The week in Android news

2 October 2010

news

While we may not have seen nearly every device in the fleet receive an update this week, we sure did bring you a lot of news. With busy schedules, keeping up on everything that is going on in the Android world can be a bit difficult, so let’s take a look at some of the fun coverage from this week!

News

Applications

Posted originally at Android Central

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 Google acquires BlindType in a pure win for the accuracy-challenged

In what can only be described as an epic win for all Android-kind, Google has purchased the company behind the Blind Type keyboard. Still no word on a release date, but Now that they have Google behind them, perhaps this will be integrated with the Android keyboard at the OS level, becoming more than just another keyboard on the Market. [BlindType via Engadget]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Smart phones are now more expensive than ever. In this article we will talk about why purchasing a BlackBerry phone is worth the price.


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Short Description: 
We're back with exclusive looks at the HTC Merge and Samsung Continuum, and we brought head Android Central forum moderator Cory Streater along for the ride. Join us!

Podcast MP3 URL: 
http://media.libsyn.com/media/androidcentral/acpc32.mp3

Top o’ the news – HTC Merge and Samsung Continuum

Hardware news

Tablet news

OS update news

Software news

Google News

Posted originally at Android Central

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Every time a new phone comes around, it seems like people are more and more interested in how the phone’s camera performs. While the camera is technically not a “phone” feature, the public is looking for a decent replacement for their point and shoot. We can tell you that the T-Mobile G2 has a pretty nice camera with a 5MP image sensor which is capable or recording 720p video clips as well. The sad thing is the G2’s camera isn’t going to be winning any awards for image quality.

We could write a lengthy review about the T-Mobile G2’s camera and give you all the details about how it performs in certain lighting situations or we could just show you the pictures and video clips that it produces and let all of you come to your own conclusions. It may not product the best pictures, but the G2 is quite a bit better than what most camera phone users have come to expect. If we were raking it on a ten point scale, we’d be happy to award it 7.5 points.

NOTE: the images and video clips below were taken in downtown Minneapolis on a cloudy day.

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 Froyo on the Samsung Captivate

Want Froyo on the Samsung Captivate and can’t wait any longer? A leaked build has emerged tonight. We’ve plopped it on our Captivate and are giving it the what-for. In the meantime, if you don’t mind a little hackery, you can give it a go, too. Instructions are simple as as follow:

  • Download the leaked file I897UCJI6-OCD-REV02-Low-designgears.exe (hit the source link at the end of this post).
  • Turn off your Captivate.
  • Launch the I897UCJI6-OCD-REV02-Low-designgears.exe file you just downloaded.
  • Hold down the volume buttons and plug in your Captivate.
  • Hit "Start" on the Odin program. Sit back and relax.

It’s that simple, folks. As always, you’re taking things into your own hands here, so no blaming anybody if this turns out to not be the final Froyo build. Good luck, happy flashing, and let us know how it went in the Android Central Captivate Forums! [XDA Developers via Android Central Forums]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Android versions

The march of Froyo continues, with Android 2.2 now on one-third of all Android devices. Please excuse us while we do a little jig. … … … OK, we’re back. That’s right, folks, 33.4 percent of devices now have the latest version of Android, up from 28.7 percent just 20 days ago. The number of devices on Android 2.1 (Eclair) dropped 1.3 percentage points, to 41.7 percent, and Donut (Android 1.6) and Cupcake (Android 1.5) are down to 16.5 percent and 9.7 percent respectively. Hooray for progress. [Android Developer Blog]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Samsung Galaxy Tab UK

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will be available on November 1st in the UK from all major carriers. A press release this morning announced the release date, but there still is no word yet on pricing. 

Here is an excerpt from the release; to see the full version, see after the break:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be available in the UK across all major networks, key high street and out of town electrical retailers and online such as Carphone Warehouse, Dixons Store Group and T-Mobile. The Galaxy Tab will be available on a range of attractive price packages, making it as widely accessible as possible to all consumers.

The Galaxy Tab is going to be accessible from a lot of retailers, so pick your favorite and gear up for November 1st. [via Engadget]

Posted originally at Android Central

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Us Cellular

U.S. Cellular, the nations number six carrier, has just announced that they will be changing the way they do business with news of "The Belief Project".  The Belief Project is simple — finish your current contract, or sign up for a new one, and when it’s finished it’s finished.  You still get all the perks that an in-contract customer would have — discounted phones every 18 months, point to use for accessories or to upgrade early, and the same overage forgivness.  There’s no fee to participate, simply finish a standard two year plan and enroll in The Belief Project.  You can quit whenever you want — with no ETF, because you’re not tied to a carrier contract.

While I applaud U.S. Cellular, I also have to question the other carriers.  If the little guy (U.S. Cellular has about 6 million customers) can afford to treat their customers well and earn customer loyalty instead of enforcing it with contracts and outrageous ETF’s, why can’t the big four?  It’s awful tempting to just dump what I have here and head over to US Cellular and get a shiny new Desire — all that holds me back is coverage.  I urge all of you to check US Cellular’s coverage for your area, if for no other reason than to question your current carrier about why they can’t offer what the little guy can.  The full press release is after the break.

Posted originally at Android Central

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Unboxing the T-Mobile G2

30 September 2010


I’ve gotten used to getting new phones in the mail on a regular basis, but it’s a little more exciting when you know that they phone you’re unboxing is the one that will be replacing your outdated G1.  As most of you know, T-Mobile is launching the HTC made G2 (HTC Desire Z) on October 6th.  I am among the lucky few who have actually received the phone a bit early.  Over the next few days I’ll be rigorously testing the G2 for all its worth, but for now I hope you guys will enjoy my unboxing pictures.  The box itself it reminiscent of T-Mobile’s HTC HD2, though the white does take away a bit of the sexyness.  The phone comes with the typical microUSB cable/charging adapter and a pair of 3.5mm headphones (something only T-Mobile seems to be including lately).  It would have been nice ot have a little pouch included for the G2, but I guess you’ll be on your own for that.

The T-Mobile G2 has a pretty solid feel to it and it surprisingly pretty similar in size to the original T-Mobile G1 (though it is significantly less thick).  The brushed aluminum exterior finished give the handset a unique look which seems to pull its designs cues from Google’s Nexus One.

If you have any questions about the T-Mobile G2, feel free to leave us a comment.

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