Headlines

4 years ago

Hands on with the Samsung Mesmerize [video]

The Samsung Mesmerize from US Cellular

U.S. Cellular just released the Samsung Mesmerize, and we have one in our hands to check out.  There's not a lot here that's new, the phone is basically the Samsung Fascinate, with half the bloat and none of the Bing.  And that is a good thing.  It has the same gorgeous 4-inch Super AMOLED display, the same Hummingbird 1 GHz chip and blazing fast GPU as the rest of the Galaxy S line, two GB internal storage, and a slightly modified version of TouchWiz that resembles the Epic 4G's software.

First impression?  U.S. Cellular has one of the best Android phones made today in their arsenal with the Mesmerize.  And the name is pretty cool as well.  There's a video after the break, be sure to have a look.

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4 years ago

Droid 2 update on the way, Verizon says

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Droid 2 update

Verizon this morning confirmed via e-mail that an update is on the way to the Motorola Droid 2. Here's what you're getting:

  • Improved battery life.
  • Proximity sensor improvements (faster response).
  • Weather widget works in landscape and portrait.
  • Easier setup, better notifications for visual voicemail.
  • Background email sync while the screen is off.
  • Support for e-mail domain suffixes with more than three characters.
  • Better text message organization.
  • Edit text messages after attaching a video file.
  • Guided Tour videos now stream from the help section.
  • Faster GPS lock.
  • Better Wifi-3G handoffs.
  • Add gallery pictures to contacts.
  • Export contacts to SD card.
  • VZ Navigator now built in.
  • See social networking contacts' details.

So, nothing earth-shaking, but a pretty good list nonetheless. You can get the full rundown and update instructions at the source link. [Verizon]

More on the Droid 2 update in the Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: ChromeMarks browser bookmark sync

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ChromeMarks

Tap. Tap. Sync. It's that simple to get your browser bookmarks from Chrome to Android, thanks to ChromeMarks. It's really that easy. OK, it takes a couple more taps the first time around, giving your phone permission to sync with your Google account. But it's just about the easiest way we've found to get your bookmarks from your browser to your phone. And it even follows my crazy folder scheme, which helps keep my head in order. We've got a few more screen shots after the break, plus download links. It'll be the best $2.37 you spend today.

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4 years ago

HTC Wildfire to be released in U.S. before end of the year

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HTC Wildfire

The Wildfire, HTC's popular international mid-range handset, is coming to the United States.  With the Wildfire, HTC's goal was always to provide a powerful phone at an affordable price; a device that could spread like a "wildfire."

The Wildfire boasts:

  • 3.2-inch screen
  • HTC Sense
  • 528MHz Qualcomm processor
  • 384MB RAM
  • 512MB ROM
  • 5MP camera

No word yet on release date or which carriers will be offering the device, but HTC did say:

HTC Wildfire is slated to be available on multiple North American carriers beginning in Q4 2010.

If you have been jealous of the Europeans or Aussies because they have had the Wildfire, don't worry, you will have the chance to buy it soon. Full release after the break. 

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4 years ago

U.S. Cellular is getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab; price, date not announced

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Samsung Galaxy Tab

Regional carrier U.S. Cellular is getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab. No word on when or for how much -- the Big 4 U.S. carriers are getting theirs the second week of November -- but it's coming. And that means 7-inch TFT LCD touchscreen, Android 2.2, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, Adobe Flashplayer 10.1, 3MP rear-facing camera and 1.3MP front-facing camera. Check out our hands-on for more, and find the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: the Impossible Level Game

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The Impossible Level Game

Games in the Android Market are growing, both in number and in quality, by leaps and bounds, and now we have a top notch logic puzzle to waste countless hours on -- the Impossible Level Game.  The concept is simple enough, you do something unique to go on to the next level.  As you progress, that something gets harder, and harder AND HARDER!  The developers have a seriously twisted mind, and I love it.  No two levels are the same, or even close to the same, and some of them are pretty damn ridiculous, which makes for some great head-scratching gameplay. 

