Android's official Facebook app just got a pretty major upgrade in Version 1.3.0. You'll immediate notice the difference in the user interface, with a photo reel at the bottom that lets you quickly flip through your friends' recent photos and videos. And see that notifications bar at the bottom? Drag it up for the list of recent notifications. There's also one-tap access to post a status update or search for friends, video playback withing the app using H.264 encoding, support for Facebook events (review, see details, RSVP) within the app, and respond to friend requests.
So you want to update your Motorola Droid to Android 2.2, do ya? Go ahead. We're all for it. For everybody else who's content to wait until the over-the-air update hits, we'll show you what you're missing.
But first, a couple of caveats: As of this writing, it looks like copy-protected apps aren't showing in the Android Market. They should clear itself up at some point. That also means no Adobe Flash, unless you sideload it, which is fine.
Froyo has shown it's pretty face for Motorola Droid users, and like all the other OTA's the Android community has jumped on it and worked up a method to force the update without waiting for Big Red to send it your way. It's pretty easy, doesn't require root and is the official upgrade just as if you had been waiting for it to push to your device.
Look close at the bottom of the blurry shot from Verizon's system above, and you'll see the entry for the (what everybody and their mother assumes to be) Aug. 12 is marked for "Commercial launch of Droid 2". We'll pause a moment and let you catch your breath. Back with us? Good. It looks like all the speculations and rumors may be true this time, and we all will be able to get our grubby paws on a shiny Droid 2 in 9 short days.
To add to the Droid 2 fever, we also have some nice pics from a member at Howard Forums showing the Droid 2 beside its predecessor, the OG Droid, and a close up of the keyboard in all it's extended glory. Check them out after the break, then we can all wait impatiently and figure out how we can pass the next week or so in the Droid 2 forums. [Howard Forums via Intomobile, and thanks to The Geek at donthatethegeek.com for the release info!]
Now that we've got a few hours of Froyo on the Evo 4G under our belts, let's get down to brass tacks. How's the update fairing for you? Faster? Slower? Borked? Those answers, and more, are all in our forums:
Froyo update issues: See if others have the same problems as you, and find some answers. Includes poor browser performance, gmail sync, camera, missing apps, Pandroid/Slacker radio, system panel apps, Bluetooth voice dialing, Swype and more.
We've known for a while that the Kyocera Zio would be coming to Cricket Communications, and now it's official. Pricing and actual availability weren't announced (other than "this fall"), and we can only hope that it's seen an update from the Android 1.6 that was on it when we had our hands on in March, which you can watch again again after the break, if you're so inclined. Also mentioned: a "low-cost Android phone from Huawei," so you have that to look forward to. [Buzinesswire]
It's been a couple more weeks, and that means it's time once again to check out the Android fragmentation (erm, legacy) score sheet. For the past two weeks ending Aug. 2, devices running Android 2.1 are at 59.7 percent (up from 55.5 percent), and Froyo devices are now at 4.5 percent (up from 3.3). Check out the previous report here.
Now that we've got music, games, videos and photos on our phones, we're definitely going to want to have access to our phones while traveling, right? But if you're even going to think about using your phone on an airplane, you're going to need the aptly named "Airplane mode." It shuts down the phone's radios so that it won't interfere with any of the airplane's systems.
Want millions of songs at your fingertips? How about on your Mac or PC, and your Android smartphone? Then it's time to check out Thumbplay, which does that, and more, including iTunes library importing, auto-syncing, a playlist genie, favorites and the ability to listen offline.
Sound good? Well, let's make it even better. We've got 30 free 90-day Thumbplay trials to give away. Full details, a video explainer of Thumbplay and instructions on how to enter are after the break.
HTC has added the ability to sync media with the HTC Wildfire using the latest version of HTC Sync (3.0). As of right now, the feature is Windows-only, and compatibility with all media players is not known. Here is a quote from the announcement:
'Now packed with new features, this version features a media sync that is compatible with popular media players available on your PC'
"Popular media players" is a vague term, so we're not sure if iTunes is included in that bunch.
If you have an HTC Wildfire and want to start syncing media easily, download the latest version of HTC Sync here. Install it, plug it in with a USB cable and you should be good to go!
While the Wildfire is the first phone to be anointed with media sync, HTC said that other phones would get this feature "very soon." [via Android Community]
The Motorola Glam, which probably has a 0 percent chance of ever appearing here in the States, continued its Asian rollout by launching in South Korea. The phone comes with the standard plate of high-end specs we have come to expect from Android phones these days, including:
The Seidio Spring-Clip holster for the Evo 4G is a secure and protective way to carry your phone. Your Evo fits snugly, face in for maximum screen protection, but the top spring clip allows for easy release. The holster is designed so that all the ports and controls are still accessible even if the phone is locked in place.
On the rear of the holster is a second spring clip, perfect for wearing on your belt, or for hanging on the sun visor of your car. This clip swivels 360 degrees, allowing for a comfortable fit and access to the volume rocker, headphone jack and USB/HDMI ports without removing the phone from the case. Inserting your Evo into the holster is a piece of cake -- slip the bottom (face in!) into the molded shell, open the top spring clip, slide the phone in place and release the clip. And once it's in place, the only way it's coming back out is if the clip is opened. You can count on it staying put until you want to remove it.
To me, the only drawback to this sort of carry is that the screen isn't visible. But that's also a big plus -- your Evo's screen isn't going to get scratched or damaged and bump dialing simply can't happen. I'm stubborn and set in my ways like an old mule, but after receiving the review unit I'm impressed. If I don't want or need to use Google Maps navigation, the Spring-Clip holster on my visor paired with our cars bluetooth beats the heck out of laying my precious on the dash or in the console. The Seidio Spring-Clip holster is available at the Android Central Store for $29.95. There's a video showing how easy it is to use, and some more images after the break.
Since you probably already lost faith and jumped the ship with Microsoft's Tag application, and maybe you're still not quite happy with the Barcode Scanner from the ZXing Team -- don't worry, AT&T has thrown its hat in the ring, announcing its own Code Scanner. The scanner will allow AT&T customers to scan 2D (QR and datamatrix codes) and 1D (UPC and EAN)
In addition to basic scanning, the app has the ability to make your own barcodes. Visiting www.att.com/createacode will ask you to register. Once registered, you can start making those secret barcodes you've always dreamed of (why, however, is another qusetion). Just don't send anything stupid like, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." I'm pretty sure your friends would get mad at you.
Finally, AT&T is also offering a business solution for its partners. It will allow buisnesses to "create, manage and measure mobile barcodes campaign experiences for their customers." According to the press release, a recent consumer survey is claiming that 80 percent of respondents are interested in scanning barcodes with their phones. Are you part of this 80 percent? And if so, did you really need another scanner app? Let us know in the comments section. [AT&T]
Another screenshot and download links after the break.
Judging by the carpet bombing our inbox is currently undergoing, it looks like the official Android 2.2 update for the Evo 4G is under way. That's a tad earlier than we'd been told (though nobody here's complaining), and hopefully it bodes well for getting those of us on the earlier unofficial builds "back on track."
A lucky Android Central forums poster has Froyo (Android 2.2) running on his Droid X, and to nip the nay-saying in the bud has shot a bit o' video for us all to drool over. Looks like an internal test build of some sort, although the poster isn't quite sure how he lucked into getting it. Neither are we, but we never look a gift horse in the mouth. Looks like it runs well, even has a little Flash 10.x love going on. Read a little more here, and check the video after the break! [Android Central forums]
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