Is it just me, or did this week just seem to Xoom on by? Ok, bad joke, I know, but this week was rather loaded with a good amount of Xoom drama, fun, and excitement, along with a bundle of other Android related news. Let's take a look below at some of what you may have missed this week.
This week's ROM Review brings two Android staples together -- the HTC Droid Incredible and CyanogenMod. These two go together like peanut butter and jelly -- each makes a good thing better. And it's a great way to get some Gingerbread on your DInc.
Android Central forums' super moderator and self-proclaimed VP of Entertainment Brett took the time to give us the run-down this time around, and you can read his review after the break. Thanks Brett!
Want to see your favorite ROM get reviewed? Or have the time to share a review of your own with everyone? Contact us!
HTC has confirmed that Gingerbread will be making its way to the Desire, Desire HD and Desire Z during the second quarter of the year, according to reports from SlashGear, which sources an HTC spokesperson. HTC also re-confirmed the Incredible S Gingerbread update, though this has been known since the phone was announced.
This is the first confirmation of a Gingerbread update for the Desire HD and Desire Z -- good news for owners of those phones, which are still under six months old. Reports started to surface last week suggesting a Gingerbread update for the original Desire, which is now approaching its first birthday.
The Q2 2011 release window for these Gingerbread updates will coincide with the launch of HTC's new Desire S and Wildfire S, both of which run Gingerbread out of the box. [SlashGear]
Mobiles.co.uk and parent company The Carphone Warehouse are now shipping HTC's new Incredible S in the UK. SIM-free, the Incredible S can be yours for £499.95 (~$800), while on-contract prices range from free to £319.99 (~$510). Right now the Incredible S is only being offered on contract with O2 and Vodafone, and the cheapest way to get the phone for free is on a £25 per month contract with O2.
Samsung's dual-core, Gingerbread-powered Galaxy S II has appeared on Play.co.uk alongside a tentative SIM-free price and release date. According to Play, which is currently taking pre-orders for the phone, it'll ship Mar. 31 for £599.99 (~$960). Pre-release prices are never guaranteed to be accurate and are always subject to change, but £599 seems like a realistic price point for the Galaxy S II, as it's slightly higher than current single-core offerings from other manufacturers.
If you are an Epic 4G user odds are you were rather excited when the 2.2.1 update began to roll out for your device. And as you know, it was pulled due to some ... issues. And one of them appears to be with the lock screen and inbound phone calls, and the vulnerability the device has when receiving a phone call. Users have noticed that if they have a password on their device, thinking that it is safe from others getting into it, that if the device receives an inbound phone call and you accept, if you quickly press the home button a few times you are into the phone, with access to all the information.
While yes, you would need to have the phone number associated with the device, it is still a huge potential flaw for keeping anyone who knows you out of your device. Users have reported that once the call is ended, the device becomes locked again, which is a good thing, but still scary that they can be using your calling minutes, and searching all your personal information at the same time. [Android Central Forums, Bug list]
Whether you enjoy cruising the market, or struggle to find applications for your favorite Android device, suggestions of great applications are usually welcomed. We spend lots of time looking for fun new applications, and are always looking for the next great thing to load on our devices. Weekly we enjoy to share some of our favorite applications with you, so hit the jump and see what we got in store for you this week.
You didn't actually think the recently announced HTC Incredible S (see our hands-on) wouldn't make its way to Verizon as the Droid Incredible 2, did ya? A couple of leaked screen shots point to ADR6350 as coming to Big Red. No real surprise there, as the DInc was one of the hottest phones of 2010. Let's just hope there aren't the same supply issues this year.
Oh, and after the break, another pic that also shows the ADR6350W listing, as well as the newly revived HTC Merge. Might it end up on Verizon after all? Or is it just an old inventory listing? News at 11, folks. [Engadget]
We've known since its unveiling in January that you're going to have to take the Motorola Xoomsomewhere to be upgraded to LTE date. The question was where, and how. The answer(s)? Back to Motorola, via FedEx.
Verizon's posted up instructions on everything you should do before shipping your new Honeycomb tablet back to the mother ship for some LTE re-education, and it all it takes is three simple steps (one of them is optional) -- in a dozen or so parts.
The first step is backing up your user data and saving it locally onto a computer -- something that's a bit foreign in this day an age, but something we'd still recommend doing. (We're anal like that.)
The second (and optional, but very cool) step is to encrypt and hard-reset your Xoom. You've gotta have a full battery to do it. And if you leave it encrypted, you'll have to enter a password each time you log on. Or you can unencrypt, which also involves a hard-reset, but you'll restore all your date in the process. Time-consuming, but safe and cool.
The third step is to actually ship the device to Motorola via FedEx. You'll be provided a bubble pack -- wonder how long it'll take to get to you -- and then ship it off. And a week or so later, you'll get it back, LTE-enabled.
Yes, everyone is waiting for the HTC Thunderbolt. It has to be one of the most anticipated releases in recent Android history, and a lot of potential buyers are getting a bit...antsy. Android Central forums member AisforAustin got a chance to relieve a little of that pre-release stress today at his local Verizon Wireless store, where he had some hands-on time with a Thunderbolt dummy unit. I'll let you read his post, but the gist of it is:
Yesterday we saw the Gmail for Android application receive an update, only to be pulled shortly after from the market due to some stability issues. Lucky for us Google understands that we love the Gmail application, and updates are always warmly welcomed, when they work. Today they have released another update that should fix any prior stability issues that users were experiencing. Be sure to head to the market and update yours today to avoid any confusion, or the risk of any issues. [Android Market]
If you are an avid user of the Barnes and Noble Nook for Android application, you will be pleased to know that they have released a rather nice update. In version 2.5 they have listened to their users, and brought some of the most popular features to the application, sadly not all of them will be available to users of 10-inch tablets yet.
For anyone using an Android powered smartphone, or seven inch tablet, the update includes a download progress meter, a wish list feature, as well as a new library grid view, for easy viewing access. For those of you who picked up the Xoom this week, your update is destined to arrive some time this spring, so they have not forgotten about you.
The HTC Aria from AT&T has finally received its dose of Froyo. After having to sit through the torture of seeing everyone else but them get Froyo, AT&T users can now grab the download right off of the HTC website and get updated to Android 2.2. One thing to note however is that if you are currently using a rooted HTC Aria, this update has the potential to break that forever. Hit the HTC source link for the download. [HTC] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
A new twist on the "find my phone" genera of apps comes out today from Lookout Labs called Plan B. If the name didn't give it away, it's an application that tracks your phone that is installed remotely via the Android Market websiteafter you've lost it. Using it is simple:
Realize that your phone isn't where it should be, and a quick look under the car seats or in the couch cushions doesn't find it
Once installed, Plan B will start sending text messages via email to the address of your Google account, with handy Google Maps links to your phone's location. This works even if GPS isn't enabled. Then it's a matter of seeing where it is, and deciding how to retrieve it. Pretty slick if you ask me, and it seemed to work perfectly on my Nexus S. To give it a test or keep the link handy, follow the break for the download.