Saturday, April 30, 2011

Droid Bionic Still Coming, but Might Get Cosmetic Overhaul; Leaked Pics Show Current State

Android Central has some pictures of the Droid Bionic that have been leaked recently, but also bring news that it’s likely to be undergoing some changes between now and release. These pictures may be the last time we see the Bionic in its current incarnation. According to a Motorola fact sheet, the Bionic will be getting some big changes before it releases, but it will indeed still see the light of day, sometime this summer. Judging from the pictures, it appears that Motorola has abandoned its Blur UI for this device, apparently being released with stock Froyo. Check More on AC
[via AC]

Plex plays nice with your Honeycomb slate after app update

We've praised Plex in the past for delivering us box-free XMBC and for it's prodigious media streaming proficiency. Problem is, its app wasn't optimized for the Honeycomb OS and the upsized screen real estate of Android slates -- until now. With the updated code comes tablet-friendly layouts and fast-scrolling in all grid and list views so you can zip through your large local media library. It also includes direct play and internet streaming sans-transcoding (just like the recently revised iOS app) for sating those right now vid cravings. The improvements serve smaller Android devices as well, which makes the newly egalitarian app more enticing than ever before. Best of all, it's still only five bucks. 

Toshiba's ET100/WT100 Honeycomb tablet clears the FCC

Toshiba's forthcoming Honeycomb tablet is already headed to Japanese stores as the Regza AT300, but it's been a bit slower in arriving stateside. Now it seems the company could be close to shipping a real, working product here in the US. The still unnamed slate -- dubbed the ET100/WT100 for now -- has won FCC approval for its 802.11n and Bluetooth radios. To recap, the slate will have a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) display, run on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 platform, and sport dual cameras, HDMI and USB ports, an SD card reader, and, possibly, a removable battery. We say, bring it on.

Android Market gets “Tablet Apps” section

Google today released a featured tablet applications section in web Android Market. I am not yet sure about its presence on Android Market version on Honeycomb tablets, but it won’t take long to have it.
It is currently showcasing 69 apps right now, which I suppose will increase in the coming days.

[Instructions] How To Root The Verizon Samsung Droid Charge

Neither z4root nor SuperOneClick is currently working on the Charge (though I’m sure someone will come up with a one-click method soon enough), but guess what – Gingerbreak sure does. Follow these instructions, and you should have root and full /system unlock on your Droid Charge in a few minutes. Credit goes to the Exploid Crew and unnamed testers.
No custom recovery, such as ClockworkMod or RA, is available yet, but it is surely going to arrive very soon.


  • Permanent root
  • Read/write access to /system
  • The bootloader is factory unlocked, so no additional fiddling is required
  • All Droid Charges survived testing
  • No data wipe is needed


  • Voids warranty
  • Could brick your phone if you aren’t careful
Android Police and Team AndIRC disclaim all liability for any harm that may befall your device, including, but not limited to: bricked phones, voided manufacturer warranties, exploding batteries, etc. The instructions below assume you already have a strong familiarity with adb command lines.
The instructions were created using Linux, but should work the same way on Windows, Mac, etc. You may require additional USB drivers on Windows – check with Samsung and Verizon if you can’t see the phone in adb.
If you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms, hit up our primers here:

Step 1

Download the zip archive containing the exploit and other needed files (MD5: c6f2f4119f4a640571c3ab50c3287aae).

Step 2

Unpack the downloaded zip – you should now have 3 files:
  • GingerBreak
  • su
  • Superuser.apk

Step 3

Enable USB debugging on your phone – go to Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging and put a checkbox there.

Step 4

Push the files to the phone:
adb push GingerBreak /data/local/
adb push su /data/local/
adb push Superuser.apk /data/local/

Step 5

Gain root (this can take upwards of 10 minutes, and if it fails, reboot and try again):
adb shell
Now the shell should display "$".
At this point, the shell should display "#".

