This is another one of those deals that's likely to raise a few eyebrows, or at least produce some unwarranted exclamation points. The long and short of it is that Microsoft and Motorola have come to a deal that will make Bing the default search engine on Android devices released in China in the first quarter.
Here's another way to write that headline: "Manufacturer does what it wants with its own phones."
While it's the first time we can think of Bing being put onto an Android device by default, it's still in the same ballpark as AT&T going with Yahoo on the Backflip. And far be it from Microsoft to put its product on every platform imaginable, right? Besides, this may just be payback for all those Windows Phones that are seeing Android ported onto them. [PR Newswire]
We're getting word that T-Mobile G1 users have been getting OTA updates over the past couple of days, but alas it's not "THE BIG ONE" to Android 2.0 or 2.1. Instead, it looks like it's a radio update, aka the infamous "call quality improvement."
Most of us are waiting for Opera Mobile for Android to somehow make it on Android phones but the next best thing has landed on the newswire: Opera Mini 5 Beta is now available for Android. And little brother browser ain't so shabby. Opera Mini 5 Beta comes with tabbed browsing, speed dial bookmarks, download manager, password manager, and other features. Opera Mini is typically a speedy browser and this iteration is no exception.
It's supposed to work with all Android devices so everyone gets to play! Try it out yourself by searching Opera Mini 5 in Android Market or by heading to m.opera.com/next
One of the first questions we get from new Android users is "Great phone. Now how do I get my music on it?" And one of the first answers we give is "doubleTwist." The free software syncs with just about every smartphone out there, has the Amazon MP3 Store built in, and -- best of all -- frees you from the shackles of iTunes. And the Windows application just got a major update, adding:
doubleTwist Podcasts - the world's largest podcast search engine! Search, subscribe and sync podcasts to any device.
Improved the speed of the sync planning phase and transfer of media items to device.
Support for network drives that are mounted as a drive letter.
Cooper did a piece on C-SPAN last week where he talked (a lot!) about spectrum and the politics thereof (it's clunky, but well done), as well as the argument that cell phones might cause cancer (show him some proof). The talk about his weapon of choice comes a little after the 30-minute mark. When asked about his daily driver he replied:
"Depends when you ask me. I always have the latest cell phone, and I try every cell phone out, only because people like you keep asking me. Right now I'm using the Droid, because I want to get some experience with the Android operating system, and I, so far, have some favorable results."
Turns out he used to have an iPhone, which he gave to his grandson. He uses a feature phone for his day-to-day calls, he said, but turns to the Droid when it's time to do some real work -- like tweeting. Yes, the 81-year-old inventor of the cell phone is on Twitter. He's @MartyMobile, so be sure to follow him. And be sure to tell him AndroidCentral sent you. [C-SPAN] Thanks, @ikagirl, for the tip!
Take a look at the latest smartphone usage numbers from Comscore, and you're likely to do a double-take -- Android increased by 4.3 percentage points from November '09 through January 2010 over the three previous months, giving it a 7.1 percent share. There's no doubt that Android's popularity continues to grow. But those numbers likely can (and should) be attributed to the introduction of just one phone: The Motorola Droid, which launched in October 2009.
That's not to say we should discount the growth. But the simple fact is there are two ways to look at Android at the moment: Before Droid/After Droid. If we see the growth curve continue this stratospheric climb, we've got a friggin' movement on our hands. But we need a few more quarters under our belts first. [Comscore]
Well it seems like the guys over at Sony Ericsson have taken all the fun with the unboxing of the Xperia X10 for us -- even though we had our hands on it a couple months ago at CES, and again at Mobile World Congress. So if they want to show off the box themselves, that's cool ...
We still aren't sure when or if the X10 will ever make its way to the United States, which is par for the course at this point for the Xperia line. Check out the video after the break. [sony ericsson]
Stories have been going around that a botnet was being spread by the HTC Magic on Vodafone. Specifically, it was Panda Security that sounded the alarm after they plugged in said Android phone and had all kinds of alarms go off. However, it turns out it was an infected memory card that was the culprit, and not a bad batch of phones, as original post author Pedro Bustamante later points out in the comments.
