I'm usually not too fond of carrier's bloatware, manufacturer's skins, and other causes of lag and potential frustration for end users (not to mention that I'm especially skeptical when it's coming from AT&T), but AT&T's new U-verse Mobile app for Android isn't looking too bad. To be clear, this isn't anything new; the app's already been available for the iPhone, the Blackberry, and the Xbox 360 in addition to being available on Windows Phone 7 devices at launch, but now it's made its way to our operating system of choice!
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.
CLIQ XT owners may experience slight excitement reading this, but only slight - the OTA update version 1.32.20 rolling out now to CLIQ XTs around the country does not contain Android 2.1 - it's merely an incremental update over its existing ancient OS (what is it, 1.5 nowadays?). This update showed up a couple of days ago as a limited beta test, and, thankfully, it didn't take Motorola long to open the flood gates to all CLIQ XT owners.
Motorola may have brought us the original Droid - one of the most game-changing Android devices ever - but with phones like the Backflip, the Cliq XT, and the Charm, it looks like they want to back down into the days of the Razr once more.
According to a recent FCC filing, Motorola will soon introduce a device with the model number i866, which will feature:
- a dual keypad design with a numeric keypad on the front as well as a full QWERTY keyboard when slid open
- iDEN technology, meaning PTT support (Push To Talk)
- Android (we've confirmed it by looking at what you can see in the 2nd screenshot from the filing)
What it won't feature: a touchscreen.
Those rumors about T-Mobile bringing WiFi calling capabilities to future Android devices are looking less like rumors and more like reality every day now; according to Engadget, a future Motorola Android device codenamed the "Begonia" will feature that capability as well as:
- Android 2.2 FroYo (with MotoBlur)
- an "interesting" keyboard design
- 3G hotspot capabilities
- a November 1 release date
Engadget's tipster also noted that the Begonia will succeed the original Motorola Cliq, which was already long in the tooth at the beginning of this year and which won't be seeing an update to Android 2.1 until Q4.
Well, it looks like Motorola's updates to Android 2.1 Eclair updates aren't the only things leaving users hopelessly disappointed due to delays; Stefano Giovannoni's AlessiTab, which promises to be the ultimate kitchen device, has just been delayed from its scheduled release date of October to a vague point in November of this year. Worse still (at least for us who live in the United States), the home tablet will initially launch exclusively in Italy, and for the price of €399 (about $535), which is a full €99 more than what it was originally priced at.
I've had this article in mind for quite some time now, but haven't mustered up the courage to do it in fear of upsetting fanboys. But when the Fascinate shipped with Bing rather than Google as the default search engine, I could hold off no longer. For a Google Android phone to ship with a search engine other than Google, the search engine I know, love, and use on a daily basis (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here) is unthinkable; not offering a way to change it is even more of an outrage.
OK, so it isn't exactly number one on our list of hotly anticipated Android devices, but if you're on Telus and you're looking for a solid Android phone that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it's not like you have a whole lot of options (unless, of course, you're dying for a phone that flips the wrong way).
Indeed, the Samsung Galaxy Apollo, a newly announced low-end Android phone for Telus, features yawn-inspiring specs like:
- a 3.2" 480x320 LCD display
- a 3 MP camera
- an HSPA radio
- 150 MB of onboard storage
- a 2 GB microSD card out of the box
As you can probably see, there's a good reason the Apollo isn't a member of the Galaxy S family of phones, although it does appear to share the same TouchWiz 3.0 skin (see pictures below).
Motorola has, once again, updated its timeline for device upgrades and has changed the expected Android 2.1 update time for the CLIQ, CLIQ XT, and the Backflip to be late Q3 to early Q4 of this year.
This is supposedly good news, but haven't CLIQ/CLIQ XT/Backflip users already waited long enough? Motorola seems to be throwing salt in customers' wounds by pushing this upgrade back. Not only do the owners of these devices now have to wait longer for an update, but the update they are waiting for has already become antiquated.
Getting my hands on the Charm was no mean feat. Motorola didn’t seem keen to send out review units to anyone in a hurry, so I took it upon myself to go buy one, under the pretext of it being a gift for my girlfriend (she has a Nokia 1661 for chrissakes).
That in itself was quite a quest, as not a single store in the state of Maine seemed to have one in stock.