smartphones

Galaxy S II gets root-friendly insecure boot ROM

The Samsung Galaxy S II has only been on the market for a short while - and units are still in high demand - but we've already seen one of the first hacks of the smartphone. MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has come up with a custom GSII insecure boot image that allows for adb shell root and adb remount. The ROM itself doesn't actually root the Galaxy S II, but it will allow owners to push the su binary and Superuser APK required for root. It also disables the flash-recovery script, replacing it with a call to /data/local/custom-scripting.sh. It's not the first root - one method was released at the tail end of April - but we're definitely excited to see more modders turn their attention to the Galaxy S II. While the phone itself impressed us in our review, we also saw plenty of potential as a platform for custom ROMs.

Israeli company offers Kosher Smartphone

I admit, I'm not Jewish, much less Orthodox. But I do have several friends who observe the sabbath whom this new "smartphone" could be beneficial for. It's called a "Kosher, Sin Free Smartphone," and it's being developed by a company in Israel. The phone provides no internet access, no Facebook, no text messaging or email.

Samsung Galaxy S II officially launched today

Samsung is officially launching the Galaxy S II today, though UK sales of the dual-core Android smartphone did kick off in the UK yesterday. The subject of a huge Media Day in Korea this morning, Samsung expects to ship the Galaxy S II on over 140 carriers in 120 countries worldwide. As we found in our full Samsung Galaxy S II review, the 1.2GHz Exynos processor and Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen make for a potent combination. Surprisingly, though, the Galaxy S II particularly delivers on battery life, lasting for two days of heavy use. Meanwhile, in Korea there's a version of the Galaxy S II with an integrated DMB digital TV tuner - which adds 1mm to the smartphone's thickness - and there'll be various NFC and non-NFC versions depending on region. Samsung even went to the trouble of calculating the average length of the Korean thumb (58.6mm, if you're curious) and reckon the 4.3-inch display is perfectly suited to one-handed use.

BSQUARE Mobile Development Device packs 1.5GHz Snapdragon MSM8660 [Video]

BSQUARE and Qualcomm have got together and produced a new Mobile Development Device (MDP), this time based on the new 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8660 chipset. An Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone intended to help developers test and optimize their apps for the new, asynchronous SoC, the MDP has a 3.61-inch touchscreen, 13-megapixel rear camera and 16GB of internal storage. There's also 1GB of RAM, a front-facing 1-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, HDMI port, USB On-The-Go support and the usual mixture of WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. BSQUARE also preloads several system-monitoring apps, including Qualcomm's Adreno Profiler for optimizing 3D graphics performance and Trepn Profiler for optimizing app power consumption. Unfortunately this sort of platform doesn't come cheap, and the BSQUARE MDP is a lot more expensive than your average Android smartphone. It will go on sale from today, priced at $1,350. [youtube Nnn5bthvq7M] [via SlashGear]

Rugged Casio G’zOne Commando breaks onto Verizon April 28

Verizon has officially announced the Casio G'zOne Commando, the carrier's latest ruggedized smartphone. Running Android 2.2 Froyo, the G'zOne Commando meets Military Standards 810G for Immersion, Rain, Shock and Dust Resistant, Vibration, Salt Fog, Humidity, Solar Radiation, Altitude, Low and High Temperature Storage. There's also a 5-megapixel camera, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G mobile hotspot functionality. More interesting, perhaps, are the eight different modes that cater to various outdoor pursuits, mixing together direction, acceleration and temperature sensors; full details in the press release below. The Verizon Casio G'zOne Commando will go on sale April 28. It will be priced at $199.99 with a new, two year agreement. Press Release:
Verizon Wireless And Casio Introduce The CASIO G’zOne Commando First Ruggedized Android Smartphone for Verizon Wireless BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless and Casio today announced a new addition to the rugged wireless category and a new Android-powered smartphone in the marketplace, the CASIO G’zOne Commando™. Deployment ready, the Commando is a mobile office with high security features for secure corporate email; Wi-Fi for high-speed Web access; XT9 and T9 trace input for efficient typing; and snap-out menu for customized access to high-use applications. Designed to withstand the most extreme conditions, the CASIO G’zOne Commando easily transitions from work to play with advanced G’zGEAR software. As the ultimate outdoor tool in a mobile device, G’zGEAR operates in eight modes to enhance the active, adventure-driven lifestyle. With the help of its Triple Sensor technology utilizing direction, acceleration and temperature, G’zGEAR enables adventurers to perform at their peak. The Casio Commando is ideal for the business environment, especially for fields such as construction, transportation, manufacturing, utilities and healthcare. Workers in hazardous environments, such as construction sites, warehouses and factory floors, need a smartphone that has the capability to download blueprints, files and pictures; update project plans; access field force management, inventory access and corporate applications; and capture signatures. Key features: Android™ 2.2 Meets Military Standards 810G for Immersion, Rain, Shock and Dust Resistant, Vibration, Salt Fog, Humidity, Solar Radiation, Altitude, Low and High Temperature Storage 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, still photo, video capture, LED light High-security encryption for corporate email Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity Stereo Bluetooth™ VZ Navigator® for GPS and audible turn-by-turn directions Mobile Hotspot capable-share 3G connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices Lifestyle features: G’zGear operates in eight modes Earth Compass – Functions as a standard compass, the GPS shows the distance and direction to several domestic and international landmarks, including Yosemite National Park and Mt. Everest. Walking Counter – Measures steps, distance and energy consumption, and total steps for the day, week or month. It also provides virtual treks for famous North American trails and roads including Mt. Kilimanjaro, Annapurna Circuit, Torres Del Paine Circuit, John Muir Trail and Transcontinental. Adventure Training – Takes training to a new level by allowing users to run with virtual opponents, like world-record holders, wild animals, or their own best personal performance stored in the training history. Trip Memory – Plots and records outdoor activities along with location information to share with friends and family on Twitter™ and Facebook®. Tides – Showcases the tidal graph for the day; time of tide ebb and flow; and current, past and future sea tide levels. GPS displays the nearest location map. Thermometer – Displays current temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit with numeric and graphic thermometer readings and compares the current temperature across multiple locations. Sun / Moon – Checks the time of the next sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset, and tracks the moon phases for your current location. Star Gazer – Utilizes GPS to display the stars and constellation names based on the current season and time. Pricing and availability: The CASIO G’zOne Commando will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com on April 28 for $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement. CASIO G’zOne Commando customers will need to subscribe to a data plan. Unlimited data plans are available to customers starting at $29.99 monthly access. Business customers who want to purchase the device can contact their Business Sales Representatives at 1-800-VZW-4BIZ. For more information on the CASIO G’zOne Commando or for other Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com. Customers can visit www.CasioGzOne.com to experience the CASIO G’zOne Commando.

