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6 years ago

Motorola employee confirms locked bootloaders -- and bad attitude


locked up tight

It's the question many of us are asking -- will Motorola's upcoming phones have locked bootloaders?  Based on Motorola's previous stance on the issue we all expected the answer to be yes, but there's no harm in asking again, right?  New hardware (the Droid Bionic and Atrix 4G use a different CPU, that doesn't carry the e-Fuse technology) could mean a new protection scheme, and people are curious.

Someone got a bit curious in the comments of Motorola's YouTube video showcasing the Smart docks for the Atrix 4G and got hit with a stunner of a reply by a Motorola employee, and I quote:

@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we'll continue with our strategy that is working thanks.

Sounds like good advice to me, so I'll certainly be buying elsewhere. 

Lock the phones up if you want to Motorola, but I think that money might be better spent training your PR folks how to field questions.  It wasn't too long ago that most people were "buying elsewhere", and with that sort of attitude history could start to repeat itself. [YouTube via Android Central forums]

Update: As many have already seen and commented, Motorola has cleansed the comments at the YouTube video link.  They must not realize that like diamonds, the Internet is forever.

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6 years ago

Updated ShootMe adds screencast support and a new user interface


If you're making use of a rooted device, chances are you have a screenshot application installed. If nothing else, rooting your device for the fact you can then easily take screenshots is enough alone. Being unrooted and trying to take screenshots just sucks. That said, many of you out there are likely using ShootMe as your screenshot app of choice and if so you'll want to hit the Android Market as soon as you can and grab the latest update that is now available.

Having been just a pretty basic screenshot app in the past, ShootMe has now evolved into a screenshot and screencasting app. A new user interface is now in effect and ShootMe is looking pretty damn awesome. The new screencasting portion, while not perfect, is a pretty sweet inclusion to the app allowing you to record videos off of your device right up to 10 frames per second on supported devices. No audio recording is present, but that's not essentially vital to the apps working as you can easily voice over a video at a later time if need be. Plus, there is always the chance it could be added in a later update. Awesome update to say the least. Hit the break for the download link if you're on a rooted device. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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6 years ago

LG Optimus 2X now available for pre-order in Europe


LG Optimus 2X

It looks like the Optimus 2X, LG's dual-core Tegra 2-powered monster will soon be landing in Europe. UK-based online retailer Expansys is currently taking pre-orders for the device for £499.99 ($800), and is also offering it for free with a number of contracts with UK carrier Vodafone. According to Expansys, the Optimus 2X will arrive in the UK on March 21.

Elsewhere in Europe, Danish store Ellos has the Optimus 2X available for pre-order for 3599 DKK ($650), and expects to ship February 25. There's still confusion over when the phone will launch stateside on T-Mobile USA, though a possible March release has been rumored. [Expansys, Ellos]

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6 years ago

Galaxy Tab Case Review: Samsung Skin Case


Samsung Galaxy Tab Skin Case

When you have a 7-inch tablet, you're likely not going to want a massive case. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Skin Case is a thin rubber option that will protect your tablet without making it feel like it's clad in armor.

The skin case is made of a premium silicone. It's smooth, but with grooves cut into it. Not so much for function, but for design.The rubber definitely helps you keep a better grip on the tab than if it's naked.

The case comes as a single piece. It's easiest to slip the Galaxy Tab into either the top or bottom, then stretch the opposite end around the front. And that's where we had our one real complaint -- it seemed a tad loose. Not so much that it'd slip off, but you'll need to keep an eye out for dust and dirt getting between the skin and the rear of the Tab.

Speaking of the back end, there are cutouts for the Tab's camera and flash -- as well as the dock connector, speakers, and 3.5mm headphone jack. The volume and power buttons are covered by the case but are still fully usable. So you don't lose that functionality when using this case (though some docks could possibly have issues). The skin case is thick enough to keep your Tab's screen from touching the table when left face-down.

All in all, you get a simple rubber case that will protect the back and sides your Galaxy Tab, and keep the screen from getting scratched if it's left face down. It's easy to slip on and off, and has a cool design with the grooves on the back. The Samsung Skin Case for the Galaxy Tab is available for $19.95 in the Android Central Store. More pics are after the break.

