AT&T killing support for U-Verse on Xbox 360 at end of 2013
AT&T will stop supporting the Xbox 360 under its U-Verse service after December 31st of this year. The service, which allowed the game console to act as a secondary set-top box for watching TV, with a representative advising Polygon that it was being pulled due to "low customer demand," and that it will not appear on the Xbox One. An e-mail sent out to a number of subscribers details a $99 credit to cover part of the cost of Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as the required conversion kit.
HTC Android security flaw acknowledged, fixes due
The Wi-Fi security flaw present in some Android-powered HTC smartphones has been acknowledged by the manufacturer on its support page. When connected to Wi-Fi networks, hackers can take advantage of the flaw to gain security access credentials. The flaw was discovered by researchers Chris Hessing and Bret Jordan and would allow the details to be sent to a remote server on the Internet.
Sony Ericsson Nozomi gets early pics, benchmarks
The Sony Ericsson Nozomi smartphone that's expected to be made official at CES has been benchmarked and the results shared by ITProPortal. The test confirmed some specs of the device, including its 720x1280 touchscreen and dual-core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. A 12-megapixel camera is also confirmed, as is 1GB of RAM and 8GB of integrated storage space.
Senator says Carrier IQ may be in trouble
Carrier IQ's problems mounted dramatically on Thursday after Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the company demanding answers as to the company's extensive phone logging practices. He was concerned that Carrier IQ might be violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the pen register statute, and Stored Communications Act by recording without consent not just diagnostic information but phone numbers, text messages, web addresses, and the location. Carrier IQ's earlier denials that it wasn't tracking keystrokes or personal content were "especially concerning" given evidence showing just the the opposite, Franken said.
Android support seen lagging iPhone by wide margin
A new breakdown of Android updates has shown that most American models have had far worse support than the iPhone. Looking at at models released 2010 and earlier, Michael DeGusta showed that most were abandoned by their makers quickly. Of the group of 18, 15 don't run Android 2.3, 12 were current for weeks at best, and seven ran obsolete versions even when they launched.
Once touted "Superphone" lacks horsepower
Google has revealed that while it will be giving a free upgrade for its Nexus S smartphones to Android 4.0, owners of its predecessor, the Nexus One, will go without. The hardware is too old to run it, Android Product Management lead Hugo Barra said.
Performance tweaks, video zooming also included
Skype has released a new version of its VoIP chat client for Android phones. Skype 2.5 (free, Market) adds video chat support for 14 Android devices, including the
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (T-Mobile version), Acer Iconia Tablet (A500), Motorola Photon and Motorola Xoom. As with the latest client for Mac and iOS, Skype 2.5 for Android brings ads to the free version. Ads are not shown to users with Skype Credit or a subscription.
Google engineer proposes marriage with map app
Google engineer Ari Gilder on Friday revealed that he had proposed marriage to his girlfriend Faigy with a very unique combination of Google Maps and a custom Android app. Along with planning a route full of relationship memories on Maps, Gilder had Faigy given a Nexus One with a custom app that would let her check in at each point to get a rose and a picture. With the directions to each new point locked by a password, Faigy had to take a question about her relationship in that location where the answer was the password.
Nexus Prime coming this October: Korean report
The upcoming Nexus Prime smartphone, Google's third self-branded Android device, will be out in October, according to a new report from BGR. It cites Korea's Electronic Times as the original source, and confirms earlier specs that include a 4.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED HD display and a 1.5GHz CPU, likely a TI OMAP 4460. The handset will be manufactured by Samsung.
Apple gets partial win in ITC complaint vs HTC
Apple landed a crucial blow in its patent fight with HTC Friday when the ITC found that HTC had violated two Apple patents. The ruling on Apple's original complaint would block the import of infringing devices and would force it to take those devices off the market in the US. Most of those devices in the original dispute included older Android hardware like the Nexus One but also some Windows Mobile-era hardware.
HTC Desire Android 2.3 accelerated to late July
HTC updated Desire owners Friday with news that the upgrade to Android 2.3 was moving faster than expected. Tests had "gone well" and would see the OS upgrade come before the end of July. HTC was quiet on which carrier models would get it first.
Hulu Plus hits Android with fragmentation
Android caught up significantly on Thursday with the addition of Hulu Plus (free, Market). Coming a year after the iOS version, it lets users stream the full Hulu TV and movie catalog over both cellular and Wi-Fi. The service costs the same $8 per month.
