I think it's safe to say that Android is the best thing to happen to smartphones since the iPhone (though, I'll admit, I may be a wee bit biased). Without a doubt, the massive success of the operating system is due in large part to its openness; the ability for devices to share fundamental code, while still allowing for an amazing amount of customization, has provided something for consumers, carriers, and manufacturers that Apple would never match.
T-Mobile just announced their upcoming Valentine's Day sale: all smartphones will be free on a new 2-year agreement, upgrade, or the addition of a new line from February 11-12. This includes all two of T-Mobile's available HSPA+ devices: the G2 and myTouch 4G. Why this Valentine's day sale doesn't actually take place on Valentine's day is somewhat obvious: a slew of new Android handsets will probably be announced that day at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Want in on the Galaxy S action but not interested in any features like a front-facing camera or HSPA+? T-Mobile has a deal for you! Now until January 26 at 10:00 pm (PT), the Samsung Vibrant is free with a two-year contract, and is only available online. So, if you really can't wait a few more weeks for the Galaxy S 4G, this is probably the time to act.
Source: T-Mobile Twitter
Though Google may have fixed two infamous SMS issues via the recent Android 2.2.2 and 2.3.2 updates, it appears at least one bug is still unconquered. Namely, some users are reporting that when they tap on the "New Message" alert in the notification bar, all their SMS conversations get deleted.
Our tipster experienced this on his HTC Desire Z, but he tells us that two of his friends - one using a Nexus One and the other on a Galaxy S - have come across the same bug.
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. The list this week is MASSIVE - way to go, devs!
Looking for the previous week's roundup? Find it here: 13 Best New Android Apps And Games From Last Week (1/13/11 – 1/17/11)
Best New Android Apps
Android Police coverage: Updated: Kongregate Arcade Launches On Android With 300+ Flash-Based Games
Arcade is a mini-Market, containing currently over 300 free Flash games, hand-picked by Kongregate.
It appears that T-Mobile is staying true to its word when it comes the Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Vibrant - the much-anticipated software upgrade is now slowly but surely rolling out.
There's a catch, though: it's only available through Samsung's Kies Mini software (which runs exclusively on Windows - sorry, OS X users). We aren't yet sure if/when an OTA update will accompany this Kies Mini version, but here's what we do know: the update's build number is UVKA6, and it contains T-Mobile TV and WiFi calling in addition to all the usual Froyo goodies.
In the past few weeks, we've seen multiple accusations portraying Samsung as the bad guy in the Galaxy S Froyo upgrade drama in the U.S. First, there were many delays, followed by the update finally rolling out pretty much everywhere outside the U.S. Then, all anonymous and unconfirmed, an accusation that T-Mo's new Vibrant 4G was the reason for the, possibly indefinite, delay and a report that Samsung charges U.S. carriers for Android updates, later denied by Samsung.
It doesn't seem like it, but just a year and a few days ago, Google made available the first handset to bear the Nexus name - and what a long way we've come since. When the Nexus One was released, there were cries of "iPhone killer" and of Google entering the handset arena in direct competition with Apple. While the latter assertion remains debatable - the first does not. The Nexus One was a near-total commercial failure next to the iPhone 3GS, and even the original Motorola DROID ate the Nexus One for breakfast in terms of sales.
Well, if there was any lesson against being an early adopter, let it be this: TmoNews has gotten ahold of some official T-Mobile slides that give details on the Samsung Vibrant 4G, an update to T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S that will make any current VIbrant owner cringe:
- Full HSPA+ connectivity
- Front-facing camera with Qik (not Skype) pre-loaded and still no flash on the rear camera
- Android 2.2 Froyo
By full HSPA+ connectivity, I mean that the Vibrant 4G is able to reach download speeds of 21 Mbps (2.6 MB/s) and above, while T-Mobile's current 4G phones, the MyTouch 4G and G2, are limited to 14.4 Mbps, or just under 2 MB/s.
Having long been rumored, Hulu Plus for Android was finally confirmed during Samsung's press conference at CES. During the Keynote, Hulu's CEO Jason Kilar demoed the app running on the Samsung Galaxy S, announcing, for the first time, that the subscription service was being developed for Android.
Google and Hulu have not always seen eye-to-eye, so it was fortuitous that Samsung was able to mend the bridges and bring this amazing service to the Android platform.