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6 years ago

Nationwide launches official Android app


 Nationwide official app

Nationwide Insurance has finally ported its mobile claims app to Android phones. The app has been available on iOS for some time and allows Nationwide customers to use their phone to submit a claim after being in a car accident. Users enter their login info into the app and can then submit a claim, get contact info for their agent, and even check up on the progress of an ongoing claim. Full download links are just past the break. [BusinessWire]

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6 years ago

Nuance Mobile Developer Program helps devs create-voice enabled apps


Nuance maker of the awesome Dragon Dictation speech recognition suite of applications has opened the doors to their software for developers. Through their Nuance Mobile Developer Program they are now offering access to the Dragon SDK. This given access will allow developers to put the same core functions into their apps that are found within the Dragon Dictation speech and search software. This is big news for developers who are looking for a better way to implement speech to text within their apps. Full press release can be found after the break. [Nuance]

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6 years ago

Location Labs launches DriveSmart and FamilyWhere services on T-Mobile


Location Labs has announced today, two new services developed in partnership with T-Mobile. FamilyWhere and DriveSmart are both now available from T-Mobile. FamilyWhere is location-sharing application designed for parents so that they may be able to track family members at any given time.

  • Provides parents with a Web and mobile safety net that provides real-time location information and the option to receive location alerts via the Web, text message or e-mail.
  • Allows parents to create scheduled alerts to help ensure a loved one is at home by curfew or arrives at school or other predefined location on time.
  • Provides parents with a history of locations visited and other customizable alerts with a real-time Family Feed.
  • Helps ensures parents are prepared in the event of an emergency; profile pages allow parents to store critical information about their children including physical description and photo, allergies, family member contact details, child care or school location and contact details, all within the FamilyWhere environment.

The other application made available is DriveSmart, an opt-in service that automatically detects when a handset user is driving and sets the phone into a 'Driving Mode'.  Once this service is activated, it disables most texting and calling features to the handset while the car is in motion, ultimately decreasing the possibility of unsafe, distracted driving.

Both of the applications are available to T-Mobile customers through the My T-Mobile portal with FamilyWhere also being available in the Android Market. If you're looking for more information you can check out the linked press releases. [DriveSmart / FamilyWhere]

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6 years ago

O2 UK offering cheap Xperia X8 and LG Optimus in January sale


Xperia X10 and Optimus GT540

British network O2 is offering two entry-level Android phones for peanuts in its January sale. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 and LG Optimus GT540 are both available for free on any of O2's contracts, which start at £10.21 per month. To sweeten the deal, the carrier is also offering a £50 gift certificate, redeemable at a UK retailer of your choice.

Both phones offer fairly similar specs -- a 600MHz CPU, 3-inch HVGA screen and Android 1.6 (upgradeable to 2.1). The Optimus, however, boasts 256MB of RAM versus the X8's 128MB. In terms of software, the Optimus has been promised an upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo at some point, though this has yet to appear. The X8, however, will be forever stuck on Eclair, as Sony Ericsson recently announced that it would not be upgrading the device to Android 2.2. [O2 UK]

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6 years ago

Motorola Cliq 2 available today for $99


Cliq 2

The Motorola Cliq 2, which was announced at CES (check out our hands-on), is available from T-Mobile today. The next version of the Cliq has a 1GHz processor, 3.7-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2, 5MP camera with dual LED flash and a 2GB memory card.

Customers can buy the Cliq 2 for $99.99 with a 2-year contract. Those who have been anticipating the Cliq 2, the wait is over. [T-Mobile]

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6 years ago

Let's talk about the Samsung Froyo update on this week's podcast

Android Central PodcastSome of you think we haven't given enough attention to the plight of the Samsung Galaxy S users in the United States who are still waiting on an update to Android 2.2 Froyo.

We say there's been too much unfounded speculation, rumor and miscommunication.

We're probably both right.

So let's just get it all out, shall we? On this Thursday's Android Central Podcast, we'll spend a bunch of time talking about it. About the rumors. About the speculation. About what we know is true, and what we think.

