Headlines

4 years ago

Droid Eris update coming July 16

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droid eris software update

That's right Droid Eris users, Verizon did not forget you -- there's a software update coming on July 16 that's slated to fix a whole slew of audio and contacts issues.  When the update to Android 2.1 rolled around, there was quite a bit of disappointment as things were, shall we say, broken, and with the Eris being discontinued everyone thought that was the end of bug-fixes and other software enhancements.  Nice to see that wasn't the case, and Verizon hasn't forgotten it's customers who prefer the smaller, but still sexy, Eris.  Hit the break to see another leaked screen shot with some information about exactly what is getting fixed.  [DroidLife]

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4 years ago

Laws of retail sales mean stores will only have X number of Droid X's at launch

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Droid X inventory numbers

In a stunning turn of events not seen since the days of Adam Smith, it's come to light that there won't be an infinite number of Droid X's available at launch on Thursday, and in fact retail stores have been allocated a discrete number of phones to be sold.

As for how many phones each store will have, well, you see an early example of the inventory above (via Droid Life). If you're worried about whether your local store will have a Droid X to sell you, we offer the following advice:

  1. Don't worry about inventory screen shots that will be days old on the actual launch day.
  2. Try calling your local retailer (here's a handy location guide) and asking if they have a Droid X to sell to you.
  3. If that fails, you might try actually going to a store and trying to buy a phone.

That said, we're pretty sure this will be a popular phone, so you might wanna show up early. Oh, and if you want, you can enter our free Droid X giveaway.

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4 years ago

Powering the iPad with Android's WiFi tethering

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TiPb.com compares using Android WiFi tethering to power the iPad against paying extra for the iPad 3G.

Our friend (frenemy?) Rene Ritchie over at sister-site TiPb has done a quick, largely (and admittedly) unscientific comparison of connectivity options for the iPad, and whether the additional $130 for the 3G model and corresponding data plan is worth it. In the test, he pits the built-in 3G over the Rogers' 3G 7.2 Mbps HSPA, WiFi tethering on a Nexus One running Froyo over the same network, and a Verizon Palm Pre Plus roaming on the Canadian Bell CDMA network.

Results were varied, but in the end the conclusion was just as you might expect: for the most convenience, shell out the dough for the 3G model and plan; for savings, use your Android handset's built-in free WiFi tethering (where available), or your carrier's paid solution.

Head on over to TiPb for the full article.

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4 years ago

Sprint CEO: Phone shortages affecting 4G adoption

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Sprint Evo 4G

What good is a 4G network if you don't have more phones to run on it? That's the hand Sprint is currently playing and that has been briefly detailed in a story at the Wall Street Journal's website. The Macquarie Group tells WSJ that 300,000 Evo 4Gs have been sold, but the phone (again) is listed on Sprint's site as being unavailable, and one cannot sell what once does not have. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told the WSJ that "We thought we would have had more of a head start than we'll end up having."

Blamed for the shortages (including the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon) are the touchscreens, which are manufactured by Samsung. HTC has enlisted Sony to provide it with SLCD screens, which may help alleviate some of the shortage.

Meanwhile, Samsung just launched the Samsung Galaxy S line in the United States, spanning the four major carriers and two regionals, and we'll have to see how well it can keep up with demand there. [WSJ]

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4 years ago

Win a free Droid X from Android Central

Win a free Motorola Droid X

The Motorola Droid X (read our full review) finally comes out on Verizon this week. And to celebrate, we're giving one lucky reader a Droid X of his or her very own.

To win, all you have to do is leave a post in this thread in our Droid X forum and tell us why you think the Droid X is the hottest phone of the year. We're providing the phone -- you're on your own for Verizon service. (And you'll need to be in the U.S. for this one, obviously.)

The Droid X officially launches Thursday, and we'll announce our winner live on the Android Central Podcast, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday night. Good luck!

Win a free Droid X from Android Central!

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4 years ago

Fring-Skype relationship hits feud status as access pulled (updated)

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Fring-Skype

When last we saw Fring, the VOIP app was touting its popularity after an update to its iPhone client and how it had to "temporarily reduce support to Skype" because of it. Looks like there may be a bit more to this story, however, as this morning Fring took a major backhand to Skype, complaining that it's Skype that is not allowing the access.

