Friday, September 17, 2010

1.2.3 Get Going - Android: HTC Desire HD (Ace) spotted in the wild with Andro...

1.2.3 Get Going - Android: HTC Desire HD (Ace) spotted in the wild with Andro...: "The HTC Desire HD, also known as the Ace, was outed by retailer SuperETrader last month. With the customary leaked introduction out of the w..."

Apple Finally Lets A Google Voice Application Into The App Store (Again)

Google Voice applications have had a pretty tumultuous history in the App Store. At first, Apple approved them, and the people rejoiced. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they were pulled, with “duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc).” cited as the reasoning. The people were, understandably, pretty friggin’ mad.
Over the past few days, the developers of at least two such applications have been indicating that they’d been hearing good news from Apple, suggesting that the Apps would be making an Apple-approved, no-jailbreak-required return. Sure enough, they’ve just started popping up in the App Store.
The first app to get approval, as far as I can tell, is Andreas Amann’s GV Connect, which just hit the App Store moments ago. Going for $2.99, the app provides Google Voice-powered support for calls, SMS, and voicemail — in other words, everything these apps were originally banned for.
We reached out to Sean Kovacz, developer of GV Mobile, which was pretty much the premiere Google Voice app when such things were initially allowed. His app, unfortunately, is still pending approval — a bit disheartening, given that he was one of the first off the bat in the original round.
Here’s to hoping that Apple keeps approving these things — and more importantly, that they stick around this time.

HTC Desire HD (Ace) spotted in the wild with Android 2.2 Froyo

The HTC Desire HD, also known as the Ace, was outed by retailer SuperETrader last month. With the customary leaked introduction out of the way, we can now turn our eyes to potentially the first spy shot of this rumored handset. The surprisingly clear photo is consistent with the leaked specs of the Desire HD and reveals an Android handset that sports the touch-sensitive buttons of the Incredible and the super-sized form factor of the EVO 4G.

For those keeping track, the Desire HD is expected to be a modest upgrade from the original Desire and is rumored to include:
4.3 inch WVGA Touch Screen
8 Megapixel Camera
1 GHZ Qualcomm Processor
Android 2.2
HD 720p Video Capture
Xvid Video Playback
SRS Surround Sound
Adobe Flash 10 Support
4GB Internal Memory (up to 32GB)
Uni-Body Aluminium Design

This hot, new handset is expected to launch in October in the UK and will replace the original Desire in HTC’s successful Android handset lineup.

While the folks in the UK can jump for joy, those in North America can remain somber as there is no indication that the Desire HD will launch anytime soon. Unlike the UK where the Desire has been available for months, the Desire is a relative newcomer to the marketplace in North America. The Canadian version hit the shelves of Telus on Friday and the US variant is pegged for an August launch on both Cellular South and US Cellular. Though consumers may be disappointed by this possibility, HTC would not defy conventional wisdom and release the Desire HD so soon after the launch of the Desire.

Monday, September 13, 2010

T-Mobile MyTouch HD Specs Leaked

TMONews has an interesting slide describing the upcoming MyTouch HD, the follow-up to T-Mo’s popular MyTouch series. Here we find the pertinent specs:
Woof. Video chat over Qik, eh? I guess that’s one way to do it. Anyway, expect this to drop before the holidays.

3.8” display
Swype enabled keyboard
5MP camera with VGA front camera
HSPA+ capable
Video Chat over 3G or WiFi via Qik
Screen share feature, “Broadcast your HD pictures, videos, and movies to your HDTV”
“Genius” button
4GB internal storage with 8GB external SD included, expandable to 32GB
1 GHz Dual Processor

Woof. Video chat over Qik, eh? I guess that’s one way to do it. Anyway, expect this to drop before the holidays.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Currency? (Not Android Related)

A site I found going by is currently on it's way up there. They claim to be trying to bring a new form of E-Currency into the world close to that of a USD. They're currently in the "EarlyBird" stages, in which I guess it's more of a beta version of the website. All in all it looks pretty cool, there's surveys and job offers on the site etc.

From what I can tell you get 50$ for signing up, and an additional 20$ a day. (Not currently usable but from what I can tell it'll all be usable soon) If you're interested at all simply go to:

Check it out and tell me what you guys think?

