Android smartphones you can buy for as little as a penny on a new two-year contract tend to be few and far in between, but it looks like Amazon's looking to change that. The movement started with them selling all US versions of Samsung's Galaxy S phones (save for Sprint's Epic 4G) for $0.01 on contract a few weeks back, and now they're taking the same approach with the Motorola Droid 2. Not a bad deal at all, especially now that the device has seen its first AOSP ROM. Hit up the source link to grab one of these beasties for yourself.
The Motorola Droid 2 may ship with a pesky eFuse bootloader which has been designed specifically to prevent rooting of the phone, but little things like that have never held back the truly talented and passionate (and nerdy). The FRF91 Vanilla Android ROM - the Droid 2's first AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM - has just made an appearance on DroidForums.
What does this mean? Well, in and of itself, not much, but it's a huge step up from the device's previous ROMs, which brought little to no customizations. At this early stage, core Android features like downloading apps from the Market still haven't been worked out, but it does open quite a few doors.
- Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits Of Rooting
- 8 Great Apps Every Rooted Android User Should Know About
- Custom ROMs Explained And Why You Want Them
- How To Fully Back Up And Restore Your Android Phone Using Nandroid Backup
- How To Flash A Custom ROM To Your Android Phone With ROM Manager + Full Backup & Restore
At CTIA, Motorola recently demonstrated a new feature for Motorola Android phones called MotoPrint. The feature allows users to print documents from their phones to a supposedly "wide range" of printers.
MotoPrint, while still in beta, is able to print PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, and certain graphics via your local network printer. Currently, MotoPrint does not come with the phone, unlike the ability to copy and paste; instead, MotoPrint is an app that must be downloaded separately, presumably from the Market. While MotoPrint is not integrated into the basic features of the phone, it does have a very basic user interface.
If you can think back to the time Universal Androot was released, you'll recall the then small xda-developers startup that allowed for one-click rooting of a very limited number of phones, all of which had to be running Android 2.1 Eclair or lower.
Now, the app has hit the Market and is ready for prime time with support for a multitude phones, including devices running Android 2.2 FroYo (though, only limited to Nexus One before 2.2.1 and an older FRG01B Droid build), 2.1 Eclair, 1.6 Donut, and even phones stuck on 1.5 Cupcake, like the HTC Magic.
We've known it was coming for some time now, but T-Mobile just sent out a press release including details regarding their plans for a WiFi Calling application for their Android phones. The new T-Mobile myTouch will launch later this year with the feature, and the Motorola Defy will be receiving it as well. Additionally, the T-Mobile G2 should be getting it in the coming months, along with the LG Optimus and possibly the Motorola Charm.
The Boy Genius Report sought further details from T-Mobile and got a response explaining the difference between the Android version of WiFi calling and the version used by certain Blackberry phones.
Verizon has just announced the Droid Pro (that's right, the same device that was previously rumored to have a dual GSM /CDMA radio for global roaming, a 1.3 GHz processor, and a 4" display), and let me tell you, the thing's got a few surprises hidden up its sleeve.
For starters, it's not a landscape slider, unlike the Droid 2. Instead, Motorola's decided to go with a candybar form factor for this one, much like the form factor used by RIM for numerous BlackBerries and also by Palm for the Pixi. That in itself should set it apart from the rumors we'd heard earlier, which claimed that the Pro would essentially be a world edition of the successor to the most popular Android phone ever to grace what us humans know as the Earth.
Even though they were the last major carrier in the US to release an Android phone, you can't question AT&T's commitment to Android now! Their latest offerings are all from Motorola and all feature the MOTOBLUR UI, but are still a huge step up from phones like the Cliq and the Backflip.
Each runs Android 2.1 with MOTOBLUR on top and feature a lackluster 3.2 megapixel camera. However, that is where the similarities between the phones end. First up, we gothe highest-end offering, the Bravo, featuring:
- 800 MHz processor
- 2 GB internal memory
- 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 screen
- No physical keyboard
Then you have the Flipout, which we've seen a few times before.
CLIQ XT owners may experience slight excitement reading this, but only slight - the OTA update version 1.32.20 rolling out now to CLIQ XTs around the country does not contain Android 2.1 - it's merely an incremental update over its existing ancient OS (what is it, 1.5 nowadays?). This update showed up a couple of days ago as a limited beta test, and, thankfully, it didn't take Motorola long to open the flood gates to all CLIQ XT owners.
If you remember, Motorola has been promising 2.1 for a while but recently updated the projections to late Q3 (fail)/early Q4 (Q4 started 4 days ago).
That's right - Microsoft has just filed an ITC complaint against Motorola over infringements of nine patents allegedly violated in Motorola's Android-related devices. Although Microsoft did not specify the exact patents violated in their press release (which you can read in its entirety below), the company did say that they are related to "synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power." I do not see how Motorola has violated any of these; what’s more, all of the violations mentioned are most likely built into the Android OS and therefore not Motorola's responsibility, but then again, sometimes companies make as little sense as the devices they push past the FCC.