Step 6

When your prompt changes from $ to #, you have temp root. Now let’s make it a permanent root:
At this point, the shell should display "#".
mount -o remount,rw -t rfs /dev/block/stl10 /system
cat /sdcard/su /system/xbin/su
cat /sdcard/Superuser.apk /system/xbin/Superuser.apk
chown 0:0 /system/xbin/su
chmod 06755 /system/xbin/su

Your Charge should now reboot. Enjoy permanent root!
If you have questions, use our webchat or go to and join #charge.
 [Source: Androidpolice]

Create Your Own Theme Music With “My Piano” For Android

Isn’t it obvious?  I think everyone should have a high end piano or keyboard app on their smartphone, you know, just in case that tune enters your mind and you want to get it down before it has the chance to escape?  You know what I’m talking about.  My Piano, by developer Borce Trajkovski, has quite a number of features that will come as a surprise for such a compact little app.  Tickle the ivories on command with this innovative new piano application.  Unlike most piano apps, you can even record your voice and play it back in several pitches or keys on the piano for a good laugh.  And this is sure to keep those kiddos busy for quite some time during that long commute.  Just add the app along with a pair of headphones and wallah!  At the very least, you’ll be able to create a tune in no time with an array of features added by the developer.  Head on over to our popular apps database for more info and to snag the download or hit up the QR code after the break. Also, don’t forget to check out the quick video of the app in action.
Android Market Link

From The Developer:
■ Studio quality sound
■ 10 instruments
■ multi-touch
■ sound effects
■ note velocity
■ note aftertouch
■ integrated sampler
■ sample record & save
■ sample load & import
■ integrated recorder
■ track load & save
■ MIDI over WiFi
■ MIDI note velocity
■ MIDI note aftertouch
■ MIDI volume control
■ 1.5 or 2 octaves
■ 8 notes polyphony
■ 6 skins

Brighten Up Your Day With “Symphony of Colors” Live Wallpaper

Looks like is at it again with another one of their stunning live wallpapers.  Symphony of Colors is a fantastic looking live wallpaper that is sure to make your desktop stand out, especially if you have an AMOLED, Super AMOLED or Super AMOLED Plus screen on your device.  Animations have a cool smooth rhythm to them and can even be manipulated with a simple touch or swipe either left, right, up or in the down direction of the desktop.  There are several different colors supported in the app for you to choose from, so feel free to select the color that best describes your mood, turning your device into a mood ring, if you will.  Ready to try it out?  Head on over to the Android Market for more info, a video demo of the app and to snag the download.  You can also hit up the QR code after the break.  And as always, feel free to let us know what you think of the live wallpaper in the comments below.


Samsung Galaxy S II Rooted by Chainfire

This Kernel whipped up by Chainfire gave him a load of issues for one reason or another and he explains that it’s not a traditional or “proper” CF-Root. One of the reasons Chainfire has for this is that he’s like the majority of the rest of us, and also doesn’t actually have the device in hand! What he’s made this on is more than likely the early build of the phone released before the actual hardware is ready to take off across the whole world. What this project amounts to at the moment is the XWKDD kernel in “insecure” mode, this meaning that you’re going to be using “adb root” command followed by grabbing root shell using adb shell.
With this lovely shell you’re going to be able to remount / system read/write, push su / Superuser, busybox and everything else your box’o'root tools might contain. What Chainfire’s provided for you to use to get to this point is the XWKDD kernel and the new Odin. If you have NO IDEA what that means, it’s better that you just know that we’re well on our way to a completely free and open playground in an ultimate bigtime phone that isn’t even really released yet! Hooray! Check out the full XDA thread over here for full details.
Also don’t forget to check out our good man Chris Davies’ full review of this lovely phone, complete with the cutest transparent Android companion as helper!

Sony Ericsson to reveal Xperia X10 Mini, Mini Pro successors next week?

