We went over the strengths and weaknesses of LauncherPro recently, and if there was one thing really holding it back from taking the number one spot, it had to be the lack of customization – especially when it comes to the dock bar. The author must have heard our prayers, because he released an update that enables us to do just that. With a simple long press on the icons you can replace them with whatever application you fancy. You can also change the shortcut to your favorite browser bookmarks – something Helix doesn’t do. Put simply, LauncherPro is a big time contender now, and let’s hope the improvements and features keep on coming. [Market link]
With Google I/O now over, the folks over at Android Tapp created a visual representation of the ground that has been covered in the short 18 months of Android's life, using statistics given during the keynote addresses.
Google rapidly produces updates to the Android platform; often times OEMs and carriers struggle to keep up with software updates for consumer devices. Many factors attribute to this like phone processor limitations or custom user interfaces.
The Samsung i897 -- better known to you as the Samsung Galaxy S -- looks like it's well on its way to AT&T, thanks to a recent leak. Some of the hardware specs confirmed by the source is that the phone will sport a 5-megapixel camera, a 4-inch AMOLED screen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The speed of the processor isn’t yet confirmed, but, with the similarities between this phone and the Samsung Galaxy S, it can be assumed that this phone will also receive a 1GHz processor for the ARM Coretex A8 variety. The phone will ship with Android 2.1. After our hands on with the Galaxy S at CTIA, we can't wait to give the i897 a test drive. [via Android Guys]
See here! The Verizon HTC Droid Incredible stood for quite a while, but it's finally been rooted, as you can see from the picture above. We're still waiting on instructions so any every Tom, Dick and Harry can do it for themselves, and a press conference has been scheduled for sometime later this week. Stay tuned, Incredible owners, as your holiday weekend just got even better. [XDA Developers, AllDroid] Thanks to everybody who sent this in!
Seems like only yesterday that we were talking about custom ROMs already being loaded on to the as-yet unreleased (to the public anyway) Sprint Evo 4G. OK, it was only yesterday. And in the original XDA post it was noted "Able to run froyo!" (We took out about 12 exclamation points.) Anyhoo, there's now video to go along with that claim. Peep it after the break, tip your waitresses, and keep tapping your fingers patiently in hopes that the root method will be released to us all shortly. [XDA Developers] Thanks to everybody who sent this in.
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]
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