Ready for the best news?  Our pals at Hyperbees (check out their developers forum right here) are dropping the price for the next 24 hours, from £0.99 to £0.50.  Yes, you read it right, 50 pence -- about 75 shiny US pennies.  Now how are you going to say no to that?  We've got a video, and the Market links after the break.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 6.1 RC1 is here [video]

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Cyanogenmod

Exactly two months after the release of CyanogenMod 6, CyanogenMod 6.1 RC 1 is now live on the CyanogenMod website, and in the paid version of Rom Manager.

Built on Android 2.2.1, and packing all kinds of great features and enhancements, CM 6.1 RC1 is another step forward in the most infamous line of custom Android ROMs.  Don't let its release client status lead you to believe it's unusable, as that is far from the truth.  Anybody currently using CyanogenMod 6 is aware of its two largest drawbacks; the lack of 4G and HDMI functionality.  These two shortcomings aside, CM 6.1 RC1 is a very stable and functional ROM.

So what are you waiting for, oh rooted Android user?  Check out the changelog, start backing up your current ROM, and get downloading (Evo download link).  Once you've got it up and running, come and share your thoughts in the forums.

Join me after the break as I go over just a few of the new features you'll find in this update.

Update:  I should have clarified in this post.  CM 6.1 RC1 is only available on select devices at the moment.  To find out if your device is supported, you'll want to head over to the official CyanogenMod forums.  Their site is under heavy load right now, so it's running pretty far on the slow side.

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4 years ago

Samsung Mesmerize rooted

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Samsung Mesmerize rooted

It will likely never be the most popular device, but the Samsung Mesmerize is a hell of a phone, and to me, part of reviewing it is using it the way I would if it were mine as well as designed.  So I decided I was gonna poke around and root the darn thing.  It appears that U.S. Cellular or Samsung has done nothing to block access, and the rageagainstthecage exploit by C-skills works just fine.  Then, as luck would have it, I was shown the SuperOneClick program, which uses the same exploit, found someone to help confirm, and it works great!

So if any of you picked up a Mesmerize, and want to really own it, grab the app and give it a go, then head into the Mesmerize forums and we can compare notes.  Know that it breaks your warranty, and if something happens you're out $500.00. [Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Google exec: buying Android was our 'best deal ever'

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 Google!

Speaking at a conference at Stanford University, David Lawee, Google's vice president of corporate development, praised Android, labeling it at the company's "best deal ever" despite having some initial personal doubts. Flash back to 2005, and Andy Rubin was in charge of a tiny little start-up named Android, which was quietly acquired by Google for an estimated $50 million. Ad revenue from Android devices is already making Google $1 billion per year, and CEO Eric Schmidt has gone on record saying it could eventually pull in $10 billion per year. [VentureBeat]

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Tab will have Sprint ID; the Epic 4G also will get it

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Sprint IDSprint announced tonight at its developer conference in Santa Clara, Calif., that its Sprint ID feature -- which debuted on the Samsung Transform -- will spread to a couple more Samsung devices.

The Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab (which you can get Nov. 14) will have it, and the Samsung Epic 4G will get it in a future update, presumably on top of Samsung's Touchwiz interface. Sprint ID basically is a profile switcher -- themes, if you will -- that made their debut at CTIA. [via @sprintdeveloper 1, 2]

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4 years ago

How To: Update your preferred roaming list (PRL) on your CDMA device

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 A Cellphone Tower

Is your phone not holding calls where it previously had a strong signal?  If you have a CDMA device like those found on Sprint and Verizon, you may need to update your Preferred Roaming List (PRL).

The PRL is a list that allows your phone to roam off of towers that are not part of your native network, such as a sprint phone connecting to a former Alltel tower if none of its own are available.  Because roaming agreements are constantly changing and new towers are added all the time, it's important to keep this list up to date.

For most CDMA carriers (including Verizon), you can update your PRL by dialing *228 and selecting the appropriate option.  For example, on a Verizon phone you dial *228 and then select option 2 and listen to the horrible programming music while your phone downloads the latest PRL.

