Well, it's official - the "project" Xoom owners have been waiting for is an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, meant as a soak test, expected to last through the weekend. Moto has begun pushing the new software as of 9pm PST. An anonymous tipster has provided us with shots of a private section of Motorola's official XOOM support forum, which confirm that the update is going live to those lucky enough to join the test group.
As we already know, Sprint is going to roll out its next generation 4G LTE network in four U.S. cities somewhere around mid-2012, and it would only make sense that they already have some of the towers undergoing testing. The first of such alleged tests surfaced online today:
While I can't promise you it's 100% legitimate, here's my analysis:
- The device used is more than likely a dedicated LTE hotspot and not a handset (like the LTE Galaxy Nexus).
Everyone knows and loves Dropbox, and with build 18.104.22.168, its Android version is about to get even better. For now it's but a preview -- a "forum build," by official Dropbox terminology -- though we'd expect that to change soon, as in my experience it seems quite stable.
The main addition here is "optimization" for Android 4.0, presumably consisting mainly of performance tweaks. Additionally, the update features:
- support for foreign languages
- quick offline access to files ("favorites")
- the ability to bulk upload photos and videos
- the option to rename files and folders
- single-tap access to all file and folder actions
- an improved gallery
- uploading from and exporting to local storage
- the obligatory bug fixes
Over the past week, I've been in contact with Sprint about the demise of their network's data speeds, especially in the 3G department. As many of you were also in the same boat, we saw quite a bit of interest and started collecting information on the situation, which resulted in this knowledge dump on Sunday - read it if you haven't yet done so.
Among the tidbits of info Sprint techs let out, one was especially interesting - a round of tower upgrades that were supposed to be completed on October 31st.
Sprint has network problems. Major problems. And they've gotten a lot worse lately. Really, really bad. Not all areas are affected - and in fact some have improved already, but more and more areas are getting so bad that Sprint's 3G data is completely unusable there, especially since the introduction of the iPhone. Troubleshooting and update my phone's "profile" and PRL didn't help, as evident from the screenshot #2 you see below.
While Facebook for Android is one of the most popular applications on the Android Market, it is not very well received by a lot of people due to an abundance of bugs and, more importantly, tons of missing functionality compared to both the site and the iOS app.
Earlier this month, the Facebook Android team stopped by Reddit to ask the community for suggestions. Almost 1000 upvotes and over 1000 comments later, they had their work cut out for them.
Update 2: You can now get a fully-flashable ROM of the Gingerbread test build for the DROID Incredible, and it includes a new radio baseband version as well.
An independent test conducted by a research firm in New York City comparing the speeds of Verizon's and Sprint's respective 4G networks has made at least one thing clear: Big Red owns the Big Apple. After conducting over 1000 individual network speed tests in various locations throughout the city, BTIG Research tallied up the averages, and it's not a pretty picture for Sprint:
The connections were tethered through an HTC Thunderbolt and an HTC EVO 4G, respectively
You're seeing that right - Verizon's 4G LTE is averaging a whopping 10.3Mbps (down) when on a laptop tethered to an HTC Thunderbolt, while the EVO 4G barely eeks out 1.6.
If you use Dropbox on your Android device and either like to live on the edge or help the company test out the latest betas, you will want to check out this post on the Dropbox forums, announcing a new public beta v22.214.171.124 with some new translations, Honeycomb improvements, new Lock Code support for the security-conscious, and other fixes. Forum replies also indicated that some sort of a folder opening bug got fixed in the process, though I am not sure what exactly that bug was in the first place.
February 2nd was an exciting day for Android fans - we were given an in-depth preview of Honeycomb, laid our eyes on some stunning 3D tablet games, and were even treated to a much-anticipated online version of the Android Market. But 2/2/2011 was also the fateful day that spelled "doom" for lite / demo versions of Android apps, as Google unveiled their new in-app billing system.
Today, Google made another announcement regarding in-app purchases: the feature will launch publicly next week.