Droid Incredible owners everywhere should be stoked to learn that an oft-rumored over-the-air update has finally started being pushed to phones by HTC and Verizon, albeit in a trickle thus far. The update contains a bunch of new features, but the big ones are 720p video recording, Verizon's Wifi hotspot (same as what is in the Palm Pre Plus and Droid X), a new boot animation, and Amazon's MP3 store app. HTC has been good enough to throw in a couple new widgets as well.
It does look like Verizon is starting the rollout slowly, which is standard practice these days (remember that anytime you hear someone throw out a hard date for an update release). That's in part to lessen server loads and also to keep an eye on things and make sure the update's going OK (and perhaps to avoid similar issues to what happened with the Evo 4G awhile back). Users can try to get theirs a bit earlier by going into "About Phone" in the Settings and clicking "System Updates," or wait until the download location leaks out and upgrade manually.
With the release of the Motorola Droid X and Samsung Vibrant today, we know there will be a lot of new owners looking for some suggestions of what to download. With a market that contains nearly 100,000 applications, the hunt can be overwhelming, especially for a new owner. Well, we know, you want the applications, so let's take a look at some after the jump.
The Droid X has seen a lot of hype and today a new promo video has surfaced along with some sort of secret code. We are unsure the meaning of the code, but it appears as though some have figured out a location to use the code. Take a look after the jump for the video, and if you figure it out, please share with us, mmmkay? Thanks MrCippy.
Motorola has come clean about the eFUSE questions, and we're all relieved to hear the Droid X won't blow up if you try to hack it. I can imagine that my questions were just a drop in the bucket and Moto had a stack of e-mail that they couldn't ignore. They reached out to Engadget with the following, saying (among other things):
"The Droid X and a majority of Android consumer devices on the market today have a secured bootloader. In reference specifically to eFuse, the technology is not loaded with the purpose of preventing a consumer device from functioning, but rather ensuring for the user that the device only runs on updated and tested versions of software. If a device attempts to boot with unapproved software, it will go into recovery mode, and can re-boot once approved software is re-installed."
The good news is that your shiny new Droid X won't go boom if you try to hack it. The bad news is that Motorola has placed another layer of security in an attempt to thwart people from customizing or modifying their Android phone. One that I'm sure has a big old target on it now -- the biggest challenge draws the brightest people :) I hope Moto's new trick doesn't work, and that they change their ways in the future, but I'm not expecting it. In the end, all I really wanted was an official statement from Motorola, and they delivered. Now it's up to us to show them the error of their ways. Check out the source for the full quote. [Engadget]
Old-school Palm OS fans (we know a few of you came over from PreCentral.net) will be pleased to know that Access (we won't go into the whole Access-Palm thing) has brought over the popular app Graffiti to Android. [Market link | App Brain]
Graffiti allows users to use gestures rather than a keyboard (kind of like Swype without letters). To enable this app, like other keyboard replacements, first download from the Market. Then go into Settings, then Language & Keyboard. Select Graffiti, and then hold down any text box to select Input Method. Make sure Graffiti is selected and you're good to go!
This is Graffiti version 1.02, which is the original from Palm OS. Expect to see more functionality in the future. It's nice to see some of the functions that stood out for Palm are being brought over to Android. [PalmInfoCenter]
If you're still on the fence about buying a Nexus One, you need to pull the trigger pretty soon. (Get it at Google.com/phone.) Google says it's taken its final shipment of phones from HTC, and that's likely to be it for the phone, since it's closing its web store.
Earlier this year, we announced that we will be closing the Nexus One web store. This week we received our last shipment of Nexus One phones. Once we sell these devices, the Nexus One will no longer be available online from Google. Customer support will still be available for current Nexus One customers. And Nexus One will continue to be sold by partners including Vodafone in Europe, KT in Korea, and possibly others based on local market conditions.
Hate to see a great phone die like that, but them's the breaks. Google says it will still offer the N1 for sale to registered developers. [Google Nexus One blog]
Apple CEO Steve Jobs led a news conference today to explain what he's now dubbed "Antennagate" -- and he called out a couple of other smartphones to show that the iPhone 4 isn't the only one to drop signal strength when held. On the Android side, Apple chose the HTC Droid Eris, which has since been replaced by the HTC Droid Incredible.
We get it. A whole lot of people have had their eyes opened to the wonderful world of RF engineering, and suddenly we're all amateur EEs and are going to be watching our "bars" -- the little lines that approximate signal strength. Fine. And there's chatter going on that the new Samsung Galaxy S phones have the same sort of "death grip."
Fact is, you're likely to see signal attenuation on any phone. And if you want to stare at your bars all day, be our guest. Where we start to worry is when calls are dropped. And that's always going to be a marriage between hardware design and network capability.
Our suggestion: Everybody relax a tad. This iPhone thing might well be blown out of proportion. Or it might well be bigger than we think. Frankly, we're not going to let it drag us down. While Apple fans have a single phone on which to focus, Android has more phones than we know what to do with. We'll judge call quality the same way we always have -- by using the phone and making calls.
We've got the launches of the Droid X on Verizon and Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile, the saga of the locked bootloader, who's not getting Froyo this week, the Fring-Skype feud -- and we even gave out a free phone -- congrats, Kevin! Plus, a bunch of your e-mails and voicemail. Listen in!
Perhaps you remember this picture of the Motorola Devour. (Take your time. You'll find it.) This was just six months ago, when the mid-range Android phone was released on Verizon and even garnered its own Super Bowl ad. Today, it appears that the Devour and the original Droid -- which isn't even a year old -- are headed for the big smartphone meetup in the sky, with Verizon listing them as being "End of life."
Now, that doesn't mean your Droid sucks, or that it won't be supported. In fact, in the document leaked on DroidForums, it clearly lists the two phones under "Current devices with limited or no remaining shipments from the vendor." In the case of the Droid, that's hardly surprising, as we're expecting its sequel anytime now.
And while the Devour hardly was a head-turner (read our full review if you want to know how we really feel about it), it's a stark reminder of how short a lifespan phones can have. Hell, think about how many phones we've seen announced and/or released in the last month. Anyhoo, if you still want a Droid or Devour, better get 'em while you still can. Or, you know, you can wait a tad and get something newer and better. [DroidForums via DroidLife]
(Oh, and just because we can, check out the Devour ad after the break.)
If you have been keeping up with news in the tech world lately, you might have noticed something of a debate concerning signal strength. Antennas looks to do away with the simplistic "bars" measure of signal strength by letting Android users know what towers they are connected to, and roughly where they are. The app uses your phone's GPS along with data collected from the antenna and puts both up against Google's antenna database.
CDMA users (That's you, Verizon and Sprint) will have less succes, as the Android OS prevents connecting to more than one tower. This causes only one tower, the strongest, to be shown and requires Android 2.x to work. Everyone else in the world on GSM will have the best results by turning 3G off and allowing the app to run on EDGE/2G. [Panix via LifeHacker | AppBrain]