But it gets a little weirder than that. On one had we have a pretty straightforward press release detailing Fring's side of things. And on the other is a pretty inflammatory post on Fring's blog that openly calls Skype "cowards" for "trying to muzzle the competition." (Also a line used by Fring's CEO in the press release.) That's a long way from last week, when things seemed more like a small technological bump.

We're hoping to get Skype's side of the story soon. We'll go out on a limb here and hope that this is a precursor for Skype shirking its Verizon exclusivity and finally bringing a proper app to the Android Market. But in the meantime, we're all going to have to sit back and watch this one unfold. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

Update: The plot thickens, as Skype just got back to us and tells us that removing access was all Fring's doing. Here's the quote:

“Skype has been in discussions with Fring regarding our belief that Fring is breaching our API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement. Skype is disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible but Fring’s decision to withdraw Skype functionality immediately was of its own choice. Skype encourages developers to build products that work with Skype in accordance with our various API licences. However, Skype will rigorously protect its brand and reputation and those companies that do not comply with our terms will be subject to enforcement.“

 Update 2: Here's Skype's blog post on the whole thing.

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4 years ago

MyTouch 3G Slide review

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T-Mobile's Android slider packs a punch

HTC MyTouch 3G Slide

The HTC MyTouch 3G Slide from T-Mobile USA is the Android smartphone that has seemed to fly under the radar.  Released at a time when Snapdragon processors and AMOLED screens are all the rage, the mid-range specs on the Slide disguise the performance and feel of this qwerty slider.  Packing its own flavor of the touted HTC Sense UI and running Android 2.1, the Slide was a phone I was itching to get my hands on and put it through the paces.  Hit the jump to see my impressions of this solid, but forgotten phone.

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4 years ago

Google unveils Android App Inventor, no coding skill required

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Android App Inventor

Ever wanted to create an Android app but just don't have the coding skills? Google's just greatly lowered the barrier for entry with the Android App Inventor. It's akin to Palm's Ares system (and we presume other development platforms? Hey, we're not coders, either) in that it's basically drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Hit a few buttons, and out spits an app.

A couple of worries about this:

  1. The Android Market is already flooded with hundreds (and likely thousands) of crappy apps. Let's call them crapps. And this is going to make it easier to make more crapps.
  2. This is bound to upset already established developers, right? (Let us know in the comments, folks.)
  3. Again, crapps. There's been a lot of chatter over the weekend about how the Market's closing in on 100,000 apps (according to sites like Androlib, anyway). And we're repeat what we have to say every time these milestone stories come up: There are apps, and there are crapps. We'd rather have 10,000 quality apps than 100,000 crapps. (And never mind that the total includes ringtones, keyboards, wallpapers, etc.)

We go back to a question that asked (by yours truly) of the Android Leadership at Google IO: Is the Market ever going to curated up front? Or will it still be up to use to wade our way through the craps? Google being a search company (and the whole openness thing, too), you can imagine which way that went. But we digress.

Let's give Android App Inventor a shot and see where it goes. Certainly the idea is good, and it's worked out well for Palm with Ares. Hit up the source link to find out more, and there's a pretty video after the break, too. [Google App Inventor]

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4 years ago

Sprint 4G goes live in 7 new markets

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Sprint 4G

Sprint announced it has flipped the magic switch and turned on their 4G network in  New York (Rochester and Syracuse); California (Merced and Visalia); Washington (Tri-Cities and Yakima); and Oregon (Eugene).  This lines up perfectly with the images leaked of their summer roadmap

Though some of us will probably never get any type of 4G service (*cough Jerry's house*), it's nice to see things look like they're right on schedule for the areas they have planned to cover in 2010.  Anybody out there seeing that sexy '4G network available' icon on their Evo 4G in any of these new cities?  Follow the break to see the full press release. [Sprint]

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod Froyo ROMs hit RC for Nexus One, Dream, Magic (updated)

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CyanogenFor those of you patiently (or not so much) waiting for Cyanogen and Team Douche to release a semi-official Android 2.2 ROM, it's time to get flashing. CyanogenMod-6.0.0 RC1 was posted up early this morning, with builds for the Nexus One, Dream and Magic, which should cover a good many of us. You can snag the new builds in the usual places, including the CM Nexus One and D/M forums, XDA Developers (N1, D/M) and our favorite, ROM Manager.