HTC says compromise needed for Desire Android 2.3
HTC in a fresh statement said that it would have to make compromises to fit the Desire's upgrade to Android 2.3. Memory was still a problem and would push the company to "cut select apps" to make it fit. The phone builder didn't say which but implied it would be pruning some of the less vital HTC Sense apps rather than anything from Google.
HTC CEO promises Android bootloaders clear
HTC tonight followed up on its policy rethink with an official statement on Facebook that it would no longer lock bootloaders on its phones. CEO Peter Chou acknowledged criticism and vowed that customers could more easily modify Android devices' firmware from now on. He stopped short of saying whether the change would be retroactive or if it would be limited to upcoming hardware, but made clear that keeping loyalty was important.
iPhone 4 has same Audience anti-noise as Nexus One
A follow-up teardown at iFixit has revealed that the iPhone 4's noise cancellation is the same as in the Nexus One. Previously unidentifiable, a mystery chip on both has been given a close look in a ChipWorks scan and is now known to be an Audience A1026 audio signal processor. Both the Apple and Google phones are well-known for their near-ideal ability to filter out background noise and are now know to have accomplished that by using the same hardware.
Android gets Netflix at last
Netflix answered one of the largest complaints about Android on Thursday with the first publicly available version of its app (free, Market) for Google's OS. The app is virtually identical to the one released for the iPhone last August and lets users both manage their instant queue as well as watch videos themselves. Use, as always, requires a subscription starting from $8.
Andy Rubin vows Nexus for Ice Cream Sandwich
Google's mobile VP Andy Rubin during a question and answer session at Google I/O today said that there would be a new Nexus device this year. Phones like the Nexus One or Nexus S 4G were what Google used to "set the bar" and would always come out. New Nexus releases came out during the "holidays and the summertime," he said.
Nexus One gets Android 2.3.4 sans video chat
Android 2.3.4 software for the Nexus One smartphone is now available for download as an early build that will require some bug fixes (ZIP). It will also arrive in a more finished version over the air anytime now, however. Unlike the version of the software for the Nexus S, no support exists for the Google Talk video and voice chat features.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich identified by engineer
Google's first post-3.0 (Honeycomb) release of Android was given a formal name this weekend after an e-mail from Android engineer Romain Guy. A response to an outstanding bug promised that it would be fixed "in Ice Cream Sandwich." The name had surfaced in rumors, but until the Droid-Life copy had just been named Ice Cream by Google or nothing at all.
Google adding Android non-fragment clauses
Google's attempts to tighten control of Android got significantly more detail Monday with leaks from executives at its partners. The company has reportedly been putting tougher conditions on the "non-fragmentation clauses" it has to limit what OEMs can do to change the OS. Facebook, which is reportedly still working on its own version of Android despite denials, was reportedly upset that its arch-rival Google had to oversee its code, Bloomberg said.
Videotron tries to take iPhones out of TV shows
Videotron's parent company Quebecor has been pushing movie and TV show producers to omit any shots with iPhones, talks with local producers have uncovered. Independent producers have been grilled by Quebecor's TVA wing over whether characters use Apple's handset, how often it shows on the screen, or whether there are any audio giveaways that one is being used. Cyberpresse was told that TVA has sometimes only "suggested" changes for shows less connected to its network, but when the series has been supervised by TVA, it has ordered producers to use phones on Videotron's network, like the Nexus One.
Google freezes Facebook on Nexus S but updates N1
Google tonight both took away from Nexus S owners while upgrading the Nexus One. The company in a statement said the Nexus S and "future lead devices" would no longer have special integration of Facebook contacts. The company justified the cutoff through its ban on one-way data exports that the integration created a "false sense of data portability" for Facebook's info.
Nexus One gets Android 2.2.2 to fix random texts
Google in lock step with its Nexus S updateZIP) implements the same fix for random text message recipients as on the newer phone while keeping the existing OS version in place. A few other minor bug fixes are in place as well.
HTC Surround uses many Nexus One components
The crew at iFixit has gone ahead and taken apart an HTC Surround handset. The exploration provided insights about the Windows Phone 7-powered device's similarity to existing devices as well as its breaks. Much of the hardware it contains is shared with the Nexus One, it said, including more than just the Snapdragon processor.
Leaked benchmark results beat Nexus One
A source managed to get a quick hands-on review of the HTC Thunderbolt for AndroidSpin, in advance of the official Verizon launch. First impressions are that the handset is very responsive, although battery life may be an issue. The Thunderbolt ran a Quadrant benchmark score of 1926, ranking ahead of the Google Nexus One, Moto Droid X, and HTC Evo by a fair margin. The Thunderbolt runs the newest HTC Sense UI and Android 2.1.2 (Eclair).
