Motorola Android phones are generally feature packed to the core, and sport decent specs as well. The Motorola Droid X was one of the most popular Android handsets in the U.S. last year.
However, Motorola phones have not been a favorite among the developers and modders, because of their encrypted boot loader. The encrypted boot loader meant that there was not much scope for a true Custom ROM’ for Motorola handsets. The company has been receiving a lot of criticism for the same, and they have promised to do something about this.
Now, a Motorola Droid X developer – @cvpcs – has managed to get the most popular AOSP based custom ROM CyanogenMod 7 – to the handset. He used a 2nd-init’ method to get the ROM up and working on the Droid X. However, this by any chance does not mean that the Droid X boot loader has been cracked. Due to this, he is forced to use the stock Motorola kernel that shipped with the device.
Below is a video of CM7 in action on the Droid X :
The developer (cvpcs) still has not made the CM7 port available for Droid X owners though. He is still testing the port for some bugs, and will soon release it to the public.
Other Motorola devices like the Droid 2 should also get this CM7 port up and working, since both the handsets are very similar. In fact, the Motorola Defy has already got a working CM7 port. Defy owners should head over to this thread over at XDA forums for more information.
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Samsung started rolling out the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the European Galaxy S handsets, during the middle of this month. The Gingerbread roll-out is not even complete all over the world, and the Android 2.3.4 firmware for the handset has leaked.
The folks over at SamFirmware.com have managed to get their hands on the leaked Android 2.3.4 firmware (XXJVP) for the Samsung Galaxy S, which carries a June 3 build date. The Android 2.3.4 update for the Nexus S brought video calling via Google Talk, and better battery consumption along with some bug fixes.
Sadly, the leaked Android 2.3.4 Galaxy S firmware does not include the latest Google Talk version, which means video chatting via the front cam is a no-go. The update also fixes the high battery drain caused by the Android System process in Android 2.3.3.
However, SGS owners who flashed the firmware on their handset report that the phone’s performance is blazing fast now. The phone averages around 1800 points in the Quadrant benchmark on the leaked firmware.
Hopefully, Samsung will officially release the Android 2.3.4 firmware for the Galaxy S soon, with the latest version of Google Talk with video chat support.
Samsung has started rolling out the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 I/O edition tablets. Samsung and Google gave these tablets as gifts to each of the Google I/O attendees.
The Android 3.1 Honeycomb update for the Tab 10.1 brings some much needed performance and stability improvements. The update also brings new features like USB host functionality, unlimited number of apps in the multi-tasking pane, inline HTML5 playback and the ability to resize widgets.
The update also adds the Google Books app, and removes some apps like the Amazon, Kindle, Samsung Apps, Music Hub and WeatherBug. Galaxy Tab 10.1 I/O edition owners, who have rooted their device, need not worry as the update preserves your root access.
Users who have not got the OTA update notification, can manually pull the update from Samsung’s server by going to About Tablet> Software Updates option. Users also need to create a Samsung account, before they can download and install the OTA update. Tab owners should make sure that they have not encrypted the data on their device, before installing the update.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 I/O edition is also slated to receive an update in the future, which will replace the stock Android installation on the device with TouchWIZ 4.0.
Along with the Photon 4G, Motorola has also announced the Triumph, which will be available under Sprint’s pre-paid network Virgin. This means, users can buy this handset without any contract.
The Motorola Triumph sports a 4.1-inch screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8255 processor with an Adreno 205 GPU, and will pack 512MB of RAM.
The back of the handset sports a 5MP camera, with a LED flash, while there is a VGA camera in the front for video-calling. Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB cards and a proximity sensor. The handset will also sport a mini-HDMI port along with a micro USB port. It will be powered by a 1400mAh battery.
The Triumph is the first phone from Motorola to run on stock Android 2.2 FroYo, out of the box. The handset is slated to be available sometime this summer. The pricing and other key specifications of the handset will be announced at the time of its release.
Nokia has released a new Messaging app for all Symbian based devices, dubbed as IM for Nokia. As the name suggests, the app allows users to chat with their friends on popular IM (Instant Messaging) networks.
At the moment, the application supports popular IM networks like Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo Chat, MySpace IM, and the extinct Ovi Chat. Sadly, the app does not support the highly popular Facebook Chat. By default, users will need to enter their Ovi account username and password before they can use the app.
The application also comes with a handy widget for Nokia’s touch screen based Symbian handset. There is also a widget for S40 based handsets, but its functionality is quite limited.
The application is available for download from the Ovi Store for the Nokia X6, Nokia 5230, Nokia N8, Nokia E7, and other Symbian^3 based handsets, along with S40 based handsets. Nokia will also pre-install IM for Nokia in their future handsets.