It’s the memory card for sure, not the actual Android filesystem. It could be a malicious employee, a bad batch, provided by the manufacturer, lack of QA or a returned and refurbished unit. But as you said, either way Vodafone needs to better QA these before shipping out to customers.
Pedro's right, there should be better Q&A to keep this from happening. But there also should be a little more discretion used before we see headlines such as "Vodafone distributes Mariposa botnet." (And the post itself hasn't been updated?) An infected memory card is bad, but one bad apple does not an outbreak make. The sky's not falling, folks.
We already knew that the Dell Mini 5 'Streak' was gorgeous when we saw it in pictures, it's good to know that it's looking just as amazing in leaked low-res promotional flyers too. The promo flyers are the first advertisements we're seeing for the Dell Mini 5 'Streak', the Android-powered 5-inch device that pulls double duty as a phone. It also confirms some specs: 5 megapixel camera, 5-inch 800x480 screen, and a front facing VGA camera for video chatting. For the creative among us, the Dell Mini 5 will be available in all the colors you'd ever want and can even rock personal designs.
And even more exciting is the slide that shows a Kindle book reader application appears to be in the works. Will it be Streak-specific, or is Kindle finally coming to Android? Either way, we can't wait to use the Dell Mini 5 'Streak'. Or at least, get a price on this puppy.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 might just get an update to Android 2.2. According to CNET Asia, a SE spokesman said that the Xperia X10 will get updated to the "Eclair variant" of Android so "it could be 2.1 or even 2.2" by the end of the year. That'd be amazing news for any other device but for the Xperia X10, a device that still has no firm US launch date, pricing, or carrier, well, who really knows what that means. The end of the year is such a long time that we're sure SE will find a way to stretch that timeframe for all it's worth. By that time, we might already be on Android 3.2.
Tether, formerly known as TetherBerry, has spent lots of time behind the scenes porting their extremely successful BlackBerry application to Android. Tonight is a great night for many that have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this beta. Tether has sent out emails to those that have signed up for their long awaited beta so that public testing can begin.
This announcement comes shortly after they announced their 1st Birthday Celebration, which includes some amazing prizes, including 3 Android devices. If you are not signed up for this beta and want to sign up, point your mouse here, fill out the few pieces of required information and sit back and wait. At this time there is no word as to when more testers will be given the application, but keep an eye out for more information to come!
You know all those stories about developers getting free Android phones this conference or another? Our pal Rene Ritchie (of TiPB) is at GDC in San Francisco and got to witness the carnage in person. Check it out after the break.
We'd love to give you guys good news about the Android-powered Spring Design Alex e-reader but sadly that's not the case. It's not entirely bad news so that's something to hang your hat on (kind of). But the Alex e-reader that was originally supposed to become available at the end of February is no where to be found. Their own website currently says that orders will begin in the first week of March, and that has gone by as well. Engadget says that they've been re-assured by the company that orders will begin in the "next week or two" and customers will get the Alex e-reader by "early spring", whatever that means.
The Alex e-reader, which we got a hands-on with at CES, is an impressive little device that combines a LCD screen and e-ink screen on one slate (like the Nook). Unlike the Nook, Android is front and center and we thought everything worked really well together. We hope that Spring Design can hammer out the final details because we think that the Alex e-reader can be that Android-powered e-reader we never knew we wanted.
We're well into our review of the Motorola Devour (check out our initial hands-on), but we wanted to take a station break to mention how to get at the battery and microSD card. Because the Devour is one of those newfangled "unibody" devices -- as in cast from a single piece of aluminum -- it doesn't have the traditional battery door on the back. Instead, it's tucked away into the side of the device. The official page from the manual is above, and check out our how-to after the break.
It's just not fair. Anytime anyone puts that cute little green Android robot on anything, we want it. This 12-inch by 12-inch by pillow probably isn't even comfortable but with that Android robot handcrafted on it, it's just too adorable to pass up. At the very least, maybe it can soothe your nightmares of Android 2.1 never coming to your phone? Twenty bucks for one on Etsy.
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