So the bootloader on the Droid Xis locked. We know this. For many developers and hackers, it's a bit of a disappointment as the original Motorola Droid became a de facto dev phone because it ran stock Android 2.0 and had an unlocked bootloader. That allowed them (and us) to easily flash new ROMs onto the phone.
So what's the deal with the Droid X? Motorola's Lori Fraleigh explains in a recent blog post from way back in February:
"We understand there is a community of developers interested in going beyond Android application development and experimenting with Android system development and re-flashing phones. For these developers, we highly recommend obtaining either a Google ADP1 developer phone or a Nexus One, both of which are intended for these purposes. At this time, Motorola Android-based handsets are intended for use by consumers and Android application developers, and we have currently chosen not to go into the business of providing fully unlocked developer phones.
"Securing the software on our handsets, thereby preventing a non-Motorola ROM image from being loaded, has been our common practice for many years. This practice is driven by a number of different business factors. When we do deviate from our normal practice, such as we did with the DROID, there is a specific business reason for doing so. We understand this can result in some confusion, and apologize for any frustration."
That's the way Moto wants it, and that's the way it will be. For the time being, it looks like the Nexus One will remain Google's official dev phone. It is also a sure bet that the Android hacker community will descend onto the X like a swarm once it is released, so have no fear. And it also stands to reason the "unannounced" Droid 2 might be seeing the same "feature."
Our question to you: Is this a deal-breaker? Or can you still not wait to get your hands on Moto and Verizon's new hotness? [MotoDev via Android and Me]
The final version's faster, we're seeing better and more accurate page rendering, and basically everything you might want in a mobile browser. Opera Mini also compresses data by up to 90 percent before it reaches your phone, which helps with speed and data usage. Check out some video after the break, and give it a try for yourself. [Opera]
One of the great things about Android is the fact that you can change deeply ingrained parts of the operating system to suit your needs, and use applications like SwiftKey beta keyboard. I've been using the closed alpha of this app for quite a while, and was excited when the guys from TouchType reached out to let us know the app was now available for all through the Market. They also included a preview version for testing, so I was able to put the latest version through the paces of a busy day, and am thoroughly pleased. Follow the break to learn a bit more, see some action shots, and read the press release.
HTC sends good news to everyone in Australia by announcing that the Wildfire will be hitting the nation in August on Telstra. The 3.2-inch QVGA device ships with Android 2.1 (Elair) running HTC's Sense UI. In addition, the Wildfire comes with a 5-megapixel camera with flash, a 500 MHz processor, and all the other usual niceties that we have come to expect from HTC's Android offerings. Overall, the Wildfire looks to offer a great choice to Australians looking for an entry-level Android device.
No price or exact date of launch were announced, so we will keep on the lookout for more info as the launch nears. Hit up the links for the press release as well as detailed specs for the phone. [HTC] [Wildfire Specs]
Seems like only yesterday that we were discussing in-app ads, and whether we're willing to put up with them, or fork over a few dollars for a long-free app. Oh, wait. It was yesterday. Fine. Fast-forward to today, then, and see that the ASTRO File Manager has released an app addition (you load it on top of the full ad-supported app) that washes those ads right out of your hair. For $2.99, your file browser can be ad-free.
It's not a new practice, and judging by yesterday's poll, a good number of you are more than willing to fork over a couple bucks. Our only thing is that it's one more thing to reload when we switch phones or ROMs. But our wives and mothers keep telling us most normal people don't have six cell phones or flash their memory every other day, so there's that. Download links after the break, people.
Even though they aren't officially released yet, the US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S (T-Mobile Vibrant and AT&T Captivate) have already been rooted. We should expect this by now, as it seems like it happens with all the hot new Android phones as they come around. Even better? This is a nice easy method -- no timing, monkeying with SD cards, no sacrificing chickens or doing rain-dances. Just load a file and boot into Samsung's recovery. Very nice to see a manufacturer playing nice with the hacking and development community in a time when some phones are coming locked so tight that if you slid a dollar under the battery door 3 quarters, 2 dimes and a nickle would come out. [xda-developers via Android and Me] Thanks thebizz for the tip!
In just 19 days the Samsung Galaxy S has sold over 300,000 units in Samsung's home country of South Korea, according to sales figures from SK Telecom -- South Korea's largest carrier. Those are some serious numbers, and when you factor in the 300,000 HTC Evo 4G handsets sold by Sprint in approximately the same time frame, you're talking well over a half-million Android phones sold in a month in just two handset launches.
