At it's heart, SPB Shell 3D is like any other launcher. You have a number of preconfigured home screens and widgets, and you can tweak things to your liking. SPB has designed Shell 3D with a number of slick animations, including the weather widget and world clock. And you can spin your way from one home screen to another with ease. It's pretty slick, and we could easily use SPB Shell 3D as our launcher.
Only real problem is the price. At $14.95, it's priced itself out of the consumer launcher market. There are just too many free and inexpensive options. On the other hand, SPB has made no secret that it's marketing its SPB UI Engine toward manufacturers, so don't be surprised if you see built in to upcoming phones.
SPB Shell 3D is available for Android smartphones running Android 2.1 and up, so long as they have an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible graphic controller. If you can part with the cash, we've got download links after the break.
Battery- Improved battery performance for longer battery life
Screen - Display will turn off automatically now while charging directly on wall charger
Phone stability - Improved stability resulting in fewer occurrences of touch unresponsiveness and/or programs quitting unexpectedly.
Car dock - Improved performance of car dock and 3.5mm jack
Be sure to keep on hitting that update button and check back with us to let us know if you hear any difference voice quality. The Android Central Forums and the comments section below is great for that! Thanks, @yval8957!
HTC Desire Z owner? If so, you've no doubt been holding out patiently for a Gingerbread release and today, you can finally have one in its unofficial form. A new HTC test ROM has leaked out for the device and is now available for download. While we can't go suggesting it for everyone, if you fancy testing out a leaked ROM then you'll certainly want to give this a look.
From what we've gathered so far it's a full blown HTC Sense ROM that appears to be running quite well for those who have been brave enough to load it up. Of course, if you're a T-Mobile G2 owner you'll also want to get caught up on your reading as G2 users have been testing this out as well. Hit the source link for the full details. [XDA]
You're following us on Twitter, right? Please don't tell us that out of our astounding 72,742 followers ... wait ... 72,748 -- you're not one of them? For shame.
Here's why you should be following us on Twitter: We're awesome. Plain and simple. Well, that and you get force fed the latest Android news, reviews, apps, all that stuff you're coming to the blog for in the first place. An who doesn't want that?
And even more fun is that you get to interact with us directly, and we get to meet a few of you, too. Ask us a question, and we're likely to answer it, provided we've had our morning coffee. So be sure to hit us up. We're @androidcentral, of course.
But, wait, there's more. If you're really hard-core, check out @ac_forums for new threads from our Android Forums. Again, that's a pretty heavy feed, so consider yourselves warned.
And if you're looking for the hottest new Android cases, batteries, chargers, cables and other accessories, check out @shop_ac, the feed from the Android Central Store.
We'd hoped to give Verizon's network a couple more days to settle before breaking this one on you, but these are drastic times, folks. See, more than a few of you have had issues with getting 3G data on the HTC ThunderBolt when you're in a non-4G area. Nope, doesn't make much sense. But landle in the Android Central Forums has done a nice job explaining how the TB uses the eHPRD 3G network to speed the handoff between 3G and 4G data. Problem is, it ain't working for a lot of people.
Good news is there's a fix -- no hard resets (which until now had been the recommended fix), human sacrifice or other unpleasantness. Here's what you need to do:
Go to the ThunderBolt's phone dialer. Enter ##778# and hit Send.
You'll get a pop-up labeled EPST, with the choice to "View Mode" or "Edit Mode." You want "Edit Mode."
You'll be asked for a password. It's 000000.
Now flip down to "Modem Settings," and then choose "Rev. A."
Change the setting from eHRPD to "Enable," hit OK, then press the Menu button on the phone and tap "Commit Modifications."
That's it. You're done. The phone will reboot (don't worry, you're not losing any data here), and things should, you know, actually work. As landale points out, you'll want to change this setting back once Verizon gets its network sorted out. But in the meantime, enjoy your, erm, new 3G! [Android Central Forums] Thanks, landale!
We're all waiting and waiting (and waiting some more) for the slew of phones we know are coming to Verizon this spring, but that don't yet have dates. We might now have a better idea thanks to a leaked roadmap. Here's the breakdown:
Of course, this all depends on the authenticity of the leaked roadmap. And as we all know all too well, release dates may change. But regardless, it's a good reminder of the armada of Android that Verizon's about to float. [Phandroid]
CCP Games, makers of the popular sci-fi MMO Eve Online, showed of parts of the game running on an unnamed Android Tegra 2-powered phone and tablet this weekend at the annual Eve Fanfest. While playing the full game (POS bashing shown above) is probably out of the question thanks to hardware limitations, CCP did show off a tech demo of the game's ship fitter interface running. Other features that could be supported if the project ends up getting released include market trading and managing skill queues. Importantly, CCP stated that any mobile version of Eve would exist side-by-side with the full game so additional features like being able to access in-game chat and mail wouldn't be out of the question.
