Boy, do we ever have some fantastic news for the AOSP ROM-loving crowd: CyanogenMod nightlies are finally back, meaning the first official CM7 builds are rolling out as I type this. Sure, they're probably moderately buggy (although generally, CM nightlies are still pretty good), and yeah, they may be missing some features - but let's be frank: it'll still probably be one of the most solid Gingerbread builds around, regardless of what device you're using.
Following on from their press release on Wednesday, Sony Ericsson invited the media this morning to a designated conference room at the Hard Rock Hotel for some play time with their newest Android device. We spent over an hour with the handset to get an idea of what to expect when it hits the market.
The reps there acknowledged the difficulties they had experienced with their previous Android handsets, and showed what appeared to be decisive commitment to putting those hold-ups behind them. With the Xperia arc (sic), Sony Ericsson has trumped its competition at CES with the first Gingerbread device to be announced since the Nexus S.
Just days after Kaz Hirai teased the world with talk of Sony's future in smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation brand (all without confirming or denying the existence of a PlayStation phone), Chinese site IT168 has posted an in-depth review of the engineering version that they managed to get ahold of. Not only is the PSP Phone very real; from the looks of it, the device is almost ready for prime time.
Before delving into the details, here are the specifications and features that we are working with:
- Qualcomm Adreno 205
- 1GHz Snapdragon Processor
- 1,500 mAh battery
- 4" LCD display with 854 x 480 resolution
- 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash (720p video recording unconfirmed)
- 512 MB RAM
- 512 MB ROM
- Micro SD slot
- SIM Slot
- Micro USB
- Rear Mic for noise cancellation
- Android 2.3
The design of the PlayStation Phone is comparable to the form factor of the PSP go, so avid mobile gamers can rest assured that the hardware controls will blow traditional touch screen controls out of the water in terms of precision.
It's been a very confusing ride trying to figure out the official version number of Honeycomb, what exactly Honeycomb will be, and what devices will get it. Thanks to CES 2011, though, we're finally getting some answers.
Today at CES, a member of Tweakers.net got his hands on one of those new Sony Xperia Arcs that turned out to be running what looks like an early build of Android 2.4.
As per usual, Google has updated their Android Platform Version Chart, which gives us a clear indication of how many devices are running each version of Android, based on Market usage. The results won't shock anybody, but they do say good things about the current state of fragmentation in Android. Froyo continues it dominance, taking over half of the chart, while Android 2.1 still remains strong with 35%, likely due in large part to the massive number of Galaxy S phones still running it. Our obsolete friends, Cupcake and Donut, continue to fall into obscurity, although devices running them are unlikely to be updated.
Sony Ericsson has always had upgrade issues when it came to Android - with the X10, the X10 Mini, and the X10 Mini Pro just recently receiving the update to Éclair (2.1), the majority of Xperia users have been deprived of the numerous features available in Android 2.x. Recently, with leaks of the Playstation Phone (a.k.a. Xperia Play) and the Anzu (a.k.a. X12), it has been made clear that Sony is most likely coming with back with a storm of devices with up-to-date firmware and its usual competitive hardware.
Today, we have a couple of leaked photos of a smaller Xperia phone, similar to the X10 Mini series.
A few days after releasing the Android 2.3 SDK, Google officially pushed Gingerbread to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Shortly thereafter, developers (such as the CyanogenMod crew) immediately started working on their custom ROMs based on the AOSP code (e.g. CyanogenMod 7).
It has only been a few days since CyanogenMod released version 6.1.1, their most recent stable update, so it's still likely to be a few weeks before a stable release of CM 7 is available. Nevertheless, a group of eager CM developers and enthusiasts have taken the liberty of packaging early unstable releases of CM 7 (with Android 2.3 Gingerbread) for a variety of Android devices.
The Nexus S may have just been released, and it may be running the latest version of Android - but Samsung and Google aren't holding back on software updates. Instead, the two have teamed up to release the first OTA update for the device, which contains "important bug fixes" as well as the latest version of Google Maps. Don't feel like waiting for the update to hit your device? The file is already available to download from Google's servers, so after this, you can simply flash it as you would any other ZIP file:
As exciting as seeing the Gingerbread keyboard leak out was, the fact remained that users stuck on Android 2.1 or below couldn't join in on the fun, and the same went for users of non-rooted devices.
Fortunately, the Android community rests not, and the keyboard has been neatly packaged into an APK and posted for all to see. Thanks to XDA-Developers member hotaru, both Éclair-running and non-rooted handsets can now access Google's latest input method.
Prepare your party gear and break out the keg, people: Google is officially starting the push of Gingerbread to AOSP (Android Open Source Project) as we speak. Jean-Baptiste Queru just announced that fact, saying he was going to begin pushing the code to the AOSP, and the process is expected to take a few hours.
What does that mean for you? ROMs built on AOSP code (such as CyanogenMod) will now have access to Gingerbread, so expect CyanogenMod for Gingerbread (CM7?) to start cooking shortly. Since the code is now finalized, it also means that Google will likely start pushing out the Gingerbread update to the Nexus One.