Today Fring announced their latest feature: fringOut. If that sounds suspiciously like Skype's offering, Skypeout, don't be shocked. They are essentially the same service. They posted this on their blog earlier today with a definite sense of smugness:
|Brad Ganley||An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.|
Recently, I got ahold of Verizon's Samsung Fascinate and shot the following video review (and yes, I have a capacitive stylus - start getting jealous):
For a quick refresher, here, once again, are the specs of the Fascinate:
- 1GHz Hummingbird processor
- Android 2.1 (Eclair)
- 5MP camera wih LED flash
- 4" Super Amoled capacitive multitouch (5 point) screen
- 2GB internal memory
- Bluetooth 3.0 (with stereo output)
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Supports HD (720p) video recording
Here are those pictures I promised.
Over at XDA, user designgears got this leak from an anonymous source and, while we were initially skeptical of its authenticity, it does appear legit, according to the users who have flashed it. The instructions to install it are fairly simple for even inexperienced users:
We learned this evening that there were administrative issues getting this software loaded to Google's servers. We don't yet have an expected time when this will be available but will update you as soon as possible. Please see the statement below that was sent by the Sprint Product Management team:
We were planning to release an update for your Samsung Epic 4G on 9/30. The file was delivered and on track for distribution but late this afternoon, we learned that an administrative issue prevented Google from releasing the update as we had planned. We are working to resolve the issue and will provide an update as soon as we understand the new delivery schedule.
Yesterday, Best Buy announced a pretty cool new promotion for the moth of October: Free Phone Fridays. It's a pretty straightforward deal that offers buyers four phones (one on each carrier) that will be free every Friday.
They have promised that each week they will feature one high-end smartphone, the first of which will be the Samsung Fascinate. The other phones to be offered for free on October 1st will be the Sprint Blackberry Curve, HTC Aria on AT&T, and the Samsung Gravity 3 on T-Mobile.
A few days ago, the code for the Nexus One's 2.2.1 update went AOSP (Android Open Source Project), meaning that the source code became available to developers. It was comprised mostly of bugfixes and other things that weren't major... oh, and it also patched the exploits that allowed Universal Androot to unlock your device. We had a short conversation about it on Twitter with Cyanogen (the conversation starts at the bottom and goes up):
As if breaking Universal Androot wasn't enough, apparently the new update also prevents existing installations of Swype and some other aftermarket keyboards from working.
A video has come to our attention the shows just how harshly you can treat the Motola Defy. It can take all the Hulk-smashings that inevitably result from using Motoblur for more than 10 minutes - in addition to being flushed down a toilet when you're done.
The video is about 3 minutes long, but all the action happens in the first 45 seconds.
The phone gets unapologetically dropped from shoulder-height then thrown into a glass of water, followed by a long length of having Motoblur.
Hot on the heels of plans for Verizon to create their own market for Android, Amazon.com has decided that they will now create their own app market. Developers reportedly started receiving emails about a business opportunity from Amazon on September 25th. At that time, there were very few details aside from the fact that it was happening. Now, there is a bit more clarity from our friends at TechCrunch:
Okay, some details:
- For each sale of an App, we will pay you a royalty equal to the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price as of the purchase date (70/30 is standard, this 20/80 split is somewhat odd and confusing)
- The List Price is apparently in place so that you can’t sell your app cheaper on other “similar services” — meaning other app stores, presumably
- The “similar services” should also include the forthcoming Chrome Web Store, if I’m reading this correctly
- There is a $99 fee to be a developer in this program (the same as Apple’s iOS developer program)
- It seems like if your app is available on other platforms, you have to make sure to update it at the same time on Amazon’s store that you do in any other store (this will piss off a lot of developers)
- Apps will have to be laced with Amazon DRM — meaning they will only work on devices they approve (obviously)
- Amazon has the right to pull any app for any reason (obviously)
- Apps can also be shown on amazon.com (this is up to Amazon)
- You can offer free apps
- The app store is U.S.-only (at least for now)
- This part is interesting too: “We have sole discretion to determine all features and operations of this program and to set the retail price and other terms on which we sell Apps.”
As of right now, that's all we know.
There was initially some doubt as to whether or not the Motorola Droid 2 actually contained the proper hardware for FM radio. We can safely lay that discussion to rest because, as of today, the developers at XDA have gotten a fully working port of the FM radio app from the Droid X onto the Droid 2.