After being thoroughly unimpressed with the sleek and sexy DROID Charge last week, and knowing that the Venue was next on my device-review checklist, I was prepared for yet more disappointment. Let's face it - Dell has been the butt of quality control, technical support, and advertising (Dude! you're...) jokes for years now. Whether or not it has at all been deserved is another matter entirely - after all, Dell is a hugely successful company (I happen to be writing this review on a Dell netbook, in fact).
As promised, from today the AT&T online store is offering the Samsung Infuse 4G for $199.99 with a 2-year contract. The contract requires you to additionally purchase a minimum data service which starts at $15/month. Alternatively, you can pick up the 4G device for $549.99 sans-contract. Oh and there is also free shipping.
Dubbed the "nation's thinnest 4G smartphone", this 8.99mm Android 2.2 device features a gigantic 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display (it really does look enormous on such a thin profile), a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, an 8MP rear camera with 720p video capture, a 1.3MP front camera, and Samsung's proprietary Touchwiz UI.
The official OTA for the GSM version of the original Galaxy Tab just started rolling out, and Chainfire over at the XDA forums has already pulled the update, rooted it, and made it available for your downloading pleasure. There are two different versions of the download - one with a new bootloader and one without. While I didn't read the entire thread, it appears that most users had better luck with the version that includes the bootloader.
This is huge. Like, massively huge. Probably the best thing to come out of Google I/O so far this morning huge. I'm talking about the Android Alliance and the solution to a problem that has plagued Android users since the beginning of time (okay, maybe not that long).
The Android Alliance is a special task force dedicated to delivering Android updates quickly and efficiently to all devices for 18 months after they're released.
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.
It's shaping up to be quite a day for AT&T users, isn't it? First the Infuse 4G announcement, and now even bigger news: it appears that the aforementioned device also allows apps to be sideloaded! As you may remember, AT&T has blocked sideloading since its first Android device - the Motorola Backflip. Sure, there have been ways around that restriction, but it's a simple service that all Android users should be allowed to enjoy.
There was a little bit of speculation about what AT&T and Samsung would be announcing at their event in New York today, but if you guessed it would be the Infuse 4G, then you hit the nail on the head. This 4G beast is set to hit the AT&T sales floor on May 15th for $199 with a two-year agreement, and is a nice middle-of-the-road device for anyone looking to upgrade but isn't interested in the current stock of phones available on Big Blue.
Update: I know that most of you have not yet received the update, and now we know why. According to its Twitter page, Motorola has said that it would be "rolling out in phases", so hopefully you'll start to see some update action soon.
Well, what do you know? It looks like one update wasn't enough for AT&T today - there are now two OTA updates available for the Motorola Atrix 4G, the second of which brings some long-awaited features.
It's no secret that the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T is largely unpopular in the Android community. T-Mobile was the first carrier to offer an Android phone and has been very supportive of the development community as of late. It would be a real shame to let an Android-friendly carrier fall under the control of a company that has the absolute worst track record in regards to Android devices, and mobile service in general.
There's been a lot of talk about AT&T's crusade against rogue tethering lately, and it all comes back to this AT&T text message sent to some poor iPhone customer(s):
AT&T Free Msg: We’ve noticed you’re continuing to enjoy the tethering feature with your smartphone service. Remember, you need a tethering plan ($45/mo, incl. 4GB) to use this feature, so we’re planning to update your line with the required plan soon.
Yes, the carrier everyone loves to hate is cracking down on unauthorized tethering - and they are automatically switching violators onto AT&T's 4GB data plan with tethering access, at a steep $45 a month.