Archive | March, 2010

Sprint to employees: No Android 2.1 in March, check again in April

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10A memo to Sprint employees from headquarters might make owners of the HTC Hero and the Samsung Moment a little bit peeved. According to a Sprint employee hanging out at the xda-developers CDMA Hero forum, the pin-dropping network has told reps to let their customers know that the rumored March 29th Android 2.1 upgrade for the HTC Hero and the Samsung Moment, will now be out in the coming weeks. The exact wording of the memo was, “Let your customers know that we are actively working on having the Android 2.1 platform available to our Hero and Moment customers over the coming weeks. Look for more information coming in April about Android 2.1 platform for Hero and Moment.” The rest of the memo tried to pump up the carrier’s employees by reminding them that the Hero was recently nominated by About.com readers as their favorite smartphone for the 2010 Readers Choice Awards. That news might not exactly placate them, but things could be worse. They could be DROID owners who twice were so close to Android 2.1 that they could taste it, and came away empty handed both times.
source: xda-developersforum via AndroidandMe

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One third of Android Market is filled with useless apps?

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We recently reported that the Android Market had hit a milestone of sorts by reaching 30,000 apps listed. However, AppBrain, a service that lets users tap into the Android Market from their desktop computer and then sync apps onto an Android phone, counts a total of 28,936 available in the U.S. A large number of those apps are low rated ones that come from a small number of developers that copy the same content to make some quick money. AppBrain says that some 32 developers are actually “spammers” that account for 7,500 useless apps. It also means that .4% of the developers account for 25% of the apps and these are the kind of apps that simply open a website or have some sexual content.

Those using AppBrain can skip over those undesirable apps automatically. AppBrain filters out the useless choices by eliminating apps published by developers with high publishing counts and low ratings. Of course, if you like those kind of useless “crap apps”, AppBrain will make them available to you. But if you are like the majority of Android users, you want to skip over the garbage and save your time browsing through useful apps that can actually provide a service for you.
source: AppBrain via Androinica

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Android gets an official widget for Buzz and application for orkut

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As of today, owners of Android handsets can Buzz around more easily thanks to an official widget for the operating system. It can be downloaded from Android Market, but you will have to place it onto the home screen manually. It´s a cool thing the widget offers you the option to share not only your thoughts and opinion, but current location, pictures and videos as well.

Click to see a large image. Click to see a large image.
Google Buzz widget for Android

The second piece of good news for Android users is an official application for the social network orkut has been released (actually this is one of the brands in Google´s product portfolio). It may be less popular than Facebook, but does have its fans and they will certainly be happy at the good news. Orkut for Android gives you the opportunity to upload pictures, synchronize the profile information and status updates of your online buddies with the phone book and get notifications about changes directly into an info tab at the top of the handset screen. Aside from them, the program comes with own home screen Live Folder to help you browse the list of your online buddies easily and get in touch with any of them even without internet connection.

Click to see a large image. Click to see a large image.
orkut for Android

source: Google, more

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We don´t like the price of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro

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We have spotted unofficial information that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro will hit the shelves with price tags of $410 and $450 respectively. The prices should be valid for France and Belgium, where the X10 mini is expected to roll out this May, while the X10 mini pro – a month later, in June 2010. Of course, we are talking about unlocked, contract free handsets, but still…
Compare these to the price of the HTC Legend that will set you back with $620, but offers more extra features like 3.2-inch AMOLED display, Android 2.1, 384MB RAM and elegant aluminium body. We know the tiny size of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro makes them unique, but we believe they will be overpriced and at least $40-50 more than what they are actually worth. Take a look at what we said in our preview of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini:

“The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and mini pro are expected in the second quarter of the year, at a still unannounced price. This brings us to the question that if these babies get priced correctly (and Sony Ericsson doesn’t screw up in some way), we will have no other choice but declare them one of the coolest Androids out there.”

Click to see a large image. Click to see a large image.

We hope the rumors about the pricing are inaccurate and Sony Ericsson´s tiny droids will be truly affordable handsets. In the meantime, we unearthed information that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 would appear in France (and other European countries) sometime in April at a price of $900. On the other hand, you should be able to get the HTC Desire for about $650 via eXpansys
source: UnwiredView

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Verizon tweet: No delay on rollout of DROID 2.1 update

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05If any Motorola DROID owners out there have received the Android 2.1 update, please let us know. Early on Thursday, we reported that Verizon had sent out an internal communication changing the date of the upgrade to “TBD” from the Thursday rollout date. The story was that a bug had been discovered Wednesday night which scrapped the entire upgrade. Or did it? A spokesman for Verizon, Thomas Pica, told us in an e-mail message that, “The Android 2.1 upgrade for the Droid by Motorola was deployed to a small number of Verizon Wireless test users as scheduled. It is expected the broader phased rollout to all Droid by Motorola users will take place, but not just yet. No date scheduled yet.” Then later Thursday afternoon, Verizon took to the web and sent out a tweet that read, “No delay–starting with select test group first to avoid problems on upcoming rollout. More to come, stay tuned.” A anonymous tipster told Android and Me that the need to “ramp up” the distribution application and the infrastructure that hosts it takes more than one day. Bitfone, the company that is managing the distribution of the firmware upgrade, has contracted a third party consultant to redesign the infrastructure needed to send out Android 2.1. The tipster says that his source tells him that things are moving as quickly as possible, but that the reality is that it will take some time.

