Late yesterday, we got a chance to spend some time with the Motorola DROID 4 over at the Verizon booth here at CES, and we have to say - It sure seems like Motorola has done it again. The DROID 4 will likely once again set the bar for QWERTY slider phones, and thanks to the addition of 4G LTE and a snappy TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor (the same one found in the DROID RAZR), it's also going to be the fastest DROID yet.
How many times have you dropped a phone in water? A puddle, bucket, bathtub, lake, toilet (don't act like it doesn't happen)... whatever. Phone attracting bodies of water are seemingly everywhere, and unless you're willing to put your phone in a ginormous waterproof case, once that beautiful piece of tech meets the life-affirming liquid substance, it's usually hosed (but sometimes rice can help).
Enter HzO, a company who looks to make our devices fully submergible.
Google is finally showing developers what an Android app should look like. Android Design is Google's freshly launched style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich. It outlines everything developers should do to make a high quality app that "fits in" with the rest of ICS.
Most of the big stuff is covered: Icons, color swatches, grid layouts, writing style, touch feedback - it's beautiful. Apps are normally all over the place, it will be really nice to see some consistency.
Owners of the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint may find themselves hitting the install button on an OTA update today. The update brings a few minor tweaks to the device:
- Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
- Battery life improvements
- Security update
It began rolling out earlier today and should hit all devices over the next five days.
To see if it's available on your device, hit Settings > System Update > HTC Software Update > Check Now.
Pay-as-you-go carriers have never had the latest and greatest handsets, but many are trying to offer more higher-end devices than ever before. Thus is the case with Boost Mobile, which just announced it would be getting the LG Marquee, a modest mid-ranger for anyone on a budget, on January 23rd for $280. While there is no sort of contact involved, users who buy this device are required to purchase an "Android Monthly Unlimited" plan for $55 a month.
In the custom ROM world, there's one name that can't be denied or avoided: CyanogenMod. It's the reigning champ of all custom ROMs, and for good reason - it's amazing. The CM team is always finding ways to innovate and bring new features to stock Android, resurrect older devices, and remove manufacturer/carrier restraints from modern devices.
Apparently we're not the only ones who think so, either - CyanogenMod hit one million unique installs last night.
Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
ASUS isn't the only one upgrading their tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich in the beginning of February - we were running around the South Hall at CES 2012 and ran into Archos, which, among other things, manufactures a whole series of G9 tablets (various combinations of 101 and 80).
Guess what - all of the G9 tablets are scheduled to receive ICS starting the first week of February (they did let everyone know it would happen "in the near future" a few days ago, but we were able to get the most up-to-date timeline today).
That's the phrase Larry Page used to describe Google's recent shut down of underperforming products. Stop flooding the market with crap, and focus on fewer, higher quality products. Now it seems Motorola has somehow gotten the exact same idea.
AllThingsD reports that Motorola "plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to concentrate its marketing dollars." I hope they are concentrating their design, polish, and update efforts too.
Owners of the original ASUS Transformer (TF101) were ecstatic last week when ASUS promised the Ice Cream Sandwich update to roll out shortly after the one for the Prime, meaning any day after January 12th was fair game. Considering ICS for the Prime went out early, and shortly after ASUS Singapore posted this
and then retracted it, we reached out to our ASUS U.S. rep to get everyone's stories straight.