One of my greatest annoyances with Android, as a developer and an employee having to connect to my company's VPN, is the complete lack of attention to usability of VPN-related activities. Not only is it impossible to pull out a widget to connect to a VPN server, but Google apparently thought it wasn't useful (and so insecure that it shouldn't even be an option) to add the ability to save the VPN password. Sure, it's more secure to type it up every time, but I give you 3 tries before you want to pull out your hair, especially on a shaky connection.
In what is sure to ruffle a few feathers with Android users, a representative of a research company Wednesday sunk his teeth into Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb,' saying it is "by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks" (we were confused, as we thought that was a compliment). The analyst left little hope for mass adoption of the new tablet-tailored version of Android.
In his note to investors, Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research said Android 3.0 is doomed to fail next to Apple's iPad 2. He blames Google's background on the web as the culprit for the spanking he expects the OS to take.
the iPhone MIUI should be happy to hear that Beta 1 of MIUI Weather has been released to the public, and can now be downloaded in APK form. It looks every bit as beautiful as what we've come to expect from MIUI, and is done in a style to match other MIUI offerings (namely, the browser, ROM, and clock).
The app does have geolocation, but users need to download different APKs depending on their region - for example, there's an APK specifically for Europe, and there are 5 for the US (broken up alphabetically).
I won't lie: I have no qualms about calling shenanigans on this one, especially considering the recent Nokia/Microsoft alliance. So with that said, let's proceed to examine what is, most likely, the latest entry in the Android Photoshop fail series:
Indeed, it appears that Nokia and Google have overcome their differences and created an almost button-less, Deezer-running Android phone for the masses... or so says Orange. Reality, of course, begs to differ.
Source: PointGPhone (thanks, Adrian)
Way to pour salt on your customers' wounds there,
Verizon authorized Verizon retailer: pictures have surfaced of a new flyer arriving in customers' homes (obtained by Droid Life) that shows the HTC Thunderbolt with the words "Now Available" beneath it. No, this isn't an unexpected dream come true for Verizon customers, it seems like a flub by an authorized dealer (it's unclear to us which one) that certainly can't help calm the restless natives.
Despite the rhetorical wrangling we heard from a Verizon exec yesterday about being on track with LTE phones, this flyer appears to confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that Verizon had originally intended for its first LTE smartphone to be available much earlier than that.
If you're anything like me, you text constantly. There are times, however, that I put my phone down and hop on the computer to do some more in-depth tasks or just enjoy some good, old-fashioned big-screen browsing. When I'm doing that, it's usually a pain to receive a text message, have to dig out my phone, open the messaging app, and use a tiny keyboard to reply, even though I'm sitting at a much larger, easier to use keyboard. Well, that's not a problem anymore - now I've got Texty.
Texty is an app that will forward your text messages directly from your phone to your desktop (specifically, Chrome) using cloud magic and allow you to reply from your computer through your phone's messaging app.
It seems evil-doers' depravity knows no bounds: we've just heard word from Symantec that an infected version of Google's Android Market Security Tool March 2011 is floating around the "black markets" - meaning it's not in the Android Market, but it is floating around the 'net in APK form. Luckily, it's not nearly as bad as DroidDream (the malware it was designed to remove), but it's malware nonetheless.
Specifically, Justin says it's closely related to (or possibly the same as) "Fake 10086" malware. Asian users seem to be getting the brunt of it, and it collects information such as IMEI, phone number, and other minor tidbits, which it then uploads to this site.
Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.
Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:
- misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
- blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
- re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance
Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop.
If you are an indie developer who has had success with iOS apps, your prospects of porting your work to Android may have just improved. Social gaming platform OpenFeint and Chinese game operator The9 have committed unknown portions of a staggering $100 million fund to help move things along. The two companies will review games based on quality, downloads, and the strength of the game developer to determine who the lucky beneficiaries will be.
It was reported elsewhere that an entire $100 million was being allocated exclusively for porting from iOS to Android, but that was a misinterpretation: the $100 million Fund9 also supports "mobile app, game engine, and platform technology developers around the world." It is currently unknown exactly what portion of this will be devoted to Android development, but we certainly welcome any of it as good news.
It appears that a major glitch like the recent SMS bug can help spur on support even for an ancient (in Android years at least) phone. The original Motorola Droid will start receiving an OTA update today, sporting several crucial messaging-related bug fixes. Update FRG83G brings the Droid's Froyo version up to 2.2.2.
Released over 16 months ago, the OG Droid has actually been fairly well-maintained by Moto, launching with Android 2.0 'Eclair,' and now running an updated build of Froyo. In addition to several property space exploits (like rageagainstthecage) that were patched with 2.2.2, the SMS-related changes to this update include:
- Sporadic issues with unintended recipient list corrected for text, picture, video and audio multimedia messages
- Correct message populates when messaging application is opened and quickly accessed
While this may not be the Gingerbread update some have been hoping for, there is always CM7 for that, right?