Today, Google got the ball rolling on Gingerbread updates for the two official "Google phones", the Nexus One and Nexus S. While this is exciting, long awaited news for owners of the Nexus One, the Nexus S crowd may have some reason for disdain.
One of the things that got me really excited when I bought my first Android phone was the ability to import the numbers and email addresses of all my Facebook friends to my contact list automagically. No longer did I have to look it up on the Facebook webpage or, God forbid, call them and ask.
With the Gingerbread update for the Nexus S, Google has disabled this feature.
It seems Google has a funny definition of "a few weeks" - the Nexus One has been waiting for an update to Gingerbread for almost three months now - but late or not, the update is finally rolling out.
It isn't just any update, however; it's the recently announced Android 2.3.3, which features API level 10 as well as enhancements to Bluetooth, Graphics, Speech Recognition, and Media APIs (sorry, the Nexus One won't benefit from NFC enhancements as it doesn't have the hardware).
Nexus S users should also be seeing the update, and they'll get an extra treat to go along with it: writing/transmitting NFC capabilities.
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea? A release date for the very thing Verizon is advertising as well as Skype at launch. That would be just super.
Update: If you're a Nexus One or Desire owner and you're feeling a little left out of the Honeycomb SDK fun, I have some good news. The folks over at XDA managed to get a port running on both devices over the weekend. Hit up the links below to check them out and remember, these ports lack the basic functions of a phone and should only be used by people who know what they're doing. Enjoy!
About this time last week, I first started playing with our Inspire 4G review unit. And at first blush, I admittedly found myself enamored with this phone. Unfortunately, it was a love that started to splinter as the days went on, and the more I used it, the more I noticed just how unfinished some parts of this phone can feel. Overall, the Inspire is a good phone with the potential to be great, and I'll talk about what's holding it back (software, connectivity) further on in the review.
Don't let that statement deter you from considering purchasing it, though, because at $99 (or $60 on Amazon), the Inspire 4G is a steal of a deal if you're looking for a reasonably priced 4G smartphone.
How terribly boring were the last 2 months with regards to picking yourself up a new Android handset? We've seen hundreds of exciting announcements but practically no products to actually buy - end of December and January always seem to be those kinds of months. However, things are picking up, and one of the first new devices on the market fresh out of the oven is the HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T.
Yesterday at Mobile World Congress, HTC lifted the veil on their first entry into the tablet market: The HTC Flyer. It's a 7 inch tablet, reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Tab released last fall. The Flyer runs Android 2.4 on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and comes with HSPA+ (4G/3G+) capabilities for high-speed data usage.
HTC reported that we should expect it to be available in Q2 2011 but had nothing to say about pricing. Thanks to Amazon.de we now have an idea of what the cost will be for HTC's first tablet, with the product page showing a price of €669 (roughly $906 US!).
HTC Nexus One, the predecessor to the Gingerbread-sporting Samsung Nexus S, has been teased with the Android 2.3 over-the-air upgrade ever since Gingerbread was released. At the time, we anxiously waited for the upgrade that seemed to be imminent, but weeks flew by without any news. Then, Google said it was coming "in the next few weeks," but months slowly churned, and thousands of Nexus Ones owners are still GBreadless.
How many times can you cry wolf before people stop listening to you? I don't know, but I hope this is the last time - Mobile Crunch reports that multiple sources, including Googlers on location at MWC in Barcelona, claim the 2.3 OTA is coming to our precious N1s by the week's end or early next week at the latest.
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
The review video is just over 8 minutes long. The first few minutes are spent running through the system, and from the 4:10 mark onwards, they run some benchmarks and compare the scores to other devices.
To say the expectations were high for HTC's MWC press conference would be a drastic understatement, especially since the company didn't really announce anything new at CES. So were those expectations met? Personally, I'd have to say "no," but read on to discover the complete specifications of each of their six new devices and decide for yourself.
Update: Now with official HTC videos.
Update #2: Here is the spec sheet from HTC with all the official specs.
Incredible S, Desire S, and Wildfire S
Frankly, HTC's first three announcements - the Incredible S, Desire S, and Wildfire S - are utterly boring devices.