," which is pretty big. (Or they read the blog rumors, we gather.) Interesting none the less to see some cross platform Android applications, would certainly open the doors to plenty of new developers and ultimately can help strengthen the Android platform even further. [via CrackBerry]
A fun part of any Android experience is rooting and flashing custom kernels and overclocking the device to see exactly what it can do. For those who went out this week and picked themselves up a Motorola Xoom, your turn to join the overclock party is here already. XDA member coolbho3000 has overclocked the dual core Motorola Xoom to 1.5GHz, which judging from the video really speeds the device up, even more. If you have a Xoom, and already rooted, and unlocked the bootloader, be sure to hit the source for more information on how to overclock your device! [via XDA] Thanks, Michael, for the tip!
For all you HTC EVO owners who have anxiously been awaiting the ability to put your HDMI port to its full use, the wait is over. Android Central forums member oorebmas has created FullHDMI, an application which just entered a public beta, that allows EVO users to mirror their devices screen on their favorite HDTV. At this time, root access is required on the device, and it does also need to be running a Sense based ROM, but that is a small price to pay to be able to utilize this amazing application. For more information on the application, the exact requirements, and more information about the app, be sure to check out this thread, and be sure to give it a shot! Thanks to igotsanevo4g for the image! [Android Central Forums]
Is it just me, or did this week just seem to Xoom on by? Ok, bad joke, I know, but this week was rather loaded with a good amount of Xoom drama, fun, and excitement, along with a bundle of other Android related news. Let's take a look below at some of what you may have missed this week.
This week's ROM Review brings two Android staples together -- the HTC Droid Incredible and CyanogenMod. These two go together like peanut butter and jelly -- each makes a good thing better. And it's a great way to get some Gingerbread on your DInc.
Android Central forums' super moderator and self-proclaimed VP of Entertainment Brett took the time to give us the run-down this time around, and you can read his review after the break. Thanks Brett!
Want to see your favorite ROM get reviewed? Or have the time to share a review of your own with everyone? Contact us!
HTC has confirmed that Gingerbread will be making its way to the Desire, Desire HD and Desire Z during the second quarter of the year, according to reports from SlashGear, which sources an HTC spokesperson. HTC also re-confirmed the Incredible S Gingerbread update, though this has been known since the phone was announced.
This is the first confirmation of a Gingerbread update for the Desire HD and Desire Z -- good news for owners of those phones, which are still under six months old. Reports started to surface last week suggesting a Gingerbread update for the original Desire, which is now approaching its first birthday.
The Q2 2011 release window for these Gingerbread updates will coincide with the launch of HTC's new Desire S and Wildfire S, both of which run Gingerbread out of the box. [SlashGear]
Mobiles.co.uk and parent company The Carphone Warehouse are now shipping HTC's new Incredible S in the UK. SIM-free, the Incredible S can be yours for £499.95 (~$800), while on-contract prices range from free to £319.99 (~$510). Right now the Incredible S is only being offered on contract with O2 and Vodafone, and the cheapest way to get the phone for free is on a £25 per month contract with O2.
Samsung's dual-core, Gingerbread-powered Galaxy S II has appeared on Play.co.uk alongside a tentative SIM-free price and release date. According to Play, which is currently taking pre-orders for the phone, it'll ship Mar. 31 for £599.99 (~$960). Pre-release prices are never guaranteed to be accurate and are always subject to change, but £599 seems like a realistic price point for the Galaxy S II, as it's slightly higher than current single-core offerings from other manufacturers.
If you are an Epic 4G user odds are you were rather excited when the 2.2.1 update began to roll out for your device. And as you know, it was pulled due to some ... issues. And one of them appears to be with the lock screen and inbound phone calls, and the vulnerability the device has when receiving a phone call. Users have noticed that if they have a password on their device, thinking that it is safe from others getting into it, that if the device receives an inbound phone call and you accept, if you quickly press the home button a few times you are into the phone, with access to all the information.
While yes, you would need to have the phone number associated with the device, it is still a huge potential flaw for keeping anyone who knows you out of your device. Users have reported that once the call is ended, the device becomes locked again, which is a good thing, but still scary that they can be using your calling minutes, and searching all your personal information at the same time. [Android Central Forums, Bug list]
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