When it comes to extended batteries, there are a couple things I worry about. First and foremost is having more juice. That's a given, though. With the 2750mAh extended battery for the HTC ThunderBolt, you're getting nearly double the miliAmp/hours of the stock 1400mAh battery. So it's going to last longer. (Or in the case of the ThunderBolt on LTE, which sucks through a battery, you might actually get a day's use out of it.)
But the other thing -- and for a lot of us the only real concern -- is how the extended battery looks and feels on the phone.
First things first: It's bigger. Along with the battery, you get a new battery cover. And the cover has the same cutouts for the camera, dual flashes and 3.5mm as the standard battery. And it also has the same internal antenna connections, which is important, too. It's also made of the same soft-touch plastic as the stock battery cover and has the same HTC and 4G LTE markings.
As for the size, it's definitely larger, sticking out from the back of the ThunderBolt, whereas the stock battery and cover are flush. That's to be expected, of course. Funny thing is, it doesn't feel too bad in the hand. It's noticeably heavier -- about 1 ounce -- but, again, that's to be expected. But our fingers rest comfortably on the top lip. So despite the added size and weight, it's not horrible.
To celebrate 1 million downloads of their SwiftKey keyboard app, TouchType is giving away a tablet each to THREE lucky winners! Which tablets? Whichever the winner chooses so long as they're available for purchase for up to $800 where he or she lives. iPad 2, PlayBook, Xoom, Galaxy Tab are all on the table.
How do you enter? TouchType has put together a small survey which shouldn't take more than five or ten minutes to complete. That's it - well, that and a quick perusal of the official entry rules just to make sure you're eligible (sorry minors and SPE employees). The contest is open to readers of Android Central, CrackBerry.com, TiPb, and WPCentral and ends at midnight Pacific on April 14th.
Not familiar with TouchType? You may have also seen that TouchType made a splash at this year's CTIA with their tablet keyboard for Honeycomb - that's coming soon, but SwiftKey is available now for Android devices.
So get cracking on the survey, folks - these tablets aren't going to give themselves away.
The HTC Thunderbolt has been outselling the iPhone 4 at Verizon Wireless locations nationwide, according to the research firm BTIG.
Their research methodology was simple: call 150 Verizon Wireless retail locations in 22 major cities and talk to the sales people to get a sense of how each device has been selling.
Here are the results:
61% of respondents said that the two devices were selling equally as well
28% said that the Thunderbolt was selling more units
11% answered that the iPhone 4 was the subject of more sales
Keep in mind that these are not actual sales figures, but rather based on interactions with the people who have been selling the units. Either way it's great news for Android and HTC as the Thunderbolt appears to be an early success. Android has been outselling the iPhone for a while now due to the fact that there are so many Android handsets to choose from. However, there was never one device that kept up with iPhone sales on its own, until now. If you have a Thunderbolt and want to share your experiences or have been considering one and want to know more, please visit our HTC Thunderbolt Forum. [BTIG]
4shared, the popular file sharing site, has released an Android application allowing users the same access to their 4shared account on their Android device that they have on their computer. You can manage (or create) your 4shared account, upload and download files, search for other files, and copy already hosted files to your own account, right from the app. There's also a picture viewer and video player built into the app itself, so you can check out any downloaded media without leaving the app.
While it's true that services like this quite often are used to share copyrighted material, they also can be used for legally distributable files as well. Many Android themers and modders use 4shared, so you now have a quick way to download those files right to your phone. If you're a 4shared user, you'll certainly find this useful. It's free for devices running Android 2.1 or higher, and download links and the press release are after the break.
The highly anticipated "PlayStation Phone," which is now known as the Xperia Play by Sony Ericcson (see our hands on) is set to launch in its first 11 markets, which sadly none of which are the US. This device is now on sale in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and many other countries this week, and will be available in six more the following week. The device will launch with a market of 60 game titles, including Splinter Cell, Need for Speed, Worms and many more. Verizon Wireless is set to release some time this spring, so hopefully this announcement will mean that it will be available sooner then later. For more information on release countries and game titles, hit the break for full information. [Sony Ericcson]
If you have been eying the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G ever since its official announcement a few weeks ago, you have probably been anxiously awaiting some release date information. While T-Mobile has still yet to come forward with a release date, RadioShack has tweeted that the device will be releasing at The Shack on April 20, about 3 weeks from now. So, with a release date coming up its almost time to decide if this will be your next device. Be sure to hop in the Sidekick 4G forums and chat it up! [@RadioShack]
If you take a step back for just a second and look into some of the more recent happenings in gaming on the Android platform, one name besides Sony the name OpenFeint will likely cross your mind and rightfully so. OpenFeint has seen some serious growth over the past five months and they're not going to be slowing down any time soon. As a matter of fact, they've just announced 14 new game titles that are now available in the Android Market. New OpenFeint titles out on Android in March include:
Can Knockdown: 2 Infinite Dreams
Doodle Bowling: GameResort
Grave Defense Silver Free: Art of Bytes
Guerrilla Bob: Angry Mob Games
Meganoid: Orange Pixel
Ninja Rush Deluxe: Feelingtouch Inc.
