Good news, folks. The long-awaited full version of Angry Birds (we've been going nuts playing the limited beta over and over) finally will drop next week, developer Rovio announced on Twitter this morning. They're working on proper multitasking, which pushed things back a tad. But that's worth waiting for, right? [Twitter]
All over the interwebs this morning there's scuttlebutt about some mysterious rootkit in the T-Mobile G2. Is the sky falling? Will this be the most locked down phone since the Motorola Droid X (which, by the way, has been "software" cracked)?
Its moto may be "quietly brilliant," but HTC has been anything but silent in the past year. It has launched flagship phones like the Nexus One, Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G here in the U.S., and the Desire has been popular abroad as well. The Taiwanese company has reported Q3 profits of $361 million, up from about half that number in Q3 of 2009. HTC has been running advertising campaigns in the U.S. to promote their flagship phones, and it appears that the money was well spent. Of course, making amazing phones along with what is probably the best manufacturer skin in Sense probably helped a bit. Click on past the link for lots of numbers and earning analysis. [The Wall Street Journal]
The Motorola Charm is the embodiment of the "smart-messaging phone." It runs Android, but make no mistake -- it's not what you would expect from your typical Android phone. It has an excellent qwerty keyboard, a small screen well designed for messaging applications (but little else), and a price point that makes sense. Hit the break to see my impressions of Android's version of the Kin.
T-Mobile this morning made the rumors official -- there be Wifi calling on them there Android phones. Specficially, on the new T-Mobile myTouch and Motorola Defy, and it'll be coming to more Android devices in the coming months. And -- surprise, surprise -- its done with that Kineto technology we wrote about a couple of weeks ago. So it's not quite the UMA of old, but it's close. Full presser after the break.
The Android Market may soon be getting a pretty big boost -- from online payment system PayPal. The Street reports that a deal is in the works and may be announced as early as Oct. 26 at PayPal's developer conference in San Francisco to bring PayPal to Android app purchases.
That would help bolster one the bigger barriers to entry to the Android Market -- having your credit card information in Google Checkout. Though it's not exactly a hassle to set up, certainly more of us are already hooked into (and familiar) with PayPal. [The Street]
I've got high hopes for Google TV. From the Wifi-plagued demo at Google IO to a more intimate demo at the Adobe Android Summit, this things got legs. But only if manufacturers don't totally overwhelm an already skeptical consumer base, like with the Sony remote seen above. Sony's baking Google TV into some of its new sets, which we should see next week. But this remote, outed during a GTV preview on ABC's "Nightline," scares the hell out of me, and I'm used to using a button or three in my daily existence. Now imagine how it's going to make your mother feel. Yeah. It'll never come out of the box.
We've got a little more hope for Logitech's set-top box. But we're going to hope and pray for a little more ease of use before launch. Check out the "Nightline" piece after the break if you want. [ABC via Engadget]
Motorola has announced the release of the Spice, a vertical slider with a 3-inch screen, running Android 2.1. No news about any U.S. carriers, but we hear it's destined for Brazil, and has the radio technology to match. While it may not be the Droid pro, the Pre Spice does bring the vertical slider form factor many of us want, and while not a screamer, it looks like it would be adequate if you really needed that sliding qwerty love.
Verizon has surprised everyone by making press materials available for the Droid Pro -- looking very different than anyone thought with its candy-bar styling and non-sliding qwerty action. Big Red doesn't have much to say about the Droid Pro so far:
DROID PRO is a new, powerful, stronger and faster solution designed to meet both business and personal needs. The first Android™-based smartphone optimized for business use, DROID PRO is also a global-ready Android smartphone, allowing customers to enjoy wireless voice service in more than 220 countries and data coverage in more than 200 countries.
What do we say? Hello, front-facing QWERTY goodness! We're still waiting on an official announcement and hopefully we'll get to see some more of this guy at CTIA this week in San Francisco. Stay tuned, folks, and in the meantime let's all play the waiting game in the Droid Pro forums.
Update: The official announcement's after the break, folks. Android 2.2, 3.1-inch touchscreen, 3G mobile hot spot, 1GHz processor, 2GB ROM (boo), 2GB microSD card, 5MP camera. Available in the fourth quarter
Top-end world phone Droids weren't the only thing Verizon told us about today, also unveiling the Motorola Citrus, an entry-level, non-Droid-branded Android handset. By the looks of it, Bing is along for the ride, as well as full-tilt Motoblur. Once again, Verizon isn't saying much yet:
Motorola CITRUS™ is powered by Android™ 2.1 and delivers an affordable, entry-level, customizable smartphone experience in a compact design that is easy on both the eyes and the earth.
This one should attract the tweens and feature phone users to Android, and looks like what we've come to expect from the bottom end of Android devices. Which isn;t completely a bad thing. While we all wait for more info, fell free to hang in the Citrus forums and discuss.
Update: The official press announcement is after the break. The short version -- no full specs, but "key features and specifications" are listed, and availability is Q4.
Corning, the manufacturers of Gorilla Glass (as well as dishes that even I can't break), has announced that they will be supplying Samsung with Gorilla Glass for the Galaxy Tab. This is great news, as seven inches of glass is bound to get bumped, scraped, and otherwise abused in everyday use, and having the ultra-tough Gorilla Glass screen will certainly help keep things looking nice and staying scratch free. Samsung already uses Gorilla Glass for their Galaxy S series of phones, and we've seen that it sure can take a beating. Read Corning's press release after the break.
Hey, lookie. Verizon's going to talk LTE tomorrow on the opening day of CTIA's fall event. That's cool. But it's still fairly unlikely we'll get any handset news just yet, though there's still that rumor of the Verizon CFO running around with an LTE Android phone, so you never know. (We'd be plenty happy to be wrong here.) Regardless, our intrepid EiC Dieter Bohn will be at CTIA, and we'll bring you the news as it happens. Or shortly after lunch. [Verizon]
T-Mobile has announced that the G2 is no longer available for pre-order for existing subscribers on their website. According to T-Mobile, this is due to "overwhelming demand." (Or, as Dallin points out, because Oct. 6 is when it was official to go on sale anyway.) This is a perfect way to wrap up one of the oddest phone launches in recent history -- first there was the pre-order debacle many went through before T-Mobile got the website straightened out, then the news that Radio Shack would be selling early, followed by T-Mobile themselves selling the phone a few days early.
If you get one of these in your hands already, or got in on the pre-order and are pacing up and down the driveway waiting for delivery, looks like your timing was great. If there really will be stock issues, who knows how long the wait will be. [T-Mobile] Thanks everyone who sent this in!
I've just wrapped up a week with the HTC Skin Case for the Droid Incredible. The case is made of a flexible black rubber which wraps around the sides and back of the phone, but leaves the front uncovered save for a slight bump around the edges. The back features the love-it-or-hate-it "stepped" ridges that you would find on the back of the phone itself. Join me past the break for a closer look?
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