The Samsung Galaxy S had a relatively easy method to root, and did not feature an encrypted boot loader. Still, the phone never got quality ROMs based on AOSP. It was only a year after its release, that the phone got official support from the CyanogenMod team.
However, like Sony Ericsson and HTC, Samsung knows that they should get developers to support their phone. So, while HTC was encrypting boot loader on their latest handsets (EVO 3D, Sensation), the Galaxy S II boot loader was unprotected. Later on, Samsung also released the Galaxy S II source in less than a week of its launch.
Unlike the Galaxy S, SGS II was much better, cleaner, and the kernel’s source code did not feature any proprietary code. Now, in a bid to further support developers and custom ROMs for the Galaxy S II, Samsung has gone ahead and sent a few developers a Galaxy S II.
The developers @atinm, @codeworkx, @dumdidum and @unhelpful were the main mastermind behind brining CM7 to the Galaxy S. By gifting these developers a SGS II, Samsung surely is helping them in porting CM7 to the handset.
Kudos to Samsung for supporting these developers, who are working on bringing CM7 to the Galaxy S II.
Back at CES 2011, Motorola announced two Tegra 2 powered handsets the Droid Bionic and the Atrix 4G. The Atrix 4G was meant for the AT&T network, while the Droid Bionic was going to be Verizon’s first 4G handset with a dual-core CPU.
However, things did not go as planned and Motorola had to delay the release of the Droid Bionic. The company stated that they will release an updated version of Droid Bionic with a new form-factor, sometime in Q3 of 2011.
Now, pictures of the updated Droid Bionic have made their way on the Internet. The new Droid Bionic sports a whopping 4.5-inch with qHD (960×640) resolution. Hopefully, the display won’t be a Pen Tile matrix one!
The leaked pictures also suggest that the Bionic sports an 8MP camera at the back which is capable of recording videos in Full HD 1080p resolution, right out of the box.
Unlike the Atrix 4G and the Droid X2, the Bionic will run on Android 2.3.4 with a new version of MotoBLUR on top of it. From the leaked pictures, the new version of Blur actually looks usable! Since the handset also features a front facing camera, users will be able to do video chatting with their friends via Google Talk.
Like the Atrix, the Bionic will also be compatible with the WebTop dock accessory. The handset will be powered by a large 1750mAh battery!
I presume the Bionic will be powered by a dual-core OMAP processor, which will also power the upcoming Droid 3.
Rumored specs and a picture of the Motorola Droid 3 leaked on the Internet a couple of weeks ago. The rumors suggested that the Droid 3 will be powered by a dual-core OMAP, and will sport a five-row QWERTY keyboard
Today, 3 video tutorials of the Droid 3 have leaked on the Internet. The 3 video tutorials provide us with complete specifications of the handset. From the video, it is clearly visible that the Droid 3 will sport a 4-inch screen with qHD (960×640) resolution.
As the earlier leaked picture suggested, the handset will also sport a five-row QWERTY keyboard, with a dedicated row for numbers. The back of the handset will sport an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, and there is a front facing camera for video chatting as well. The camera at the back is capable of recording videos in Full HD 1080p resolution.
From the videos, it D3 seems to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a new version of MotoBLUR. This new version of Blur is different from the one, which the Gingerbread update for the Droid X brought.
Like the Droid X and the Droid X2, the D3 will also sport a mini-HDMI port. The phone is also sleeker and slimmer than the Droid 2.
Below is a leaked video tutorial of the Droid 3-:
Samsung released a mid-range Galaxy branded handset Gio nearly a couple of months ago. The handset sports a 3.2-inch screen with HVGA (320×480) resolution and is powered by an 800MHz processor.
The handset runs on Android 2.2 FroYo with TouchWIZ UI running on top of it. At the time of its launch, Samsung never mentioned anything about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the handset.
However, at the middle of this month Samsung announced the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for a bunch of Galaxy branded handsets. The Gio did feature in this list, but Sammy did not mention anything about the release date.
Now, the folks over at SamFirwmare.com have managed to get their hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware for the Galaxy Gio. The firmware has a build date of June 2, and is aimed for the European region. The leak suggests that Sammy is already working on the Gingerbread update for the Gio, and might as well release it within a month.
The firmware has no major bugs, and has been rooted by developers as well. The firmware’s default language is Russian, and users manually need to change it to their desired language.
HTC has started rolling out two new OTA (Over-The-Air) software updates for the recently released ChaCha and the Flyer.
The HTC ChaCha is an Android 2.3 Gingerbread based phone from the Taiwanese company, which is aimed at Facebook addicts with a dedicated Facebook button. The update for the handset carries the version number 1.18.401.1, and the change-log from HTC states system and application enhancements.
