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.
Owners of the Samsung Fascinate on Verizon should be getting prompted to install an OTA update pretty soon - but it's just a maintenance update with a couple of bug fixes. When I say a couple, I mean it in the most literal of ways - it fixes two things. The two things in question? It improves the delivery of over-the-air updates and incoming call connectivity. That's it. I do find it ironic that they're sending out an OTA update to improve OTA updates, though.
Earlier today, Sprint and Motorola held a press conference in New York City where they announced the first powerhouse phone from Motorola to land on the Now Network: the Photon 4G. It's a global-ready device that features a 4.3 inch screen, 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1GB RAM, an 8MP rear shooter, VGA front camera, a kickstand, and Gingerbread. Now, both companies have updated their respective YouTube accounts with videos of the announcement, as well an official promo for the device.
From Chingy and TeamAndIRC comes Maintenance Release 2 for the HTC Thunderbolt. The OTA update should be hitting stock phones on June 15th, but we're giving it to you early.
The major improvements brought about by MR2:
- Fixes random reboots
- Improves GPS locking
- Improves signal strength
- Add 3G/LTE toggle in settings
- And more... (we don't have an official changelog yet, unfortunately)
Un-rooted Stock MR2 Update
First up, the full, signed RUU.
Between the imminent release of the HTC EVO 3D, the newly announced Photon 4G, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S II, and the pure Google experience of the Samsung Nexus S 4G, we have to ask - which device is next for you? To help you decide, here's a break down of each phone's specs:
HTC EVO 3D
- 4.3 Inch qHD Super LCD
- 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB built-in storage
- 5MP 3D Capable rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0
As the follow up to the super-popular EVO 4G, it not only packs a harder punch under the hood, but also includes some groundbreaking features like Sense 3.0 and the inclusion of both 3D playback and video capture.
Motorola and Sprint teamed up for a press conference in NYC today, where they announced Sprint's newest beast of a phone: the Photon 4G. Check it out:
- 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
- 4.3 inch qHD display
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB onboard storage
- 8MP rear shooter, VGA front facing camera
- Mobile hotspot
- Advanced, enterprise level IT security
- Webtop capable
This phone was previously rumored to be "the Atrix for Sprint," but while the general look of the device is quite similar, the Photon seems to be more of an evolution and less a rebranding.
At their NYC luncheon event, Sprint and Motorola just made official the second of their two new Android devices: the 4.1-inch Triumph. It'll be Virgin Mobile's first Motorola Android device when it launches later this summer, packing a 1GHz processor of some variety, a 5MP rear shooter in addition to a VGA front-facing camera, and an HDMI output port in its 0.4-inch thick body.
Though Sprint has yet to inform us of the Android version the Triumph will be running, we do know that it will come with Virgin Mobile Live 2.0, a social networking app which will provide free access to a "critically acclaimed music stream" hosted by Abbey Braden.
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?
It looks like VZW has an update ready for the Droid Charge that should be hitting handsets pretty soon - but it's not Gingerbread. It's mostly a bug fixer, so don't expect anything too astounding to come from it, although the info on Big Red's site does make mention of improved switching between 3G and 4G LTE, which was one of the biggest gripes we had with our review unit.
Other fixes include improved battery life, improved GPS performance, an updated email folder structure, better email and calendar sync with Exchange, and a lot more.