The Saturday Wrap: 10/03/09

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There was a lot of little news in the Android world this week, and I had to skip an odd update here and there. Let’s see if I can squeeze all of it into the Wrap without causing wrinkles. Get ready for a long post. Well, it feels that way to me, anyhow. Maybe I should use fewer images.

Read the rest of the Wrap after the break


The second most popular topic of the week – at least in terms of comments – was the unofficial announcement, and then official confirmation that T-Mobile would begin gradually pushing Donuts over the air at 00:00 on October first; starting with G1 owners, and if all went well, the myTouches to follow. There have been lots of users reporting the update.(cont.)

Gimme some sugar, baby.

Gimme some sugar, baby.

The update roll out will take a little while, but before long, anyone capable of receiving OTA updates (not rooters, you’ll get yours in a frightening alley) should have a new Market, improved search, an integrated camera/video/gallery interface, and more in the next week or two. And if you clicked that link to Mobile Crunch above, you know that the horrible bootloop issue that caused me to return – *not exchange – my own myTouch should be a thing of the past. Still, my condolences to the folks who are on their 4th or 5th device, hoping that the next one will be “like new.”

Leak Week: The HTC Dragon

We caught a couple of exciting glimpses into the future, thanks to Reignzone from the XDA developers’ forum. And despite a bit of debate regarding sources and credit, he’s the one who made me aware of the most commented topic of the week, as well as a few other items. His explanation is better than I could write, so I’ll leave it alone. People share sources, people. (cont.)

It's not a rumor!!! (Yes, it is, Arnold.)

It's not a rumor!!! (Yes, it is, Arnold.)

The most interesting of these, for me, is this: some folks over at XDA have been playing with with the software from something they’re calling the “Pet Dragon”: supposedly an 800 x 400 device that will be launched with Android 2.0. Of course, the undeniable temptation is to associate the name (and our source’s use of the words, “GAME CHANGER”) with Qualcomm’s forthcoming 1 GHz+ line of Snapdragon chips, which should provide unprecedented performance on mobile devices – including those featuring Sense! I really hope the screenies aren’t just GIMPed (that’s gutter talk for “Photoshopped”) grabs from a Cyanogen ROM.

Leak week: Amon_RA’s recovery and Hero update, 2.86

Up next is a video showcasing a new recovery image for the rooters out there. This one improves upon CyanogenMod (at least in terms of features, I think. I haven’t tried Amon_RA’s yet.) It allows you to turn on USB mass storage from recovery mode, for one thing. But this isn’t just in the leak section because it came from the same dude who sent the Dragon images and Cliq wallpapers… (cont.)

The video also shows the Hero 2.86 software update. The code is still in progress at HTC, but when released will include the following purported improvements: fully optimized and ultra-responsive Sense experience, including a lag-free keyboard; full integration of Plurk into the Sense social hooks; some gobbledygook about ODEX that will result in the “turbo charging” of system-integrated applications; a custom device search; a “transparent” notification system; bouncy animations; more widgets; a Peep security fix, and more.

Apparently two devs known as Drizzy and Maxisma have put work into a ROM that utilizes this code, but I’m unaware of the progress or availability. Here are some screens:


The "Dark Dialer" may or may not be implemented
The “Dark Dialer” may or may not be implemented.



Sholes, Tao, Droid… wha’evah

What a week you've had... whatever your name is. You must be sleepy.

What a week you've had... whatever your name is. You must be sleepy.

The news about Verizon’s first Android device just wouldn’t stop, so I quit on day two and decided to save the rest for the Wrap. It started with a name change and an FCC clearance, followed by a shoddy image leak, which was followed by a decent image leak (above). There were also some specs bouncing about and another name change. Of course all of this is generating lots of interest, but Android fans are left wondering: “will VZW cripple their Droid debut?”

GeeksPhone One

It’s good to see one of those littler companies with faith in Android getting closer to fulfilling their part of the 18 Androids promise, because honestly, official announcements seem a bit short to me. Then again, birdy says six Blur phones are on deck.

Anyway, the One has made it to the Internet poster stage and beyond. Android Guys ties a $375 estimate to this interesting quote:

“We only need to secure 3K phones for Christmas in 2 weeks…phone itself is 99% finished… line of Android products for 2010.″

Check out the device on video:

Cliq gets priced and dated

Existing customer pre-orders begin 10/19, street date, 11/2. It’s going to start at $199 on contract, but I don’t see how that price can last with $99 iPhones and $179 Heroes on the shelves.


My Hero

O.K., well it’s not technically mine, but some fine folks were kind enough to send me a review unit, and that’s pretty much my focus for the time being. I’ve got a long list of your questions to answer (send more here), a list of things I’m already loving and hating, and plenty of suggestions for video reviews. I will certainly cover the things I left out of my GSM Hero review, like the camera. I’ve got plenty to say, but not just yet.

So that’s pretty much it, as far as I know, folks. Have I missed something? Did I make a joke so bad that it’s unworthy even of Internet obscurity? Make a face, make a silly noise, something… but describe said gesture accurately when you make a comment.