LG and Verizon will start rolling out a new software update for the LG Revolution, by this week’s end. While the update does not bump the Android version to Gingerbread, it does fix a number of bugs with the Revolution.
Here is the full changelog :
Email and Messaging
Out of Officefeature now available for Exchange email.
Auto-correct no longer incorrectly activates in email, ID and search message fields,
Setting up email with multiple servers has been fixed.
No longer receive duplicate emails on Yahoo Mail
When on a call while in Vibrate mode and an incoming call is received, a short beep notification will sound instead of a vibration.
Keyboard no longer automatically opens when viewing a text message. Tap in text entry field to activate it.
View album art for MPEG4 files on Music Player.
Applications and Widgets
Voice data app now preloaded to enable text to speech.
V Cast Music, V Cast Video and V Cast Tones come preloaded.
Other apps like Amazon Kindle, Netflix, and Tunewiki etc. have also been updated.
As readers can see from the changelog, LG has squashed a lot of bugs with this software update. Verizon has also taken this opportunity to load more bloat ware on the Revolution. Verizon will start rolling out the update from this week’s end, and aims to complete the roll-out within a week.
Until last year, HTC were the developer’s favorite Android handset manufacturer because their phones did not ship with a locked boot loader. However, since 2011 HTC has started shipping phones with a locked bootloader, which received a lot of criticism from users and developers, alike. Thankfully, HTC heard the criticism of their customers and decided that they will provide them with a way to unlock the boot loader.
Today, HTC has released more information about how the bootloader unlocking process will work, and why their latest handsets are still shipping with a locked down bootloader. Since an unlocked bootloader provides extensive control’ over the device and custom ROMs may harm your devices, HTC will continue shipping devices with a locked bootloader.
HTC will release a web-based tool for users interested in unlocking the bootloader, by this month, which will aid them in unlocking the bootloader. However, if a user unlocks the bootloader on his HTC device, he will void the warranty of his device.
HTC will release a software update for the Sensation, followed by the Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the EVO 3D on Sprint, which will then allow users to unlock the bootloader on these handsets using the web-based tool. The company aims at releasing the software update sometime this month.
For more information about the bootloader unlocking process, readers should head over to HTC’s Facebook page.
Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software update for three of its Xperia branded handsets the Xperia Play, Neo and Arc. The software update does not bump the Android version to 2.3.4, but brings a host of welcomed features.
First and foremost, the software update adds a Themes’ section to the handset. There are five themes already pre-installed. Each theme is based on a specific color found on the Sony Ericsson logo. SE has also added xLOUD’ feature, which boost the volume of the speaker. I tried this feature on my Arc, and enabling xLOUD just increased the treble a bit.
Another feature which this software update brings is stereo quality audio recording in HD videos on the Arc and the Neo. The core apps found on these apps have also been updated. The Gallery and Music Player apps have also got minor UI enhancements, along with the launcher which now supports landscape mode. The usual performance and stability improvements are also on-board.
Sony Ericsson is slowly rolling out the update to all the Xperia handsets out there, so please be patient before you get the update via OTA.
The Motorola Droid Bionic was announced 7 months ago, at the CES 2011. At that time, the Droid Bionic was going to be the first 4G LTE phone with a dual-core processor to hit Verizon’s network. However, for some unknown reason Moto shelved the original Bionic, and announced that it will release a new version of Bionic with an improved form-factor.
Over the last few weeks, many rumors about the Droid Bionic leaked on the Internet. Some rumors stated that the handset will have a 4.5-inch screen, while other suggest that the phone will have a 1.5GHz OMAP processor. Now, thanks to Motorola’s Developer website and Droid-Life, the specs of Droid Bionic have leaked online.
The internals of Droid Bionic are similar to the recently launched Droid 3, except that it has more RAM. The Bionic will be powered by a dual-core 1GHz OMAP 4430 processor, and pack 1GB of RAM. The most disappointing part is that the Bionic will have the same pixelated screen as found on the Droid X2 and the Droid 3.
Here are the full specs of the Bionic :
1GHz OMAP dual-core 4430 processor
4.3-inch qHD (960×640) screen PenTile display
8MP camera with full-HD recording capability
Webtop capabilities similar to the Atrix 4G
Motorola created a lot of hype around the Droid Bionic, and if this what the final Droid Bionic packs, then I am disappointed. If Verizon’s version of Samsung Galaxy S II features 4G LTE, then I doubt anyone will buy the Droid Bionic. The screen might be of a higher resolution, but it looks pixelated, and is no Super-AMOLED (+) or IPS LCD. Motorola phones are known to come with pathetic camera’s, and the Bionic will be no different.
