Author Archives: John Scheible

Google+ APK Available for International Users

The rest of the world may be keeping the Samsung Galaxy S II from us here in the states, but to show we're not bitter the Google+ app is now available to download internationally. If you have a Google+ account, but don't live in the United States, the Google+ account hasn't been available on the Android Market yet. There is always the mobile web site, but this app is great, and makes following, say your favorite Android Community, that much easier. Google's given no word on why they haven't released the Google+ Android app internationally, but testers have confirmed installing the APK has worked just fine. Of course, you do have to have a Google+ account for it to do you much good. If you don't have one quite yet, hang in there, invites seem to be turning on more frequently the past few days. The app gives you some pretty cool features, not the least of which is instant notifications and the ability to view posts directly from the app. You also get access to huddles, an awesome multi-user chat tool and the ability to instantly upload pictures and videos you take to Google+. You can grab the app here or at the original thread at XDA. Happy +'ing! [via XDA]

Motorola Giving Away Five Droid 3s on Twitter

With how much I've been writing about the Droid 3, I'm starting to think maybe not acknowledging the Droid 3 wasn't such a bad idea on Moto's part. Either way with a dual-core processor and 5 row qwerty keyboard the Droid 3 is a pretty sweet phone and the top of the line if you want a physical keyboard. Now that its admitted it exists Motorola's giving 5 of them away via Twitter.

Verizon Unlimited 3G Customers Will Be Able to Get Unlimited Tethering Plan on 4G Upgrade

Now that July 7th has come and gone, Verizon is no longer selling unlimited data plans to smartphone owners, but luckily those of you who already had unlimited data were allowed to keep it. The even better news is that even if your unlimited data plan was a 3G one, upgrading to 4G would not cause you to lose that plan (for now). Verizon has no wanswered a tweet to clarify 4G tethering for those same customers. Verizon had been offering 4G hotspot tethering for its LTE phones for free up until it the same day it swapped over to tiered data plans. Those who already had 4G plans at that time had to sign up fot an unlimited tethering plan for $30 a month. Customers with 3G plans were left wondering what would happen to them. It looks like even if it is putting the shackles of capped data on new customers, Big Red is being nice to its current smartphone customers. If you upgrade from your current unlimited 3G smartphone to a 4G phone and decide you want to pay for a tethering plan, Verizon will give you the same unlimited tethering plan it made available to those who had unlimited 4G before July 7th. This means if you want unlimited tethering you'll be paying $59.99 a month. I'm not such a huge fan of the fact that carriers try and charge for tethering, but in the case of unlimited 4G (which could potentially replace home internet) it sounds more fair. On the other hand unlimited tetherers may be quite a hit on what has been a blazing LTE network.

2.3.4 Gingerbread For Galaxy S II Leaked and Wrapped Up in Custom ROM

The Galaxy S II officially has Gingerbread, but it is ONLY 2.3.3. Well if this bothers you, devs have gotten a hold of a leak and now have a custom ROM to get you that 0.0.1 bump to the absolute latest version. The ROM, DarkyROM2, is available for download over at DarkyROM's website and XDA. Here's a refresh of what that extra 0.0.1 means. The big feature advertised for the 2.3.4 version of Android was video chat in Google Talk, which is included here of course. Performance wise, this ROM fixes the battery drain issue that was plaguing stock versions of 2.3.3. There is both a completely stock (Samsung, not AOSP stock) ODIN firmware file available as well as the DarkyROM2 custom ROM. The DarkyROM is deodexed, and has options available to wipe your data or not on install, include swype or not, and to strip out some Samsung bloatware. If all this sounds enticing (and you're lucky enough to have a Galaxy S II), you can grab either the ODIN file or ClockWorkMod-flashable ROM at XDA or [via XDA]

Droid 3 Bootloader Locked, We’re Still Waiting for Moto’s Official Bootloader Fix

Motorola's Atrix may have just gotten its bootloader unlocked through a bit of trickery, but it looks like that unlock screen won't be on the new Droid 3 any time in the immediate future. An eager owner of the OG Droid, looking to bump his phone up to version 3 of the original Android 2 phone asked on Motorola's own forum whether the bootloader was unlocked. Ten minutes later a forum moderator confirmed, no such freedom will be granted.

Plugging Up Bad News Leaks [Editorial]

I don't know about the rest of you, but after months of leaks from Internet and radio silence from Verizon and Motorola, it's hard to get excited about the Droid 3 now that its here. Sure it's fun to get info on unreleased phones, to speculate about them, and have something to drool over. Leaks though have to be handled delicately on the part of OEMs (you can bet that not all leaks are accidental), or things get pretty stale.

With Freedom Comes Shiny New Kernels for the Atrix

The Atrix, the first dual-core phone here in the U.S. brought a lot of power to the table, but it also brought a lot of heartbreak. The heartbreak at its locked bootloader helped push ahead the FreeMyMoto campaign which helped get a response from Motorola. While we're still waiting on an official solution from Motorola, the Atrix has, through a bit of trickery and an engineering build, found freedom, and with that freedom comes the good stuff.

Japanese Company, Camangi, Intros Mangrove 7 Honeycomb Tablet

So far we've yet to see a Honeycomb tablet make it to store shelves with anything but a 10.1" screen. Archos and Samsung both have smaller tablets in the pipes, and now another tablet from Japanese manufacturer, Camangi will be looking to break the 10.1" mold. Their 7" Mangrove 7, will be released in Japan in mid-august.

Spotify Coming to U.S. Android App in Tow

Spotify is an extremely popular music streaming service in Europe. It lets users stream any of their millions of songs on demand, through desktop and mobile apps. The same hold ups with record companies that delayed Google's Music Beta have also been keeping Spotify out of the States, but it looks like its finally on coming across the pond.
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