Google said ignoring random SMS bug in Android
Google still hasn't patched a bug in Android that sends text messages to random recipients, users have complained as recently as Friday. The flaw will often take a message intended for one recipient but send it to another person in the contact list, often without letting the sender know until afterwards. Messages will often show as part of a conversation thread for the intended person even when the flaw occurs.
Google confirms Android 2.3 for Nexus One coming
Google has officially reiterated over Twitter that the Android 2.3 update for the Nexus One is coming in the next few weeks. The over-the-air update, nicknamed Gingerbread, will bring native Wi-Fi calling, a faster virtual keyboard, download manager and other features to the original stock Android phone. There will also be an improvement in power management when multitasking, a download manager and a higher-contrast UI.
Meizu M9 on sale in China
Meizu on Saturday began shipping the M9 to China a few days ahead of its original Christmas deadline. The purported iPhone clone is already in the hands of first buyers and has already received some early tests comparing it to other Android devices. It runs an 800MHz processor, not 1GHz, and as a result scores above the Nexus One with Android 2.1 but trails the Google phone with 2.2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S and Motorola Droid X.
Arieso says Android data use double iPhone
Android users are much more data hungry than their iPhone counterparts, Arieso said in a new study. Using the iPhone 3G as the baseline, Android was often more demanding for traffic in both directions. The Samsung Galaxy S would upload as much as 126 percent more data where an HTC Desire would often download 41 percent more.
Android 2.3 coming to Nexus One in 2010
Reports on Monday that Google has released Android 2.3 for the Nexus One have been premature, Google developer advocate Reto Meier tweeted. The OS update isn't coming to the original stock Android phone until sometime in the next few weeks, Meier indicated. The update, nicknamed Gingerbread, promises to bring with it native Wi-Fi calling, faster virtual keyboard support, a download manager and more.
Google Chrome OS netbook may show Dec 7
Google's internal Chrome OS netbook may be unveiled at a special event on December 7 if a rumor proves true. The computer would still only be limited to about 65,000 units for "friends and family" and would be running a beta release. Engadget in getting the details raised doubts about whether it would be public facing at all, however, since invitations still haven't been sent to the press and it would overlap with AllThingsD's imminent mobile event.
Google Hong Kong shows Android 2.3 prematurely
Google Hong Kong today gave away a handful of Android 2.3 features in a video (below) demonstrating voice commands on a Nexus One. The clip showed obvious cosmetic changes, such as the green icons in the shortcut bar, the black menu bar and new buttons, but also the expanded Android Market. A third tab has appeared on an app's page that lets users find related apps on the store.
Google teases Gingerbread ready yet again
Google dropped a second hint today that Android 2.3 was ready. Following the earlier statue, it has teased that the company cooks have been "baking something sweet" and shown a set of gingerbread cookies shaped like the Android mascot. The cookies imply that Android is considerably closer than a month earlier and possibly near an actual launch.
Adobe Flash and AIR patches ready for Android 2.3
Adobe today inadvertently confirmed Google's imminent Gingerbread launch by posting updates to both AIR 2.5 and Flash 10.1 for Android. The update release notes explicitly mention updates for compatibility with Android 2.3, which was finished last month but still isn't official. Both updates otherwise only fix security exploits.
OHA says Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Nexus One soon
Open Handset Alliance member Alvaro Fuentes on Sunday hinted that the launch of Gingerbread was imminent. In addition to confirming that the release will be Android 2.3, he told developers to be ready for an over-the-air update to the Nexus One in upcoming days. He didn't give a timeframe, but combined with leaks suggest that both the OS and the developer kit could be available at the same time.
Android SDK for Gingerbread may come next week
Google may post the software development kit (SDK) for Gingerbread next week if rumors are accurate. A source would have the tools posted on November 11, just a few weeks after completing the OS. IntoMobile in describing the "trusted" contact's info noted that the latest Google Maps update has interface cues that may be signs of the early SDK finding its way into official apps.
Samsung denies Nexus Two rumors
Samsung in a brief statement today denied rumors that it was making the Nexus Two. The company told South Korea's publication Danawa that the claim was "simply not true." The denial lended credence beliefs that Samsung's November 8 event is more likely to bring the dual-screen Continuum.
Google plans unlocked, stock Android phone for US
More details have emerged about the forthcoming Samsung-based Google Nexus Two. The device is now expected to be missing from Samsung’s November 8 event. Doubts have also been cast on the naming by PCMag's sources, although what this would involve isn't known; Nexus S has been speculated, but not confirmed.
