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3 years ago

It's (far past) time for AT&T to allow non-Market apps on its phones

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I'm on the bandwagon. I'm on the boat. I'm drinking the Kool-Aid. I've gotten with the program. I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel. ('Bout time, eh?)

It's far past time for AT&T to allow non-market applications on its Android smartphones.

A little context, for those of you not on AT&T: If you go to Settings>Applications on any Android phone (save for those on AT&T), you'll see a setting for "Unknown sources" that will let "allow installation of non-Market applications." It's a safety feature, really, meaning that you can't install an app if it's not from the Android Market. And presumably, if an app is installed from the Android Market, it's warm and cuddly and safe. But we know that's not the case 100 percent of the time, and on rare occasions a "bad app" slips in. (These are, however, very rare cases given the scope of the Market.)

But then there's AT&T, which in its infinite wisdom decided that its users shouldn't be allowed to install non-market applications. This, after it took many moons to actually get an Android smartphone in the first place (and even then we got the Backflip).

It's time for AT&T to flip the switch. We're big boys and girls. We can take responsibility for our downloads.

But at this point it's bigger than that. The Amazon Appstore has quickly gained traction -- much faster than we expected, thanks to some high-profile exclusive releases and a free-app-a-day program. (And then there's that newfangled Music Cloud thingy.) But if you're using an AT&T phone that can't install non-Market apps, you're SOL.

We should mention the Sideload Wonder Machine, created by our own Jerry Hildenbrand. It lets you install non-Market apps on AT&T phones via ADB and the command line via a sexy Windows/Mac/Linux user interface. You technically can install the free apps (or at least the non-DRM apps) from the Amazon Appstore through this method (or traditional sideloading via ADB) if you pull the from the Amazon Appstore cache on your phone and ... and ... and ...

Yeah. It's ridiculous. And it's doubly ridiculous that we brought up this issue to Amazon just before the Appstore was announced, and nobody had an answer for it, and it's still an issue today, though reportedly AT&T and Amazon will figure it out.

They shouldn't have had to. AT&T overstepped, and it's time to make it right. Allow non-Market apps on your phones, AT&T. Your users will thank you for it. And we will, too.

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3 years ago

Boost Mobile Samsung Galaxy Prevail leak shows $179 price tag

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If you've been hanging around our rumored devices forum (and if you haven't, you really should be), the name Samsung Galaxy Prevail should be familiar. And now with a leaked slide deck, we've got more info to work with before Tuesday's event with Samsung and Boost Mobile in New York City. (We'll be there live, by the way.)

So it looks like what we'll have is a 3.2-inch Android 2.2 phone running on Sprint's CDMA network, with 2MP camera, which is kind of a shame given that it's 2011. The usual sundries are there as well (Bluetooth, GPS, etc.), and it looks like we get a look at the pricing -- suggested at $179 before taxes and what not.

So we'll get real first look Tuesday night, we reckon. [Engadget]

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for April 2, 2011

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Many people have a love/ hate relationship with the Android market, and often times it is understandable. While having tons of apps to chose from, sometimes there are too many of a certain type, and it is hard to know what is good, and what you should pass on downloading. Let's hit the break, and take a look at some of our personal favorites for this week.

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3 years ago

Samsung Nexus S with AT&T-compatible radio shows up in online catalog

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And did we mention it's a white Nexus S?

There's been no official word from Samsung or Google, but the Nexus S with GSM 850/1900 radio bands has shown up for sale at Negri Electronics' online store.  It's carrying a model number of i9020T, and is available in black or white for $598.50.  What we don't know is if this is the Nexus S with an AT&T specific radio, or an unlocked import of the Nexus S from abroad.  I'm sure as people order these and get them in-hand, we'll know a bit more.

In either case, it's a Nexus S that will work with AT&T's 3G, and more than a few of you guys have been waiting for one of these.  [Negri Electronics via Android Central forums] Thanks, Abraham, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Froyo still leads Android versions

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The latest Android versions numbers are in, and it remains relatively unchanged from last month. Android 2.2 continues to dominate at 63.9 percent, up from 61.3 percent from the previous two weeks or so. Gingerbread builds of Android 2.3 and 2.3.3 are up a tad to 0.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Android 3.0 Honeycomb remains unchanged at 0.2 percent, which doesn't say much for sales of the Motorola Xoom, which so far is the only device officially running that build. We'll look to see if that changes now that the Wifi-only version of the Xoom is available.

