DROID Incredible 2 Update 5.10.605.9 Rolling Out

Alright Incredible 2 owners, today is update day! That’s your cue to head to Settings>System updates>Check new.

In a somewhat surprise update, a handful of security bugs have been addressed as well addition of some new capabilities, including playing video in airplane mode. Of course that’s not all. Here’s the gist of it, straight from Verizon:

Security Features

  • Includes Google BT/DigNotar security patch
  • Includes Google security patch for upgrading libpng to 1.2.46
  • Includes Wi-Fi password security patch
Device Features
  • Support local video playback when in Airplane Mode
  • 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indicator (R55I) support
  • Improvements to Clock and Alarm Features
  • The “Disable While Roaming” selection will work accurately when roaming in Canada
  • Update Sync & Connect configuration to enable Push email sync during off-peak hours
So there you have it. The update is 29.35MB.
Of course, there’s also…alternatives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our post on the Ice Cream Sandwich Beta for the Incredible 2.
[via DroidLife]

 

HTC Desire HD and Incredible S Get Updated to Sense 3.0, Wildfire S Gets New Lockscreen

Even with releasing their new phones (like the Rezound), HTC is showing some love to their older ones. Multiple users have reported that the Desire HD and Incredible S have both received updates to Android 2.3.5 with Sense 3.0, which puts them right up there with the likes of the Sensation and EVO 3D. Before this update, people were stuck with having to root these devices if they wanted these features. The Wildfire S also received some love. While it did not get bumped to 3.0 (it has Sense 2.1), it did receive the Android 2.3.5 push with the Sense 3.0 lockscreen.

While there is no word if the Incredible 2 will receive this update in the future or not. If you have any of these three phones however, and haven’t received the update just yet, head to Settings>About Phone>Software Updates to see if it’s available. For those that have it, what do you think? Is it amazing?

 

[via Android Central]

ZTE To Hit U.S. Market Hard With High-End Smartphones

As we all know, Apple, HTC, Samsung and Motorola are locked in a furious battle for U.S. market share. According to the Wall Street journal it appears that the Chinese company, ZTE, will be throwing their hat into the ring as well with a new line of high-end smartphones that look to debut sometime next year.

It’s a surprise move considering they mostly sell budget devices and broadband modems. ZTE America President Lixin Cheng is optimistic about pushing forward into the U.S. market. He was quoted to say:

“By 2015, we expect the U.S. to be the largest market for handsets for ZTE. Next year, we’re going to launch LTE and high-tier phones in the U.S.”


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New Carrier IQ Suit Brings Apple, Motorola and Carriers Into the Mix

While the extent of the damage that Carrier IQ has caused is still out to jury, it appears that a few more companies are being added to the lawsuit mix. The only people that haven’t heard of Carrier IQ are those that have shunned technology, but if you are one of those folk that don’t know what the exact controversy is, you should read this. The new suit brings Apple, Motorola and cellular carriers, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, into the foray.

The suits were filled by Sianni & Straite, of Wilmington DE, and both Keefe Bartels and Eichen, and Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy of New Jersey. They are being handled in a Wilmington Delaware federal court. All companies named are being accused of violating the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. While companies involved in this controversy are placing blame else where, it appears that T-Mobile may have allegedly installed Carrier IQ on devices without phone maker’s knowledge and participation.

It is safe to say that this controversy rocked the smart phone world and that the fallout from this will be monumental. As companies continue to shake the blame the waters will continue to become muddier. There are those out there that are doing there part to rid phones of Carrier IQ and for those of you curious on how to do that please go here.