It is rumored that Sony Ericsson will launch the successors to its Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Android devices in May, and the launch could take place as early as next week.
Codenamed Mango and Smultron, these phones run on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread builds and feature 1 GHz processors. Other specs are likely to include three inch displays clubbed with 5MP camera and added front cam.
This rumor is accompanied by an additional piece of information that one more Android device can be launch at the same time or will company just make W8 walkman phone official?
Via eprice

Things We Missed You Shouldn't

Looking back on this week in Android some pretty big stories stand out. Verizon launched two new Android devices and delayed another, the Samsung DROID Charge due to 4G LTE outages; the Atrix 4G and Inspire 4G finally received HSUPA support through new updates; and then there are the leftovers, which you can find below. TGIF!
  • Samsung goes on the offensive. Broadens their patent infringment claim against Apple. [Electronista]
  • LG has the worst timing. Launches Black the same day as the Galaxy S II.
  • The Motorola PRO is not headed to the UK, says retailer. [EuroDroid]
  • Telus’ Samsung Fascinate 4G will be out May 8th.
  • Telus is dropping the original Fascinate to $0 in anticipation. The Nexus S is also on sale for $99 on a three-year contract.
  • Some of those lucky enough to receive the Asus Eee Pad Transformer were surprised to find pre-release Android 2.2 software in place of the promised Android Honeycomb. [AC]
  • $90 via Amazon.
  • GameStop is looking to hire an Android developer to bring their Game Spawn streaming game application over. [Droid Gamers]
  • The Motorola Atrix 4G Laptop Dock will drop to $299 as of May 1st. [AC]

HTC Thunderbolt Receives Update With Enhanced 3G Connectivity and Messaging Fixes

Remember that new HTC Thunderbolt software that leaked a little over a week ago? It’s prepped and ready for installation, as Verizon has updated their support page to reflect the latest tweaks and enhancements that will hit their first 4G LTE handset. The main fix here is enhanced 3G data connectivity, which should alleviate some of the 4G/3G switching problems some users have experienced. Messaging fixes correct incorrectly displayed SMS and MMS messages. As is usual, expect this one to roll out over the next couple of weeks, so don’t panic if it doesn’t hit your handset this weekend. See the full release notes at the source link below, and let us know in the comments when you receive your update.
[via Verizon]

[New App] File Manager HD Is A Honeycomb Optimized File Browser For Your Tablet

Up until now, if you needed a file manager on your Honeycomb tablet you were stuck using one that was designed for phone versions of Android, which didn’t always translate well to the larger screen. Software developers Rhythm Software saw this issue, grabbed it by the horns, and took care of it. The end result? File Manager HD.
File Manager HD is the first file manager specifically designed for Honeycomb tablets (according to the developer). It offers a slew of useful features:
* Based on Android 3.0 new feature and theme
* High definition(1280*800) support
* 3 sets of commercial icons for 60+ different file types, toolbar and menu items
* Cut, copy, paste and cancellable progress dialog
* List and grid view for file browsing
* Compression and decompression support
* Search and share files
* Multiple selection and sorting support
* Thumbnail for photo, pictures and apk files
* Built-in text editor and swf player
* Fully tested on Motorola Xoom


This isn’t their first rodeo, either – Rhythm also has a phone version of File Manager, and it’s rocking a near-five-star rating. So, for the low cost of free, you really can’t go wrong.

Sprint News, Motorola Xoom WiFi Available May 8th

Sprint has announced that it will be offering the WiFi only version of the Motorola Xoom for a mere $599.99. Between you and me, thats a bit pricey. Especially if you stack it up to some of the other recently released tablets with a better price. But thats the deal, ‘eh?
This was the first tablet device to run Honeycomb. Android 3.0 mobile operating system, was specifically designed with the tablet platform in mind. Along with Android 3.0, the tablet can boast 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB internal RAM memory and 32GB onboard user memory,rear-facing 5-megapixel and front-facing 2-megapixel camera, both capable of HD video, and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display. And the fact that its a WiFi device, there is no required contract. Just shell out the $600 bones and you got yourself a brand spanking new tablet.

