23
Mar

In what can only be described as a truly "WTF" moment, an inside source has informed Information Week that Motorola is in the process of developing its own web-based mobile OS. The question everyone is undoubtedly wants to ask is "why?"

The insider cites Motorola's frustration with Google's support of manufacturers, Android's fragmentation problems, and the difficulty of product differentiation in an Android-saturated smartphone market. These things together, says the tipster, have led Moto to believe Google is "shooting itself in the foot." The source of this rumor cites the fact that Motorola has quietly been picking up numerous former Apple and Adobe employees to work on the project over the past few months.

23
Mar

Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung unveiled its revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the all-new Galaxy Tab 8.9 (check out our live coverage of the event). Unfortunately, that's about all Samsung did with them - neither was ever powered on. Samsung's CTIA exhibit housed the new devices in glass security cases (as you can see below), while early "prototypes" of the 8.9 and 10.1 running Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay were available for hands-on time, in order to demonstrate some of the software the company plans to include when the devices are released.

21
Mar
sprint

A short while ago we reported on a rumour that suggested that the Nexus S 4G was coming to Sprint. It has now been officially confirmed that Google's second Nexus phone will be coming to Sprint in the next few months.

nexus s - sprint

Fared Adib, VP of Sprint Product Development noted that the first 4G powered Android 2.3 smartphone would deliver on the "promise of advanced data capabilities of 4G to deliver an incredible Web browsing experience".

20
Mar
archos-gen9

Historically (and generally speaking), Archos' tablet offerings have failed to impress. That may all be about to change, though: the company has unofficially revealed some details about their upcoming Gen 9 tablet, and at least on paper, it looks like quite a doozy.

archos-gen9

The Gen 9 will be powered by a 1.6GHz ARM A9 CPU, which is the same underlying processor used in the Apple A5 (iPad 2) CPU, as well as Nvidia's Tegra 2 and upcoming Kal-El CPUs, among others.

19
Mar
miui

If you are into custom ROMs at all, it's likely you have heard of MIUI. While its "fruity" UI is a deal-breaker for some, if you use any third-party launcher (LauncherPro, ADW, etc.), you'll find a well-built and speedy alternative to the standard list of ROMs (and you don't have to look at rounded squares all day).

MIUI-GINGERBREAD-540x141

Yesterday, the folks at MIUI Developers gave owners of the Desire HD and EVO 4G a tasty treat - namely, a new version of MIUI based on Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread).

18
Mar
M4aZ5
Last Updated: March 22nd, 2011

Update: Bootloader and recovery are both locked and signed. See new screenshot.

Update #2: The device has been rooted, and its bootloader has been unlocked!

Some of our good friends over at AndIRC (most thanks going to scotty2 for discovering it, and Trident for being the guinea pig) have discovered a bit of troubling information regarding the HTC Thunderbolt: its bootloader and recovery are locked. What does that mean, exactly?

18
Mar
abp

Blocking obnoxious ads while browsing the web is something that I believe should come built-in to all browsers, or at least those on mobile devices with limited bandwidth. Although the beta version of Firefox 4 for Android (aka Fennec) released some time back, it was only yesterday that Adblock Plus released a development build for its seminal ad-blocking extension for the mobile version of Firefox.

According to the Adblock Plus devs, everything seems to be working smoothly, save for the following:

  • do-not-track support is not working; and
  • the number of synchronous requests needs to be reduced (on the to-do list)

Unfortunately, the user interface of ABP on the mobile version of Firefox is quite limited as you are only able to subscribe to one filter at a time.

18
Mar
toshiba-tablet
Last Updated: April 16th, 2011

Over a month after Toshiba first demoed its Android Honeycomb tablet with an awesome teaser site, Amazon has  put up a product page featuring the tablet with its specifications and capabilities.  The tablet cannot actually be purchased from Amazon yet and there is also no word on pricing or when it will finally become available.

amazon

As expected, the tablet's specs are as follows:

  • 10.1" display (1200x800)
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb
  • 5.0 MP rear camera with autofocus
  • 2.0MP front-facing webcam
  • Stereo speakers
  • USB, mini-USB, and HDMI ports
  • SD card reader
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi  connectivity
  • Gyroscope, Accelerometer, e-Compass, GPS and Ambient Light
  • Screen rotation lock switch
  • User replaceable battery
  • Interchangeable rubber backplate, available in a variety of colors

Let us at least hope that Toshiba come up with a name for this device before it starts shipping.

17
Mar
image

According to one of our trusted tippers and backed up by a leak that surfaced earlier today at Android Central, Samsung Epic 4G and Transform owners will be finally getting a taste of Android 2.2 "Froyo" in 4 days - on Monday, March 21st.

It wouldn't be the first time Sprint tried to throw the delicious treat at Epic users - the long-awaited Froyo update began rolling out on February 21st but only lasted 3 days before getting shut down by Sprint due to multiple complications with SD cards and data connectivity.

17
Mar
mike-tyson
Last Updated: March 18th, 2011

Update: After getting a lot of initial press, experts are weighing in and crying foul with the methodology of this study. Apparently the custom app the researchers used relied on Apple's UIWebView, which doesn't utilize recent optimizations made to the actual Safari browser.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball says:

"That's not to say it isn't interesting that Android's WebView for apps is faster than iOS's UIWebView for apps, but it just isn't true that these results are indicative of anything regarding Mobile Safari's performance.

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