The team over at Droid Life got their hands on a photo of what appears to be a pre-release version of the Droid 2 running Android 2.2 (Froyo). If the the device arrives on schedule next month with Froyo, it would be the first Android handset to launch with the latest version of the platform.
The Droid 2 has seen its fair share of leaks lately, most recently in Verizon's summer device catalog. Though neither Motorola nor the carrier have announced the phone, pretty much everything you need to know has found its way online.
Welcome to The 411, my new Q&A column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have the same questions, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
AT&T just added the Sharp FX to its lineup today, and if it looks a lot like the Sidekick, it's because Sharp was also the manufacturer behind many of the latest Sidekick handsets. It has a touch screen plus a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, an MP3 player, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1, the att.net HTML browser, instant messaging, e-mail, and social network support. It's also compatible with AT&T's cloud services like AT&T Address Book.
Mobile TV fans will also be happy to know that the Sharp FX also supports AT&… Read more
The first images of a new Android device from Motorola have made their way online and, just as we expected, we should be getting yet another design. Though it looks very much like a Palm Pre, we can determine only that the handset is a portrait slider with a four-row QWERTY keyboard. According to MobiFlip (translated), the phone runs at least Android 2.0 and will feature MotoBlur.
It's worth mentioning that one of the pictures shows the red "Droid eye" logo on the display, indicating it would be headed for Verizon. To date, the carrier has … Read more
How do you zero in on a location without using GPS? You use cell phone towers.
BlackBerry-maker RIM announced on Monday that it will use cell-tower triangulation as part of a new geolocation feature in its Locate Service for the BlackBerry Application Platform.
This tactic of using signal from nearby cell towers to approximate your phone's location is nothing new, and in fact, has been used as an ersatz procedure for finding your general coordinates for years.
As one notable example, Google has used "triangulation"--so-called since it used at least three towers to find your point … Read more
As promised, here is the second part of our Windows Phone 7 preview. This time around, we focus on the more entertaining features the platform has to offer, including the music and video, photos, and Web browsing. For more on the user interface and core functions, check out part 1 of our Windows Phone 7 preview.
Web browser Mobile Web is such a huge part of smartphones nowadays, and fortunately, Windows Phone 7 provides a relatively good browsing experience, certainly much improved from Windows Mobile. The Internet Explorer browser offers support for up to six windows and thumbnail views of all open pages, so you can easily toggle back and forth. You can also bookmark sites, and if you feel like it, you can pin pages to the Start screen for easier access.
Load times were relatively quick. Over AT&T's 3G network, CNET's full site came up in 18 seconds, while CNN's and ESPN's mobile sites loaded in 8 seconds and 7 seconds, respectively. In the settings menu, you can indicate whether you want the browser to display mobile or desktop versions of a site. When set to the former, the browser was able to detect and load mobile versions of pages in most cases, but also missed some. For example, CNET's mobile site loaded, but we got the full New York Times page.
Zooming can be handled either by using the pinch-to-zoom gesture or by double-tapping the screen. Both are smooth and zippy, but there's a slight delay when rerendering text and images. Other available tools and settings include keyword search, the ability to share links, and page suggestions by Bing.
Now, for the bad news. As of right now, there's no support for Flash, Silverlight, or HTML5, so despite taking several steps forward, Windows Phone 7's also several steps behind the competitors. There's some consolation in the fact that Adobe did say at Mobile World Congress that it's working with Microsoft to bring Flash to the browser, but it just won't be in time for the holiday launch.
Music and video If there's one area where Windows Phone 7 really excels and gives the competition a run for its money, it's the music experience.… Read more
If you're looking for more ways to get apps onto your BlackBerry smartphone, Verizon would like to make a suggestion: use its storefront.
On Monday, Verizon began rolling out V Cast Apps on select 3G smartphones, like the BlackBerry Bold 9650, Storm 2 9550, Curve 8530, and Tour 9630. The company announces it will also bring its app store to the Storm 9530 and Curve 8330 "in the next couple weeks".
Though the downloadable BlackBerry App World app has so far been the easiest way to find and download apps to the BlackBerry, the V Cast Apps … Read more
At the time, we were excited and hopeful about Microsoft's revamped mobile operating system, but a lot of time has passed since then and the rest of the smartphone world hasn't stopped, so we were, and still are, a bit worried that Windows Phone 7 may be too far behind to catch up.
Well, we recently had a chance to find out. On July 19, Microsoft will begin shipping preview devices from Samsung and LG to developers so they can begin real-world testing of their apps before the big holiday launch. We were treated to one of said devices and had a few days to take Windows Phone 7 for a test-drive.
A couple of caveats before we get into the preview. First, this isn't final software, so some services, such as Windows Marketplace and Xbox Live, weren't available for us to test. In addition, Microsoft said it's continuing work to improve general performance and battery life, so though we made some general observations in these areas, this isn't indicative of the final experience. Last but not least, the handset we used, the Samsung Taylor, is only a prototype device and will not be released to market. It does, however, meet the hardware specifications that will be required on all Windows Phone 7 smartphones, including a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and the three navigation controls (back, start, and search).
Given that Windows Phone 7 is essentially a new operating system, there's a lot to go over, so we're going to break up our preview into two parts, starting with the phone's user interface and core features. As we continue our coverage throughout the week, please let us know what you'd like to hear about the OS and send along your questions, and we'll do our best to address them in following posts. … Read more
Apple called an unprecedented press conference Friday to address consumer concerns with the iPhone 4's antenna. CEO Steve Jobs spent the first part of his presentation playing down the controversy, characterizing it as being "blown way out of proportion," and denying that the iPhone 4's attenuation issues are worse than any other smartphone's.
Though Jobs maintained that only a small number of users are experiencing a problem, Apple is offering all iPhone 4 customers a free case through September 30. In CNET's testing, an Apple-supplied "bumper" case solves any call quality issues, … Read more
Apple announced Friday that it will give away free iPhone bumpers to all iPhone 4 owners to help prevent the signal issue plaguing some phones. However, the company doesn't make enough bumpers for everyone, so it's working with third-party vendors to give away free cases, as well. We've compiled a list of third-party iPhone 4 cases to check out if you want alternatives to the standard iPhone 4 bumper.