Android SMS Bug Sends Messages To Random Contact, Running Free for 6 Months

A recent bug in the Android system might cause some abnormal behavior on your smartphone. Your handset may send out text messages to random numbers from contact book and as it seems, this has been happening from the last six months. The issue is rated as a medium priority in bug reports and this fact has rightfully upset  Adrian Kingsley-Hughes  over at ZdNET.

However, I have seen five Android devices in my vicinity constantly for the last six months and have had contact with a dozen other people who own one. Not one has reported this problem to me until now. Neither has the bug affected me yet. Thus, in my opinion, this is just one of those problems that get more attention than they deserve.

In my opinion, those making complains of this abnormal behavior should check the apps and their permissions. The behavior sounds more like the work of malware. Once again, users are warned not to install apps from anywhere else than the Market and strictly check if an app asks for more permission than it requires. If true, help others by reporting the app in question.

However, I am not shedding off this claim totally. There is a very good possibility that the bug has crept into my phone or anyone else’s, just that the effects are not visible yet. While a few friends including me are using CyanogenMOD, the rest are still on their default ROMs. The bug seems to spring up into action on a firmware upgrade only.

Nokia 6700 Slide Firmware Updated To V61.004

Nokia has released a firmware update for its mid-range S60 handset the Nokia 6700 Slide. The handset sports a 2.2inch QVGA display along with 3G, HSDPA and HSUPA. The new firmware update for the device is numbered version 61.004 and aims at improving the performance and stability of the handset.


The firmware update also installs the latest version of Nokia’s Ovi Store on the handset. The music player of the handset has been updated as well. Nokia has also updated smileys with this firmware update. Nokia 6700 Slide owners can get this update either via OTA or by using Nokia Software Updater (NSU). The Nokia 6700 Slide features UDP so users don’t need to make a backup of their data before proceeding with the firmware update.

However, I will recommend everyone to make a backup of their data before updating the firmware on their handset, in case things go wrong.

Download RunKeeper For Android and iOS For Free Throughout January

RunKeeper is a very popular sports tracking application available for the iOS as well as the Android platform. The app has a free as well as a paid version ($9.99). Now, the company behind RunKeeper FitnessKeeper has decided to make RunKeeper Pro available as a free download throughout the month of January.


The application uses the GPS chip of your iOS or Android powered smartphone to track your sports tracking application including the total distance, average speed and calories burnt etcetera. The paid version of the app includes additional features like audio cues, integration with RunKeeper’s FitnessClasses and obviously no ads.

Android and iOS owners can download RunKeeper Pro from free from the Android Market and the App Store, respectively.

Hopefully, this might help all unhealthy people who have taken a resolution to become fit in this new year.


HTC HD2 First NAND Based Android 2.2 ROM Released

Getting Android 2.2 up and running on the HTC HD2 is no big news. Until now, HD2 owners had to run the Android 2.2 build on their HD2 using the microSD card. Due to this, the phone used to slow down sometimes and this also reduced the life span of your microSD card along with hogging up some precious space on it.

However, today the DFT team has released a new ROM for the HD2 which runs completely of the NAND. Due to this, this ROM will run comparably faster on the handset compared to other Froyo ROM out there.


Also users will no longer need to boot into WM6.5 to get Android 2.2 running on their handset. They can directly boot into Android 2.2 on their HD2. This ROM is based on the stock Desire HD ROM so users will find the popular HTC Sense UI overlay on top of Android 2.2 Froyo.

HTC HD2 owners can find the full guide on how to install the NAND based Android ROM on their handset here.

Rumor : HTC Thunderbolt Specs Leak

Please read this post with a huge pinch of salt. The folks over at HTC Inside have managed to get their hands on what is supposed to be the specs of the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt. It is already known that the Thunderbolt will be the first 4G LTE handset from Verizon and HTC and will be unveiled at the upcoming CES.


Apparently, the Thunderbolt will pack in a dual core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor. The device will also sport a huge 4.3-inch LCD along with an 8MP camera at its back accompanied by 2 LED flash. The front of the phone will house a hold your breath 5MP camera for video calling. The Thunderbolt will have 16GB of on board memory along with a microSD slot expandable up to 128GB. The handset will also launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread on board. Oh! The phone has a huge 1800 mAh battery as well.

Now, I guess readers must have understood why I told them to read this post with a huge pinch of salt. Qualcomm had demonstrated its dual-core Snapdragon processor just a month back and the company made it clear that it won’t hit the handsets before Q2 of 2011. Also, a 5MP front-facing camera? Seriously!?!!