Fring Mobile Group Video out of beta

“There is no reason why users need to run home to their PC in order to have a ‘spontaneous’ video call with their friends and family,” said Avi Shechter, co-founder and CEO of Fring. “…we are the first to give users the ability to see all their friends on their phone at the same time, anywhere.”
Fring started the video chat revolution back in 2009, introducing mobile phones to mobile video chat that was one to one and largely fairly dodgy. But as phones have gotten more powerful and networks faster, so has the quality of the calls. And with smartphones moving towards multi-core processors, the ability make group video chat calls is a natural next step. So it makes sense that Fring would be blazing that trail.
The group video chat feature is also cross platform, meaning that Android, iOS callers, and even select Nokia handsets can enjoy each others lovely mugs on the same call. When making a four way call, the screen divides “Brady Bunch style” into four separate windows. And Fring calls are free (data caps do apply, however) . Look for it at the Android Marketplace.

HTC Inspire ROM Update Enables HSUPA – Hands On Test

When we heard that the HTC Inspire 4G has a ROM update enabling HSUPA for better data speeds, we had to give it a try ourselves. After some fits and starts, not finding the update, and then having some downloading difficulties, our own Ben Bajarin got it installed. So how did it do?

Here the speed test before:

And here it is after:

If you notice there isn’t much difference, and also that the speeds are pretty slow, that isn’t really a reflection on the update. Ben lives out in the boonies and can’t really get a great connection. We will be updating this post with a non-boonies test soon.
Meanwhile, have you updated? What kinds of speeds are you seeing? The update will be sent out over the air, but you can also check for it yourself, see graphic below:

Motorola Atrix update now official

To update your Atrix phone, AT&T advises connecting to a WiFi hotspot or private WiFi network. Users will then receive an OTA update notification. Select “Download” and then “Install Now” once the download has completed. The Atrix will automatically restart. Please note that if not connected via Wi-Fi, users will not be able to start the download.
Should users be unable to update their phones, AT&T advises to verify WiFi connection and then disable WiFi settings under the Wireless and Networks tab. Then re-enable WiFi settings and reboot. Then reconnect and try again. If users need additional assistance, contact AT&T. Thanks to Zack at Droid-Life for the heads up!

HBO to GO now in the Android Market

A few weeks back, we reported that HBO to GO would be coming to the Android Market. The we didn’t know when it would be coming to Android, although it was strongly hinted at May 2nd in their commercials. Well, HBO has released it early and the app is now live. Users who subscribe to the PayTV service can download it to most Android devices.

Why no xoom support??? That’s why people buy tablets for things like this… by Trey, April 29, 2011
We say “most” because it appears that users of tablets like the Viewsonic G-Tab, and Motorola XOOM, as well as older Android handsets like the Motorola Droid are complaining that they can’t use the app. Users who operate a rooted or overclocked Android device are also complaining that they can’t access the service as well. But newer Droid models, like the Droid X, and the Samsung Galaxy S are enjoying the service. So it’s probably a good idea to pay attention to the user reviews section to determine if your handset has any trouble.
HBO to Go gives users the option to watch episodes of original HBO programming, as well as feature films available. It’s designed to be a one stop shop for payTV fans looking for a streaming option like those offered by Hulu Plus and Netflix. However, it’s not without it’s shortcomings. In addition to limited device support at this point, Comcast subscribers are foreced to use the XFinity page or Comacasts proprietary apps in order to access the service.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Asus Eee Pad Transformer India launch in June


Asus India head Alex Huang has confirmed that company will launch its Honeycomb tablet Eee Pad Transformer in India this June. He added that company has earlier planned to release the tablet in May, but due to the component shortage after Japan Earthquake, the launch has been postponed to June.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer has got decent early reviews and because of the attractive pricing, tablet has been sold out at Amazon and other stores.
Announced at Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, this Android tablet from Asus comes with a 10.1” capacitive touch-screen, Android 3.0, nVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, an optional docking station turns the Transformer into a full-fledged notebook with a QWERTY keyboard, front (1.2MP) and rear (5MP) digital cameras and a built-in mini-HDMI port.
There is no word on the pricing as of now in the Indian market, but if company keeps in line with US pricing, it can be launched around 20K.

