We mentioned recently that Motorola updated its timeline for when some of its premium devices would get ICS— even though you know, it was first found in December 2011. If you own a smartphone or tablet such as the DROID RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Atrix 4G or XYBOARD series of tablets, then you have a lot to look forward to– starting next month. On the other hand, devices like the DROID 3 and DROID X2 were left out of the exclusive Android 4.0 club, despite being released within the past 12-15 months as well. Motorola certainly ruffled more than a few feathers as many owners of those devices were furious. MOTO took some time and elaborated on why devices such as those won’t be getting the coveted update:
“You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device.
To sum everything up: if it’s too much of a hassle going into the R&D as well as the cost of updating a device, MOTO won’t even bother trying to update– especially if it knows ICS won’t improve the device. Definitely a bummer I know folks, especially as the DROID 3 and DROID X2 had a poorly timed release, but is more than capable of handling the update. While you all won’t be tasting MOTO-infused ICS, all is not lost for those owners. There’s always the act of rooting and flashing a custom ROM which can definitely suffice and even prolong the life of your smartphone. Here’s hoping MOTO doesn’t leave a sour taste in the mouth for owners of devices not receiving the update.
source: Inside Motorola Blog
We’ve already heard about Verizon converting certain 4G LTE devices, namely the LG Spectrum and DROID 4, to become global phones by enabling international radios embedded into these devices. The folks at Droid Life have sources that tell them there may be more devices with this hidden capability.
Check out the info sheet above for the HTC Rezound, which was previously rumored to have hidden global radios. It clearly shows a “global feature” that enables an additional 185 countries. The source also states that the DROID RAZR will be getting a new info sheet with this feature added, and according to the tipster, this is coming soon. Sounds like a cool bonus if you own or plan to own one of these handsets.
source: droid life
After the big Galaxy S III announcement we knew it would only be a short amount of time before the cool software features were pulled from the phone for use across other Android devices. One of the more noteworthy GSIII features is the S-Voice app, basically Samsung’s version of Siri. Thanks to XDA member Ascarface23, we now have a working S-Voice apk that has been tested to work on various Android 4.0.4 roms across various devices. I was able to successfully install the app on my Galaxy Nexus running the latest AOKP rom and it has also been reported to work on CM9 as well. If you want to check out this great GSIII feature for yourself, grab the download below and follow the installation instructions for best results.
How to install: You can either install it through the Android package installer like any other 3rd party app but reports suggest it is better to install it as a system app. To install as a system app do the following:
- Make a nandroid backup! (just to be safe)
- Download the apk on your SD card
- Using a file manager, copy/paste into system/app
- Longpress the apk file from Within system/app, select “permissions” and change to r-w, r, r
UPDATE: If you are experiencing force closes or other issues after installing as a system app, try this route: After the app is installed, use a file explorer and navigate to system/app and press on the voicetalk.apk to reinstall again over top of the original install. Readers have reported that this helps with ongoing issues. (Thanks RubinRybnik!)
Side note: I should mention one thing from my brief experience with the app. Don’t try to change the wake up command because that will usually result in a force close situation and you will have to reinstall and start over. I would just leave it at “hi Galaxy” and just be happy that it works. :-)
After hearing all the hubbub surrounding Verizon’s plan to cut off unlimited data, T-Mobile’s VP of marketing Andrew Sherrard decided it was the right time to announce that they are on the side of the consumer and agree that shared data is not the way to go. Talking to T-Mobile’s Issues & Insights Blog, Sherrard acknowledged that consumers do not want to share a lump sum of data, nor would it beneficial in a family data plan model. Not only does he disagree with Verizon’s recent announcement, Sherrard brings up a really good point. “Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption? We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment.” Sherrard also said that T-Mobile has no plans to go the way of AT&T and Verizon. They will be sticking with individual data packages and have no desire to implement huge overage charges for those who exceed their data limit. Instead, they choose to use the equally controversial method of “throttling.”
Without knowing what Verizon’s exact plans are for shared data it is hard for me to pass judgement as of yet. What if us Verizon customers are given an option to get a higher amount of data that we can share across our tablets and smartphones at a lesser cost than what we are paying for multiple data plans? On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a one-device data user and want to maintain your unlimited data, I don’t think buying your next Android device at full retail price is a reasonable trade-off either. Maybe it’s time to start looking into a T-Mobile account or the other option that keeps becoming more and more appealing – a pre-paid plan
Does knowing the carriers full stance toward data limits have you looking for a new plan or carrier? Let us know what you think, or plan to do, in the comments below.
Boy, this legal stuff can get confusing. Let’s take it from the beginning and walk through it. First, we know that the HTC One X and the Evo 4G LTE are currently held up in customs while they check whether the devices violate an ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December.
