Earlier this week when I told you about the new Froyo features on the HTC Evo 4G, I also invited you to share the undiscovered goodies that weren't on Sprint's official list. Whether from Android or Apple, most operating system upgrades have some secret "Easter egg" features that aren't apparent right away. With a little effort, and a little patience, you can find them. Let me share with you the tips I've received so far, along with the name of the CNET reader who sent it in. As you send me more, I'll … Read more
Froyo rolls out to more devices, Android tops the smartphone market, and the Nexus One has a new life as an astronaut. Plus, guest Antuan Goodwin tells us about the highly configurable Tasker app.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360) EPISODE 10News Savoring Froyo Sprint begins Android 2.2 rollout for the HTC EVO 4G Manual Android 2.2 Update for Motorola DROID Droid won't get hot spot feature with Froyo update Pandora and Froyo Not Playing Nice, Issue Processing Audio Files Android 2.1 running on nearly 60% of all Android phones … Read more
Believe it or not, we manage to make it through a whole podcast without barely mentioning the iPhone! Sure, it comes up just for a second, but we spend the majority of the time discussing desserts that begin with the letter "H". If anyone at Google is listening, we're down to "Honeycake" or "Hamantash" for the next Android update beyond the forthcoming "Gingerbread" release.
Speaking of Android, we spend time in this episode talking about how Froyo looks on the HTC Evo 4G. Kent thinks it looks great, but no one … Read more
Credit for today's 404 Podcast show goes to the random madman in The 404 Live chat room this morning, who popped in only to shout "COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE" before getting booted for using all caps. See you tomorrow, phantom screamer! Today's episode of The 404 takes a closer look at Blackberry's new Torch smartphone, Facebook's ethnicity trend study, regional gadget trends, and why it's never a good idea to sing John Denver at karaoke.
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
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
Editor's note: Though Froyo also can add Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, the update will not change the Evo's current hotspot feature.
Sprint announced Thursday that starting next week it will push the Android 2.2 "Froyo" update to the HTC Evo 4G. The Evo will be the first Sprint device to get the much-anticipated upgrade, which adds a selection of new features and fixes two of the largest drawbacks of the Android OS.
As with most Android updates, Sprint will issue Froyo in waves, with the first batch of users receiving notifications on Tuesday, August 3. The … Read more
A wallpaper app that steals your personal info, piracy controls coming to the Android Marketplace, and a look into the world of Android gaming. Plus, Jeff Bakalar shares an awesome tip on creating itineraries for Google Maps Navigation, and Jessica Dolcourt helps us pronounce the death of the Android phone that started it all.
Updated: The wallpaper app discussed in this episode has since been cleared of any wrong-doing by Google itself. More details on that here.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Sprint Nextel's hot new phones are helping boost the number of subscribers for the first time in a long time. Even so, the company's second-quarter results were down.
For the quarter ended June 30, the wireless carrier reported a net loss of $760 million, compared with a loss of $384 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales dipped to $8.025 billion, a 1.4 percent decline from last year's $8.141 billlion.
On the plus side, Sprint added 111,000 new wireless subscribers for the quarter, its first signs of growth in three years and a welcome … Read more
Since I posted an article about the features I wanted to see in the next-generation iPhone, I've received several e-mails from readers calling me out for not including a larger screen as one of the 20 feature upgrades. Most readers were polite but mildly indignant. Here's what two Texans wrote me--Larry from Austin and Mike from Houston:
Larry: You didn't mention at all a larger display or screen! You may not want a bigger display, but I do and I am sure there are lots of others too. Why can't Apple come out at least w/a slightly larger screen, i.e. 3.7" or 4"? The HTC Google/Nexus Phone has a 3.7" screen but yet the phone is still basically the same size as the iPhone. The new Samsung Galaxy S phones that are hitting all four U.S. major networks this month and the next month have 4" screens but yet the phones themselves are pretty much the same size [as the iPhone 4]...
Mike: What, a bigger screen didn't make the top 20??!?!?!? That's the main reason I didn't buy the iPhone 4. Yes, my eyes are getting bad so I need the bigger screen...and every new phone coming out now has at least 4" screens...Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S, EVO. I tried out the EVO for 2 weeks and loved it...unfortunately I have 5 people on my AT&T account. Tough to switch.
Of course, they want everything bigger in Texas (or at least they say everything is bigger there), but I gotta say, I haven't experienced a desire to inflate my iPhone's screen size. That said, these e-mails got me thinking more about smartphone screens and I reread CNET editor Eric Franklin's article that tests and compares the screen performance of the iPhone 4, the HTC Evo, and the Motorola Droid. In his shootout, he gave the nod to the iPhone 4; the Evo came in a close second, and the Droid followed up in third. However, Franklin focused more on image quality and less with the actual size of the screen.
Personally, I really like the Evo, built-in kickstand and all, but I find that as a phone it's a tad bulky. I also think the same of the Droid and new Droid X. CNET's smartphone guru Bonnie Cha has a couple new Samsung Galaxy S models sitting on her desk--AT&T calls its Galaxy S phone the Captivate, and T-Mobile has the Vibrant--that I've played around with it a bit and like the design and agree with Larry's assessment that the phone is "basically the same size as the iPhone." In fact, it's a little scary how close the Vibrant resembles a slightly trimmer version of the iPhone 3GS.
As for specs, the Galaxy S "family" has a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen that's 800x480 pixels. The iPhone's 3.5-inch Retina Display offers a 960x640-pixel resolution. We measured the two screens and calculated that the Galaxy S's display offers 17 percent more overall screen area. Compare the 4.2-inch Evo's or 4.3-inch Droid X's screen with the iPhone's and you're looking at upwards of 20 percent.
So why are other smartphone manufacturers going bigger--and is it better?… Read more