When Google launched the Android Device Manager in early August, I applauded the initiative because we finally got a much-needed security solution that was built into every Android devices that ships with Google's services. Rather, it was a good start, since the functionality was so limited: location, remote wipe, and alarm.
For the last two days, I've been digging around the new Google Play Services APK 3.2.64 that started rolling out to Android devices everywhere. If you remember, Google Play Services is the company's secret weapon to combat lack of device updates, as Google can push new functionality to everyone without the need for OS patches. Read More
Mozilla UI Engineer Lucas Rocha, in a post to his blog earlier today, announced Firefox's "biggest UI change … since [its] first native release back in June last year."
The UI update, Rocha explains, includes a completely redesigned and rewritten Awesomescreen, which combines the interactive and functional aspects of the start page and the old Awesomescreen into one page with super-smooth swipable tabs. For those who aren't familiar with Mozilla's mobile browser, the Awesomescreen allows users to quickly get a handle on their bookmarks and browsing history.
As the post notes, the new interface is indeed much lighter, cleaner, and smoother than before. Read More
HTC has already looked to metal as a defining characteristic of its flagship phone. Now the company is turning to the Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., himself in hopes of turning around the company's waning brand perception and getting their highly capable smartphones into the hands of more consumers. HTC has launched a series of ads starring Downey as they kick off their new "Change" branding campaign, and thanks to a two-year contract, we can expect to see the actor pushing the company for quite some time.
The idea here is that HTC inspires innovation not by being change you can believe in, but by being anything you want it to be. Read More
Google recently updated its SDK license terms for the first time in a long while. While most changes are minor, one change has been grabbing quite a few headlines – Google's proclamation that those using the SDK are disallowed from taking "any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android". Here's the full clause in question:
3.4 You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.
When Google first announced Google Drive, the company made waves, if not by being better than Dropbox, then at least by being cheaper. 100GB of storage on Google Drive was $4.99 a month to Dropbox's $19.99. Well, today Dropbox is getting closer to being competitive with Google by increasing the amount of storage for its Pro users.
From Dropbox's blog entry on the subject:
Today we’re happy to announce that our upgrades are getting a huge upgrade! Dropbox Pro now comes in flavors of 100 and 200 GB, but at the price of the original 50 and 100 GB plans.
Sprint customers now have one more self-service option when managing their account online. A couple of days earlier than its official launch, the carrier has begun allowing users to change their phone number online, thereby avoiding the $15 fee charged when switching numbers via phone or in-store.
Inside Sprint Now indicates that while this feature is being labeled a "benefit," it may actually be a cost-cutting maneuver, executed in an attempt to reduce the number of calls to customer care, thereby saving some money.
While this may be a simple cost-cutting move on Sprint's part, it's always great to see enhanced account control becoming available to consumers.If you are looking to change your number easily (and more importantly without charge), just log in to your Sprint account online and head over to the (now live) "change phone number" page here. Read More
Looks like Motorola cancelled the soak test due to "deployment issues." Word has it that the update could still happen sometime next week.
DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX users excited for an Ice Cream Sandwich update by last week's Best Buy screenshot should brace themselves for some bad news – it looks like the aforementioned devices won't be getting Ice Cream Sandwich just yet after all.
According to a letter being sent out to members of Motorola's Feedback Network, the soak test slated to begin tomorrow simply brings an update to build number 6.12.181 with various enhancement and bug fixes. Read More
In a move that is likely to upset every single AT&T customer to some degree, the nation's number two carrier has decided that its current upgrade fee (a cost tacked on whenever a current customer renews their contract and gets a new phone) isn't covering the rising cost of subsidized smartphones. The current upgrade fee is $18, and will soon be doubled to $36, matching the current fee at Sprint.
At T-Mobile, the current cost is $18. At Verizon, there isn't one. Certainly puts things into perspective. Of course, the one thing to remember about fees is that a little sweet talking to a customer representative can often help you avoid them in the first place. Read More
ATRIX 4G users rejoice - HSUPA will soon be here, and without any sort of hacky flashing requiring root access. The official Motorola update page for the ATRIX 4G's latest OTA, 4.1.83, has appeared on Motorola's website today. Here's the change log "highlights" according to Moto:
Increased speed at which data can travel on the network.
Improvements to prevent interruptions to data connection.
Improvements to prevent screen from freezing.
Improved ability for users to receive email notifications so you know when you have a new message. Also, improvements were made so that you are now able to use the same email login to access both MOTOBLUR™ and YouTube.