The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
The official Google Maps app has been updated again, this time with a major addition to Latitude - check-ins. Just as Hotpot seemed to be a Yelp-killer, Google must now have Foursquare in its sights, because Latitude's check-ins have a few major advantages over Foursquare and its competitors.
Latitude will notify you when it recognizes your location, giving you the option to check-in wherever you are. However, you can also set up automatic check-ins for only the places you want, an incredibly convenient feature that still covers any privacy concerns.
We have some somewhat good news for Fascinate owners: a new, official, very final-looking Froyo build DL30 for the Samsung Fascinate has been leaked, and it's been released completely unmolested (short of pre-rooting it). Even the bloatware has been left intact.
Obviously, the silver lining here is that we can see that Samsung and Verizon are making progress, and this could be a sign that the update is closer to being ready to roll out.
The first of AT&T's entourage of Androids for 2011 has had its release date and pricing set in stone. The Inspire 4G, essentially an AT&T version of the Thunderbolt, will be dropping on February 13th for 99 bucks on contract or upgrade pricing. And for a double-digit price, the Inspire 4G is packing some respectable specs.
- 4.3" SLCD display
- 1GHz single-core processor
- HSPA+ connectivity (AT&T's first stab at "4G")
- 8MP Rear camera
- 768MB RAM
- Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)
What remains unknown is whether or not AT&T will charge a premium fee for access to its HSPA+ "4G." Given the fact that AT&T has made explicit its plans to eventually roll out true LTE 4G in Q4 2011, it might serve their publicity machine better to keep data plan rates as they are until that time.
According to Don Kellogg from the Nielsen Company, 31% of all mobile phone users in the U.S. own some type of a smartphone. More interestingly, it appears that the race for market share in the U.S. by the leading smartphone platforms - Android, iOS and BlackBerry - is in a dead heat.
We have already learnt from analysts at Canalys that shipments of Android-based smartphones globally commanded a 32.9% share of the market, followed by devices running Nokia's Symbian OS at 30.6%, Apple's iPhone OS at 16%, and RIM's BlackBerry OS at 14.4%.
After yesterday's launch of Optimus V on Virgin Mobile USA for $150, MetroPCS, another prepaid carrier, just followed the same suit and dropped the price of its own Optimus variant, the Optimus M, from $229 to $149.
The $80 President's Day price drop consists of an instant $30 discount and a $50 mail-in rebate, valid on purchases made from February 1st (that's today as of 5 hours ago) and February 28th.
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. WTF apps were definitely in abundance this week.
Looking for the previous week's roundup? Find it here: 46 Best (And 2 WTF) New Android Apps And Games From Last Week (1/18/11 – 1/24/11)
Update:LG has confirmed via its MWC Twitter account that the Optimus 3D will indeed be shown at the Mobile World Congress. They also confirmed the glasses-free 3D display, 3D video capability, and HDMI.
LG's "Into the New Dimension" event is scheduled for February 14, but Phandroid has gotten a hold of an image that is purported to be the LG Optimus 3D. Although a 3D display can't be confirmed by the picture, we can determine that this device is not the LG Optimus 2X or LG Optimus Black.
Google I/O, a conference dedicated entirely to Google technologies and hosted in San Francisco's Moscone Center, is fast approaching, and Google today opened up early registration to key developer partners and 2010 I/O attendees. Early reg, available to the first 1500 people who complete it, costs $450 ($100 more than last year). Don't worry though - when it goes public next week, the price is going to stay the same until April 17th, at which point it will go up another $100 to $550 (thanks for the correction, Philip!).