HTC Thunderbolt Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread Update Coming Soon; Will Bring Video Chatting Via Skype And Google Talk

When Verizon and HTC announced the Thunderbolt at the CES 2011, the phone was supposed to ship with a video chat capable version of Skype. However, from the time of its announcement to its release date, something happened and the Thunderbolt did not ship with a video chat capable version of Skype.

Now, the folks over at Android And Me have got their hands on some internal documents from Verizon, which suggests that the HTC Thunderbolt will be getting a software update on June 30th.

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The software update will bump the Android version on the handset to 2.3.4, and will include a bunch of bug-fixes including a fix for the random reboot issue. The software update carrying the build number 2.07.605.2 will also bring the video-chat capable version of Google Talk, and a new version of Skype, which will also support video-chatting.

The update will also bump the Sense version to 2.1, which will include integration with HTCSense.com. The update also aims at improving the aGPS performance of the handset, and will install Amazon AppStore along with Verizon’s Phone Finder and MyVerizon app.

Hopefully, there will be no technical problems and the Android 2.3.4 update for the Thunderbolt will not be delayed.

Motorola Droid 2 Global Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Available Now!

It was at the end of last month, that Motorola and Verizon started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Droid X. It was only a matter of time before the Droid 2 also got some Gingerbread love, because of its similar hardware with the Droid X.

Now, Verizon has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Droid 2 Global. The software update will help in improving the performance and stability of the handset, along with adding some new features. Beside the bump in the Android OS version, the update will also include a Download Manager app, improved copy and paste functionality, and Multi-Touch key chording.

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Motorola has also taken this chance to include an improved version of MotoBLUR with a new color scheme in this update. Post the update; users should also notice an improvement in battery life.

The update is an OTA one, and can be manually downloaded by going to Settings->About Phone>System Updates, and selecting the Check for updates option.

Sadly, this update does not apply to the Droid 2 CDMA version. Motorola and Verizon have not mentioned anything about the Gingerbread update for the Droid 2 CDMA, but it should arrive soon.

Now, Motorola only needs to roll out Gingerbread updates for the Droid X2, Droid 2 CDMA version, and the Atrix 4G. Hopefully, the company will do so before Google announces the next version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Motorola Milestone 3 Announced; Headed To China Telecom

Motorola and China Telecom have gone ahead and announced the Milestone 3 (XT883). The Motorola Milestone 3 is the non-American version of the yet to be announced Droid 3. Both the phones are exactly the same, except for the different radio antenna.

As rumors earlier suggested, the Motorola Milestone 3 sports a dual-core OMAP processor running at 1GHz, and packs a disappointing 512MB of RAM. The handset also sports a 4-inch qHD (960×540) display, with a five-row slide out QWERTY keyboard.

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The back of the Milestone 3 packs an 8MP camera with an LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in full HD 1080p resolution. There is also a front facing VGA camera for video calls and chat. Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, 16GB internal memory, microSD card slot, proximity sensor, 3.5mm audio jack and a micro-USB port.

Thankfully, unlike other recently announced Motorola handsets, the Droid 3 runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a new version of MotoBLUR.

The Milestone 3 (XT883) will be available from 3rd quarter of 2011. Sadly, Motorola and China Telecom did not mention anything about the pricing of the handset.

The Milestone 3 is also expected to hit the Verizon’s network under the name of Droid 3, sometime next month.

Samsung Captivate Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

Samsung released the Android 2.2 FroYo update for the Galaxy S in October, last year. However, it was only at the beginning of this year that the Samsung Galaxy S variants in the U.S got the Android 2.2 Froyo update.

Recently, Sammy started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Galaxy S and other Galaxy branded devices over the different regions of the world. However, Samsung did not mention anything whether the various Galaxy S variants in the U.S will get the Gingerbread love or not.

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Now, the folks over at SamFirmware have managed to get their hands on not one, but two, Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread based firmware for the AT&T version of the Galaxy S the Samsung Captivate. One firmware (I897UCKF1) carries the build date of June 8th, while the second one (I897UCKE3) has a recent build date of June 26.

The carriers in the U.S. are evil about rolling out Android updates. They play a major role in delaying Android updates of various handsets, and if they do, load it up with lots of bloat ware. While this firmware leak confirms that the Captivate will get the Gingerbread update, don’t expect the update to land anytime soon.

HTC EVO Shift 4G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update To Be Available From Tomorrow

The HTC EVO Shift 4G might not be as popular as other high-end Android handsets available from Sprint. However, this does not mean that the Shift 4G is a bad handset.

