Update likely last in the line for the HTC handset
One of the first Verizon LTE phones is being updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), nearly two years after the phone's release. The HTC Thunderbolt is finally seeing an update to a nearly year-old version of Android, albeit newer than Android 2.3 Gingerbread which most of the Thunderbolt phones shipped with.
Camera supports Google Play apps
Confirming recent rumors, Nikon has officially unveiled its first Android-based point-and-shoot, the S800c, which pairs camera functionality with smartphone features, sans calling capabilities. The Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system provides full support for Google Play apps, while enabling users to take advantage of Wi-Fi connectivity for image sharing and GPS for location tagging.
Gingerbread finally arriving after 6-month delay
Sprint appears to be restarting a second round of Android 2.3 updates for LG's Optimus S handset. The carrier last summer released a Gingerbread update for the Optimus S, however the first over-the-air rollout was halted amid widespread reports of serious bugs.
Android malware, RootSmart, infecting phones
A new piece of Android malware is afflicting thousands of users. North Carolina State University professor Xuxian Jiang, who documented the nature and behavior of RootSmart last week, believes that between 10,000 to 30,000 user devices are connecting to a botnet without their knowledge everyday. Most of the affected users thus far are located in China and have installed the GingerBreak root access tool for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Phone gets Gingerbread & performance enhancements
T-Mobile has released an OS update for the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. The software brings the most recent pre-4.0 Android update, 2.3.6, as well as several performance upgrades. T-Mobile is not pushing the update out to owners, but rather asking them to go to the carrier's support website.
Update arrives months after original promises
Although the Droid Incredible has been discontinued for several months, some users are reporting that Verizon is finally releasing a Gingerbread update for the device. HTC originally announced plans for an Android 2.3 upgrade sometime in September, however the company failed to meet its promise and never disclosed a revised time-frame.
Verizon finally updates Galaxy Tab to older OS
Verizon belatedly addressed its very first tablet with an update for the original Galaxy Tab. The slate is now getting Android 2.3.5, putting it on the just outgoing OS. In return for the wait, users get Verizon tools to track or change their data plans and support for prepaid data instead of the subscription that was required for 3G until now.
Delivers Gingerbread and other enhancements
Verizon has released a new update for its Casio G'zOne Commando. The download updates the phone to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), as well as providing some improved performance for Verizon specific features. Verizon claims that a key benefit of the update will be reduced lag.
Android in October has tablet, fragmentation issue
Google's progress and drawbacks in Android were seen in equal measure at the start of the week as its latest version share breakdown showed how much it continued to depend on smartphones and older versions. After eight months, Android 3 (Honeycomb) tablets still make up just 1.8 percent of the user base. Less than half of that group, 0.7 percent, is using the latest version of the OS.
Smartphone to fetch $249 after rebate
MetroPCS appears to be readying LG's rumored Esteem handset to operate on the carrier's LTE network. Image leaks, taken from the LG Partner Portal and posted by Androidcentral, suggest the device will offer a midrange set of smartphone features, including a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 4.3-inch LCD with 800x480 resolution.
Pantech Breakout made official
Verizon brought out its first 4G smartphone without a premium price on Monday by confirming the existence of the Pantech Breakout. The Android 2.3 phone still reaches the full 5-12Mbps real speeds of the LTE network and can even create a 10-device Wi-Fi hotspot. At just $100 on contract and with a rebate, however, it costs just a third the price of other 4G phones on the network.
Atom variant will follow Ice Cream Sandwich launch
Intel appears to be readying some of its Atom processors to run Android, however the feature will not arrive until early next year. Although developers have already achieved success with Google's mobile OS on Atom chips, including hardware that serves as the basis of Google TVs, such endeavors have yet to be met with official support from the chip maker.
Velocity Micro Cruz T408 and T410 aim at low end
Velocity Micro hoped to snap up the low end of the tablet market Wednesday with two Android 2.3 tablets that add polish only sometimes seen at the price. The eight-inch Cruz T408 and 10-inch T410 cost under $300 but have a capacitive touchscreen, a modest but competent 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and a front facing camera. The eight-inch T408 is rare in Android for its 4:3 ratio screen, putting it closer to an iPad ratio, while the T410 fits the familiar 16:9 widescreen ratio for Google's mobile OS.
