It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.
On Monday, we teased you guys with an early look at Gingerbread running on the G2x from This Is My Next. There was some definitely some disappointment in the air when you realized that a download wasn't available at that time, but that all changes now.
The leaked version, which also appears to be the final version, of Gingerbread for the G2x is now available for those running rooted devices.
CyanogenMod 7.0.3, an incremental release for CM 7, is now live at cyanogenmod.com. While we're waiting for the official changelog from Cyanogen himself, I can tell you that it does not contain Android 2.3.4 (it's still based off 2.3.3) - that's been saved for CM 7.1 (if you can't wait for 2.3.4, you can update to it by using the nightlies). It does, however, contain important security fixes, among other things.
AT&T has taken a lot of heat from Android fans, and for good reason - they were the last of the four major US carriers to truly embrace it, and even then they made the controversial decision to block users' ability to sideload apps - i.e., install apps not offered on the Android Market. Their intentions were only to protect users from "bad apps," but of course this also meant that users have been unable to install any type of beta apps or, more notably, the Amazon App Store.
File this under "things that look good on paper." On Tuesday, a federal judge for the Northern District of California issued an order forcing Oracle and Google, in their fight over various Java patents allegedly infringed by Android, to reduce the number of patent claims and defenses thereto to a "triable" number. That number? Three. And Google will be allowed eight "prior art references" to defend against those claims. (Note: A "prior art reference" is a way of showing that a patent was trying to patent something someone else had already invented prior to the filing, a complete defense against patent infringement, invalidating the patent in question)
Oracle's complaint ended up amounting to 132 patent claims against Google's Android mobile operating system - a staggering number for any court.
A couple of months ago, we told you that the HTC Desire HD and Incredible S would be getting an OTA update to Gingerbread, but we didn't know exactly when this would happen. It looks like the wait is over though, because HTC has started rolling out the official OTA update to European users. Unfortunately, there is no official word when the Desire Z will see an update, but we're still expecting it sometime close to the end of the second quarter.
Wow, this didn't take long at all - the Android 2.3.4 update for the Samsung Nexus S that we were afraid would take a couple of weeks to surface, has already shown up and is ready to be flashed to your Nexus S running 2.3.3 (GRI40 or GRI54).
Just like before, manual update instructions couldn't be simpler, so why wait for your device to be updated OTA (who knows when that will happen) when you can do it all by yourself and get that Google Talk video and voice chat right here and now?
Well, that was fast. It hasn't been very long since the vold exploit was found that allowed root access to Gingerbread and Honeycomb systems, but Google has already patched it and moved the fix into the AOSP code (see these commits: , , , ). This means that once this update is pushed, we will need to find another route to achieve root access on devices running Gingerbread and Honeycomb.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is quickly becoming the darling of the Android tablet world. With all the specs (dual-core, Android 3.0, keyboard dock - the list goes on) and a price tag at $400, this may just be the one Honeycomb tablet to rule them all. Alas, when a great product and a great price meet, there is great demand - and when there is great demand and a less-than-great supply level, there is a high level of dejected customers leaving their electronics retailers with empty hands.
It's no secret that RIM (Research In Motion) has been dipping their figurative toes in the Android water lately, and it looks like running Android apps on the Blackberry Playbook was just the beginning. RIM plans to bring Blackberry Enterprise Solution to both Android and iOS, further helping businesses manage their wireless infrastructure and security.
Once it's released, network administrators will be able to handle a lot of the mobile grind remotely - everything from activation and software updates, to resetting passwords and wiping devices - all over the air.