[via electronista]

HTC Flyer starts receiving Honeycomb update in Europe, WiFi version coming soon

When the HTC Flyer was introduced earlier in the year, we wondered if it would ever see Honeycomb. Wonder no more because GSM versions of the HTC Flyer in Europe are starting to receive the update.  So what about the WiFi version? Well according to HTC, we can expect it soon:

Ready for some ‘sweet’ news? The GSM version of the HTC Flyer tablet, available in Europe, is beginning to receive updates to Honeycomb beginning today! Honeycomb brings a ton of improvements to Android on tablets, including the latest version of HTC Sense for Tablet with enhanced Internet browsing, Mail, Calendar and more all optimized for the 7″ screen. Not to be outdone, the WiFi version of the HTC Flyer will receive its Honeycomb update soon, too! Stay tuned for more details.

Now we can move on to wondering if Ice Cream Sandwich will every land on the Flyer?

[via facebook]

Carrier IQ Gate: A brief summary of the controversy

Carrier IQ has become the buzz lately, but not for good reasons. It all started when a researcher named Trevor Eckhart posted evidence that Carrier IQ logs every text message, Google search, and phone number typed and reports back to the phone carrier. Shortly after, Carrier IQ sent a cease and desist letter to Eckhart claiming he violated copyright law by publishing Carrier IQ training manuals online. Eckhart didn’t back down as he enlisted the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, which resulted in Carrier IQ backing off their legal threats.

What is Carrier IQ? They market themselves to carriers as a program that can “measure performance and user experience with no visible impact to customers.” Eckhart found that in his HTC device, the program not only recorded information about app activity and battery life, but also records when users press any key on the phone along with text messages. The information is then sent back to Carrier IQ’s servers. Why would Carrier IQ need to record such information if all they’re trying to do is improve users’ experiences by collecting data on dropped calls, signal quality, and other troubleshooting problems? At least this is what they told Wired.


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North Carolina State University Uses “Woodpecker” To Peck Holes In Security Of Android Smartphones

Researchers at North Carolina State University revealed some major findings regarding Android devices. Using a tool called “Woodpecker” that was developed the researchers, they found noteworthy vulnerabilities on HTC, Samsung and Motorola smartphones. The specific phones studied were the HTC Legend, EVO 4G, and Wildfire S; the Motorola Droid and Droid X; the Samsung Epic 4G; and the Google Nexus One and Nexus S. Woodpecker analyzed the pre-loaded pieces of software on each phone, probing for capacity leaks– sensitive application and operating system privileges left exposed to other applications in ways that would allow them to be accessed by a malicious app without requesting permission from the device user. The researchers were “surprised to find out these stock phone images [on the devices tested] do not properly enforce [Android's] permission-based security model”.

Basically the capacity leaks fell into two categories, explicit and implicit. Explicit leaks allows applications to exploit a public interface or service of another app without making a permission request. Implicit leaks allows other applications to inherit permissions from another application signed with the same digital certificate (this allows applications from the same developer to automatically interact with each other). They found that while implicit leaks were not as serious a problem, explicit leaks were. Sensitive information such as geo-location, address book, SMS messages, etc.– were leaked on the pre-installed apps. Moreover the researchers found “an untrusted app on these affected phones can manage to wipe out the user data on the phones, send out SMS messages (e.g., to premium numbers), record user conversation, or obtain user geo-locations—all without asking for any permission”. This study is definitely eye-opening, but not surprising as there are examples of some HTC phones and Motorola DROIDs being vulnerable.

So what do you as an Android owner take from this study? First pay close attention to the permissions that each and everyone of your applications of your smartphone or tablet may have. Remember gang, we have a nice little tip sheet for how to spot questionable applications and verify permissions in order to keep your Android protected. Second– Android manufacturers (and even Google) will need to take software security much more seriously. Hopefully the new generation of Android devices will alleviate our fears and concerns for these software holes found in the Android OS.

[via ars technica by North Carolina State University]

HTC Rezound has Sound Issues Through Headphones (iBeats Too)

HTC Rezound with Beats Audio

Chalk this up as coincidence, as irony, or as yet another Verizon phone being buggy, but it appears that the HTC Rezound is having sound issues. Android forums all over the internet are a buzz with users that are complaining of a static sound or some sort of interference when headphones are plugged in. Readers over at Droid Life are also having this issue.