This Is Your Brain, This Is Your Brain On Internet

French designer Evan Roth has made a ten minute music video consisting of popular gifs vs. the typical fragmented Girl Talk tomfoolery (from the 2006 album Night Ripper). While Roth’s cleverly titled Cache Rules Everything Around Me is absolutely not the first time someone has combined Internet culture imagery and music (see: Paper Rad) it is perhaps the longest and most monumental I’ve seen.
Want to prove that you’re the ultimate Internet hipster? Tell your friends you actually saw this three days ago. Please fullscreen for full effect.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Android 2.2 Finally Starts To See Wide Adoption, Now On 28.7% Of Handsets

Slowly but surely, Android users are getting their first taste of Froyo, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS, which was announced in May and began broadly rolling out to select handsets (namely, Google’s Nexus One) in June. The OS includes a number of key new features like Flash and big speed gains, but has only been available on a tiny fraction of Android devices for months. Now Google has just updated its Platform Versions chart which shows there has recently been a surge in the number of devices running Android 2.2: it’s now running on 28.7% of handsets.
That may not sound like much, but it’s a huge gain over the 4.5% Google’s dashboard was showing just a few days ago. The reason for the surge? Some of Android’s most popular phones, including the Verizon Droid, have been upgraded to 2.2 in the last month.
Still, there’s a long way to go. Over 70% of handsets are now running Android 2.1 or higher, which is a major improvement over five months ago when that figure was only 27.3%. But carriers and handset manufacturers are taking their sweet time in rolling out upgrades, which leads to frustrated users (and developers who can’t leverage the latest-and-greatest features because many handsets can’t use them yet).

Good Riddance: Cincinnati bans texting while driving

If you know anyone who makes a habit out of texting while driving in Cincinnati, Ohio you might want to give them a heads up: it’s illegal now. If you know anyone who makes a habit out of texting while driving anywhere else, you might want to give them a heads up, too: it’s stupid.
I’ll spare you guys the lecture (I’m sure you guys are all wonderful people who don’t text and drive, anyway). The ban only extends to the Cincinnati city limits, though there’s massive support for a state-wide ban. If such a ban passes, it’d make Ohio the 31st state to outlaw texting while driving. Is yours one of the other 30? Check out the full list after the jump.
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Galaxy Tab To Be Announced September 16th For AT&T, Verizon, Sprint?

The latest news regarding Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is no more solid than the price (which has, in another’s words, been pinpointed to somewhere between $200 and $1200), but if these “people familiar with the matter” are to be believed, we’ll see a multi-carrier rollout on September 16th. Samsung is said to have made deals with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint — which is interesting, since AT&T is already on the iPad bandwagon, Verizon has that Motorola tablet coming up, and the Galaxy Tab isn’t 4G. Samsung must have offered them quite a juicy deal for them to take on a non-exclusive tablet that competes with their own products.
UK plan pricing is in line with expectations, but it’s anybody’s guess what US carriers are planning. I’d go with a $20/mo. limited and $30/mo. unlimited, but I could be way off. The subsidy gap is pretty large, and carriers might want a little more of a guarantee. Samsung is betting big on this, though, and plans to sell ten million this year, so they’re probably giving the carriers a sweetheart deal on the hardware.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Confirmed: HTC Droid Eris will not get Froyo

We've suspected it for months, and I can now confirm what we'd feared all along: Verizon's HTC Droid Eris will not receive the Android 2.2 upgrade.
The Eris, launched alongside the original Motorola Droid last fall, took a back seat to higher profile devices from day 1. Verizon did update the Eris to Android 2.1 this past May -- it had originally shipped with 1.5 -- but the carrier has told me without a shred of doubt that the phone will not be bumped up to Froyo.
HTC Droid Eris: No Froyo
Droid Eris
Things started looking particularly bleak for the Droid Eris when Verizon stopped selling the device earlier this summer. It appears the phone's discontinuation is at least part of the company's reason for denying it the Froyo upgrade.
"We will not be updating the Eris to 2.2 because our device portfolio evolves and changes constantly," a spokesperson tells me.
Disappointing news, Eris owners -- sorry to be the bearer of it. On the up side, at least your phone isn't oddly locked to Bing like Verizon's latest Android offering, the Samsung Fascinate. We can only hope the carrier's questionable decisions will end here.