Basically, Moto created hype around a product which is similar to the Droid 3 minus the keyboard, with extra RAM and a 4G LTE chip. Hopefully, Motorola will be sane enough not to lock down the boot loader on the handset. If they do so, then I guess they should get ready to suffer more losses during the next quarter.
If the next generation Apple iPhone for Verizon also sports 4G LTE compatibility, then I will suggest Motorola to not even bother releasing the Bionic to the general public. Had the phone been released sometime in the first half of this year, it would have been a worthy buy. Sadly, the device is still a month away from its official release and will offer too little, when launched.
P.S. – No, I am not even going to talk about disaster that is the Moto’s BLUR UI. The Bionic will come with a new version of Blur, which has some nice improvements. This does not make the new version less suck-y than the old version, though.
Panorama images are clicked with an elongated field of view. In laymen term, it basically means stitching or joining multiple images to make one giant wide’ image.
Below is an example of a panorama image-:
In today’s world, camera phones are the primary image capturing device for a majority of people. Irrespective of the poor quality of images, and the lack of detail, everyone prefers camera phones because of their portability factor, and mainly because we carry our cellphones with us everywhere.
2-3 years ago, it would have been impossible to click a panorama image from your handset. However, with advancements in technology and handsets featuring faster 1 GHz processors, and oodles of RAM, capturing panorama images is not a big task for modern age smartphones. Many quality apps exist for iOS to click panorama images. However, the same cannot be said for Android. The problem with panorama images is that they are very hardware centric, and since every Android phone has a different hardware configuration, it is tough to make one app which works on a range of hardware, especially on low-end ones.
360 for Android is one slick app to click and share panorama images with your friends. The app is made by TeliportMe, which consists of only 3 highly talented people. This same team was awarded by Nvidia as the Emerging Technology Company in 2010. The app has been available in the Android Market for quite some time now, and has a pretty big user base of around 45,000+ users.
Recently, a new version of 360 was released on the Android Market which has many under-the-hood changes. I gave the app a try, and I must say I have been pretty impressed by it.
Below is a video of 360 in action :
360 uses the various sensors found in today’s high-end Android handsets, and the powerful CPU+GPU combo to click panorama images. The app makes use of the GPU instead of the CPU to stitch the images together, and because of this the images are stitched together in a very short span of time. The best part about 360 is its ability to share your panorama images online with other fellow 360 users, or your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
360 also has a public timeline which shows you the panorama images clicked by other 360 users. I spent a lot of time in seeing all the panorama images clicked by other 360 users. Thanks to the image being panoramic, you get a feeling of being physically present in that place. This one feature is what makes 360 stands out from other panorama apps on the Android Market.
Sadly, not all is perfect with the app. The images are not stitched properly all the time. However, the team behind 360 is working on this, and in the latest version the stitching errors are definitely less. Another problem with the app is the 3D image viewer. It is a bit buggy, and sometimes one light flick will be registered as a full swipe.
Thankfully, I have been in constant touch with the developer, and they have assured me that they are working hard on improving the stitching process. That said, these couple of small bugs do not deter me from recommending 360 to all Android users out there. Install the app, and have fun by just watching panorama images of unknown places, a stranger’s room or car. 360 for Android can be downloaded for free from the Android Market (link).
This piece of news will interest only the small bunch of Logitech Revue owners out there. Google announced at Google I/O this year that Google TV will also get Honeycomb update sometime this year.
Well, a beta build of Android 3.1 Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue has leaked online. While this may get a lot of Revue owners excited, the problem is that most of the stuffs don’t work in this beta build.
Here is a small list of what works, and what does not :
Overall improvement in performance
New UI is clean and compliments features very well
TV/Movie listings display what looks like DVD covers when available
What does not works:
Sound issues while watching TV
No root access
It’s not possible to downgrade to 2.1 at the moment
No Google Apps
The Intel Atom CPU inside the Revue is incompatible with 99.99% of the apps on the Market
Revue users who are interested in flashing this update, can find the required steps here. But before that, I guess they need to find the Revue and wipe off the dust that it has collected!
After a lot of drama, HTC have finally released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the original Desire. There is a catch though; the update will not be rolled out to the general public.
Due to the low internal memory on the Desire, HTC had to strip down a lot of apps, features and wallpapers from the Gingerbread update. So, the company has decided against releasing the update for the general Desire users. The update is meant only for developers, and the RUU can be downloaded from HTC’s developer website.
The Gingerbread update for the Desire will bring improved copy-and-paste functionality, minor UI changes, and an improved performance and battery life.