The Static issue can be replicated with both streaming and internally stored audio leading others to believe this isn’t Beats Audio related. Some believe that it has something to do with the 4G radio while others have been able to replicate the issue regardless of which radio is active. I have personally been able replicate it on my co-worker’s Rezound and we are in a non-4G area. So at this point I have no idea what the issue is.

Some folks are lucky and don’t have this issue, or it just hasn’t come up yet. Given the other phones either on or coming to their network, the Bionic (the whine and signal issues) and Galaxy Nexus (volume rocker issue) are having bugs of their own, Verizon doesn’t need another flagship phone giving them issues. What about you guys out there with Rezounds? Are you having these issues?

 

[via Droid Life]

Droid Incredible 2 Now Has Beta Ice Cream Sandwich ROM Available!

 

Droid Incredible 2 owners are about to start salivating big time! That oh-so delectable new treat is available now for owners courtesy of ProTekk of beloved RootzWiki. While it is available everyone, keep in mind that this custom ROM/build of ICS is still in its infancy stage– so like any ROM in beta, it has its fair share of bugs and missing functions. Here’s a quick rundown of what works and what doesn’t work in this build of the beta:

What works:

Booting
Wi-Fi
SMS
Calls
Audio
Sensors
Capacitive keys
SU
SDCard
EGL
Rotation
3G

What doesn’t work:

Headsets (logcat claims that the kernel doesn’t support it)
Gallery
Live Wallpapers
Camera
GPS
Bluetooth

 

The mere fact that most of the needed basic functions working correctly is nothing short of amazing. For those of you willing to brave it out and be ahead of the rest of us Android users, back up your files and give the ROM a try. I mean hey, rooting your Droid Incredible 2 is why you bought the device, right? Be sure to give your props to ProTekk at RootWiki and let us know if you plan on rooting your Droid Incredible 2 or how it works out for you if you’ve already jumped ship and rooted it.

[via RootzWiki]

Verizon Announces Holiday Savings Bonanza, Kicks It Off With Red Incredible 2

It’s that time a year again. The time where you brave the cold, dark and early hours to save a ton of money on your holiday shopping. As we told you before, it appears that Verizon knows this as well and has decided to bring some other great deals to you this holiday season. Starting with the Incredible 2, in red, Verizon will offer specific deals on specific days. This, coupled with the other Black Friday deals, Big Red is offering shows that they are very much in the Holiday Spirit.

  • The DROID Incredible 2 (In Red) – Available online on Nov 24th, 25th, and 28th. Available nationwide in the Verizon Wireless Communications store for free after a $50 mail-in rebate on Friday, Nov. 25th only.
  • The LG Revolution - Available online for $49.99 with a new two-year customer agreement on Nov. 24th, 25th and 28th. Available nationwide in Verizon Wireless Communications stores at holiday prices after a $50 mail-in rebate on Friday, Nov. 25th only.
  • The Pantech Breakout – Available from Nov. 24th – Nov. 28th for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year customer agreement.
  •  Motorola Xoom – Available online on Nov. 24th, 25th, and 28th at the special holiday price of $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement on Mobile Broadband plans beginning at $30/month for 2GB of data. Available nationwide in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores at holiday pricing on Friday, Nov. 25th only.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-Inch Edition – Available from Nov. 24th – Nov. 28th after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year customer agreement.
The Sony Xperia Play, among others, will also be available for free from Nov. 24th – Nov. 28th. Add this with both Amazon and MetroPCS’ Penny Pincher and Black Friday deals, those looking who are in the market for a new phone have some amazing deals to choose from. Also you can follow Verizon on both Foursquare and Facebook to get information on additional deals that are happening during this time .For a complete list of the Black Friday deals that are going on you can click here, otherwise follow the break below to see Verizon’s full press release.


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