Google: Android not yet ready for tablets

Though Android tablets have already begun popping up, Google says its mobile operating system is not quite ready for that purpose.
TechRadar quoted Hugo Barra, Google's director of mobile products, on Friday saying "Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets." Froyo is the name for Android's current version of the operating system, version 2.2.
And that's despite the latest round of tablets featuring Android shown at IFA Berlin last week. Android Market, the place for Android users to buy apps, won't work properly on tablets, he said.
"If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor." But it's been hinted that future versions will be.
That might explain why the Android tablets already for sale are curiously smartphone-like.
The Dell Streak, which debuted in the U.K. and the U.S. this summer, is a perfect example. While Dell calls it a tablet, it has a 5-inch screen, which is closer in size to a smartphone than an iPad, has voice calling as a feature, and is sold through carriers.
The Galaxy Tab from Samsung, which runs Froyo and was warmly received at IFA, is a bit larger at 7 inches, but also allows phone calls and will be available through carriers.
And Samsung is already advertising that the device will be upgradable to Android 3.0, called Gingerbread. But the following build of the Android operating system, Honeycomb, won't be available for the first Galaxy Tab models, according to Samsung. There will be new hardware to support that.
"Since we emphasized portability and mobility, our determination was to apply smartphone platform instead of tablet platform," W.P. Hong, director of mobile products for Samsung, said last week. "Honeycomb will be implemented in our next-generation tablet, not this device, because that [Honeycomb] is specifically optimized for a different type of tablet. This emphasizes mobility."
So while the iPad competitors have started to come forward, the real rivals for Apple's current dominance in touch-screen tablets won't appear until early next year once Android 3.0, or Gingerbread, is available.

‘Known Issues’ Document for Samsung Fascinate Leaks

The Samsung Fascinate hasn’t been in the hands of the general public for more than a day, but Verizon is already hard at work compiling a ‘known issues’ list reporting various bugs and glitches that will need to be sorted out with future OTA updates. And the list is already quite long. Some of the various issues have short-term workarounds, though quite a few will leave you and your phone hanging if you experience them. Some of the more noteworthy bugs include:

  • Alert Notifications:
 There is no option to change the Calendar alert notification. 
Short term work around: There is no short term work around for this issue.

  • Blank Screen: 
If you are on a call and a second call comes in, you get the correct Caller ID information. If you answer the second call, the caller ID screen goes blank and does not show any caller information. 
Short term work around: There is no short term work around for this issue

  • Email Sync: 
In some cases exchange e-mail and yahoo mail can stop syncing
Short term work around: The user can manually sync
Planned Resolution: A fix for this issue will be included in the MR 1 release for this device.

  • Exchange ActiveSync Security Lock:
 The EAS security lock may be invoked earlier then the timer is set for.

  • Google and Bing Maps Latency:
 It has been reported that it takes longer then other devices to get GPS location information when using Google and Bing maps. 
Short term work around: There is no short term work around for this issue

  • Call Disconnect:
If you are on a call or in the process of receiving an incoming call and you press the search button the call may be disconnected.

  •  You can read an extensive list of other known problems over at the source link below. We’d like to think that most newly-launched devices get similar lengthy lists, but the shear number of bugs reported has us a bit worried about the Fascinate. All the more reason for VZW and Samsung to push out a Froyo update sooner rather than later, right? I know. Wishful thinking.

    Google's Android leapfrogging over iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows

