And thus, it begins. Engadget has official word from HTC that unlocked European Desires will be getting an over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 2.2 ("Froyo") this weekend. This comes hot off the heels of Sprint announcing that the Evo will see Froyo early next week, so it surely looks like HTC has gotten Sense working just fine on their current line of high-end phones. Users should be automatically notified that there is an update available.
HTC is going all out, promising several features not in stock 2.2:
In addition, HTC is saying that users with carrier-locked Desires will see the update in "several weeks' time." Just as a friendly reminder, they also told users that the update will not delete any existing user data, which is always a great thing.
It looks like there is going to be a ton of 2.2 update news coming in the next few weeks for HTC phones, so if you aren't a Desire or Evo owner, keep your eyes peeled. [Engadget]
Beautiful Widgets, the application that is known for bringing a Sense like style to any device, received a nice update today. The update changed the weather service to AccuWeather, which we hope can be just a little more accurate. The menus of the application also have been updated making the application way easier to navigate. In the past, the menus were not the easiest thing to look through, they now allow users to easily set and change the many features of the application. In addition, one of the other great new features is the unlock animations, which brings some brief animations of the current condition to your homescreen after unlocking the device. If you have not checked the update out, be sure to do so. Market links after the jump.
Feast your eyes on the photo above, in what purportedly is a prototype of an Android tablet device from Samsung. Posted on Twitpic, the only info given is that it's seven inches, and that looks about right. There's no way of knowing how recent the picture is, and you really can't see much more than the black slab. But the translated tweets from @metabaron appear to say it's not the final design, will have a phone radio and camera, no physical buttons and will be released this year. [Twitter via notebookitalia.it and GadgetMix]
Sprint has just announced what we all were hoping for -- the Evo 4G will be getting Froyo starting August 3, making Sprint the first carrier to upgrade their devices to Android 2.2. Hit our story HERE to see what's included with the update. Sprint says that the OTA will roll out in stages, but they will be providing a manual download link for those of us who just can't wait. (That's you and I ) Yes, we'll have a nice set of simplified instructions to make it as easy as possible, just as soon as we get the link and the method. Check out the source link to see Sprint's official announcement. [Sprint]
Let's recap: Late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning), we reported on a storypublished at Mobile Beat that came out of the Black Hat online security conference. At the conference, Kevin MaHaffey, CTO at mobile security firm Lookout, told of an app from developer "jackeey,wallpaper," which basically is a portal for downloading wallpapers for your Android phone. The story told the tale of "a questionable Android mobile wallpaper app that collects your personal data and sends it to a mysterious site in China, (and) has been downloaded millions of times."
We've been in contact with Lookout -- which reiterates that the apps, while suspect, aren't necessarily malicious. We've also have a response from the developer in question. Updates from both, after the break.
Applications -- they make the world go 'round. OK, maybe not exactly, but there sure are a ton of great ones in the Android Market, and finding the right one can be a bit difficult. Take a look after the jump, as we bring you another edition of our weekly selections.
What you see above is a document leaked to Engadget, showing that Android 2.2 (Froyo) is about to roll out for the HTC Evo 4G as early as this weekend. Supposedly an announcement will be made tomorrow, and the software will be made available for users to download and manually install as a sort of test bed. Along with the update comes all sorts of new widgets and features -- flashlights, upgraded video recording quality (720p!), LED flash during video capture, and more. Looks like I'll be getting up early tomorrow to hopefully hear an announcement and download some Froyo for my Evo. Engadget has a gallery of the rest of the document right HERE, it's chock full o' changes. Now let's hope this pans out and we're not just getting set up for another disappointment. [Engadget]
A while back, the Droid Incredible was torn apart and revealed some things we never knew it was capable of. Like an FM transmitter tuner, and full 720p video recording. Recently, however, another dissection done by iSuppli Corp’s reveals that the Incredible has a $163.35 Bill of Materials (BOM) price tag. Although the Nexus One’s BOM is slightly higher – $174.15 – the materials used are almost identical except, of course, support for Verizon’s CDMA network. What adds to the price tag? That bright AMOLED screen and DDR RAM for starters, and apparently that Snapdragon CPU isn’t in the bargain bin, either. Those three components cost about $90 total, and when you add in some of the other features such as the camera, Bluetooth, and all the mechanical and electro-mechanical gizmos, it adds up pretty quickly. This goes to show that building a quality smartphone costs more than nickels and dimes to the manufacturer, but the end result is definitely worth it. [iSuppli]
Back at Google IO in May, our benevolent overlords detailed their intentions to make mobile advertising more immersive, akin to Apple's iAds. Today, we're starting to see some of the fruits of that labor with AdWords location extensions. Businesses can show their location (via an embedded Google Map, natch) and clickable phone number all in an expanding and contracting ad, right inside an app. Says Google:
This new ad format is available on mobile devices with full Internet browsers and allows you to expand your advertising campaigns to reach highly engaged mobile users with relevant local information as they use their favorite apps or websites to check the weather, read the news, play games or pursue other mobile interests.
According to Samsung's official UK Twitter account, the Galaxy S (the non-U.S. version, anyway) will receive Froyo (2.2) near the end of September; it is currently in development, according to the spokesperson.
There has been a Froyo ROM leaked for the international version of the Galaxy S, so if you can't wait, try that. But it's nice to know that Samsung appears dedicated to its Galaxy S phones and is looking to update them as quickly as possible. (Via @SamsungUKMobile)
Seriously, the Droid 2 might just be the worst-kept secret in the mobile industry at this point. Add this onto the pile of leaks we have already seen, but now Droid-Life seems to have gotten their hands on a full copy of the phone's user guide. They have gone ahead and posted the entire thing for your viewing pleasure as a PDF.
Some notable finds:
Will launch with Froyo (which of course everybody's known for a while).
Update 2: We've heard back from the developer of these apps, who tells us the following:
"What the ceo [sic] of Lookout said makes no sense. I will email you with details later."
We await the details. In the meantime, be aware that the developer listed on the suspect wallpaper apps has been changed to callmejack. We're still diving into this one. But for the time being, we recommend not installing these apps.
Original: Before we start, grab your phone and your computer and hit this link: Android apps by jakeey, wallpaper. If you have any of these applications on your Android phone, uninstall them.
Now you ask why did we recommend (nay, demand!) you uninstall any of those apps? Lookout says that one or more of these apps are stealing your data and sending it to an unknown person or persons in China. Yup, innocent looking wallpaper apps. According to Lookout, the app(s) in question are collecting:
your SIM card data
voicemail password (if it's set to be entered automatically)
Look for Google to pull these soon, as they potentially affect at least 1.1 million users, but for now remember to read what an app can do when you install it. That's that screen you ignore every time you install an app. The one that tells you what system permissions the app has access to. If, say, a calculator wants to see your contacts list, think twice.
Update: Lookout got back to us during the overnight to clarify a few things as reported in the Mobile Beat story. They're not going quite so far as to call the app "malicious," but questions remain. Read Lookout's e-mail to us after the break. We've e-mailed the apps' developer for further explanation.
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