The Saturday Wrap: 5/22/2010

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I’m just going to say it right off the bat, this past week in Android news was the biggest week for news this year. Google I/O may have only been two days long, but those two days were chock-full of enough information to fill an entire Saturday Wrap. Of course, I won’t do that to you. There was just as much of the usual leaks, updates, and reviews going on as well as one special giveaway that I think you need to know about. Whatta ya say we get right into this?

Google I/O

Where to begin, where to begin. I guess I should start off with saying that if you want some great comprehensive summaries of day 1 and day 2, including videos of the keynote speeches, then Breon has you covered. If you haven’t had time to check those out, I would highly recommend you do so. I/O wasn’t just about announcements and speeches, the Kindle app for Android was on display along with the Galaxy S, HTC Evo 4G (which every attendee took home… seriously), and uhh well just about every other Android phone ever made. Of course none of them were running 2.2, but I’m sure… oh wait… 2.2. The biggest thing to come out of Google I/O was hands down the official announcement of the next version of Android, FroYo 2.2. At this point, you should know everything about 2.2, but I guess it can’t hurt to reiterate: 450% speed increase, Apps2SD, JIT, new static icons, tethering, and whole lot of awesome. You know what else contains a whole lot of awesome? Google TV. You may not think Google TV is super android related, but “Google TV blends live TV, your DVR content, web content and Android apps into one, cohesive user experience.” I cannot wait for Google TV to pan out. For the official site, check out Google.com/TV. I could keep going, but I’m going to move on and leave you with the suggestion to read those daily summaries. Cool? Cool.

Upcoming devices

Google I/O didn’t steal all the limelight this week, the was some nice upcoming phone news that deserves attention too, like the HTC Wildfire. I think it’s a lame name, but the cute customizable 2.1 rockin’ little guy doesn’t sound half bad. I’d probably be more excited about the Wildfire if we hadn’t caught wind of a superphone that could very well come out for T-Mobile US. The HTC Vision is basically an HTC Desire with a physical QWERTY keyboard… but seriously… do you need more? Word is this may be the new Sidekick rumored for Project Emerald. If this is true, oh boy, you got one happy android blogger on your hands. In other ultra-rumor news, what could possibly be the Motorola Shadow was spotted in a “getting started” book on Howard Forums. The device looks really nice judging from that one picture. The Shadow is rumored to have a 4.3″ screen, 1ghz processor, and now it looks like it has… Moto…. BLUR. Sorry, but BLUR is just not for me. This past week the LG Ally made a few more rounds including pre-order and a possible delay. There’s no given reason for the delay quite yet, but you’ll be the first to know. The myTouch Slide made another appearance this week when it was unboxed from it’s shiny metal case and reviewed by WireFly. So far the Slide has been pretty well received. Look for it to launch in t-minus 11 days on June 2nd. One upcoming phone we still don’t have a date on is the Dell Streak. We’re still hearing late summer, and considering that someone was out and about checking the Streak’s e-911 performance on AT&T’s network, that time frame looks to be holding up. Last but not least in the upcoming phone news, an identical to the Sprint version of the CDMA Hero was spotted recently running on the Cox network. The device was said to have been purchased for $230 dollars on Craigsist… seriously. We only got one bit of news for non-phone upcoming devices, but it’s a doozy. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam came out and said that Verizon would be releasing tablets running Android manufactured  by Motorola, Samsung, and LG (possibly powered by nVIDIA Tegras?) near Q4 of this year. The best part of the tablets can be summed up in three letters, L – T – E.

