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10 years of Android: Ten of the most important handsets from the last decade

Ten years ago this week, the first Android phone was announced - the T-Mobile G1. No one could have predicted the massive success that Android would eventually become; the OS now has over two billion active users worldwide.

In honor of Android's 10th birthday, we're taking a look at the most important and influential Google-powered phones of the past decade. Every one of these devices redefined Android in some way, by pushing the OS further into the mainstream, introducing design trends, or signaling the start/end of an era.

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BootManager Allows You To Install Up To 5 ROMs On One Device, Flashaholics Rejoice

Not content to wait for manufacturers to get in to shape and update our phones to the latest and greatest versions of Android, most of us here at Android Police have had a brush with a number of custom ROMs in the past.

Whether it's the latest version of Cyanogen or a more obscure mod, there is always a ROM floating around on my phone, and until now I've always had to uninstall one before installing the other. Fortunately, that's about to change thanks to a new application on the Market called BootManager.

This article deals with a couple of advanced topics.
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[Updated x3] Netflix Adds Support For 16 New Devices, Including The Thunderbolt, EVO 3D, Droid 2, 3, X2, Charge, Atrix 4G, Bionic (!), And... One Honeycomb Tablet

Netflix this evening appears to have quietly unleashed the Android app on 16 more previously unsupported devices, all without updating the application at all.

The whole situation threw us off quite a bit, as the Netflix app description now lists both the new devices and a reference to a new version 1.3, while the app itself is still stuck at 1.2.2.

Nevertheless, after trying to find it in the Market using devices that were previously unsupported (HTC EVO 3D and Thunderbolt), to our pleasant surprise, we succeeded. So... it seems that Netflix indeed simply updated the list in the Market publishing console without updating the app at all, which means it was compatible with all of them all along.

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CyanogenMod 7 RC4 Has Arrived For All Supported CM Devices - Bug Fixes Abound

CyanogenMod 7 has earned its reputation as the most reliable Gingerbread ROM, even though it hasn't yet entered stable mode. And tonight, the fun goes on - RC4 RC3.14159265358979323846264338327, as the CM team so lovingly refers to it, has just been launched for all supported CM devices.

While RC4 doesn't contain any ground-breaking new features, it does bring a number of bug fixes - for example, hardware acceleration has been added to the Nook Color, and EGL has seen a big fix. It isn't perfect yet - kmobs notes that there may be some "lingering GPS issues on the EVO and the N1 call audio bug hasn't been fully fixed" - but it's still worth the update.

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[Update: It Was A Hoax] Motorola Encryption Keys Used In Droid/Milestone, Possibly Droid X, 2, Charm, And Other Sholes Devices Are Cracked

What an absolutely insane week it has been for unlocking encrypted and signed hardware!

Update: How disappointing - nenolod turned out to be a fraud, and the whole thing was a hoax. It seemed too good to be true, and it was.

First, the Thunderbolt, which turned out to be HTC's most closed off device ever, was cracked wide open by team AndIRC within days after release, including our own Justin Case (jcase), Jamezelle, scotty2, and others.

This morning, however, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel for devices that have been uncracked for many months - namely, Motorola Milestone and possibly Droid X, Droid 2, Charm, and other devices from the Sholes family (this, apparently, does not include the Atrix 4G).

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Pics Of Slimmed-Down Droid 3 Leaked

A couple of super-sneaky members over at Howard Forums have leaked some photos of the upcoming Droid 3, and it's looking much thinner than its most recent predecessor. The Verizon phone, which has not yet been officially announced, popped up in three different pictures today.

As you can see below, the second sequel to Motorola's popular Droid has a thinner top piece to conceal the customary full QWERTY keyboard. Not much else is known about the phone at this point, but this could be shaping up to be a much more attractive offering than its ancestor in the Droid line.

D3

 Solana_kb_open

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Source: Howard Forums [1] [2] via Droid Life

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Support For Dinosaurs: OG Droid Set To Receive Update FRG83G To Fix SMS Bug

It appears that a major glitch like the recent SMS bug can help spur on support even for an ancient (in Android years at least) phone. The original Motorola Droid will start receiving an OTA update today, sporting several crucial messaging-related bug fixes. Update FRG83G brings the Droid's Froyo version up to 2.2.2.

Released over 16 months ago, the OG Droid has actually been fairly well-maintained by Moto, launching with Android 2.0 'Eclair,' and now running an updated build of Froyo. In addition to several property space exploits (like rageagainstthecage) that were patched with 2.2.2, the SMS-related changes to this update include:

    • Sporadic issues with unintended recipient list corrected for text, picture, video and audio multimedia messages
    • Correct message populates when messaging application is opened and quickly accessed

    droid-frg83g-464x600

    While this may not be the Gingerbread update some have been hoping for, there is always CM7 for that, right?

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    Motorola Droid Pro Pre-Sale Starts November 9th, Handset to Launch November 18th

    If you were hungering for more juicy details on the Motorola Droid Pro, today is your lucky day, as documents have just surfaced revealing the pre-sale and launch date of the device. While details are slim, the documents reveal that the pre-sale kicks off November 9th and the official launch date is November 18th. If you order between November 9th and November 17th, you’ll get your Droid Pro before the launch date - never a bad thing!

    thumb_550_droid-pro-presale-540x378

    At this point we don't have a real number in regards to the price, but hopefully it will end up being near the unofficial standard of $200.

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    Universal Androot Hits The Market, Now Supports One-Click Rooting Of 23 Android Phones

    Update: As Artation has pointed out in the comments below, Universal Androot has since been removed from the Market for unknown reasons. If you're still heartbent on using it though, you can download it it from here.

    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.

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    Irony: Adobe May Be Killing Flash On Motorola Droid/Milestone

     We've pinged our contact at Adobe for clarification, but this could be some fantastic irony: Adobe has raised the minimum requirements for Flash. Specifically, the minimum CPU requirement for mobile devices with WVGA resolutions has been bumped up to a Cortex A8 running at 800 MHz. With its 550 MHz CPU, the Droid/Milestone no longer meets the minimum.

    flash_mobile_reqs

    We're not sure yet if this is retroactive - in other words, will the Droid receive an update that removes Flash support? Or does this only apply to new hardware going forward? Plenty of people still have the device - especially the Milestone in Europe.

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