    By the end of this year, Google's Android smartphone operating system will in a single year have leapfrogged competitors like Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry and Microsoft Windows phones in global popularity, and will challenge Nokia to become the world's most popular mobile OS by 2014, research firm Gartner said Friday.
    In its annual global smartphone forecast, Gartner said the explosive growth of Google's mobile operating system will give it 17.7 percent of worldwide sales by the end of 2010 -- up from 3.9 percent at the end of 2009. Google says it is currently seeing more than 200,000 Android phones activated every day.
    With manufacturers like Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola planning to offer budget Android phones this fall, Android will become a mass market technology that by 2014 will have double the global market share of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and the iPad, Gartner said.
    Android's rise to the No. 2 smartphone operating system in terms of global sales by the end 2010 is two years sooner than Gartner predicted a year ago.
    "It's a matter of Android really going more into the hands of the mainstream user," Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a telephone interview from London. "The iPhone will remain focused toward the higher end of the market, while through the end of this year and into 2011, all that growth you see in Android will come from the fact that most of the vendors who are backing it will release cheaper smartphones."
    By the end of 2014, Gartner says Android and Nokia's Symbian operating system will each account for about 30 percent of global smartphone sales, while Apple's iOS will be third with about 15 percent of the global market, and RIM will be fourth with about 12 percent. The projections account for Gartner's expectation that Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, will begin to sell the iPhone in coming months, Cozza said.
    The research firm IDC is also forecasting strong growth for Android relative to Nokia's Symbian operating system, although not quite as strong as Gartner's prediction, saying that Android smartphones will comprise 24.9 percent of global smartphone in 2014, compared to 32.9 percent for Symbian.
    Both Gartner and IDC agree, however, that Android is rapidly eating into the market share of Nokia and RIM.
    "That flood of Samsung handsets, HTC handsets, LG handsets, Motorola -- it's just this sort of irresistible wave," said Will Stofega, a mobile analyst for IDC said of the growth of Android smartphones. "It's difficult to say that they are not going to become more and more dominant as time goes on."
    Google declined to comment on the reports.
    Analysts say there are always a number of issues that could derail Android's growth. Those include Oracle's recent federal copyright lawsuit against Google charging that the Android operating system was built on Oracle's Java software without permission, "fragmentation" concerns about the different versions of Android being sold, and questions about whether Google will be able to maintain amicable relationships with the variety of manufacturers and wireless carriers that support Android phones.
    But Stofega said there is little doubt that Android's rapid growth and its popularity with software developers who build smartphone apps contributed to Apple's uncharacteristic decision this week to loosen its grip on control over software development for iPhone and iPad. Google said there are now more than 80,000 apps available to download in the Android Market, still much less than the Apple App Store, but more than double the number available this spring.
    "The developers tell us they love Android. It's easier to learn; it takes less time, and one of the complaints we hear quite a bit about is (Apple's) app certification process as a real thing that costs them time and money," Stofega said. Developers figure "why not go to Android and make a bet there? Get on the wave and see what happens."

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    T-Mobile unveils the G2, pre-sales coming some time in Septermber

    T-Mobile has finally unveiled the HTC made G2.  The T-Mobile G2 will feature a 3.7 inch capacitive display and will be powered by Qualcomm’s MSM7230 Snapdragon processor clocked at 800MHz.  The G2 will also sport 4GB of internal memory, 8GB microSD card (expandable to 32GB), 5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, 720p HD video recording, Adobe Flash 10.1, and a 1300 mAh battery.  The T-Mobile G2 will weigh in at weigh 6 ounces and will measure 4.7 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches, slightly larger than the original G1.  Contract pricing for the G2 is yet to be revealed, but the footer on the G2’s spec page indicates that off-contract pricing will be set at $500. 

    The launch date for the G2 is still a mystery, but T-mobile is promising that pre-orders for the handset will begin later this month.  Is anyone ready to test out T-Mobile HSPA+ network to see what Android is truly capable of?

    Rumored dual-core processor for upcoming HTC HD3 gets debunked

    And just like that, our hopes for a dual-core 1.5 GHz HTC HD3 are shattered.  Qualcomm has just announced that their dual-core 1.5 GHz chips will not ship until very late in Q4 which means that they will not make their way into consumer products until late 2011.  The 1.2 GHz processors from Qualcomm will be showing up a lot sooner, though early Q1 of 2011 is most likely the soonest we will see them on the market.
    At this point, it’s hard to say what processor the rumored HTC HD3 will feature.  There are other dual-core processors available from other manufacturers, but based on HTC’s history of using Qualcomm processors in their phones, it’s highly unlikely that they will be changing that relationship any time soon.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Why all smartphones are $199

    A hot new smartphone can be Incredible,VibrantEpic or just "eh," but no matter how it stacks up, it's a safe bet that it will start selling at $199.
    On the four major wireless networks -- Verizon Wireless (VZFortune 500), AT&T, Sprint (SFortune 500) and T-Mobile -- there are 13 smartphones priced at $199 with a two-year contract. There are no phone models with a higher starting price (add-ons like more memory can increase the price tag), and there are more smartphones selling at $199 than at any other single price point.

