Beginning from today, Nokia has started rolling out the PR1.1 firmware update for its new Symbian (formerly Symbian^3) handsets like the Nokia N8, Nokia C6-01 and Nokia C7.
The new firmware update will improve the performance and stability of all the three handsets along with fixing some bugs. Other changes in this firmware won’t be visible to the end users, but will be helpful to developers.
Here is the official change-log from Nokia itself :
- Meeting requests can be accepted directly from email invitations;
- Maps integration in email, which means people can view the meeting location on the map when the address is mentioned in the location field in the invite.
- For Nokia N8 users:
a. New Quick Office 6.4 editor version, which offers editing possibilities and allows zooming in & out in Word documents.
b. Three high quality games will also be preloaded on new devices Need for Speed Shift, Real Golf and Galaxy on Fire. (In some countries, Need for Speed is replaced with Asphalt 5). For current N8 users, these are available for free from Ovi Suite & Ovi Store.
Owners of any of the latest Symbian handset can update the firmware on their handset using Nokia Software Updater or Nokia Ovi Suite. They can also update the firmware on their handset directly via OTA (Over-The-Air).
Symbian is way behind Android and iOS in certain departments including a dated UI, extremely bad text input system and a pathetic web browser. Nokia has promised to fix most of these shortcomings in future firmware updates.
However, this PR 1.1 firmware update does not improve any of these aspects of the phone. Seriously Nokia, it’s high time you do something which will be appreciated by both – the general public and bloggers.
Up until now, iOS4.2.1 users could only tether’ jailbreak their iTouch device. A tethered’ jailbreak is a temporary jailbreak and will last only until a reboot. After rebooting, the jailbreak will be lost and the user will again need to jailbreak his iTouch using a PC/Mac. Now, the Chronic Dev. Team has finally released a tethered jailbreak for iTouch devices running iOS4.2.1.
Today, the Chronic Dev. Team tool GreenPois0n was updated to RC5 which will allow users to jailbreak their iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G/4G and the iPad running on iOS 4.2.1. Unlike Redsn0w, users don’t need SHSH blobs of any previous iOS version to jailbreak. Users, who already have tethered’ jailbroken their iTouch, can directly use GreenPois0n to jailbreak their device.
iPhone 4 owners who are new to the jailbreaking scene and have unlocked their device are recommended to stay away from this jailbreak. They may accidentally update their baseband while updating to iOS 4.2.1 thus losing their unlock. They are suggested to use TinyUmbrella to preserve their baseband whilst upgrading to iOS 4.2.1.
Sadly, at the moment GreenPois0n is only available for Mac. A PC and Windows version is in the pipeline and should be coming soon. Mac owners simply need to download GreenPois0n from here and follow the on-screen instructions.
Along with providing us an overview of features in Android 3.0 and launching the web store based Android Market, Google also announced support for In-App Purchases in Android apps.
At the recently concluded event, Google announced a new SDK aimed specifically towards in-app purchases. This new feature will allow Android users to directly purchase content right from within an app!
Developers can now offer paid upgrades in their app/game. With in-app purchase support, users also won’t see a Lite’ and a Full version of an app on the Android Market. Instead, users can simply purchase the full version of an app right from within its Lite’ or demo version.
The in-app feature will be available to the users before the end of the current quarter. Google has already released the new SDK to the developers. Disney used the announcement to demonstrate their app Tap Tap Revenge’ for Android which will be making use of the In-App Purchase feature. Google sure is trying its best to attract and retain developers towards the Android platform.
The new Web Store and the In-App purchase feature will help the developers in a big way. This will also help the developers to make more money from their apps.
Google just gave everyone present (physically) and watching the event live via YouTube a brief overview of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. First and foremost, Android 3.0 will feature an on-screen button dedicated to Multi-tasking. The new home screen on the Honeycomb features new kind of widgets that can be used by developers to pop-up important messages, right on the home screen.
Hugo demonstrated the new notification panel on Android 3.0 which is totally non-intrusive like on the Android version for mobile. The new notification system will even allow users to control apps running in the background like the Music player. Google has also built some templates which will allow developers to create new rich notification.
Hugo also said that any application that is built using the existing guidelines will run smoothly on Honeycomb as well. He demonstrated this by downloading running Fruit Ninja on a Motorola XOOM running Android 3.0. One major feature of Android 3.0 is that the 2D graphics is going to be completely hardware accelerated. Developers can accelerate the 2D animations on their app by simply adding one single line of code.
