HTC's UK Facebook page was updated last night with information regarding just which HTC handsets would be in the "first wave" of phones to receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012. While the post was made on HTC's UK Facebook, the list contains a number of US-only devices. Those handsets are asterisked to indicate US-only availability (the Rezound, EVO Design, and Amaze). The others on the list include the Sensation (plus XL and XE versions), the Vivid, and the EVO 3D. Those phones are not asterisked, indicating the ICS update will be making its way to the European versions of those phones around the same time frame as well.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is an HTC One X+. He is an avid writer, and enjoys imparting a legal perspective on Android news where it is relevant. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
Android’s massive worldwide popularity has, in large part, the availability of cheap, low-end handsets to thank. We all know this. In developing markets in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, Android powers almost all of the smartphones that are being purchased by growing numbers of prepaid subscribers.
Cheap Android phones are, for that reason alone, a great thing. They’re empowering consumers in developing economies, giving them access to the full web wherever they go - something that has generally been the privilege only of the wealthy and of Western nations in the past decade.
But there’s a dark side to cheap Android phones here in the good ‘ol US of A.
OK, before I even get into this post, let me be clear: this is based on old news. However, it was news that no one seemed to pick up at the time, and when we discovered it, we thought it was quite interesting.
If you're unfamiliar with Lodsys, let's start with a history lesson. They're better known as the shell corporation offspring of a company called Intellectual Ventures LLC, a patent clearinghouse owned by a group of, shall we say, enterprising individuals. Their purpose? Buy as many viable tech patents as possible, and force major corporations into licensing (paying royalties) deals when infringement on any of these patents, which is actively searched for, is discovered.
It appears an update to the Android Market is now being pushed out to handsets, and we've got the .apk file for you right now. Warning: this updated Market does not seem to work very well on Honeycomb tablets, there appears to be a number of glitches.
Download Android Market 3.3.11:
Note: Root is not required.
Note: If the Market starts force closing, just open Settings > Applications > Manage > Market, and clear data.
What's changed? So far, we've found:
- New setting: Auto-update apps (presumably, sets all apps to auto-update mode, woohoo!)
- New setting: Update over Wi-Fi only
- New setting: Auto-add shortcuts (automatically adds homescreen shortcuts for new apps, a la Honeycomb)
- Smaller font
- New app drawer icon
- Microphone (voice command) button in search menu
- Star rating chart on app pages
- Minor UI tweaks
If you find anything else, let us know in the comments!
The highly popular news aggregator app News360 has received a major update, at least for phones (the update should be coming for the tablet version soon), and while the great looks of the app didn't need much improvement, the developers decided it was time to add a few new features.
First, feed personalization. You can now sign into your various social accounts on News360, and the app will scan them and created a personalized feed based on the interests it finds.
Next, in-app video support has been added for articles with embedded video (or video stories). The final major new feature is the ability to save articles to a "read later" list (which syncs to all of your devices), which I know I'm going to be utilizing heavily.
The intrepid folks over at XDA are always tinkering away to try and make using your Android device a better experience. And a few weeks ago, one of them (namely, temasek) found that the Android Market has some issues trying to resolve DNS servers when your device is connected over Wi-Fi. This can cause the Market to load slowly, and it's definitely something I've experienced on my own phone.
The solution? A popular app called Set DNS (note: root is required), which forces your phone or tablet to use a particular name server when connecting to the web, may speed up load times over Wi-Fi.
A page from a catalog of the popular UK mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse was recently leaked, and it clearly states the Motorola XOOM 2 will be available in the UK in time for Christmas.
The catalog was intended for the Irish market, and thus the price has been listed in Euros as €399. Generally, prices in Euros and GBP for consumer electronics aren't reflective of exchange rates when attempting to determine a comparable price in the US - we're fairly certain the XOOM 2 will retail for $400 here in the US of A. And as Motorola is an American company (and we've apparently seen the XOOM 2 in Verizon's internal product system), we can probably expect it will launch here a little earlier than in foreign markets.
Update: It appears the widget for Google+ has disappeared in this update, and images now appear somewhat compressed and pixelated.
It's unclear if this is intentional (It seems one of the app's developers has said the widget will return soon, over on Google+.)
The Google+ app team just dropped a surprisingly massive update onto the Market, and it brings changes galore. In fact, there's so many changes that they've called it a "completely new app." Take a look:
The UI has taken a turn towards the styling we've seen in Ice Cream Sandwich, and menus have been reworked to resemble the next version of Android as well.
We try to avoid excessive posts about FCC filings that may or may not be for Android goodies coming to the US, but this one was a dead giveaway for AT&T. Just take a look:
The guys over at WirelessGoodness dug up this picture from a recent FCC filing, and it clearly shows the device is either a Tab 10.1 or 8.9, and that it has the official AT&T 4G LTE logo. Hard to call that a "rumor." It seems likely that AT&T will announce the device before the holiday season.