And in slightly less unhappy Nexus One news, it's now available for pre-order on Vodafone in the U.K. -- free if you shell out for a monthly plan that costs at least £35. We're also being told that unlike in the U.S., you're actually going to be able to buy it in stores. Will that signal a change for procedure in the U.S.? Let's hope so. [Vodafone] Thanks, Dave!
Not a whole lot to say here other than it's the T-Mobile Garminfone in the wild, aka the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50 that we saw a couple of months ago at Mobile World Congress. Android is still skinned pretty heavily, as the focus remains on navigation (natch). We're still expecting Android 1.6 with a 600MHz processor. 512MB of ROM are confirmed, along with 3GB or so of internal storage. Still no word on when to expect it, other than "spring." [via TMo News]
Sorry, folks, but I'm gonna have to say I told you so here. (See podcast Episode 9.) Google apparently put an end to the Verizon Nexus One, slipping it into an official Nexus One blog post "update on partnerships." (Strangely, the post is dated April 21, but it just pinged RSS feeds today. Update: They've fixed the date.) The line you need to be worried about:
In the US, if you’ve been waiting for the Nexus One for Verizon Wireless’ network, head over to http://phones.verizonwireless.com/htc/incredible to pre-order the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful new Android phone and a cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed. It will be available in stores on April 29th.
The official Nexus One order page also says as much. From what I've been told, Verizon rejected the Nexus One at least once -- and the trackball was said to be a major culprit. Guess that makes that decision a little easier, but sorry to those who were holding out for the N1. [Google] Thanks, Nick
At this point, you're either in the Verizon Droid Incredible camp, or the Sprint Evo 4G. And both are stellar HTC Android smartphones. But the latter has a few extra bells and whistles up its sleeve, and like you, we can't wait to get our hands on it. (Again.) And so it's worth mentioning that Best Buy is now promoting the Evo 4G, and you can sign up to be notified when it will be available. We still don't know any more than "Coming summer 2010," but hopefully we'll learn more at the launch event in a few weeks. Stay tuned. [Best Buy] Thanks, Cody!
Let's just go wide-open this week. We've got 10 Otterbox Commuter Series cases for the Motorola Droid to give away. And so, Droid owners, we ask you: What are your must-have apps for one of the most popular Android devices around?
Reply in this forum thread and you'll be automatically entered to win one of the 10 cases. We'll take entries through Thursday, April 29. Good luck, everyone!
Here's a little more out of the Dell camp following last week's insane smartphone leak of the Thunder and Looking Glass, along with the Streak (Dell Mini 5). The roadmap we've obtained shows a few new items, including the "Sparta" netbook tablet and "Athens," a 0.9-kilogram "true netbook", both of which appear to fall under the 11-inch category or so, with an ARM processor, optional 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. There's also the LG Pro, which looks to be the 7-inch Looking Glass with a high-definition screen and digital TV.
Also note that the Streak appears slated for T-Mobile (confirming an earlier report) and Vodafone, and a Chinese version is in the works as well.
Judging from the roadmap, we could see the Streak as early as next month, August for the Sparta, and the Athens in the fall -- let's just hope Dell doesn't let such sexy Android hardware fall by the wayside.
If you have an old iPhone 2G laying around (and chances are if you do have one, it's laying around, right?) and want to run Android on it like we saw the other day, instructions are now available. It's definitely not for the casual jailbreaker, and it's gonna take you a little while. But the instant karma you gain by putting the world's best smartphone operating system on the world's most ubiquitous phone is gonna be worth it. Video of how it's done after the break. [AndroidaLot via Redmond Pie]
It seems that a lot of folks interested in the HTC Droid Incredible want to be able to turn Sense (HTC's custom user interface) on and off at will. Previous HTC handsets (as recent as the HTC Desire) had the ability to do this pretty easily by erasing Sense as the default and throwing up a choice between Sense or the stock Android home screen after you hit the home button.
Not any more.
We tore into the system files of our Droid Incredible to see what we could find. After hours of hard work, caffiene and Excedrin, we found some interesting information -- the resources and artwork for vanilla Android seem to be absent, or at least aren't where we expect them to be. While we can't be 100 percent sure just yet, it certainly appears that the Droid Incredible was meant to only run the Sense UI.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. HTC clearly has upped the game with the new Sense UI, as our video walkthrough shows. At this point, if you're on the fence, the best advice I can think of is to head down to your local Verizon Wireless store on the April 29 and give the device a spin. After a few minutes with it, if you think (like we do) that Sense enhances this particular handset, use your 30 days to find out.
Update: Yep, you can use Helix Launcher 2 on it. So you're running a launcher on top of Sense. Have fun with that.
Android's Facebook app got an update yesterday, bringing it to Version 1.2 and bringing native inbox support along with it. In exchange, you lose the option to take and upload a picture from within the main page you see above, but that's not really a big deal given how easy it is to do from the native Android or Sense (or Motoblur or whatever) camera apps, and you can do it from the news page. We'd still like to see Facebook chat, and maybe less reliance on the mobile site, but it's still a welcome update.
If you haven't updated yet, take a gander in the Android Market downloads section. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
One of the larger issues surrounding applications and the Android Market (OK, one of a number of larger issues) is the current inability to update more than one application at a time. The above screen shot, purportedly from Android 2.2 (which might or might not actually be Froyo; or might be Froyo and not Android 2.2) shows a checkbox for allowing automatic updating. We'll have to think about whether we'd rather see that or just the ability to update all our apps in one fell swoop. But either way, some sort of fix will be a welcome addition. [4chan via Android Community]
One of the biggest misconceptions users migrating to the Android platform have is that they will be sacrificing security compared to their previous flavor of smartphone OS. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Settle in with your favorite beverage, and follow along after the break and we'll talk about Android's security features, and what you need to know and do to keep things going smoothly.
Androlib unofficially has the Android Market surpassing 50,000 applications, quite a leap from the 38,000 figure Google used last week during its first-quarter earnings call. In fact, when we asked Google for an official figure, we were told:
"We're sticking to 38,000 for now. We'll announce when we do our next formal count."
That said, 50,000 items in the Market is a real possibility, but let's be honest here: How many of those "applications" are (a) actual "applications" and (b) something you'd actually want to download? We still think Steve Jobs is being overly childish when he tells people to go to Android if they want porn, but we still think there's a lot about the Android Market that needs to be fixed.
A few of you have asked about graphics benchmarking on the Verizon Droid Incredible, so here you go. It's right up there with the Google Nexus One, and it should be. In other news, that Gundam's pretty darn cool.
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