Sony Ericsson confirms Gingerbread for XPERIA X10

Sony Ericsson's decision earlier this year to freeze OS updates for the XPERIA X10 met with no small amount of disgust from owners of the smartphone, and their complaints were certainly vocal. Now, however, Sony Ericsson has backtracked and changed its mind, announcing that Android 2.3 Gingerbread will now be headed to the X10 at end Q2/early Q3 this year. Sony Ericsson describe the decision as a response to consumer feedback and a side-effect of developing Gingerbread for the 2011 model range. There are a few things to consider, however. The update will be for generic handsets, not carrier-modified versions, and there's no guarantee that the latter will ever get Gingerbread. The XPERIA X10 mini and mini pro won't be getting Gingerbread, and Sony Ericsson says this really will be the final update for the X10 - it'll see no subsequent updates after 2.3. There'll also be some limitations compared to the XPERIA Arc and other 2011 handsets:
  • The current plan is that the XperiaTM X10 will get the Android standard Camera user interface and therefore features like e.g. face recognition, smile shutter etc will be lost.
  • Moxier is replaced by the gingerbread native EAS functionality.
  • Mediascape is being replaced by the media experience widgets and music player included in our new 2011 products.
  • DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process.
  • The Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client is not supported in the Gingerbread version and will therefore be lost.
  • Support for bi-directional languages will be reduced compared to the latest version of the 2.1 version of the XperiaTM X10.
Still, we have to give Sony Ericsson credit for changing its mind on a decision that left a lot of people furious about being early-adopters of the company's handsets. [via Clove]

F1 fans can download official 2011 live timing app

If you are a big fan of F1 racing the official timing app for Android users is now on the Android Market for download. The app is cool and looks like something that fans won't want to miss. This is the only official F1 2011 live timing and tracking app and it has over 130 hours of live race coverage inside.

ASUS’ Honeycomb Eee Pad Transformer tablet gets official launch

As promised, ASUS has officially launched the Eee Pad Transformer, the company's Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet. The 10.1-inch slate runs NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 processor, and has a removable keyboard with an integrated secondary battery that helps boost runtime to 16hrs. Alone, the Transformer slate manages a healthy 9.5hrs according to ASUS' predictions. There's also 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, twin cameras - 5-megapixels on the back, 1.3-megapixels on the front - and optional integrated 3G. The 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display uses an IPS panel with 10-point multitouch and Gorilla Glass. Unfortunately, ASUS hasn't confirmed official pricing for the Eee Pad Transformer in the US, though there was the suggestion last week that it could be €399 in Europe. More details in the press release below. Press Release:
ASUS Introduces the Eee Pad Transformer -- Innovation meets Versatility as ASUS launches the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 tablet with a unique expandable keyboard docking station -- Fremont, CA (March 25, 2011) - ASUS is excited to announce the launch* of the Eee Pad Transformer, the best tablet choice for users looking for media consumption and mobile productivity in an elegant yet versatile design. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer features the powerful and responsive Android 3.0 operating system, an optional expandable keyboard docking station, and ASUS’ intuitive Waveshare user interface that results in an exciting portable tablet for content creation, social communication, high-definition media playback and smooth realistic game play. Exciting mini-cinema entertainment on-the-go Powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing snappier response times and excellent multi-tasking performance. An IPS (in-plane switching) Panel made from durable and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass is viewable at angles up to 178°, perfect for sharing your favorite photos, web pages, work documents and more with co-workers, friends or family next you or across the room. The 10.1” IPS panel features LED backlighting that provides brilliant and vivid colors at a 1280x800 resolution, perfect for viewing high-definition movies and other media content. Built-in SRS Sound technology provides a dynamic 3D stereo audio experience, with maximum bass response and a wide sound field from the discrete speakers housed in a thin 0.51” thick chassis that only weighs 1.49lbs. A 1.2MP front-facing camera is perfect for video conferencing while the rear-facing 5MP camera can shoot and record HD video, which can be played back on HDTVs via the mini HDMI output port, making the Eee Pad Transformer a true mobile entertainment device. Transform from pad to notebook mode with optional keyboard docking station The Transformer sets itself apart from other tablets on the market by featuring an optional docking station. This unique docking station provides access to a full QWERTY keyboard along with unique Android Function keys, instantly turning the Transformer into a mobile content creation device. A touchpad, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB ports as well as a built-in SD Card reader for easy file sharing and storage expandability makes the Transformer a versatile media hub. The docking station also extends the Transformer’s 9.5 hours** of battery life up to 16 hours**, so users can use it all day for work or play. In addition, the ultra-convenient ASUS WebStorage* with one year of unlimited storage space provides worry-free cloud computing. Android 3.0 OS melds with ASUS’ Waveshare UI for a unique user experience Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a revolutionary operating system specially designed and optimized for tablets, which enables users a rich web experience for on-the-go web browsing, social media activities, video playback and casual gaming. Supporting Adobe® Flash® 10.2*** and the ever growing Android Market, media entertainment is just a finger swipe away. The convenient ASUS Launcher also allows users to easily launch software, manage content and access online services and connect devices with a few simple taps, while ASUS’ Waveshare Interface hosts a variety of unique applications* such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more. MyNet easily streams digital media wirelessly within home network devices so HD videos or music can be played on devices such as an HDTV or desktop PCs for an even better experience from the Transformer. MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers in to one easy to browse profile while MyCloud is a total cloud solution, providing access to digital content such as music, videos and files from the cloud anywhere, anytime. Users can even use MyCloud to remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files to extend the versatility of the Eee Pad Transformer experience.