Samsung looks to be seriously on their path to smartphone sales domination, and Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung's Mobile Business Division President, says Samsung expects to sell 10 million (yes million!) units of their Galaxy S smartphones worldwide. From what we've seen of the Galaxy S series, it makes sense -- they're beastly performers in an attractive package, and with a worldwide launch underway my gut tells me they just might hit that mark. Now Sprint and Verizon better get their collective behinds in gear and roll out their versions! [YonHap news via BriefMobile]
Verizon's summer 2010 catalog has been leaked out, and yes, that's a picture of the upcoming Motorola Droid 2 you see above. Also included are the Droid X, the HTC Droid Incredible, and the LG Ally -- phones we're already familiar with. What's glaringly absent is the Samsung Fascinate, but don't read too much into that just yet. Listed specs for the Droid 2 are pretty much what was already speculated -- 512MB RAM/8 GB ROM, 1 GHz processor, EVDO rev A, 5 megapixel camera, and an 8GB microSD card included. Listed as 'coming soon' there's no clue about release dates unfortunately. Hit the jump for another pic of interest to us Android fans, and you can find the full catalog at the source link. [BGR]
What had better be the cheapest Android smartphone ever, the Palm Pre-esque Alcatel OT-980, will soon show up on the shelves in Europe. We talked about this one ages ago (in Android time anyway) when the specs sounded better, check it out. We have no dates, but supposedly in the UK this August and very soon in France. We do however, have some supposed final specs. Those of you not into the bottom end style Androids, avert your eyes.
2.8 inch 240x320 resistive touchscreen
70 MB internal storage
microSD card slot (you'll need it!)
3.5 mm headset jack
2 Megapixel camera
1150 mAh battery
HSDPA, 802.11 b/g, bluetooth 2.0
At least it's the vertical slider many of us have been wanting. Almost :) Couple more pics after the break. [Unwired View]
Knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Bing app for Android, right? It's pretty good for Windows Mobile, pretty darn good on the iPhone, and we're expecting it to be really good on Windows Phone 7. So it only makes sense that we get to play with Microsoft's "Decision Engine" on Android, right? This is all happening as we speak (erm, type) at the Bing Search Summit in San Francisco. Says CNet's Ina Fried:
Microsoft isn't announcing a lot of new things at this event, but it is talking for the first time about plans for a Bing Android client as well as new mapping features and a new TV listings feature that is in testing and about to launch.
We'll keep an eye out for more. Stay tuned. [CNet via LiveSide]
We've all seen the slew of Android tablets that look suspiciously like that other popular tablet out there (and we're not talking about the Samsung Galaxy Tab), and Android Central reader Ted417 managed to get his hands on one in a Brownsville, Texas, mall, where it was going for $250. We're not sure whether this 7-inch resistive touchscreen freak of nature is extremely cool, or extremely sad, but we'll let Ted tell the story after the break, along with a huge gallery of pics. Thanks, Ted!
The Samsung Galaxy Tab (that's still a slightly unofficial name, by the way) is now set for launch before October, according to a piece on Forbes' website. the previously rumored dual cameras are again mentioned, as are GPS, Wifi and a 3G data connection. But it's the launch window we really care about. What we don't know, however, is where the thing will launch, whether it's in the U.S. or overseas. Regardless, we'll have our fingers crossed. [Forbes via Samsung Hub]
If you're like me, you take your Android phone with you everywhere. Sometimes you're stuck with a battery in the red, and no AC power in sight. While there's plenty of gizmos out there that can charge your battery back up, very few are eco-friendly. Enter the Solio Rocsta-i hybrid charger -- a solid piece of technology that can save your bacon, and plays nice with the blue marble we all live on. Hit the jump to see more.
We stepped out of a killer panel Monday from MobileBeat 2010 titled "How to turn Android into a money machine," and the answer from the panel to that very question seems to be "all the little things." Is it as easy to make money on Android as it is on, say, the iPhone? The answer seems to be "no" at this point, but there's not a single killer reason that Google is lagging behind.
We are going to mash up a ton of smart insights from the panel in one big hodgepodge after the break, so check in for the collective insight from
Peter Farago, VP Marketing, Flurry
David Marcus, Founder & CEO, Zong
Evan Neufeld, CMO, Groundtruth
Darren Cross, Head of Business Development, Fandango & Movies.com
Have you ever thought about what your Android dream phone might look like? There’s no doubt that HTC has an amazing lineup of state-of-the-art devices, but how could they improve? A man named Andrew Kim has put a lot of thought into this, and came up with a concept design he’s titled the HTC 1. And folks, it’ll knock your socks off.
A clutter-free, simplistic interface mixed with a sleek and sexy chassis adorned with chrome accents seems to be what he’s going for here. Andrew’s vision also includes a sincere minimalistic version of Sense that only seems to add to the professional image he’s constructed. SMS messaging all happens inside one application, and all of your favorite social network clients are merged into one, providing the user a powerful texting solution. If things couldn’t get any more awesome, the HTC 1 is even equipped with an integrated UV light that illuminates whenever it's being charged, warding off any bacteria that may have collected on your handset. Unfortunately, there's a slim chance to none that we'll ever see this phone in the flesh, but maybe after this they might consider it. Heres hoping. [Design Fabulous via Engadget]
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