One thing missing from the Galaxy S class of phones -- and this will hurt some of your more than others -- is proper LED notification. Sorry, it's just not there. If you miss a call, or get an e-mail or text message, you're on your own to wake the phone to check.
Unless ... You install a simple little app from madmack at XDA Developers. It pops a small red square onto your otherwise blank screen, alerting you if you've missed something. And before you can even think the words "pixel burnout," note that the square doesn't sit in one place, so that's a non-issue. Hit up the source link for the instructions, and tell 'em we sentcha. [XDA Developers via Android Spin]
There are three things I love -- open source, Linux, and ingenuity. Android Central forum member 42turkeys brings all three together, along with some serious Mac love in his versions of the Sideload Wonder Machine for Linux and Mac. Using the same premise as we did with the Windows version, you can now sideload apps to your crippled AT&T branded Android phones using your Mac or Linux computer.
Because Linux and MacOS have a robust shell, these are terminal applications. It's a fair trade -- you're not getting the point and click GUI, but you can do a bit more through the menu. And if you're using Mac OS, or especially Linux, you shouldn't be afraid of the terminal. Hit 42turkey's forum thread HERE to download either version, and get you some sideload on.
AOL, an Internet and media giant if there ever was one, has released a duo of Android applications. While it may be trendy and fun to bash AOL, the fact is that it helped usher in the Internet age, and things would look much different had they not help shaped today's landscape. What does that have to do with an Android app you ask? Think market share, and more importantly, mind share. This is a sign that Android has hit critical mass, and is now a very serious player in the mobile world.
Let's take a look at the apps (which are standouts BTW -- this is how you do it) after the break. [cnet]
Call the Nexus One what you want -- failed experiment, iClone, ahead of its time, whatever. We'll call it a solid phone, born from Google's desire to "shake up" the smartphone market, both in terms of available hardware and the way it was sold to consumers. Some of it worked. Some of it didn't.
We're not going to recap the life of every Android smartphone when it gets replaced. That would be silly. But the Nexus One was Google's earnest attempt to change things, and it deserves a final send-off, which is marginally less silly. And so, after the break, a Nexus One retrospective.
Verizon has been pushing its "VCAST" video service for quite some time, and it just got a lot more desirable for NFL fans on Big Red. The new and improved "NFL Mobile" app will allow live streaming of the NFL Network and access to Video on Demand for free through the end of August, after which a $10 per month subscription to VCAST Videos will be required. Once the regular season starts, the app will allow subscribers to watch NFL RedZone, NFL Network, NBC's Sunday Night Football, and NFL Network's Thursday Night Football live.
For users not willing to pay, the app will still feature live audio streams from games, along with score updates and news all the way to the Superbowl in February. Either way, Verizon Android users can get the app now via the "Verizon" section of the Market (sorry, no QR code or AppBrain links are available as this is Verizon-exclusive).
One might think that Verizon would have to keep some sort of "unlimited" data plan if they added tiers to their data pricing, if only to keep services like this viable for customers. But, only time will tell. Snag the app in Verizon's section of the Android Market. [Verizon]
The HTC Skin Case for the Sprint Evo 4G is one of the easiest ways to protect your phone. It's a basic rubber skin that fits around the Evo with cutouts for the camera, speaker, flashes, kickstand and ports, and it leaves the phone's massive 4.3-inch touchscreen completely uncovered, so you don't lose any usability.
Marrying the Evo to the skin case is a simple matter of sticking the phone in it and making sure the rubber wraps all the way around the phone. The fit at the corners is snug, but not too snug. The case can be a little loose on the sides, but it's only a minor annoyance. It's not going to come off unless you want it to. The case wraps slightly around the front bezel of the phone, so it will keep the screen from hitting if it falls flat.
The biggest drawback to the skin case's rubber texture is that it's a little slick, and it's a bit of a magnet for dust and lint. But the occasional bath in soap and water (be sure to remove your phone first) should take care of that.
Now, one of its print ads has been spotted that takes direct aim at Apple. The ad simply says "Hello" with a Galaxy S picture underneath. However the l's are replaced with bars, an obvious dig at Apple's ongoing Antennagate debacle.
Well played, Samsung. [via @jmcomms] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Our pal Robert Werlinger from sister site PreCentral.net has been at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference this week in Portland, Ore., and sat in on the "Your Smartphone May Not Be as Open as You Think" session. And, obviously, that's been a topic of discussion in these parts, what with the whole Droid X eFuse conspiracy, and the usual general Android hacking.
And we get an interesting look at why things often are the way they are. Why despite Android's open nature, some code needs to remain secret. Why when you strip out the proprietary code, you're left without a lot of what you'd consider to be basic functionality. Anyhoo, it's a great read, so head on over and check it out. [PreCentral]
In recent weeks, you may have heard of something called "Antennagate" flying around the web. In short, there is an issue with the iPhone 4's antenna, causing some to suddenly lose bars and drop calls. Many users who have had this issue have (naturally) been venting on Twitter, and Samsung has been listening.
Samsung has had a flash of PR brilliance and has been giving away free, unlocked, and off-contract Galaxy S phones to angry (soon to be former) iPhone 4 users in the U.K. At least one user has reported that he has actually received the phone, and Samsung has been asking many other users for contact and shipping info. Check out their official Twitter account (@samsungukmobile) for yourself if you want to see the magic in action. [via Pocket-Lint]