Sprint reports Q1 2011 results, adds 1.1 million subscribers

It's financials time and the word hasn't always been rosy for Sprint of late, but this time the company has some good news to share. In this, the first quarter of 2011, Sprint added 1.1 million total subscribers, 846,000 of those were prepaid, the other 310,000 postpaid. Churn was down too, 4.36 for prepaid and 1.81 percent for postpaid, lowest in five years for the former and lowest ever for the latter. Operating income was $259 million on $8.3 billion in revenue, which is up three percent from this time last year, but factor in taxes, lunar landing rights, and all the other fun stuff and the company posted a net loss of $439 million. CEO Dan Hesse called this "slow but steady progress," and the addition of subscribers "a tough streak to keep going as the bar keeps getting higher." A tough streak indeed, but the launch of phones like the Nexus S 4G might just help keep it alive for another quarter.

HTC Reportedly Bringing a Slightly Better Version of Sensation with NFC

HTC may be looking to jump into the NFC game just as Google and Samsung have if this rumor is to be believed. Bright Side of News is reporting that an anonymous HTC representative mentioned to them a new phone that would follow the HTC Sensation and “should be positioned slightly above” it.
This version is said to have an NFC chip inside, but will feature the same 4.3 inch qHD display that the Sensation does. We’re not exactly sure what “slightly above” means outside of NFC, though – perhaps it’s the HTC Rider or Kingdom that’s said to have 3D features similar to the EVO 3D. Who knows?
[via PocketNow]

Quick Look at Today’s Free Amazon App: Fast Food Calorie Counter

While there are a ton of calorie counting apps on the Android Market, it’s kind of nice to see someone producing an app that will tell you what your caloric intake is as result of eating out at popular fast food chains.  This app just might be a trucker’s blessing.  Fast Food Calorie Counter allows you to keep track of calories from places like McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s and Dunkin Donuts, just to name a few.  The app supports info from 73 different restaurants and currently holds data for 9,141 menu items.  That should just about cover most of it if you like to eat on the go.  Get full nutritional info like calories, fat, fiber, protein and carbohydrates.  The app would normally run you  $2.99, but is free all day long thanks to our friends at Amazon.  Have a need for an app like this?  Let us know about it in the comments section and then head on over to our apps database for the download or hit up the QR code after the break.  

Be Wowed By Shadow Galaxy Live Wallpaper For Android

One of the better Live Wallpapers I’ve seen to pass through the market has definitely got to be Shadow Galaxy by developer  We’ve seen a few Live Wallpapers from this developer before  and it looks like they are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to innovation.  If you’re a Live Wallpaper buff, then this one has definitely got to make it onto your device and into a “this is freaking cool” folder.  Once activated, your desktop is immediately hurled into outer space where you’ll be lightly swirling through a vortex of galaxies along with distant shadows of bits and pieces of debris and planets everywhere.  It doesn’t get any cooler than this one folks.  The only thing that would make this wallpaper even more of a hit would have been to add some interactive functionality or some settings for speed etc.  Otherwise, this is sure to appeal to everyone and definitely something to show off to your non smartphone buddies.  Hit the break for some more pics of the app and to snag the QR code for the download.  Follow the market link for a video demo of the app in action.  Feel free to plug away in the comments below.   

Android users sue Google over tracking

When the allegations that Android smartphones were tacking the users location without the user approving it, I think we all knew that suits were coming. The same thing has already happened with the iPhone and Apple has class action suits pending against it right now. Google is now in the same boat with some Android users filling suit.

