Hot off the heels of its iPad-optimized app release, Skype, the popular VoIP service, makes another splash with an update for its Android-toting user base. Skype for Android has jumped to version 2.0, and at long last, it lets Android users make and receive video calls--well, it lets a few of them anyway. See, the new video-calling capability is, at the moment, only available to users running Android version 2.3 on the following devices: HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo and pro, and the Google Nexus S. If you're counting, that's only four devices. While … Read more
According to unconfirmed reports, Verizon is unhappy with recent Gingerbread updates coming out of the Motorola camp. A source close to Droid Life has advised that the carrier is rejecting all current Android 2.3 updates from the handset maker over a growing list of bugs stemming from the recent Droid X update.
Users are reporting problems with random rebooting, Wi-Fi connectivity issues, and a general loss of functionality. Indeed, a quick glance in the Motorola support forums confirms that these are not isolated incidents, and that many of them happened prior to the 2.3 update.
Perhaps it's not a coincidence then that a Gingerbread update for the Droid 2 Global that was expected a few weeks back has yet to come. What's more, a very small number of Droid Pro users were found to have received a Gingerbread update back in late May. Though this is generally a precursor to a large-scale rollout, virtually nothing has happened in the month since.
As of today, neither Verizon nor Motorola has made any statements on the matter. While I wouldn't look for Verizon to say anything public on the subject, Moto may take to its forums to address the problems. The company has a decent track record for acknowledging and forecasting software updates, even as it pertains to shortcomings. In the meantime, a new team of developers is said to be working on Android 2.3 for the Droid X and other Verizon devices. … Read more
Sometimes seeing is believing. The FaceNiff Android app, released earlier this month, allows anyone to snoop on traffic on Wi-Fi networks and even hijack Facebook accounts. Sounds bad, but this video demo drives the message home by showing just how easy it is to do:
The app, which works on Android phones that have been rooted, offers "one-touch hacking," says Kevin Mahaffey, founder and chief technology officer at mobile security firm Lookout. The technique isn't new--it's akin to a mobile version of the Firesheep Firefox extension released last year--but it makes it super easy and mobile.… Read more
If you haven't updated your apps lately, there's a nice surprise awaiting you in the App Store: Angry Birds Seasons 1.5.1. (Note: That link is for iTunes. Android users can find the game in Android Market.)
Instead of a holiday-themed update, this one actually involves a season: Rovio has added 30 new levels (twice as many as in most previous updates) under the banner "Summer Pignic."
If you're even the least bit familiar with the game (and who on the planet isn't?), you know that these seasonal updates have been arriving steadily.… Read more
Sony, you baffle me. I'm sitting down with an Xperia Play, the PlayStationesque Android phone released earlier this year. The one I had been awaiting, for a year, the so-called "PlayStation phone." CNET's already reviewed the Xperia Play, but I was sent the unit to play with a little for myself, at long last. After this year's E3, the Xperia Play sits in my hands like an afterthought. I'm underwhelmed, unexcited, bored. Partially, it's the software: a depressing suite of PlayStation 1 games and choppy frame rate Android titles. Partially, it's the hardware: the Xperia Play has its own buttons, the build quality is impressive, and the device feels good to hold, yet it lacks physical analog sticks.
Yet, what bothers me most of all, strangely, is the branding.Related links CNET's Xperia Play review Hands-on with PS Vita and its games This wasn't the PSP phone I was looking for
The Xperia Play doesn't say "PlayStation" anywhere on it. A small square with square, triangle, X and circle icons on the lower-left corner of the control pad are the only indication of any PlayStation relationship. "Sony Ericsson" and "Xperia" appear once each, and "Verizon" appears twice.
Even in the software menus or apps I could find, not once did the "PlayStation" word or logo appear. It's a branding white-out.
Does that matter?
Not really. But it's a critical statement. I can't help but be reminded of the MotoRokr E1 phone. The first phone to play well with iTunes, it predated the iPhone as a music phone by two years. However, the device lacked any clear Apple branding or iDevice labeling, or even a look that matched the iPod. The MotoRokr died a quiet death in the shadow of the iPod Nano, a precursor to all that happened after with the iPhone.
I wonder if the same story is inevitably true for the Xperia Play.… Read more
PicPlz for Android is a camera replacement app with a strong social component. Similar to Instagram, its rival and the leading social photo app for iPhone, PicPlz lets you snap, add filters to, and share photos from your mobile device, all in one fell swoop.
First thing to know when using PicPlz is that you need an account to get started. That's because PicPlz, more than just a camera app on your phone, is connected to a full Web-based service that backs up your photos online and posts your photos to its PicPlz network. It's important to note … Read more
Android users get some love from Kodak today with the release of the free Pic Flick app.
If you have a wireless Kodak printer, such as the ESP C310 or ESP 2170, you can use Pic Flick to quickly zoom, rotate, and crop a photo on your device and then send it to your networked printer. You can also use the app for sending to one of Kodak's Pulse wireless digital picture frames.
Don't have an Android device? Kodak already has apps for iPhone and BlackBerry.
Don't want a Kodak printer? Check out other top-rated all-in-one printers we've reviewed. … Read more
Android device activations are skyrocketing.
Google Android chief Andy Rubin tweeted today that "over 500,000 Android devices" are now activated each day around the world. Moreover, he said that activations are growing at a rate of 4.4 percent week-over-week.
That figure becomes more significant when one considers that just last month at Google's I/O Conference, the company announced that 400,000 Android devices were being activated each day, up from 300,000 daily activations in December and 100,000 activations per day a year ago.
Google and Samsung could be teaming up once again and this time for the first Android 4.0 handset. According to sources close to Boy Genius Report, this latest collaboration bears the code name of Prime and could ultimately arrive as the Nexus Prime when it debuts late in the year. The handset should significantly improve upon its predecessor Nexus devices on multiple fronts, including processor speed and display resolution.
Keeping with other Pure Google experience smartphones, the Nexus Prime is expected to be devoid of any carrier customization or preloaded applications. Rumors also have been swirling that the first … Read more
Google has been fined for selling apps in the Android Market in Taiwan without offering a seven-day refund period, as local regulations dictate, and has responded by halting sales of apps in the country.
According to a statement from the Law and Regulation commission of Taipei City Government, the California company was fined NT$1 million (about $34,596) for failing to comply with Taiwan's consumer protection law. The law states that consumers should be given seven days to evaluate purchases and decide whether to request a refund. Google currently gives Android owners just 15 minutes to evaluate apps … Read more