In my opinion, the Thunderbolt will be similar to the Desire HD except for a few subtle changes and the 4G LTE support.

Geinimi: New Android Malware from China or Just a Hoax?

Geinimi is the latest scare in the Android world. It is a sophisticated Android malware from China. It is designed to take control of a device and it can even make the device a part of a botnet. However, there is a catch. All of this is valid only if you are installing third party apps from unauthorized sources as this app did not make it to the Android market.

TNW has  warned users not to be scared by the threat alert on the Lookout security blog. In other words, there is not much of a threat from this malware, since more than half of the people using Android will not install it at all.

Lookout Security has claimed that the malware is spreading by being repacked into legitimate versions of Android applications on the app market. This malware can be checked by the permissions that an app requests. In Android, if any application requests more permissions than it needs, there is a very good chance that it does more than it claims it does.

The current capabilities of Geinimi, as stated by Lookout are,

Though we have seen Geinimi communicate with a live server and transmit device data, we have yet to observe an operational control server sending commands back to the Trojan. Our analysis of Geinimi’s code is ongoing but we have evidence of the following capabilities:

  • Send location coordinates (fine location)
  • Send device identifiers (IMEI and IMSI)
  • Download and prompt the user to install an app
  • Prompt the user to uninstall an app
  • Enumerate and send a list of installed apps to the server

HTC Droid Eris Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread

HTC_Droid_ErisThe great folks over at XDA have been porting Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the HTC Droid Eris. Nevertheless, XDA member punk.kaos has been leading the charge on porting Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the Eris. The most surprising news is that the Gingerbread ROM for the device is very near to a fully working state.

The Droid Eris is a device which is way past its prime. HTC did not even bother to update the handset to Android 2.2. But, this did not dampen the Eris owners’ spirit over at XDA to port Gingerbread on their beloved handset. As of now, Wi-Fi, GPS, Open GL and audio work pretty much flawlessly on the latest version of the ROM.

The first question which came to my mind when I came across this news – Why would anyone in this earth port Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the HTC Droid Eris? I still can’t find an answer to this question though. I do understand that not everyone is rich enough to buy a high-end Android phone but Android 2.3 on a Droid Eris. Seriously?!!?


Interview: Level Up’s CEO on the Viability of Paid Apps in the Android Market and More

Yesterday, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile created a flutter with his remark that "paid content just doesn’t work on Android". Rovio Mobile is the highly acclaimed developer of Angry Birds, which has literally taken the world by storm. However, his comments didn’t sit well with many fans, who have been pointing out that Rovio didn’t even try the premium app route before opting for the ad-supported freeware option.

LevelUp Studio Logo

We reached out to Ludovic Vialle, CEO of LevelUp Studio. LevelUp Studio is one of the very few high quality publishers who have opted to limit themselves to Android. Beautiful Widgets has been consistently topping the Android Market charts (for paid apps), while Plume (previously Touiteur) has won the adoration of many a Twitter user. Having tried both the premium and the freemium business model, Vialle is uniquely qualified to comment on the state of the Android ecosystem.

Ludovic VialleMe: Why Android? Most publishers believe that the real money is in iOS. LevelUp Studio is amongst the very few publishers who have opted for an Android only strategy. What prompted this?

LV: Android was really new when I started to work on it, paid applications were just added to the Market, and I just had a feeling that being the first on a new platform could be a big opportunity. Before that I was an early iPhone user, but I started to dislike Apple’s methods of having everything closed in their eco-system. I was attracted by the different approach from Google with Android.

Me: How big an issue is fragmentation for Android developers? Moving forward, do you see fragmentation getting worse or getting better?

LV: Fragmentation has never been a problem, you just need to think and develop a little more in some rare cases, but otherwise Google did an incredible job to make it possible for everything to work without really paying attention to fragmentation.

Me: In an interview, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile (developer of Angry Birds) claimed that Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. I suppose that as a company with multiple paid apps LevelUp Studio will have something to say about that. Vesterbacka also remarked that Paid content just doesn’t work on Android. What is your perspective on paid apps for Android?

LV: I can say that paid applications can be successful, I cannot really compare with iOS because we do not have equivalents applications on the platform. Beautiful Widgets has been the #1 paid application on the market for almost a year (with the exception of a new application occasionally borrowing the first place for a few days), and it certainly helps. Also people do like customizing their devices, and Android is the king of customization. You can make a lot of money from Android, quality and continued support/development is the key.
LevelUp Studio started as a hobby, and now we are an independent software producer, with three employees (two developers + my wife who assists me mid-time in paperwork) and myself. We will probably expand in the future, very soon, at this rate.