Hugo demonstrated the brand new GMail app tailor made for tablets along with the YouTube app which has a gorgeous 3D UI. The Music app on the Honeycomb looked stellar as well. Google also introduced us to a new application called the Google Body. Like the Google Maps, Google Body will allow users to view the parts of the human body and it even features Layers’.
Thomas Williamson from Wardrom Studios showed off Monster Madness and Great Battles Medieval on the XOOM. The game was ported over from the PS3 to Honeycomb using the same game assets and engine. The Great Battles Medieval was also able to fully utilize both the cores of the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.
Honeycomb will also sport a brand new camera app with a stunning UIwhich will allow users to control greater aspects of the camera. The new GTalk for Honeycomb will feature video chatting with some nifty features including image stabilization.
Over the last week, Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software updated for their Xperia range of Android phones including the X10 and the X8. This new software update aims to bring pinch-to-zoom feature to the X10 and update the UXP UI found on the Xperia family.
Sony Ericsson have also improved the performance and stability of the Xperia X10’s and the X8 with this software update. Sadly, only the biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 gets the pinch-to-zoom feature support.
According to the Sony Ericsson Product Blog, other important changes in this software update include :
- Moxier in an updated version (2.7.13) that includes a great overview widget for e-mail, calendar and tasks.
- Moxier e-mail shown in Timescape.
- Possibilities of trimming videos in the phone.
- Videos are transcoded to fit into MMS-messages even if they were recorded in high quality.
- Minor changes to Mediascape with access to Now Playingin the top right corner.
Sony Ericsson has also enabled ANT+ support for the X8, the X10 Mini and Mini Pro handsets. ANT+ is a short-range communication technology will allow these handsets to wirelessly communicate with heart rate monitors and other devices. Readers can find more information about ANT+ technology here.
Owners of the Xperia handsets can update their handset by using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion or directly via OTA (Over-The-Air).
It was more than a month ago that Mozilla had released the last update for Firefox 4 for mobile for both Android and Maemo. Until the last beta, Firefox 4 for Android more of a bloat ware than a decent third party browser.
The Mozilla Firefox team listened to all the feedbacks they got from the previous beta release and today, they released a new Beta of the app. The Beta 4 of Firefox for Android is now much, much better than the previous beta versions. The application boot up time has been heavily reduced and so has the page-load times. The Mozilla teams says that their benchmarks shows that this new beta of Firefox Mobile is faster than the stock Android browser in all the benchmarks they concluded.
On my Desire Z running on CM6.1.1 and OC’ed to 900MHz, Firefox Mobile did not seem to load pages faster than the stock Android browser. It was slower than the stock Android browser but not by a huge margin. Firefox Mobile was also not able to render some sites properly unlike the stock Android browser.
Performance wise, the stock Android browser is still way faster and smoother than Firefox 4. For me, the UI response and the overall speed of the Firefox 4 needs some improvements before it can replace the stock Android browser.
The APK of Firefox 4 is a whopping 13.5MB and after installation the app footprint increases to 30MB! This won’t go down well with people who are using Android phones with low internal memory. Thankfully, the app can be moved to SD card. One big advantage of Firefox 4 over the stock Android browser is the support for plug-ins. Right now, the Mobile Add-ons gallery for Firefox 4 features more than 100 useful plug-ins.
Hopefully, with the next beta of Firefox for Mobile most of these issues would be solved. Looks like we Android users will soon have a decent alternative to the stock Android browser.
Android owners can download Firefox 4 for Mobile from the Android Market.
Sony Ericsson has released a firmware update for its Live View micro display accessory. The Sony Ericsson Live View has a small 1.3-inch OLED display which connects to your Android powered phone via Bluetooth.
The small OLED display will display all the relevant information from your phone including music player controls, social networking site updates, caller ID etc. Sony Ericsson also released the API of the Live View to developers. This allowed developers to create some nifty plugins for the Live View.
However, at the time of its launch the Live View was plagued with stability and performance issues as well as Bluetooth connectivity issues with other Android based handsets.
Today, Sony Ericsson has released a software update for the Live View which improves the performance and stability of the device. The update also improves the compatibility of the device with other Android 2.2 based handsets.