The app does lack many features which other chat client for Symbian devices offer like archives, emoticons, group conversations and video call etc.
Motorola has announced the first Nvidia Tegra 2 powered handset to be available under the Sprint’s network the Motorola Photon 4G.
The Motorola Photon sports a 4.3-inch screen with qHD (960×640) resolution. The handset is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset running at 1GHz.
The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, while there is a disappointing VGA camera in the front. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of on-board storage and a microSD card slot. The usual Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack and a proximity sensor are also present. Like the Atrix 4G, the Photon 4G will also have WebTop capabilities.
The Photon 4G also has a kickstand at its back, which will allow users to enjoy watching videos on their device. The handset will also support’s Sprint’s WiMAX network, along with support for 3G networks outside the U.S, making it a World ready’ handset.
The Photon will be running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with a new and improved version of MotoBLUR running on top of it. The handset will be available sometime this summer under Sprint’s network. Final specifications and pricing of the handset will be revealed sometime before the estimated release time frame.
Today, Sony Ericsson has announced two new feature phones, the Walkman branded Mix and the txt pro.
The Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman phone looks similar to the Xperia Mini, but has the Walkman theme all over it. The phone will sport a 3-inch touch screen with WQVGA resolution. One unique feature of the Mix is that it will sport a Zappin’ button. When a user presses the button, the phone will automatically preview the chorus of the next song.
The txt pro looks similar to the Xperia Pro and packs a four-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard along with a 3-inch WQVGA touch screen. The handset will have a Friends’ application, which will provide users with the updates of all their friends from Facebook and Twitter.
Both the phones pack a 3.2MP camera at the back, and also include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB cards. Sadly, both the phones lack support for 3G. The handsets will also have a four corner UI, similar to the ones found in the Xpera Mini range of handsets.
The handsets are expected to hit the retail stores sometime in Q3 of 2011, at an unknown price.
Gameloft is one of the most popular gaming publisher for Android and iOS. The company offers some of the best gaming titles available for Android including the popular Asphalt 6, Call Of Duty and Spiderman.
Earlier, for some strange reason Gameloft did not release its games on the Android Market. Thankfully, the situation has changed now, and nearly all the Gameloft games are available on the Android market.
Now, Gameloft has released a trailer of an upcoming first-person shooter (FPS) game March Of Heroes for both Android and iOS. The game will be the first game for both the platforms (Android and iOS) to be based on the Unreal Engine.
Below is a trailer of the game :
From the trailer, the game definitely looks stunning! Since the game is based on Unreal Engine, expect most of the low to mid-range handsets not to be supported. At least, we Android users will have something which will be capable of pushing the hardware on our handset to its limits.
At the beginning of this year, Gameloft said that they are working on 4 games based on the Unreal engine for iOS and Android. So, gamers still have some more visually stunning games left to drool over.
Gameloft has not mentioned anything about the release date or the pricing of the game.
RIM (Research In Motion) has started rolling out a new software update for its first ever tablet the Playbook. The new software update brings some performance enhancements and stability improvements.
The update also includes an updated Facebook book application, optimized for the Playbook. With this update, Playbook users can also charge the tablet whilst it’s fully powered off. The tablet will also display an error if an incompatible charger is used to charge it.
RIM has also added a small but handy power menu, when a user taps on the battery icon. The power menu provides users with options to shut down, restart or put the Playbook on Standby mode, along with a brightness slider.
The update also brings in-app payments support to all Playbook compatible apps. RIM has also updated the developer tools with support for in-app payments.
Aside from the changes stated above, the video call quality has also been tweaked, with support for TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT). Some additional language support for the tablet has also been included.
Sadly, this update does bring the much awaited Mail app to the Playbook. Until the next update arrives, Playbook users still need to use their BlackBerry handset to sync mails between these RIM devices.
Yesterday at WWDC, Apple introduced the next major version of its mobile operating system iOS5 with more than 1500 new APIs and 200 new features.
iOS5 includes a new Notification Center, a new Camera app, more info on the lock screen, Wi-Fi sync with iTunes and much more. Readers can read this article to know all about iOS5.
iOS5 will support iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3rd Gen and 4th gen along with the iPad 1/2. For the general consumers, iOS5 is expected to be released sometime during this fall, presumably with a new iPhone.
However, Apple has already released a beta of iOS5 for developers to develop apps on. The beta can be downloaded from here. Only developers who have a developer account with Apple can download the beta.
General users, who are interested in trying out iOS5 on their iDevice, should ask some iOS developer for help. If a developer registers a UDID of an iDevice, then he or she can legally install iOS5 on their device.