Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, was scheduled to appear at the Web 2.0 Summit today, and while some speculated that he might finally announce Gingerbread to the world, I had my doubts about whether he would actually announce the update rather than talking about it on some tangent. Unfortunately, the truth ended up being somewhere in the middle, with Eric only brushing up on a few things and then going off about the general strategy.
Granted, this particular bit of news is only valuable to the (very) small crowd of people who purchased the T-Mobile Garminfone, but it's nice to hear nonetheless. The good news: Garmin has released an update to Android 2.1 (Éclair). The bad: it's a manual update.
The update process isn't complicated per se - but it's definitely more work than an OTA:
1. Download the software update package for your Garminfone which can be found here: http://www.garminasus.com/en_US/support/software/006-B1130-00.update
We always knew Verizon and AT&T would be getting their hands on devices much like T-Mobile's Optimus T and Sprint's Optimus S; we just didn't know when they would start selling them. Well, you can now cross the former of the two off your list, for Big Red just announced that the LG Vortex will be coming to its stores come November 18th, along with:
- Android 2.2 with full access to the Android Market
- Bing Search and Bing Maps (ugh - why is this listed as a feature anyways?)
- WiFi connectivity (no word on 802.11n compatibility just yet)
- 3G Mobile Hotspot capability, no doubt with a nice fat fee attached
- Skype pre-installed
- VZ Navigator as well as an array of pre-installed LG apps (hurray for bloatware!)
- 5 or 7 (who knows what that means) customizable home screens
- microSD card slot with support for cards of capacities of up to 32 GB
- a 3.2 MP autofocus camera
- two colors - black and violet
- a $79.99 price tag
Nothing too groundbreaking here, especially considering T-Mobile will sell you a nearly identical phone for just $29, but the folks over at XDA-developers may be able to hook the Vortex up with a few custom ROMs if nothing else.
Best New Android Apps
Sheep Run Beta
The sheep family is in danger now.
They need to run fast and use their wisdom to get across various obstacles, finally go back home.
Smack down in between the New York Sprint 4G launch on November 1st and the upcoming Los Angeles launch on December 1st, Sprint announced today that the California state capital is also joining the WiMax party, effective immediately. Sacramento residents will now be able to enjoy average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps and upload speeds of around 500 Kbps-1.5 Mbps.
Now does anyone know what phone the governator is sporting?
Like many of you, I am a huge fan of TweetDeck for Android. In my opinion, it is the best Twitter application on the Android platform, hands down. I use it on a daily basis and find it fast, fluid, and a treat to look at. This excellent piece of software fills in the missing holes of the of the official Twitter application, providing a unified social media experience.
We just sat down with TweetDeck's developer, Max Howell, to find out more about him and his thoughts on Android.
Who says the G2's processor is slow, eh? While its stock 800 MHz clockspeed didn't break any benchmark records, it's showing itself to be nicely capable of overclocking. Unlike the QSD8250 in the original Snapdragon, which gets rather unstable anywhere past the 1.13GHz (+15%) mark, the MSM7230 in the Scorpion of the G2 sails right on past +100% with apparent stability. The kernel was posted on XDA-Developers by member Flippy125, with the usual "NOT MY FAULT IF-" disclaimers, but also noting that the kernel runs stably for him.
Android 2.2 isn't new by any means, but if you're using Dell's five-inch Streak, it looks like you're only now going to receive the update:
Worse still, this only applies to Streaks in the UK - the rest of us will just have to keep holding out. Before you go off to silently pout in a corner, though, there is one more twist to this story - what's actually contained in the update:
To recap, it looks like Dell will soon be allowing customers to download the update directly from its website (much like Motorola has done with the Backflip and the Cliq for the update to Éclair), although actually installing the update will wipe all data from the device.
Netflix for Android has been long in the making, and... well, it still isn't quite there yet. However, according to Netflix's Greg Peters, an app is coming early in 2011 - for "select devices," that is. Apparently, holes in the Android OS similar to those that often lead to piracy can also be used to bypass the common DRM system. Therefore, Netflix may have to work with individual manufacturers to add content protection to their devices.
After getting rooted four days ago, the T-Mobile G2 and its European counterpart, the Desire Z, finally joined the ranks of fully unlocked Android phones, which give us the freedom to replace the ROMs on these devices with something better and more custom.
It took the CyanogenMod team a few days, but the very first CM 6.1 ROM is now available for download. It will work on both the Desire Z and the G2 due to the similarities between the 2 phones.