Well, bootloaders are back on the menu and this time our friends over at Droid Life managed to intercept a letter given to a DL reader by Verizon Wireless regarding locked bootloaders. The customer politely reminded Verizon about the “Block C License” but Verizon provided a song and dance claiming the unlocking of a bootloader would cause an instability in customer service and a negative impact on the user experience altogether. The company has taken a serious stance on not allowing “unapproved” software on their mobile devices. However, many argue that in the license agreement, nowhere does it state that Verizon is referring to “bootloaders” when it states that “no device shall be locked”. Most argue that this is referring to the device’s capability to access the network and not in fact the bootloader. While we’re not 100% sure what they’re referring to, one thing can be certain, customers are complaining. Having a locked bootloader denies a user his/her God given ability to make certain changes and take certain advantages of their device. It’s no wonder users will grab their torches and pitch forks the second a bootloader gets locked. So, for now, Vz’s stance is this, regarding bootloaders; The carrier has issued that OEM’s lock device bootloaders in an effort to obtain a “standard of excellence in customer service“. The company is bent on not letting unlocked phones lessen the experience of users. Ok, I guess. What say you though? Feel free to throw your rants in the comments below. Meanwhile, check out the letter in its entirety after the break.
Android Design has long been a developer favorite when it comes to the development of apps for the Android platform. While it is a great resource to use, developers have complained of the lack of stencils available. The Android User Experience Team has heard your cries and finally released some mockup stencils for any and every Android developer to use. The AUE team promises the stencils will feature the “rich typography, colors, interactive controls, and icons found throughout Ice Cream Sandwich.”
The stencils are available today. The AUE Team has highlighted Adobe Fireworks and Omni OmniGraffle are among the design programs for which the stencils will be available with. Moreover, the source files for the various icons and controls are also available in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
source: Android Developers Blog
If you are a Twitter user, you are already familiar with Promoted Tweets, which is Twitter’s fancy name for “ads”. Now, the official Android Twitter app will bring these promotions to your timeline:
Promoted Tweets will appear in your timeline like any other Tweet, and like regular Tweets, they will appear in your timeline just once; as you scroll, the Promoted Tweet will flow with the rest of the Tweets in your timeline.
The promoted tweets were already accessible in the timeline of desktop and mobile versions of Twitter, but had only appeared in searches in the official Android app. Recent updates to the app had added “Promoted Accounts” suggestions in your “Who to Follow” section. In the coming weeks, the app will show promoted tweets in your timeline from brands or companies that you are currently following.
If you feel that the promoted tweet isn’t relevant (or you think it’s just plain annoying) you can remove it from your timeline with a single swipe.
For now, it appears this will not apply to third-party Twitter Android apps.
source: Twitter blog
If you’ve been eyeing the Samsung Galaxy S II, you may want to jump on the bandwagon with U.S. Cellular. As we previously reported, the phone will not work on their upcoming LTE network, but will use their 3G network. This version of the Galaxy S II will have the 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor. The phone comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but will hopefully update to Ice Cream Sandwich at a later date.
For new activations, the phone will be $229.99 with a two-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. You can also use the additional $100 activation credit that US Cellular is offering online right now. If you’re looking to upgrade on U.S. Cellular, the Galaxy S II will be $249.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. You can order yours now at the U.S. Cellular link below, or you can go in store starting tomorrow.
source: U.S. Cellular
Whilst the Google Execs were busy strutting their stuff at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Google Developers were beavering away in the labs to bring you some updates. If you head on over to the Android Market you’ll find updates to both Google Wallet and Google+ waiting for you. The excitement stops there I’m afraid folks as both updates are minor bug fixes and process enhancements.
Still it’s good to know that the Google Developers are always working on improving their already great applications. Bug fixes and stability improvements can only be a good thing so why not check out the links below and get yourself updated!
Google+ Market Link
Google Wallet Market Link
Some of you may already be familiar with Samsung’s various social and cloud “hubs” that are included on current Sammy tablets and smartphones. So far they have the Social, Music, Video, Reading, and Game Hubs but they are getting ready to add the new Learning Hub that was announced at MWC. I imagine you are wondering what the Learning Hub actually is and thanks to our friends at the Phone Arena, we now have a video demo from a Samsung specialist himself. Essentially you can watch a video lecture on one half of the screen while a text explanation is displayed on the other half. What’s cool about this idea is that you can use a stylus (or finger) to highlight or take notes on the text portion of the lecture. A very interactive way of learning indeed, and one that could change education for the better.
When the Learning Hub launches on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 LTE on launch, it will provide access to over 6,000 textbooks and videos spanning across 30 different publishers. As you probably already imagined, some of the content will be free but the majority will most likely come at a reasonable price. This isn’t a bad thing when talking about furthering one’s education. Jump past the break to see what the Learning Hub is all about.
There have been a lot of big announcements at MWC this year already and everyone looked forward to Google’s keynote speech in hopes that they would drop hints at Jelly Bean or some other Android based projects they had in the works.Well sadly the speech came and went with no word on Jelly Bean or these projects. However, that’s not to say that the speech wasn’t great nonetheless. Eric Schmidt delivered what he believes the world of technology should be. As we told you before Google hopes to get it right with everyone having a Android Device but rather than tell you all the stuff I think you should take away from it I will let you folks watch it for yourselves. Get some popcorn and a cold one and sit back, you have about 70 minutes worth of watching ahead of you. Hit the break below to check it out and let us know in the comment section what you took away from it. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that GoogleTV hasn’t made the largest splash in the smart TV sector. This isn’t to say that it’s done horribly, but it’s safe to say that work still needs to be done to facilitate higher adoption rates. It’s also fairly hard to judge the number of GoogleTV’s in the wild, since Google and it’s partners don’t really like to give out the sales numbers. This is where Xyologic comes in; an app search company that allows users to find mobile apps across various platforms. They’ve recently released results that suggest, based on an estimate of the active install base for pre-installed GoogleTV apps, that the number of GoogleTV’s actively in use are between 500,000 and 1 million, of which the Logitech Revue dominates 50 to 70 percent.
It’s very important to point out that these numbers are estimates only, and do not actually resemble sales numbers, which could contain variables such as people that purchased the hardware but never even ended up using it. Another variable that these numbers don’t reflect are GoogleTV units that are running v1.0 of the software, which don’t show up on Android Market data. This data does still provide insight into usage of GoogleTV, and although the numbers aren’t exceptional, I wouldn’t say Google is out for the count just yet.
Looks like Google is offering another one of their Google Music sales in celebration of leap year, but you better act quick as it ends tonight. Currently there are 29 full albums to chose from and each one will only run you $2.99. This can be a great opportunity to add to your online music collection so you can stream even more tunes to your Android device. From hip-hop to country there is bound to be something in this selection you can groove to. Hit up one of the links below to check out Google Music’s one-day-only sale.
Dolphin Browser has just been updated to v7.4 and includes a new concept. Dolphin has unveiled Dolphin Sonar, which looks to change the way we do our web browsing. It’s a voice-control feature which aims to let us use our voices in order to search on the web, find what we are looking for on websites, bookmark a page and actually navigate the internet— all using our voice! Here are the 3 major features we can look forward to by using Sonar:
1) Search – Talk to Dolphin and let Her Do the Work
2) Social Search – Impress your friends and stalk like a pro
3) Navigate – Just Tell Your Dolphin Where To Go
The update is ready and waiting for Android 2.0+ devices. Before you go out and download it, make sure you hit the break to see the full presser.