Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]
Android users very well know that the official Skype application for Android is nothing but a joke. The app is slow, and does not support video calling, which is one main reason why people use Skype.
A major over-haul of the app was long due, and it has finally landed on the Android Market! I find it a bit ironic since when Microsoft purchased Skype, I gave up the very thought of Skype’s Android app ever being updated.
The new version of Skype (v2.0) brings with it a whole new, and much improved UI, along with support for SMS. The application now also supports two-way video calling via Wi-Fi or 3G. However, two way video-calling feature is limited to only four handsets at the moment. Those four handsets include the Google Nexus S, Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro and Neo, and the HTC Desire S.
Yes, Skype did not bother to add support for popular phones with front-facing camera like the EVO 4G, Samsung Galaxy S/ S2, EVO 3D, but added them for two phones which are hardly available anywhere.
Hopefully, Skype will soon release an updated version of the application with support for video calling on more Android handsets. Here is the link to the updated version of Skype for Android.
P3Droid is a very popular developer in the Motorola Android phone community. It is due to him, that the Gingerbread update for the Droid X and the Droid 2 Global leaked on the Internet.
Now, P3Droid has managed to get his hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Samsung’s Droid Charge. The update was initially meant to be private for 48 hours, for all the TeamBlackHat members exclusive. Sadly, things did not go as planned, and the leaked file was again leaked on the Internet (Ironic, isn’t it?).
The leaked Gingerbread firmware is based on Android 2.3.3, and is just a beta build. According to P3Droid, the final Gingerbread build for Droid Charge will be based on Android 2.3.4.
Everything works on this beta build, except for HDMI-out functionality. The whole tedious step of flashing the leaked Gingerbread update on your beloved Droid Charge can be found here. The leak is available in two flavours, one with all the bloatware on-board, and the second one with all bloatware removed, and with Netflix app pre-installed.
Oh, and if you want to thank TBH (TeamBlackHat) and P3Droid for his work, you can do so by purchasing this app of theirs.
Nokia has quietly unveiled a new Symbian S60 based handset the C5-00 5MP.
The handset can be assumed to be the successor to the Nokia C5-00. The handset sports a 2.2-inch display with QVGA (320×240) resolution. The C5-00 5MP is powered by an age-old ARM11 600MHz processor, and packs 256MB of RAM, along with 512MB of ROM.
The back of the handset also sports a 5MP camera, which can also record videos in VGA resolution at 15 fps. The handset also features a microSD card slot, HSDPA/HSUPA support, stereo speakers, micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, front facing camera, Bluetooth 2.0, and GPS with A-GPS.
Like most other Nokia phones, the C5-00 5MP will also come with Nokia Maps pre-installed, with free walk-and-drive navigation for life. The C5-00 5MP runs on Symbian S60 v3.2. The handset is powered by a Nokia BL-5CT 1050mAh battery.
The C5-00 5MP will hit the stores sometime in Q3 of this year in most regions of the world. Nokia did not mention anything about the pricing of the handset, though.
P.S. Don’t confuse the handset with the original C5-00. Both the handsets are nearly the same, except for the higher resolution camera and more RAM in the latter.
T-Mobile has officially announced the HTC myTouch 4G Slide, the successor to the myTouch 3G Slide. The handset sports a 3.7-inch display with WVGA (800×480) resolution.
Like other recent handsets from HTC, the Slide is also powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor from Qualcomm, and packs 768MB of RAM. The phone has a four-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and there is an optical track pad in the front as well.
The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread out-of-the-box, with HTC’s beautiful Sense UI on top of it.
The back of the phone also sports an 8MP camera, with a backside illuminated sensor and a wide aperture lens. HTC and T-Mobile are laying emphasis on the camera performance of the myTouch 4G Slide. According to the press release, there is virtually zero shutter lag while taking pictures. The phone is also capable of capturing panorama shots right out of the box.
It’s pretty strange to see HTC market their phone as the most advanced camera phone, when ironically; their phones are known for horrible camera image quality.
As its name suggests, the myTouch 4G Slide also supports T-Mobile’s 4G network. The phone will be available sometime in July for $199.99, with a 2-year contract.
HTC has just announced the European version of the EVO 3D. The handset is similar to the recently released Sprint’s EVO 3D, except for a different radio.
For people who are unaware of the EVO 3D specs, the handset is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. It also packs in a 4.3-inch screen, with qHD (960×640) resolution, which is capable of displaying 3D content without glasses.
The phone also sports 1GB of RAM, and 1GB of ROM. The back of the phone packs two dual-5MP cameras at the back with dual-LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 3D at 720p resolution, or at 1080p resolution in 2D mode. There is also a 1.3MP camera in the front for video-calling.
Other key features of the EVO 3D include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3..0, GPS with A-GPS, microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack and a micro-USB port with MHL capabilities.
The handset is powered by a beefy 1730mAh battery, which provides up to 560 minutes of talk time. The EVO 3D runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with the latest version of Sense UI (v3) running on top of it. The handset also comes with HTC Watch pre-installed, which will allow users to watch high-quality movies on the go.
