Come Friday, June 10, Sprint subscribers with 4G coverage will be treated to a pleasant surprise: the WiMAX uplink speed cap will increase from 1.0Mbps to 1.5Mbps.
Obviously, the 1.5Mbps upload speed won't be consistent everywhere, as reception varies (significantly, with Sprint). Also notable is that if you're using a "fixed device" (i.e. a Motorola 4G desktop modem), you won't be affected; the 1.0Mbps speed cap is on your device to stay.
Nevertheless, we're sure EVO and Epic 4G users will be happy to hear about these changes - faster upload speeds are always good news, even if competitors don't even have such caps.
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.
A few minutes ago, the Facebook team account came back to Reddit to announce the first fruit of their labor - an upcoming 1.6 release, featuring:
Improved News Feed including comment liking
Many bug fixes
Unfortunately, not everyone is invited as the beta test is private for the time being, so you'll have to fill out this form and see if you are granted access.
Photo syncing is not a novel idea at all - there are countless solutions that do it on a regular basis, but instant photo uploading the moment it is taken is something I've been looking forward to for a long time. And now it's here, thanks to Chris Soyars, aka ctso - one of the senior CyanogenMod developers.
Chris's new app, DropSnap, has a very simple purpose - get your photos synced up to the cloud the moment you take them. I'm not exaggerating - it really is that fast (of course, depending on your data connection). For example, on Wi-Fi, freshly snapped pictures were synced to Dropbox and back to my computer before I could open my mouth and say "Android rocks".
Users of Synology branded NAS (network attached storage) boxes have been pleading with the company for a long time to add Android support for direct file management to the existing suite of apps - DS Audio, DS Photo+, and DS Cam. While having apps dedicated to remotely playing music, looking at pictures, and monitoring cameras is great, the primary functionality one would naturally want from a pile of hard drives attached to the network is, well, file management. Think Dropbox, except instead of the cloud, you use your own NAS box.
DS File, released a few hours ago by Synology, plugs this gaping hole perfectly.
One problem that Android app developers (specifically game developers) have had to face is the size limit for apps in the Android Market, because up until now it's been a measly 50MB. For most apps that is more than enough, but for others - like graphically intense games, for example - it's not even close, so developers had to jump through hoops and implement downloading of additional resources manually. Remember Spectral Souls with its 1GB of data?
Good news, though - today at I/O, Google announced that as of June 2011, the Market will support apps of up to 4GB (well, 4GB + 50MB) in size, which should be large enough to house just about any game we could possibly want on our devices.
Merger be damned, T-Mobile is continuing the expansion of its (potentially short-lived) 4G HSPA+ network, having added ten new cities, along with promising to double download speed caps in some major markets. The cities that have recently had T-Mobile 4G coverage activated include:
Battle Creek/Benton Harbor/Jackson, Michigan
Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
Wichita Falls, Texas
The major markets receiving the upgrade to theoretical 42Mbps HSPA+ (note: there are no 42Mbps HSPA+ phones out there) will first be Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York, with Chicago, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey following shortly after.
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.
Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire owners have had good reason to be upset with AT&T's "4G" network - due to the fact that HSUPA wasn't enabled on either of the two devices, users have been plagued with unbearably low upload speeds, and the announcement of an upcoming Atrix update that ignores the problem didn't seem like a good sign. Fortunately, AT&T has used its Facebook page to confirm that software updates enabling normal upload speeds are in the works and are expected to roll out some time in April.
AT&T also dropped some good news regarding the Samsung Infuse: the handset will launch with HSUPA already enabled, so nobody will have to wait for an update from Samsung there.
If you remember, during Google's Honeycomb showcase in the beginning of the month, one of the tablet-optimized apps demoed was made by CNN. Considering CNN is one of the Honeycomb/XOOM launch partners, the new app showed up in the Market like clockwork for an easily digestible price of free. For those who need a refresher, here's the video from the presentation again:
The CNN app features a swipable navigation bar on the left-hand side and a grid story layout on the right side. For video junkies, live video broadcasts as well as pre-recorded video segments are provided. Vocal activists among you will find the ability to leave comments satisfying.
Modder’s Column, formerly known as Modder’s Monday, is a column dedicated to rooting, hacking, and other forms of modifying Android and is written by Jaroslav Stekl, a man who spends his days coding, hacking, hiking, and of course, writing for Android Police.