Two users have reportedly sued Google over claims that the Android device they own was tracking their location without their consent. The two people that filed suit are residents of Oakland County in Michigan and field on April 27 in a Federal court in Detroit. Both of them use HTC Inspire 4G phones. The users both claim “[the Android devices track them] just as if by a tracking device for which a court-ordered warrant would ordinarily be required.”
The plaintiffs are looking to turn the case into a class action and want $50 million in damages and a court order to force Google to eliminate the tracking. A Google spokesman told Bloomberg in an email, “We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.”
[via Bloomberg]

The 7 Most Hackable Android Smartphones


There are two types of people who want to buy an Android smartphone: those who simply don't want an Apple product, and those who want to trick out their phones fancier than a Honda Civic from the set of The Fast and the Furious.
If you belong in the latter crowd, you may be familiar with at least some aspects of the hardware-modding community. But what of the layman who wants to pimp his phone and hasn't a clue where to begin?
We've gathered a handful of the most mod-worthy Android phones, complete with straightforward instructions on how to fully go "Vin Diesel" on your smartphone. That is to say, we show you how to gain root access — or superuser, full-permissions status — to each phone. That allows for customization far beyond what you can accomplish with a stock device. After root is achieved, the sky's the limit.
Warning: More often than not, rooting or unlocking your phone voids your warranty, which means you'll get no love from your carrier's tech-support line if you accidentally screw it up. You also run the risk of "bricking" your phone — essentially rendering it useless — when performing some of these procedures.
So, proceed at your own risk!

HTC Nexus One

Available now only through Google as a "developer phone," the HTC-manufactured Nexus One was Google's first "pure Android" experience phone. That means there are no clunky user interfaces slapped on by the phone manufacturers. More importantly, the phone comes with an unlockable bootloader, which allows you to load a custom ROM and overclock the phone's CPU.
If you want to root your Nexus One, head on over to Lifehacker for a streamlined, step-by-step guide.

HTC Incredible and HTC Evo 4G

Not more than a few months after the Incredible's debut, the modding team over at Unrevoked released version 3.0 of its eponymous rooting tool. After downloading the Unrevoked3 software, all you have to do is connect your phone to your desktop PC and let the program run. You'll be given root permissions, and the ClockworkMod program will be installed, which lets you load custom ROMs and apps otherwise blocked by HTC.
The Unrevoked site hosts its rooting program for Mac, Windows and Linux users who want to root their Incredible, Evo 4G or one of a slew of other HTC phones.

Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung's Galaxy S line has been massively popular with the general public. More than 10 million Galaxy S handsets were sold as of the end of 2010. Each of the big four U.S. carriers has its own branded version of the Galaxy S phone, which makes for lots of developing across a family of similar devices. That means lots of custom ROMs to be had.
If you want to root your Verizon-carried Samsung Fascinate DroidForums provides a comprehensive guide on how to do it. If you're a T-Mobile Vibrant user, IntoMobile's rooting tutorial is a breeze. The Epic 4G rooting instructions on the XDA-Developers forum for the Sprint users out there. Finally, AT&T Captivate users can find comprehensive instructions on using a program for an easy one-click root.

Motorola Droid

Unlike most of its pesky Motorola brethren, the Droid One comes with an unlocked bootloader, which gives you the ability to flash custom kernels as well as ROMs. Essentially, custom-kernel flashing allows for more control over the device's hardware than would otherwise be possible with a locked bootloader (which Motorola is notorious for including).
For those of you with the first Motorola Droid phone, Lifehacker provides a nicely detailed rooting guide.

Samsung Nexus S

We couldn't forget the successor to the Nexus One. Like its little brother, the Samsung-made Nexus S offers a "pure Android experience," debuting with stock version 2.3 (Gingerbread). And just like the One, the S is easily unlocked and rootable. The recently released version 7.0.2 of the highly popular CyanogenMod ROM — a custom interface that improves hardware performance and offers a nifty set of subtle enhancements — is supported on the Nexus S (among 20-plus other devices).
As the site shows in its instructional video and guide, rooting the S is about as simple as rooting its predecessor.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Phones

While these phones aren't yet released, Sony Ericsson has made headway into making its Xperia line very mod-friendly. Earlier this year, the company released instructions on how to unlock the bootloader on its forthcoming Xperia Arc, Neo, Play and Pro handsets. After launching mod-unfriendly, locked-bootloader phones like the X10, this seems like Sony Ericsson extending an olive branch to the developer community.
While we know the phones aren't out yet, Sony Ericsson's unlocking instructions are available for eager developers' eyes to see on the company's site.