T-Mobile is selling the HTC Wildfire S online only for free until August 15th

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

T-Mobile-is-selling-the-HTC-Wildfire-S-online-only-for-free-until-August-15thBeing the latest Android powered smartphone to grace T-Mobile’s lineup, the cute and cuddly HTC Wildfire S is obviously trying to make a name for itself right now amongst a crowded crew.

Taking into consideration its $79.99 on-contract pricing right out of the gate is pretty nice on its own, it’s indeed more than reasonable for any budget out there, but T-Mobile is doing the handset a favor by dropping its price online only. If you’re seriously interested in picking this one up, then you’d better take a peek at T-Mobile’s web site because the handset is selling for free with a 2-year agreement. Yup, the limited time offer is available to both new and existing customers with qualified upgrades!

At that price point, there is absolutely no second guessing on buying it, but you’ll need to come down with a decision on picking it up since the deal is only valid until August 15th.
source: T-Mobile via TmoNews

Phones

Samsung Galaxy S Plus packs beefier hardware inside the shell of the original model

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Samsung-Galaxy-S-Plus-packs-beefier-hardware-inside-the-shell-of-the-original-modelThere is absolutely no hiding the fact that Samsung is making the Galaxy S II its number one priority right now, however, you just can’t help it to step back for a moment and see how the original model paved the way for it. Sure it’s over a year old and its specs are regarded to be as mid-range by now, but nevertheless, there are always different ways to bring the spotlight back to it.

Interestingly enough, it appears that the original model is getting a slight refresh in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S Plus – and boy does that plus mean more! Specifically, it retains the shell and design of the original, but underneath it all, it’s packing some beefier specs to perk up the interest of some people. From the looks of it, the Galaxy S Plus features a faster 1.4GHz single-core processor, larger 1,650 mAh battery, and it runs Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread right from the start.

Obviously, recent buyers of the original model (and its variants) might be crying right now knowing that this one is coming to market. As it stands for right now, Vodafone is going to be the exclusive carrier for the handset, but it’ll be interesting to see how Samsung plays out its cards in bringing this device to other markets. In fact, Vodafone is selling the handset for free on plans that start at £30 per month.

Although it might not compete with the likes of some dual-core packing smartphones out there, it will easily nestle into the mid-range market for those who don’t want something too high-end. Any takers?

source: TechRadar via Unwired View

Logitech-puts-out-two-Bluetooth-keyboards-one-made-specifically-for-the-Galaxy-Tab-10-2Samsung-Galaxy-S-Plus-packs-beefier-hardware-inside-the-shell-of-the-original-model-2Samsung-Galaxy-S-Plus-packs-beefier-hardware-inside-the-shell-of-the-original-model-3

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Federal Trade Commission’s Google antitrust probe includes Android as well

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Federal-Trade-Commissions-Google-antitrust-probe-includes-Android-as-wellThe FTC is currently reviewing Google’s procedures and policies for antitrust issues. The probe mostly covers search and privacy practices, but recently we learned that it also includes Android for some reason.

While the mobile industry can hardly be called uncompetitive in this very moment, Android went from zero to hero and almost fifty percent of the smartphone market worldwide in just three years, so the FTC is looking into how much power Google has to exert pressure on app developers and device manufacturers to get its way.

Compared to the other mobile operating systems Android is pretty open, free and popular, plus there are a number of handsets that use generic Android without Google Services on it – no Android Market, no Maps, no Gmail, and so on. Moreover, companies are often installing their own software, like Sprint with its ID packs, Verizon using Bing, and manufacturers have their own skins like Sense UI.

The FTC, however, is apparently not satisfied, and is issuing inquiries into third parties whether Google is flexing muscles when it comes to replacing its core services with something foreign to the ecosystem. A case in point has been the lawsuit filed by Skyhook, which accuses El Goog in applying pressure on manufacturers to drop its localization technology from their handsets, and keep Google’s service. “Baseless” has been the only comment by Mountain View regarding the accusation, but it definitely looks like Android is being pressured on many fronts right now – whether this is a concerted campaign, or just that success always attracts the spotlight, remains to be seen.

For all we know, the Justice Department has launched a probe whether the Nortel patent bid by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony and others, has been purposefully won by these cutthroat competitors for the patents to be used against Android’s domination. Google is not sitting still too – it bought more than a thousand patents from IBM, spent record amount of $2.06 million on lobbying in Q2 2011, and is hiring 12 more K street firms to protect its interests with Uncle Sam.

source: WSJ

Android OS

Acer Iconia Smart and Motorola DEFY+ are to appear September in Germany

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Acer-Iconia-Smart-and-Motorola-DEFY-are-to-appear-September-in-GermanyAfter a fair amount of delay, the Acer Iconia Smart tabletphone seems to be nearing a September launch in Germany, where the updated Motorola DEFY+ will launch that month as well.