Nook Color to get B&N app store support and Flash in April

If you like the idea of the Android powered Nook Color becoming a cheap Android tablet, that idea is even more appealing now. The Nook Color will be getting access to a custom Barnes & Noble app store and Flash support in April. That would mean you can play games and watch Flash video and more from the eReader.

In-app billing for Android is ready for testing

We reported in early February that Android was going to be getting in-app billing this quarter. That would mean that you could call in those Eagles in Angry Birds if you want and buy up all sorts of upgrades using real money as you play some of your favorite games. The downside to in-app billing as some other smartphone users have found out is that you can rack up a bill fast if the charges aren't made clear.

HTC Incredible S Review by Chris Davies

Our man in England Chris Davies has done it again with a fabulous review of the HTC Incredible S, a lovely phone that, although he expected a bit of letdown in light of the slightly less-than-top-tier nature of the phone, Chris found himself liking quite a bit. We got to handle this phone back at Mobile World Congress and now Chris has the full dish on the situation, lovely pics and video example and all!

BlackBerry Playbook will support Android apps with “app player” [New]

This has just been confirmed. Today RIM announced that they WILL indeed be supporting Android Apps with an optional app player that will be available for download on the Playbook release day. This is big news. According to RIM the Playbook will support both Blackberry Java as well as all the Android apps. This includes native C/C++ development support, HTML5, Flash and AIR support. Also take note that RIM's press release only mentions Android 2.3 apps, so we aren't sure if Android 3.0 Honeycomb apps will work, or will need an update first.

AT&T/T-Mobile Merger, what it means

Consumer Reports has an interesting breakdown of how the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile USA will affect subscribers of both wireless services. In the breakdown, they list five areas which, for good or bad, will be of interest to customers including overall service, price rates, how it will affect Sprint, network coverage and if the deal with be approved by the FCC or not. The consensus is, that T-Mobile customers will see a price hike, being that the Get More network has one of the lowest pricing schemes amount the major wireless providers. But the downside is that customer satisfaction for T-Mobile customers may take a huge dip since Consumer Reports considers AT&T to be amongst the worst companies in that rating. By contrast, we reported that JD Power found the opposite to be true. So depending on who you're with, you'll be disappointed or elated. What are the other factors at play?

ZTE Style S and LTE Tablet in the works for the US

ZTE is not a very wide known brand but we have covered them more than a few times here in the past. They are a small company that is based in China that have build budget phones that thousands have used. This week at CTIA they announced some exciting news that I'm sure you will all be pleased to hear. They are coming to the U.S. in the second half of the year and are bringing an Android 2.3 beast with a 4.3" screen as well as a Android 3.0 10" Android Tablet with them.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb gets a Screenshot App

For those that use these kind of apps or have been around lately to notice that we didn't have one. The Motorola Xoom and any Android 3.0 Honeycomb device in general could not take screenshots with an app. There is drocap2, ShootMe and many other screen capture apps for our Android phones and apparently none of them worked on Android 3.0 but now a developer from the XDA forums named ftgg99 has fixed this issue for us. He has developed an app called Screenshot ER.