Verizon DROID Incredible 2 by HTC priced and dated

Verizon has announced that the DROID Incredible 2 by HTC will go on sale from April 28, with the Android 2.2 smartphone priced at $199.99 with a new, two-year agreement. The smartphone has an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front, along with HTC Sense and 3G mobile hotspot functionality. Up front is a 4-inch WVGA display, while inside it's Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon keeping things chugging along. The DROID Incredible 2 can record 720p HD video, has DLNA streaming support and SRS WOWHD audio. So, not quite a flagship, but likely to be a solid phone all the same; check out our Incredible S review for more details, since this is basically the same device. Who's interested? [gallery] Press Release:
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC Available Beginning April 28 BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless and HTC today announced that DROID Incredible 2 by HTC, exclusively from Verizon Wireless, will be available beginning April 28 in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com for $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement. DROID Incredible 2 by HTC follows in the footsteps of the popular DROID Incredible by HTC and features the Android™ 2.2 platform, a crisp 4-inch super LCD display, next-generation 1 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon® processor and 3G Mobile Hotspot that can connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Equipped with the hallmark HTC Sense™ experience, DROID Incredible 2 by HTC offers advanced personalization options, consolidated email capability and unique camera effects and filters. With its sleek, all-black design, DROID Incredible 2 by HTC combines functionality and speed into one stylish package. DROID Incredible 2 by HTC is a global-ready Android smartphone, allowing customers to enjoy wireless voice and data service in more than 200 countries, with more than 125 with 3G speeds. Additional features include: · 8.0-megapixel main camera with dual LED flash · 1.3-megapixel front facing camera · 720p HD video capture plus DLNA® to share multimedia content with a compatible TV · Adobe® Flash® Player · SRS WOWHD™ surround sound · Automatic face detection for more accurate pictures · Integrated noise-cancellation technology Verizon Wireless customers that purchase DROID Incredible 2 by HTC will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a smartphone data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 for monthly access and an unlimited smartphone data plan is $29.99 for monthly access. Verizon Wireless customers traveling outside of the United States should contact Verizon Wireless’ global customer support team at 1-800-922-0204 before embarking on their trip to ensure their phones have the right features for global usage. For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

Intel cozies up to Android, boosts shares

In their first quarter shareholder announcement, chip maker Intel announced that they would be embracing the Bot by porting the Honeycomb Android source code. The move was welcomed by Wall Street as shares of Intel rose 7.8% on the news. Intel plans to offer chips for Android based tablets within the next few months. There's also plans for smartphones running on with Intel inside.

Android joins the Army with prototype

The power of the Android platform is now part of the Arsenal of Democracy. Reports are that the US Army has developed a prototype for a military grade Android smartphone to be carried by soldiers on the battlefield. The prototype is known as the "Joint Battle Command Platform" (JBCP) and is being developed by MITRE. An SDK known as the Mobile Handheld Computing Environment is also in the works for App developers.

HTC Sensation 4G pre-interest page goes live

HTC may not be publicly confirming the rumored June 8 release of the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile USA, but it has thrown up a sign-up page for those wanting more information. The tri-tone smartphone has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, HSPA+ connectivity and a 4.3-inch qHD display. There's also an 8-megapixel camera on the back with autofocus and a dual-LED flash. HTC has reworked the camera app to minimize start-up lag, so that there's less chance of missing impromptu shots. Meanwhile the Sensation will debut HTC Sense 3.0, the latest version of the company's interface, complete with a new homescreen launcher. We've more on the HTC Sensation in our hands-on report from the launch of the European version, identical bar the radios. Meanwhile for all the specs, check out HTC's product page. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Samsung Galaxy S II: Extreme Unboxing! [Video]

The things we here at Android Community will do to get our hands on the latest gadgets! Samsung invited me to crank the traditional unboxing process up to 11 last week, taking to a 300bhp Subaru Impreza rally car to talk about the company's new flagship Galaxy S II Android smartphone in the most unusual of situations.