Here is the official change-log of the update from Sony Ericsson Product Blog :
- Improved stability in the phone application (latest update available on Android Market as of minutes ago)
- Improved plug-in handling and limit of number of installed plug-ins raised to 30.
- Connection stability improved most identified reasons for random disconnects should be fixed now.
- There were some cases of random reboots reported, and all those reported crashes have now been resolved.
- Compatibility with competitor phones is greatly improved, both in regards to stability and to battery life time.
- Automatic reconnect when coming back in range improved.
Nevertheless, some stability and connectivity issues still exist which can be fixed by rebooting the Live View. The Live View from Sony Ericsson is the perfect example of a great idea which was executed in the wrong manner. The device should have been priced a bit lower and with better compatibility with other Android running handsets.
Live View owners can update the device by using Sony Ericsson’s Update Service software.
When Motorola announced the Droid X last year, people around the globe were disappointed to see that the handset was running on Android 2.1. However, Motorola promised to deliver the Android 2.2 update for the Droid X by “late summer” and eventually they did.
The problem was that the Android 2.2 update for the DX brought more problems with it than the features and problems it solved!
Since then, Motorola released software updates to fix most of the issues. Now, since Google released the latest version of Android Gingerbread last month, Droid X owners must be impatiently waiting for their share of Gingerbread love.
One of the awesome developers on the Droid X modding scene p3droid over at My Droid World has apparently managed to get his hands on a few screenshots of Android 2.3 running on the DX with the new MotoBlur UI on top of it. It is unclear whether p3droid managed to get his hands on a leaked SBF Android 2.3 file or he has flashed a Gingerbread ROM made from SDK. Going through the topic, I think it is the former.
It is nice to see Motorola is working on the Android 2.3 update for the Droid X. From the pictures, it also looks like Gingerbread on the DX is more or less ready. I guess Motorola will release the Gingerbread update for the Droid X in the next one month or so.
Motorola unveiled the Atrix 4G at the CES 2011. The Atrix 4G is a beast of a phone packing a 4.3-inch qHD (960×540) LCD display. The phone is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor and has 1GB of RAM along with 16GB of internal memory.
What makes the Atrix 4G special is its docking’ capabilities. At the CES, Motorola wowed the whole world by plugging in the Atrix 4G into a WebTop’ dock and transforming the whole phone into a laptop.
When plugged into a WebTop’, the Atrix 4G can provide users access with a full fledge Firefox web browser with full Flash 10.1 support and some other useful apps including one for IM. Android lovers and techies all over the world were totally awe-struck by the beast of a phone Atrix 4G.
Now, Motorola has released another promo video of the Atrix 4G. Below is the video I am talking about :
After watching the above video, I am pretty sure most of you would have been completely blown away by the handset. The docking’ capabilities, fingerprint recognition, dual-core processor and the abundance of RAM make the Atrix 4G one of the most desirable handset to have.
The Atrix 4G is supposedly going to hit the stores on Feb 14th. The Atrix G sure is going to set the sales chart on fire after it’s released to the general masses.
Living in India, I can only hope that Motorola launches this beast of a phone here as well. I also hope that the Atrix 4G won’t come with a locked down bootloader like the Droid X and the Droid 2. Otherwise, the modding potential of this phone will be heavily restricted.
It was during the CES 2011, that Google gave us a sneak peek of the next version of Android Honeycomb which is aimed at tablets. Now, Google has sent out invites to bloggers from around the globe for an Android related event.
The event is going to be held on Feb 2 i.e. this coming Wednesday at the Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, California. The event will start from 10AM PT until 1 PM PT but the main’ event will only be of 90 minutes.
Google is going to give everyone present at the event a live hands-on demo of the Android 3.0 tablet along with an in-depth look at Honeycomb and will talk about the future of Android. For people, who won’t be able to go to the event, Google is going to help them by streaming the event live on YouTube. The event will be streamed live here. Kudos to Google for this awesome move!
It was only a few days ago that Google released the Android 3.0 Honeycomb Platform highlights along with an updated SDK which gave users a look at what all changes Honeycomb will incorporate. The first few sneak peeks’ of Android 3.0 Honeycomb have been impressive and has left people wanting for more of Honeycomb.
Hopefully, people who will get the live hands-on demo of Android 3.0 at the event will be able to satisfy their hunger. For others, wait till the Motorola XOOM hits the retail stores.