It its ever-expanding conquest for mobile domination, Verizon Wireless will be turning on 4G LTE connectivity in 15 more cities across the nation, as well as expanding in 10 existing markets, on Thursday, August 18th.
In the past eight months, VZW has expanded its 4G LTE network to cover over half of the US, putting it on track to bring LTE to more than 185 million Americans by the end of the year.
Well, it's only taken about five months, but Verizon XOOM owners will finally be able to make use of that lovely microSD slot on the side of their tablet. Of course, the OTA update in question does a fair bit more than allow you to up your XOOM's already robust storage. Take a look at this list:
While Verizon (they're the ones publishing the update) doesn't explicitly state that the update, dubbed HTJ85 (has a nice ring to it, right?), brings Android 3.2 to the XOOM, it's clearly implied by the addition of "Screen Scaling Compatibility Mode" - a feature of Android 3.2 that we talked about a while ago.
While not entirely unexpected, Verizon and Samsung have pulled a bit of a ninja act with the LTE Tab 10.1. We haven't heard a word about it lately, yet an official announcement has just landed in our inbox announcing it will go on sale in two days. The ubertablet will run from $530 for the 16GB model to $630 for the 32GB model, a $30 premium over the WiFi version. As an added bonus, Tab 10.1 purchasers will get a free $25 credit for the Samsung Media Hub.
I'm not sure how well this 4G-ified Tab 10.1 is going to do in terms of sales, but it's coming nonetheless. And in four flavors! And by that, I mean there's two storage options (16GB or 32GB) and two color options (grey or white):
These prices are, of course, subsidized with a new 2-year data contract. How subsidized? Try $100 off (yes, that's all). Sounds like Verizon is super confident about this thing, too.
P3Droid of MyDroidWorld has scored an early (debug) Gingerbread build for the Samsung Fascinate, and it's apparently quite polished. So far P3 and Justin (of AndIRC) are the only two to have laid hands on the build, but the issues they have found are that Tetris force closes, Google Maps isn't pre-installed, and some market apps don't show. Otherwise, they say it's a very solid build. P3 has provided a quick (37 second) video preview:
Justin was also kind enough to snap a few quick photos:
Nielsenwire released new smartphone figures this morning, with a focus on data consumption. Topping the list of the data consumers amongst the smartphone OS's was, of course, Android.
The average Android user utilizes 582MB (or roughly .6GB) of data per month - far less than what is allocated by any of the major carrier's plans. We often hear about consumers becoming feisty over data plan tier-ification or throttling, but how many people do these caps and throttles actually affect?
It looks like VZW has an update ready for the Droid Charge that should be hitting handsets pretty soon - but it's not Gingerbread. It's mostly a bug fixer, so don't expect anything too astounding to come from it, although the info on Big Red's site does make mention of improved switching between 3G and 4G LTE, which was one of the biggest gripes we had with our review unit.
Other fixes include improved battery life, improved GPS performance, an updated email folder structure, better email and calendar sync with Exchange, and a lot more.
If you've been watching the blogosphere over the last few days, you might have seen an article or two about a "complaint" filed with the FCC over Verizon's block on tethering applications in the Android Market.
The complainant's argument goes something like this: Verizon purchased the 700MHz spectrum ("block C" of the spectrum) back in 2007, and that spectrum is now used by Verizon for its 4G LTE service. That purchase, ala Google and other net neutrality lobbyists, came with one seemingly large caveat: Verizon (or AT&T, or anyone who bought in that spectrum) could not "deny, limit, or restrict" the phones using that spectrum in particular ways: phones must be carrier unlocked, able to access all parts of the web, and run any software.
After digging through a pile of pictures from the Chinese website Moto.it, a tipster at MobileGearz discovered what appear to be leaked shots of the upcoming Motorola DROID Bionic. So, without further ado, here they are:
Yep, that's a Webtop dock you're seeing. Not to mention a completely new and revamped version of BLUR, Motorola's generally hated UI overlay. I have to admit, this version of BLUR actually borders on attractive.
In typical speedy fashion, the official Gingerbread update for the Motorola Droid X has already been rooted and mirrored for mass consumption. Two versions are available, as is usual for releases of this nature: odexed and deodexed. The instructions aren't exactly simple, and you have to know what ROM and version you're currently running in order to properly update (then again, chances are that if you're rooted and ROMed in the first place, you probably already know those details).