Google Nexus Two given unofficial hands-on
The recently uncovered Nexus Two may be a relatively modest phone if unveiled next week, a reported hands-on with a prototype hinted this evening. Backing rumors that the phone is made by Samsung, a source with purported access described it as resembling a touch-only Galaxy S but with a front camera and tapering on both the front and back. It may go so far as to include the same four-inch Super AMOLED screen, Gizmodo was told, but the build quality would be a step down from the Nexus One's metal to glossy plastic.
Google may intro Nexus Two at Samsung Nov 8 event
A tentative rumor has suggested that Google might revive the Nexus phone line at Samsung's November 8 event. The device, which is being referred to as the Nexus Two but may have a different name, would be the first Android phone to ship with Gingerbread and would thus support all its features, such as possible Nexus One, Samsung would avoid its usual insistence on customizing the UI and would instead use Google's own, Android and Me heard.
Nexus Mk II adopting alternate sales strategy
UK-based business paper City AM is reporting that Google is planning a second Google-branded Nexus phone for a Holiday 2010 launch. According to the report, Google is said to have struck an exclusive deal with UK’s Carphone Warehouse. The exclusive deal is purportedly an alternative go-to-market strategy than previously adopted by Google with its online-only model for the Nexus One, which ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.
Square's iOS mobile payments go live
After a long run-up and a last minute design adjustment, Square has begun taking payments. The combination of apps for the iPad and iPhone (free, App Store) or Android gives stores and individuals a way of taking credit card payments on the spot without to use a relatively expensive credit card processing machine or service. Square's system takes a 2.75 percent cut of the sale price along with a separate 15 cent fee.
T-Mobile G2 hits 1.42GHz in overclock test
A post on the XDA-Developers board has confirmed that T-Mobile's G2 can successfully overclock well past its 800MHz stock speed. Forum member coolbho3000 has crafted an overclock-ready Android kernel that can boost it to 1.42GHz and has offered video (below) as proof. The tester found that it could run even faster but grew unstable on the individual G2 he was using.
Google updates Car Home for Android app
Google has released a new version of its Car Home for Android that opens up customization. Available for the Nexus One and Motorola Droid, the newest version lets users customize the shortcuts on the Car Home screen, with quicker access to apps and information on the smartphones while they're driving. The app is launched either by docking the smartphone in its car dock or now by pairing it with a Bluetooth headset.
DisplayMate picks iPhone 4 screen over Galaxy S
Despite perceptions, the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 is overall better than that on the Samsung Galaxy S, DisplayMate discovered in a close look at smartphone screens. Apple's screen was undersaturated and too high contrast in photos, but its brightness, deep blacks, high contrast ratio and 960x640 resolution all made it the overall best display of five different models. The Galaxy S' Super AMOLED was better in blacks and contrast but, like many OLEDs, had oversaturated color and was noticeably dimmer.
Google chief says Android can't be forced as stock
Google chief Eric Schmidt in an interview posted today (video below) from from the Zeitgeist conference provided contradictory answers on why the company refuses to require an option for unaltered Android on smartphones. He insisted to Search Engine Land that the company couldn't make carriers or phone designers give the choice since it would be "violating the principle of open source." The principle demands that everyone have control, even if it means options being locked out for end users.
Facebook's Zuckerberg clarifies phone rumors
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a talk this evening hoped to address the persistent rumors of a Facebook-branded phone. He expanded on the original denials and stressed that the social network wasn't trying to build hardware or get especially deep integration. Facebook wants to be a platform and not the device itself, Zuckerberg said to TechCrunch.
Facebook wants own device
(Updated with Facebook response, below) Facebook may be designing its own phone if a rumor emerging on Sunday is accurate. The project would follow the familiar strategy of contracting a company to build the hardware while Facebook works on the software. It would integrate the social network into the deepest levels of the phone, such as making a call to a Facebook friend rather than just a phone number, according to TechCrunch.
Android 2.2 adoption lagging behind iOS upgrades
New data from Google has revealed that Android 2.2 is at last getting significant adoption four months after it was released. The OS jumped from just 4.5 percent of Android phones in July to 28.7 percent last month. It still remains in the minority with Android 2.1 on 41.7 percent of devices.
Videotron mobile launches with iPhone hints
Quebec's regional carrier Videotron today launched its cellphone network with a hint that Apple was developing a version of the iPhone that would work for its own network, Wind Mobile and for T-Mobile USA. An executive VP with the carrier hinted that Apple was developing a version for the 1,700MHz AWS band that all three carriers share. Subscribers could "expect an announcement in the coming months," he said.