While free Android phones are nothing new, it's a rare day when we see the gift coming directly from the carrier itself, especially on the device's launch day. However, that's exactly what US Cellular is doing with the Optimus U - come December 13th, the carrier will be touting the latest entry in the Optimus One series of phones for exactly $0.00 after an $80 mail-in-rebate and on a new two-year contract.
The major differences are that there's a bit more green and that the app drawer fades in/out. In my minute or two with it, that's about all I noticed, and really, that's all you can ask for at this point. That said, if you're using vanilla Froyo now, there's really no downside to using the Gingerbread launcher.
We haven't heard much about the HTC Knight (or EVO Shift 4G, as it may be called) lately, but HTCPedia Shop recently came into possession of some photos of the device - albeit wearing some aesthetically questionable cases.
The phone itself, though, actually looks very slick. Clearly, design points were taken from the EVO 4G, which in my opinion remains the best-looking Android device on the market. As has been previously reported, the Shift 4G will be graced with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, HTC Sense, what appears to be a 3.7" screen, and Sprint's fabulous (if you live in an area with coverage) 4G - as can be seen by the WiMax logo in the pictures.
The virtual looping feature enables scrolling past the leftmost or rightmost homescreens with a quick bounce-to-the-opposite-end effect. While Fede implemented it this way instead of an endless scroll for technical reasons, I think it's visually a lot better and clearer, as you will still know when you've reached the end and won't feel lost in your own homescreen forest.
Talk about adding insult to injury - in addition to the news of the upcoming Google Nexus S missing any kind of external memory slots (microSD, etc), we’ve just found out that this supposed Nexus One successor is also missing LED notifications. What other essential system function is it going to lose next – a phone speaker?
I am excited about Gingerbread, especially everything it is bringing under-the-hood, but the whole Nexus S situation is turning out to be a disaster.
While the announcement everyone was expecting Andy Rubin to make at today's D: Dive Into Mobile conference was already made earlier today, the head of Android operations still had a few things hidden up his sleeves, not the least of which was a dual-core Motorola tablet:
If that didn't catch your attention, consider this: the man himself said that it will run Honeycomb, will feature video chat, and will be powered by a "dual-core 3D NVIDIA processor." Additionally, Engadget, whose editor-in-chief was sitting at the event, noticed that the tablet has no buttons at all, for better or for worse.
After Andy Rubin showed off a Honeycomb-running Motorola tablet, he proceeded to demo the latest version of Google Maps. The update promises a 3D viewing mode, compass orientation, and offline caching of maps. But, perhaps best of all, Rubin claimed that "it'll be on cellphones in a matter of days."
The biggest change is the ability to render 3D buildings at the street level. Because it will render vectors instead of tiles, maps will supposedly load several times faster, no matter how fast your connection is.
Google loves putting Easter eggs into their products, and whoever sneaked this late Halloween piece into the official Gingerbread SDK release over at Google is a real master. This is art, people! Found among the boring buttons and icons in the depths of the new Android SDK at this path: platforms\android-9\data\res\drawable-nodpi\platlogo.jpg, this painting is a work of a pure genius:
Source: Android Central