As a current player of Eve Online (bonus points if you can find my Hyperion in the image above!), this news has me excited perhaps a bit more than many of our readers. But having having a game like Eve running on Android helps prove the gaming strength of the platform as powerful gaming chips like the Tegra 2 become ever more common. And it is also worth noting that CCP appears to have no plans to bring this app to iOS - perhaps due to Apple's somewhat unclear stance on in-app subscription services.
Before anyone gets too excited about touching their internet spaceships, it should be noted that CCP has a nebulous-at-best record with regards to delivering on promised new features. Walking-in-stations was announced back in 2006 and still has yet to hit New Eden's massive server, so it is possible this tech demo will never see a general release. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go get my gate camp on. [Gamasutra via Massively]
Although we've known this was coming for quite some time -- and despite nobody having an official launch date -- the Samsung Nexus S will be hitting Canadian carriers any day now. Google has updated their Nexus S pages, and now dummy devices have started to arrive at some Rogers locations. Oddly, though, the units are said to be arriving with no information to accompany them. We're guessing we'll just wake up one day and they'll all of a sudden be available. Thanks, you know who!
Well, the Droid Incredible had a good run, didn't it? We knew this day would come, and now it finally has as the phone is no longer up for order on Verizon's website and it appears retail stores are selling through their remaining stock - end-of-life.
First rumored all the way back in December of 2009, the Droid Incredible finally launched at the end of April 2010 and very quickly did its best to sell out across America as Verizon users went Snapdragon crazy. From day one it was on backorder, and demand was not satisfied well in to mid-August. In addition, the "DInc" was one of the first phones to get updated to Froyo after a leaked version of the RUU made its way on to the Internet. Here in Blacksburg, it is hardly possible to turn around without seeing someone texting, browsing, or gaming away on a Droid Incredible.
However, there is some good news on the horizon for the DInc faithful (myself included) - we have reliable information that a Verizon-branded version of the HTC Incredible S could be making its way to American shores very soon as the Droid Incredible 2. As in very, very soon. Until then, why not head on over to the Android Central Forums and talk about your favorite memories of the Droid Incredible? [Verizon via Android Central Forums]
In-app billing for Android is a pretty simple thing, really. Say you're playing a game and want to buy a new level, song, weapon -- whatever. All it takes is a couple apps, and you've got the new level, song, weapon -- whatever.
We gave it a go on Tap Tap Revenge -- you should remember our early look at it back at the Honeycomb event at Google HQ. And indeed, it's simple enough. Tap on the song we wanted to purchase, confirm the purchase, and we're on our way. (That was the easy part -- Tap Tap Revenge itself is something of a confounding application, or maybe we're just old and couldn't handle all the flashing lights.)
Anyhoo, look for in-app billing to really take off in the coming months.
See, apparently the music industry believes that Amazon needs a license to allow me to stream my music -- my (mostly) legally obtained music -- from its cloud to my devices. I can take said music and stream it from my laptop to my Xbox 360, or put it on a microSD card and pump it through a phone or six, or put it on a flash drive and play it in my car. But, apparently, Amazon needs a license. And apparently it didn't get one.
According to a Reuters story, the music industry has its knickers in a twist because Amazon went ahead and launched the service while still in talks for licensing fees -- something neither Google nor Apple has had the chutzpah to do. And you know what? Good for Amazon. The music industry has been killing itself far too slowly.
Of course, this could mean that Amazon's service could be shut down, or Amazon might have to pay out the wazoo, or we could all be forced to pay more for the storage space. (And I'm willing to bet Google's going to give more than 5GB free.) We'll just have to see. In the meantime, stream away, folks. Stream away. [Reuters/Yahoo via TiPb]
The LG Optimus 2X is proving to be quite the treat for those who love to root and customize their phones, and the release of MCR (MoDaCo Custom ROM) for the device makes things that much better. For those not familiar with Paul O'Brien's work, MCR is a ROM that appears stock, but everything behind the scenes is tweaked. Paul has quite the knack for finding a sweet spot between speed and stability, and all versions of MCR (most devices that are capable get the treatment) have a large fanbase.
MCR for the 2X brings a custom kernel with EXT 4 support, Superuser Whitelist and current SU binary from ChainsDD, and is flashable from ClockworkMod recovery for easy installation. There's also a custom kitchen for downloading available for paid members of Paul's website.
Thanks for the hard work Paul, here's hoping you can get the T-Mobile version in your hands when it's released. [MoDaCo]
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