Now that Google has enabled the full Market for quite a few more countries, some great applications that were previously only available through third party sources have shown up for sale. Titanium Backup Pro is one of them. If you're any type of hacker, ROM junkie, or just prudent and want to keep your own backup, you've heard of (and probably used) Titanium Backup.
It's a great tool that has saved my bacon more than once, and I know I'm not alone. I didn't have any problem buying the Pro license via PayPal, but there's a lot of you that for one reason or another weren't comfortable with that, or just couldn't do it. Now's your chance to support the developer, and unlock all the great extras that come with the pro version -- dropbox sync support, batch one-click restore, and more. It will be the best six bucks you've spent on the Market. Download link after the break!
The Vlingo Corp has announced that Vlingo InCar beta is now available for users on the Sprint network. I don't even try to hide the fact that I love Vlingo, out of all the voice command/control applications available, it's the only one that works for me. Now with the InCar beta, I can have the same control over my Evo using my voice, without hitting any icons or buttons. Once you start the new InCar beta version of Vlingo, you can enter complete hands free mode by pressing the Wake-up Command button, then say "Hey Vlingo" to start entering my voice commands. Awesome.
Worth a note here -- the new beta of Vlingo InCar is only available on the Market for Sprint subscribers for now, but Vlingo encourages folks on other carriers to go here and express interest in Vlingo InCar beta on their network. Let's all do that m'kay? There's a video, the full press release and some more screenshots after the break. [Vlingo]
Look what happens when you release Skype to the masses. They go ahead and change it so anyone can make calls over 3G. The app once exclusive to Verizon customers only, went live the other day for any Android user running Android 2.1 and above.
User xeudoxus at DroidForums decided he didn't like the idea of a WiFi only Skype app. So, he went ahead and well -- fixed it. Now, whether this is the most ethical or even legal change to an app, we're not quite sure. If you're brave enough to give it a shot (and don't mind a little gray-market software), give it a shot. [DroidForums]
You can call the Sanyo Zio low-end, you can call it a remarkably good phone for $99, you can call it retro what with the trackball ...just don't call it Zay-Oh or Zee-Oh. It's pronounced Zai-Oh, most Sprint reps pronounce it Zee-Oh, but we've also heard Zai-Oh on occasion. Obviously we'll be all over this very very important vowel issue in the coming days and months.
The Zio is light (almost too light) with a nice curve around the back and a matted finish surrounding that 3.2 megapixel camera. It's sporting Sprint's ID interface - which if you didn't hear is essentially Sprint's own custom Android skin that easily switches between branded experiences of your choice - from ESPN to Disney to your own small business if they're feeling ambitious.
More photos after the break - Update: check out the quick video demo after the break, which features the Lo2yo Latino Sprint ID screen. Update 2: video fixed. Mac Haters: feel free to mock iMovie.
What you've got here is a large 3.5" HVGA display attached to a horizontal slider form factor that naturally looks a bit like the Epic 4G but with a slightly squarer look. We're still not fond of Samsung's penchant for putting the microUSB port on the top of the phone, but other than that niggle the hardware is not a source of complaints from us. The slider mechanism is springy and maybe a little overfirm and the materials are simple plastics that may not ooze luxury but will hold up to wear and tear. The keyboard is similarly utilitarian: well spaced buttons, decent action, and even arrow keys to make up for the lack of a touchpad.
We aren't as offended by Sprint ID as we worried we might be - it's essentially stock Android 2.1 with the ability to switch between profiles - some of which may be corporate-sponsored, sure, but it turns out that some corporations can actually provide some useful content. The good news with Sprint ID is that you can customize up each ID as much as you like - so what it really boils down to is a system for switching between up to 5 different homescreen profiles sitting on Android 2.1. Sprint says 2.2 is coming and that they don't expect it to take as long to update as, say, HTC does because Sprint ID is so close to vanilla Android it shouldn't be hard to fix up.
The 800MHz processor gives us a laggy bit here and there, especially when trying to grab a quick snap from the 3.2 MP camera on the back.
The LG Optimus T is coming to T-Mobile for the holidays to provide featurephone users reason to upgrade. We have something very similar to Sprint's LG Optimus S here, though with T-Mobile you get a slightly different button layout and LG's take on the Android homescreen instead of Sprint's iD. The 3.2" HVGA capacitive screen does its job and things seem responsive enough to keep you from grinding your teeth, no doubt because it's running Android 2.2 under that thin LG skin.
We like the matted finish and color options - black and burgundy, but we wouldn't have minded if they saw fit to include a dedicated camera button for the 3.2-megapixel sensor round back. WiFi calling is definitely onboard but we couldn't get it to work on the demo unit despite hooking it up to a couple of viable WiFi networks - which is more likely a sign that our unit wasn't set up properly than a knock on T-Mo's WiFi calling feature.