For Sprint, there are two options.  The first is to contact Sprint Customer Service and get your account approved for an update and then dial *2 and follow the instructions.  If you have an Android device, you can also check your PRL by tapping Home > Menu > Settings > System updates > Update PRL. (Thanks milominderbinder) 

With Verizon prepping its LTE launch and Sprint lighting up new WIMAX markets, both carriers are spending a lot of time and resources ensuring their current 3G networks are optimized.  This means a lot of adjustments to which towers cover a specific location, as well as the addition of new towers to handle additional traffic.  Because of this, it's a good idea to update your PRL at least once a month so your phone will always have access to the best coverage available in your area. [Via Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

T-Mobile officially says myTouch is the myTouch 4G, coming Nov. 3 for $199

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T-Mobile myTouch 4G

So a couple of things are now official:

  1. The T-Mobile myTouch is now officially called the myTouch 4G. That's no great surprise, and it's not a big deal, but it's nice that somebody finally made up their mind. (Hey, you run a website that covers Android and you'll see how little time you have for such nonsense, too.)
  2. It's coming Nov. 3 (which we knew) for $199 after $50 rebate, available at T-Mobile stores, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club and Target.
  3. I still don't even have T-Mobile 3G where I live, so the chip on my shoulder will remain through the rest of this post about TMo's HSPA+ "4G" speeds.

Oh, and there's a new promo video up on Facebook. Have at it, folks. [Facebook]

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4 years ago

Motorola updates its update chart

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Motorola updates

Motorola has updated its update chart, which updates us as to the status of the latest updates for its Android smartphones. Nothing earth-shaking for those of us in the U.S., though they acknowledge that testing Android 2.1 on the Motorola Cliq is under way. And you Backflip owners -- and we know who the six of you are -- can still look forward to an Eclair update in the fourth quarter. [Motorola]

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4 years ago

Hands on with the myTouch ROM port to the Evo 4G [video]

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Over the weekend I got my hands on a myTouch 4G ROM that has been ported over to the Evo 4G.  It's a rather functional port, but like Phil said in his video of the myTouch - Nexus One port, it's not something you'd want to use every day.  However, it was nice to get in some time with the new version of Sense UI -- something I really hope HTC releases for their current lineup of "next gen" devices.  So if you love getting your hands on new ROMs, or haven't given the new Sense UI a test drive yet, consider checking this one out.

The self-proclaimed mad scientist responsible for "Frankensteining" this ROM can be found over at XDA, so if you have any questions or comments regarding his work, you know where to find him.  [via XDA Developers]

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4 years ago

Aro proves the strength of Android's 'chaos,' says Scoble

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 Aro preview

Robert Scoble, a well-known tech pundit and current iPhone user, recently got a hands on demo with Aro, a new app in closed beta for Android. The app is a complete replacement for nearly all your communication apps: email,  SMS, phone, etc. By tapping into all your messages, the app is able to intelligently link names, places, and other data together. It is a pretty complicated process, and Scoble sums it up pretty well:

What does Aro do? If, say, Bill Gates sends Steve Jobs an email, copies me, and is talking about Larry Ellison, Larry’s name will have a little square around it. Click on that square and a new UI fans out, letting me see other info. It’s like Rapportive or Xobni, but done much better and for the mobile interface. It makes your phone much more productive than it would be otherwise and that’s why I feel it’s so important.

In addition to previewing the app, Scoble talks a bit about how this kind of app is simply not possible on the more closed iPhone. Apple actively prevents developers from changing the core experience of using the iPhone, even if those changes make the phone easier to use or offer more features. A perfect example is the Swype keyboard many Android users (myself included) have fallen in love with or WiFi syncing with iTunes. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but it seems the tables are tipping in Google's favor as of late.

Scoble has posted videos of his interviews and demos of both Sywpe and Aro, which can be found past the link. If you want to sign up for the closed beta of Aro, click on the "Aro" link. [Scobleizer, Aro]

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