Motorola Droid 2 begins gettting Android 2.3.3
The Motorola Droid 2 has just began receiving the Android 2.3 update. The detailed OS version is 2.3.3 rather than the newer 2.3.4, but the newer OS comes with other changes. This includes the new Download Manager app, multi-touch keyboard support, and a new tab called Running in the Manage Applications screen that shows active apps and how much storage and RAM is being used by each.
HTC vows Android 2.3 upgrade for two phones
HTC on Wednesday promised that both the original Droid Incredible and the Thunderbolt would get Android 2.3 in September. It wouldn't confirm exact dates or whether there were any device-specific fixes. The company had originally promised the Thunderbolt upgrade in the spring, but it pushed this back and was testing as early as May.
Motorola Pro Plus unveiled
Motorola took a second shot at capturing the pro smartphone market away from RIM on Tuesday with the Pro+. Along with a sleeker and more BlackBerry Bold-like shape, it's the first work-level phone from Motorola with Android 2.3. Accordingly, it gets the latest version of the Blur interface and has seen its 3.1-inch display upgraded to a sharper 640x480, twice as dense as the older Droid Pro and XPRT.
OTA update expected mid summer
LG has reportedly posted source code for the upcoming Optimus S Android 2.3 update ahead of the formal rollout. Despite the developer tidbits for Sprint's Optimus variant, the carrier has yet to announce a specific date for the Gingerbread OTA release.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 may still use non-tablet UI
Samsung may have ruled the Galaxy Tab 7.7 out of direct contention as one of the major tablet competitors if a discovery this weekend is authentic. Photos show a small tablet similar in looks to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 but with the same hardware navigation keys as the old model, possibly ruling out the tablet-native Android 3.2 in favor of 2.3 and possibly Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) when it ships. The Android-Life sighting makes it clear this isn't the Tab 8.9 as it has Samsung's consciously Apple-like dock connector on the narrow side, not the longer side like its larger siblings.
HP TouchPad clears out at high speed
HP's decision to slash the TouchPad to $100 has triggered the biggest rush on webOS devices since the Palm Pre launched two years ago, according to reports. In those US and Canadian stores still selling the TouchPad, several checks by Electronista readers and further investigations on social networks has found many stores already having sold out of their stock. HP's own store already lists it as out of stock, although whether that's permanent or temporary is still unclear.
10.1" tablet limited to Android 2.3
ViewSonic has finally announced US launch plans for its 10pro tablet, which was first unveiled at the end of May at Computex 2011. The tablet features dual-boot capabilities, enabling users to run Windows 7 or Android. The latter OS is limited to Google's Gingerbread build, however, rather than a Honeycomb 3.x variant that is now common to high-end Android tablets sharing the same 10.1-inch display size.
Verizon pushes bug fix for Droid X users
Verizon has pushed an 11MB update out to all users of the Motorola Droid X. The new build of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) addresses a range of issues that users were experiencing after updating their device from Android 2.2 (Froyo) to Android 2.3 customized with Motorola's Blur UI. After the bugs faced by Droid X users, it was rumored that Verizon has frozen all Motorola's Android 2.3 updates for other devices until the bugs were sorted.
Motorola's latest rugged smartphone not due in US
Motorola on Monday officially confirmed that the ruggedized Defy+ smartphone will be shipping this fall. It also validated an earlier report that it won't arrive in North America, as its launch is limited to Asia, Europe and Latin America. The handset meets the IP67 specification for water, scratch and shock resistance thanks both to a toughened body and a Gorilla Glass-covered 3.7-inch touchscreen.
HTC Holiday seen live for first time
HTC's ultimate flagship phone, the Holiday, has surfaced in live photos after it was recovered through a Craigslist sale. Both the phone's design and its firmware confirm the Infuse 4G-rivalling 4.5-inch, 540x960 display. The XDA forum member also confirmed the dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon, 1GB of RAM, a rear eight-megapixel camera, and a front 1.3-megapixel camera.
Samsung Infuse 4G gets ATT
An off-hand response from AT&T to a user on Twitter has narrowed down the Samsung Infuse 4G's Android 2.3 update to this month. The cell provider had promised an update eventually but, until now, hadn't narrowed it down. A representative stopped short of committing to a specific date or of explaining what features it would bring specific to the Infuse.
First update caused problems for users
Sprint has begun to release a second round ofGingerbread updates for Kyocera's Echo handset, after the first update, which arrived several weeks ago, had caused problems for many users. The company suspended the first rollout after a number of owners reported that the download had caused their phone to become inoperable.