Me: Recently you made the full version of Plume (previously Touiteur), supported by advertisements, available for free in the market. What prompted this change? Based on initial results how has this affected the bottom-line?

LV: Previously we were using a Freemiumconcept, a free applications and a Premium version with more features, but to be honest, the revenues were not the same as Beautiful Widgets, very far from it, and developing Plume (Touiteur) was costing more money that it would provide.
So we decided to test advertisements and see how it works, we paid attention not to disturb the users, that was our priority, so we went with 140Proof, which is an incredible partner. In the end, the advertisements are not invasive, and they are providing really interesting content (not ringtones or antivirus advertisements that we are used to seeing). On the other hand, free users with advertisements now benefit from all of the premium features, and premium users don’t get advertisements.
I do not have the numbers yet, but I am confident that it will cover our costs at the very least.

Me: The general perception is that ad-supported free apps work better than paid apps in the Android market. What does your experience suggest?

LV: Unfortunately we do not have enough experience on this yet, but if properly implemented, it can certainly be an interesting model, but not necessarily for everyone. I have feedback from some Android developers who are saying that advertisements are not working at all, and they are going to leave that model. I tend to think that a paid only model with a good application/game could be interesting too (with no lite version).

Me: Both as a developer and a user of Android, what is your take on the recently introduced 15 minute refund window?

LV: As a user and developer: it is too short, sometimes we do not even have the time to understand how an application works within the stipulated time. People are not able to really test and quickly take the decision to refund before the end of the refund window. I think that one or two hours could work, but I understand that it might not be a good solution for game developers. Maybe this could be a developer setting?

Me: What is the one big limitation of the Android Market that you believe is hurting developers?

LV: The lack of a desktop version. I know this is coming, and hope that it will help people to choose applications. Also the limited payment methods (credit card only) .

Me: What is the one thing about Android that you love the most?

LV: Customizations, you can make your phone your own phone. I can even make my phone remain silent when I sleep, automatically! So many possibilities!

Me: Finally, what are you guys currently working on? What can we expect from LevelUp Studio in 2011?

LV: We are working on improving Beautiful Widgets (with some big updates coming soon) and Plume because there is always room for improvement. We will probably be starting a new project in 2011, but we will see how we perform at that moment and if we can afford to do it!

Skype Brings Video Calling To iPhone, iPod Touch And iPad

Nearly a week ago, we had reported that Skype will soon be bringing video calling feature to the iPhone 4. Initially, it was expected that Skype will make this huge announcement at the upcoming CES 2011. However, the looks like the company has some other plans for CES as today they have released an updated version of Skype for iOS which enables video calling.

Here is a video demonstrating video calling on the iPhone 4 using Skype :

The updated application will allow iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4th generation and iPhone 3GS owners to make video calls to Skype users all over the world using either Wi-Fi or 3G. iPhone 3GS owners need to use the camera at the back of their phone to broadcast their video though.

iPad and iPod Touch 3G owners can also use the application to receive video calls from other Skype users. Obviously, owners of these devices can’t make video calls due to the lack of any kind of camera on the device. Here is the link to the announcement from Skype themselves.

Hopefully, Skype will announce an updated version of their application at the upcoming CES which will bring video calling to Android as well.

SPB TV Now Available For Maemo Smartphones

spb tv

Earlier this month, SPB Software launched its popular application, SPB TV for Android and Bada OS. And now, the company announced the launch of this amazing app for Maemo smartphones. SPB TV for Maemo allows you to watch Live TV channels on the go. You can easily download this application from Ovi Store. Check out the complete features of SPB TV below.


  • Full Screen TV player with picture-in-picture mode
  • Unique TV browser with fast channel launching and switching
  • A wide selection of public live TV channels
  • Integrated TV Guide with a list of current and upcoming TV shows
  • On-screen control panel
  • Video quality switcher
  • Advanced Video Codec support

We aim to bring SPB TV to every mobile device and provide users with the opportunity to watch mobile TV for free no matter what kind of phone they have. The release of SPB TV for Maemo and Nokia N900 devices helps us to cover one more platform and make SPB TV available for more than 99% of mobile devices on the market, says Vassili Philippov, COO of SPB Software.

SPB TV for Maemo is the first mobile TV solution for Maemo devices available on the Ovi store. Currently, Maemo users can watch live TV channels from more than 17 countries. Currently, this app is available on Android, iPhone/iPad, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Bada and WebOS smartphones as well as on feature phones. SPB TV is available for Maemo smartphone users for free. This app currently supports Nokia N900 smartphone. To download SPB TV, head over to this page.