The EVO Shift 4G is one of the best handsets in the dying breed of hardware QWERTY phones. The handset might not have exactly set the sales chart on fire, but Sprint is still supporting the handset by releasing its Android 2.3 Gingerbread update.

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The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update will bring a new Downloads application, and performance and stability improvements. The software update will also squash some bugs including the bug which prevented the Shift 4G to stream media via certain applications. Swype keyboard will also be installed on the handset, post the update.

The software update will be an OTA (Over-The-Air) one, and Sprint will start pushing it to all Shift 4G handsets beginning from June 20th. For the impatient, the update will be available for manual download from Sprint’s server, starting from tomorrow (June 17).

(Source)

Mugen Batteries Review For The Samsung Galaxy S And HTC Desire Z

Poor Battery life is one of the major issues with most of the Android phones out there. Previously, I wrote about an app called Juice Defender which helps in increasing the battery life of Android phones. However, tweaks and apps alone cannot make up for low capacity batteries in Android phones, especially from HTC.

Under heavy usage most of the Android phones will hardly last a day. Due to this, many hardcore Android handset owners buy a third party higher battery for their handset. These third party batteries come in two flavors one without an extended back cover and another one with a back cover, which usually adds a couple of inches thickness to the phone.

Mugen Battery is one popular third party high capacity battery manufacturer. The company has high capacity batteries available for nearly all Android, WP7 and Symbian handsets.

Recently, I got trial units of Mugen battery for the Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire Z.

For the Samsung Galaxy S, Mugen offers two batteries one with a 1650mAh capacity, and another one with a whopping 3200mAh capacity and an extended back cover. Similarly, for the Desire Z, Mugen offers an 1800mAh battery along with a 3600mAh battery and an extended back door.

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First up, the review of both the Mugen batteries available for the Samsung Galaxy S.

The 1650mAh battery from Mugen only has a slightly higher capacity from the OEM Galaxy S battery. I tried the battery with several different ROMs including CM7 and the stock ROM, and managed to squeeze out couple of hours worth of extra battery life compared to the stock/OEM battery. With the stock 1500mAh battery from Samsung, I get around 11 hours of battery life on 3G without Juice Defender.

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The second 3200mAh battery from Mugen for the Galaxy S is the real show-stopper though. The extended back cover with the 3200mAh battery does make the Galaxy S noticeably thick, and heavy. However, the build quality and texture of the Mugen back cover is also better than the stock back cover from Samsung. It also helps in improving the grip on the SGS.

With this battery, I managed to get more than 2 days of continuous usage or heavy usage. With more than 4 hours of voice calls, a couple of hours of Tank Hero and Tilt Arena, and an hour of browsing on 3G, the battery lasted me 2 days 10 hours before dying.

The 1650mAh battery is a great buy for anyone who is looking for a spare or a replacement battery for his Galaxy S, without increasing the bulk of the phone.The 3200mAh battery is an easy recommendation to any Galaxy S owner who travels frequently, and is rarely around a power source.

Now, here is the review of the Mugen batteries for the HTC Desire Z.

The 1800mAh battery for the Desire Z from Mugen is a pretty big improvement over the stock 1300mAh battery, capacity wise. With the stock battery, the Desire Z lasts me around 14 hours on 3G with some heavy gaming and tweeting with 1 Gmail, Facebook and Twitter account syncing in the background. With the 1800mAh battery from Mugen, I was able to squeeze around 21 hours of battery life on more or less the same usage as stated before.

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An increase in battery life by a whopping 7 hours, without replacing the battery cover is a huge improvement. I wonder if Mugen can fit in an 1800mAh battery, why does HTC ship a measly 1300mAh battery with the Desire Z.

The 3600mAh battery along with the extended back cover, when installed gives the Desire Z a very weird look. Unlike, the Galaxy S, the extended back cover on the Desire Z only covers a part of the handset. This is not a fault of the Mugen though. The Desire Z was never made with an extra-thick battery door in mind. The Mugen battery door is made up of plastic, unlike the original metal back plate found on the Z.

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Now, like its lesser capacity sibling, this 3600mAh battery packs some serious punch. The Desire Z lasted a staggering 3 days and 5 hours, with still 10% of charge left. I used the phone for around 6+ hours of music via earphones, nearly an hour of Internet browsing on a mix of 3G and Wi-Fi, lots of tweeting with 1 Gmail, Facebook and Twitter account syncing in the background.

Readers should keep in mind that battery life will vary depending on their usage, but even then they can easily squeeze out more than 40+ hours of battery life from the 3600mAh battery.