Updates and apps

This past week brought about some great news for HTC device updates, especially the Nexus One. Yeah, that’s right. Some lucky users can officially grab FroYo 2.2 OTA for their Nexus Ones. I guess it really pays to shop with Google. More great news for HTC users, HTC phones that have launched or will launch in 2010 will most likely see 2.2. I know we all wish they could be more specific, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.  The G1 is going to have a first release ROM for 2.2 very soon which is wonderful considering that the first Android device to grace our Earth has seen it’s last official update. Don’t worry early adopters, the Android community has your back. If you’re a Sprint Hero owner and still waiting for an official version of 2.1 (which I know quite a few of you are), then wait no longer. Breon has already posted a video of the Hero’s 2.1 leak installation, and he says that the leak he installed was very much the real deal. Trust me, this guys knows his stuff. Another device that will see 2.1 soon enough will be the original myTouch. Android Spin has good word that the MT will see an update to the new myTouch Slide UI as early as June 10th. That’s really soon so let’s hope that remains true. OK? App news was kinda slow this week. Among Google buying more VOIP companies (hopefully to help Voice progress),  we did see AT&T get it’s own personal “myWireless Mobile App“… and well I’m sure there’s gotta be someone out there on AT&T using it… Ahem, moving on. Square, a cell phone accessory that plugs into your headphone jack to read credit cards, will finally get useful for Android users.  Check out this post for more info on how Square works and how to get one of your own. That’s about all for app news, but before I move on… There was one post regarding apps here on DroidDog this last week that you may want to check out. All the writers here at DroidDog made a list of their 5 favorite apps and Breon put them together with QR images so you can quickly download them and try ‘em for yourself. There may be a repeat or two but it’s only because we all have such good taste.

Reviews

I said we had a little bit of everything to talk about this Wrap, so you knew that meant you’d see a few reviews. I couldn’t decide whether to put this post up with the apps or down here, but my choice should be obvious at this point. Carlos did a video review of Launcher Pro Beta that is definitely worth a watch, and just let me say, I think it looks pretty darn neat. This app is gaining steam in the Android community with a lot of good reviews. All I ask of you is to not make the same mistake I did and freak out when you can’t find it in the market when your using a non-2.1 device… It’s slightly embarrassing. You may remember me mentioning earlier that I/O attendees received one very special gift for attending, a Sense packing (which you can now turn off?) HTC Evo 4G. Noah from PhoneDog was at I/O, and yes, he has not only a quick unboxing for you to check out, but he also has some sample video from the front facing Camera. There is no denying that the Evo is one amazing piece of hardware. June 4th couldn’t possibly come any sooner. For those of you still in shock after reading about the Ally being delayed, Breon has a full video review up that should help soothe the pain. I’m not the biggest fan of this phone, but for $99 on contract, you really can’t go wrong. I saved Carlos’s review of the Nexus One extended battery from WirelessGround.com for last, because guess what? He’s giving it away! That’s right, all 3200 mAH can be had by anyone in the world just by following a few simple rules. Watch the video above and read the post and you’ll know just how to be easily entered to win. C’mon now… you know you want it…

Fun stuff

You guys already know this is my favorite part of the Wrap so I don’t even need to say it anymore. Erm, wait, I just said it didn’t I? OK, next week I won’t have to say it. Promise. This week’s fun stuff is mostly about ads, which you probably know by now I don’t have a problem with. Verizon wireless put out not just one, but two ads for the Incredible this week. I don’t use Big Red for my phone needs, but I love what they are doimg for Android’s popularity. Keep it up guys. My favorite ad this week has to do with augmented reality and the Prince of Persia movie. Let’s see, I like AR. I like movies. And I love video games. How could it get any cooler? Speaking of video games, I wanted to mention Gameloft’s announcement of 10 new 3D Android games. What would I suggest checking out? Assassin’s Creed and H.A.W.X. fah sho. Last but not least is Chevrolet’s promo video showing off their new car, the Volt, and how OnStar works with Google Maps (and other services) via your Android device. Great, now do I not only need several new Android phones…. but I need a new car too.

Well that’s all we got this week. Next week will be over before you know it, and that means another Wrap will be here before you know it too. Be sure to stay tuned to DroidDog for all the news we can get our hands on and more. The very last thing I’ll say this week is about a technology “un-conference” in Minnesota known as MinneBar. Breon will be there trying to cover what he can, so check out his post on it for more info on how to keep track. Alright guys, I’ll see you all next week. Until then, enjoy!

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