Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging to get updated. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it’s easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don’t escape without notice, we’ve gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery from the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout attips at engadget dawt comand let us know. Enjoy!
Official Android updates
Given up on the HTC Thunderbolt’s mystical Gingerbread update? HTC’s still insisting that it’s on its way, despite multiple delays. This time, however, the OEM isn’t giving a timeframe for ETA. [Droid-Life]
The T-Mobile G2 was boosted to Android 2.3.3 in July, but we’re glad to see the device getting yet another refresh. This time the G2 is getting hooked up with 2.3.4, which promises better battery life and improved data roaming, among other minor fixes. [AndroidCentral]
What other device is getting 2.3.4 this week? The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, that’s what. It’s only rolled out to parts of Europe and the Middle East, so be patient if you haven’t seen an update show up for your unit yet. [AndroidCentral]
Up north, the LG Shine Plus on Telus is getting Android 2.3.3. [MobileSyrup]
Anyone using a Motorola Atrix or Milestone 2 in the UK should expect to have an update to Gingerbread sometime next month. [Unwired View]
Motorola mentioned on its Facebook page that the Droid Bionic will receive Ice Cream Sandwich, though it wouldn’t share details on when. [Thanks, Grant]
Unofficial Android updates, custom ROMs and misc. hackery
Amazingly enough, the Samsung Epic 4G is still missing Gingerbread (officially, at least). In hopefully what could be considered another step forward, Sammy’s pushed out the kernel source for Android 2.3. Keep those fingers crossed, Epic 4G owners. [AndroidCentral]
Motorola released the kernel source for the Droid Bionic. [AndroidCentral]
Speaking of kernel source, HTC’s also gone ahead and released code for the myTouch 4G Slide, Desire (Gingerbread), and the Raider 4G. [AndroidCentral]
Three days after its kernel was made public, T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II has now been successfully rooted. [Phandroid]
Looking down at your HTC Sensation 4G (or any other Sense 3.0 or higher device) filled with Dre envy? Wish you had the cool Beats that’s starting to trickle out to the latest HTC handsets? Leave it to XDA to find a way to port the new audio functionality over to any Sense 3.0 or 3.5 phone without having to ditch your current ROM. [Droid-Life]
Anyone frustrated by the news about the HTC Thunderbolt above and is savvy to the rooting world may want to check out a new Gingerbread RUU just leaked for the device. [Android Police]
Select Symbian Anna devices are currently getting a bug fix. Sadly, it’s not Belle. [Unwired View]
The Windows Phone Team has reported that the Mango update is available to nearly everyone now. [Windows Team Blog]
The iPhone Dev Team brought out a new version of Redsn0w, 0.9.9b7, which was designed to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to jailbreak your iDevice. [Pocketnow]
Refreshes we covered this week
Refresh Roundup: week of October 17, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We expect to be hearing plenty more about Ice Cream Sandwich before the day is out, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for some last-minute leaks. We’ve already seen a couple of updated apps slip out, and we now also have what appears to be our first look at Google’s refreshed widgets for the new OS. Those include both Gmail and Calendar, as well one for your non-Gmail email, all of which boast a similar appearance that’s been further streamlined from their Honeycomb counterparts. As Android Police notes, there’s curiously no labels in the Gmail widget, although we’d assume that’s just due to the particular messages being displayed (we hope so, at least). Hit the source link below for a look at the rest.
Ice Cream Sandwich widgets leak out ahead of official launch originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
A funny thing happened to the folks at Android Police, the same group responsible for leaking some of the first screenshots of Ice Cream Sandwich. They’ve since come across a few apps from Google’s upcoming release — purportedly straight from a Nexus Prime. The first is Google Music 4.0.1 — a marked upgrade from the current 3.0.1 found in the Market today — which sports refined tabs, a contextual dialog and new player controls. For reference, the latest version is shown on the right, which is most likely installed onto a Gingerbread device. Best yet, the APK is currently up for download (which you’re able to grab for yourself from the source). There’s also a sneak peek of the upcoming Google+ 2.0, which suggests Messenger (formerly Huddle) and Conversations will be renamed to… get this… Chords. Feel free to take a peek after the break, or check out the full gallery at the second source link below.
Continue reading Ice Cream Sandwich leak outs Music 4.0.1 for download, previews Google+ 2.0
Ice Cream Sandwich leak outs Music 4.0.1 for download, previews Google+ 2.0 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 Oct 2011 17:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The folks at Android Police
seem to have stumbled across a rather jarring security vulnerability
handsets running Android, giving common apps with internet access a peek at the device’s vital statistics, user information and more. Demonstrated in the above video, developer Trevor Eckheart found that a recent HTC update packed in a suite of logging tools that collects data on user accounts (including email addresses), recent GPS locations, SMS data and encoded text, phone numbers, system logs, running processes and more — all of which can be accessed by common apps requesting access to android.permission.INTERNET
HTC is already looking into the issue, stating, “HTC takes our customers’ security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible. We will provide an update as soon as we’re able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken.” If you’re too antsy to wait for HTC’s update, head on over to the source link below — Eckheart says the issue can be resolved by removing HTCloggers from a rooted device.