Then we heard the ITC has decided to ban the import of Motorola Android phones for infringing on patents by Microsoft, joining HTC in the “import ban” club. FOSS Patents said this order could likely go into effect in 60 days. It’s also possible Motorola could tweak the software to comply with the ITC’s rulings during those 60 days.
As more details were revealed, we now learn that Motorola was found NOT to infringe on 8 patents in the Microsoft case, and only infringed on one specific patent for “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device“. This verdict is now under Presidential review, and is subject to appeal. Motorola said in a statement to ArsTechnica:
Chili’s just released their new Android App and to celebrate they are willing to give you a free Android phone just by ordering $25 worth of food from chilistogo.com. There are a few catches to the offer though; the activation fee, taxes, and you must sign a new two-year contract with either of the participating carriers.
Chili’s has made a deal with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile so you are covered by the three major carriers in the U.S. The phones they are offering don’t look too bad either. They are definitely not high end phones, but they aren’t crap either (maybe a couple). This would be perfect for the family that wants to get their kid a phone but doesn’t want to drop a few bills on a phone that they could, and most likely will, break.
Check out the source link below for further details and hit up the Play Store links to grab the free Chilli’s app.
Google Play Store
We all know the benefits of rooting your smartphone. By rooting your device, you can unlock a world of potential benefits such as operating on custom ROMs as good or better than stock Android OSes and improved overall performance of your device for starters. While the Android community needs rooting, there are certain entities that have said no to rooting because of major security issues. You may recall that there was a certain Google Wallet saga that went like this: a clever mind sees a flaw in Google Wallet’s design and cracks it. Google responded and made it seem like everything is ok. Another set of clever minds hijacked Google Wallet— this time not needing any sort of root. Google responded again and issued a temporary fix. While the issue has since quieted down, a major development has surfaced— apparently Google Wallet is now requesting root access. Yes— you read that right: Google Wallet is now requesting root access. What gives?
There is an idea of why this may be. The app/service may be requesting root access to have an idea of if you’re actually rooted or not. That’s great and all except you know… Google Wallet was already warning users on rooted devices before the change. To top things off, the app/service seems to function without issue— whether you have root or not. Definitely unusual to say the least.
Google has yet to come out with a formal explanation of why this change has been done— but it can definitely bet it has more than a few people wondering why this is happening.
The concept of a mini-PC stick that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was first seen at Mobile World Congress this year with the FXI Cotton Candy. That device is available for pre-order for $199 overseas. Now, we are seeing a new mini-PC-on-a-stick for a much more reasonable $74 making the rounds on some Chinese web sites. The unnamed Model #MK802 sports the following specs:
- AllWinner A10 CPU @ 1.5GHz + Mali 400 GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage
- microSD slot (Up to 32GB)
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
- micro USB 2.0/OTG port
- USB 2.0 Host port
- Android virtual keyboard or 2.4G wireless keyboard + fly mouse
- HDMI (1080p) Video output
- Video Codecs: WMV/ASF/MP4/3GP/3G2M4V/AVI/MJPEG/RV10/DivX/VC-1/MPEG-2/MPEG-4/H.263/H.264/1280*720P HD 30 fps, 1080P/720*480 D1 30fps
- Audio Codecs: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A
- Android 4.0 (ICS)
- Size: 8.8*3.5*1.2cm
- Weight: 200g
There are some reasons it’s cheaper than the Cotton Candy.
The LG Optimus Elite looks to be a good phone for eco-conscious, budget-wise consumers looking to experience Google’s popular Android OS. Sprint just released the phone today in stores and Virgin Mobile has their very own version available as well for the commitment-phobe demographic. However VM has decided to up the ante and offer a $25 Google Wallet credit for all VM Optimus Elites activated until July 18.
Free money sounds great, right? It is indeed as long as you are prepared to receive payment in installments. New Optimus Elite owners will immediately receive a $10 credit upon activation and after 3 weeks will then receive the remaining $15 credit. It’s a smart move to ensure that potential return customers don’t go on a small shopping spree courtesy of Virgin Mobile. So if the LG Optimus Elite on Virgin Mobile interests you, then hit the source link below to get more info.
Sony Mobile has just announced a partnership with several phone case and accessory manufacturers with the focus being on providing quality protective wear options for their Xperia line of smartphones. CaseMate, Krusell and Muvit are among the several companies now working with Sony Mobile in this new joint venture. This is certainly not a bad move for Sony. Consumers are always drawn to familiar brands that society considers of good quality and reliability. The fact that Sony will stand behind these products says a lot and will definitely boost buyer confidence. Expect to hear more about the final products later this month.