Judging by recent leaks and tips, the next Android phone for AT&T could be the Motorola Sage. First spotted in the FCC last week, the quad-band device appears to support AT&T's 850 and 1900MHz bands in addition to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Assisted-GPS, and EDGE. Over the next few days, a handful of images emerged showing the Sage and its sliding QWERTY form factor, looking much like the T-Mobile Cliq.
Bright and early this morning, just as RIM was announcing the new BlackBerry Torch, I downloaded the hefty Android 2.2 "Froyo" update to the already impressive HTC Evo 4G. As I said last week, Sprint is pushing Froyo out to Evo customers beginning Tuesday, and expects to be fully rolled-out by the middle of the month.
Froyo adds a long list of new features, each of which I've explained in detail below. You'll also find my general assessments on how the additions have been integrated onto the device. Most notably, however, Froyo fixes two longtime drawbacks of the Android OS: you now can store apps on a memory card and you can make hands-free voice calls over Bluetooth. On the downside, though Froyo can add Wi-Fi hot-spot functionality, the update will not change the Evo's current hot-spot feature. You'll still need to shell out an extra $29.99 per month to make that happen.
The update will arrive in waves, so not everyone will get it at the same time. Once it hits your Evo, you'll be notified via a message on the display. But if you can't wait--and there's no reason that you should--you can check for the update manually by accessing the "HTC software update" option under the "System update" folder in the Settings menu.
Voice dialing over Bluetooth The lack of hands-free voice dialing has long been a burr in the side of many Android users. The problem was particularly painful for drivers and anyone using a Bluetooth headset on the go. So you can understand why we consider the feature to be one of Froyo's biggest wins. Indeed, we were able to pair the BlueAnt T1 successfully and dial both by phone number and contact name.
App storage We've long complained that Android let you store apps on only a handset's internal memory. Thanks to Froyo, however, you can store titles on a memory card while saving room on your phone for other content. The only caveat is that you can't install a title directly on your memory card during the initial download. Instead, you must download it first to the phone and transfer it to the card later.
The process is easy, but we admit that it took a couple of minutes to figure it out. First, access the "Manage applications" tab under the Applications page in the main Settings menu. Then, after choosing the application that you want to move, select the "Move to SD card" option. The actual transfer takes only seconds and you can move the app back to the phone in as many steps. … Read more
Regional carrier Cricket Wireless announced a slew of news today that include new all-inclusive rate plans and that it is adding 15--yes, 15--new devices to its lineup.
The new rate plans are some of the most competitive in the country, with unlimited plans available from $35 to $60 a month. The basic $35 plan lacks data and a couple of voice features; the $45 plan includes unlimited voice, text, data, and online backup; and the $55 and $60 unlimited plans are for Android and BlackBerry devices, respectively. According to Cricket, all regulatory taxes and fees are included in that price. … Read more
"Samsung Mobile is aware that under certain conditions, the GPS on our launched U.S. Galaxy S devices may not be meeting performance expectations," Samsung spokesman Kim Titus told CNET. "We are diligently evaluating the situation and will provide an update as soon as possible."
Even before the great unveiling, some were already calling the Torch RIM's "iPhone killer" and though we'd rather never hear that term again, we were certainly interested in seeing what RIM had to offer. After all, the BlackBerry OS 6 preview videos were intriguing enough.
Well, we got a chance to spend some time with the Torch after the press conference, and found some things … Read more
BlackBerry maker RIM officially announced BlackBerry 6 on Tuesday, alongside the company's unveiling of the BlackBerry Torch smartphone.
In fact, BlackBerry 6, RIM's newest operating system, will debut on the BlackBerry Torch. It will be available exclusively from AT&T starting August 12. In addition, BlackBerry 6 will also have backward compatibility for select BlackBerry smartphones, quite probably the BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G. Of course, the BlackBerry OS 6 upgrade to those devices and others will be subject to carrier certifications in the ensuing months. RIM has not named specific roll-out dates.
The system improvements and additions found in BlackBerry 6 are no secret, as RIM has been plentifully releasing "sneak peek" videos ever since RIM first announced the new version of its operating system at the WES conference last April.
RIM's official word on the matter is what we expected, with lots of goodies that so far look like a significant improvement to the current OS. CNET Senior Editor Bonnie Cha gives her first impressions here and in the slideshow below. Also stay tuned for her full BlackBerry Torch review.
Interface The interface has been refreshed for devices with touch screens or trackpads. The home screen lets users swipe a ribbon to filter applications and content by five categories (All, Favorites, Media, Downloads, and Frequent). You can also add shortcuts to contacts and favorite Web pages to the home screen. Action Menus, another addition, pop up common tasks when you press and hold with your finger or the trackpad. Multitasking has also gotten a makeover, with a visual grid of running applications popping up when you press and hold the Menu button.
We're most excited by the Universal Search bar on the home screen, which will simultaneously look for keyword matches to your search term in the phone memory, BlackBerry App World application storefront, and the Web.
WebKit browser RIM has received plenty of guff over the years for its laggy browsers. BlackBerry 6 changes this by picking up a variant of the WebKit standard that powers both the Apple iPhone and Google Android browsers. (In fact, the BlackBerry Torch is named in honor of Torch Mobile, the browser company RIM acquired a year ago for this purpose.) The new BlackBerry browser will support HTML5 standards, but there was no word on Flash support. We can look forward to browser tabs, text-wrapping, and pinch to zoom.
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET editor Bonnie Cha. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. (All updates from Marguerite Reardon unless noted. Also included are her answers to reader questions.) You can find a brief summary of what was announced in our follow-up article "RIM announces the BlackBerry Torch.&… Read more
Research In Motion on Tuesday introduced the BlackBerry Torch, a touch-screen and sliding-keyboard device that will be the first to feature the sixth version of the company's phone software.
The phone, which goes on sale August 12 will be an AT&T exclusive. New or otherwise upgrade-eligible customers will be able to get it for $199 with a two-year contract. There's no word yet on whether it's available without a contract, and, if so, how much it will cost without a contract.
The marquee feature of the device, besides the touch screen and QWERTY combination (which … Read more
Welcome to the 411, my 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.
My question is, if you purchase an unlocked smartphone ( such as an iPhone 4 or similar) will you be able to use all of its … Read more
Shortly after we told you that the HTC Evo 4G would get Android 2.2 "Froyo" starting Tuesday, a few CNET readers asked if the update would affect the handset's current Wi-Fi hot spot feature. We asked Sprint for comment and the carrier got back to us today with the expected news.
According to spokeswoman Natalie Papaj, Sprint has no plans to change the Evo's current functionality. Though Froyo includes both tethering and hot spot capabilities in its feature list, Evo customers will continue to pay $29.99 per month for the privilege of connecting up to eight Wi-Fi devices to their handset.
Papaj also offered a full list of the Evo's Froyo updates, which you can peruse for yourself below.… Read more