Here is a small list of things which HTC had to strip down :
1. All customizations, including operator applications, will be removed.
2. All wallpapers, except the default wallpaper, will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.
3. Several HTC applications will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.
4. The official Facebook application will be removed and is downloadable on the Android Market.
Interested Desire owners can go ahead and install Gingerbread on their phone via the RUU. However, they should make a backup of all the data on their handset, since the handset will be wiped clean of all data.
Please make sure that your Desire variant is supported by the RUU, before flashing it. Otherwise, you may end up with a bricked or a partially unusable phone. Desire owners, who are running a custom ROM on their handset, I recommend you people to wait for a rooted version of the official update to be out.
At the moment, it is unknown whether HTC will release an OTA version of the Gingerbread update for the Desire or not.
Nokia has just released its first ever Symbian powered handset packing a 1GHz processor the Nokia 500. However, the 500 is not a high-end handset, everyone expected it to be. It is just a mid-range Symbian phone, with a 1GHz CPU.
The 500 sports a measly 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen with nHD (360×640) resolution. At the back of the 500 is a 5MP full-focus (EDoF) camera. Sadly, the handset lacks an LED flash and a front-facing camera. Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio, microSD card slot, 3G/HSUPA and GPS with A-GPS.
The Nokia 500 runs on the latest version of Symbian, Anna, which features an improved web-browser and other UI enhancements. Like other Nokia handsets announced recently, the 500 also comes with Nokia Maps pre-loaded with free walk-&-drive navigation. The 500 is also capable of playing back music for up to 35 hours!
The Nokia 500 will be available in most regions of the world from the beginning of third quarter of this year. The handset will be available in black and white color, with user replaceable back covers of different colors. By the end of the year, the 500 will be available in more c0lors including purple, azure, blue, pink, red, orange and dark silver. The handset is expected to cost â‚¬150 before taxes and subsidies.
The official press release from Nokia does not state whether the 500 packs in a GPU, or not. It may very well be possible that Nokia ditched the GPU on the 500, in favor of a faster 1GHz processor.
Nokia has started rolling out a new firmware update for its budget-oriented business class handset the Nokia E5. The firmware update carries the version number 71.03.
The new firmware update brings a number of changes to the E5, including an updated web-browser and Nokia (Formerly OVI) Maps. The new browser is the same (v7.3) as the one found in Symbian Anna based handsets. The new version of Nokia Maps brings indoor positioning via Wi-Fi, and travel and recommendation services like Lonely Planet.
Other core apps like Nokia Email, and QuickOffice have also been updated. The usual performance and stability improvements, along with some bug-fixes are also present.
Nokia E5 owners can download, and install the update via OTA or by using Nokia Software Updater (NSU). Even though the E5 features UDP (User Data Preservation), users are recommended to make a backup of their data before proceeding with the firmware update.
The update is being rolled out in stages, so be patient if it does not show up on your E5 yet!
unrevoked was a very popular tool to get S-OFF and turn off NAND protection on older gen HTC Android handsets. However, the guys behind unrevoked have been out of action for nearly the whole of 2011.
Just when everyone thought that the folks behind unrevoked had given up, they team up with AplhaRev to release revolutionary. The team behind AlphaRev has been working on getting S-OFF on the latest batch of HTC devices, with a locked boot loader for quite sometime now.
revolutionary is an S-OFF tool which turns off the NAND protection on the 2011 line-up of Android handsets from HTC, which come with an encrypted boot loader.
Here is the list of devices which the tool supports :
Revolutionary currently supports the following Android phones and HBOOT versions:
HTC Desire (bravo) 0.93.0001
HTC Desire CDMA (bravoc) 1.06.0000
HTC Wildfire (buzz) 1.01.0001
HTC Aria (liberty) 1.02.0000
HTC Incredible S (vivo) 1.09.0000 and 1.13.0000
HTC Droid Incredible 2 (vivow) 0.97.0000
HTC Desire S (saga) 0.98.0000 and 0.98.0002
HTC View (express) 1.09.0000 and 1.13.0000
HTC Flyer (flyer) 1.10.0000
HTC Sensation (pyramid) 1.17.0006, .0008, .0011 and .0012
HTC Evo 3D (shooter) 1.30.0000 and 1.40.0000
Revolutionary will permanently unlock NAND write protection by default on the following phones:
HTC Sensation (pyramid)
HTC Evo 3D (shooter)
Readers should keep in mind that S-OFF does not mean the handset is rooted. To get root access, users need to flash this file via recovery. The tool is in developer preview right now, so interested users need to provide their handsets serial number before they get a download link. Interested readers can find more info about revolutionary tool here.
Now, the wait begins for some awesome mods, kernels and custom ROMs for the EVO 3D, Sensation and Flyer begins!