So who is telling the truth? The bottom line is that if anyone has received the Android 2.1 upgrade for their DROID, they are certainly keeping it a secret. Between Motorola and Verizon, this is not the way to build trust with your customers.
source: Twitter, Phonescoop via AndroidandMe

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HTC Supersonic appears on Sprint internal document?

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04The other day we reported that the HTC Supersonic could be introduced at CTIA next week. For those who somehow missed the story, this is the handset that seems designated by Sprint to launch the 4G WiMAX network. For such a monumental task, you would expect to find a studly beast of a phone,and the Supersonic lives up to the billing. Sprint has said that it would launch a 4G handset by summer, so you would expect to start seeing the signs that this is true. And thanks to a tipster, Engadget has obtained a screen shot of some internal Sprint communication that appears to show the Supersonic. The model number of the handset, A9292, appears on a warehouse portal used by indirect third party dealers. It might not be as much proof of an imminent introduction as a press release from Sprint might be, but it still means something and with the amazing specs like a 4.3 inch AMOLED screen, 1GB of ROM and 1GHz of Snapdragon power under the hood, not to mention the 4G connectivity, it all means a lot.
source: Glowfoto via Engadget

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UPDATE: Last minute bug sinks DROID 2.1 upgrade for the day

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03It seems that a cloud is following over the heads of Motorola DROID owners. BGR has obtained a screen shot of some internal Verizon communication that says the upgrade date is now “TBD” and will be disclosed at a later date. The word is that a last minute bug was discovered which has put the kibosh on the Android 2.1 download for the time being. The bug was apparently discovered last night and hopefully it can be cleared up so that Motorola and Verizon can make another attempt. After all, as they say, the third time is the charm.

source: BGR

UPDATE: We at PhoneArena made an inquiry to Verizon about the Motorola DROID update and was told the following:

“The Android 2.1 upgrade for the DROID by Motorola was deployed to a small number of Verizon Wireless test users as scheduled. It is expected the broader phased rollout to all DROID by Motorola users will take place but not just yet. No date scheduled yet, we will keep you posted. The test group upgrade was not delayed. No time frame was announced — other than “shortly” — on upgrade deployment.”

So, it seems like once again DROID owners are stuck with that indefinite “when it’s done” timing. We hope it won’t take them too long to work out all the issues.

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That’s Incredible! New HTC handset could be available at Verizon in 2 weeks

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02After reading enticing stories about the HTC Incredible over the past month,Verizon customers and cellphone fans alike have been constantly waiting for more news on the phone, many already deciding that it would be their next handset. If that’s the case, you might have your new HTC Incredible in your hand quicker than you thought you might. A tipster over at Engadget claims that information gleaned from internal Verizon sources suggests that the Incredible will be available for purchase from the carrier in just 2 weeks. The information includes word of the underclocked 1GHz Snapdragon processor, set at 768MHz. Other features include an 8MP camera, 512MB of DRAM and a 1300mAh battery. Throw in Sense UI on top of Android 2.1 and similar dimensions to the Nexus One; the result is a phone so incredible that it could start answering the dreams of Verizon customers very soon.
source: Engadget

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Hot off the press update on Motorola DROID Android 2.1 upgrade

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01Yesterday, we told you to expect Android 2.1 to get pushed out via an OTA upgrade for 250,000 Motorola DROID units. Now, we have some further breakdown of the information, thanks to a tipster who passed the info on to Android Central. Starting today (Thursday) at 12 noon Eastern time, 1,000 DROID owners will get Android 2.1. If there are no problems, another 9,000 will get the upgrade at 11:59 pm Eastern time. So that leaves-what-about 995,000 units left? After a 24 hour waiting period to make sure that all is going well, 200,000 more DROID models will get the OTA upgrade on Saturday. After that, another 200,000 goes out and that is repeated until all DROID owners are pinching away in the browser. While this might seem frustrating to owners of the 2009 Time Magazine Gadget of The Year, staggering the upgrade this way has the advantage of more easily catching and solving problems if something should go wrong. By this time next week, all DROID owners should have their upgrade at last.
source: AndroidCentral

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Google Maps 4.1 brings new features to the Android application

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1213Google has just rolled out the 4.1 build of Google Maps, and with it comes changes and new features. First, it appears that more ads are showing up on the app. We really cannot get too upset because that is what keeps the service free to users. The search result page has been updated. New buttons have been added for map view, navigate, call and street view. A colored chart now displays the ratings based on the number of stars and you can Buzz about any place. Speaking of the search results page, the tabs have been removed and users can swipe between places. Google has added a live Maps wallpaper that will show you real time traffic on your home screen which sounds like a great way to see if alternate routes are necessary. A Latitude widget will allow you to see updates from friends near your location and a new layer darkens the map and makes Buzz posts stand out in red. You can get the update from the Android Market or from the QR code at this link.
source: GoogleMobileBlog via AndroidandMe

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