4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.
It appears that Sprint will be unveiling something for us in Orlando, FL on March 22, as they have issued media invitations for an event that will be "showcasing the latest innovations from Sprint."
What exactly will be showcased is a mystery at this point, but the last time we were invited to an exciting event from Sprint, it was to preview the dual-screen Kyocera Echo phone (which some viewed as a dud of an announcement).
Fellow EVO 4G owners, were you envious when Sony Ericsson demoed the Xperia arc's full HDMI capabilities? Fear not - once again, the developer community has come to the rescue!
Android Central Forums user Orrebmas has developed a "limited time" public beta of FullHDMI, an app that lets you output any content on your EVO's display to your HDTV. Yep, that means you can finally get your Angry Birds on in full, 50-inch mode.
Samsung has a reputation for not being the greatest at updating their devices, but this week has been especially rough for them. First, Microsoft had to halt an update to the Samsung Omnia 7 due to reports of bricked devices. Today, Sprint has just stopped pushing the Android 2.2 update for the Epic as users have found hardware problems after applying it.
According to Sprint's support forum, there have been an increased number of calls into their Care Centre about issues with wireless data connectivity and the ability to access the SD card.
Ah yes, Android 2.2 (build number EB13) for the Epic 4G is finally here. Well actually, that's not quite accurate if you're waiting for the official OTA rollout - which won't start until 9:00 p.m. PST - but if you're willing to flash the update as a ROM, you can have it now.
Good news for all you prepared individuals out there who are subscribed to Sprints TEP (Total Equipment Protection) plan: You now have access to a new app that adds a whole new level of useful to protecting your device through Asurion, the third party company that handles the insurance rigmarole for Sprint (and pretty much every other U.S. carrier, but they don't get an app).
The Sprint Total Equipment Protection App essentially mirrors the functionality of services like Lookout Mobile Security (but without the antivirus part): It can be used for locating your phone via GPS, helping to find it by sounding an alarm (even when on silent mode), backing up your contacts, remotely locking your device with a pin code, and remotely wiping the contacts.
That wasn't so long, was it? As expected, Sprint has officially announced the official Android 2.2 update for the Epic 4G is set to start rolling out February 21 and will continue to be sent in waves until February 25, when all devices will have received the update. While you probably already know everything Froyo entails, Sprint has compiled a list of the major enhancements and additions you can expect:
This software update (version EB13) will include:
- Upgrade of the Google OS from Éclair to Froyo (2.2.1)
- Ability to install applications to external storage
- Improved Bluetooth device support
- Bluetooth Voice Dialing
- Flash Player 10.1
- GPS Enhancements
- Improved OS performance
It's certainly been a long time coming, but maybe this Froyo update will win back some customers for Samsung.
Earlier today, Android Central caught word that the Epic and Zio would receive an over-the-air (OTA) update to Froyo on February 21, but had nothing more than copied and pasted text from the Sprint system. Fast forward a few hours, and we now have more concrete evidence in the form a screenshots from Sprint's internal system that confirm the update is coming:
Turns out the rumors were true - Sprint and Kyocera have partnered up to build the Echo, the world's first dual-screen phone.
The two 3.5" 800x480 screens offer 4.7 inches of real estate when combined, and can be used as:
- One huge display ("Tablet Mode")
- Combined displays, where one screen can show a keyboard while the other displays the email app ("Optimized Mode")
- Two individual displays with each running a separate app ("Simul-Task Mode")
- One single display, with the second hidden underneath ("Single-Screen Mode")
Unfortunately, the rest of the Echo's specs aren't nearly as innovative - its battery is puny (1370 mAh, though Sprint will include a spare), it doesn't have a front-facing camera, and there's no 4G connectivity to speak of.
This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint's big announcement will involve a Kyocera-manufactured device called the "Echo," which features two 3.5-inch displays connected by a "pivot hinge." To be honest, I had a hard time believing the rumor - it sounded like the stuff of dreams (at least with the current state of technology) - but it looks like my fears were unfounded, for a search for "echo" on Sprint's site brings up the following result:
While the link below the promising text doesn't open an actual product page, it does lead to the following gem, which makes the possibility of an official unveiling tonight even more likely:
Guess we now know why Sprint didn't have anything to show off at CES (excluding the Shift 4G), eh?