For the noobs out there, the CyanogenMod series of ROMs are custom built from the official Android Open Source Project files by trained professionals (professional somethings, anyway), tested and released to the masses. (Check out the full changelog here.) We swear by 'em, and you should, too. [Cyanogen]

Update: A new CM Droid ROM is now in ROM Manager and the other usual places. Huzzah!

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4 years ago

An Incredible (Droid Incredible that is!) Lego dock

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Lego docking station for the HTC Droid incredible

WOW!  I've seen Lego docks and various phone accessories before, but Android Central Forums member triciaaz's takes the cake for sure.  It's clearly a step above and beyond your run-of-the-mill docking station, and triciaaz's HTC Droid Incredible has it's own place to call home.  Just promise to be careful watering those flowers triciaaz ;)  There's another pic of a view from the side after the break to help all you would-be Lego architects construct your own version.  My hat's off to ya triciaaz! [Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Early (lucky!) Motorola Droid X owners can now get their phones activated

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moto droid x's shipped early can now be activated

To those of you lucky enough to get your Droid X early (all 170 of you need to play the lottery this week!) Verizon has now set up the system so you can activate that monster.  As of Friday July 9, provisions were put in place to allow activation according to Verizon internal documents leaked out to DroidLife.  You can activate over the web at your MyVerizon page, or OTA by dialing *228 and selecting option 1.  Now quit slacking and get that speed demon activated, then hit the forums to tease the rest of us for 5 more days :) [DroidLife]

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4 years ago

Motorola WX445 leaked -- Big Red's low-end Android entry?

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Motorola wx445 on Verizon

Images of the unreleased Motorola WX455 have shown up today online, with very little fanfare.  If the rumors about it's specifications are correct, we can see why.  Supposedly it's a pretty anemic offering, and beside the recent onslaught of superphones like the Galaxy S series and the Motorola Droid X, it's hard to get excited over a mid- to low-end handset.  Speaking of specs, all we can be sure of is what you see -- it's running Eclair, has a weird mix of capacitive buttons and some sort of physical pad, a smallish touchscreen, and headed to Verizon.  Rumored specs also include a camera (megapixels unknown) with no flash, and a 1170 mAh battery.  It should also sport the standard Android array of radios and sensors; GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, compass, etc., but that's just an educated guess. 

We've talked about the validity of low end Android models on the last couple of podcasts, what do you guys think?  Yea or nay to the entry level stuff?  [Engadget]

Are low end phones running Android a good thing?customer surveys

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4 years ago

HTC Sync update for Aria brings mobile network sharing, app sideloading [Update]

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HTC has released an update to its HTC Sync software for the HTC Aria, and along with it comes the ability to install third-party applications and enable mobile network sharing.  Hallelujah! While this isn't nearly as handy as installing the applications directly from the phone, it's a huge step in the right direction.  The addition of mobile network sharing is a huge boon as well, just remember to keep an eye on your data usage if you've switched to one of AT&T's new plans

serial number locationHTC Sync is also a great way to sync calendar events and contacts with Outlook (or Outlook Express/Windows Live Mail) on your Windows PC.  Sorry, Mac users, you can sit over here with us Linux guys and grumble.  Hit the source link to check out the requirements and download the software -- you'll need your device serial number, click and enlarge the pic to the left for help finding it. [HTC Aria Product Support] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Update: As Spary points out in the comments below, there was an apparent SNAFU at HTC and this update does not enable sideloading, nor does it change any settings on the device itself.  HTC has reached out to Engadget and apologized for any confusion, and says their website will be updated with the correct information Monday.  Felt good for a couple hours though!

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4 years ago

Bootloader on the Droid X = Locked!

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droidx_bootloader

There has been some chatter lingering around in regards to the Droid X and its bootloader, and sadly it appears as though they have locked this one down. So, what does that mean for the average consumer, well nothing really. Those who will be affected by this information are those interested in the extra tweaks, along with the ability to create and flash custom ROM's. Root access should still be obtainable so you will be able to use all those fun applications that require it, which is a big plus to many. Hopefully the Droid X isn't as hard to crack as the Motorola Milestone -- for which they are still trying to figure out a good solution. Now all you Droid owners who were looking for an upgrade, still interested? [via Droid Life]

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