We know that Research In Motion is in serious trouble, and the only way out might just be a sale. BGR is reporting that RIM is mulling over selling part or all of the company, which can’t be a surprise to anyone. What is surprising is that supposedly the front runner is Samsung.
Why would Samsung want RIM? The theory is that BlackBerry Messenger would give them further differentiation from the other Android manufacturers, and of course there is the enterprise features. Samsung has already implemented a few enterprise solutions and why on earth would they want BlackBerry Messenger? Unless that part of the business is sold dirt cheap, I can’t imagine Samsung buying RIM for that purpose. Supposedly RIM is looking for upwards of $12 billion to $15 billion. I’m pretty sure BlackBerry Messenger is not worth that kind of money.
I’m not sure what will ultimately happen to RIM, but I’ve said it in the past that I believe the best option would be Microsoft. Microsoft wants market share and a purchase of RIM would give them a boost of roughly 15% market share. BlackBerry enterprise solutions will work well with Microsoft. It’s simply the perfect fit.
To me, this news is just “window dressing” to show other potential buyers there’s interest. RIM’s ultimate goal is to increase the bidding. The question is if anyone really wants to start bidding?
The DROID Bionic, the phone to rule all phones, came out with some pretty big bugs. Some of the bigger bugs included the 3G/4G signal issue, and even the whine that some users were complaining of. Well it was roughly 3 months after the fact that the phone received its first major bug fix and since then the folks at Motorola and Verizon have been cranking out the bug fixes.The mysterious update that came out a week after the major bug fix appears to have been a test build somehow released to the public and the new build going out to testers today only adds a few more changes on top of 5.9.901. This update that brings the software version to 5.9.902 includes the fixes in that mysterious 5.9.901 update and adds the following:
Those of you hoping for a 3G variant of the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet are in for some bad news. Despite earlier reports and rumors of a 3G variant of the device, ASUS has gone ahead and dispelled any such thought of such a device and even adds “no such product exists on its current roadmap”. However, the company does expect to launch 3G versions for other high-end products in the Transformer family in the future. So there you have it folks— don’t hold your breath on any 3G Transformer Prime tablet… for now.
[via Focus Taiwan]
The National Security Agency (NSA) just announced their security enhanced version of Android, dubbed SE Android. Stephen Smalley of the NSA recently explained what SE Android does at the 2011 Linux Security Summit. Basically it brings Mandatory Access Control to Android’s Linux kernel and it works to protect against malicious exploits. Every file and folder that Android has access to can be locked down with encryption.
To build SE Android, you need to download and compile the latest code from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and put SE Android on top of it. It’s intended for emulators and the Nexus S, but there won’t be much support. You need to be familiar with Android from source and Linux/Unix-based systems.
With the DROID RAZR MAXX on its way, it was only inevitable for the original DROID RAZR to see a drop in price. How about a $100 drop in price? That’s right kids, Verizon Wireless is set to offer the DROID RAZR for a mere $199.99 on contract. The price is definitely attractive, but what’s the catch? Well, there’s no microSD card included with this variation of the phone while the original does include a 16GB microSD card. But hey, who needs an extra 16GB included anyways, right?
Look for the RAZR MAXX to now takeover that $299.99 price point.
[via Verizon by Phandroid]
It’s going to be a long time before everyone forgets the stunt Carrier IQ pulled by secretly loading its tracking software on mobile devices and kicking it back to carriers. It still baffles me how a company like this can easily be turned upside down by the voice of one developer. It’s a constant reminder to me that on the web, we all have a voice. In further Carrier IQ news, HTC has jumped on board and pledges to remove the software from all of its CDMA handsets as we’ve seen with the HTC Evo 3D, one of the devices reported as definitely housing the software. The monitoring software will slowly but surely be removed from all of the company’s devices as per a statement by HTC:
“HTC can confirm that we’re working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January”
So there you have it. After this month, there should no longer be any personal user-information periodically being sent back to any specific carrier without the knowledge or consent of the subscriber. According to their site, Carrier IQ offers a number of “tiers” of monitoring and tracking when it comes to how the device functions on a specific network and not so much “personal user” interaction. However, in the manner of which the company went about preloading the software on handsets, bigger guns like Senator Al Franken was already engaging FBI directors on its usage (see video below). Let us know what you think in the comments section. And don’t forget, if you’re not sure whether or not your device has Carrier IQ’s software on it, you can use the Carrier IQ Detector app from Look Out labs here.