Acer-ICONIA-SMART-Hands-on-009Perhaps this has everything to do with the fact that the biggest European electronics expo IFA will be held September 2-7 in Berlin, although we have already played around with the Acer Iconia Smart in particular, when the phone was announced way back in February.
Nothing was heard about it until now, and Acer might have run into production problems – after all, you don’t make a phone with 4.8″ 1024×480 pixels display very often, and rumor has it that the Japanese earthquake is also to blame.

defy-plus-o2The internals will be a bit outdated when it hits, though, as it will sport a 1GHz single core chipset, and 5MP camera. The European pricing at launch is scheduled to be the respectful  $700 (EUR 499) off-contract, but this is surely to go down pretty fast, as we don’t imagine a lot of people inclined to lug around such a display at all times just to enjoy videos or browsing more.

The other phone that is expected to appear in Germany next month, is an updated version of the rugged Motorola DEFY. The Motorola DEFY+ is to have the same 3.7″ display and 5MP camera, but a faster processor at 1GHz (the original sports 800MHz), and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, whereas the first DEFY is still stuck with Froyo.
A German site listed the phone as heading to O2 in the third week of September. Price is expected to be $430 (EUR 300) for the Motorola DEFY +, and this is without a contract. AT&T is also expected to land the updated ruggedness at some point.

via Electronista & GSMArena

Phones

Sasmung SGH-I927 given the thumbs up by the FCC; could this finally be the Attain?

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Sasmung-SGH-I927-given-the-thumbs-up-by-the-FCC-could-this-finally-be-the-AttainIf there were any doubts about the existence of the Samsung SGH-I927, the alleged AT&T-bound brother of the Samsung Galaxy S II that surfaced on the web revealing its slide-out QWERTY keyboard, they should be all gone now as the device has just been spotted at the FCC. Although the filing in the commission’s database is not very generous on information regarding the phone’s hardware specs, it becomes clear that the I927 supports the 850/1900MHz bands, which makes it a perfect candidate to run on AT&T’s airwaves.

Are we dealing with the rumored Samsung Attain, however, is a question that we are still unable to answer with absolute certainty just yet. Or perhaps, this name is reserved for that other Galaxy S II sibiling, the SGH-I777, which the FCC gave a green light to not long ago? Whatever the case may be, chances are that we are going to know the truth pretty soon since having the FCC’s blessing means that both devices are a step closer to setting foot on American soil. Any takers?

source: FCC via Engadget

samsung-sgh-i927-1samsung-sgh-i927-2

Phones

LG Optimus Sol leaks on the web in a full-fledged photo shootout

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

LG-Optimus-Sol-leaks-on-the-web-in-a-full-fledged-photo-shootoutlg-optimus-sol-1-2Remember that leaked LG roadmap from not long ago? It gave us a glimpse at what we are likely to see rolling out of the company’s workshop in the forthcoming months, and the devices that the leak introduced us to have already started popping up on the web one by one. After the LG Prada K2, which starred in that leaked spy video, the LG Optimus Sol (or LG Victor, as it was known as in the roadmap) has boldly stood in front of the camera for a photo shootout and a brief hands-on video.

The LG Optimus Sol is shaping up to be nothing more than a mid-range device. As it has been already mentioned before, the smartphone is powered by a single-core 1GHz processor and packs a 3.8-inch AMOLED display with WVGA resolution. Judging by what we see in the video, the phone appears to be pretty slim in profile, yet the guys mentioned that it is quite prone to collecting fingerprints. There is a front-facing shooter in tow and a 5-megapixel camera on the Optimus Sol’s back, yet sadly, there is no LED flash anywhere in sight. A nice addition to the smartphone’s specs sheet is the presence of a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. In terms of software, Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread is in command with the Optimus UI running on top of it.

It is not clear whether the LG Optimus Sol will ever make it to the US, yet judging by the carrier icon in the device’s app list, the smartphone will most likely be offered in Europe by Vodafone. Feel free to check out the video below and share your thoughts with us in the comments.

source: BestboyZ (translated) via Boy Genius Report

Phones

Control your home with your phone: are we there yet?

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Control-your-home-with-your-phone-are-we-there-yetWe remember reading a couple of years ago about Bill Gates’s fully automated, yet cosy mansion, with its 40 miles of optical fiber, floor sensors that can track your location with up to six inches accuracy, and a hot tub, which can be set for the desired water temperature before you get home.

