Category: Verizon


At last, you brave Droid X owners! That long-awaited day is finally here; you’re getting some Gingerbread tonight. Not feeling like being outdone by HTC, Motorola is rolling out the Gingerbread update to Droid X users as we speak. Members at the DroidXForums have confirmed that a “silent update” started rolling out a few minutes ago. The update process is pretty quick and painless, but those of you with modified software will have to restore to stock to get the update. Here are the many features Gingerbread will bring to your Droid X:

  • UI refinements for simplicity and speed
  • Faster, more intuitive text input
  • One-touch word selection and copy/paste
  • Improved power management
  • Control over applications. “Manage applications” shortcut in the Home menu
  • Native Internet calling support
  • Downloads app for downloads management
  • Many under the hood enhancements to speed and responsiveness

If you’re feeling a little adventurous today, you can manually update your Droid X by following the instructions here, but proceed at your own risk.

 

Although there are plenty of online radio apps on the Android market, nothing can really replace an old fashioned FM radio. If you own a Droid 2, you can thank XDA for yet again figuring out how to implement one just by following a couple simple steps. As with most things of this nature, a little command line work is necessary, but beyond that it’s easy as pie. Just make sure before you try that your Droid 2 is rooted or else this will end in failure. You’ll be jamming to your local stations in no time.

We already knew Verizon was planning to hit one third of the country with LTE this year with plans to expand dramatically after that, but things are starting to come into sharper focus: the carrier today said that it’ll light up 30 “NFL cities” with 4G by the end of the year. Now, there’s only 32 teams, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where that’s going to be — and considering the plan is to hit “major metropolitan areas,” we’ll go ahead and guess Green Bay isn’t on the list, even though the Packers are by far the best team in the league. (Buffalo and Jacksonville also spring to mind — and let’s not forget that the NFL still isn’t in LA, despite Ari Gold’s best fictional efforts on Entourage.) The plan is to first upgrade each cell site’s backhaul connection to Gigabit Ethernet so they’ll have the necessary bandwidth to support the 5-12Mbps down and 2-5Mbps up speeds with 30-150ms latency promised for Big Red’s LTE network at launch. Ambitious, but hey — we’d love nothing more than to be streaming the Super Bowl over LTE when all’s said and done.

The Droid Incredible by HTC is, well — nothing short of incredible (sorry, I just had to). What’s not incredible is the meager battery life, with the stock 1300mAh power plant. That’s where the 2150 mAh extended battery for the Droid Incredible comes in, getting you through the day — and then some. Full review and pictures after the break.

The first question everyone always ask about these extended batteries goes a little like this: “Is it really that much bigger, and if so, does it make it ugly.” The answer to that first part of the question is yes — it does make it feel slightly bulkier. The answer to that second part of the question is no — it does not make it ugly per se.

Being that the battery is a bit thicker than the stock 1300mAh, it requires a new door for the back. HTC keeps the same presentation and manufacturing quality as the smaller backing. It still sports the contours and grooves that Verizon says was designed in line with a “sports car” look and feel; all while the door snaps into place with ease. The door also still provides that soft-touch feel that comes stock on all Incredible phones.

Moving on to the numbers. After the aesthics question is answered, the next question usually goes a little like this: “How long does the battery last?” Good question! When reviewing this battery, I really wanted to push it to the max. I wanted to see how long, quantitatively speaking, HTC’s battery could go. The average life before I needed to charge this battery was 19 hours after heavy usage. Before, with the stock battery, I was only getting about 8 hours of heavy use. Heavy usage includes: GPS enabled Foursquare check-ins, constant Gmail and Yahoo! Mail exchange, web browsing, SMS, MMS, an addiction to Asphalt 4, frequent auto-sync to Twitter and Facebook, always on 3G, and the brightness turned on a bit higher than the medium setting.

I could sit here and list all all the other pointless things I do on my phone on a daily basis, but all you need to know is that if you don’t mind a little extra weight — this battery gives you the best experience on the Droid Incredible. It may even give you two days worth, depending how hard you’re pushing your Incredible.

The battery is available in the Android Central Store for $64.95. Scoop it up!

Bing for AndroidBing for Android

Microsoft unveiled its Bing search app for Android today. But if you want to get in on the action, you’re going to have to have a Verizon phone, as it’s exclusive to the carrier’s section of the Android Market. (Place your bets  on how quickly it leaks out, though.)

