Flash on a mobile device used to be an idea that I just never got on board with. That will teach me to open my mouth before trying something new. After playing with it for a few days to prepare for this write-up, my mind has changed and I'm now a believer. Everyone's experience will differ, but I'm not seeing the battery decimation that we all expected, and even while playing games, the phone is still responsive and the Flash content itself -- well, check out the video after the break and see for yourself.
The legendary (or is it mythical?) Dell Streak (Dell Mini 5) is finally almost here. However, what you might not have known is that its screen features the uber-resilient Gorilla Glass, which can take some ultra-heavy punishment. This 5-inch slate beauty is certainly a viable option for anybody who’s accident-prone, or anyone who wants to stab their screen frantically with sharp objects. The folks over at Engadget went with the latter, and from the looks of things, this MID's only weakness might be kryptonite. [via Engadget]
Another busy week where the blogs have been flowing faster then most can keep up with. Phil and Jerry have been hard at work breaking down Froyo to show us all the amazing new features, and tons of news has surfaced in this time, so let's take a look.
Kenneth writes in with the following issue: His Verizon Droid Incredible will play music just fine while sitting atop a box of golf balls. But put it on a purloined road sign, and things start going wonky. No, we're not making this up. Watch his video and, sure enough, things are just fine while it's resting on a cardboard box. But once it's sitting on metal, songs skip (how dare the phone leave Nine Inch Nails before it's told to!), or change altogether. Maybe it's a grounding thing akin to that screen "issue" others are reporting. Or maybe it's a not-so-subtle way of telling Kenneth it's time for new furniture. Check it out after the break.
It might not look like much, but the screen shots you see here reportedly are from the world's first custom ROM for the Sprint Evo 4G. There's still work to be done, as the camera doesn't work and it's kicking on roaming, but it's a good head start. Now we need the root method to be released and -- oh, yeah, this one's kind of a biggie -- the phone to be released. [XDA Developers]
Call off the dogs, folks. Qik took to its blog late Friday (early Saturday according to the timestamp) to explain the documentation first found by Android Guys and later by Engadget (and, admittedly, later repeated by us) that its video chat service on the Sprint Evo 4G would cost an extra $4.99 a month. Basic video chat will, in fact, be free. "Advanced, premium features," however, will cost something extra, though the blog doesn't specifically say how much. Here's the full skinny:
Well, there’re a number of rumors flying around that the 2-way Qik mobile video service will require a premium subscription. We wanted to clarify what that really means. Firstly, rest assured that the core Qik service that lets you communicate live from your phone to other phones, web and desktop will be FREE. Yes – this means that the core capability of doing 2-way Qik video chat will be FREE for Sprint EVO 4G users. The subscription fee will be for some advanced premium features that we are working on, which we will be announcing on June 4th – the day the amazing HTC EVO 4G phone launches.
So, tune back in on June 4th for a complete list of features of the new Qik along with the optional advanced premium features for you to enjoy!
Maybe this was one of those blog rumors gone wild. Maybe this was the plan all along. (Phil's guess: More than likely just a garbled message that ended up in some documentation somewhere.) Qik didn't respond to our e-mail Thursday night, and we'll likely never know. But basic video chat will be free, and we can all go back to worrying about what's really important: Complaining about when our phones will get the Froyo update. [Qik] Thanks, Rick!
What's Android without gmail, right? And in Android 2.2, the gmail app has gotten even better, fixing some of our biggest complaints and bringing better account switching, e-mail notification and attachment handling. Check it out.
For all you Droid owners out there who passed up on the Droid Incredible in hopes that Verizon would be releasing the Droid 2 soon after, an inkling of hope has appeared. Above you see a pic of the Motorola A955, the Droid 2, in Verizon's inventory system. We saw a peek of what the keyboard may look like this afternoon, and maybe, just maybe, this thing's closer to release than anybody thinks. [via Droid Life]
You guys know how much I hate headlines with question marks, but that's pretty much where we stand on the above photo. Above you see the Motorola Droid keyboard at top, and what purportedly is the Droid 2 keyboard beneath it. The perspective's a tad off, but the keys look to be noticeably bigger (and they damn well better be if the leftmost keys -- tab, ALT lock, shift/caps lock and ALT -- are going to be that huge). Also of note is that the golden D-pad has given way to four arrow keys and an OK button.
This likely would be an improvement -- we won't really know until it's (a) real and (b) in our hands. But, really, just about anything would be an improvement over the current Droid keyboard. [Howard Fourms via Engadget]
The Boost Mobile Motorola i1 popped up on Best Buy recently and it looks like it'll be priced a bit higher than any of us wanted and/or expected: $349.99. On one hand, the Motorola i1 is a pre-paid device that comes with no commitments or contracts. Not to mention that you could use Boost Mobile's $50/month all inclusive plan to save even more money down the road. But for a device that is decidedly mid-level--3.1-inch screen, Android 1.5, etc--it's tough to pay that initial premium when better Android devices can be had for half the price.
Meanwhile, it the i1 now appears slated for Sprint release starting June 6 with direct shipping, and everywhere else on July 11. It still isn't likely to do much for most consumers. But for the iDEN crowd, well, chop the price down to $149 and things get interesting. Leave it at $349 and the i1 stays in a niche market. [bestbuy via engadget]
A Skype PR rep confirmed to SkatterTech today that an Android app is coming to the Android Market, never mind that it's currently exclusive to Verizon. In an e-mail, the rep wrote:
"We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)."
None too soon, and it might get even better, as this Skype "consumer app" (as opposed to ...?) may feature video chat -- though the rep backed off that claim, apparently. Either way, it's another reason to avoid last-minute surprise fees from other video chat apps that you thought were going to be free. [SkatterTech] Thanks, Jeremy.
Just to ease your fears or maybe tease you even more, Motorola has just updated their official Android update page and timeframes are thankfully getting a little more specific. Leading the way, of course, is the Droid which has completed its Android 2.1 update and the Milestone which is currently rolling out its own update in different parts of the world. Compared to the previous update, the Backflip now has Android 2.1 planned for Q3 and the Cliq and Cliq XT has 2.1 planned for Q2. Unfortunately the Devour's upgrade is still "under evaluation". It's very nice of Motorola to keep us updated on their Android 2.1 plans but we wonder if they've heard that Android 2.2 Froyo is out and about now.. [Motorola]
Good news for you folks running Froyo who are sorely missing your favorite paid applications from the new and improved Android Market. A fix has actually been around at XDA Developers for a couple of days, and it's as simple as pushing over a new build.prop file that spoofs the Market into thinking you're running an older version of Android (Eclair really is ancient, ya know?) while keeping your Froyo goodness intact. There's really not too much hackery involved, though you'll likely want to run a nandroid backup first, just in case. And if you somehow have Froyo but still have no idea what we're talking about, better to just leave this one alone. [XDA Developers]
Note: Make sure the file you push back to your phone is, in fact, named build.prop and not something else.
And here's a look at the LG Optimus -- aka the GT540 -- which we previously toyed with at CES in January. Nothing's really changed since then. Same 3-inch HVGA touchscreen (no keyboard on this one), same Android 1.6, same 3.1-megapixel camera. We know LG's capable of making some above-average devices -- we've just yet to see any here in the states.
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