It appears as though Verizon has a lot more changes then we would have ever predicted coming down the pipeline to start out 2011. First the flood of new LTE devices at CES, then the unknown press conference scheduled for next week, then they changed the upgrade policy for two-year contracts, and now they plan to change their return policy to 14 days instead of 30 days. This change is slated to happen on the 16th of this month and no direct communication has been given as to why the change. Be sure to stay tuned for any further information we receive, and hopefully some official communication from Verizon to better understand the changes.
It is puzzling why the Mesmerize will take so long to get the update as Samsung has already pushed out the Galaxy S Froyo update code to carriers for testing. Still, at least Android users on U.S. Cellular have some official word now. [Facebook] Thanks to Greg for the tip!
Toshiba is looking to get into the Android tablet space in a big way. And by big, we mean 10.1 inches, with Honeycomb (once it's actually available). We sat down with Toshiba at CES in Las Vegas for a walkthrough with the unnamed prototype.
The software was defintely not finished, running Froyo (and with hiccups). But it was the hardware we were really interested in. Join us after the break for a good look.
We can tell that you want all of these things. Heck, you probably want to know that there's also a 4" version floating around at CES that we may try to track down later. We're comfortable with Viewsonic pushing out lower-end tablets and we want you to be too, so go on and watch some videos and photos of Viewpads after the break
When they say "Droid Does" they really mean it, and we have yet to see a limit be put on that. We have seen devices launch into space, devices take pictures of the lunar eclipse, and now we have seen a device save someones life. From reports, it appears as though a valet driver had his HTC Incredible in his inside pocket of his jacket when shots were fired at him, but they hit his device instead. The shot hit the battery of the device, which actually prevented the shot from penetrating any further, thus saving his life. Do you think that pretty glass iPhone4 could have saved anyone's life? Just another reason why, Droid Does. Video is after the break for you all. [wsbtv via AP]
A week or so ago we warned everyone about the Geinimi trojan that's been spotted in the wilds of the Orient. The threat level itself hasn't increased (as far as we know) if you aren't poking around Chinese Android fansites and downloading slightly questionable programs, so there's no need to ring the alarm and circle the wagons just yet. Lookout has torn down the trojan itself and gives a great overview of what it does, and how it does it. This isn't a primer to teach yourself trojan writing, it's standard practice among security firms to show how things are done and help find ways to prevent it in the future. First, here's exactly what this trojan can do:
Read and collect SMS messages
Send and delete selected SMS messages
Pull all contact information and send it to a remote server (number, name, the time they were last contacted)
Place a phone call
Silently download files
Launch a web browser with a specific URL
Yikes. Remember, this is so far a pretty isolated incident, and this isn't in any apps you can get from the Android Market. In fact, so far it looks like it's confined to "warez" files, so it mirrors what you find on the internet when downloading questionable files for your computer. Our advice -- stick to applications from someone you trust, and if you have a need to download random applications (we have to do it here all the time to check them out) find a method to scan them for malicious code.
Lookout breaks the code itself down, if your a developer or just curious be sure to have a look. It's pretty sophisticated and a shame that the developer(s) don't put their effort into something a bit more productive. Check the source link for all the details, including a .pdf file with a complete code breakdown. [Lookout] Thanks Cerena!
Yesterday 4G LTE was all over the place at the Verizon press conference, many new devices, which is awesome, but how awesome is it without network expansion to allow these to run. Verizon has announced that they are expanding their network across the country, from Alabama to Wisconsin, including various areas of Florida, one specific area being Pensacola. [hooray for Phil!] In addition to Pensacola they will be expanding to Tallahassee, Gainesville, Lakeland-Winter Haven and Sarasota/Bradenton for you Florida folks, and generally blanketing US metro areas one by one.
Hit the break for a list of cities that will be covered before the end of 2011, and the latest Verizon Wireless press release. [Verizon]
Although LG and T-Mobile have given us an early preview of the G-Slate at CES 2011, it still has to pass on through the FCC before we ever get to see it put to market. The above image appears to be the G-Slates FCC filing. As we know, it'll be able to run on T-Mobile's AWS frequency and will be loaded up with Honeycomb goodness. Hopefully, it now being in the FCC hands means we'll not have to wait all that long to put it in ours. [Engadget]
If you haven't noticed from the homepage already there certainly isn't a lack of Android related news coming from this years CES event. While Phil and Dieter have been splitting the press events, Cory and myself have scoured the floor looking for all things Android while the team continues to deliver all the great news to you. We all know there has been a lot, and you probably missed some of it, so lets take a look back at some of what we have brought you, and if you are looking for an easy way to keep track of all the news, or want to go back and read it again, click here.
Samsung has announced that they are working up two new Google TV devices -- a set top companion box, and a Blu-ray player to compliment their smart TV offerings. Samsung has embraced Android and Google in a big way with their Galaxy S line, and seeing them start work on Google TV devices is great news. Once the content agreements are worked out, a big push from Samsung could make Google TV the "next big thing". Many of us (myself included) want to embrace Google TV, but don't have the desire to be the early adopter. This will help push the platform forward in a big way.
We're on the floor at CES, and will try to get some more info and maybe even a demo. Press release after the jump. [Google TV blog, Samsung]
Here's another gem that's not coming anywhere near the United States. The Motorola XT800+ features a custom UI atop Android 2.2.1 -- and dual SIM cards. So you can use one for voice and one for data. It's got a stylish leather backing, and gold-plated accents, a 1GHz processor and 5MP camera.
A tipster just sent this one in, it's a list of devices reaching end-of-life soon on AT&T, and the Motorola Backflip and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 are on it. Looks like the Backflip's last day is Feb 2, and the X10 says goodbye on March 6. This doesn't mean that your phone will stop working, or that someone at AT&T won't be able to help you if you hit any technical snags, it just means that they won't be pushing to sell them, and no more new stock will arrive.
On the bright side, AT&T recommends the Flipout and the Captivate as suitable replacements, so they are with us for a while longer. Personally, I say hold off and wait for one of the new AT&T Androids that we've seen this week at CES, or roll with the Xperia Arc as the perfect replacement for the X10 (or any phone for that matter!) -- go big! [sent in via the Android Central app] Thanks tipster!
A 3D touchscreen on a smartphone? Oh, why not. They're putting it on everything else these days. So that's what's been done with the Sharp Galapogos. It's an Android 2.2 device with a 3.8-inch touchscreen and what's being called "Naked Eye 3D."
With the press of a button, the home screen changes to a 3D-like feel, without the need of those glasses. It's an interesting parlor trick, but not something we'd want to really use, most likely.
One of the cool things about CES is getting to play with phones that will otherwise never see the light of day in the U.S. And one of those phones is the Motorola XT806LX. It's a Chinese device, rocking a custom version of Android.
But what's really cool is that it sports two touchscreens, one atop the other. The top screen is capacitive, and lets you use the phone just like any other Android smartphone. The screen on the bottom is resistive, and you use a stylus with it. That's to help with the Chinese characters. Toss in a TV antenna and a bunch of Swarovski crystals (20 or so), and you've got a stylish and functional device.