It's been a few weeks since the deluge of Gingerbread builds leaked on March 27 (Droid X, Droid 2, Galaxy S i9000), but now another big dog is looking to join the party: a test Android 2.3 ROM for the HTC EVO has leaked and been posted to the XDA forums. A ton of people have taken the bait, with the thread already checking in at over 73 pages long - and it's only been up for about 6 hours.
Merger be damned, T-Mobile is continuing the expansion of its (potentially short-lived) 4G HSPA+ network, having added ten new cities, along with promising to double download speed caps in some major markets. The cities that have recently had T-Mobile 4G coverage activated include:
- Ames, Iowa
- Anderson, Indiana
- Battle Creek/Benton Harbor/Jackson, Michigan
- Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
- Lawrence/Manhattan, Kansas
- Springfield, Illinois
- Wichita Falls, Texas
The major markets receiving the upgrade to theoretical 42Mbps HSPA+ (note: there are no 42Mbps HSPA+ phones out there) will first be Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York, with Chicago, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey following shortly after.
This probably isn't going to be nearly as exciting as the title might lead you to believe - though it's good news nonetheless.
Techfrom10's Samsung Galaxy S was accidentally given access to the test Android Market via an OTA update, and they stumbled upon some goodies while using it. The Market itself has undergone no noticeable changes aside from the addition of the "Content Rating" information publishers are now asked to include as part of their submissions to the Market, so there's not a lot to see on that end.
Samsung's Nexus S, the first Gingerbread device, was a T-Mobile exclusive in the U.S. until last month, when Sprint announced the Nexus S 4G - a CDMA (and WiMAX) counterpart of this sleek stock Android device. Can Samsung pull the same trick it did with the Galaxy S phones that came to all U.S. carriers? It sure looks like it.
We've already seen a Nexus S with model GT-I9020A (as opposed to T-Mobile GT-I9020T) hit the FCC with AT&T bands, and now the same exact model has shown up on Samsung's own site, citing AT&T as the carrier.
The smartphone is slowly becoming the "all-in-one" gadget, however one big gap that still exists is the inability to easily make purchases directly through the device instead of using cash or credit cards. According to the WSJ and "people familiar with the matter", Google is working with MasterCard and Citigroup to fill this void by using the still nascent NFC (near field communication) technology to develop a new mobile payment service.
Wondering if you should be considering that T-Mobile 4G phone purchase now that the merger plan has come to light? Read on.
With the news of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger spreading like wildfire, there have been rumblings about the network compatibility implications of the deal. More accurately, how the merger will affect consumers' use of 4G handsets on their respective carriers.
Make no mistake - it has been confirmed that AT&T will slowly disassemble T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network over time, converting those HSPA+ bands (the "AWS" spectrum) into LTE frequencies.
Something that surprised me at the CTIA conference yesterday was the connector port used in both the HTC EVO 3D and View 4G. Instead of 2 distinct standards, like on the EVO 4G - MicroUSB and MicroHDMI - the new EVO devices have only 1 port that uses the brand new MHL technology (Mobile High-Definition Link). And it is brilliant.
The MHL 1.0 standard, finalized a few months ago, uses a single port to connect both HDMI and MicroUSB, and get this - it is able to charge via HDMI as well.
Bloomberg is reporting that Google intends to test out the still nascent NFC (near field communication) technology by allowing shoppers in New York and San Francisco to pay for their purchases using only their mobile devices.
Apparently, Google is planning on buying thousands of special cash-register systems from VeriFone Systems Inc. and installing these at retail outlets in the two metros sometime in the next four months. Then customers with NFC enabled mobile devices can pay for their purchases by tapping in on these special registers.
With the recent release of Google's Android Web Market, app discovery site Appbrain's relevance has been threatened and perhaps they see a future in statistical reporting. The website has introduced a new tracking system for the Android Market, which they like to call "Appbrain Android Stats."
The initial offering from Appbrain's new service finds the following:
- There are now 150,000 apps available in the Market (this contradicts a report from Business Insider, which claims that there are currently 250,000 apps - we tend to think Apprain's is likely more accurate)
- The most popular Android phone among AppBrain users is the Samsung Galaxy S
- The most used Android version is Froyo
- The category with the most apps is 'Entertainment'
If charts are your thing, Appbrain has those too.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.