Do you like huge Android sales figures and pretty graphs? Neilsen has the prefect gift for you: fresh evidence of Android's continued rise to dominance in the U.S. smartphone market. The OS is now installed on nearly one-third of new phones sold in the States and has risen to an overall market share of of 19 percent as of August. RIM's BlackBerry OS has an overall 31 percent share while Apple comes in at 28 percent with iOS. Any bets on how long it takes Android to become overall number one? Check out the overall market share graph after the break. [Neilsen]
If you just can't get enough about Android -- and if you're reading this, chances are that's you -- then check out the Oct. 11 edition of Newsweek magazine. In the "Attack of the Droids" cover story, Daniel Lyons (you probably know him better as Fake Steve Jobs) writes a nice synopsis of where Android's come from, where it is and where it's going. (And the picture of Andy Rubin and a baby Android is pretty priceless.)
For you paperless types, it's available online, too. [Newsweek]
You can think of the Motorola Flipout and Motorola Flipside as companion devices for AT&T - both are aimed squarely at upgrading featurephone users into Android-land by wooing them with QWERTY keyboards and MotoBlur.
Of the two, the horizontal-sliding Flipside specs are obviously the more powerful: a 720MHz processor with 512mb of ROM, a 320x480 screen, and a touchpad that's not embarrassed to be gigantic to make moving your cursor around that much easier. We've no gripes about the keyboard or, well about the Flipside in general. It's a capable low-to-mid range MotoBlur device and if that's the thing for you or yours, we don't judge.
The Flipout, meanwhile, tries to win on charm. It's a cute little square with a colored back that comes with two colors in the box (Red and Green to you, Rose and Saffron to AT&T). The screen itself flips up rotationally to reveal a super-tall portrait keyboard with a nigh-useless 5-way dpad in the lower lefthand corner. Naturally, as this size, the Flipout's specs are on the low-end. Of most concern is the 320x240 screen which not only raises concerns with app compatibility but just plain didn't look well-thought-out to us. Android may have 320x240 in their spec, but it needs work to ...work at this size and Moto didn't even put in enough to anti-alias the text on the menus. Finally, this phone's main draw - the keyboard - feels awkward and unfriendly.
We'll leave the 'flip' puns as an exercise to the reader, instead just telling you, as usual, that you can find more photos and a demo video of both devices after the break!
"It's disappointing that after years of supporting open source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open source Java community with vague software patent claims"
For the average non-legal eagles, that's about where it ends. But Nilay Patel (who is a legal eagle) over at Engadget has put up his take on it, and it makes for a hell of an interesting read. Head over to the source link and have a look. [Engadget]
Cricket has announced the Huawei Ascend, its second Android-powered device. The Huawei Ascend features almost identical specs to that of its older brother, the Kyocera Zio. The Ascend features a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and camcorder, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi capabilities and will ship with Android 2.1. The phone will launch some time around the middle of October and will retail at $149.99.
The Motorola Defy is a semi-ruggedized Android smartphone that is the latest in a long line of Oprah-giveaways. What you've got is a 3.1" touchscreen behind scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass attached to a form factor that's water and dust-resistant - down to the oversized rubber covers for the USB and headphone ports.
We dig the white-on-black looks and the exposed screws around the edges. We don't quite dig that it's sporting Android 2.1 instead of 2.2, but for a phone in this range it's not a deal-breaker. It's got a 5-megapixel camera to snap photos of your Australian adventures and DLNA to display those photos on your television. You'll access it all through the MotoBlur skin, which didn't appear to slow the device down too much, but even so - T-Mobile G2 this ain't.
More photos and a demo video (which, yes, veers a little towards the pitchy) after the break!
We high-tailed it over to the Motorola Booth and grabbed ahold of the first untethered Motorola Droid Pro we could find. First things first: the keyboard is above average. There's not a ton of movement on the keys, but they're well-ridged in a style that's more than reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold. While typing, it's a little top-heavy by dint of that 3.1-inch, portrait HVGA screen, but it's not completely offensive by any means.
Also, and we mean this from the bottom of our hearts, it's lovely to "just start typing" on the Android home screen to initiate a search.
We're looking at the Motoblur-lite you've come to know on the Droid X. Speed-wise, it certainly kept up with our scrolling and zooming in the browser -- a virtue of the 1GHz processor, we're sure. The official word on the Droid Pro is still "Q4," but the man at Motorola suggested that November would be the month to watch.
Grab a huge helping of photos after the break along with a super quick hands-on video, then head on over to the Motorola Droid Pro Forums and let us know what you think!
Update: We wranged a Moto rep to take the Droid Pro through its paces for us, including showing off the profile switching and the Enterprise features - which include remotely wiping the SD card via the standard Exchange device management interface on the IT side. We also grabbed a quick hands-on and a couple photos of the extended battery and, well, it's not much thicker, not much heavier, and we are having a hard time understanding why it's not the default. Catch it all after the break, at the very bottom.
Take a gander at the Motorola Citrus, Verizon and Moto's plan for the aspirational, new-to-smartphones user. It has a small, almost cute form-factor that more than a few people have likened to the Palm Pre without the slide-out keyboard. We think we could do without the big old 'Backtrack' touchpad on the back, but to each his own. We also found it curious that the physical Send and End keys do little more than make and end calls, the End key doesn't even take you to the home screen.
Software-wise, as you'd expect, it's running Motoblur and (sadly) 2.1 and, yes, Bing. Performance is also as you'd expect: slightly better than the current crop of mid-level Blur phones, but not a speedster. That's ok, though, while you wait you can pat yourself on the back for buying a phone made form 25% recycled plastic.
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