Archive | March, 2010

Beta version of Tether is now available for Android

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07BlackBerry owners can thank TetherBerry, now known simply as Tether, for saving them loads of money as most carriers require an additional monthly cost to give you the option to tether your data connection to a computer. Now Android users are looking to join in the same fun as it’s available now as a beta release. Those who have waited patiently for this day were recently sent an email from Tether about the arrival of the app. If you really want to test drive this much welcomed app and ditch having to rely on another source for your internet service, you simply have to just sign up and wait for Tether to send you the instructions. Seeing that this beta release won’t cost you a single thing, it’s probably best to take advantage of this special offer right now before an official release is made available. It’s almost guaranteed that a cost will be associated to purchase for the app down the road, but users would probably be inclined to pay it versus having to dish out monthly payments through their wireless provider.
source: Tether via Android Community

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Nexus One’s touchscreen has hardware limitations that affect its performance?

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06Recently there has been some question marks about the performance of the Nexus One’s touchscreen and the poor performance of multitouch on the device. A controversial app designed to track your finger tips on the touchscreen shows problems at certain points, a problem not shared by the Motorola DROID (a different app that measures a device’s touchscreen using different techniques shows the DROID and N-One with basically the same performance with multitouch). The main reason for this is that the Nexus One and the DROID use different touch sensors. The latter device has the ClearPad2000 under the hood for dealing with two finger interaction and gestures. This is a sensor that was first used back in 2007 by HTC and Android and Me believes that the sensor has been used in all of the Taiwanese based manufacturer’s Android phones since. The ClearPad2000 works without a problem when supporting pinch-to-zoom in the browser, but when it comes to complex two finger movements used in games, the sensor seems to lose its way.

Diane Hackborn is an Android framework engineer. She says the problem is not the Android platform. She does mention that the DROID has a special code and it is this special code that Android and Me says is the reason why the latter out performs the N-One. Cyanogen, a forum member on the XDA-developers board (real name is Steve Kondik) found that “Interestingly there is a hack in the framework (which is enabled on the DROID, but not on the N1) that can be enabled by setting config_filter TouchEvents. With it disabled (the default) I get the axis-flipping problem. Enabling it fixes this, but there are still issues with the points “sticking” when they cross.” So it would appear that the Nexus One as well as most HTC Android models are suffering from a software related problem that might be able to get fixed via a firmware update. Developers know now that they miust design games with the limitations in mind and to make sure that the two fingers don’t crossover. In the future, we might see HTC devices-and Motorola as well-use the ClearPad 3000 as seen on the video below. This sensor supports true multitouch and supports up to 10 touches. As long as you’re not using your fingers AND toes, that sounds just right.
source: xda-developersforum via AndroidandMe

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Bulgaria plays host to the Android 2.1 powered Motorola MILESTONE

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05Still waiting around for just an official confirmation of Android 2.1 for the Motorola DROID here in the US, it’s becoming quite clear that an Android 2.1 powered Motorola MILESTONE will be available in Bulgaria “by March 20th.” That’s pretty good news for them seeing that they actually have a confirmed date lined up – according to the country’s leading wireless provider; Vivacom. It also paints the path to a complete roll out throughout Europe soon afterwards, but US Motorola DROID owners will have to settle for playing the waiting game until something concrete comes around. There’s no doubt that our friends to the north in Canada will also be graced with Android 2.1 in the coming weeks. Even though the Motorola DROID was out of the gates first, the Motorola MILESTONE clearly has some advantages that make it somewhat more coveted in the software department. Cosmetics aside, as they are nearly identical, the Android 2.1 powered MILESTONE will supplant itself just a tiny bit ahead of the curve over the DROID.
source: Mobile Bulgaria (translated) via Engadget

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Scaled down version of the Nexus One headed to India?

