Samsung Continuum users, here is some good news for you! Samsung and Verizon have started rolling out the Android 2.2 FroYo update for the handset, proving that they have not forgotten that they ever released this disastrous handset! Yes, it’s the FroYo update and not Gingerbread or Ice Cream Sandwich update. Android 2.2 FroYo update after nearly 2 years since the OS was announced by Google. Talk about fragmentation!
As expected, the change-log of the update is massive and apart from adding new features, it also fixes some bugs and installs more bloatware on your phone. Since the update is pretty big and contains a lot of changes, it is being rolled out in two parts by Verizon. The EB01 software update will prepare the phone for the FroYo update, while the EC09 update installs the FroYo update, and enhances some of the existing features.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
If Continuum owners are expecting that their handset might even get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update, then frankly you people are expecting too much. On one hand, I must say I am impressed by Samsung and Verizon that they updated the Continuum to Froyo, which probably no one cares about now. On the other hand, the Continuum should be getting the Gingerbread update right now. The handset’s hardware is perfectly capable of running Gingerbread, like its single-screened sibling, Fascinate.
The Android Developers blog has just released updated statistics about the various versions of Android running on different Android devices. The data was collected based on the number of Android devices which accessed Android Market in a 14 day period, a sample large enough to be representative of the actual statistics. Around 0.6% of all devices now run the latest version of Android – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is probably due to just two devices, the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S, which have officially received the ICS upgrade.
Android 3.x Honeycomb, the first tablet version of Android, runs on 3.3% of all Android devices, which seems about right considering that almost all Honeycomb tablets were flops and hardly saw any sales.
Android 2.3.x Gingerbread is now on around 55.5% of all Android devices, which means that Google has been rather successful in pushing Gingerbread updates to most new devices.
Android 2.2 Froyo is still on around 30.4% of all Android devices, most of which are likely budget smartphones which cannot be upgraded to Gingerbread.
Android 2.1 Eclair is still alive and kicking, and is on around 8.5% of all Android devices.
The ancient versions of Android – Cupcake and Donut – are still on around 2% of all Android devices. Thankfully, Android 1.0 isn’t on any devices now, at least not those accessing Android Market.
These stats show how severe the problem of fragmentation is, in Android-land. However, Google is trying hard to fight it, by nudging manufacturers and carriers to push updates out quickly. Even Microsoft has tackled the fragmentation problem much better than Google, with Windows Phone 7.
Netflix is one of the most popular video streaming services in the United States. While iPhone users got a dedicated Netflix app quite a long time ago, there was no news about a dedicated app for the Android OS. A few months ago, when the Netflix app for Android was finally released, it only supported few Android handsets available in the market.
The reason behind supporting only selected handsets was the DRM technology used by Netflix, which supported phones with only locked down/encrypted boot loaders. There was a huge outrage due to this, and instead of blaming Netflix; Android OS was blamed because of its fragmentation issue. The guys behind the Netflix app soon updated the app to support a bunch of more devices, but it still was not enough.
Today, the Netflix app has got another update, which makes it compatible with allAndroid handsets running Android 2.2 and/or Android 2.3+. This means that the app will now run on more than 85% of Android handsets out there! Better late than never!
Android users in the United States can download the latest version of Netflix from here.
The HP TouchPad is currently the number 1 selling tablet in Amazon, and across all the retail stores in the U.S. Even though the tablet and webOS is dead, the $99 price is too tempting to give this tablet a miss.
As we had reported earlier, developers all over the world have already started working on porting Android to the TouchPad. There is even a $1500 bounty up for grab for anyone who manages to port Android to the HP’s dead tablet.
Now, two mysterious videos have surfaced on YouTube, which shows the TouchPad running two different flavors of Android. In the first video, the TouchPad is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the owner of the video promises to publish a tutorial on August 24th, which will allow other users to install the OS on their $99 tablet as well. In fact, the owner of the video goes ahead and states that he will release a working Honeycomb port for the TouchPad on August 26th. Sounds quite dubious to me, considering Honeycomb’s source code is still not available to the public.
Below is a video of the TouchPad running Android 2.3 Gingerbread –
In the second video, the TouchPad is shown running on Android 2.2.1. The owner of the video claims that his friend’s TouchPad shipped with Android 2.2 pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! The most interesting part of the video is that the TouchPad’s boot logo is that of Qualcomm’s. Quite interesting huh? The second video can be seen here.
Hopefully, by the end of this month, we should see some partially usable Android ports for the TouchPad.
Motorola Flipside users rejoice! Motorola has finally given your much phone much needed FroYo love. The Flipside was launched last year on AT&T’s network, with Android 2.1 on-board.
The update to Android 2.2 brings with it some welcomed changes, including the ability to transfer applications to memory card, and Flash 10.3 support. While the USB tethering feature is also present, the option to tether via Wi-Fi is absent.
