New Android Market Rolling Out Now; Brings PIN Lock for App Purchases and +1 Button

Google recently started rolling out a new Android Market app with an over-hauled UI. While most people are still waiting for the new Market to be pushed to their phone, the smart ones already downloaded the APK from the Internet and installed it on their phone.

Now, Google has rolled out a minor update to the Android Market (v3.1.3) app, which includes two new features. First and foremost, the update brings some sort of integration with Google Plus, by including a +1 button in every apps page. Secondly, the update also brings a much needed and requested option to PIN lock new Android Market purchases.  Other than that, the new update also shows when an app was last update, along with its download size.

The folks over at Droid-Life have already got their hands on the APK. I highly recommend Android handset owners to go ahead and download and install the APK from there. Otherwise, they will have to wait for quite a few weeks and maybe months for the OTA update to be hit their phone.



HP TouchPad Running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 Videos Surface

The HP TouchPad is currently the number 1 selling tablet in Amazon, and across all the retail stores in the U.S. Even though the tablet and webOS is dead, the $99 price is too tempting to give this tablet a miss.

As we had reported earlier, developers all over the world have already started working on porting Android to the TouchPad. There is even a $1500 bounty up for grab for anyone who manages to port Android to the HP’s dead tablet.

Now, two mysterious videos have surfaced on YouTube, which shows the TouchPad running two different  flavors  of Android.  In the first video, the TouchPad is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the owner of the video promises to publish a tutorial on August 24th, which will allow other users to install the OS on their $99 tablet as well. In fact, the owner of the video goes ahead and states that he will release a working Honeycomb port for the TouchPad on August 26th. Sounds quite dubious to me, considering Honeycomb’s source code is still not available to the public.

Below is a video of the TouchPad running Android 2.3 Gingerbread –

In the second video, the TouchPad is shown running on Android 2.2.1. The owner of the video claims that his friend’s TouchPad shipped with Android 2.2 pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! The most interesting part of the video is that the TouchPad’s boot logo is that of Qualcomm’s. Quite interesting huh? The second video can be seen here.

Hopefully, by the end of this month, we should see some partially usable Android ports for the TouchPad.



Nokia N8 Camera Software Update Brings 30fps Video Recording and Continuous Auto-focus

The Nokia N8 is a pretty old ‘smartphone’, technology wise. However, the 12MP Carl Zeiss camera at the back of the phone is still unmatched by any other mobile phone in the industry. In fact, the N8 is more popularly known as a camera with phone functionalities, than a smartphone.

Many die-hard N8 owners requested the company to add some more features and settings to the camera interface via a software update. With the Symbian Anna update, Nokia fulfilled quite a few requests that included minor UI tweaks, and added exposure compensation control. Now, Nokia has released another camera software update for the N8 via its Betalabs website.

The update mainly brings two new features to the N8 – 30fps video recording and continuous Auto-focus. While the increase in fps will give all the videos shot with the phone a smoother feel, the continuous auto-focus feature means users can shoot a video from as close as 10cm to infinity. Along with these two features, the update will also add a persistent viewfinder grid to the video mode, along with making it persistent in camera mode as well.

The camera software update is available for all N8 running Symbian Anna. The update can be  downloaded  from Nokia’s Betalabs website.


Motorola Flipside Android 2.2 FroYo Update Rolling Out Now

Motorola Flipside users rejoice! Motorola has finally given your much phone much needed FroYo love. The Flipside was launched last year on AT&T’s network, with Android 2.1 on-board.

The update to Android 2.2 brings with it some welcomed changes, including the ability to transfer applications to memory card, and Flash 10.3 support. While the USB tethering feature is also present, the option to tether via Wi-Fi is absent.

The Android 2.2.2 update also brings with it some much needed  performance  and stability boost. Post the update, Flipside users are also reporting an increase in battery life.

However, one major complain with the update is the low internal memory, once the FroYo update is installed. Thanks to all the non-removable  bloatware by AT&T, users are forced to move nearly all of their apps on to the SD card. Rooting apps like z4root or Super One Click root, don’t work with the FroYo update, at the moment.

Motorola Flipside users can head over to this site for a step-by-step information on how to update your handset to Android 2.2 FroYo.

TELUS Fascinate 3G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now!

TELUS Fascinate 3G owners, here is some good news for you. Sammy has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for their handsets. Considering that the Verizon’s Fascinate is still stuck at Android 2.2 (FroYo), TELUS Fascinate owners should consider themselves very lucky!

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update will bring with improvements in the performance and stability of the phone, improved battery life, and an enhanced copy & paste  functionality. The poor GPS performance is still present, post the update though. While some have noticed an improvement in GPS signal stability, some reported that, after installing the update, the GPS performance became totally horrible. The usual lag’ associated with the Galaxy S series of phone, due to the RFS FileSystem has been greatly reduced in this Gingerbread firmware as well.

However, majority of the Fascinate 3G owners who tried updating their handset to Android 2.3 via KIES ended up bricking up their phone.  Users, who have already installed this update, can follow  this  method to get root access on their  handset.

Readers can find more information about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Fascinate 3G over at  TELUS support page.


Nokia E7, C7 and C6-01 Symbian Anna Update Goes Live

Yesterday, we reported that the Symbian Anna update for N8 should go live any moment. Well, the good news is that Nokia has already started rolling out the update in more than 15 different regions of the world.


