06
Oct
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Well, we didn't see this one coming. Hackers over at XDA-Developers have discovered that there is a hardware chip limiting the hackability of the G2, undermining the owner's ability to customize the Android OS. The chip acts as a rootkit and over-writes modifications to the /system partition after rebooting.

This is a very unsettling development. Heck, I thought we had a nice dynamic working in the Android manufacturer sphere: Motorola tried to lock down everything and HTC just made sweet devices.

06
Oct
image

Over at the on-going CEATEC show at the Makuhari Messe in Japan, visitors have been treated to a display by Samsung of the next generation in WiMax. While you may be excited about getting HSPA+ (<56 Mb) on your G2, or the forthcoming LTE (<100 Mb) network promised by Verizon late this year, the 330 Mbit connection of WiMax 2 (up from <30 Mb) rather puts those in the shade. Showing off speeds that most would trade limbs for even on their home network, the new 802.16m implementation is capable of streaming full HD 3D video with ease.

06
Oct
Epic 4G
Last Updated: October 10th, 2010

Well it isn't CyanogenMod 6, but according to our tipster, it's close - one of the Epic 4G's first ROMS has just gone live on xda-developers, and it looks... promising, if nothing else.

While we haven't had a chance to test this ROM out ourselves, the forum post states that the ROM's standout features include:

  • Deodexed
  • Sprintware Removed
  • Modified MMS/SMS app
  • Bootup/Shutdown sounds ported from the Samsung Galaxy S I9000
  • Changed shutdown display screen
  • Choice of 4 launchers
  • ADW Launcher
  • LauncherPro
  • Launcher (Vanilla)
  • TouchWiz

AOSP apps:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Car Home
  • GenieWidget (News & Weather)
  • AOSP Lockscreen
  • EVO YouTube App
  • Spare Parts
  • Superuser
  • Google Maps & Google Street View are up to date
  • Pandora Compatible

Live Wallpapers ported from the Samsung I9000 & Samsung Fascinate:

  • Aurora
  • Blue Sea
  • Connection
  • Dandelion
  • Flow
  • Forest
  • Layers Of Light
  • Luminescence
  • Ocean Wave
  • Spark

As with most other ROMs, a full wipe of both the data and cache partitions is required, but since one of my wife's main gripes with the Epic has always been its lack of an option to play YouTube videos in HQ (something my EVO is capable of), I think the Epic Experience ROM might just be worth a try.

05
Oct
37588_DROID-PRO-by-Motorola_front_LR-337x630

Verizon has just announced the Droid Pro (that's right, the same device that was previously rumored to have a dual GSM /CDMA radio for global roaming, a 1.3 GHz processor, and a 4" display), and let me tell you, the thing's got a few surprises hidden up its sleeve.

37588_DROID-PRO-by-Motorola_front_LR-337x630

For starters, it's not a landscape slider, unlike the Droid 2. Instead, Motorola's decided to go with a candybar form factor for this one, much like the form factor used by RIM for numerous BlackBerries and also by Palm for the Pixi.

05
Oct
snap20101005_192429
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Yesterday Chickenbrick Software, makers of Cestos, released Cestos 2:Party Time. This time around, Cestos will be taking advantage of the OpenFeint network to add an extra layer of awesome to the gameplay.

The game has been totally revamped from the ground up. It looks great and the gameplay is smooth.

snap20101005_192439 snap20101005_193001

snap20101005_193005 snap20101005_192508

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They've added all new modes, new add-ons for your avatar, and new social options...that don't work yet

 snap20101005_192529

All in all, though, Cestos 2 is still fun, still eating away a large chunk of my time, and is definitely a worthy successor to Cestos.

05
Oct
portrait
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Reviewed version: 2.0.4
Requires: Android 1.6 or newer
Cost: Free

I have fat fingers. There. I said it. With my old Sanyo Katana, it wasn’t a problem because I would just multitap and tap and tap to enter text. But when I finally made the jump to a smartphone, I quickly ran into a stumbling block with the virtual keyboard.

The HTC Hero has a pretty compact screen, especially in portrait orientation.

05
Oct
image

Even though they were the last major carrier in the US to release an Android phone, you can't question AT&T's commitment to Android now! Their latest offerings are all from Motorola and all feature the MOTOBLUR UI, but are still a huge step up from phones like the Cliq and the Backflip.

Each runs Android 2.1 with MOTOBLUR on top and feature a lackluster 3.2 megapixel camera. However, that is where the similarities between the phones end.

05
Oct
Android_fringOut-300x216

Today Fring announced their latest feature: fringOut. If that sounds suspiciously like Skype's offering, Skypeout, don't be shocked. They are essentially the same service. They posted this on their blog earlier today with a definite sense of smugness:

fringOut is easy to use & super-convenient. Because the rates are so darn good, you’ll be calling everyone from your mobile phone.
Here is a short list why folks are dumping PC calling and moving to fringOut’s mobile calling.

05
Oct
image[3]
Last Updated: December 23rd, 2010

The number 1 Android app for rooted phones out there is undoubtedly Android WiFi Tether, which is a free alternative to all those carrier-bundled WiFi hotspot apps. In fact, it is the primary reason I root every Android phone I own - 2 hours of commute on the train suddenly become extremely productive because of always-on laptop connectivity. I've excitedly written about the app before, especially after it added support for Infrastructure mode and WPA2 on the EVO 4G.

05
Oct
samsung-galaxy-s-gorilla-glass

Looks like Gorilla Glass is fast becoming the trend among tablets and smartphones - not only is Samsung slapping it on their Galaxy S devices, but the Tab as well. What's so great about Gorilla Glass? To quote Wikipedia:

Corning attributes the choice of Gorilla Glass superiority not only for "unparalleled damage resistance and protection" but:

  • "Thinner form factor: Gorilla Glass retains its performance advantage over standard chemically strengthened substrates even when used in thin form factors.

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