HTC Desire Z owners can get a taste of Android 2.3 Gingerbread on their handsets, thanks to a RUU leak of the Gingerbread test ROM from HTC.
The leaked RUU is based on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with HTC’s Sense UI running on top of it. The leaked RUU also brings with it a new radio which improves signal reception and 4G’ download speeds, but at the expense of higher battery consumption.
One of the developers rmk40 has already gone ahead and released a custom ROM based on this leaked RUU with root access and busybox installed.
Sadly, unlike the Nexus S which uses the ETX4 file system, the Desire Z Gingerbread ROM uses the EXT3 file system. Users who flashed this ROM also reported ultra-quick boot-up times and improved battery life.
T-Mobile G2 owners can also flash this leaked RUU on their phone, since the handset is similar to the Desire Z. HTC Desire Z or T-Mobile G2 owners can download and install the leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread RUU on their phone from here.
Motorola has started rolling out a software update for the Atrix 4G. The software update version is 4.1.57 and weighs 17MB in size.
The first ever software update for the Atrix 4G will bring with it a host of performance improvements and bug fixes.
The software update will improve the multimedia experience of the Atrix 4G with Bluetooth accessories and improve compatibility with additional Bluetooth headsets. The performance of the Car Dock application along with the Fingerprint reader at the back of the phone has also been improved.
The display of the handset will also turn off when plugged into the charger. Motorola also states that the battery life of the phone will be improved after installing this software update. The general stability and performance of the Atrix 4G will also improve after the software update.
Sadly, the software update won’t enable HSUPA on the Atrix 4G. AT&T has apparently disabled HSUPA on the Atrix 4G and the Inspire 4G, frustrating its users with very slow upload speeds.
The company has promised to release a software update sometime in the future, which will enable higher upload speeds on the handset.
The folks over at XDA-Developers have been tipped by an anonymous tipster with a bunch of pictures of the upcoming HTC Pyramid.
Earlier leaks of the HTC Pyramid did not provide much information, except for a 4.3-inch screen with qHD resolution.
The Pyramid will be powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor from Qualcomm along with an Adreno 220 GPU for handling the graphics department, and pack 768MB of RAM. The handset will sport a 4.3-inch display with qHD (960×540) resolution.
The back of the handset will sport an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution. There is also a VGA camera in the front for video-calling.
The usual Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, Compass and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present. The Pyramid will run the latest version of Android, Gingerbread v2.3.2, with the latest version of Sense UI on top of it.
The HTC Pyramid is similar to the recently announced HTC EVO 3D, without the 3D feature. Readers can find a bunch of pictures of the handset over at XDA Developers.
Sony Ericsson had a pretty miserable 2010. The high-end Xperia branded Android powered handset from the company the X10 received a lot of flak due to the lack of multi-touch support, and running an nearly extinct version of the Android OS.
However, Sony Ericsson is determined to make 2011 better for them and their loyal users. First, the company announced a bunch of tempting XPERIA branded handsets including the PlayStation phone the Xperia Play. Now, today Sony Ericsson has announced that they will allow developers to unlock the boot loaders on some of the the latest Xperia handsets in a secure and legalway.
There is a small catch here though. The handset must meet certain requirements so that its boot loader can be unlocked like an unlocked, un-branded handset. There are many other requirements as well, including your region and original configuration of the phone.
The original Xperia X10 modding capability has been severely limited due to its locked down boot loader. Even after numerous tries, the talented developers over at XDA have been unable to unlock the X10’s locked boot loader.
Sony Ericsson also states that even though they support the unlocking of the boot loader, the warranty of the handset will be deemed void if its boot loader has been unlocked. Also, Sony Ericsson may charge a user a handling fee’ if they flash a Custom ROM on their handset and send it for repairing.
Readers can find more information about Sony Ericsson official statement regarding boot loader unlock here.
After numerous months in beta testing and a couple of RC releases, Mozilla has finally gone ahead and released the final version of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo.
Firefox 4 for Android features a streamlined interface, support for more than 150+ plug-ins, themes to change the look of the browser and the ability to sync your data with your desktop FF browser.
I have been using Firefox 4 since its beta version, and I must say that the final version is much better than the betas, which were bloated, slow and took ages to load. Compared to the stock Android 2.2/2.3 browser, Firefox is still slow and takes more time to start-up.
Another major disadvantage of FF4 for Android is that it does not support Flash 10.1, which might be a deal-breaker for many. The text rendering of the browser is not up to the mark as well!
The only advantage FF4 for Android has over its major competitors Opera Mobile 11 and the stock Android browser is the support for plugins.
The desktop version of Firefox is popular among the users because of its high level of customizations offered by the plug-ins. The same holds true for the mobile version of Firefox 4.
HCL has launched three new Android tablets in India. The “Me” Android tablets are priced in the range of INR 14,990 to INR 32,990.
HCL Me AE7-A1 Specifications
The HCL Me AE7-A1 is the cheapest of the three. It has a 7 inch resistive touchscreen display with a resolution of 800x 480 pixels. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo.
