It should have been a nice uneventful holiday weekend for Android Central Forum member mapexvenus and the missus, but real life seldom works out that way. During the long road trip to Tahoe, they stopped for a little break at a rest stop and the unthinkable happened -- their car was robbed.
Along with other loot, one of the items taken was Mrs. mapexvenus' HTC Droid Eris. After calling the CHP, the couple remembered one of the powerful tools that Android put at their disposal -- Google Latitude. Using his HTC Droid Incredible, Mr. mapexvenus was able to track his wife's phone as the thieves motored down I-5 with a carload of expensive stolen gear. A call to the CHP with this info and the suspects were nabbed and all items were recovered. Read the whole story here in the Android Central forums.
We're all happy for you Mr. and Mrs. mapexvenus, and hope the rest of your weekend went well. Crime fighting? Droid DOES.
Rogers Wireless now has another great option for Canadian Android lovers, or for those who just need a nice current smartphone. The Liquid E is a powerhouse stuffed into a smaller package, perfect for folks on the go and people who just don't need 4.3" of screen. Full specs are listed on the Rogers website but here's the short list -- 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor, 3.5-inch display, 512 MB, Android 2.1. Oh, yeah.
Pricing looks nice as well, at $49.99 on a three year contract, $324.99 for 2 years, $374.99 for one year and just $424.99 to buy the phone outright. Looks like a hot little phone that I'd love to see come a little further south. Anyone planning on picking this one up? Shout out in the comments and on the forums! [mobilesyrup]
You're going to need a Nexus One (or some other phone with a trackball capable of lighting up in different colors) to take advantage of this feature in Android 2.2, but color trackball notifications are officially here. OK, actually they've been available for some time in custom ROMs (and as you'll note in the video above, I'm cheating and using CyanogenMod for demonstration purposes). But now they're bona fide in Froyo, and we're already starting to see them in more applications.
We imagine there are one or two of you out there who aren't interested in that other phone being released this week. And it's our pleasure to bring you the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, which is now available for $179.99 after the usual contract, rebate and whatnot. You'll have three colors from which to choose -- red, white and black -- and you'll be the first kid on your block with the latest HTC Android smartphone with a slide-out keyboard. Namaste. [T-Mobile]
Please give a warm welcome to Windows version 22.214.171.12467, released late last night, 5.31.2010 goodies include:
* Upgrade back-end stuff in preparation for our soon to be released Android music player. weWt!! * Android market for windows. go get those apps. Android App FAQ --> http://forums.doubletwis...mp;m=8057&#post8057 * Support for the Sony X10 * Tons 'o miscellaneous bug fixes.
We all love bugfixes, and support for new devices is always nice. But there are two things here that look really interesting - the "soon to be released" music player, and the ability to search the Android Market from within the program. Search out an app and once it's loaded in doubleTwist's browser (note -- you'll have to have Chrome or Safari installed, support for other browsers is in the works, according to the developers) you can install via QR code with your trusty bar code scanner. Of course, music and video transfer works as well as it ever did, and doubleTwist still offers excellent podcast subscription management. It really is shaping up to be iTunes for Android, and it's something definitely worth looking into.
AT&T just dropped a bit of a bombshell, doing away with its "unlimited" data plans in favor some new tiered options. Before we go into details, note that current voice and data plans won't change unless you want them to, and the new plans won't be available until June 7. Now, for the meat:
The DataPlus plan: You get 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month. If you go over that, you get another 200MB for another $15. AT&T says that 65 percent of its smartphone customers use less than 200MB a month. (Surely that's nobody here.)
The DataPro plan: You get 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month. If you go over that, you get another 1GB for $10. AT&T says 98 percent of its customers use less than 2GB a data a month. (For what its worth, even I fall under that category.)
Tethering: Finally -- legitimate tethering on AT&T (for better or for worse, 'cause you're gonna have to share this with iPhone and iPad users). Another $20 a month gets you access, and you'll be pulling from the same 2GB pool as the DataPro plan. So if you start going over, you might not be saving all that much, if any.
For some of you, this could save a lot of money. Others will bemoan the loss of "unlimited" (we keep using that in quotes because it never was truly unlimited) data plans in favor of tiered pricing. If you need help figuring out what's best for you, check out AT&T's myWireless Android app, look at your bill, or consult a psychic. Either one should do. [AT&T]
We've spent much of or time lately with the largest Android phone, now let's move to one of the smallest. The Motorola Flipout (that's the square deal that made the rounds back in April) which we've seen was announced this morning and will be available in Europe and will be available in Europe in the second quarter. The Flipout brings a square form factor with a 2.8-inch screen at 320x240 pixels. It's running Android 2.1 with an "enhanced" version of Motoblur, Motorola's custom interface atop Android. In fact, it's the first Motoblur phone to run on Android 2.1.
Other specs of note: Quad-band GSM, dual-band WCDMA; Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR; aGPS; 1170mAh battery; 5-row keyboard; WiFi, 3MP camera; FM radio; a "Flash-enabled" Webkit browser; all in a package that's a little more than 2.5 inches square and is available in seven colors.