Pyxidis: Hyperbees Ltd.
Return Zero (BETA): We came from Mars
Snail Mail for Android: Sandlot Games
Speedx 3D free&full: Hyperbees Ltd.
Stellar Escape: Orange Agenda
Stupid Zombies: GameResort
World Series of Poker Hold'em Legend: Glu
Tank Hero: Clapfoot Games
With those 14 new titles, and more on the way OpenFeint is certainly helping build up the Android Market for mobile gaming. If you would like to learn more about today's announcement you can jump on past the break for the full press release.
And the latest kernel source to be released by HTC is ... the Desire S! That's right, all the ones and zeros, bits and bytes from the Desire S that you could ever hope for. Well, everything but HTC's proprietary code. But it's certainly better than nothing. So if you're a ROM developer of the custom variety, take a look and see what you can do. [HTC Developer Center]
MetroPCS this morning flipped the LTE switch on its 14th city, with the Tampa area getting high-speed data on the mid-market carrier. That means folks the Florida town can now fly through the Internet with the likes of the Samsung Indulge (see our hands-on), a 3.5-inch Android 2.2 device that comes preloaded with Ironman 2 on a 4GB microSD card.
The Indulge is available for $299 after a $100 mail-in rebate. The launch of LTE in Tampa brings it alongside the likes of Atlanta, Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento and San Francisco. Full presser's after the break.
Bad news for any Brits hoping to get their hands on a shiny new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc or Xperia Play this weekend. Reports on multiple sites suggest that "freight issues" have resulted in both phones being delayed past the original April 1 release date. Vodafone and Three are now expecting to ship the handsets next week, while T-Mobile is aiming for a mid-April release. O2 has already delayed its release of the Xperia Play due to software bugs, and lists both it and the Arc as due for release sometime in April.
Pre-orders made through the Carphone Warehouse, however, will not be affected by the delays -- Carphone has confirmed that it's still expecting to hit tomorrow's launch window. [Engadget via Recombu]
Google apparently has changed its approval process for devices to use its software (that'd be Android), cracking down on the way the software is changed and how third-party partnerships will be handled, according to the folks at Bloomberg. Now, companies that want access to the latest version of Android will need approval of the things they want to do to it. And that approval will come from none other than Andy Rubin.
Google says it is going to tighten and enforce "non-fragmentation clauses," that intend to limit things like customization of the interface, and how manufacturers can partner with other services like Facebook or Microsoft. Bloomberg tells us that things have already gotten heated, with complaints to the U.S. Justice Department being lodged. There's also mention that Google has tried to hold back the release of devices on Verizon because they make use of the Bing services. Hello, HTC Merge, maybe that's why you disappeared for a while.
While I'm all for keeping crappy software away from hot, new devices like the Evo 3D, I'm certain that this doesn't mean the end of manufacturer skins. And it shouldn't -- many enjoy the extras that come with manufacturer enhanced user interfaces, and a bit of curation by Google should make for an easier upgrade path. But I fear this is going to greatly affect the release cycle of the source code for the AOSP project, and not for the better. We'll just have to wait and see how this develops. [Bloomberg BusinessWeek] Thanks, everyone who sent this in!
If you live in the Dallas and are a basketball fan who also happens to want an HTC Thunderbolt -- you're in luck. Verizon wants to give you of 'Bolt if you're willing to play their game -- and are able to win at it. In addition to a free HTC Thunderbolt you and 10 friends also get to attend a party with Mark Cuban.
The contest itself isn't as easy as it sounds though, you'll have to follow Mr. Cuban on Twitter in order to find out where game pieces of a puzzle are and collect them. Once collected, you have to attend the HTC Thunderbolt launch party at on April 6 at Victory Park Plaza, and the more pieces you have, the better chance you have at winning. [Twtvite]
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