This is a pretty wild piece of news. Google, George Mason University, and the NSA are working to make Android the most secure OS out there. They're developing a "hardened" kernel so Android can pass all the necessary red tape to be deployed for government use. By 2012 they expect Android to be good enough for classified communication, and eventually they'll hit a higher security clearance level than BlackBerrys. Poor BlackBerry, security was one of the last things they had left.
This edition focuses only on new tablet apps or ones that added Honeycomb support. Regular apps and games are coming soon.
Remember the Motorola XPRT? No? Allow me to refresh your memory... yeah, that phone. The Droid Pro. Only... not. Whatever it is, it's currently getting an OTA update to fix some bugs and, well, that's pretty much it. Here's the changelog:
- CDMA Settings
- Dialing International voice calls with 1+ while on the Sprint network (dialing from the US) and while in domestic roaming mode
- Sending SMS messages with more than 160 characters
- EAS PIN support
- Email marker to indicate if a message was replied to or forwarded
- Voicemail issue associated with phone number swaps on existing devices
So, if you're one of the seven (give or take a few) people that bought the XPRT, hit Settings > About Phone > Software Updates > Update Motorola Firmware to make it happen.
A minor OTA update is currently rolling out to the Motorola Photon 4G that brings a few bug fixes and one notable feature: Google Talk with Video support. Other than that, it's a pretty bland update:
- Lapdock support
- Enhancements to image appearance when pictures are taken in panorama mode
- Forwarded messages are properly identified as being forwarded
- Improved audio quality with car speakers when connected to a car charger and audio
- Introduction of international roaming 3G UMTS hotspot functionality for a single Wi-Fi enabled
While this update doesn't bring a whole slew of game-changing features, I'm sure it's still a welcome one for Photon owners.
I want you to take a mental journey with me. Dig deep into your memory banks -- all the way back to 2001. You there? Great. Think, if you will, about the the state of video games. The Playstation 2 was the hottest console on the market (okay, that's debatable) and Grand Theft Auto III was the game to have. Kids loved it as much as parents, teachers, and other authority figures hated it, due to its (then) graphic nature.
Soon after HP started their TouchPad fire sale, a version of the device running Android 2.2 appeared on eBay and went on to sell for almost $700. Hopes for an Android port were high and the developer community swung into action offering a $2300 bounty for anyone who could load Android on the TouchPad. The CyanogenMod team, Android developers extraordinaire, did not disappoint and soon the news broke that they had managed to successfully get Android running on the TouchPad.
Have you heard of BloomWorlds? Chances are you probably haven't, because even though I've been seeing intermittent updates about it on and off for the past year and a half, they never actually came out with a product, which was supposed to be a family-friendly, curated Android market. As of today, the project is shut down, and the post mortem report filled with reasons for its failure is sitting in our inboxes.
4G. The acronym is probably the most abused term in tech industry since "HD." And if you spend as much time reading up on mobile phone news as us (we hope you don't, that's what we're for!), you probably have come to the same conclusion: it's almost without meaning, constantly misrepresented, and defined on a completely subjective basis. We don't like any of this.
Neither do some of the members of congress, apparently.
Here's one for the car buffs among you: the official Top Gear app. With this app courtesy of BBC Worldwide and sponsored by Mercedes Benz, you can stay on top of the latest news, videos, and shenanigans from the Top Gear crew. The app features photos, behind the scenes goodies, Top Gear clips, previews of upcoming Top Gear "stuff," and reviews of the latest cars driven.
The app also allows content to be pulled and viewed offline, as well as the option to share news stories via Facebook, Twitter, or email.