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TAG | Android 2.2

Have you ever wanted to be able to design your own Android handset, putting into it the hardware features that you want and will use, removing the unnecessary or unwanted ones? Well, I have some good news for you – now you are able to fully customize and choose the parts that you want in your mobile phone.

A small startup called Synapse is experimenting with this idea, letting you individually customize your handset the way you want it. Some of the features are mandatory and you can’t change them:

  • Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS
  • 1GHz processor
  • 4-inch Super Amoled display
  • microSD card slot for memory cards up to 32GB

But with these nice features I doubt anyone would like to change them, especially this big nice Super Amoler display. Then, for the rest of the device’s features, you can choose from:

  • Radio (3G or 4G, including LTE and WiMAX)
  • Bluetooth
  • Camera (including: front and back-facing camera options, up to 12MP and whether or not to include flash)
  • Mini-HDMI
  • Physical or capacitive buttons
  • Body color (black or white)
  • Working memory
  • Built-in memory
  • Mobile television built-in

The default setup will cost you only 299EUR which is very good price for a handset with such capabilities. The rest is up to you – the more you put into it, the higher the price will go.

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For a long time the users of Samsung Galaxy S have waited for an update to Android 2.2. Samsung had promised many times to release it until some date but later on they apologized and postponed it for a later date. This really frustrated everyone but none of Galaxy S owners could do anything but wait. But it seems that the wait and delays are over. Users from Norway, Denmark and Sweden report that they have successfully updated their Galaxy S to Android 2.2 via Kies. And this surely means only one thing – soon everyone should expect an update either OTA or via Kies.

If you want to try and see if you have the update, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Samsung Kies (If you don’t already have it)
  2. Update Kies to the latest version.
  3. Connect your phone and after being registered, click on the phone with the little arrow icon at the bottom right.
  4. Complete the firmware update do JPM (if you are lucky to have such an update).

As for the new things in Android 2.2 for Samsung Galaxy S – this is the list:

  • Android 2.2 JIT compiler
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.1 compatibility
  • New Android Market with auto-update feature
  • Speed improvements
  • Pinch-to-zoom
  • Better default keyboard
  • Quick links to “GPS” and “Auto rotation” toggles on notification bar added
  • Improvements in UI of app drawer and default icon dock
  • Colored icons in settings menu
  • GPS Fix which was awaited for so long
  • Media Hub
  • New menu theme
  • Better Exchange support
  • Video records in MP4 format
  • New Search widget
  • New Gmail application

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Motorola confirms Droid X issues

Since the update of Droid X to Android 2.2 many users have complained about different issues with their devices – some of them are minor, but some of them are really serious like failure to boot or kernel panic. Motorola has confirmed some of the bugs and fixes for them will be built into a future yet-to-be-announced patch. On the Motorola’s support forum one of their employees has written this on the topic:

If you have already upgraded to 2.2 for Droid X, you have found some new capabilities. Unfortunately, some owners also found new issues.  Here are some of the known issues raised by forums members, with some information about each. It is not intended to be a complete list at this time — there are many more fixes and improvements in the works. I’ll update this list as information becomes available.

  • Stuck on Moto logo after reboot – this was tough on a few owners. Very sorry about that. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release. If you are still experiencing this issue, click here.
  • Random rebooting – while there always seem to be new conditions that can cause an electronic device to panic, we do have improvements coming that address and eliminate identified panic states. They will be distributed in a future software release.
  • WiFi connection and stability – improvements in WiFi have been developed, to address several problem areas. They will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Battery Manager “force close” errors – under some circumstances, pressing the battery icon under Menu > Settings > Battery Manager results in a forced close error. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Media won’t play – includes “sorry the player does not support this type of audio file,” custom ringtone stop working, video won’t play, etc., until after a reboot. We believe we have identified the cause of these errors. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Music files cutting off the final four seconds or so – a solution has been developed. It will be distributed in a future software release.

At this time I don’t have information about when the next software update will be available — when I have it, I’ll share it here.

It is a good thing that companies try to communicate directly to customers in this way, but probably it would have been better it they conduct more tests among a larger test group before releasing an update, especially a big one like this.

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Froyo makes its way to everyone

Since the rumors for release of Android 2.2 Froyo everyone has hoped that his device will be among those, who will be getting this update. But since then not many devices received it. But this week brings some good news to the owners of several devices.

Let’s begin with Dell Streak – since its release, Streak is running one Android 1.6. An exception are the devices, running on the leaked and modified build of the UK version’s .2.1 update, but they are not so much. But there are some news from Dell – they say that Dell Streak won’t be getting 2.1 but it will be directly receiving FroYo. The rumors were for December 31st but Dell promised that Over-the-air update will be released much sooner than this. So take a deep breath and wait for that yoghurt.

Motorola Milestone European customers may also be happy, because Motorola announced that they are starting to make some user tests. Once they are complete, it will be clear if some further optimizations and changes should be made and then proceed to the final testing and approval stage. Motorola promises to deliver Android 2.2 to European Milestone users by the end of the year.

Last but not least, it’s a good day for Samsung Galaxy S users. Samsung has just released the source code of Android 2.2 for this device. Practically this means 2 things – firstly that the official update is very close and secondly – that the guys from XDA developers and other custom ROMs developers will start working on this and soon there will be some nice custom ROMs for everyone keen on rooting and flashing.

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These days T-Mobile has announced that they will enable Wi-Fi calling on their Android devices, particularly mentioning the upcoming new myTouch and Motorola Defy. Until now this feature was present only on the rest of T-Mobile’s phones and Blackberry, but now Android users will take advantage of it too. This will help users saving their free minutes and on the other hand it is very useful for areas with low or no cell coverage at all, but you have internet access.  I think that everyone  would like such a feature on his mobile phone, because most of us have wireless internet connection in their home and could make free calls using it. Let’s hope that more carriers will follow T-Mobile, because until now it is the only one who offers such services.

The other news from T-Mobile is about a new mobile phone in their lines – LG Optimus T. The device is aimed at the first-time smart phone buyers. It will be running on Android 2.2 with full integration with all Google features, including Google search, maps, voice actions, talk, gmail, calendar and so on. Optimus T features a 3.2-inch touchscreen display running at 320x480px resolution, 3.2Mp camera, microSD memory card slot (with 2GB one in the package), Wi-Fi (Unfortunately no WiFi calling), Bluetooth, GPS and a 1500mAh battery.  The devices is expected to be exclusively available for T-Mobile customers this holiday season. Yet, no information about the price.

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