Along with the N8, Nokia has started rolling out the Anna update for other first generation Symbian^3 handsets like the C7, E7, and C6-01. The Symbian Anna update brings with it some much needed features and enhancements, including an improved web-browser, portrait QWERTY input, new icons, and an improved version of Ovi Maps.

Other than this, the Anna update should also enable the NFC chip on the C7. Post the update, C7 owners would be able to share games, use NFC based accessories and read NFC tags using the NFC chip.

The whole Symbian Anna change-log can be found over at Nokia’s official blog. The Anna update will be available via OTA and/or via Nokia Software update and Ovi Suite. However, Nokia recommends using the Ovi Suite/NSU updating method, and suggests against using the OTA method, unless the user has access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection.

The Symbian Anna update will be available within this week in Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, UAE, the UK, and more countries.

HTC EVO 3D Software Update Rolling Out Now; Bug-Fixes Galore!

Sprint and HTC are all set to release a software update for the HTC EVO 3D. The new software update aims at squashing bugs, and to improve the overall performance and stability of the phone.

Here is the full change-log of the update, thanks to Android Central -:

  • Fixes the device lockscreen stuck in “half-state”
  • Ability to transfer all contacts over Bluetooth
  • Fixed the date mis-match issue between contacts and Facebook when synced
  • Fixed the random GPS coordinates issue
  • The lock screen now displays three digit temperatures correctly
  • Fixed the Spiderman demo lockups
  • Allows more pre-loaded content to be uninstalled by the user
  • Spiderman, Watch and Qik have been updated to the latest version
Most importantly, post this software update, Sprint EVO 3D owners will be able to unlock the boot loaders on their handset, using the recently released web-based unlocking tool from HTC.
Sprint will start rolling out the software update (v2.08.651.2) from today via OTA. EVO 3D owners can also manually check for the update, by going to Settings->About Phone-> Software update, and selecting the ‘Check for updates’ option.


Google Maps and Reader for Android Updated; Minecraft Now Available For Xperia Play

Google has released updates for two of its popular apps for Android – Google Maps and Google Reader. The Google Maps update brings with it some welcomed changes, including custom transit notifications.

The bubble buttons, which had mysteriously disappeared in the previous update, have also made a comeback. The Transit support has also made its way to the tablet version of Google Maps. The latest update (v5.9) is already available for download from the Android Market.

The Google Reader app for Android has also been updated, and brings with it some much-needed improvements. Most importantly, the Google Reader app finally supports Honeycomb. The tablet layout of the app is similar to the mobile/tablet version of GReader website. The ‘Mark as read’ function has also been improved, and users can now mark an item as read by long pressing on it.

While this update definitely helps in improving the overall usability of the GReader app, it still does not stand a chance in front of the competition.

In other Android apps and games related news, the highly popular and insanely addictive game, Minecraft from Mojang is now available exclusively for the Xperia Play. At the time being, the game will remain exclusive to the Play. Hopefully, the game should be available to other touch screen based Android phones, sometime in the future. Sony Ericsson has also stated that a bunch of new games are soon going to be available for the Play, including Fifa 2012, Death Worm and EVAC HD. The whole list of games can be found  here.



Motorola Droid HD Pictures Leak; Trumps Droid Bionic In Every Aspect

The Motorola Droid Bionic is one of the most anticipated phones of this year. The phone was announced back at CES, but was later postponed to the 2nd half of 2011, for some unknown reason. The Droid Bionic will be the first dual-core processor powered phone to support Verizon’s blazing fast 4G LTE network.

Now, it looks like Motorola is already working on another phone, which trumps the Bionic in every aspect. The Droid HD will presumably come with HD (1280×720) resolution on 4.5-inch of touch-screen real estate. In all probability, the Droid HD will be powered by the dual-core OMAP4430 processor, which is also found in the Droid 3, and the upcoming Droid Bionic. Unlike the Droid 3 though, the HD will come with an ample 1GB of RAM.

However, where the Droid HD will trump the Droid Bionic is in terms of thinness. The handset is slim, insanely thin, and I am talking about the iPhone 4 and Galaxy S II level thinness here. Sadly, all this thinness comes from the fact that the HD will not be a 4G LTE capable phone. It will be a world phone, nonetheless.

The usual array of ports including a mini-HDMI port, along with the usual bunch of sensors and antennas are also present. There is also an 8MP camera at the back of the HD, which like its name, is capable of shooting videos in full HD resolution. The HD will also come with a beefy internal battery. You got to sacrifice something for all that kind of slimness!



Nokia N8 Symbian Anna Update Imminent!

Nokia will finally started rolling out the much-awaited Symbian Anna update for its camera with telephoning capabilities – the N8.

The Symbian Anna update brings with it a host of changes, which will definitely be welcomed by all Symbian loyalists. First and foremost, the whole UI has been tweaked, with rounded and larger icons, so as to make it more touch friendly.

Other than the new icons, there is also a new and much improved web-browser on-board. While the browser is not up to Android or iPhone level, it still is pretty good. The Anna update will also bring a portrait based QWERTY text-input system for the N8. There will also be a ‘split view’ text input system, when entering text in web pages and apps. The music player and the photo gallery app have also got minor UI tweaks. All other Ovi apps on the phone like Ovi Maps, Music, and Ovi store have also been updated to the latest versions.

At the moment, the firmware is listed in NaviFirm, which means that Nokia will start rolling out the firmware any moment now. Hopefully, the Anna update for other Symbian^3 based handsets like the E7, C7 and C6-01 will also be released soon.

All Symbian^3 owners need to make sure that they have Ovi Suite v3.1.185 or above installed, for the update to show up.