I can easily recommend both the Mugen batteries 1800mAh and 3600mAh for the Desire Z. The former costs $44.95, while the latter costs a whopping $96.95.

At the end of this review, I can easily say that Mugen Battery is the best third party battery available for your precious phone. Not only do they increase the battery life substantially, they are also available in different sizes according to a users need.

HTC Does A U-Turn; Desire To Get Gingerbread Update

  • Yesterday, HTC announced via their Facebook page that the original HTC Desire will not be getting the Gingerbread update.

The company cited that they were not able to bring Gingerbread to the Desire while maintaining the same Sense experience as found on other HTC devices. The reason behind this was the low internal memory of the Desire.

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This news did no go down well with the Desire owners, and the company received a lot of publicity. The HTC Desire is HTC’s highest selling handset ever, and the company realized it cannot piss off so many of its loyal customers.

So, Today HTC has again announced via their Facebook page that the Desire will indeed be getting its Gingerbread update. It is possible that the Desire may feature a striped down version of Sense UI, in order to make sure that the 512MB of internal memory is not filled up.

However, the company has not mentioned when the update is scheduled to roll out. The Desire Gingerbread update was originally scheduled to roll-out sometime before Q2 ends.

AMD A-Series APUs Announced; Promises 10.5 Hours of Battery Life

Today, AMD has announced its next-generation of APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit) for users who need more computing power.

AMD offers the new A-series of APUs in two dual-core and five quad-core flavors. The clock speed of these APUs start from 1.9GHz and go all the up to 2.5GHz, under Turbo mode. The Turbo mode kicks in automatically under conditions of heavy load.

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The AMD A-Series APU represents an inflection point for AMD and is perhaps the industry’s biggest architectural change since the invention of the microprocessor,said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group. It heralds the arrival of brilliant all-new computing experiences, and enables unprecedented graphics and video performance in notebooks and PCs. Beginning today we are bringing discrete-class graphics to the mainstream.

The A4 range of APUs come with a Radeon HD 6250G clocked at 400Mhz, while the A6 range of chips pack in a Radeon 6250G clocked at 400Mhz. The top rung A8 range of APUs comes with a Radeon HD 6620G, running at 444MHz.

The Radeon chips inside the A series APU are DirectX 11 compatible, and even support standards like HDMI 1.4a, Display Port 1.1 and USB 3.0 and multi-monitor support.

AMD also claims that an A-series APU powered notebook will provide users with a staggering battery life of 10.5 hours. HP has already announced 11 new laptops powered by these new APUs from AMD, scheduled to be launched sometime in June-end, early July.

HTC Desire To NOT Get Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update

HTC had earlier stated that most of their Android phones launched in 2010 will get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. This included the HTC Desire HD, Desire Z, and the original Desire.

Last month, the Desire HD got its Gingerbread update along with the Incredible S. The Desire Z is slated to get its share of Gingerbread love by the end of Q2. The original Desire was also stated to get its Android update after the Desire Z.

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However, HTC has now confirmed via their Facebook page that the original Desire will not be getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. The reason cited by HTC is that their engineering team has not been able to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience.This is all due to the low internal memory of the handset.

Original Desire owners should not be disappointed with this new though. There are a lot of Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROMs available for the handset over at XDA forums, including the all-time popular CyanogenMod 7.

Just root your handset using unrevoked, and install ROM Manager from the Android Market. Then simply use ROM Manager to download and install any Gingerbread ROM on your handset.

Verizon’s Samsung Fascinate and Droid Charge Get a Software Update

Verizon has started rolling out software updates for Samsung Fascinate and the Droid Charge. Sadly, none of the software updates will bring the much awaited Android 2.3 Gingerbread update to both the handsets. The updates for both the handsets are maintenance updates, and aims at fixing some bugs.

The Samsung Fascinate software update will improve the incoming call connectivity, along with improvements in the delivery of OTA updates. Yeah, an OTA update to improve OTA updates!  The update is around 5MB in size, and carries the version number ED04.

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The software update for the Droid Charge will fix the hotspot bug, along with improvements in the performance of the handset. The GPS reception and web browser performance have also been improved in this update. Verizon also claims that Droid Charge owners should notice an improvement in battery life, after installing this update. Some bugs relating to voice calls and email sync have also been squashed.

The EE4 software update for the Droid Charge weighs around 10MB and is already available OTA.

Users of both the handsets can manually download the update by going to Settings->About Phone and selecting the Software Update option.