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Android 2.2 Begins Rolling Out To Samsung Epic 4Gs Tonight - But You Can Download And Flash It Now!

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.

In addition to all the usual Froyo goodies, EB13 brings GPS enhancements, "user friendly" tethering for 3G and 4G, and TouchWiz 3.0 (you can get the full rundown here).

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[Hands-On] Neato: Asurion Steps Up Its Game, Sprint TEP Subscribers Reap The Benefits

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.

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Sprint Makes It Officially Official: Epic 4G To Receive Froyo Update Beginning February 21

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.

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    [Updated With Internal PDF] Confirmed: Samsung Epic 4G & Sanyo Zio Receiving Android 2.2 (Froyo) Update OTA On February 21

    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:

    epic_zio_froyo

    The image is courtesy of XDA member bentiger, and confirms his earlier statement that there was a Sprint internal announcement that the updates were rolling out:

    I just saw an official release from Sprint Dealer News.

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    Sprint Announces The Dual-Screen Kyocera Echo - Coming This Spring For $199

    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.

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    Kyocera Echo Leaked On Sprint's Site, WSJ - Probably The Super Secret "Industry First" Sprint Will Reveal Today

    Nope, a 3D phone really isn't what Sprint has up its sleeves (despite the speculation) - though the device it plans to unveil later today will, apparently, feature some amazing screen tech.

    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:

    kyocera-echo-sprint-leak

    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:

    2011-02-07 17h28_03

    Guess we now know why Sprint didn't have anything to show off at CES (excluding the Shift 4G), eh?  

    Sources: Sprint, WSJ via Engadget

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    HTC EVO Shift 4G Joins The Permanent Root Club

    The title says it all, people: those enterprising individuals over at XDA-Developers (where else?) have conjured up a permanent root for the EVO Shift. As this is the first method available, the process isn't quite so easy as it's become for other devices. Still, it's not too outrageously complicated, either.

    The steps:

    Step 1
    ok download this file and extract it to the root of your sdcard
    www.thebcblends.com/shift/Shift-root.zip

    Step 2
    make sure you have adb properly setup on your computer before continuing
    temp root using either visionary or z4root
    open up command prompt and cd to your sdk platform-tools directory
    then type adb shell then su
    if you havent already u must press allow on your device to enable su perms

    Step 3
    check the md5sum of both of the files to make sure they match

    Code:

    md5sum /sdcard/Shift/hboot_orig.bin

    Code:

    md5sum /sdcard/Shift/hboot_eng.nb0

    386c19451e8dd18f9b98fad6b11be4c0 hboot_orig.bin

    60ec1006e6ec2e8acb370d6aad35b17e hboot_eng.nb0


    if these do not match do not continue redownload the files then check the md5's again

    Step 4

    Flash the eng spl!!!

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    HTC EVO 4G: Fix Music Streaming And (Maybe) Boost Your 3G Speeds With A Simple Hack

    This morning, I noticed an interesting thread in the EVO subsection of the XDA forums that claimed to be able to fix music streaming (which was broken in some apps after the latest OTA), while boosting 3G speeds by .2 to .6 Mbps. As the process is very simple and easily reversible, I gave it a go - but decided that I was going to use SpeedTest to benchmark the changes.

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    Sprint's "Premium Data" Charge To Affect All Smartphones After January 30

    Although Sprint's data plans are significantly cheaper than their competition, there was still some outcry when Sprint decided to charge a $10 monthly add-on charge to phones with 4G connectivity, even if your area isn't actually covered by their WiMax network. Now, however, all smartphones activated after January 30 will be subject to the same charge.

    Sprint's reasoning - that “building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free" - is sound, and you can't argue that they still beat every other carrier when it comes to the price of their data plans.

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