'Tis the weekend for Android device updates: unwilling to let European Samsung Galaxy S owners have all the fun, Motorola announced yesterday that Android 2.2 for the Blur-packing Bravo had begun rolling out in phases. They neglected to elaborate on how exactly these phases are structured, so unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of specific ETA's, but it's likely that you'll seen an update hit your device in the next few days.
When it comes to timely Android updates, Samsung's reputation has been less than spectacular, so I was fairly surprised to see that a Gingerbread rollout was taking place for select European Galaxy S owners right on schedule.
That's right, according to users on the revered XDA-Developers forum, the update began rolling out late last night (late for the US at least) via Samsung's Kies software - provided you live in Holland or Germany.
Flipz, the developer of Fresh ROM for the EVO 4G and the HTC Hero, has been quiet since the release of Fresh 3.5, and it's no surprise - Sprint hasn't pushed out anything to our beloved EVOs in months. Since Fresh is a Sense ROM that follows official releases, as opposed to being built from AOSP like CyanogenMod, I didn't really expect to see another Fresh release until either the next leak or an official Sprint release.
To answer the question, briefly: nobody really knows at this point. But I do think Google is going to have to make some sacrifices in the short term if the Music service is going to get off the ground. And that's because the record labels won't play ball - at least not by Google's rules according to All Things D, quoting two apparently well-connected sources.
Of course, the words of a couple anonymous music industry insiders aren't definitively representative of the feelings of all the (presumably numerous) parties involved in Google's Music negotiations.
On their earnings call today, Google revealed some impressive stats about Android, courtesy of Jeff Huber, Senior VP of Commerce and Local. There were three notable facts, in particular: there have been over 3 billion Android apps installed, downloads of Android apps are up 50% in the last quarter, and 350,000 Android devices are being activated per day. Whoa, whoa, and whoa.
Given that we've heard about the massive number of activations before, perhaps the most impressive numbers are those about apps.
Over the weekend, we posted about a pant-crappingly stupid (and biased) survey posted by Silicon Alley Insider called "WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER BUY AN ANDROID PHONE? Take Our Smartphone Survey And Tell Us!" A few dozen of you posted in the comments to criticize just how biased SAI was with the survey, and a large number of you followed through to take it.
It looks like they may have realized the faux pas - to an extent, anyway - as they closed that one down (without tabulating the results) and reopened a new one.
It's been a few weeks since the deluge of Gingerbread builds leaked on March 27 (Droid X, Droid 2, Galaxy S i9000), but now another big dog is looking to join the party: a test Android 2.3 ROM for the HTC EVO has leaked and been posted to the XDA forums. A ton of people have taken the bait, with the thread already checking in at over 73 pages long - and it's only been up for about 6 hours.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A major national bookseller decides that they want to make "The Reader’s Tablet." So they grab the Android source code, and they don’t bother to get their device approved by Google so that it can run their apps. Instead, they charge full speed ahead, with not just a custom UI layer but a complete reimagining of what an “Android” device should look like.
The app drawer?
From today's "probably should have seen it coming" pile, Engadget has come into possession of what looks like a presentation slide for a ruggedized Android tablet being developed by Motorola:
I know, the text is illegible, so here are the main points to take home:
- 7" capacitive LCD
- 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor
- 1GB RAM, 8GB NAND onboard storage
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
- Stylus for signature capture
- Removable battery good for 5.5 hours of video
- Can withstand 4' drop onto plywood (oak, cherry, ash, maple certifications pending)
- Works in temperatures of 0-50 degrees Celsius
- Tons of enterprise-friendly security
- Fingerprint scanner
This device is clearly targeted towards business, and probably specifically towards businesses with employees out in the field, where the tablet's ruggedized nature will protect it from the harsh, plywood-filled world.