It's a form factor that's surely aimed at the kids (you reading this, KIN?), though better Exchange support is touted in the enhanced version of Motoblur, too. No word yet on pricing. Check out the hip announcement video after the break. [Motorola via AndroidOS.in]
Here at Android Central we love our contests, and last month Phil broke the news that one of our lucky forum members would be the recipient of a brand new HTC Evo 4G when the device is finally released on Friday.
Well, today we make good on that promise and without further ado, the winner of the Evo 4G is forum member dwhitman! Thanks to all of our readers who participated!
Those of you who did not pre-order a Sprint Evo 4G and will be on the prowl come this Friday -- launch day! -- should think about visiting your local Sprint store when the doors open at 8 a.m.
Android Central forum member BigRick10 posted the image above that shows one Sprint store that seems to have an over abundance of Evos. Here is the kicker: What you see above is claimed to be only a partial shipment. Of course, stock will vary from store to store, but it's looking like Sprint stores will be your best bet come Friday. [Android Central forums]
Samsung should be launching its premier handset soon, in a huge way. According to the Korean industry blog Korea IT Times the Galaxy S will be released in 100 countries, all within the same month. Confirmed by IT Times are Vodafone (UK), Orange (FR), SingTel (SG), Deutsche Telecom (Germany) and "many others." We're already pretty sure it's coming to AT&T, T-Mobile, and very possibly Sprint and Verizon in the United States.
Ever since we had some hands on time with the Galaxy S and even more time with it at Google I/O we've been itching to call it our own for a week or so and put it through the paces. Specs look great (1GHz cortex A8 processor, 4-inch SuperAmoled screen, 5 MPx camera, 8/16 GB internal memory, Android 2.1 Eclair), multimedia support looks even better (MP3, WAV, eAAC+, AC3 and FLAC audio files and MP4, DivX, WMV, H.264 and H.263 video files), and those rumours of the Hummingbird chips graphics processing being 3x the power and speed of the Snapdragon really make this phone one to keep an eye on. And maybe, we can finally get a chance to see it outside. [IT Times via Unwired View]
It's not much of a secret, judging by all the talk in our Evo 4G forums, that a lot of you folks out there are getting ready to jump one ship or another to join the ranks of Android with the Sprint Evo 4G (as well as other recent Android phones). So let's hear it: Which OS did/are you ditching for Android?
Another couple of weeks, and more new numbers regarding Android platform percentages. For the two weeks ending June 1, we now see 45.1 percent of Android phones running Eclair -- Android 2.1. That's up from 32.4 percent for the two weeks ending May 17. The Cupcake (Android 1.5) and Donut (Android 1.6) versions continue to wane, thanks to the HTC Droid Erisand Hero finally getting their long awaited updates. Cupcake is down 6.5 percentage points, while Donut dropped 1.6 percentage points. [Android Developer Blog]
Mobile chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has started shipping its two newest additions to the Snapdragon family, the MSM8260 and the MSM8660. Both of the processors are dual-core and are clocked at 1.2GHz with an integrated GPS and GPU that supports Open GL ES 2.0, 2D and 3D acceleration as well as Open VG 1.1 and are capable of encoding and decoding 1080p and support displays up to 1280x800 pixels. The only difference between the two chipsets is that the MSM8260 supports HSPA+ whereas the MSM8660 supports multi-mode HSPA+ and 1xEV-DO Rev. B. Qualcomm states that these two chips are headed for high-end smartphones, which will no doubt include Android devices sometime in the future (anything before the end of the year is pretty unlikely). More multicore processors are in the works for tablets and other high-end devices slated for “this year.” [via Engadget]
Andy Rubin's "it's not fragmentation, it's legacy" line at Google IO has sparked a pretty good debate, but now we're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel for problem of Android's furious pace. Speaking to the Silicon Valley Mercury News' Troy Wolverton, Rubin said the rate of major updates to Android may settle down to an annual event. Said Rubin:
"From our internal 0.8, we got to 1.0 pretty quickly, and we went through this iteration cycle. You've noticed, probably, that that's slowed down a little bit. Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that's moving — it's hard for developers to keep up. I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don't want developers to have to predict the innovation."
At which point we expect everybody to start complaining about how long it will take until the next major revision of Android. [Mercury News] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Sometimes we all like to sit back in our chairs and speculate about what fresh innovative ideas will turn up next in the smartphone world. I'll bet none of us saw this coming. Rather than put a camera on a smartphone, it looks like altek has put a smartphone in a camera. Not a lot of details yet, and we're not even sure it will be running Android -- but the home, back and menu buttons make that a safe bet. We do know that it's a touchscreen phone with HSDPA radio bands (and carries the Nokia style 3.5G label), has a 14 megapixel CCD with 3x optical (yes, optical, as in not a typo) zoom, and will be unvelied in June in Singapore at CommunicAsia.
Both professional and amateur photographers alike might just have something to look forward to with this beast. Full press release after the break. [via Engadget]
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