Customer service reps contradict earlier statement
HTC may be dropping plans to offer a Gingerbread update for the original Droid Incredible smartphone. Although the company has repeatedly committed to the upgrade, a customer service representative has reportedly told a customer that the Incredible is not on the list of handsets that the company plans to update to the newer Android build.
Price falls below original expectations
Vizio has finally begun shipping its eight-inch Android tablet, which will arrive on store shelves with a $299 price tag. The company's own pre-order page suggested the tablet was originally expected to arrive on July 18. Early reports surrounding pricing were also inconsistent, as rumors pointed to $300 but the pre-order site listed $400.
ATT starts rolling Gingerbread to Inspire 4G
AT&T on schedule began pushing out its promised Android 2.3 upgrade for the HTC Inspire 4G. The update began on a small scale on August 4, HTC said, but started reaching owners on a large scale Monday. The update is so going out over the air, although HTC's update page is offering a 269MB manual download for those who prefer to handle it over USB.
Motorola Xoom 3G gets Android 3.2
Verizon marked Friday evening by rolling out its Android 3.2 update for the Motorola Xoom. The HTJ85 update brings everything associated with the new OS, including the new app scaling. It also closes a chapter for Motorola as it finally turns on the microSD card slot on the very first Xoom to ship, about seven months after it was first promised.
Samsung Conquer 4G to reach Sprint on August 21
Sprint put an end to rumors and launched the Samsung Conquer 4G. The Android 2.3 hardware is Sprint's first WiMAX phone to start under the $100 mark when new and is an unusual mix of mid-range and budget hardware. It runs on a second-generation, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and has a front 1.3-megapixel camera, but it also cuts costs with a 3.2-inch rear camera and a 3.5-inch, 320x480 screen.
LG Enlighten may be Android 2.3 sequel to Ally
Just-uncovered marketing sheets on Thursday confirmed that Verizon would soon have a spiritual successor to the LG Ally. The Enlighten should move on to an 800MHz processor and use Android 2.3 while keeping to the QWERTY slider layout of its ancestor. The design sighted by Droid-Life would center on a modest 3.2-inch touchscreen and carry a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back.
Droid X2 gets a taste of Gingerbread
The Motorola Droid X2 Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) update that was promised in late July is now live for all users. Users can manually initiate the update by checking for system updates from the phone’s settings menu. The update brings with it a range of enhancements that come in the upgraded OS itself, but also includes hardware-specific bug fixes.
Motorola Pax for Sprint sighted
Motorola's unnamed 'super' BlackBerry-alike for Sprint has been given a name and very fast specs in a follow-up leak. Now called the Pax, the QWERTY keyboard phone would effectively be a much improved XPRT (Droid Pro) with a dual-core processor. This is my next also understands that it would have push-to-talk CDMA.
Release matches earlier rumors
Confirming earlier rumors, Sprint has released an Android 2.3 update for the Kyocera Echo. The release, which steps up from Android 2.2 Froyo, brings the standard set of Gingerbread UI tweaks, along with the updated Swype 3.0 keyboard and an 'Eco Mode' utility that is claimed to help users manage battery life.
Kyocera Echo inline for Gingerbread update
The Kyocera Echo looks like it might be in line for an update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on August 1. Update 2.002SP is expected to land next Monday and move device from 2.2 (Froyo) to the latest build of Android for mobile phones. The update will also bring some Kyocera Echo specific treats including Swype 3.0.
T-Mobile continues Gingerbread updates
T-Mobile has continued to bring a string of Gingerbread updates this week, as the carrier begins to roll out the software for the G2. A memo posted on the company's support site confirms that Android 2.3.3 will arrive for the G2 as an over-the-air update. The software arrives just one day after Gingerbread was released for the G2's successor, the G2x.
New UI features added, bugs fixed
Verizon has begun rolling out Android 2.3 updates for Motorola's Droid X2 handset. The Gingerbread enhancements include a new Download Manager app, multi-touch keyboard shortcut options, improved copy-and-paste functionality, image geotagging, and a variety of new UI elements including widgets, icons and colors. The release also provides encryption options for the device and the SD card, along with VPN enhancements for business use.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android 2.3 up at last
After some delays, Sony Ericsson on Tuesday posted an Android 2.3 update for the Xperia X10. The upgrade so far has to go over a wired link using Sony Ericsson's own desktop software. It's not clear that every carrier's variant will work, and it may rely on having an X10 with Sony Ericsson's stock OS.