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04We’ve seen many handsets get treated to what some might consider as a mini makeover – meaning that these phones get reduced in size; like the Nokia N97 mini or HTC HD mini. Now there seems to be a rumor that points to Google’s own flagship device, the Nexus One, getting a similar treatment as a “scaled down” version of it may see itself make a touchdown in the emerging markets of India. The rumor goes on to hint that it will be a totally new device with the internal specs and camera also getting the reduced treatment. It has some validity as it might be able to land itself in the hands of more people over there if the price will be reasonable. Although the HTC Legend may not play to the same level of the Nexus One, another rumor points that a modified version of the Legend might be the device in question that’ll land in India – it would offer the stock Google experience as opposed to having the Sense UI. There may be more concrete information provided down the road as Google’s Eric Tseng will be hosting a panel next week to talk about the strategy they’ll tackle on for the Nexus One.
source: Techtree via Android and Me

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Android powers itself to a 154 percent increase in market share over the last 3 months

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03Google surely must be content with the performance of its Android operating system as the most recent numbers point to some truly impressive numbers. It took almost a year to see Android go from a relatively small player in the mobile world looking to get the respect it deserves to the almost unstoppable force that’s steam rolling the competition out of the road. Industry research firm comScore shed some light in the performance of all the major mobile phone platforms out there – comparing how each one managed to affect the market in the last 3 months. Android saw the highest spikes in increased market share as it catapulted from 2.8 percent to 7.1 percent – a 154 percent increase in just a three month period. When looking at some of the heavy hitters in the arena, Apple managed to go from 24.8 percent to 25.1 percent while RIM also saw a moderate increase from 41.3 percent to 43 percent.  On the other end of the spectrum, Microsoft and Palm are really hurting in the US market as the Redmond based company saw a drop from 19.7 percent to 15.7 percent with Palm looking a bit more grim from 7.8 percent to 5.7 percent. Although RIM and Apple did see an increase in mobile subscribers to their respective platforms, Android doesn’t seem to slow down as we continue to see more manufacturers produce handsets that’s powered by the open platform.
via Gearlog

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Verizon’s Nexus One is to be sold online only – Sense UI on board as well?

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02Although there were some rumors about the potential of Verizon’s version of the Nexus One being sold in retail stores, the end result is nothing short of surprising – it’s confirmed to be sold through Google’s online store. There would definitely be some shake ups happening if Google allowed the smartphone to be sold in Verizon stores – throwing T-Mobile under the bus if that obviously occurred. Competition will be no different now that both the T-Mobile and Verizon versions will be offered at the same place –  except for one surprise that may change things. One thing that did stand out on Verizon’s Equipment Guide page for the Nexus One is that it’ll have the Sense UI on board – something that clearly raises an eyebrow. One would have to ask whether or not that one major inclusion would sway the tidings in Big Red’s favor – especially when you consider the relatively uniform execution Google has been following. Will the T-Mobile version of the Nexus One see the light of the Sense UI or would they offer an update down the road to get it? If the Verizon Nexus One will indeed have Sense loaded on, it would really throw a bump in the road and could place the favor in one handset over the other.
source: Android Central

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Schedule some free one-on-one tutoring on how to use your Android flavored Verizon phone

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01For those who have bought an Android model at Verizon and aren’t sure how to get the most of your device, Big Red is now offering free 30 minute one-on-one classes to help those who have purchased a Motorola DROID, Motorola DEVOUR or HTC Droid Eris learn the intricacies of the Android OS. A Business Week writer recently scheduled some time to learn more about his just purchased Motorola DROID. The problem was the short battery life that the user was experiencing. During the 30 minute session, the writer was informed about the need to close apps that are open in the background and how to download tools from the Android Market to help. Other questions were asked, most of them not the kind that anyone reading a phone blog would probably ask, such as whether Wi-Fi speeds are faster than 3G. But these lessons might come in handy for relatives or friends who are constantly bugging you by asking you questions about their new Android device. If they are a Verizon customer, mention the free sessions which are offered at Verizon’s corporate stores on weekdays from 11am to 7pm. Have them call their local store for an appointment. Remember, these tutoring classes are not for the more advanced user to go ask about how to root their DROID. They are meant to teach Android newbies how to become proficient on all of the features that such a phone has to offer.
source: BusinessWeek