It has an 800 MHz processor and comes with 256 MB RAM. It has 2 GB internal storage and supports microSD cards. It offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 2.0, and has a 0.3 MP camera. It also has a built in GPS receiver. It is powered by a 2400 mAh battery.
Though it is priced well, the specifications are not at all impressive.
HCL Me AM7-A1 Specifications
The HCL Me AM7-A1 is the best one of the three. It is priced very close to the Galaxy Tab though, at INR 22,990. It has a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It has an 800 MHz Cortex A8 processor and 512 MB RAM. It has 8 GB internal storage with support for microSD cards.
It has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and comes with Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G. It also has GPS with A-GPS support and comes with a 1.3 MP camera. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo too and supports full HD (1080p) video playback. It has a 4200 mAh battery.
HCL Me AP10-A1 Specifications
The HCL Me AP10-A1 is the biggest and the most expensive of the lot. It has a 10 inch capacitive touchscreen and comes with a 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor and 1 GB RAM. It has 16 GB internal storage and supports microSD cards.
It comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and comes with Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G. It also has GPS with A-GPS as well as a 1.3 MP camera. It also support 1080p video playback and comes with a 3650 mAh battery. It also runs Android 2.2 Froyo and is priced at INR 32,990.
You can buy these tablets at the HCL Store
LG, one of the second-tier players in the smartphone arena, finally seems to have arrived. It has been making waves lately, thanks to its new Android smartphones and tablets which grabbed a major part of the limelight at CES and MWC 2011, despite the presence of HTC, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.
It is finally one of the most popular Android manufacturers with budget phones like the Optimus One. The Optimus 2X and the Optimus 3D were the first dual core and the first 3D phones, and LG was also one of the first to announce a Honeycomb tablet – the LG G-Slate.
Now LG is working on something “big”. After the LG Optimus 3D, LG is planning to launch another Android smartphone with a 4.3 inch display – the LG Optimus Big. It was leaked just today, and comes with a 4.3 inch Nova display. It will be launched in Korea next month, and will have a 1 GHz processor and a T-DMB TV tuner. The Nova display is the brightest display among all mobile phones. We don’t know whether the Optimus Big will be launched worldwide, or the exact hardware specs, but more details should be out soon. It will likely run Android 2.3 Gingerbread with LG’s custom UI.
The original Samsung Wave was a total VFM (Value-For-Money) phone. The handset shared the same internals as the Android powered Galaxy S, including the display albeit of a smaller size at 3.3-inches. The Wave was the first phone from Samsung to run its own home-made OS Bada.
Now, more than a year after its release the folks over at Bada-World have managed to get Android 2.2 (FroYo) up and running on the Bada powered Samsung Wave. The developers have managed to get Android 2.2 to boot on the Wave.
Most of the stuffs don’t work and the build is quite buggy. However, Wi-Fi and GSM antenna works pretty well. The overall performance is slow, but the build is very stable.
One major problem with this build is that if a user tries to launch any application on the phone, the phone will restart. Due to the reboot, some changes are made in the file system of the phone which leads to the CPU burning itself!
The developer also states that the Wave’s successor the Wave II has a higher probability of getting a stable Android 2.2 or Android 2.3 build than it.
Ever since Google launched the Nexus S with NFC support, there has been speculation that it was planning to jump into the mobile payments arena. It seems that Google has already been working on such a mobile payment system, according to a report by WSJ.
It has teamed up with Mastercard and Citigroup to create a system which would allow Android smartphone users to make purchases by waving their smartphones before a small reader when checking out. In the early stages, the mobile app will be available only for Citigroup credit/debit card users.
Google will use readers by Verifone, which is a major player in the mobile payments segment. The mobile payments app will be made available for “one current model and many coming models of Android phones”. The current model is most likely the Nexus S, since it is the only one to have NFC support.
Google will be handling all the shopping cart data as well as the shipping information. Google won’t be charging any transaction fee for acting as the intermediary, but it will be able to send targeted ads and offers to users of its application. If this service attracts a lot of users, Google will have access to a treasure trove of personal information. Google has also applied for a patent for a “distributed electronic commerce system with centralized point of purchase”.
Though Google has made Android available to everyone who wishes to implement it (at least the smartphone version), it has always wanted to create its own devices with hardware partners which would allow users to experience Android the way Google intended it.
On the mobile front, Google first launched the Nexus One which though made by HTC, ran the “pure” version of Android. It was one of the best Android phones when it launched, but failed due to lack of carrier support and a high price point. After that, it partnered with Samsung to launch the Nexus S which ran Android 2.3 Gingerbread without any customizations, which was a moderate success.
The Motorola Xoom was touted to be a Google experience tablet, but Google didn’t give it the Nexus branding. Now we know why! Today, rumors have started circulating that Google is working on its own Nexus tablet which would be made by LG. It will run the “pure” Android 3.0 Honeycomb without any embellishments (though we are confused because the Motorola Xoom does the same). The rumor comes from a very credible source with a good track record – Mobile Review – so it’s very likely that we will see the Nexus tablet soon.