The app features a daily featured image, just like Bing on the desktop. And you can swipe through seven days’ worth of images. There’s an endless scrolling search, and you can swipe through image previews straight to the host site. Microsoft’s own voice search works with Android’s speech-to-text function, and you can use Bing Maps to find your way around, too.

Is the app a threat to Google’s native services on Android? We’ll have to see, though it’s doubtful, just because of the integration factor. and then there’s the issue of it only being available on Verizon, for now, anyway. [Bing]

Verizon EOL document

his morning, a rumor circulated about select Verizon smartphones and notebook PCs being “phased out.”  Given that “phase out” and “end-of-life” mean two separate things in the wireless industry, the next question to ask would be “when are these devices actually leaving store shelves?”  Thanks to a leaked Verizon end-of-life spreadsheet our trusty Verizon tipster sent us, we have some concrete dates to back up the rumors.

Among the devices discussed in the original post, it looks as if the BlackBerry Curve 8530 (both colors) is headed to greener pastures on September 16th.  The Storm2 is scheduled for end-of-life on October 10th, followed by the Palm Pre Plus on October 21st.  Interestingly enough, the Pixi Plus is scheduled to continue in inventory until March 31, 2011, leading me to believe that those rumors about a high-end webOS device coming in October are true.  What’s more, the Curve 8530 and Storm2 departing retail stores leaves quite a hole in the BlackBerry lineup.  Could a Storm3 be on the horizon?

Beyond those, the current crop of smartphones are sitting pretty until at least March 31st, 2011.  It’s important to note that the spreadsheet above is from one particular channel within the carrier’s structure, so actual end-of-life dates could vary between telesales, corporate retail, and indirect retail.  Anyone care to speculate about possible replacements?

First hands-on impressions of the new Motorola DROID 2

The DROID 2 has landed!  We’re pretty sure that there’s a few other blogs who have used this phrase today, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Motorola DROID 2 is now available at Verizon Wireless stores across the country.  Fortunately, our friends over at Verizon thought it would be nice to send us a demo unit to play around with for a few days.  Since the DROID 2 has been in our possession for a few hours, we can give you a quick idea of what to expect.

On the outside, the Motorola DROID 2 is pretty much identical to the original DROID.  The main differentiator between the original DROID and the new DROID 2 is the brushed aluminum bevel which now covers the entire front of the handset.  The back of the phone is now a dark midnight blue with silver highlights which replaces the black finish with gold highlights on the first DROID.

Sliding the screen up reveals the DROID 2’s four row QWERTY keyboard.  At first glance, the keyboard looks pretty familiar.  Motorola has kept the same concept as before, though they have stretched the keys which will give users a better typing experience.  The extra space was gained by removing the d-pad and incorporating directional keys into the keyboard layout.

The real changes are noticed when you actually turn the DROID 2 on.  The DROID 2 is the first phone from Motorola to launch with Android 2.2.  If you were hoping that Motorola would ship the new phone without their custom UI, you’re going to be greatly disappointed.  Just like the DROID X, the DROID 2 features a mutated version of MotoBLUR.  From what we can tell, the only UI difference between the D-X and D-2 is the unlock screen.

Once we have time to play around with the DROID 2 a little more, we’ll be sure to share our findings.  We’re pretty sure at least a handful of you picked up the DROID 2 today.  Let us know what you think of the handset so far.

Recipe for win — 1 part newest Android phone, the Droid 2, and 1 part Star Wars’ most memorable character, R2-D2. Mix well, prepare for the onslaught of people like me who will do just about anything to throw our money at you so we can have one. And to tease us until we explode, Verizon has gone live with the R2-Droid2 teaser page.

Taking a cue from the X, it looks like this page has some locked content as well. The site says to follow R2 on Twitter to unlock details, @droidlanding. Why would anyone want to worry about unlocking content on a phone’s launch page? Two words — Jedi Training. We’re following, you guys follow too, and whoever gets portions unlocked first has to tell the rest of us — deal? [Verizon]

So i open the sunday newspaper and check out the adds as usual. I get to the Best Buy add and there is an android 2 phone just looking at me. I am thinking finally it came out, but what do i see no date, no pricing, just Coming Soon. Well we knew that. For about two months now i have read, heard rummors and looked at leaked pictures of this phone. I want a date i want to know when it will come out please!!!! Not so much to ask for is it.