[via The Verge]
There’s no denying how widespread and accepted the Samsung Galaxy S II has been in the mobile market shooting into 2012 and it looks like our friends over in the UK are going to benefit from the hefty “HD” version of the monster handset which is supposed to hit the mobile market some time this year. The Samsung Galaxy S II HD, rocking a 1280 x 780 display along with some other new tidbits under the hood appears to be all set for a UK launch in the near future. As if a Super AMOLED Plus display wasn’t enough, the new addition’s HD display will be more than welcomed by the mobile community. It’s no wonder Samsung has managed to stay afloat in the mobile industry. thanks to the company’s constant innovation and breakthrough products. Keep ‘em coming Sammy. In addition to the HD display, there’s further rumors of a bigger screen (4.65-inches), an NFC chip on board and a bigger battery (1850 mAh’s). Stay tuned to Talk Android as we dig a little deeper on pricing and a release date for the device as well as Samsung’s new and upcoming, highly anticipated, Galaxy S III device. Happy salivating.
Last November, Samsung announced that they would be making a pink version of the widely popular Galaxy S II, and since then it has landed in South Korea, Sweden, and most recently Taiwan. Well, apparently those three countries aren’t the only countries that look pretty in pink as Sammy just announced the flesh-toned phone will be heading to the UK as well, and just in time for Valentines day.
As we mentioned before, the specs of the device will remain the same, and according to Phones 4 U, should be available on February 13th. The phone will run a reasonably priced £21.50 a month on a two-year contract. For those who want a contract-free pink SGSII, online retailer Very will sell you one for £499.99 so they must be pretty proud of this phone to be selling it at that price! Currently Very lists the device as available, but in reality they are awaiting shipment and the phone should arrive within the next week.
This would most definitely make for a great Valentines day gift, or would be good for any dudes out there who think pink is punk. Anyone want one?
[via So Mobile & Android Central]
Huawei is one of the lesser known brands in the U.S., but things are starting to change. A few months ago they released the Springboard on T-Mobile which is essentially the MediaPad. I still don’t see a big market for tablets with 3G/4G connectivity, but if you’re looking for such a device and a T-Mobile customer, you have two choices – The Springboard or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. As of the time of this writing, The Springboard is priced at $249 on contract while the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is $299. This is my full review, but you can also checkout my initial hands on video and Joe Sirianni’s review of the Galaxy Tab 7.0.
About three weeks back we told you that the CyanogenMod team would be bringing more customizations and gesture support to the stock Ice Cream Sandwich music player. We didn’t have an exact time frame for a release but with that you can’t rush creativity. Well even with that said, Andrew Neal brought the customized, beefed up music player to us in a very timely fashion. He brought to us a slew of touch gestures as well as even more added functionality to the app. As he puts it:
“The app comes with a degree of customization that you won’t find in any other Music app, or possibly, in any app. You can shop the Android Market for the currently playing song at the push of a button, share what track you’re listening to with all your social outlets, set your favorite song as ring tones, delete unwanted tracks, and search your music from anywhere in the app. “
With gestures you will be able to do things like flip your phone over to quickly play and pause music. The shake action is customizable and both of these features can run in the background allowing you to use them no matter what you’re doing on your phone. These features will come in handy if you ever need to quickly shut off your music.
While I have yet to play with the app fully, it looks to take the stock player to a whole new level. It isn’t in the market yet as Mr. Neal is figuring out what to call it but you can hit the break below to download the app or view the source. You can also get the template for the app to which should spur a host of templates down the road and the app will also be featured in CM9. Let us know what you think!