    But spending $199 doesn't guarantee you a top-of-the-line phone. On AT&T's (TFortune 500) network, $199 will buy an iPhone 4, the best-selling smartphone of all time. But you'll need to fork over the same amount for a BlackBerry Bold 9700, a nine-month-old phone that lacks a touch screen.
    It will also cost you $199 to get an HTC Tilt 2, which runs Windows Mobile 6.5 -- an operating system so out of date that Microsoft (MSFT,Fortune 500) is set to completely abandon it in the next few months.
    So what's so special about $199?
    "The obvious answer is that $199 is a magic price point for smartphone volume," said George Appling, partner at consulting firm Booz & Co. "The not-so-obvious reason is that carriers are not charging customers what they pay."
    In other words, wireless carriers pay significantly more for smartphones than you do. In exchange for your signature on an expensive two-year contract, they'll offer you the smartphone for less than it costs them but as much as they think you'll pay for it -- and right now, that's $199 across the board. Buy an unsubsidized iPhone 4 straight from Apple (AAPLFortune 500) and you'll pay $599 for the 16 GB phone that AT&T sells for $199 with a two-year contract.
    Smartphones generally cost carriers around $500 per unit. Volume deals and other negotiations with manufacturers can shave down that price tag, but the hotter the phone, the more a carrier will pay to buy it.
    But that's just the start of their calculations of what a phone "costs."

    Phones that tend to eat up more bandwidth -- hello iPhone! -- add to the carrier's overhead. Put together the upfront cost of the phone and the back-end cost to service it, and you're left with the phone's profit margin. For a model with really tight margins, the carrier might find itself essentially forced to charge more upfront than it otherwise would -- it can't discount the purchase price and still scrape out a profit. That sometimes leads to inferior phones, like the BlackBerry Bold, carrying the same price tag as more advanced rivals, like BlackBerry's Torch.
    It wasn't always that way. Before the age of tricked-out smartphones with expensive touch screens and processors, cell phones were much cheaper to manufacture. That gave wireless companies more leeway to compete on cost, and prior to the iPhone's mid-2007 release, phones had a wide variety of price tags.
    But as phones got more expensive, a tiering of prices developed. Even the iPhone couldn't hold the high ground: Initially priced at $599 -- yes, even with a two-year contract -- the phone plunged to $399 just two months after its debut. By 2008, it had settled into the $199 groove.
    If you don't need the latest and greatest, you can certainly score a gadget for less. Older, less exciting smartphones like the LG Ally, Palm Pre and Motorola (MOTFortune 500) Devour go for $149, or even $99.
    But you won't find many phones priced outside those $50 tier increments.
    "There's no $189 price point any more because operators don't want to suggest that one phone is a little better or a little worse than another at the same tier," said Charles Golvin, analyst at Forrester Research. "Carriers are looking for simplicity, even if that doesn't reflect their margins."
    So will any carrier try to shake up the market and sell a cutting-edge phone for less? Don't hold your breath.
    "No price war is going to happen," Appling said. "If Verizon got the iPhone tomorrow, it would probably sell for $199. They're already in a $300 hole when they add a customer, so they'll be extraordinarily hesitant to make that worse."
    That's not to say the wireless carriers are getting a bad deal. They're happy to take the initial hit in exchange for a data plan that costs subscribers an extra $30 or so a month on their bill. And smartphone users tend to stick with their networks longer than low-end phone users, according to Soumen Ganguly, principal at Altman Vilandrie & Co. That makes them dream customers: They pay more and churn less.
    The $199 price point has another perk for carriers. We're in the midst of a smartphone innovation boom, with companies pumping out new top-of-the-line phones every few months with better screens, memory and features. When those new phones are offered at the same price point older models once were, they seem like a steal in comparison. That draws new customers into the market -- and inspires those with aging phones to trade up and lock themselves into a fresh contract.
    "There will always be a next big phone coming out in two months that will justify the $199 price," Ganguly said. "Manufacturers are innovating faster than the willingness of carriers to compete on price." To top of page