While Galaxy S owners here in the States are still (im)patiently awaiting the update to Android 2.2, it looks like users on T-Mobile UK's network are already enjoying the wonders of Froyo. Yes, the update that was initially scheduled for September is only now rolling out.
Luckily, T-Mobile's European brother has (slightly) sweetened the deal with a nice twist - although the update was originally supposed to be made available exclusively through Samsung's Kies software for Windows-based PCs, the carrier has seen fit to add an OTA version into the mix. That doesn't mean Kies has been completely left out of the fun, though - if "reasons out of our [T-Mobile's] control" interfere with the OTA update, users can still hook their phones up to their (Windows-based) computers, start up Kies, and download the update in the same manner most other European carriers are having users do.
Completely unexpectedly and without much fanfare, Google just dropped its official Google Reader app into the Market. I gave it a quick look and found that it's basically a great interface to the mobile version, lacking any advanced features (such as pre-caching) or settings.
The 3 great things about it are:
Google Reader login integration, which uses your phone's built-in Google auth, after you grant it permission. This means the app never asks for login credentials.
The app syncs everything with the web version very seamlessly.
It's fast and doesn't hang anywhere, unlike gReader.
Now the bad things:
As far as I can tell, there's no pre-caching or any kind of cache control at all.
As expected, today Verizon Wireless officially unveiled its plans to light up more than 1/3 of America with the next generation 4G LTE network. The switch will be flipped this Sunday, December 5th, but since VZW doesn't have any LTE-enabled mobile phones just yet, the only way to get a taste of the new network will be using one of the two USB modems VZW will be offering: the LG VL600 or the Pantech UML290.
The coverage area is pretty impressive, considering this is the first time LTE will be rolled out in the US - 38 major metropolitan areas and over 60 airports, which is pretty much unchanged from our report in October (see the full list in the PR at the bottom of this post).
Just as promised, Rovio, the maker of the oh-so-popular Angry Birds, released a separate game called Angry Birds Seasons today, which contains 45 Halloween levels, previously only available on iOS, as well as 25 Christmas levels.
I haven't spotted any new birds yet, and I doubt they've added any, but I'm sure a few hours later, when you all finish every level, you will let us know. Oops, I take that back - the snow levels are available one per day, starting today, all the way through December 25th (see the last screenshot to see what happens if you try to click on day 2).
If you're like me, you've been longing for cable-free syncing ever since you got your Android phone. Well, the wait has now ended, thanks to doubleTwist, otherwise known as the iTunes of Android devices.
Their latest update includes a handy new feature called AirSync, which does exactly what its name implies: it syncs your music, videos, and photos over the air. The desktop client and the regular Android app (both of which you'll need for AirSync to work) are still 100% free, but the AirSync feature itself will cost you $4.99 (on sale for $0.99 until 10,000 people download it).
Say what you may about the custom UI that was on the LG Star we saw earlier today, but you can't deny that there's something to be said for its dual-core processor. GSM Israel has proven just that via a hands-on video in which the LGP990 (aka the Star) is compared side-by-side with an iPhone 4, which comes off a bit undersized next to the Star.
Another factoid mentioned in the video: the handset packs a Tegra 2 processor driving a 4-inch display. Additionally, the video confirmed that the device will indeed ship with an 8 MP camera as well as a front-facing counterpart and an HDMI port.
While we originally heard that AT&T would start selling the dual-core Motorola Olympus by the end of January, it now appears that the phone may be available earlier - according to a Facebook message which has since been deleted (see below), the handset may go on sale as early as December. Unfortunately, AT&T, who posted the message, later stated that "we don't have any information to share about upcoming devices" and that the message was posted "erroneously," so not much else came out of the leak. Still, here's what we do know: we're looking at a Tegra 2 handset that will most likely feature a front facing camera, a relatively slim profile, and a display in the 4-inch range.
The Galaxy S phones are, without a doubt, among the best Android phones out there, but for some time now, the handsets have been plagued by one potential showstopper - malfunctioning GPS capabilities. Worry not, though - in addition to an update that rolled out a few months ago, Samsung has developed an app called GPSSamsungRestore which is now available from the Android Market for all users of AT&T's Captivate and T-Mobile's Vibrant. So what does it do? It undoes any modifications to the GPS and basically reverts it to its original state. While it remains to be seen how reverting the GPS to its original, broken state fixes it, I suppose it can't hurt to give it a shot if you're a Captivate or Vibrant owner.
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market in the previous week or so. This roundup is a day late, apologies for that - the Theft Aware review stole a lot of my time.
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While most of us would be content with one Tegra 2-loaded device, one Android Forums member has managed to get his hands on two of LG's new Star dual-core beasts. What he found was quite enticing: a Quadrant score of 1759 (which outranks even the Droid Pro's 1528), an HDMI port on the top of the device, and... yes, despite the rumors we heard originally, LG apparently decided to include their own custom skin, which looks surprisingly similar to Samsung's Touchwiz UI.
The model in question was said to be running the aforementioned skin on top of Froyo, though as Phandroid pointed out, the OS could be upgraded to Gingerbread before launch time rolls around.