Around a week ago, BLU issued a broken software update for its Life One X2 phone. In at least some cases, users who applied the update were locked out of their phones. Late this afternoon, BLU's official Twitter account—which, much to the chagrin of affected users, was silent on the subject for almost a week—issued a statement that the problem had been fixed via a new update.
As infrequently as budget phones are updated, owners of low-cost phones should be glad their phone is continuing to receive support. However, a software update released on November 28th for the BLU Life One X2 has users less than thrilled. On first boot, the phone displays a new password screen—unfortunately, nobody has the password. Without a way to unlock the phone, users are resorting to factory resetting the phones with mixed results.
For some of us, breaking a smartphone is unimaginable. For others, it's only a matter of time. Either way, it could pay to have your ducks in a row. Samsung has introduced a new device replacement plan, and since no less than 107% of the world's phones were made by the manufacturer, a good number of people could benefit from this. But it won't come cheap.
Samsung's "Protection Plus Mobile Elite" plan costs $99.99 and provides coverage for two years. This price doesn't mean you get a replacement device as soon as yours breaks. Instead, you will have to pay a service fee each time you issue a claim.
It was only three months ago that Android got SEGA's latest entry in the obligatory kart racing genre, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Now the sequel, which came out a year later on the consoles, has graced our platform only a day behind iOS. But don't reach for your wallets just yet: there are some serious issues with Sonic Racing Transformed that might mean it's not worth the $5 entry fee. I'll elaborate below.
Sonic Racing Transformed puts a few new ideas into the tired kart racing genre, with vehicles that change from cars to boats to planes at different sections of each track.
Update: The Verge has a response straight from the horse's mouth. It doesn't completely dismiss the idea of local content playback, but it doesn't exactly justify Google's disabling of the feature, either. Basically it's a "hurry up and wait" situation - we won't know exactly how Google intends to go forward until the developer preview for the SDK ends.
We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It's still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only.
CyanogenMod 10 is still cooking, and heck, CM9 isn't even fully baked for all devices yet. That hasn't stopped Steve Kondik, aka the guy who puts the Cyanogen in CyanogenMod, from posting preview builds of CM10 over on XDA for the AT&T and T-Mobile Galaxy S III variants. Plus, a third preview build being posted for the Sprint version by another developer. Keep in mind, of course, that "preview build" translates into "absolutely nothing is guaranteed to work." It is exciting, nonetheless.
The threads go out of their way to point out that CM10 isn't even close to being ready to ship and that just about everything that could go wrong probably will.
If you own a Sony SmartWatch, you may want to ignore the impending update to the SmartWatch app on the Play Store right now. Some users are reporting that, after updating the required app, their watches are experiencing random reboots, notifications no longer working, and random disconnects. We've reached out to Sony for comment, but so far we've heard nothing back.
It appears that version 1.2.33 of the software began causing problems. The current app has now been bumped to version 1.2.34, however it's unclear if this update fixes the problem and allows users to upgrade safely. What is clear is that if you already updated to 1.2.33, and your device was then bricked, you won't be able to update to 1.2.34, as the device disconnects right away.
The YouTube app just received an update to bring a few new features, including a +1 button, "watch later" queue, and the ability to upload while editing video info, along with one unexpected issue. The app description now says it's for Android 2.2-2.3.3, and, as a result, isn't showing up on devices running other versions, including Honeycomb tablets. Despite this, I was able to pull the update on my Incredible running CM7 (Android 2.3.7), although Artem couldn't even see YouTube in the Market on his stock rooted Epic 4G Touch (Android 2.3.4).
I'm sure that Google will push a quick fix to this, but in the meantime you can grab the apk from here and sideload it without issues.
The Honeycomb SDK preview, allowing everyone to take a peek and play around with Honeycomb using the Android emulator, was launched yesterday, but after we got past the initial excitement, we found that the emulator itself was dog slow and pretty much unusable. In fact, it was so frustrating to use it that I wanted to punch walls and rip out my hair after 5 minutes with it. And I'm not even going to talk about orientation problems - how the Android team managed to ship the SDK with orientation broken by default (there is a fix for it in the Settings > Display) is beyond me and beyond the scope of this article.
Motorola's ruggedized DEFY (which our own Brad Ganley reviewed) is a pretty cool phone. In my book, any time you can stick a gadget in a glass of water (or beer, as the case may be) with absolutely zero negative repercussions, I'm interested. The DEFY is no poser - Motorola's made the first industrial-strength Android.
Unfortunately, a substantial number of users across the globe are reporting a fatal flaw with the device, and surprisingly it's not MOTOBLUR-related. The earpiece speaker, which is necessary to actually hear the person you're talking to, is failing on DEFY devices that are only weeks old.