The social network stands up to Googlezon's net neutrality proposal, and meanwhile plots Foursquare's demise. Also Farmville pulling up stakes at MSN, and your car's tire pressure sensors can be hacked by drive-bys. Everybody panic!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
In April, U.S. Cellular revealed that it would offer the Android-based HTC Desire this summer, but since then, we've been waiting for an official release date. Well, it looks like we finally got one.
The carrier announced on Wednesday that the Desire will be available starting August 27, but pricing information was not provided at this time. The Desire will ship running Android 2.1 with HTC Sense; it features a 3.7-inch WVGA touch screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and a 5-megapixel camera.
The Desire will be the second Android smartphone for U.S. Cellular, behind … Read more
As we reported, a recent New York Times blog post suggests that Amazon is looking into producing more hardware beyond the Kindle. Ironically, Lab126, the division of Amazon that is behind the Kindle, is located in Cupertino, Calif., not far from Apple. And Nick Bilton at the Bits Blog points out that the job board at Lab126 has "a flurry of listings related to electronics hardware, with titles like supply chain project program manager, hardware engineer and RF systems engineer."
While some of the positions will be devoted to future generations of Kindle devices that may integrate touch screens and color (last year, Amazon acquired Touchco, a multitouch hardware company), Bilton says "there's also a good chance these engineers will be recruited to build other gadgets that Amazon is prototyping in its secret labs."
The question, of course, is what sort of gadgets could Amazon be looking into building? Well, one of the anonymous sources in the article gives a small hint, saying that "more hardware products would be a means to an end and that Amazon wants to make more devices for consumers that would enable simple purchasing of Amazon content including its digital books, music and movie rentals and purchases."
I know from speaking to Ian Freed, Amazon's vice president of digital (yes, that's his title), that one of the things that Amazon loves about the iPad is that it allows users to access and purchase Amazon products, whether it's e-books or anything else Amazon sells. The article states that Amazon looked at entering the mobile phone business (again, according to anonymous sources), but that the project seemed "out of Amazon's reach."
So, in my mind at least, the most logical extension of Amazon's vision--and the product that it makes the most sense for it to build and sell--is a small Android-powered tablet that manages to undercut the pricing of Apple's competing iPad products. (I use the plural because Apple is rumored to be prepping a smaller iPad. Whether that's true or not is anybody's guess). … Read more
Droid Doesn't. Or it could be that Droid Won't. Or even Can't.
But the statistical evidence is clear. The numbers do not claim to have been working late at the office. They merely expose a suspicion that has been harbored by many in the bars and bordellos of our nation.
Yes, in a deep and sonorous study by the dating site OkCupid, there seems to be no doubt: iPhone owners have more sex than BlackBerry owners and a lot more sex than the worthy, solemn, dedicated purchasers of Android phones.
The numbers for women might leave some … Read more
Since its beginnings, Android's identity has hinged on its openness and customization. Unlike Apple's iOS, Android allows users, handset manufacturers, and carriers a lot of room for tweaking their devices. But even with so much freedom, a select group of folks demanded even more customization and decided to "root" their handset. And up until now, that has been possible with the Easy Root application in the Android Market.
For the uninitiated, rooting lets users overcome limitations or restrictions imposed by wireless carriers or handset manufacturers. It's very much like jailbreaking an iPhone. It may sound … Read more
On Call runs every two weeks, alternating between answering reader questions and discussing hot topics in the cell phone world.
After last week's brief review of the Froyo experience on the HTC Evo 4G, CNET readers responded in force. Many were ecstatic about Froyo's new features, others were frustrated that the download still had not yet hit their phone, and others were troubled at some of the update's "hidden" changes. That's why I'm dedicating this edition of On Call to your questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Froyo.
Q: I noticed that since I updated to 2.2, there are so many open apps. Before Froyo, I only had a few apps running when I turned on my phone, but now it's like 14 to 19. I kill them using the Android Advanced Task Killer, but less than five minutes later they're running again. It's kind of annoying, even if I love the Evo. - Silva
A: I've heard about this problem from quite a few people. And when I tried to replicate the issue on CNET's Evo, I noticed that I also had 19 apps running after turning on the handset. What's more, I hadn't used some of the running titles in weeks. Like Silva, I tried killing the extra apps, but they were back a few minutes later.
Though Android fans will argue that you shouldn't even use a task killer, I'm not inclined to agree. The Froyo issue is very real and most of the Android-focused blogs are reporting that the update has affected most task-killer apps.
When I checked with Sprint, a spokeswoman confirmed that news. The carrier's engineers currently are testing the Froyo compatibility of Android Advanced Task Killer, and when they get back to me I'll let you know. I'm also checking with the App's developer, but the company hasn't responded yet. I'll report back when it does. In the meantime, you can kill apps in the Settings menu (go to "Applications" and choose "Manage Applications), but that's a pretty clunky experience.
Another point to consider is that apps like Sprint Football Live, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Zone, Nascar, Footprints, Amazon MP3, and Stocks are preloaded into the Evo's ROM. That means they'll be there each time you turn on your device. … Read more
For everyone who's been waiting for a real Android tablet to step forward and stand up to the iPad, the Dell Streak is finally making its way to the U.S.
Officially priced today at $299 (with two-year AT&T contract) or $549 contract-free, the Dell Streak will be available directly from Dell as early as this Thursday.
All you Android fans who've registered for presale priority will be given first crack at ordering, along with free two-day shipping. General orders will open up on Friday.
Is it a good deal? We're not thrilled that the … Read more
Security experts warned on Tuesday about what is believed to be the first Trojan targeting Android-based mobile devices that racks up charges by sending text messages to premium-rate numbers.
The Trojan-SMS malware, dubbed "Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a," is being distributed via an unknown malicious Web site, said Denis Maslennikov, senior malware researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Users are prompted to install a "media player application" that is a little bigger than 13 kilobytes, but which is hiding the Trojan inside, according to Kaspersky and mobile-phone security company Lookout, which analyzed the threat.
Like all Android apps, the … Read more
Sam's Club is hoping that free Wi-Fi access will be one way to lure more buyers into its stores, especially those who are shopping for Wi-Fi TVs.
The warehouse membership club owned by Wal-Mart announced Tuesday that it plans to upgrade its more than 500 U.S. stores with Wi-Fi by November.
Provided by AT&T, the free Wi-Fi will enable shoppers to try out the full features of Wi-Fi-enabled TVs. Customers will be able to check out Facebook, Pandora, and other online services on TVs in the store to get a better sense of how they might … Read more
It wasn't the most well-kept secret in the world, but the news is nonetheless exciting, as Verizon Wireless finally announced the Motorola Droid 2 on Tuesday.
The Droid 2 will be available for presale on Verizon's Web site starting August 11 and will be in stores August 12 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. As expected, the smartphone will ship running Android 2.2, which among other things includes support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The Droid 2 can also be used as a mobile hot spot for up to … Read more