Another week has passed us by, and the Android news continued to flow. With Google changing leaders, the Xoom shows us a price tag, and much more, it is easy to have missed something along the way. If you took your eyes off the site for any reason this week, it is almost guaranteed you missed something, so let's take a look at what you may have missed.
The modding community helps a device with an identity crisis
to "find itself"
The Barnes & Noble Nook Color is a very unique device to review, because you're really talking about two different products before and after it's hacked. The device it's being sold as, and the device that it can be are about as far apart as can be.
When used as it was intended by B&N, the NC's splash screen tells us we're about to "Touch the Future of Reading." The irony with this is that the color touch-screen reading that they're referring to isn't far off in "the future," it's already very much here in the present (surely you've heard about those tablet thingies, right?).
With the Nook Color, B&N is trying to capture some of those customers who aren't yet in the market for a full tablet, but who are still intrigued by the experience of color touchscreen reading.
. . . and in the process, they accidentally created one of the most enticing tablets on the market.
And just to reiterate -- the $799 price that we brought you is the "minimum advertised price" and not what you're likely to have to pay for all that Honeycomb goodness. Everyone's favorite Panda is anticipating a $500 or so price tag after subsidy, and we're inclined to agree. Though any Wifi-only version is going to have to come down a bit before we break out our wallets. [Engadget]
Having just made news with its sales numbers Sony Ericsson looks to be holding true to its promise to do things better in 2011 if the latest device leakage is anything to go by. The Sony Ericsson Vivaz 2 (or whatever it goes to market as) has found its way into the hands of Mobile-review and if you're willing to give Sony Ericsson another shot at impressing you, the review has nothing but nice things to say about it.
The 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7630 sports Adreno 205 graphics and has 512MB of RAM on board, while a 1500mAh battery powers the 854 x 480 reality display. No idea as to when or where this thing will show up but we're tossing it out there that Mobile World Congress might be a good place to start. If you're looking for the full review, be sure to hit the source link. [Mobile -Review]
Sprint's been more vocal than others about working on Froyo updates for its phones, whether it's a blog post, or taking to Twitter. But if you're thinking about bugging someone on the phone or in a store, you're not likely to get anywhere. Above is a memo that went out yesterday regarding the Samsung Epic 4G and Transform, and the Sanyo Zio. Clearly, there's no date scheduled for Froyo to ship, so don't ask.
You will, however, hear that Sprint "works closely with our manufacturing partners" in getting updates out the door and "as quickly as possible" and all the usual bullet points. No surprise there, other than the Zio's possibly going to get Froyo. We were on the fence about the Transform, but it's listed, too, so there you go.
Sprint's said it, and we'll say it again, too -- it'll be ready when it's ready.
Have you poked around in the Android Market recently? Unable to find an application that suites your needs due to the incredible amount of apps in the market? Well, have no fear, your friends here at Android Central are back at it again with another weekly rendition of our favorite app picks, so let's hit the jump and see what they are this week!
We know "something big is coming" from Samsung at Mobile World Congress in a few short weeks. And if this leaked teaser video (which almost looks unfinished) is any indication (and if it's real), we could well be looking at a Galaxy Tab 2. The rumor mill's got it coming with a Tegra 2 processor, and nobody can make up their minds on the screen tech.
And by the way, that SamsungUnpacked site has changed slightly, with word of an invite-only event Feb. 13, and open event Feb. 14. Guess we'll have to go to Barcelona to find out what's what. And go we shall. [YouTube via OLED-Display]
This is a big one, folks. The DL09 maintenance update that was recently pushed to the Samsung Fascinate breaks emergency calling -- for some of us, anyway -- when the phone is using a pattern lock. Discovered by SEAKevin from the Android Central Forums, the bug relates to the Emergency Call button when the pattern lock is enabled. Normally, when that button is pressed, the system will allow for E911 calls you having to unlock the phone. We are able to successfully reproduce the bug.
Instead of being taken to the emergency dialer screen, nothing happens. The dialer only shows after the correct unlock pattern has been entered -- completely defeating the purpose.
A couple of you are noting in the comments that you're not seeing this, so there might be some variables involved. But the fact that it's happening for anyone certainly is cause for some concern. Video of the bug is after the break. [Android Central Forums] Thanks, SEAKevin!
The good news -- the T-Mobile Vibrant indeed is getting its Froyo update. The bad news -- it looks like (thus far) you have to do it through Samsung's Mini Kies program. That's right, in this day and age of over-the-air updates, you have to plug your phone into a computer to update. Le sigh.
We've only been at it for an hour or so now, and Kies is still seeing our Vibrant as an "Unregistered device." Whatever that means.
You know that Froyo complacency a few of you have accused us of? It's rapidly going away. There's really no excuse for making an update this difficult. [via TMoNews]
The weekend is upon us once again, finally. Lots of exciting stuff has gone down this week so be sure to click back and catch up on anything you may have missed. Especially the podcast, it was pretty awesome. Be sure to hit up the forums and check out what's happening. Hope you all have a great weekend!
You want some actual news about accessories to go along with the initial pricing info for the Motorola Xoom tablet, eh? We've got you covered. Above is what Verizon apparently will have on hand, and it's quite the portfolio. You've got a camera kit cable (oooh, fancy), a media dock and advanced HDMI dock, silicone cases, travel charger and car charger. Everything a budding Android tableteer could need, we reckon. Thanks, K!
We haven't been blessed by Google with the update on our Nexi just yet, so we're on the lookout for the download link. If you feel like helping in the search, grab Alogcat from the market (link after the break), install it and run the app after you get the update message, but before you run the update. Save the output, and contact us. [Android Central forums] Thanks Droid800!
You might have stumbled across a story or two on the web today about Florian Mueller from FOSSpatents finding 43 more files in the Android source that look to be copied from Sun. I know I did, and had a heart wrenching editorial all ready to go, all about Google's open source strategy in their fight against Oracle, how it might fail, and how I was going to shave my beard and cry.
Then I stumbled across Ed Burnette's story on ZDNet.
All the fuss, all the hysteria, and most importantly all the cries against Google proclaiming them as thieves aren't what they seem. There are two sets of files in question -- a series of seven (PolicyNodeImpl.java, AclEntryImpl.java, AclImpl.java, GroupImpl.java, OwnerImpl.java, PermissionImpl.java, and PrincipalImpl.java) that contain proprietary code from Sun, and do exist, but they are in the unit test area of the AOSP source tree. This means they are only used to test software after it's built, and before it's shipped. To be clear -- these files are not used to build Android, nor are the shipped with Android. To take things a step further, these files were published by Sun on their own website to assist developers to test and debug -- exactly what Google is using them for.
The other 37 files exist as well, but are inside a zip file in an area of the source tree used for one particular audio chipset. These files look like they were uploaded by mistake, and also aren't used to build Android or ship with any Android devices. These will probably just be deleted from the tree, as they don't do anything.
Word on the street and in the Android Central Forums (same difference, really) is that the Nexus One is in the midst of an update to Android 2.2.2 -- build FRG83G. Nope, not Gingerbread yet. The new Froyo version is a scant 558kb, which Google says "contains important bug fixes."
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