HTC’s first tablet the Flyer software update has the version number 2.00.405.3. The Flyer sports a 7-inch screen, and is powered by a 1.5GHz single core Qualcomm processor. The tablet also has a pen input feature, which makes it handy for taking notes on the go.
While not the Android 3.0 Honeycomb update, which Flyer owners might be hoping for, the update does improve the system’s performance and stability.
At the moment, the updates for both the devices are being rolled out in U.K only. It is unknown whether HTC will roll out the software updates for the devices in other regions of the world or not.
Sprint has just announced that they will start rolling Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Evo 4G beginning from Monday, June 6.
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Evo 4G will bring some much needed bug fixes including the popular SMS bug, along with a new Downloads application. The update will also bring in better copy and paste functionality, and some performance and stability improvements.
The update will be an OTA (Over-The-Air) one, and will be pushed automatically to all Evo 4G owners. For the impatient Evo 4G owners, Sprint will allow them to pull the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update from their servers beginning from tomorrow itself!
Sadly, Sprint has not mentioned whether the Gingerbread version will be Android 2.3.3 or Android 2.3.4. The Evo 4G has a front facing camera, so it can definitely make use of the video chatting capabilities of Google Talk introduced in Android 2.3.4. Also, the update will not bring a newer version of Sense to the Evo 4G, as many have expected.
Some other Gingerbread goodies like the screen-off animation, new keyboard will also not be included in this update.
In a press release, Sony Ericsson has announced that more than 20 games are coming to the Xperia Play. All these 20+ games will be optimized for the Play, and 10 games will be exclusive to the handset.
The list of games which will be exclusive to the Xperia Play includes :
- Minecraftâ„¢ by Mojang
- Battlefield Bad Company 2 by Electronic Arts
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Shadow Vanguard by Gameloft
- Desert Winds by Southend Interactive
- Ruined by Bigpoint
- Icebreakerâ„¢ by NaturalMotion
- Sleepy Jack by SilverTree Media
- Cracking Sands by Polarbit
- Armageddon Squadron 2 by Polarbit
- An unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio
Below is a video of Minecraft running on the Xperia Play :
Other games which will be optimized for the Play but not exclusive to it are :
- Pocket Legends by Spacetime Studios
- Star Legends: The Black Star Chronicles by Spacetime Studios
- Eternal Legacy by Gameloft
- Guns ‘n’Glory 2 by HandyGames
- Dungeon Hunter 2 by Gameloft
- Pocket RPG by Crescent Moon Games
- D.A.R.K. developed by Gamelab
- Samurai II: Vengeance by MADFINGER Games
- Vendetta Online by Guild Software
- Order & Chaos Gameloft
- Happy Vikings by Handy Games
- A Ball Game by Trendy Entertainment
- Lumines by Connect2Media
As you can see from the list above, the Play is definitely getting some popular games like Minecraft, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Armageddon etc. All these games are slated to hit the Xperia Play in the coming months!
Sony Ericsson will be giving a demo of most of these games at their stand in E3. The company will also reveal more information about these games during E3.
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.
Sony Ericsson has started rolling out the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the Xperia Arc and Play. The update is already available in some regions of the world like Hong Kong, but a wider roll-outwill begin from next week.
Along with the bump in Android OS version, the update also improves the performance and boot-up time of the Xperia Arc and Play.
Here is the official change-log from Sony Ericsson :
- Battery performance
- General software stability
- Wi-Fi stability
- HD Video recording performance (Xperiaâ„¢ arc)
- Touch responsiveness
One new feature which this update will bring is Facebook inside Xperia’. Basically, this feature will tightly integrate your Xperia phone with Facebook. Below is a demo of the Facebook inside Xperia feature :
Users can update their Xperia Arc or Play to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread either via OTA or using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion.
Sony Ericsson also stated that they are working hard on the Gingerbread update for the X10, and they will announce more about the update soon. The Facebook inside Xperia feature will come to the Xperia X10 as well.
After a couple of leaks, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and finalized a Droid X Gingerbread build for official release. At the moment, Motorola is doing a soak test, and the update will be out once the testing is complete.
It looks like the testing will be over anytime soon, as Verizon has already updated the Droid X page on their website with the Gingerbread update details. According to the Verizon’s site, the Droid X Gingerbread update will bring new features like a Download Manager, an all-new Multi-touch keyboard, improved text selection and copy and paste.
The update will also update the color scheme of the Moto Blur UI with new colors, widgets and icons. The auto-focus of the camera while taking pictures in low light conditions, and the ActiveSync performance has also been improved. The general system performance and responsiveness has also been improved noticeably. Droid X users can head over to this link for the full change-log.
Verizon and Motorola will start rolling out the update anytime now. The update weighs in at a whopping 112MB, and will wipe your X clean of all data.