And we'll read your thoughts, too, live on the podcast. Visit this thread in the Android Central Forums and let us know what you think. We'll pick and choose (hint: the more intelligent your post, the better chance you have of it being read) the best and have us a good ol' time. We look forward to reading your thoughts and having a lively discussion. See you Thursday!

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6 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt compared


HTC ThunderBolt comparison

Hey, look at that. Someone's comparing the HTC ThunderBolt against the Evo 4G, iPhone 4 and myTouch 4G. Not a whole lot here we didn't already know -- yes, you get simultaneous voice and data on the ThunderBolt when using LTE or Wifi -- and there's the new Skype mobile listed again. Don't think it'll ship with a 32GB microSD card, that's the maximum available listed there. (Whoopsie: 32GB card it is!)

Still no word on a release date. Rumors are floating around about the first week of February, or the last week of February. So we'll see.

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6 years ago

ATM Hunter by Mastercard now available in the Android Market


ATM Hunter

Mastercard announced this morning the availability of their app ATM Hunter in the Android Market. The app allows users to search and find ATMs based on a variety of criteria.

Some of these options include closest to current location, specific banks, no-fee ATMS, 24-hour access and handicap accessible. The app also encourages users to submit feedback to Mastercard about false or outdated information. Crowd sourcing can be a powerful tool, particularly for an app like ATM Hunter. 

The app can now be found in the Market; if you're interested, see the links after the break as well as the full press release. 

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6 years ago

Kongregate Arcade mysteriously pulled from the Android Market


Here is a little tidbit of interesting albeit disappointing news. Seems as though Google has mysteriously pulled the recently launched Kongregate Arcade from the Android Market. According to an email sent to JoyStiq, Kongregate is working with Google to get the situation sorted out as soon as possible:

As reported earlier today, the Kongregate Arcade app was launched on the Android Market and was enthusiastically received by the gaming community, receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars. Tens of thousands of users successfully downloaded the new app but, due to unknown reasons, Google has pulled it from the Market. Gamers wishing to experience Kongregate Arcade will be happy to learn it is now available for download at

A rather weird situation, that's for sure. Apparently it happened because the Kongregate app is used to download other apps, and that violates the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement. Whoops. [JoyStiq]

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6 years ago

Google TV for EDU announced, education through web and TV


The Google TV team has announced on its blog that it will be partnering up with colleges around the country to bring Google TV to campuses. The program is called Google TV for EDU. The new program is designed to promote research through web and TV.

The big G is no stranger to research and creation. The company encourages their own Googlers to be creative as possible at work. So, to bring one of their new products to the academic world is nothing surprising.

Google is asking college researchers these questions : How can education change the world of the Web the TV for the classroom. Specifically, we’re asking faculty how their research could:

  • Generate new interest in television engineering
  • Make computer science tangible for students
  • Help in the development of smart TV curricula and new educational tools
  • Contribute to in-classroom and distance learning over television
  • Reach a wide audience

According to Google, "select" faculty have received Logitech Revue boxes. What "select" schools or faculty were not listed. [Google TV Blog]

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6 years ago

Froyo ROM on Nook Color overclocked to 950MHz



While the stock Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor ROM has had a custom kernel capable of overclocking the 800MHz processor for over a week now, only now has SD-card-run Nookie Froyo gotten in on the action.  Quickie "Screamer" 0.1 for Froyo cranks the CPU up to 950MHz.

In our tests, performance was noticeably improved, and was reflected in our Quadrant benchmarking tests--which blew away any other Quadrant score we've seen on NOOKcolor's Froyo.

The kernel is easily installed, by simply replacing Nookie Froyo's uImage boot file (backup first!) with this file of the same name.  In Windows, you can simply drag and drop it onto your Nook's mounted SD drive, and reboot.  Voila: you now have a faster Nook.

The custom kernel is Divine_Madcat's port of the original "Quickie" for B&N's ROM (which was developed by Geniusdog254).

The development community just keeps racking them up for NOOKcolor owners! [XDA Developers]

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