Android 2.1 dropped a couple percentage points to 27.2 percent. Android 1.6 and 1.5 are at 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent.

So Froyo rules, there aren't too many Nexus One and Nexus S devices out there in the in overall scheme of things (they're the only ones officially running Gingerbread so far), and the Xoom and Honeycomb are just getting started. More data's at the source link if you're into that sort of thing. [Android Developer Blog]

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3 years ago

Android 2.2 Froyo update available for the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide

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If you are a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide user and have had your fingers crossed for an official Froyo (Android 2.2) update for your device, your patience has paid off. While it has been a while since we first heard of the delay, and there are other versions that are higher (namely Gingerbread) it is still quite an update for you. This update brings users:

  • Wi-Fi calling
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • USB Tethering (Internet Sharing)
  • Low storage (User Data) notification mechanism
  • Resolves issues with text and picture messaging
  • Resolves some Bluetooth compatibility issues
  • Improves compatibility with new Bluetooth devices
  • Improves stability and reliability of the device

In addition to these large improvements, there were also a bunch of smaller bug fixes as well. So, if you are still rocking with the MyTouch 3G Slide, be sure to head to the HTC site to view download and installation instructions. [myTouch 3G Slide Froyo update] Thanks, Jack and Irlisse!

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3 years ago

Gingerbread for HTC Desire due late April or early May, says Three

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After being the first carrier to confirm the HTC Desire Gingerbread update, Three UK has now given an estimate of when they expect to push the update out to Three-branded Desires. Responding to a question on its official Twitter feed, Three said the update is "coming in for testing on Monday, so end of April early May is the plan."

Other network-branded HTC Desires (in Europe, at least) should expect to see the update around the same time, though some carriers are faster than others when it comes to testing and approving new firmware. Unlocked Desire owners are likely to get Gingerbread before the late April/early May release window given by Three, as updates for their handsets don't have to be vetted by carriers before being pushed out. [@ThreeUK]

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3 years ago

Xperia Arc/Play available for pre-order on Rogers, 'late April' release rumored

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Canadian carrier Rogers now has pre-order pages up for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc and Xperia Play, following the phones' (slightly disrupted) European launch yesterday. Both phones will set Canadian buyers back C$99.99 upfront on any of Rogers' contracts, which range from C$50/month to C$75/month. While the Xperia Arc will only be available in black, Rogers is offering the Xperia Play in the lesser-spotted white as well.

The Rogers pre-order site doesn't list any release date. However, MobileSyrup is reporting via a leaked Rogers internal screen that both phones will see the light of day in "late April", with inventory arriving in stores between April 19 and 21. [Rogers, MobileSyrup]

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3 years ago

Motorola Bravo's Froyo update delayed on the cusp of its release?

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A little bit of bad news for those of you with a Motorola Bravo -- looks like external testing for an update to Android 2.2 Froyo was about to begin (according to a post this week in Moto's support forums). But the screen shot we were just sent certainly makes it look like that update (or possibly a separate update) might have been delayed.

The Bravo, as you'll recall, is a mid-level device on AT&T (see our hands-on) announced last fall at CTIA. It's got a 3.7-inch WGVA touchscreen, 2GB of ROM, a 3MP camera and ye olde Motoblur.

If indeed it's the Froyo update that's been delayed, here's hoping for a speedy re-release. Submitted via the Android Central App

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3 years ago

Sprint's Nexus S 4G launching April 18? [Update: Just a training launch?]

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Dunno from whom or where this came, but it sure looks like someone's about to get all trained up on the Sprint Nexus S 4G. (See our hands-on at CTIA.) And it sure does look like it could see an April 18 launch. The Nexus S 4G, as you'll remember, is the same as the original Nexus S, with a Wimax radio thrown in for good measure. It'll cost you $199 on-contract whenever it does launch, and you'll have to shell out extra for the Wifi hotspot. Submitted via the official Android Central app

[Update: Got a tip that this is sort of a soft training launch from the rewards site that announces the trainings, and that we could see the consumer launch a week or two later. The source guesses on or about April 24.]

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