The Android 2.2.2 update also brings with it some much needed performance and stability boost. Post the update, Flipside users are also reporting an increase in battery life.
However, one major complain with the update is the low internal memory, once the FroYo update is installed. Thanks to all the non-removable bloatware by AT&T, users are forced to move nearly all of their apps on to the SD card. Rooting apps like z4root or Super One Click root, don’t work with the FroYo update, at the moment.
Motorola Flipside users can head over to this site for a step-by-step information on how to update your handset to Android 2.2 FroYo.
Google will soon release a new version of the Google Search app for Android, which will pack in a lot of improvements. The update will also come with a tweaked UI to make it more in line with the Gingerbread/Honeycomb look and feel.
The new Google search app groups the search result by type, with the suggestions from the Internet being at the top. The app now also shows country-specific suggestions and search results. The new version is also faster and smoother, compared to the previous version(s). All Android users, running Android 2.2+ can install the app on their handset, when the update goes live.
Google posted a blog post about this new version before pulling it back within a few minutes for some reason. I guess they found some issues with the latest version of the app, and so had to push back the launch.
Here is the full blog post :
We’ve released a new version of the Google Search app for Android with a number of improvements:
Suggestions grouped by type, with web suggestions at the top.
Country-specific suggestions and search results for all countries with Google domains.
Long press to remove history items.
Faster, smoother performance, with an updated and simplified user interface.
Search history, search suggestions and on-device results
Here are some additional tips we’d like to share:
Tap the arrow to the right of a search suggestion or history item to edit it before searching.
Get suggestions from other apps on your phone – check out searchable items in Search settings.
Long press on homescreen to add the Google Search widget if you don’t have it already.
Hopefully, the new version of the Google search app should go live sometime soon! (Possibly today!)
HTC and Verizon have started rolling out a new software update for their first ever 4G LTE capable smartphone the Thunderbolt. No, this is not the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update, which Thunderbolt owners are expecting.
Instead, this OTA update is aimed at improving the 4G connectivity issues along with the random reboot issue, from which most of the Thunderbolt owners suffer. The OTA update carries the version number 1.70.605.0, and weighs in at 74MB.
Below is the official change-log of the update from Verizon :
Improved data connectivity.
Enhanced Call History view.
Reduced number of device power cycles and resets.
Improved Bluetooth ® Discovery Mode pop-up window.
View App Menu in tabbed layout.
People search function enabled.
Backup Assistant has been added to the All Apps menu.
Preloaded My Verizon, V CAST Music and V CAST Videos.
Desktop cradle App is now available, showing clock in landscape mode.
NY Times site has been added into the browser bookmarks.
HTC Thunderbolt owners can already download and install the update on their phone. To do so, go to Settings-> About Phone-> Software Update, and select the Check for updates option. The handset will then automatically download and install the update.
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.
T-Mobile has teamed up with Samsung to announce two new lower-mid range Android handsets the Exhibit 4G and the Gravity Smart.
The Exhibit 4G is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and sports a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The back of the phone packs a disappointing 3MP camera, while there is a VGA camera in the front for video calling. The handset also packs 512MB of RAM, along with the usual Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Gravity Smart from Samsung is the first phone to be powered by the Android OS in the Gravity series. The handset sports a four-row QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.2-inch screen with HVGA (320×480) resolution. The handset will be powered by an 800MHz processor and packs 512MB of RAM. Like the Exhibit 4G, the Smart has a 3.2MP camera at its back.
The Exhibit 4G runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while the Smart runs on the now old and stale Android 2.2 FroYo. The former will also be compatible with T-Mobile’s so called 4G’ network.
The Gravity Smart will cost users $70 after a mail-in rebate, while the Exhibit 4G will cost $80 after a $50 mail-in rebate. T-Mobile did not mention anything about the release date of both the handsets, but expect them to be available by the middle of this month.
After numerous leaks and mysterious appearances, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and announced the Motorola Droid X2.
The Droid X2 is the successor to the popular Motorola Droid X. Like its predecessor, the X2 will sport a 4.3-inch anti-reflective and scratch resistant screen, with qHD (960×540) resolution.
The handset will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and pack 512MB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory. The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution. Sadly, there is no front-facing camera for video calls.
Other key features of the Droid X2 include mini-HDMI port, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, eCompass and a 3.5mm audio jack. Shockingly, the X2 runs on the now outdated Android 2.2 (Froyo) with MotoBLUR UI on top of it. Motorola states that they will release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the device soon.
Announcing a high-end device with Froyo right now is simply unacceptable, especially when it has been six months since Gingerbread’s code went public.
The Droid X2 will be available online at VerizonWireless.com beginning from May 19, and will hit the retail stores on May 26. The handset will set users back by $199.9, on a two-year contract.