If you use the stock browser on the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4, you may notice the strange button in the corner. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lumen Toolbar. It shipped on the S4, but Sprint is just now detailing it as part of the carrier's Pinsight Media+ mobile advertising program. You know those obnoxious toolbars that programs are always trying to cram on your PC? This is the same thing, but your carrier is doing it to you.
The FedEx man brought me a lovely little gift yesterday: The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II. This is the last stateside arrival of the Galaxy S II family. The review will take a bit to get out the door, so until then I figured I'd whet your appetite with some initial impressions.
First of all, this thing is big. Really big. I have to say though, I love the design of it.
It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).
Update: For those of you that thought this was too good to be true, you may be right. It turns out that most of the bloatware is still unremovable on the EVO 3D, so we'll just have to wait and see how Sprint handles this moving forward.
Yesterday we told you that all the unwanted junk bundled with the EVO 3D could be removed like any other app, a feature that no other phone/carrier had previously offered.
Android In Recent News
Fragmentation has been one of the biggest criticisms of the Android platform. Essentially, Google allows anybody to take the Android code and tweak it suit their own needs. This is how manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung are able to create custom layers (MotoBlur, Sense UI, and TouchWiz, respectively) over the vanilla Android interface and how some carriers load up new phones with crapware. Although this is a price to pay for openness and customizability, a recent study indicates that 86% of developers are unhappy with the state of Android fragmentation (24% of them describing it as a "huge problem").
One of the few tech blogs who managed to get their hands on Motorola's upcoming AT&T flagship - the Atrix 4G - is, of course, Engadget. The reviewer, unsurprisingly, is the infamous cool geek and editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, who, from my experience reading Engadget's reviews, does a good overall job but fails to go into those details that matter to most Android users. The Atrix 4G review is exactly what I had expected, and I'm going to summarize it and save you 20 minutes reading it.
What a day for EVO 4G ROMs! Hot on the heels of the release of Fresh ROM for EVO, another former HTC Hero ROM developer damageless, notorious for his DamageControl Hero ROM, announced his version for the EVO.
DamageControl v3.0 is damageless' and his partner TrevE's first crack at customizing the EVO and making it both faster and much more battery efficient. First, a little introduction:
The ROM is faster and more efficient than the stock ROM due to optimizations and bloatware removal (yup, the bloated apps provided by Sprint and some HTC ones are moved to the SD card and disabled!).