Manufacturer user interfaces (UIs) can be a bit of a hot-button topic in the Android world. Some prefer vanilla Android, à la CyanogenMod. Others have no issue with them whatsoever, and even actively seek to restore some of the functionality. (Others still prefer to roll their own, or like the ability to switch at will...
We've all heard it time and time again: generally speaking, people hate manufacturer skins on Android phones, i.e. Blur, Touchwiz, Sense, etc. I realize that not everyone falls into this category, but I think it's probably safe to say that the bulk of Android users do. It looks like we're not the only ones that are opposed to manufactures gumming up our beloved Android with their custom overlays - Virgin Mobile, a prepaid subsidiary of Sprint, has taken a pro-stock-Android approach to all of its devices.
We often report on things that only affect us here in the US, but other areas of the world aren't out of our realm of coverage, either. Thanks to a tipster, we have reason to believe that the Gingerbread update for the Scandinavian variant of the LG G2x/Optimus 2X/LGP990 has been delayed from Summer to Fall of 2011 - if the Swedish LG site is correct, that is.
Translation courtesy of Google
The Swedish LG site doesn't seem to be the only one reporting this timeline change - the Danish and Norwegian sites are also reporting the same thing.
Love it or hate it, Angry Birds is a massively popular game. Even if it may be a bit played out and past its prime, that doesn't make this any less entertaining: T-Mobile created a real-world, life-size Angry Birds Live game in Barcelona, controllable via an Android device. The results are cooler than you'd expect, and the short (1:40) video is worth a watch.
Certainly puts a smile on your face, doesn't it?
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.
Earlier last week, we got some leaked information about the upcoming tablet from Toshiba called Thrive. Today I had the opportunity to meet Philip Osako, Director of Product Marketing at Toshiba, who gave us a demonstration and a little more background on the development of the Thrive. Starting June 13th you will be able to pre-order the tablet at all major retailors starting at $429 for the 8GB version, $479 for the 16GB, and $579 for the glorious 32GB version.
You saw some of the leaked Bionic pictures earlier today, but now thanks to PhoneHK we can give you even more information about the upcoming monster of a Motorola handset. First and foremost, this thing will (at least according to this test unit) be running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread right out of the gate:
That's a relief. If the Bionic had shipped with Froyo, Motorola might have had a user rebellion on its hands.
It's that time of the month once again, Google has updated the platform version distribution charts for Android, and Gingerbread is finally gaining steam:
Gingerbread now makes up a whole 9.2% of the Android ecosystem, and the Gingerbread source has been publicly available for 6 months as of today. Froyo still dominates, at around 65%, with Éclair placing second. Pre-2.1 devices now account for less than 5% of the total, which really makes the whole 2-year device-life logic seem rather silly.
AC's Jerry Hildenbrand makes some very valid points about why that just doesn't quite seem right, if a bit (understandably) bitterly. As an Android lover and power user, I'm more than inclined to agree.
Welcome back to another lovely edition of our Boot Animation Roundup! We've been scouring the net for the past couple of weeks looking for the coolest boot animations that we could find, and here's what we came up with: a hungry Android, the guts of a Gingerbread man, a new take on a classic, some TRON-esque lovin', and a little somethin' somethin' for all the gamers out there.