HTC security vulnerability said to leak phone numbers, GPS data, and more, HTC responds (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 02 Oct 2011 19:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, security vulnerabilities
“Get to tha choppa!” is probably the first thing the Tromball, Texas cops will be shouting now that they’re the proud owners of America’s first police gyroplane. This type of aircraft is nothing new, but for the 5-0 testing the Auto-Gyro MTOsport, it’s a cheaper and simpler alternative to a helicopter — and way sweeter looking. For the price of two high-end squad cars (around $75,000), the heat can go air-bound, compared to $1-4.5 million for a standard whirlybird. The machine also requires far less pre-flight prep before soaring 13 feet per second into the sky only to max out at a face-melting speed of 115 mph. With a rotax motor, pilots can dip from the air quickly and easily since the copter’s already in autorotation, unlike a standard helicopter, which requires some heavy maneuvering. The downside? It’s horrible at night and in bad weather, meaning the cops will have to keep those Crown Vics in the garage, just in case.
Flying cops board gyroplane for Big Brother-style eyes in the sky originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Sep 2011 19:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, auto-gyro mtosport
, police surveillance
As Londoners continue to pick up the rubble and carnage from this week’s riots, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is exploring new ways to maintain order — including, apparently, a government crackdown on social media. In a speech to members of Parliament today, Cameron made clear his belief that law enforcement officials should be able to curb and monitor the use of social networking sites under certain circumstances, lending credence to the theory that mechanisms like Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry played a critical role in inciting the recent violence:
“Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
There’s a fine line separating issues of national security from the rights to free speech, but it’s a line that Cameron seems willing to toe. And, though he and his Conservative government are only mulling the idea, it’s difficult to ignore the irony in his statements. Keep in mind that this is the same man who roundly condemned Hosni Mubarak for shutting down Egypt’s internet
at the height of its revolution, calling for the now-ousted leader to fully respect the “freedom of expression and communication, including use of telephones and the internet.” Cameron, of course, isn’t calling for anything nearly as drastic as what Mubarak orchestrated, nor is he facing anywhere near the same level of domestic turmoil. But the fundamental narrative remains the same: in the face of social upheaval, a national leader instinctively reaches for a digital muzzle as a stop-gap measure, while (perhaps) ignoring the larger, longer-term ramifications of his actions. Fortunately for the UK, though, Cameron is already doing one thing that Mubarak apparently never did — he’s thinking about right and wrong. Head past the break to see Cameron’s speech, in its entirety.
Continue reading UK Prime Minister exploring social media crackdown in wake of London riots (video)
UK Prime Minister exploring social media crackdown in wake of London riots (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, london riots
Well what do we have here? It looks like Ice Cream Sandwich
might have escaped from Google’s freezer a little early. Let’s be clear here — we’re not 100 percent sure this is the next major version of Android, but the evidence is somewhat convincing. Both Android Police
posted screenshots of Nexus S
running a blue-ish themed skin which appears similar to the Gingerbread
UI, but with a revised dock containing four icons instead of the usual three. Most of the changes are mild, but introduce functionality that already exist in Honeycomb
. The camera app is said to gain a panorama mode, and the Gmail app is supposed to match the design of the new OS. Follow the links below for more details, and jump past the break for an additional picture.
Continue reading Android Ice Cream Sandwich pictures leak, leave us slightly cold
Android Ice Cream Sandwich pictures leak, leave us slightly cold originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 19:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tired of getting swamped with spam and malware? Just pack your things and catch the next flight to Japan, where computer viruses are now considered illegal. Under the country’s new legislation, anyone convicted of creating or distributing viruses could face up to three years in prison, or a maximum fine of
If you didn’t already have enough potential app privacy leaks to worry about, here’s one more — Android Police discovered that that Skype’s Android client leaves your personal data wide open to assault. The publication reports that the app has SQLite3 databases where all your info and chat logs are stored, and that Skype forgot to encrypt the files or enforce permissions, which seems to be a decision akin to leaving keys hanging out of the door.
Basically, that means a rogue app could grab all your data and phone home — an app much like Skypwned. That’s a test program Android Police built to prove the vulnerability exists, and boy, oh boy does it work — despite only asking for basic Android storage and phone permissions, it instantly displayed our full name, phone number, email addresses and a list of all our contacts without requiring so much as a username to figure it out. Android Police says Skype is investigating the issue now, but if you want to give the VoIP company an extra little push we’re sure it couldn’t hurt.
Skype for Android vulnerable to hack that compromises personal info originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 22:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, personal information
, security hole
So, here’s the scene. You’re out at [insert city center here], completely neglecting any and all work duties, throwing Molotov cocktails at the building of the State you’ve grown to hate. It’s a protest in every sense of the word, and you’re rallying the troops via Twitter and Facebook. It’s actually not an uncommon painting these days, and while America’s not into promoting violence, it is into keeping the personal information of democracy activists secure. According to a fresh Reuters report, the US State Department is currently developing a software-based “panic button” that would wipe a phone’s address book and beam out emergency alerts to fellow protesters if they were apprehended. The goal here is to protect the privacy of those captured while promoting their best interests, and to let others know that trouble is brewing. There’s no clear indication of the status here, but something tells us that it’d be useful yesterday for a certain region of the globe.
America’s ‘panic button’ to wipe phones of democracy activists, perturb repressive governments originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 23:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, panic button