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.


Read more

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.


Read more

Millennial Report Out: Android and iOS Shares Flat in October, HTC No. 2 Vendor

It looks like Android is top dog in Millennial Media’s usage share charts for eleven months running while the smartphone platform landscape stayed flat.  Just as it did between July and September, the mobile ad network served impressions to the following devices:

  • 56% to Android devices
  • 28% to iOS devices
  • 13% to Blackberry devices
Apple inched up just a bit as October’s top vendor with 23.5% up from 23.09% in the third quarter. HTC showed the most growth and passed Samsung as the No. 2 vendor with 18.11%. While the Apple iPhone was the most popular line with 12..53% usage share, however, Samsung had six of the top-20 phones on Millenial’s network. The Samsung Freeform, which is the first feature phone to get into Millennial’s top-20 devices list since this past May, is one of these devices. Follow the break to see additional charts from Millennial’s October report.

Buffy: The Real Facebook Phone

 

This year has been wrought with so-called “Facebook phones” popping up all along the way and ultimately, only giving its users a colorful designated button, a few easy sharing features… and not much more. Facebook itself has served as a mere collaborator in these unimpressive efforts that came with silly monikers like Cha Cha, Salsa and Status to name a few. But now, in an effort to create a better, more “deeply social” device, Facebook has chosen HTC (even over manufactures such as Samsung), as its partner in the development of what will be the “real” Facebook phone, code-named, “Buffy”.  Yes, that’s right, named after the TV show and film character. Regarding the company’s mobile strategy, a spokesman recently told AllThingsD:

“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”

Staking their own claim of mobile control will be an uphill climb for Facebook, though undoubtedly a necessary one as its competitors, Google and Apple, are clearly the ones in control when it comes to their own operating systems. Further complicating matters is the recently launched Google+, a direct competition to its services and the fact that Apple is snuggling up with Twitter as its closest social partner.

Since Buffy is still in very early development, she isn’t expected to appear on your friendly neighborhood retailer’s shelves for as many as 12-18 months or more. When put into perspective though, the wave of innovations made over the next year could change the way we live and interact with people on a daily basis in a major way and on a grander scale, a real Facebook phone makes sense as the next step for “inherently social” mobile devices as Facebook CTO Bret Taylor recently called them.

 

[via allthingsd]

MetroPCS annouces HTC Wildfire S and Black Friday deals for 4G LTE Android smartphones

MetroPCS today announced that the HTC Wildfire S will be available in stores and online this week for a price of $179.99. This is the first HTC smartphone to land on MetroPCS.

“Through our partnership with MetroPCS, we hope to continue providing our consumers with the affordable, yet advanced, smartphones and multimedia content they demand, all with the flexibility of a pay-in-advance service,.” said Martin Fichter, vice president, product management, HTC Americas.

In addition MetroPCS is going to offer “deep discounts” on 4G LTE Android smartphones with a Black Friday Sale. The good news is that it’s not just limited to Black Friday only. The deals start on Thanksgiving Day, November 24 and run through November 30, 2011.

In addition to these deals, they are offering a deal on lines. You can get 4 no annual contract lines for $100 a month, and each line comes with unlimited, talk, text and Web access. If you are looking for a single line, all of these phones are eligible for their no annual contract plans ranging from $40 to $60 per month, which include unlimited talk, text, and Web access. The $60 plan will give you the Rhapsody Unlimited service.

Full press releases after the break:


Read more

HTC Entices Us With Rumored Quad-Core Tablet: HTC Quattro

Courtesy of Pocket Now

As we have seen recently, HTC isn’t wasting any time in enticing us with rumored quad-core devices. It was only yesterday they revealed another quad-core phone. Well it appears that HTC is upping the ante and is  now showing off what is rumored to be a very feature rich tablet.

This Tegra 3 quad-core tablet will feature a 10.1 inch screen at a 1280 x 768 resolution and Beats audio. It will also have 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage with a microSD slot, a 2MP HD rear facing camera, 720p capable 1.3MP front facing camera. As with most tablets it will have the full array of sensors and will include both bluetooth 4.0 and 5GHz Wi-Fi capabilities. This tablet will most likely have enhanced features like an HD movie store, Dropbox functionality for more storage and heavy integration of HTC’s scribe pen technology.

While there isn’t an exact time as to when this will be out, it sounds like HTC is shooting for early 2012. Although there aren’t any prices as of yet, the tablet should ship with both 3G and Wi-Fi only models. This in turn, will lead to different pricing models. With that being said, it will be interesting to see how HTC’s rumored devices will spur others to develop their own quad-core devices to keep up.

[via PocketNow]