We were then just drooling, sad that we can’t outfit our own cribs like that. Well, in a few short years, the field of home automation (HA) received a significant boost, the technology is within the reach of many, and now smartphone owners have the perfect tool to carry the control unit with them at all times.

Home automation can be divided into a few broad categories, depending on what you are trying to control – lighting, HVAC, appliances, security, entertainment or others, like sprinklers or a cat feeder. We won’t be delving into the hundreds of brands and ways to adjust your home environment from afar, since there are currently more than 10 competing standards, but barely a thing you can get from Home Depot on the cheap and drive home to install yourself – we are just looking at how HA relays to your smartphone or tablet…

Read the full article at PhoneArena

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Some Motorola PHOTON 4G units suffering from a “silent call” issue

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Posted on 12 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Some-Motorola-PHOTON-4G-units-suffering-from-a-silent-call-issueIt has been brought to our attention that some units of the Motorola PHOTON 4G are causing headaches to their unlucky owners. More specifically, a number of PHOTON 4G smartphones have been reported to be experiencing the exact same symptom – when placing calls, the other party cannot be heard in the earpiece when speaking. Quite a serious issue for such a high-end device, don’t you agree?

Sadly, the “silent call” problem, as it is popularly known on the forums, has already been the reason for a 911 call to not go through so you can imagine what consequences the issue is capable of leading to. Some PHOTON 4G owners suggest that rebooting the phone takes care of the glitch, at least for about a day, yet that is anything but a solution to the problem, especially when every second is of importance.

According to affected Motorola PHOTON 4G users who have contacted Sprint for help, the carrier is well aware of the issue and is working hard on resolving it. It has been said that a software fix will be released in the upcoming days and will take care of the problem once and for all. Those of you who are willing to try out an unofficial fix, however, can check out what the guys over at XDA-Developers have to offer. Below, we have provided a link to a thread on the fourm where a leaked maintenance update can be downloaded from.

If you are a Motorola PHOTON 4G owner yourself, please, drop a comment below and let us know whether your smartphone is acting up as well.

Thanks to our anonymous tipster!

Download the unofficial software fix for the Motorola PHOTON 4G from here.

Phones

Kyocera Echo users try again for brick-free Gingerbread update

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Posted on 11 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Kyocera-Echo-users-try-again-for-brick-free-Gingerbread-updateAs we reported, back on August 1st, Sprint rolled out the Gingerbread update for the Kyocera Echo. The dual-screen handset ran into some problems as some users found their beloved handset tuned into a useless brick.

The dual-screen Kyocera Echo

The dual-screen Kyocera Echo

In a statement, Sprint said that along with Kyocera, it has addressed the issues that turned the phone into an expensive paperweight. The upgrade itself will give users a faster response from the phone including push-to-zoom support, enhanced gaming experience and improved power management. The latter is a pre-installed app called Eco Mode that allows you to set a certain level at which low power consumption settings automatically come into play. According to Sprint, the settings affected are Screen Timeout, Display Brightness, Wallpaper, Auto-Sync, Haptic Feedback, and Auto-Rotate Screen. The settings are changed to conserve power and the user can decide which ones are to be changed when the battery life hits a predetermined level, so that the phone conserves power.
Of course, don’t forget that the major part of this update is to download Android 2.3 on to your Kyocera Echo. If you have received the new OTA update from Sprint, let us know how your phone is doing. Did the prior download leave your phone bricked? Does the new update do all the things that Sprint says that it does? Just drop us a note in the comment box below.

source: Sprint

Phones

HTC Droid Incredible may not get Gingerbread after all

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Posted on 11 August 2011 by AndroidArena

HTC-Droid-Incredible-may-not-get-Gingerbread-after-allIt may not be official just yet, but according to an HTC customer service representative the HTC Droid Incredible will not be getting its tasting of Android 2.3 Gingerbread despite previous reports that it would.

An eager customer reached out to HTC in regards to the promised Gingerbread upgrade for the original HTC Incredible. The rep responded in a letter and said the Droid Incredible is not on the list of devices slated to receive the update because they only provide updates if it will provide an improved user experience.

There is a chance that the representative’s response is incorrect but nobody really knows for sure. This wouldn’t be the first time that an Android phone awaiting an update never actually got the update. If it does end up receiving Gingerbread this wouldn’t be the first time that a smartphone got an update when it was believed that it wouldn’t.

So if you are holding on to your Droid Incredible in hopes that it will receive Android 2.3 down the line keep your eyes open. Hopefully if this is true we will find out soon. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

source: Droid Life

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