30
Mar
Motorola Droid Android 2.1

Earlier today Verizon started rolling out the long awaited and repeatedly delayed Android 2.1 upgrade to the selected few Motorola Droid customers - 1,000 to be exact.

The Rollout

According to the internal document obtained by Android Central, the rollout schedule is the following:

  • the first 1,000 very lucky Droid owners should have already gotten their OTA (over the air) updates today, March 30th, at 9AM PST/noon EST.
    If you are one of the lucky few, please share your experience with us, as soon as you stop calling all your friends to share the joy but right before you go on a spree of making fun of all the Hero owners with their ancient 1.5s.
29
Mar
Houston 4G

If you're one of over 4 million people living in Houston, TX, your mobile connection options just got a lot better. Clearwire, the company providing WiMax/4G service for Sprint, announced today the launch of its 28th US metropolitan market in the Houston metro area.

According to the press release,

… coverage extends as far north as Conroe and northeast as Kingwood; as far west as Katy and southwest as Richmond/Rosenburg; as far south as Alvin and southeast as Clear Lake; as far east as Baytown.

27
Mar
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Today the Slashgear team got their grabby (and lucky) hands on Sony's first crack at an Android phone implementation - XPERIA X10 which was announced a whopping 5 months ago on November 3rd, 2009.

They go into a relatively in-depth discussion of the pluses and minuses of Sony's new child which I will summarize in a few bullet points for the busy crowd.

The Awesome Bullet Points

  • 1Ghz Snapdragon CPU (same as Nexus One and HTC desire)
  • the 4" 480x854 TFT screen is beautiful
  • 1GB internal storage
  • 384MB RAM
  • 8GB MicroSD card but only upgradeable to 16GB
  • Support for AT&T but not T-Mobile in the US
  • WiFi b/g, bluetooth, aGPS - all standard stuff
  • Android 1.6 - X10 comes with Sony's own flavor of Android called Rachael, which has a relatively radically different user interface compared to vanilla Android

    Of course, we all know HTC's take on Android resulted in Sense, which ended up causing months of delays and preventing users from upgrading their operating systems to Android's latest revisions (just think of the Hero that skipped 1.6, 2.0, and still doesn't have 2.1, though it's promised soon).

26
Mar
Android statistics

AdMob, one of the world's largest mobile advertisement networks, posted a report (PDF) yesterday citing various mobile related statistics for the period of February 2009 to February 2010.

We've looked through all the boring stuff and pulled out the interesting highlights (you all like highlights, don't you?).

The Highlights

Here are the highlights that we've cherry picked out of it for you (the data is year-over-year where applicable):

  • AdMob currently serves over 15,000 mobile websites and applications and has received 14.1 billion (!) requests worldwide in the last year
  • The number of smartphones went up 13% from 35% to 48%
  • Smartphone traffic overall went up 193% (data transferred, number of requests)
  • Non-smartphone phones share went down 23% from 58% to 35% (yup, soon everyone is going to have an PreiDroidberry of sorts)
  • Android was the fastest growing operating system, up 22% from 2% to 24% (!!!)
  • The top 5 Android devices by traffic were:
    • Motorola Droid
    • HTC Dream (G1)
    • HTC Hero
    • HTC Magic (MyTouch 3G)
    • Motorola CLIQ
  • Among the number of requests from smartphones, all non-Android devices posted a decline while all Android ones were up (except for the G1, which was the first generation Android and doesn't really count).
26
Mar
Android 2.1

Rumors have been flying for the past few months that Sprint and HTC would update the Hero to the long awaited Android 2.1 Eclair today - March 26th, 2010.

These rumors have been shattered today by conversations with multiple Sprint customer service reps and a posting of an internal memo by Phandroid announcing the new update date - April 9th, 2010.

image

While the memo lists the 4/9/10 update as "maintenance", according to an alleged Sprint employee rkendle53 from the xda forums Sprint calls all updates "maintenance", even major ones.

25
Mar
Android market

The Android Marketplace counts over 40,000 applications and games as of today, at least according to the online Android Market tracker AndroLib.

Android Market hits 40k apps

This number is not inflated in any way by counting application updates - AndroLib includes only separate programs in the total.

A useful statistics page provides some insight into the daily growth for the curious.

At the pace the Marketplace is growing at the moment, it will reach 100,000 applications by sometime in September, as our math geek Artem reported yesterday.

25
Mar
Skype for Mobile

As promised, today at CTIA Wireless 2010 Skype launched its Skype Mobile application, available on select Verizon phones (Blackberry and all of Verizon's Android lineup - Droid, Droid Eris, Devour) because of an exclusive deal between the two companies.

image

Features

Here are the features of the new application:

  • make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype contact around the globe
  • send and receive unlimited instant messages with other Skype users
  • manage the Skype contact list directly from the mobile application
  • call international phone numbers at competitive Skype calling rates

Skype Mobile promises to have an Always-On capability, so that you can be permanently logged in, similar to the Google Chat application that comes with every Android phone.

25
Mar
HTC logo

HTC is simply unstoppable! On the 2nd day of the CTIA Wireless 2010, the company announced its own online store, available immediately at this address:

http://www.shopamerica.htc.com

The site, available to US customers, is very friendly and easy to navigate - in fact, we think this is its biggest advantage over other retailers, such as Amazon, that have complex and convoluted mobile shopping sites.

There are 4 sections on the HTC site:

  • Phone Finder/Quick Start - this is the home page, which allows you to filter by carrier, plan, and phone features, or just look at what's available in your zip code
  • Phones - explore, filter by carrier, read phone stats, and compare multiple phones to each other
  • Rate Plans - filter by plan type (individual, family, prepaid), study plan details, and compare multiple plans to each other (this seems quite useful)
  • Accessories - buy accessories by entering your phone model

You can explore phones and rate plans from all 4 major US mobile carriers (AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless) and then buy directly from the site.

24
Mar
4G Sprint

Yesterday we reported that Sprint will not charge extra for using 4G on your phone, based on the response from a Sprint customer service rep. Some people pointed out that customer service reps are oftentimes wrong, and while we certainly agree with that statement, the CSR was quite confident in her response. Additionally, a good portion of the news market nowadays is comprised of rumors.

Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long for the "rumor" to be confirmed.

24
Mar
Sprint Developer Program

Following yesterday's announcement of the first 4G handset for Sprint, the company earlier today posted a bunch of new helpful information to their Android Developers site to guide developers around the newly introduced features never before seen on an Android phone, or even *any* mobile phone.

Here is the new stuff that what we found there:

  • general documentation updated with references to HTC EVO 4G
  • 4G Developer Guide - Sprint_HTC_EVO_4G_Developer_S_Guide
  • Sprint's developer guide for the HTC EVO 4G handset provides best practices on:

    • detecting different network types (4G, 3G, WI-FI) and handling transitions as they occur
    • utilizing HDMI output in your application
    • how to incorporate the forward facing camera into your application
    • using some of the HTML 5.0 tags in your web page including Location and Video
  • HTC EVO 4G Code Samples
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