Expected to launch as Android 4.0, the next build of the platform will combine features from both the Gingerbread and Honeycomb builds. Though we wait for official announcements, the rumor mill has already churned out the next release beyond Ice Cream Sandwich. Say hello to Jelly Bean.
To: HTC Chairman Cher Wang
Re: Your interest in potentially acquiring a mobile operating system
I imagine after your comments about HTC's internal discussions over potentially buying a mobile operating system, you're getting a lot of calls and advice. If I may be so bold, I'd like to offer my two cents as well.
DON'T DO IT.
It may be appealing to own both the hardware and software components, crafting a unique HTC experience without influence from outside parties. But given the scarcity of options out there and the long-standing dilemma of attracting developers to an … Read more
Keeping up with its promise to deliver eight smartphones this year, including one from Motorola, U.S. Cellular unveiled that it will offer the Motorola Electrify later this month for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate.
Similar to the Motorola Photon 4G for Sprint, the Electrify features a 4.3-inch qHD display, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory, an 8-megapixel camera, and a front-facing VGA camera. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone also has an HDMI port, comes with the Webtop app, and is compatible with such accessories as the HD Station.
U.S. Cellular did not … Read more
Netflix can now digest FroYo and Gingerbread. Or maybe it's the other way around.... Regardless, the video-streaming service's Android app now works on all devices running version 2.2 or 2.3, which would be the vast majority of Android phones and a number of tablets. Honeycomb users still get no red-envelope love, however.
Version 1.4 of the app dropped into the Android Market yesterday. Up until this version, Netflix had been compatible with a much smaller number of devices, with the development team tackling each device one at a time. In fact, when the app for Android first debuted in May, it was only functional on five devices.
Back then the company said it was having a hard time dealing with the notorious problem of Android fragmentation and had to "qualify phones" one at a time.
With subsequent releases, the number of compatible devices grew to 9 and then 24, and now it's everything except gadgets being used by the poor souls still stuck on Android 2.1, and the majority of Honeycomb tablets. According to Google's statistics, more than 82 percent of Android users are on FroYo or Gingerbread.
The app is free, but naturally you'll have to pony up $7.99 a month for the privilege of streaming "Cars 2" to your Droid 2. Trust me, your 2-year-old will love you for it.… Read more
Getting something for nothing is awfully hard to resist. If you have T-Mobile's unlimited messaging plan for your Android phone, the "something" is Web access and "for nothing" means no data plan required.
Smozzy is an Android app that cleverly packages communications between Android browser and Web as messages transmitted via T-Mobile's text messaging service. The result is slow but free Web access (given that you have T-Mobile's unlimited messaging plan).
Under this scheme, Web requests are sent via SMS to Smozzy's server, which retrieves the pages and returns them to your phone via MMS. The tricky part is in how Smozzy fits the camel through the needle's eye. The Smozzy server chops up a Web page, zips each piece, packages the zip files as PNGs, and sends the faux image files via MMS. The app unpacks the files and reassembles the Web page.… Read more
Be it the nature of your job, your harsh living conditions, a love of sports, or downright klutziness, there's a clear need for tough phones that can take a licking.
We periodically round up the most notable of the bunch. This time, the crop of tough phones includes the Samsung Convoy 2, which is also a push-to-talk baddie with a handy flash light (pictured) and a few extra comforts. Check out our full list of rugged phones here.
This is My Next has a scoop that the next version of the Android OS might be called "Jelly Bean." This is in line with Google's habit of alphabetically naming its Android firmware updates after desserts or sugary snacks. The site doesn't know what the version number is, however--indeed, no one knows the Ice Cream Sandwich version number either.
According to This is My Next's source, some of the more intriguing features for Ice Cream Sandwich may be postponed to Jelly Bean, which sounds like some features might not be ready yet for Ice Cream Sandwich's October release date. This is all rampant speculation, of course, and we're sure to get more details once the first Ice Cream Sandwich phones debut later this year. … Read more
LG, gearing up for the important preholiday season, has a number of Android-powered smartphones on the horizon.
One model in particular, the Univa, has appeared in a pair of real-world outings recently. Carrying a model number of e150 and looking production-ready, the handset may ultimately arrive Stateside as an Optimus One successor.
Rumored specifications for the Univa include an 800MHz processor, 512MB RAM, a 3.5-inch HVGA display, and a 5-megapixel camera. It is expected that the handset will run Android 2.3.4 and offer support for Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
While these details might sound uninspiring to seasoned … Read more
Verizon hasn't had a great history of long-lasting phones with its 4G handsets. We've heard many complaints about the dismal battery life of the HTC Thunderbolt and the Samsung Droid Charge, and LG Revolution didn't fare much better.
With the recently launched Motorola Droid Bionic, however, we have to say we're quite impressed with its battery life after the initial set of talk time tests. The Droid Bionic delivered an average of 7 hours and 55 minutes talk time with 4G enabled. When we turned LTE off to go 3G only, we managed to squeeze out a very impressive 10 hours and 21 minutes talk time. We should note here that LTE is only used for data and not voice, so the latter is mostly to rid the possibility of background processes.
Anecdotally, the Droid Bionic performed well in day-to-day usage. From a fully charged phone at the start of the day, we surfed the Web, navigated with Maps, watched a few Flash video clips, checked e-mail, and used it as we would normally. By the end of the day, we had only used about 15 to 20 percent of the battery. We did this with the 4G LTE speeds enabled.
We've yet to put it through more specific 4G tests, and we'll update you once we're done with them. So far, we're impressed that a dual-core smartphone with 4G speeds can offer such good battery life. For more on the phone, you can read our full review of the Motorola Droid Bionic.
(This post has been edited for clarity.)… Read more
Mark Licea transports us back to the '90s on today's 404 Podcast, which also happens to be our 900th episode! How appropriate that the penultimate episode would also fall on Jonathan Taylor Thomas' 30th birthday.
The '90s theme rolls through the show as Mark sings today's "Tang That Tune" music trivia segment, and we'll also reveal details about Nike's Back to the Future sneaker, as well as Rolling Stone's ranking of the worst songs of the '90s. We have a few selections of our own to add!
Finally, we spend a minute talking about a clever algorithm that helped arrange the names on the 9/11 memorial wall. The memorial planners hired a local media design firm to develop a network of names organized by interpersonal relationships.
Have a great weekend, everyone!The 404 Digest for Episode 900 An algorithm helped arrange the names on the 9/11 memorial. 9/11 memorial guide. No power laces = 100% fail; back to the best shoe Nike never made. Rolling Stone ranks the worst songs of the '90s. This matters: JTT reunites with "Home Improvement" cast to celebrate 30th birthday. Justin's Daily Bathroom Entertainment: dog loop. Episode 900 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more