Public release follows internal distribution
T-Mobile has finally begun rolling out Android 2.3 updates for LG's G2x handsets, just in time to meet the company's commitment to a July release. Confirming earlier reports, T-Mobile suggests the Gingerbread release is claimed to bring improved battery life and enhancements to the front-facing camera operation when using Qik.
ATT promises Android 2.3 upgrades for most phones
AT&T started off the week with promises that much of its Android smartphone line would get Android 2.3. Starting with the just-live Atrix 4G update, every postpaid (regular subscription) phone would get the OS. The Inspire 4G was next with an August upgrade, but the Samsung Captivate and Infuse 4G, the LG Phoenix, and Pantech Crossover would all get the modern OS.
MSI passes Enjoy 10 tablet through SU
MSI is readying its very low-cost Enjoy 10 Android 2.3 tablet for the US with an appearance in an FCC filing on Friday. Only labeled as MS-N0Y1 in the manual, the device has a 10-inch screen with a lower 480x800 resolution and a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 for a processor. The slate would have 512MB of RAM and lean on a full-size SD card slot for much of its storage.
Motorola Atrix 4G Android 2.3 update arrives
Motorola gave Atrix 4G owners a treat at the end of the week by posting its Android 2.3 update. The update brings both the performance, polish, and interface updates of 2.3 itself as well as updates to Motorola's custom tweaks, including ones that haven't shown on other Motorola Android 2.3 revisions. Among the surprises is an upgrade to 1080p movie playback that helps it compete even with newer phones.
Vizio Tablet finally lands
After being first teased at this year’s Rose Bowl, the Vizio Tablet has started to arrive in stores as scheduled. Costco is among the stores starting to stock the device, where it is retailing for $329, a $20 discount off the full recommended retail. The device is shipping with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with a future upgrade to Android 3.2 or Ice Cream Sandwich a possibility.
Public launch expected to follow internal pilot
T-Mobile has reportedly begun releasing an Android 2.3 update for the G2x, however the internal pilot program is currently said to be limited to the carrier's employees. A leaked screenshot posted on TmoNews suggests staff with the G2x will receive the Gingerbread update as an over-the-air download pushed to the handsets.
BlackBerry PlayBook Android wrapper posted early
RIM unintentionally gave BlackBerry PlayBook owners early access to its promised Android App Player. A beta direct download found on the company's own servers through a changelog runs Android 2.3 on a basic level. The OS uses the bezel and swipes to fill in for Android's missing hardware controls and can run with PlayBook apps in the background.
HTC Wildfire S official for T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile silenced rumors Thursday afternoon by detailing its version of the HTC Wildfire S. Its adaptation of the starter Android 2.3 phone is largely stock other than a distinctive white-and-chrome hue as an option alongside a more sober black. The edition's customizations are light and mostly cling to HTC's own Sense 3.0 layout.
Google Nexus S gets ATT-native 3G on July 24
Google on Thursday fulfilled a longstanding request as it said it would ship an AT&T-native version of the Nexus S in the US. Its version follows after the original T-Mobile version and Sprint's Nexus S 4G. The official Android 2.3 phone is functionally identical to the T-Mobile version other than a switch of frequencies to support the 7.2Mbps 3G.
Motorola Dinara leaks out for first time
Motorola already has a sequel to the new Droid Bionic in development that may be hints of a familiar design. Nicknamed the Dinara, it would be similar to the Bionic but have a larger, more edge-to-edge, "HD" screen and upgrade to a 13-megapixel camera. The shape would be "much slimmer and lighter" from what Droid-Life understood, but it would use an iPhone-style sealed-in battery to reach the goal.
Samsung 4G slider phone leaks out
A Samsung LTE-based phone with a keyboard has been spotted this weekend in an instance of what could be Verizon's first real QWERTY-equipped 4G phone. The SCH-i405 appears to be a superficially close take on the Epic 4G for Sprint but with the faster data and, reportedly, an "awesome" Super AMOLED Plus screen. The Android Central source couldn't identify the processor but said it was faster than the Fascinate.
Motorola Atrix 4G soak test ready to go
Motorola's Atrix 4G is on the verge of getting its long anticipated Android 2.3 upgrade. About 1,000 owners in the company's Feedback Network are being invited to a "soak opportunity" that will let them try a beta version. Early adopters have until Monday at 10AM Eastern to take a survey to qualify, although Motorola hasn't said when the update itself rolls out.