HTC did not mention anything about the pricing and availability of the handset. More details about the EVO 3D availability will be announced by various network operators in the future.
The CyanogenMod team has finally released the first release candidate of CM7.1, which is based on Android 2.3.4.
Along with the latest version of Gingerbread, the CM team has also added some new features and support for more devices. With the release of CM7.1 RC, the CM team supports more than 44 Android powered devices. New inclusions include the Motorola Cliq XT, LG Optimus 2X, Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Incredible S.
The whole change-log of CM7 RC1 can be found here. The default ADW launcher has also been updated to support transitions.
Since the ROM is still in RC, there might be some bugs and issues with it. Do report the bugs you find, to the CM team, which will help them in getting close to the final release. CM7.1 RC1 can be downloaded from ROM Manager, or directly to your PC from here.
For the unknown, CM7 is the most popular AOSP based custom ROM out there. The amount of features and personalization offered by CM ROMs is unmatched. It includes some very useful features like DSP Manager, Theme Manager, Notification toggles in the notification bar, multiple lock-screens etc.
The HTC Droid Incredible 2 is the successor to the highly popular Droid Incredible from Verizon and HTC. The phone was released exactly a month ago under Verizon’s network.
Sadly, the phone shipped with Android 2.2 (FroYo) on-board. At the time of its launch, HTC and Verizon did not mention anything about the Gingerbread update, for the handset.
Now, a member of MobileUnderground has managed to get his hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread RUU for the Droid Incredible 2. I will not suggest any Droid Incredible 2 owner to flash this leaked RUU, as no known rooting and unlock method works on the firmware.
However, the folks over at Android Police have released a rooted version of the RUU. The re-packed RUU can be downloaded from here.
Below is a video of the Droid Incredible 2 running Android 2.3 Gingerbread :
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Incredible 2 brings some much needed bug fixes, apart from the bump in the Android version. The Smart Dialer and Notification LED settings work properly on this RUU, and so does the Sense Calendar widget.
The RUU also comes with a new radio, which should hopefully improve the network reception and data transfer speeds.
Sprint has released a maintenance software update each for the recently released HTC EVO 3D, and the EVO View 4G.
The maintenance software update for the EVO 3D is mainly aimed at fixing the force close which occurs while entering calendar entries in certain formats. There is also an application update which solves the missing Phone’ shortcut icon on the lock screen.
The update is an OTA one, and can be manually pulled from Sprint’s server. EVO 3D owners can do so, by going to Settings-> About Phone-> System Updates->HTC Software updates. Select the Check Now’ option and the handset will automatically download and install the update.
The EVO View 4G software update bumps up the Android OS version to 2.3.4. Along with it, the update also fixes some bugs with Google Maps, Google Navigation and the built-in Mail app from HTC.
Sadly, the update also disables video chat via Google Talk. Sprint does state that they will enable this feature sometime in the future, though.
HTC has just announced a variant of the HTC EVO 3D, which will be heading to Korea, known as the EVO 4G+. The EVO 4G+ is similar to the EVO 3D, except for the lack of 3D display and 3D camera (s ).
Instead, the handset sports a normal 4.3-inch display with qHD (960×640) resolution. Unlike the EVO 3D, which sports dual 5MP cameras, the EVO 4G+ sports a single 8MP camera with an LED flash.
The EVO 4G+ will be powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor from Qualcomm, and packs 1GB of RAM. The handset will also be capable of recording videos in 1080p full HD resolution. Like the EVO 3D, the 4G+ is powered by a chunky 1730mAh battery, and also sports a physical camera shutter button.
The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with the latest version of Sense (v3.) running on top of it. HTC has not announced anything about the pricing or the availability of the handset. Hopefully, more details about the handset will be made available in the coming weeks.
Here is the official product page of the HTC EVO 4G+.
One of the major complaints in the Android eco-system is the lack of quality’ games. Yes, there is Angry Birds and its various versions, but one game alone is not enough to cater to everyone’s need.
Thankfully, the gaming scene of the Android Market has been changing rapidly with new quality games being added nearly every day. Yesterday, Cut The Rope was made available for Android phones, and the day before that N.O.V.A. 2 hit the Android Market.
Today, another quality’ game Samurai II Vengeance has hit the Android Market. The game is about a Samurai who is seeking vengeance from Orochi. It is the sequel to the massively popular Samurai: Way of Warrior game, which is available for iOS, and was also crowned by Apple as one of the best games of 2009.
Below is a small video demo of the game :
Samurai II Vengeance is a quality game in all respect, especially gameplay and graphics. The game is based on the Unity 3D engine and looks absolutely great. The controls are easy to use as well. The game ran perfectly fine without any lags on my SGS II, which is down clocked to 1GHz.
Samurai II Vengeance is available in two flavors, one for Tegra 2 based devices with optimized graphics, and a non-Tegra 2 version. The non-Tegra 2 version is also optimized for Xperia Play, and supports its gamepad.
The Tegra 2 version costs $4.99, while the non Tegra 2 version costs $2.99. Here is the link to the game.