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Rogue DROIDS have mind of their own

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A Motorola DROID owner thought that his phone was a real robot when it started surfing the web, answering emails and making phone calls by itself in the middle of the night. The next evening, not only did the handset get back on the web, it again answered emails and made calls to the owner’s parents, neighbors and a client. The neighbors were so alarmed by the call in the middle of the night that they rushed over to see if anything was wrong. A virus scanner showed no problems. Did this DROID actually have a mind of its own? Uh, not really. His problem was traced to one of those replacement chargers that you might see on sale at your local drug store. Another forum member had the same problems arise after he purchased a cheap replacement charger from eBay. But there is more to this story. A number of DROID owners using the Motorola supplied charger are complaining about their beloved handset doing things on its own. Verizon has been good so far in replacing these runaway units, but no one can give a precise explanation why it happens. Some are blaming static electricity while others point to some kind of software bug. For some, even a Master Reset would not help.

If your Motorola DROID starts to come to life, do not panic. If you are using a charger that is not original equipment, go back to the one that came with the phone and see if that fixes the problem. If that fails, you could bring your DROID back to Verizon and see what they suggest. This is an ongoing problem that started within weeks of launch and new complaints keep popping up on the DROID FORUMS board. Not even for one second do we believe that a contingent of Android powered Motorola phones will each start making rogue calls, sending out gibberish emails and surfing the web in a diabolical plot to take over the world. That we leave up to Apple and the iPhone.
source: DROIDFORUMS

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Latest news on HTC Incredible includes underclocked processor

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Android Forum is chock full of…news about the HTC Incredible. The Incredible is the Verizon phone du jour that Big Red’s smartphone loving customers have been watching and waiting for. First, let’s discuss the 1GHz Snapdragon processor. According to those on the forum who claim to know, the processor will be underclocked to 768MHz which is probably done to preserve battery life. Other tidbits of info include talk that the phone will have 500MB of RAM with 320MB of that available. This is about the same as the specs on the Nexus-One, by the way. The camera is 8MP (Yes, that’s Incredible-we get it!). Expect to see Sense on top of Android 2.1 and with dimensions of 117.5 x 58.5 x 11.9mm, it is a bit thicker, shorter and narrower when compared to the N-One. The handset is now encased in a black soft touch shell while the inside-including the battery-is red. The latest pictures of the device show the Verizon logo on the bottom of the back cover. The folks on the forum are calling for an April or May launch so you drooling Verizon customers-and you know who you are-need just a few more weeks of patience.
source: AndroidForum via Engadget

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Motorola DROID in, iPhone out for the inventor of the cell phone

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Many people might not be too familiar with the name Martin Cooper, but unlike the big CEO names in the mobile world out there, he has some deeper connections with the foundation of the modern cell phone. In fact, Martin Cooper is none other than the inventor of the cellular telephone that today we consider an all too needed commodity. Cooper was able to to sit down and do a piece on C-SPAN where he discussed the spectrum and politics surrounding the cell phone industry. After much talk, the topic on hand then shifted to the focus of what handset he was carrying on a day-to-day basis. Cooper went on to say, “Depends when you ask me. I always have the latest cell phone, and I try every cell phone out, only because people like you keep asking me. Right now I’m using the Droid, because I want to get some experience with the Android operating system, and I, so far, have some favorable results.” Android has seemed to get under the nose of a lot of people in the industry – as we’ve heard not too long ago how Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak took a dive into Android with the Nexus One. Cooper actually was using an iPhone prior to the Motorola DROID – he ended up giving that to his grandson. Even though the DROID does almost everything, Cooper still relies on the using a tried and true feature phone for day-to-day calls.
via Android Central

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